Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Those Long-Haired Degenerates

When I was a child, there was a clear distinction between respectable citizens and degenerates. I was constantly made aware of this distinction by my family. I guess that's one of the main purposes of parents; to insure you know the difference, and to make sure you don't fall into becoming one of those loathsome scoundrels who loves neither his family, nor God nor his country.

My parents, my step-father in particular, where keen to point out that a man who had long hair, for instance, was clearly a homosexual. Even at a very young age I was at a loss because I thought that being a homosexual meant that you had sex with other men. They also pointed out to me in extreme earnest, that growing your hair would not only make you a homosexual but also lead to smoking marijuana which would in turn lead to becoming hopelessly addicted to heroine which would cause you to have sex with men for money in order to be able to pay for the drugs which would reenforce the fact that you were, as they originally pointed out, indeed a homosexual. 

This was all very hard for a six-year-old to process. 

Nonetheless, I got the picture, or so I thought. At that time, growing up a Cuban immigrant in Newark, New Jersey, I didn't know any men with long hair. There was only one man who fit the bill and he was in a painting my grandmother had in her home. His name was Jesus Christ. Well, you can just imagine what happened when I innocently went to my parents and asked them if Jesus was a drug-addicted homosexual. 

Cubans, especially back then, were not known to spare the rod, or this case, the belt. That day was certainly no exception. As I ran screaming to my room, my little, red, ass cheeks aflame, I remember crying through my tears, "But he has long hair!" There's just so much that makes no sense when you're six. 

It made no more sense to me at seventeen, when I had made the bold choice to grow my hair hence becoming a degenerate and a homosexual in the eyes of my family. I think I was still stuck on the fact that these people worshipped the image of a man who in appearance was the very thing they told their children not to be. I may have even used the "Jesus had long hair" argument again at that point, but at seventeen I was smart enough to know when to run.  And that's what I did. And I never looked back.

I've been a degenerate ever since. In other words, I dress the way I please, I cut my hair or don't as I please. I'm a free thinker and I say what's on my mind. I believe in freedom and equality for all.  I stand for a woman's right to choose, I stand for couples of any and all persuasions to have the right to live, to love and to marry.  I believe, like the founders of this country, in the separation of church and state. I believe in the inalienable right of religious freedom to openly worship one God, many gods or none at all. And most importantly, I believe in democracy and freedom of speech and in the pursuit of happiness. I believe that if you're not hurting anyone in what you're doing, you should be free to do it. In other words, I'm a degenerate.

I'm over forty now and I still have trouble understanding the distinction between what makes a person an upstanding, respectable member of society and a degenerate. I've met suit-wearing accountants who molest children and I've met sado-masochists who are the kindest folks you could ever hope to meet (or beat). Frankly, some things just still don't add up. It bogs me down sometimes, it always has. Somedays, I try not to think too much about it.

It rained heavily today. I had one of those days where you just can't get your priorities straight. I have a long "to do" list but I keep forgetting to look at it. I guess I should add "Read your to-do list" to the top of it. Today, I actually made it a point to read it and see if there were things I could get done and scratch off of the list. 

This is what the list looked like:

June 30th, 2009:

Send Chi-chian books to Framelight pictures.  6 sets if possible

Book Canandian dates!

Book Canandian flights

Visit Canadian embassy for work permit.

Record Radiohead cover

Send Transrexia Mini-DV to Carnival of Darkness

Finish Deady Belt Design

Pay electric bill

Pay phone bill

Finish Deady custom toy for Mezco

Sign release form for Mezco

Make Yoka Deady toy design

Make DEADY Dunny toy design

Call Outland about show

Make Deady/Stitch production piece layout for Mindstyle

Work on Mallow design

cut wood for air conditioner...

That's just the top seventeen items. The list is a couple hundred items long. I looked at it good and hard and decided to "cut wood for air conditioner".  My fiance bought an air conditioner and asked if I'd install it. I did that last night but felt  it needed a wooden bar across the window to secure it and keep it from falling out the window and crushing some respectable person. It seemed like the task that involved the least amount of effort so I went with that. That's the kind of day I was having.  All I needed to do was to track down my electric saw. If it wasn't in our apartment, then it might be at The School of Visual Arts and if it wasn't there, it might be at my place downtown.

Several hours later, I had torn apart all three places and still hadn't found my saw. I finally stubbled upon a handsaw in my apartment downtown and settled for that. I went outside. It was a veritable deluge. The day was gone, the weather was miserable and my mind was just as cloudy. Sometimes, on days like this, you just have to let yourself give up. You just have to cut your losses. And that's what I did.

I went to a cafe on first avenue and tenth street for a latte and a tartine; that's a grilled baguette with butter and jam for those of you not named after a dead, French philosopher. I sat down and while I waited for my meal, I started to draw my little, evil teddy bear, Deady on some scrap paper. There was a couple sitting to my left. They were speaking loudly and excitedly. The man, I divined, was an author of note. He was white-haired and retired. The woman across from him was probably in her thirties or forties. However, obviously a devotee of his writing, she behaved no differently than a teenage fan girl, bubbly and giddy, laughing at anything he said that was mildly amusing. She clearly wished to impress him. She rattled off a list of her accolades including a fancy fellowship she had won, what ivy league school she had attended and dropped the names of successful people they were mutually acquainted with and she prodded him to speak at her book club. And she mentioned several times that she was newly divorced. He in turn seemed pleased to be getting such enthusiastic attention from a younger woman. And who could blame him. They were both upstanding, respectable citizens as far as I could tell.

The subject of the conversation turned to an acquaintance of theirs who was an accomplished writer for the New York Times. "Oh, he's such a fascist!" said the woman. "We were talking the other day and he was siding with George Bush, saying that he agreed with the Patriot Act."

"Yes, I know exactly what you mean," said the man. "The Times has such a reputation for being left-leaning that I think he uses that as a shield. He figures that as long as he works there, his intentions won't be in question and he's free to spew this fascist rhetoric. Just the other day I was saying to him that under President Bush, we've all had our civil liberties slowly eroded away. After nine-eleven, everything changed. Nine-eleven was our Riechstag, you know. After the Reichstag building was burned down in Berlin in 1933, Hitler was able to suspend the civil liberties of the Germany people under the guise that it would help them hunt down enemies of the state. Bush used nine-eleven for the same purpose. 'What do you call a country that has no habeas corpus?' I asked him. ' where you can arrest a person without probable cause or due process, where you can wire-tap phones without a warrant? I call it a fascist state!' That's what I said to him."

It brought to mind a quote by one of my favorite long-haired degenerates, Benjamin Franklin, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safetly."

These two people were both in the arts and had a passion for freedom. "These are my kind of people", I thought. But then the conversation took a strange turn. The woman had been called for jury duty and they began to joyfully exchange stories about how they've weaseled out of doing jury duty in the past. 

"Oh, I just get my psychiatrist to write me a note," said the man, " I mean, who wants an unstable person in the jury pool, am I right?" and they laughed. 

I honestly wanted to turn to them and yell, "How can you condemn fascism and in the same breath express how unwilling you are to do the things that keep this country a democracy?" (But I couldn't do that because eaves dropping is rude. So instead I would do the polite thing. I would run home later and blog about it behind their backs.)

Then it got worse. Apparently her efforts to get out of it failed and she had apparently done a month of grand juror duty. She was explaining to him what it was, and she clearly didn't know! She had just spent a whole month there, no doubt grumbling the entire time, and all along she thought she was sitting on trials deliberating on the innocence or guilt of suspects. That's not what the grand jury does. It only deliberates on whether or not there is enough evidence for a case to go to trail. I should know. I served. And it was eye-opening.

Sadly, what I learned was that a lot of "respecatable" citizens love to waive a flag. They love to go on and on about freedom and democracy and the American way, but the second you ask someone to exercise their right to be part of the democratic system, the second you ask someone to do their duty to uphold the values this country was built on, the complaining begins and the excuses start up. And it's not a class thing, it's across the board. When I was called for grand jury duty, which lasted a month, I sat between a very large, black woman who was making minimum wage working at McDonald's and a young, white lady who was in grad school. And I swear to God it was like a contest to see who had better things to do than be in the jury box. Everyday for a month I got to hear that large, black lady say things like, "Ah don needa be heah! I gots lottsa things tadoo!" and the uptight, white girl on the other side of me bitching into her cellphone such pearls as "I'm like, totally missing my classes right now. Like... totally!" These were just two of the twenty or so people in there and believe me when I say that the rest were not much better. Everyone loves democracy but no one actually wants to be part of it. Believe me, I understand what an inconvenience it is to be away from work for a whole month. I'm self employed. If I don't work, no one is going to pay my rent for me. But if no one in their right mind wants to do jury duty, then think about who is going to be in that box making the decisions that keep this country free. It's a scary thought.

Eventually, there won't be a grand jury. Eventually cases will simply go to trial whether there is enough evidence or not. And when it goes to trial there won't be a jury there to deliberate. Eventually, the government will let the people have their way. It will stop asking them to participate. And the people will be thrilled. They can go to their jobs at McDonald's or go to their classes at Columbia and they will be ecstatic to never be bothered again by jury duty. And when that day comes, at the risk of revealing myself for the Star Wars fan that I am, Padme Amidala will be there in the wings. And she will say, "So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause."

Respectable people never cease to befuddle and confuse me. Here's a little experiment you can do on your own to get a taste of just how weird and contradictory "normal" people are. Strike up a conversation with someone you think of as an upstanding, law abiding citizen, exactly the kind of person you could imagine lambasting a junkie or recreational drug user.  Rub your jaw and say, "sorry, I just got my wisdom teeth taken out." I can almost guarantee you that nine out of ten respectable citizens will say something like, "did they give you the good drugs?"  It is absolutely mind blowing! I found this out when I had mine taken out. I swear I had everyone from school teachers to parents to police officers say this to me. What gives? If you smoke one joint, you are fit for prison but if you are completely off your tits on painkillers it's okey dokey? I know people who are on a six-percacets-a-day regimen who don't see a damn thing wrong with it. Why? Because they are prescribed by a physician. And what's a physician? That's right! A respectable, upstanding citizen! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

What the hell? Flag waving patriots trying to dodge jury duty, teetotalers jonesing for a visit to the dentist? It's all so confusing!

I really don't know what to make of it all, but I'm working on it. I know that someday soon I will have a way to explain why it is that some respectable people are such degenerates and why some degenerates are some of the most lovely and respectful people I've ever met. 

Matt Johnson of the band The The says something in his song "Armageddon Days Are Here Again" that I think we all know is true of a certain long-haired gentleman.  And that is,  "if the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today, he'd be gunned down cold by the C.I.A."  Sad, but true.

Since so many "respectable people" live their lives (or at least believe they live their lives) by the words of Jesus Christ, I will end with these wise words of His,

"The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart."

And I guess therein lies the simplicity of it, really. Actions speak louder than words. The rest, is all a facade and it don't make a damn bit of difference what your hair looks like.



  1. excellent points. I've wondered that myself actually.

  2. wow, this was pretty enlightening in itself, I have never had the long hair problem since I’m female, but I’ve hear my boyfriend get griped at about it from both his and my parents. I also feel kind of bad about getting out of jury duty now (though at the time I was in high school)
    I wonder why it’s such a big deal to get called in for jury duty, I would think that it would be kind of fun to sit in and hear a trial take place. there are so many people who watch court TV and cold case files I’m always surprised to hear how reluctant people are to take part in something they watch all the time on TV.
    We live in a strange world...

  3. once again, you rock my socks. one of these days, you're going to inspire onf my blogs to be insightful for once, haha.
    honestly though, i'm glad you've tackled this subject. (or subjects, rather)
    i've experienced simliar prejudice myself, even since moving to new york city- which surprised me a little, since i would have figured new yorkers to have a more liad-back attitude toward appearance.
    recently, i gave my seat on the subway to an older jewish man. he thanked, me, and then proceeded to ask me if i what i did was because i was jewish (or of some other religious afilliation) and when i said no, his lip curled and he wouldn't speak to me.
    i personally think that when people do the right thing of their own volition, that it is far more admirable and far more revolutionary than to do so because it is dictated in a scripture.
    time for me to get to bed!

  4. I personally would have said something to the people talking, especially after they talked about getting out of jury duty. I was always taught that if you don't want anyone else included in your conversation, then don't speak to where they can hear you. So since you could hear them, you had the right to comment about how they had done a great disservice to this country and are setting a bad example to all of the youth of America. Yes, I would have made this much of a scene.

    As for the drugs, it's all what you're taking and who's dealing. I've never understood it how my own father got years in prison for selling a mostly harmless drug(outside of the smoke) when the government was selling it as well(guess his prices were better). Just cause you get a prescription doesn't make it less of a drug. In fact, the majority of the drugs handed out my doctors are more addictive and harmful than those you could by off the streets.

    And for Maurreen commented:
    For years I have given hundreds of hours to doing charity work on top of doing the things I've always believed were the right thing. People are always amazed that I, someone who has facial piercings, tattoos and multiple hair colours would be such a person. They then try to reason with the idea that I must be a Christian. It's sad some of the reactions I get when they find out that I'm Pagan, with a Buddhist lean. Religion should not define what you do and who you are, your actions should.

  5. One day your son is going to grow up and become a very interesting and important person to someone, or to many.

  6. that was strong, I enjoyed it :)

  7. Bloody brilliant bit, mate!

    A couple of qoutes from one of my favourite long-hairs - Bob Marley:

    "All we want is the right to be right - and the right to be wrong"

    "Who are you to judge the life I live? I know I'm not perfect, and I don't live to be, but before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean!"

  8. And then there's this:

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” - Edmund Burke

    BTW perhaps one substitute for 'Degenerate' is 'Libertine'. It has a much more pleasant ring to it, yes?

    Lord David
    Skull Club
    New Orleans


  9. So very sad but true... Here's for being a degenerate and making the "respectable people" as uncomfortable as possible!

  10. Hehe, another reason to admire you - you bring up interesting points. (haha, I was nodding my head all the time while reading this :D ) And you sure can write. See, English is not my first language, so sometimes it's a bit difficult to read long posts. Then again - once I started reading this one, I just had to read all of it.

  11. Voltaire,

    My dad raised me to be an upstanding patriot, and the words of those two citizens, and the other you describe from your grand jury duty, makes me sutter. When some corperate hack is going to get leave pay for being at jury and they are still complaining, but someone who is self employed and thus losing money to be there does his duty, life makes no sense. It seems unreal to me that so many people don't realize what will result when we fail to stand up and be citizens. Democracy is truely lost to standing applaues.

  12. At the risk of sounding like a giddy fangirl (which, as you know, I am), this is just one of the reasons I admire you so much. Your eloquent, expressive writing is just as awesome as your "degenerate" music. This is freaking brilliant, and should be required reading for idiots, if we could but identify them.


  13. You've said a LOT that I believe in this blog... Gets me thinking about it again, I'm afraid to see how my generation is gonna end up in the future. Robots, degenerates...

    Great post, Voltaire.

  14. well said. it's nice to know that there are still people out there who actually care about things, instead of just talking. keep it up!

  15. Every social structure goes thru cycles, and sadly, when the people who live in it are so used to their rights that they take them for granted and shirk their responsablity is when that stucture is ill and failing.

    It happened to Rome, and it looks like it's happening to us.

  16. i was chosen for jury duty only once. i was actually really disappointed when i was not one of the final 12 (+ 1 alt.) chosen. and their reasoning really frustrated me. they asked how many people in the room owned firearms. i, along with a few others, raised my hand. they asked us (that raised our hands), one by one, why we had the firearms. there were several expected reasons like "for hunting", "for protection", "collecting", etc. i, on the other hand, answered honestly that i just liked knowing i could shoot one if need be. this got me 'booted'. the right to bare arms is, obviously, in our rights, and yet it gets me essentially 'fired' from standing up for said rights by doing my civil duty. gah! people make no sense. and people who think i cannot possibly be a liberal because i own a gun are just silly. pfff.

  17. Thank you for posting this blog. It was very enlightening and so true.

  18. I enjoyed this post; a friend of mine linked to it from Facebook. I'll be following your work and recommending it to others.

  19. I identify with all of these sentiments. I am a female, so the reverse of the "long hair" issue is having no hair, or a mohawk, or purple/green/blue/ etc... colored hair. I've spent a whole lot of time sitting and observing people, listening and not talking, trying to decipher the real essence of these apparent social norms and expectations. I am also still utterly baffled. Even though now I think my hair is relatively normal, and I don't really even dress too outlandishly anymore, I can't really tell if it is normal or not, since I still haven't quite nailed down the precise criteria for "normalcy". I am still strange in the eyes of most people, I think, because my definitions of the "right" way to behave is entirely ethic-based, and let's face it, not many of us operate that way. The only standard that fits the behavior of the vast majority is seeming, not being. Most people are just illusionists, but we are truly magicians.

  20. I wonder if you spend as much time as I trying to figure out if you're sane and the rest of the world is crazy; or if you're the crazy one and maybe you should just give up and play along.

    Either way, I'm really glad you have an outlet to be yourself and find others like you and they in turn, have a chance to find you. ^_-

    Isn't it great to be in The Underground! ^^

    P.S. Jesus is so smart. ^_^

  21. No coincidence! When you're crazy scary nasty and in charge, your barber had better do a good job or else!

    Seriously, it's true...all it takes for evil to triumph is for the good to stand by and do nothing!

    Die on your feet or live on your knees!

  22. I agree with you completely. I live every day with the controdiction you speak of. My father complains that my hair is green (this week, I have 12 peircings & 3 tattoos and have chosen to become a tattoo artist. He is an X-ray tech, with a collection of pills which I don't even know the names of because he and my mother use a colour based code so no one can tell exactly what they are taking and how much.

  23. I have to agree with everything you've said. And regarding jury duty - I fully understand - I am a doctor - if I am sued for malpractice, or brought to trial for whatever - I will NOT be tried by a jury of my "peers" as the law describes -- NO - I will be tried by 12 people who weren't able to get out of jury duty!!!!!!
    My opinions raise eyebrows, as does my taste in music, as does my explanation that the Voltaire I'm talking about is NOT the dead Frenchman. I work in a bastion of fundamentalism - and unfortunately many of those - upstanding folks - the ones I refer to as Drs. Holier than Thou - are the quickest to belittle or condem those who don't toe the "party line." We take our freedoms too much for granted, and they will dissolve while we watch if we're not careful!

  24. Every time I want to cringe in fear for the way I live my life I will remember your words and know that there are still some people in this world who care about what is True.

  25. Luckily for me my parents have been more than open about homosexuals and degenerates! It's kind of surprising seeing how my dad served in the military for 24 years. He's told me stories about many a person I would think would be respectable... These were infact other marines whom he worked with none the less... They would go and do things the they would tell others not to do... I can't understand why people can't do what they say....

    I can't believe how people contradict themselves so quickly in one breath as you stated.. It's so weird that they would try to get out of Jury Duty... I've not even had the chance to do it and I really want to... I guess living out in the middle of nowhere makes it hard to get a chance to serve in our democratic system. Although that's how it is with a lot of things out here. I hope that one day, even soon, I get to go and do Jury duty... It just sounds fun to me ^.^.

  26. Well said sir.

    I get told all the time that I shouldn't be a school teacher. Because I'm not normal (what's normal?). Or because I'm bi and transgendered. Or because I'm an Atheist. I was actually told by a homeschooling Christian parent that I'm one of the reasons she home schools her kids. Yeah, me. Oddly she was homeschooling them before she met me so I don't get that one.

  27. I normally really enjoy reading your blogs here. They're deep and make you think and I like that. You hit on a touchy subject for me this time though. As another upstanding degenerate (that makes sense, really) I agree with most of what you said, but I was disappointed to see how you generalized people who live on painkillers. Some of us actually have to or we basically have no quality of life. Sometimes there is no other choice for people with legitimate health problems. The only times I've ever been completely off my tits on painkillers though have been either during hospital stays or coming from the hospital.

    Its not something I broadcast or talk about a lot. That's part of my life for me to deal with and not something that most people need to know about aside from my family and my physician. I'm actually kind of surprised I'm mentioning it here. Like I said before, I guess it just hit a note with me.

    Despite all that I just shared here, which probably sounded like complaining (I didn't intend it to come out that way.), I still stick to my beliefs and my values and do the things that need to be done. That includes the time I spent in jury duty. I'm sure I could have easily gotten out of it with a doctor's note. Those of use who care have to help keep the wheels turning in the right direction though.

  28. Kat, I don't think V meant his comment towards people routinely using painkillers, but on people doing this and condemning non-prescripted drugs at the same time.

    V, on your comment on people evading jury duty, I know what you mean. Here in Belgium, voting is compulsory (or at least, going to the voting office is), as is being an assistant in the office when you are assigned to do so.
    You can't imagine how much moaning and groaning goes about every time it's election time... All these people nagging abouth the fact that they have to spend an entire sunday morning/afternoon handing out ballots, or counting votes. And the other bunch of people moaning that they have to get out of their house to vote.
    I just don't get how people can react this way, not realising what a privilege it is to be allowed to vote, to have a choice in who'll be appointed to control the country.
    I just don't get how people can be so offended by their democratic right.
    I just don't get that so many people would be so much more happy if they lost that right.

    To bring my whole rant down to one sentence:
    I really appreciated this post.


  29. Yes Kat, as Maria pointed out, I'm not talking about people with actual health problems who need to take medicine. I'm talking about people who abuse prescription medication and then somehow think they are above or different from the average junkie on illegal drugs. It's the hypocrisy we're talking about here, not the legitimate use of medicine, which I'm all for.

  30. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said in this article! It is superbly written with so many true observations.. I have also noticed that the so-called 'degenerates' of society are usually more pure-hearted and sometimes of a more generous spirit and true than some of the 'upstanding' citizens of the world.. often what is thought to be true on the surface is very often not the case.. everything is not at all what it seems.. thank you for writing this.. I am very pleased to know that there are others that think the same way I do...!

  31. I think that perhaps us "degenerates" have the luxury of choosing to be decent people, while many of the upstanding, decent people only act that way because they feel they must.

    Does one do good to avoid punishment, to seek praise, or simply because they feel it is the thing to do?

    Also, perhaps another luxury of being a "degenerate" already, is to look at societies rules and question, bend or break them.

    This thought process also follows along with my theory of the role of the artist in the world.

  32. Great post. For a self-proclaimed degenerate, my wife and I agree that you are one of the nicest people we have ever met...regardless of the length of your hair.

  33. Dear V,
    I am not sure if you will ever read this messege but I hope you will.
    My name is Michael Kris and I live in Israel,
    I am a big fan of you're work but I think I can see the problem with you're analysis.
    I will try to explain my own understanding of the matter :
    You believe that the concepts of Democracy and freedom and equality are bound, but in fact all of them can exist with or without the others.
    Sure in a "good" democracy people should be free and equal,but how much?
    Here is where everyone fills the space the way they choose.
    The basic idea was that most people can find a similar point of reference by understanding
    how Democracy works.
    Now here comes the catch - In order to understand you need to use you're brain to process ideas and information,
    but most people prefer to simply believe in what is easy to believe in.
    So when the time comes to react people just go with the crowed.
    I think the root of the problem is our education systems that that instead of inspiring kids to learn and think for them selfs and doubt the ideas of the past teaches them to memorize nearly random and worthless facts so the the children simply learn to repeat teachers ideas.
    This system oppresses creativity and encourages mediocrity.

    Hoping to post more comments on you're blog
    Michael Kris

  34. I agree with everything in your post except for one thing: democracy. There is another quote attributed to that long haired degenerate Ben Franklin: "democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on lunch". Whether he uttered that or not isn't the point, the point is that in a democracy, the minority suffers and everything is politicized.

  35. Observation and brains are a deadly combination in some places.
    Though we live in a country where they are ignored and little used by most, the ones who do are well worth noting.

    (I really just wanted to standup and shout Amen!)

  36. A day late and a dollar short (as always); Kat slinks in with an apology. I must have had a serious case of the grumpies the day I posted. It happens to the best of us once in a while. I suppose some of that definsiveness came from the stigma that people like me are marked with. We're almost always lump-summed into the same into the same category as of the hypocrites you mentioned, "the drug seekers". Now those people piss me off! You, however, do not. You're just really good at hitting those personal notes somehow, and that particular day I happened to take it all wrong. Please forgive this overemotional feline???

  37. Months late and a dollar short I comment. And apparently copying the opening line of the post before mine as I just glanced up.

    It's all a matter of appearances, in everything, for the upstanding. Or at least those who are typified as upstanding. See, I think the problem is, it's easy to look and fake the part of an upstanding citizen, just like it's easy to lie on that job application that places like Wal-Mart give you. You just have to know what people want to see and hear. To actually -be- an upstanding person takes work and sacrifice on some level, and the average human being is not ok with that. There's alot of gimme-gimme-gimme, and very little here-let-me-help-you by comparison.

    The confusion comes into play because of nature fighting nurture. We're ussually nurtured to believe that image matters, but the true nature of a person is in their substance, not their appearance.

  38. you seemed to describe my own childhood! hahahahahahah just that i'm in the part where i should make the desition of becoming a complete mess to the eyes of my conservative family. xD i hope i can get to be one bit of open minded and self opinioned as you seem to be.


    i've been from paraguay to france. And people seem to be the same everywhere. they like to complain and when it comes to DO something... they step back.

    But the real changes, what really matters always seem to bee in hands of the few (charismatic enough to convince the mob ! like Maximus from gladiator jajaja)

  39. at least she wasn't calling you from a payphone in your apartment complex...I've had that happen before, spoooooky. Be careful and i hope this type of thing doesn't happen again.

  40. Hey Mr. V,

    I hope you don't mind me having quoted you, and featured you a tiny bit in a book response I had to write for a uni class. This class also required me to upload it into my blog:


    Besides that, I've enjoyed reading your blog entries so far and always look forward to the next. You're very clever at writing and always have such good arguments. They make me laugh and think at the same time, which I'm sure shouldn't be possible ...