Here Be Monsters
If you want to catch a free animal you need to use a trap that closes very quickly or very slowly. In the first case they’re caught because freedom disappears more quickly than they can react. In the second freedom disappears so slowly that they never realize the threat exists until it’s too late. If you do it gently enough they might not even fight back. For us free humans the slow trap is just about closed.
I know, I’m just another libertarian type screaming hysterically about the loss of freedom. Go ahead, ignore me. I’m sure you’ll make a very good serf. You’ll be comfortable and safe enough, you just won’t get to have any independence or privacy. Go back to your idiotic super hero movies and you’re fucking video games. Oh, someone’s still here? Do you want to see the trap? Here’s a quick glimpse of some of the links in the chain you’re helping them build…
One of the hallmarks of a free man is the ability to move. To go someplace else, anywhere else, for no damn reason. That era is long past if you’re talking about international travel and it’s about to end domestically too. To many of us the car, or the blessed motorcycle, is the very symbol of freedom. I can strap in, buy some gas, and go anyplace. Anonymously. No ticket. No passport. Just go. That’s ending. GPS, on board computer systems, self driving cars, the mommy state and bullshit eco-laws are ending the era of free anonymous movement. Most new cars can be tracked and shut down remotely. Some European countries have vowed to get rid of human driven cars in the next decade. You know, for safety. You don’t know it yet, but you’re even about to lose the right to even ‘own’ your personal vehicle. Or most anything else.
Ah yes, private property, the very foundation of freedom. This is mine and I can do with it what I like. Not so much. Go buy a piece of land and see how many permits you need to do anything or try to drive your new car without permission and licenses. But I’m not even talking about those things. I’m talking about whether you actually own the car at all. Very quietly a consortium of car manufacturers and software companies are getting the laws changed so that you don’t own the code in the thing that you bought, and everything has code. Strangely enough John Deere is leading the way. You might say ‘so what’ but you’d be wrong. If they win, and they will, you will no longer have the right to modify or repair ‘your’ property at all. Doing so will lead to mandatory jail sentences for copyright infringement or intellectual property crimes. And guess what? Everything has code. Want to add your own software or turn off the GPS or microphone on you phone? Nope, you’ll go to jail. Even though you supposedly ‘bought it’. Speaking of which…
Part of private property is the right to buy shit anonymously. To do that we use money. It works. We don’t owe our souls to the company store anymore. However the powers that be hate cash. It can’t be traced easily. You can buy guns, hookers and cocaine with it. Or motorcycle parts. So guess what? Cash is going away. More and more you have to use cards or an app on your fucking phone. I tried to order a pizza last night and couldn’t because I wanted to pay for it with actual money. None of the delivery places let you do that anymore. Trust me, you’re really going to miss dollar bills when they’re gone, you can’t make private sales, and everything you buy is traceable.
Once there’s no cash, no anonymous travel, and damn little private property you’ll find that you have no privacy left. Computer and phone technology is stealing your personal life so fast I don’t even know where to begin. Alexa, get the fuck out of my life, And I haven’t even mentioned that police of every kind piss all over your 4th Amendment rights every day. To enforce the LAW.
We are a nation of laws. Millions and millions of laws. Every one of us breaks a number of them every day. Our founding fathers knew that laws only work well when they’re applied evenly. It’s why we blindfold Justice. Yea well, that bus left. None of us believe that the rich and poor have the law applied equally. A District Attorney in New York recently decided he wouldn’t prosecute illegal aliens for many crimes so they couldn’t be deported. That’s right, he decided that American citizens should go to jail and illegal aliens shouldn’t even if they committed the exact same crime. And he’s still the DA. Hell, why is still out of jail himself? Or alive?
Once you start talking about laws you have to begin to think about who gets to make them. Do you? Does Monsanto? You know the answer to that. Laws, for the most part, now serve the needs of corporations and the rich. Not you. And certainly not the Constitution. The power to make laws is important because the groups that have it also have the power to put you in a cage whenever they feel like it. Fact is the US puts more people in cages for more reasons than any other civilization known to history. Exactly how does this make us the land of the free?
Even if you do manage to stay out of a cage you still can be controlled by piling debt on your back. Back to the company store again. And if you don’t pay your debts guess what happens? Prison. Put all these things together and you are now a serf. What you can do, who you can see, and how you live your life are now effectively under the complete control of the Governcorp or the Corporament or whatever you want to call this unholy alliance. It’s their way or prison, they’re always watching, and you’re letting it happen.
We’ve been told that our enemies are a different color, a different religion, a different sexual orientation, a different party, oh fuck, just different. These aren’t our enemies and they sure as hell aren’t the Governcorp’s enemies either. You know who is the ‘enemy of the people’ is according to these power hungry ass-monkeys? A biker with a gun, some training, a pocket full of cash and a thirst for joy. Shit. That’d be me. Saor Alba, Vaya con Dios, & Viva la Revolucion.
I’m back and feeling ever so much better. Thanks for asking. Of course I’ve spent some time thinking but we’ll get to that later. You know what I did for the most of the last few weeks? I trained. Hard. And played the same way.
A few weeks ago I was asked to take part in a panel discussion. The subject is irrelevant to this post so I won’t distract you with a lot of details. Suffice it to say that it involved a number of people who were accomplished in their chosen field and they took questions. Regardless of the raised issue it soon became apparent that the answer, when not specific or technical, was almost always some version of WORK HARDER.
Okay, so here comes the old man rant. You know what almost always helps you get better at something? Hard work. Not more technology. Not fancier training methods. Not clever short cuts. Just plain old fashioned nose to the grindstone, sweat producing practice. I can hear millennials bailing out of this post by the hundreds.
“Work smarter, not harder.” “Get real results fast.” “Twenty minutes a day will reap amazing results.” No, you lazy fuck, it won’t. Do you want to be a great musician? Practice for hours every day. Serious about martial arts? Train your forms constantly. Want to get in great shape? Plan your days around the gym. Interested in a spiritual pursuit? Work work work at it.
Talent is nice if you have it. Dedication and faith are useful. A good teacher or 12 can certainly help smooth the way. Good tools can be fun or make you look cool. But only hard work over a long long time will give you mastery. Not easy. Not sexy. Definitely not profitable. Probably full of tears and injury. But true. If you want to be better, work harder. And if anyone tells you differently they’re lying. And they probably suck at what they do. Saor Alba, Vaya con Dios, & Viva la Revolucion.
It happens every time, this crazy heart of mine. I start out writing a simple blog and I end up pissing everyone off. And so it goes. I guess it’s time to back off from politics, social commentary, and the like. Okay, good plan. Let’s go back to talking about martial arts.
Martial- Inclined toward being a warrior. Warlike or preparatory for combat. Arts- Repetition and expression of forms leading to transcendence. Attempting to describe truths that are beyond the objectively communicated.
Those are good enough definitions. Is there anything in either of those words that signifies sports? Competition for points or money? Sparring? Pay per view? Fucking walk in music? I didn’t think so. So STOP CALLING COMBAT SPORTS MARTIAL ARTS AND VICE VERSA. Jesus fucking Christ this pisses me off.
Look, I like combat sports. Boxing, MMA, Pro Wrestling, whatever. They’re fun. They can be entertaining. But they aren’t Martial Arts and neither are the training systems that attached to them. Judo, BJJ, Tae Kwon Do, Krav Maga, Karate, boxing, etc are great. They’ll get you into shape. They’ll teach you to fight. But they aren’t fucking Arts. Sciences? Sure. Sports? Pastimes? Valuable cultural phenomenon? Okay. But not Arts.
I’m a Martial Artist. I don’t fight. I don’t spar. Lord knows I don’t make much money. I train to understand the universe. I train to explain those things that can’t be explained. I have more in common with a modern dancer or a musician than an MMA fighter. Oh, and I can still probably kick your ass. I just don’t care about that.
Okay, now I’ve probably pissed off a bunch of ‘martial artists’. Maybe I better take a short break form the blog. I’ll be back in about two weeks. Promise. In the meantime why don’t you get off your damn computer and go train. In the meantime Saor Alba, Vaya con Dios, & Viva la Revolucion.