Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I was speaking with a platonic friend of mine who was being very explicit about his sex life with his girlfriend. Because I have known him for so long, it did not occur to me to be uncomfortable until he asked me if I was, at which point I felt a little bit guilty.

Would the woman being discussed be offended if she knew that I was privy to the sordid details of her most intimate pastime? I really do not know. She and I are somewhat close, though not as close as I am with her boyfriend, since he was a good childhood friend. Does it matter that I am a woman? Should he even be talking about this to friends, or is it no one's business?

In an age when morals are flexible and relationships take varying forms, what boundaries are to be implemented in these situations? Especially since professionals all have different opinions about what constitutes healthy levels of openness.

If I had a boyfriend who talked openly with friends about how much sex we had, what type, etc, I would be really irritated, because it distributes something that I thought just belonged to me, cheapens it, and I would, of course, feel exposed. Though, I talk about sex with my girlfriends till the cows come home, so I would probably turn a blind eye. The thing I would find unacceptable is my significant other talking about sex with female friends, I'd like to think it wouldn't bother me, but I think in heterosexual relationships, these things really do matter. It puts the subject of sex on the table, and while I personally have never allowed to lead to unfaithfulness, one could imagine the possibilities.

With all that said, my feelings in this instance aren't necessarily mirrored by every woman on the planet, and certainly not every man. However, to keep the slate as clean as possible, I told me? No, but from here on out I will steer the conversation to more considerate territory.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I've talked a lot about vices on this blog, especially in regard to ones that affect our health, but today I am focusing on societal perceptions of addiction, and the kind of AA culture we currently live in.

This probably applies most directly to alcohol, and maybe pot, than anything else.

If someone regularly uses, say, crack cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin, the compulsion to use and the effects of this use are so consistently bad with practically one hundred percent of users, that it's ridiculous to suggest that people who become addicted to it could ever develop a healthy relationship with that particular substance. You cannot expect to be successful, professionally or personally, while under the influence of one of those things.

However, do the same rules apply to marijuana, and alcohol? I think those can be measured by the impact they have on your life. I think people can be heavy drinkers or smokers without being addicts. While neither of those things are especially "good" for you, I think the attitude toward them can be adjusted if a person is found to be addicted.

While alcohol has addictive properties,  the draw to smoke weed and drink is much more emotional than that of the harder drugs listed above, which do comfort you emotionally, but with those, the need to use has less to do with circumstances and more to do with impulse. Alcohol, I suppose, can be dependent on either, but that's my point, many people could probably reorient the way they respond to life and their emotional triggers, and, I think, contrary to what a lot of addiction specialists say,  redefine the relationship to softer drugs, and thus how one uses them.

It's worth it to think of food or sex addiction for comparison. Many of us feel that we have an addiction to certain kinds of foods, for some it's sex with random people, yet we do not implement the same sets of rules, we acknowledge that after treatment people will continue to eat and have sex.

Why can't we format the way we think about alcohol in the same way? After writing this it has occurred to me that weed doesn't get the same wrap as a life ruining substance, but i'm pretty sure its excessive use has cost some people jobs. . . Comment and subscribe please.

Monday, October 29, 2012


While I understand that how a person comes to understand ethics is likely to change throughout his or her lifetime, I seem to be especially confused when it comes to how I should center my own life.

Our local cultures, our widespread media, our beautiful entertainers, our powerful politicians and other  bewilderingly impressive leaders send the most confusing messages on this topic.

Selflessness is often considered the highest of virtues in that it enables us to remove the pressures our ego allows us to enjoy life by experiencing it through  the joy we give to other people. Plus, it's just plain nice.

But, our modern way of thinking, particularly in America, which focuses heavily on individual rights and general individuality, completely opposes the previously mentioned system of morality. We have all heard "you have to do what's right for you," "just worry about yourself," and a whole host of attempts to beat down  co dependence. In hand with this often comes selfishness with a healthy helping of hedonism, at least it has in my own life.

Still, if I were to be totally selfless, I could be taken advantage of, in fact, my good will has been abused pretty extensively in the recent past.

So, what is to be done? How do we orient our lives in a way that is balanced?

Today is not about my wanting to make a specific argument, it is a genuine question. It could go in all sorts of directions: from very simple thoughts, to sharing personal experiences, to an argument on the interpretation of Jeremy Bentham's writing.

Your thoughts and experiences are always appreciated.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I hate hipsterism. I have said it once and I will say it again.

I know most people "hate" hipsters, but they don't seem to be going away, so someone is producing them. And by someone, I mean small radio stations, record stores, galleries, and other places meant for optimum smuggery.

Originality for the sake of originality can be so damn obnoxious, it becomes just another way to stratify society and ostracize certain groups.

One thing I hate about hipsters is the fact that they hate labels.

This hatred only applies to certain labels, however. They don't like terms like "bisexual,"nor do they want to be identified by race, ethnicity, or even gender. But hipsters do like telling you about how vegan they are. They also would also fuckin' love to tell you about psychological profiling, and they will repeatedly tell you how much you embody a  particular Briggs/ Meyers type.

They will also freely identify religious affiliation, so long as it isn't Christianity.

They prefer to use words no one else has heard of, in order to gain intellectual superiority, if only they themselves perceive it.

The spirit of sharing knowledge can be so hard to find among these kinds of young people. Knowledge becomes a weapon to use against others. It is hideous.

I want hippies back. Real hippies, not the ones that judge you for not being alternative enough. Just nice, peaceable, unshaven hippies.  


Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm not a super political person. I do have opinions, but I don't typically become this angry rage monkey about politics.

However, most people in my life, and these people can be categorized on all ends of the conservative to liberal spectrum, are very, very emotionally charged when it comes to these things.

I have spoken briefly about this before, but how wonderful would it be if we actually listened to the candidates that don't represent the party we normally vote for? When Mitt Romney comes to a podium, every democrat I know tenses up like someone just tried to put a stick or something in their butt. The same goes for Republicans with Obama. How can people who speak the same language interpret what one person says so differently? I know this is where human nature and selective hearing comes in, but seriously?  

Just listen, put predisposition aside for a while and really consider what is being said, and don't take it personally, law and politics are meant to be participated in by people who are capable of being objective, and we fail at this daily.

 Also, why do we pay such careful attention to what the wives have to say? I'm not so oblivious that I don't know why people care, older generations like familial people, people who implement values in both their professional and personal lives. But ultimately, they are a mere figurehead, they will not be interacting with congress or big businesses, bringing in a cabinet, or overriding the supreme court.

This is where our focus needs to be, on the individual being elected who will participate in the processes, we don't need lectures on what it means to be a moral person in a marriage...this detracts from the morality of single individuals, and their recognition as contributors...but that's for a whole 'nother post.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How we deal with death

There is this idea in Buddhism (well, at least it pertains to certain sects of Buddhism), that we should not avoid thinking about death, because when it does hit, it is more of a shock to the system.

I do not agree with this principle.

On one hand, death is inevitable, and we must, to a certain extent, accept it.

However, in the many years that we as humans live, our death is a very small part of those years, it does not merit as much focus as does our actual body of life does.

There is a contradictory ideal within Buddhist thought that suggests that rather than lending attention to thoughts that bother us for the purpose of letting go of those fears and worries, we should channel energy into meditation on other more positive things in the world.

I'm not saying you should never seek catharsis by sharing a concern with those you trust, or never think about dying, I am saying that when it comes to the depth of our analysis, we would do better to think of the wonderful aspects of life and be present in those wonders. That action begets positiveness in one's individual experience, as well as interpersonal experiences.

Regardless of how well you mentally prepare for death, whether it is your own or that of someone you love, it will be a bit of a shock, so investing too much time in that kind of preparation really seems unnecessary. I can understand a level of acknowledgement, acceptance, but we must prevent a phobic obsession from taking hold.

As a tangent to this topic, it should be noted that death in western culture is seen as a very dreary event. We would do well to look to the East and to Mesoamerican traditions which, when the time comes, embrace death, and appreciate this very natural transition.

This Halloween and All Souls Day, strive for an appreciation for the whole life cycle, do not let your ego take over, simply be a vessel of experience that seeks to marvel at both your individual life and the life of the universe as a whole.

I am not one of those f*cking gurus. I just thought I would share, since all Saints Day is coming up and I was thinking about it.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Age Spirituality

I've blogged about religion before and my opinions about it, and had made it clear that I am not religious nor am I irreligious. But I am a spiritual person, and yes, people effing HATE that word, but I don't care.

One thing that frustrates me are all these gurus, they pop all the time, and Oprah endorses 3/4 of them. These people have good intentions for the most part, but they are so convinced of these seemingly random, romantic, but esoteric theories of life happiness and the soul. And all of their philosophies deviate from others' in their field.

I don't think that these people, nor the Joel Osteens of the world are trying to pull a fast one on us, I think the sleep well at night because they genuinely believe what they are selling. But so much this just seems contrived, this odd form of wishful thinking that gets more and more creative as they go along.

The frustrating part I guess, isn't that each spiritual leader is different or even that they are thinking wishfully and avoiding logic, it's that they profess their beliefs with such conviction that it is both compelling and offensive.

Never ever have I heard of a guru whose teachings align perfectly with my own, and I rarely encounter everyday people who do either. So when these people who sound so sure of what they are saying get my attention, and they would not agree with my thoughts, I naturally question their legitimacy.

There isn't really a solution, this isn't necessarily a problem, it's just a frustration; having to agree to disagree on the really big questions of life. My one wish is that people would not force their beliefs on others, at least not at the dogmatic level. We can appreciate one another's intuition without analysis, and continue towards a more respectful society.