Sunday, February 26, 2012


If you wanted to not be a prole, or rude, you would find a better way of writing. --Anonymous

 As I have mentioned before on these pages, I am the son of a plumber and a factory worker. There isn't much more of a prole background to be found that is more prole than mine. I am not overly proud of it but there is the square root of fuck all I can do about it.  My mantra of 'once a prole always a prole' is a firmly held belief. You might see some Joe average ass hat win the lottery, and buy the fancy cars, the big house, and surround themselves with opulence, but they are just trying to compensate for being a prole. They are just the nouveau riche now, it doesn't change their fundamental make up one little bit.

Truth be told, while I am not proud of my prole background, I have come to embrace it. Not that I have a lot of choice, but either way I can't hide from it. A true prole is the enemy of pretense, and all of those fancy places that people would pretend to pretense like to shop, be seen, and (mostly) eat, are places that proles like myself feel the most uncomfortable. It is the angry proles, like myself, that also feel the most contempt for these types of places. I have personally found that the pretentiousness of a place can be measured by the fact that (in my part of the country at least) they serve shrimp and grits.  It is an article of faith that if a restaurant has shrimp and grits on the menu, proles such as myself will not be wanting to partake of the menu. Price matters in a lot of things, food is one of the few things that I am not so sure about. Maybe if it is steak, but a grit is pretty much a grit, and one of the FEW foods that I refuse without a doubt to EVER eat, and a shrimp is pretty much a shrimp. They don't use fancy nets to catch the fancy shrimp.

This is to say, that for the most part, even if I wanted not to be a prole, I feel I don't have a lot of choice. I can certainly 'pass' for a non-prole if the occasion demands it. I can, if I want to (which is that hard part, getting me to want to) carry on the most pretentious of conversation with the best of the pretense lot. However, I rarely feel the need to, and usually doing it makes me feel slightly dirty. Never try to deny what you are, no matter what kind of Eliza Doolittle bullshit people try to pull on you, be true to yourself, and (if possible) your roots. Civilized society isn't the only place were you can have intellectually refined conversations, and I have had more intellectually challenging conversations over BBQ pork, than I have ever had over a plate of shrimp and grits.

The atmosphere that you are paying so dearly for may be all well and good, but more likely than not, some prole is cooking that forty dollar entree you ordered, and making fuck all to do it. The one hundred and fifty bucks you plop down on ONE meal, ordered to satisfy your appetite, and your desire to be one of the 'in' crowd, could probably feed a family of three for three or four days. However, that is a distressing thought, and the 'in' crowd (the pretense lot) probably doesn't like to think too many distressing (or any) thoughts, they would ruin the ambivalence.

There has been, in my very limited, experience one thing that does level the playing field between us proles and the pretense lot. There is generally one area where no matter the fancy finishing school, the pretty dresses, the acting classes, the elocution lessons, the piano teacher, or the riding lessons proles and pretense are the same. It is the one place where most of the female members of the pretense lot become, though not as often, nor as crudely I am sure, what Napoleon, that well known lover of the ladies, liked to call baby factories. Of course the big difference is the pretense lots babies get to own the factory, the prole lots (like the wolf that raised me) get to work in them. 

I hope that answers the first part of Anonymous' comment about choosing not to be a prole. I guess the simpler answer would be even if I wanted to, I couldn't but I figured I would also try to address the second part of her comment about finding a better way of writing, by using this response to practice my writing 'talent'. It is a very limited talent, and trust me Anonymous, if I could just 'find' a better way of writing I would. However, I fear/know that a better way of writing is not to be found at your local Starbucks, tucked amongst the lattes and the cafe du laits. I fear that for me a 'better way of writing' is a bridge too far, but since the internet allows me to do it for free, and I sometimes get a lot of pleasure out of both the act of writing, and some of the responses I get, I fear that I am here to stay after all.

Therefore, like the good prole that I am, lacking the funds to purchase a 'better way of writing' I keep plugging away at this keyboard (since I type this blog, it's too tedious to hand write), in the vain hopes that a 'better way of writing' will appear. If it does I will be pleasantly surprised, like a child at Christmas that gets exactly what they asked for. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Antidote

In certain circles my last post was a bit 'unnecessarily cruel, and rude.' This post won't be cruel or rude so it seems I am making progress. However, I would not go so far as to say it is going to be all sunshine and lollipops either, but you take your chances as they come.

The above photo is of one of the BEST xmas gifts I have ever received. I received it this xmas, right on time, not a week late, and it rocks. It is, as you can tell, a watch. Something I had been without for a very long while, and therefore the person giving this as a gift was spot on in their picking something I would need, use, and want theory.  Before I received this excellent gift, I used my cell phone as my way of telling time, and it was quite annoying to a lot of people around me. They always thought I was being rude by checking my phone while I was in their company. It was not usually me doing anything but checking the time, but it made a few people upset. It also became, an annoying habit even to me.

It is a pretty nice watch, and unlike the world's worst gift it was neither cheap nor it is cheaply made. Not that price is what matters, it isn't. I was born poor, raised poor, and will probably die poor, therefore price matters but not in the way one would think. Just because something costs a lot more doesn't make it a better gift. In fact, a watch of a similar price as the world's worst gift would have been just as stunning of a gift, but that ship (I suppose) has sailed. I wear it daily, and I get a great deal of use out of it. I have all but stopped the annoying habit of pulling my phone out of my pocket just to check the time, and I try not to check it for anything else if I am 'out' with someone. It has been a struggle breaking that habit, but I am winning that battle (slowly).

Of course the higher the price, does (usually) mean the higher the quality, but after all it is a watch. It has one purpose, to tell me the time, I don't need a ton of bells and whistles to tell me the time, just the time will do. I am (in more ways than one) a very simple man. I don't need overly fancy shit. I find it to be a bit pretentious, after all once a prole always a prole, and proles don't (by definition) wear or own a whole lot of fancy shit. Simple things to do simple tasks is usually the prole way, mainly because we can't afford any better, but after a while we just convince ourselves that fancy shit is a sign of decay, and we don't want to decay, now do we?

The person who bought me this wonderful trinket knew (and still knows) every little bit of the information I am painstakingly sharing with you via this blog post. It isn't overly complicated, and it isn't rocket science. That person didn't have to ask anybody (or bodies) else what would be a good gift for me, they just saw that I didn't have a watch, when directly to a store, looked at the watches on display, and picked out one they figured I would like. They even kept the receipt just in case they had made a poor choice. Which is a pretty good idea, just to be on the safe side, one never knows when a salesperson is going to steer you wrong.

 I've been told the whole process from beginning to end took about 20 minutes and that was because they stopped to eat a pretzel.  Simple, easy, and right on the money as far as a good gift, hard to believe such a miracle is possible considering the other gift I received this xmas, but there the watch is on my wrist, a constant reminder that when someone puts more than 5 seconds of thought into giving someone a gift, they can get it spot on. Who was this gift giving genius? This person that knew exactly what I wanted, then proceeded to, with precision the German army would be proud of, go and obtain this marvelous gift, well I figure his identity is pretty obvious. It is me. To me, for me, from me. The best gifts usually are.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Thought that Counts?

Sometimes inspiration can be found in the oddest places, in this case it was found in disintergration.  The above photos are of the WORST christmas gift that I have ever received, and I used to get underwear EVERY christmas from my grandmother. At least I could wear the underwear and get some use out of them. This gift is as useless as it is shittyly made.

In case the pictures aren't clear enough, it is a pen. Yes a ballpoint pen! A Cross 3502 ballpoint pen made in China, and it is crap. This is the age of the computer, the ipad, the iphone, and I fear that 'fancy' pens, as this undeservedly purports to be, are going the way of the dinosaur. Meaning that they will soon become extinct, no longer necessary, unable to adapt, and all that good stuff that evolution teaches us that are smart enough to listen. The other sad part is that this isn't even that 'fancy' it is chrome, not silver, and it is a ball point pen. I did use it once, to see how it wrote, and it was about as smooth as your average BIC of which I could have bought about 90 of for the price paid for this one crap pen. It did come in a fancy box, which probably cost twice as much as the actual pen, but a pig in a dress is still a pig, it just happens to be in a dress.

I suppose you are wondering who would give me such an outdated, outmoded, piece of crap as a christmas gift? Well, I won't name any names because that is cruel, but it was a recent ex that, for reasons known only to her, purchased this crap pen as a gift. I do use a pen daily to scrawl my name over a bunch of 'official' documents, but that is all I do sign my name, and I use a Pilot G-2 pen for that purpose. Actually, I use a lot of those pens, because on any given day I lose about 2 of them. My office buys a lot of pens. They are not heirlooms that we hold onto like grim death. And the person who bought me the 'fancy' pen knew that, which is another reason the gift is shit.

I have been accused (by this ex, and others) of ruining holidays, and I probably do, but when I go to the trouble of buying you a gift it is a gift that you will like. You see, I put some thought into my gifts, I find out the kinds of things you like, and the kinds of things you don't like. I even try to sort out the kinds of things you might actually use. I know that is a radical idea in the gift giving world, and it is probably the reason I gave up buying gifts long ago. I understand the whole concept of thought that counts stuff, that is why I put thought into my gifts, but how much (bad) thought could have gone into a fucking pen! I did state that I will never use it, but I have since relented that idea, and have struck upon a new idea. I am going to send this pen on a fantastic voyage. I am going to post pics of it doing absoultely nothing in all types of places, beacuse it is functionally useless, and I think people need to know that.

I almost felt bad for the Cross pen company, then I realized they are shilling this type of pen for between 20-30 bucks, and it is (cheaply) made in China, for probably about 3 bucks. Therefore, I don't feel bad for the company, I feel bad for the consumer. Not that I think there is, or should be much of a market for such a crap item, but clearly somebody buys them, and them pawns them off as christmas gifts. The sadder part is that the person that bought me this crap gift had been dating me for almost 11 months, and even asked what (to her) she considered my 'best' friend what she should get me. His reply was certainly not 'a useless overpriced, poorly made, pen that he will NEVER use.' I know, I asked him, and he assured me that he didn't suggest such as bad gift, not even as a joke. 

It is perhaps an asshole thing to do, calling someone out for giving a crap gift, but then again I am an asshole. And, more importantly, I think I was wronged. I gave great gifts, I got shit gifts in return, and I was the one that ruined fucking Christmas? I have to call bullshit on that, and on a lot of other things that need not concern us at the moment. If it is the thought that counts, and this is all the thought you can muster then I weep for your unborn children, they will be buffoons no matter who the sperm donor may be.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I didn't exactly lie when I said wasn't going to write anything for a while. I am still not going to (except for this brief introduction), but sometimes life just makes sense. Sometimes when you least expect it, life puzzle pieces fall into place. And sometimes you chance upon a word, a song, or (in this case) a letter written by someone else, someone you don't even know that makes it all clear as crystal. What follows is that moment for me.

It is part of a letter written by the Austrian writer Joseph Roth to his friend Bernard von Brentano. This is how my life is summed up at the moment. I lack the talent to put it into words, but lucky for me I had the good fortune to read Joseph Roth, you should too sometime.

My dear friend, I'm becoming more and more solitary. More manifest in the details of life, in matters of taste, food, clothing, restaurants, and pleasures than in question of principle or philosophy. . . .  Even my wife is withdrawing from me, for all her love.  She is normal, and I am what you'd have to all insane. . . . Anything and everything is capable of provoking me. The conversation at another table, a look, a dress, a walk. It's really not "normal." I'm afraid I'm going to have to foreswear society, and break off all ties. I no believe anything I am told. I see through a magnifying glass. I peel the skins off people and things to see their hidden secrets---after that, you really can't believe anything.  I know, before the object of my scrutiny knows, how it will adapt, how it will evolve, what it will do next.  It might change utterly. But my knowledge of it is such that it will do exactly what I think it will do. . . I am becoming dangerous to ordinary decent people because of my knowledge of them.

It makes for an atrocious life.  It precludes all of love and most of friendship.  My mistrust kills all warmth, as bleach kills most germs.  I no longer understand the forms of human intercourse.  A harmless conversation chokes me.  I am incapable of speaking an innocent word.  I don't understand how people utter banalities.  How they manage to sing.  How the manage to play charades. . . . I am starting to hate decency, where---as is so often the case---- it's paired with limited intelligence.  The merely decent are beginning to hate me back. It can't go on. It can't go on.

Joseph Roth

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Iron Clad

This may be the last thing that I write for a while, and by a while I mean a long, long time. A measure of time that might be forever. I have in the past 24 hours come to realize that I am not, in any shape, form, or fashion, good at communicating. Via text, blog post, or in person, I am clearly bad at expressing myself. Everything, I say or write is either wrong, or well let's just stick with wrong. Being wrong all the time about everything has a unhealthy effect on one's being.  It just begins to wear down a person's 'soul' like water does to a stone over the years.  Though unlike the stone, my particular soul, does not take a polish. It just wears down, and at this rate there isn't going to be any soul left very soon.

That loss of soul as it were sounds bloody awful, and I can not seem to arrest it's erosion. I am not sure that going silent will help, but I am willing to give it a shot. After all, the words I have been using have seemed to caused a lot of misunderstandings, and me a lot of grief.  A quick glance over these pages will reinforce that opinion. I am not good at this, I am not going to become good at this, and doing things badly isn't really an option. I am not good at so many things that it boggles the imagination. Some of them I have to continue to do just in order to get around in the world, but this is not one of them, and this I can, and have to stop. It just seems that I am a flat head screw driver in a world full of Phillip's headed screws. Useless, and out of place. A tool that has lost its purpose for existing is no longer a tool, it is superfluous.

I have tried, but can no longer ignore the signals that 'mission control' is sending. It has been painful obvious to anyone with half a brain (i.e. NOT me), that this is not working. It is a clear indictment of me that I haven't figured it out before now. I wish I could say I have an excuse other that stupidity, but I don't. I won't try to defend myself, for there is no defense for me. Maybe the truth of the matter is that it has been pure vanity that has been propelling this blog along for quite some time. It is time to turn this ship of vanity towards the sun and steam straight ahead. Burn up and burn out all at the same time. The ashes might make a wonderful pile. However, I doubt that pile would cause too much concern except for the person or persons who would have to clean it. 

I do hope that somewhere, someone, may have gotten some enjoyment from all of this drivel. From this extended 'love song' to everyone I know, but I doubt it, and even if they have, well the miscommunication by far outnumber the enjoyments. It is an article of (my limited) faith that once you start have miscommunication, then you are never quite the same again. Miscommunication is like a snowball rolling down hill very fast. It gathers speed and mass, and just rolls over everything in its path. It is that snowball of miscommunication, that force of nature that I cannot seem to arrest, cannot seem to control or guide that has rolled right on over me, and left me blue from the cold.  Things, especially certain things, become brittle when they get cold, and when things get brittle, they break.  This is broken, and I do not believe that, at present, I have the ability to fix it. As Rimbaud, a real writer, figured out a long, long time ago, and with such brilliant insight, there comes a point where a 'writer' has to stop 'recording' and just merely stop writing. This is the point at which I find myself today, I hope (I guess) that it isn't a fixed point, and I will be able to move past it. I also hope that my (all too few) readers have gotten some pleasure from this journey, but for now this is my exit, and I need to gather my belongings, return my ticket, and get off this train.