My Regular Mind, posted on September 26, 2010 at 05h47
Years ago, the corporation I work for centralized our Internet access so that it ran through its head office in the States. They didn’t notify us of this change, not that they necessarily had to, but I only realized this after noticing my external IP address was located in Illinois. At first this didn’t affect me at all, but after a while they started restricting some web access. Again, I can’t emphasize enough that this is entirely within their rights to do, but lately it seems a little absurd.
The first sites to go were the obvious social media sites (like Facebook and MySpace) and adult content sites (like 99% of the rest of the Internet). Then they started expanding the restrictions to include streaming media (goodbye Youtube, goodbye radio), then gaming sites (including educational games, which were great fun on lunch breaks), then any sites that include certain keywords, until now it seems like its more of a question of which sites aren’t blocked.
It wasn’t until I tried researching how to donate my hair to cancer patients that I realized the extent of this absurdity. As you can see in the screenshot I took, it’s funny that a page titled ‘Donating Hair For Cancer Victims’ is blocked because of its malicious reputation.
Sure makes me wonder.
Comicles, posted on September 18, 2010 at 10h23
This Comicle doesn’t properly summarize what I intended it to, so if you’ll allow me, I’d like to explain my thoughts further.
Just by living in a society, we are almost always under the influence of others. In the case of the character in this Comicle — we’ll call him Durpius — he’s angry that the vegan is trying to push his values on him. But what Durpius doesn’t seem to acknowledge is the abundance of advertising all around constantly pushing their values on him! And not just any values, but the most biased values possible: companies selling their own product.
But let’s suppose Durpius is aware of this subconscious influence and isn’t bothered by it. In fact, he probably finds it comforting since this same influence has always been in his life. But if this is all he’s ever known, could it be possible that these are not his own independent, actual values?
Put simply, my point is this: there are values all over the place, but when you don’t disagree with them, you may not notice. Take a look around, identify every time someone else’s values are being pushed on you, and before you believe it, make sure you believe it.
Storytime, posted on September 14, 2010 at 11h20
This is a short story I hurriedly wrote three years ago in San Diego, inspired by a billboard I saw on my way back to the hotel. Included here is its submitted form to a recent writing contest. I haven’t posted in so long, please enjoy this.
I was thirty-six years old when my wife died. Thirty-six, to the day. We met at sixteen, dated at nineteen, and married at twenty. I didn’t realize how impulsive I was until I met her. I proposed to her right here on this bridge, just all of a sudden one night. She took ten breaths, didn’t even move. It scared me to pieces. But then she smiled. Said yes. And I thought I would be happy forever. But tonight, and last night, and every night since she died, I wasn’t. Forever ended thirty years ago.
I stood on the bridge, hands deep in my pockets. Trying to ignore the cold was like trying to stop breathing. Not even my heavy coat could keep me warm. I had been there for hours and I worried that I was too late.
There were footsteps in the distance. They were quiet and nervous. It was her. She moved exactly like she spoke.
She took her time getting to the middle of the bridge, rested on the railing and stared into the darkness below. We stood a stranger’s pace apart and I couldn’t bear to look at her. She was so young, I had no idea what to say. Every word had to be perfect.
“I know who you are. I know why you’re here. Please, don’t do it.”