Here Be Monsters
Earlier this week I made some observations about cell phones. You know, how they’re cool and everything buy also suck up all your humanity and capacity for joy. I also mentioned in passing that they make you a giant fucking victim. I thought I’d expound on that a bit.
Way back in the old days the world used to be a fairly dangerous place. You know, tigers and bears and shit that would eat you. This tended to mean that most people paid pretty close attention to what was around them. Head up, eyes open, ears engaged. Basic awareness kind of stuff. All of the idjits that failed to do so found themselves being gutted by wildebeests or something. It meant that only the reasonably aware got to fuck and have mini mes. Today we’re the descendants of all the people who paid attention and mostly we’re throwing that shit away. The Netherlands just announced that they’re going to start installing walk/don’t walk signs on the fucking ground because so many mutant mother fuckers were getting hit by cars while staring at their phones. Jesus H Christ, what the hell happened to us?
You’ve seen it. The street scene with nearly every god damned person staring into their palm as they move through the world. Hell, for all I know you’re one of them. Not quite human anymore but not really evolved into anything else either. Don’t do it. Put the phone DOWN and look UP. There’s literally a whole giant reality out there.
Do you know what’s part of that huge thing called reality? Threats. Cars. Trucks. Dogs. And mostly Human predators. They love seeing people walking around without paying a lick of attention. They call these people victims, and so do I. Here’s a little thought experiment. Imagine an attacker is standing in front of you. Of course you don’t see or hear him because you’re on Tinder trying to find someone to fuck. Now let’s say he politely let’s you know he’s there and even allows you to dial 911 before he robs or rapes your ass. How exactly is that phone, or the nice policeman on the other end of the line, going to save you?
The absolute worst of this shit is people who drive incredibly powerful machines at high speed without paying any fucking attention. I hate these people. Not metaphorically, I literally hate them. I’m a biker and you selfish fucktards kill my kind every day and one of you will likely kill me. When you get in the car put your fucking phone away and drive. One of these days I’m going to interpret your texting as a specific threat to my life and put a .357 bullet in your fucking head in self defense.
I always know what’s around me. I never wear earphones in public or even at the gym. I’m never on the phone while I walk through the world. You shouldn’t do these things either. Of course the easiest way to accomplish this would be to release tigers everywhere. Since that probably won’t happen let’s hope Darwinism works out some other way to once again reward awareness. Saor Alba, Vaya con Dios, & Viva la Revolucion.
First of all let me make a confession. I love my cell phone. It’s cool. It does a lot of really amazing shit. I like texting and sharing lives through social media. I run my business from it. It’ mind blowing to have access to nearly all the collected knowledge of humanity in my palm. I don’t even mind sending AT&T a check every month. Having said that I work hard to keep from paying the real cost of that connectivity and you probably should too.
Awareness matters. It’s the connection between your little monkey brain and the big wide world outside. If you aren’t careful your little hand computer can operate as a giant awareness vacuum, sucking up every one of your senses. It seems that way the hell too many people have given up experiencing reality in favor of watching and listening to it on their 5 inch screen. A tremendous amount of your humanity is being sacrificed, not to mention your capacity for joy. I’m sure we’ve all seen the idjits who buy expensive concert tickets and then watch and listen to the performance through their fucking phone. What the fuck is wrong with these people?
Last night at the pub I watched a young woman dancing and generally having a good time. She never put her phone down. Not once. I couldn’t help but wonder if she similarly kept it in her hands while she fucked. After I asked around I found that a disturbing number people have had sexual encounters where their partner stayed in contact with the old Iphone. Some answered texts, some took pictures or played music in headphones. WHAT IN GOD’S NAME IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?
I live in a building full of people much younger than myself. I’m generally and very friendly, talkative fucker but I barely know anyone here because they’re always staring into their fucking screen, usually with earphones on. I spend a lot of time in the gym but almost never talk to the other lifters since they’re plugged in. I’m not, by the way. I’ve learned the secret to awareness, phone control, and good old fashioned common courtesy…
Your phone comes with two incredibly powerful options. Turn it off and leave it home. These options should be exercised whenever possible, and they’re usually possible. Do it. Turn it off. Put it in a drawer. Don’t let the useful, seductive little sucker steal the universe away from you. If you can’t do this you’re paying too much.
There’s another really excellent reason not to live in your Samsung. Threat assessment. If you aren’t aware of the world round you then you’re begging to be a victim. More on this later this week.
In addition to awareness I value a certain level of privacy. I like looking at naked pictures of my wife but that doesn’t mean I want every body else to see them. There are things in my life that just aren’t anyone else’s business. Besides that the world is full of dishonest fucks who’d love to have my bank accounts, passwords, and the like. I’d prefer to keep all of those things to myself. My private life is a cost I’m not willing to pay too.
In order to keep from losing my privacy I take a number of reasonable precautions. I don’t use a cloud service. Ever. I have a fancy ass phone that has very good encryption software. I have a remote wipe service that will clear the phone if I lose it. Everything is password protected and I change it often. These aren’t perfect solutions and some of them are a pain in the ass but for the most part they keep me from having to lose my privacy to get connectivity.
I get why some people just refuse to have them. They see the cost and don’t want to risk it. Okay. But they are wonderful little gadgets. Just make sure you contain their real cost. Saor Alba, Vaya con Dios, & Viva la Revolucion.
No matter what you do for a living I’m sure there are a few people in your profession that make you more than a little embarrassed. So it goes.
I’ve studied the Martial Arts for about 30 years. I love them. I like the training and the teaching. I like knowing how to take care of myself and the people around me. I even like many of the people I’ve met. None the less there are a few things I really fucking hate about martial artists. Here’s a quick, but absolutely not fully inclusive, list:
1- No style is any better than another one. Get over yourself.
2- There is no ‘secret technique’. Grow the fuck up. Hard work, persistence and understanding are the only damn secret.
3- Martial arts aren’t magic. You can’t dodge bullets, float through the air, etc. You can occasionally throw someone without touching them if your timing is perfect and you catch their intention but that’s skill, not some mystical force.
4- Training will not automatically make you wiser, more patient, more spiritual, or give you self esteem and confidence. You can learn these things but only if you specifically work on them.
5- If you only train in one style you are limited. Period.
6- Martial sports are fine but they aren’t martial arts. Some day I’ll explain the difference.
Now go train.