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What makes lying so easy is that a majority of people want to believe whatever you’re saying. Life is easier if everyone is telling you the truth.

How can it be
it’s not like me
it’s the way i think
thinking i can see
what others don’t
and that i need
to help lead
them to the light
where i feel right
but i can’t understand
in this far off land
where all the strife
is only in my head

I wish they were a book
I could sit down and read
but the words don’t matter
when you look at me
in the eye
sayin’ you don’t lie
but now you’ve gone to cry
cause you can’t see me

i’m leading to the light
where it’s alright
and i can understand
my right hand man
as he does to me
what i so need
to feel inside
that i can hide
from nothing

I sprint through life cuffing
my emotions
keeping them at bay
otherwise some day
flyin’ around
above you all
i’ll be bitter
for the things we said
and all i really want from you
is to remember me
as the guy who tried to lead

the perfect life
doing what he thinks is right
but didn’t understand
in this far off land
that everyone can see
he tries too hard
and isn’t happy
but there he stays
trying to lead
and the world doesn’t care
and life ain’t fair

So if the world don’t care
why do you
walking around
trying to be cool
looking like a fool
but all they say
is you’re not there
but maybe some day
you’ll understand
that life ain’t fair
and no one’s innocent.

Learning to understand people and rationalize their decisions as if you were them will not only help you become a better actor, it will motivate you to do what’s right in your every day life.

Or it might make you really cynical.  Depends on the company you keep.

I like to take things apart.  Computers, software, watches, rubik’s cubes (4x4x4 and up cause i can’t solve them), and most importantly people.

Deconstruction and understanding is a something I hold in very high esteem.  Sometimes I let this blind me and I forget to simply appreciate what is, as opposed to why it is.  It’s strange to me that I spent 3 years studying as an actor, and all I learned to do was to understand people better (I’m not certain I am any better at acting!).

I see myself in my parents.  My mother is a software developer and vice president for a very large software firm, and my father is a government employee.  It wasn’t always this way.  When I was born, my mother did not work, she spent most of her time in school and taking care of my brothers and I.  My father, recently separated from the military, took a job in management making enough to get by and somehow afford a mortgage.  Somewhere along the line, a family of 2 adults and 3 boys clawed their way from $35k/yr to the middle class.

My father is the man who got out of the military at 10 years because he was fed up with the system and how he was being treated.  He did this knowing he had a wife and 2 children (soon to be 3) to provide for, and that my mother was not ready to enter the workforce yet.  The leap he took was of great risk to himself AND his family, but in the best interest of both.  Having recently separated from active duty myself, I can say without a doubt so many people trudge along to the 20 year retirement plan because it is easy and stable.  Many sacrifice their happiness for their families.  I got out of the military because I inherited the audacity my father has in challenging authority when it is wrong (and sometimes when it’s right because, fuck it, instigating can be fun!).  I can think of no other person who inspires me to chase my dreams and speak my mind more than my father.

My mother is now a vice president of development at a software development firm, and she is the reason I laugh any time someone tells me there is a glass ceiling for women.  This is a woman who broke into a field dominated by men (85% of computer scientists are men), clawed her way up the ladder, and now manages development teams across the globe.  I have conversations with her that range any number of topics, sometimes controversial and thought provoking beyond what I get from my peers.  The mutual respect for opinion and consistent skepticism between us is something I value more deeply than I have to words to express.  I can think of no other person who inspires me to maintain an open mind and to seek truth where details are foggy.

Most importantly, the thing I value between myself and my parents now, is that we hold each other as equals in most regards.  We all agree we’re a big collective of stubborn opinionated people, unafraid to speak our mind, and probably offend people more often than we should.  Good fun if you ask me!

So how does this post start with deconstructing systems, and end up with a pseudo-psychological profile on who I am?  Well what’s a more complex system than the family unit, and who more important to understand than yourself?  There are plenty of bad habits I learned from my parents and siblings too, but… well… praise in public, correct in private :].

Just some random thoughts for today.

How do people get so entranced by something that they grab onto with every ounce of their being?  Some are so ready to throw themselves off a cliff, chasing a parachute, in hopes that they’ll be great some day. We have people who play video games for a living. Others make entertainment on youtube like Freddiew or Boogie2988

We’ve all got a music collections we bounce around within.  Some of us listen to manufactured content (a lot of Top 40), which there is nothing wrong with (South Korea does this far more than the US).  Some hate that “fake shit” and prefer grass roots music, or something of a classical nature.  Right now I’m listening to the musical genius Chilly Gonzales’.

These are people that make a living doing something that has no intrinsic value until it is heard.  There is no tangible asset here that can be sold or manipulated, there is only an idea.  This idea captivates us.  FreddieW makes a living making fake guns and explosions and video game references, pop culture.  Boogie2988 talks.  Chilly blesses my ears with ideas in music form.  As a friend once said to me: “If he had words for those ideas, he wouldn’t be playing the piano”.

So this idea draws us in.  We are so fascinated by their ideas, their beautiful, crafted, chiseled, perfected (according to us) ideas.  And this gives us hope that our ideas can be wonderful, magical, powerful and give us an audience of our own.  If this wasn’t true, I can’t imagine why I’m writing this, or why you’re reading this.

Why even write this note then?  Isn’t the idea of writing about ideas simply “meta” and boring?  I could go into some loop about how this idea about how ideas form ideas and spark ideas in other people are the nature of the human condition, but then I’d just be some pseudo-intellectual trying to pawn off how much more intelligent than you I am (note: I’m not, I don’t want to be, and I prefer blissful ignorance to informed misery… ok maybe not that last part).

I enjoy Oration like Boogie2988 does.  I spent 3 years in the Navy selling Network Defense systems to admirals and generals.  I loved the oration process, getting up in front of people, entertaining them, teaching them.  I had an audience, I had ideas, those ideas mattered.  I had some sort of power.

It came crashing down one day when I realized I was Otacon from Metal Gear Solid. (fast forward to 55 seconds)

What a bad taste in my mouth.  My software development work was part of an ongoing arms race.  Although this arms race had nothing to do with nuclear devices, physical weapons, or giant death robots.  It’s what I simply called the Cyber Arms Race.

Around that time I lost much of my ambition to be the best at anything.  I learned to do just enough to get by, and used my silver tongue to manipulate situations in my favor.  I started looking to video games, youtube, blogs, forums… the places I grew up… to figure out where I had gone wrong, and how I could chase what I wanted.

Maybe I’ll find it.  Or maybe I’ll just fly right by the parachute and dive into the ground.

I wish I were a really old man.  They get away with everything because they can just pretend to be senile.

Here I stand, at the brink of destruction. Chest out and proudly leering into the face of god, opening my mouth only to announce my presence.

The glaring eye of the ever watchful, ever vigilant, is a fear inducing source of inspiration.  The decision whether or not to rebel molds your characters as time goes by.

Make your name not out of conformity or rebellion, but the beliefs you hold dearest to your heart.

I trimmed it down a little and let my mustache and under-chin (not neck) grow.  Pics next week when it’s filled out :]

Fly off to the moon,
meet with the man up there.
Jump into the sea,
float away without a care.

I’m lost inside a labyrinth,
the map is ripped to shreds.
Try to understand it,
but i can’t get in their heads.

Why do I waste away,
thinking all day long.
When I could end it all today,
and just start a brand new song.

But I won’t just run away,
My pride is far to strong.
I’m loyal to myself,
it’s others that I long.

I know just what you’re thinking,
I’m too young to understand.
Well you were young once too,
So shut up and lend a hand.

Now I’ve been off to the moon,
and I’ve swam around the sea.
People come and go,
and all that’s left is me.

Why does life go this way,
and who cares to fight it so.
There’s a simple answer,
when you find it let me know.

~Aug 2009

Life is an unbroken flow of emotions.  Even when we believe we are feeling nothing, we are simply detached from ourselves.  It is then important to recognize these moments and delve inward to discover and understand the person within.

The secret behind the fantasy of TV, Movie, and Video Games is to provide the people with believable life, no matter how improbable or extraordinary.  This is the reason WoW and FFXI continue to draw large crowds.  It provides people an escape to a world of complete freedom and control, despite the notable lack of these 2 key components in their real life.

A world of fantasy will always be more enticing than selling burgers at a McDonald’s.

The observation of life provides external stimulus for us to change ourselves.

When it comes to the imagination, nothing you imagine is ever wrong.

Get into the head of someone who doesn’t need control.

Try everything once.

 

Now, this is an interesting entry.  At first, it says a whole lot of nothing.  As an acting note, knowing life is an unbroken flow of emotions is important, because at no point on stage should you ever not feel something.  Then I tried to be profound and explain how feeling nothing is just some strange existential experience.  Huh.

The interesting thing here is the very accurate description of what makes media so enticing.  I would have known though, because at this point I had been playing Final Fantasy XI for nearly 7-8 years, and had spent a majority of my life parked in front of a computer/tv consuming massive amounts of media.  I believe I unhooked my TV from cable shortly after this.  I haven’t hooked it back up since.

Cutting the cord is highly recommended.