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  • The Pointlessness of Arguing

    For the past 15 years I’ve been slapping my opinion onto the collective table of the internet. I’ve dealt a variety of different cards during this time – sketch comedy, music videos, stand up, written blogs, memes – shuffling through my consciousness in a desperate attempt to be heard. Why I have this compulsion to broadcast my thoughts is not exactly clear. The short answer is obviously because I feel like I have something to say and the long answer dates back to my childhood insomnia fueled by a quantum entanglement with my father so we’ll just leave it at that.

    When you feed yourself to the wolves you can’t complain about getting eaten alive. I’ve learned to grow a dense hide in order to protect my ass from the hate. There are times I create something and receive nothing but praise (thanks mom!) but there are plenty of other times my work tickles the taint of those that don’t share my view point, humor, or politics, and I am then flooded with a deluge of zealous condemnation.

    I recently made a video entitled “Is that Rape?” inspired by the adorable Brett Kavanaugh and his charming “who cares if I assault women” attitude. I knew when I made this video that not everyone was going to clap their chubby little hands in approval, and boy was I not mistaken. I got plenty of comments calling me a “libtard” to remark on how dumb and how unfunny I am, with even some really sweet annotations wishing violence upon my being. The internet is so cute!

    To me the problem isn’t that people disagree, it’s how they disagree.

    If you think about our educational system, there isn’t a lot of emphasis on learning the art of dialogue. In the times when the Greeks were developing the concept of democracy, the process of dialogue was HIGHLY regarded as one of the most crucial and pivotal personal aptitudes. Socrates’ entire philosophy was based on the importance of dialogue. He didn’t concern himself exclusively on what the topic of the discussion was, but rather how the topic was discussed. He encouraged a deep knowledge of how to have a conversation because the contents of that conversation were of lesser importance.

    So, what happened? America boasts that we’re the “greatest democracy in the world” (we’re not) and yet there is zero attention paid to the most basic and fundamental principal of democracy. How can the people rule when the people can’t talk to each other? I find myself getting into arguments with humans I mostly agree with simply because they don’t know how to have a productive session of listening and exchanging. Don’t you feel like it’s time we make the art of dialogue a priority again?

    No one knows how to argue because very few people are open minded enough to allow their consciousness to expand. When you have a political view, or some moral commitment, you tend to build a narrative that supports your thinking. We construct our reality in order not to challenge our construction of reality. Once you have committed to seeing the world in a certain way, you are often too afraid to re-think your thinking because then what does that mean about the reality you’ve created around it?

    But here is the issue. You can create any reality you want. I could just as easily create a reality where Brett is a victim of nasty liberal feminists trying to take him down because of their venomous ways, as I could the reality that he is in fact quite rapey and has no place on the Supreme Court (much like Clarence Thomas). There are plenty of “facts” out there to support either position.

    Where we are failing each other is not acknowledging that everyone’s reality is valid to them. Even those that we vehemently disagree with, they still have a sense of reality that’s based on logic. Their logic may seem crazy pants to you, but it’s logical to them. When we act like the other side is just a bunch of dumb dumbs without rational for their viewpoints we are ignoring an unavoidable truth. 99% of people have REASONS they think they way they do, and if you’re not curious about their reasons and instead just toss insults and disdain we will never have constructive dialogue.

    Everyone’s relationship to reality is born from the data and processing power in front of them. There is a reasoning system that humans apply which means that all points are valid, regardless of how much they might enrage you. That’s not the point. The point of dialogue isn’t to think someone’s an idiot for seeing the world differently than you, but rather to have a dialogue deconstructing why. We are ALL the consequences of our programming. We have all been conditioned by our parents, society, and our life experiences. The question then becomes how do you take that reality internally and implement it externally? There has got to be a better way than calling people “cunts” on the internet.

    What if we argued less and talked more? What if we understood that we’re all victims of structures of power, and that even those supporting these high-rises of oppression are still slaves to it? What if we stopped wasting all this energy screaming about who’s right and instead worked towards a greater understanding of what’s to be done?

  • I’m Sorry I Tried to Rape You

    The sexual assault accusation of Brett Kavanaugh is one of nuance, and if there is one thing our American political system avoids, it’s complex thought. The media is struggling to box this story up into a black and white package, which is hard to do when a woman feels she experienced an attempted rape and the man feels like, “what?” Men like Fox news columnist Stephen Miller chalking the whole scene up to “drunk teenagers playing 7 minutes in heaven,” makes me wonder if Miller understands that HEAVEN usually doesn’t entail someone holding you down and trying to force themselves inside of you. If that’s your idea of heaven sweetie, I know a place for you to experience that… Prison!

    If I look at this story from a meta perspective, it’s obvious to me why many men don’t want to classify this it as a crime. For Kavanaugh to pay the price of what he did as a 17-year old (as if that’s the ONLY time he acted this way which I highly doubt) then what kind of snowball effect would that have on other men? What are the standards of which we should hold men accountable to for assaulting women? Men don’t want to set that precedent because of the fear that too many of them will go down in flames.

    Women speaking out about this situation are begging for retribution. They want to expand the definition of punishable assault because, go figure, most people don’t like to be attacked and forced to do things they don’t want to do. They want Kavanaugh to be held accountable in order for our society to have higher standards. They want a more intricate understanding of assault, because for many, even if the penis never makes it inside of you, the trauma is just as significant.

    I have read countless stories of women voicing the need for us to redefine our understanding of how rape violence impacts victims, and men saying “hey honey, it’s not that big of a deal.”

    Who I haven’t really heard from is the MILLIONS OF MEN THAT ARE ALSO AFFECTED BY RAPE CULTURE AND COULD PERHAPS SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE THAT RAPE CULTURE DOESN’T JUST IMPACT WOMEN WHO ARE RAPED BY ACTUALLY THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD!

    There are MANY men that I know who would NEVER be handsy, rapey, or inappropriate. I even know men who can’t watch porn because it feels too degrading towards the actress and they empathize with her and the life experience that brought her to have two dicks stuffed in one ass. There are so many men who don’t rape or assault others. Call me old fashioned, but I have a lot more trust in the morality of a man who doesn’t rape than a man who does.

    Who is the kind of guy that rapes or attempts to rape? Men who want what they want, when they want it. They want power over others. They want to show their strength. They have no concern of the consequence of their actions on other people’s lives. They prioritize their own needs over the feelings of the person they are with. These men use psychological and physical violence to get their way.

    This begs the question who are these guys when they are not busy raping? I’ll tell you who they’re not – Mr. Rogers that’s for damn sure. The type of guy that is open to raping is also the type of guy that is spreading that same forceful energy in every aspect of his life. Everyone is impacted by the energy of rapey men. We need to examine how rape culture is directly destroying the planet – how rape culture is effecting the environment, business, media, politics, war, weapons, the world economy, men, women, and children. Rape culture is so insidiously ingrained in the patriarchy that it’s often hard to identify.

    The micro is the macro. That’s why this current media cyclone is not just about Brett being a little too aggressive one night. It’s also about do we want this kind of man, this kind of thinker, IN CONTROL OF OUR NATIONAL LAWS? I don’t! That’s why this is important. Rape culture can’t be the prevailing foundation of which we build our lives upon, and rapists cannot continue be the ones in control of the future.

    There are men out there who have raped, who have assaulted, who have pressured, and they have owned their actions. They have admitted what they did and apologized to the people involved. Beyond prison, I think what we also want is for rapists to understand the hurt they caused. For the event to change the assaulter as much as it changed the victim. If one is emotionally mature enough to acknowledge and take responsibility for the hurt they caused, then mostly likely that awareness would seep into all aspects of their life. These men are our allies too. It takes way more balls to be able to say “I’m sorry I raped you,” than it does to rape. I believe in personal evolution. I believe that people can realize the trauma they caused and have genuine remorse. I believe there is a place for them to be forgiven. Yet if you are going around raping people and then defending or denying your actions, then what else are you capable of? How else will you psychically rape the people you are around, or emotionally rape the system you have power in? I don’t want a rapist ruling this country. I don’t want rapists ruling business. I don’t want rapists in control because they don’t just rape people, they rape period.

    Rather than arguing about “is this attempted rape really that bad” why don’t we instead focus on not giving power to men why try to rape. In the priesthood, in Hollywood, in politics, in business, in all these circumstances where men exploit their power over others. If we take down the rapists we take down the patriarchy. If we take down the patriarchy we will have the revolution we’ve been looking for. The change we have been craving. The desire to live life as we know is possible. If we want a paradigm shift it starts with this. If we want to reform Wall Street it starts with this. Rape is not a woman’s problem, it’s the world’s problem.

  • “My Hair Isn’t Perfect!” – A Feminist Nightmare

    I never thought this day would come. I had assumed that my influence would overshadow the toxic messaging of culture. I wanted to believe that my personal jihad against women defining themselves through their attractiveness would seep into the pours of my child. That my daughter would emulate my behavior rather than succumbing to the influence of media manipulation and societal conditioning. I naively thought I was going to be able to shelter her from the storm of female insecurity by turning myself into an umbrella of ambivalence regarding beauty standards. Are all these years of dressing like a 12-year old boy, not caring about make up, and having my hair resemble a nest suitable for a family of opossums worth nothing?

    Toni: Hey Munchie let’s go!
    The Munch: I’m not ready yet!
    Toni: Why what’s going on? Don’t you wanna go swimming?
    The Munch: I do, but I can’t leave yet! I am doing my hair!
    Toni: Munch who cares? We’re going swimming.
    The Munch: MOM! I CAN’T GO SWIMMING UNTIL MY HAIR IS PERFECT!

    Silence.

    I let that one sink in for a minute. Five minutes later she comes downstairs in tears.

    The Munch: My hair is not right!
    Toni: Munch, why is your hair so important to you?
    The Munch: It just is!
    Toni: If something is this important to you that you’re going to cry about it, I think it’s crucial for you to understand why it’s so important.
    The Munch: I don’t know!
    Toni: So… is it possible that maybe your hair isn’t actually that important?
    The Munch: I ONLY LIKE IT WHEN MY HAIR IS PERFECT AND I LOOK PRETTY!

    A Tsunami of rage flooded my being. How could my 8-year old give a flying fuck in a rolling doughnut about looking pretty? How could this country-bred, Waldorf educated, Swiss chard eating child (that spends her days in nature communing with chipmunks) work herself up into such a tizzy that she’s weeping because hair isn’t perfect!? It was a feminist nightmare. The walls started closing in on me. It was hard to breathe. I began to lose consciousness as my mouth lost all moisture and I nearly gagged at the horror of it all.

    The munch has never seen me stress about my looks, and if she had observed my hair closer she would’ve noticed that the back section was in fact a giant knot that housed 9 different forms of bacterial microbes. Where was this beauty anxiety coming from? TV? Movies? Other girls? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

    Toni: Do you know what this kind of thinking is? This idea that you’re not pretty enough, or that you need your hair to be perfect? It’s a disease of the mind.
    The Munch: What do you mean?
    Toni: Munch like a cold, or the flu that is spread through germs, there are also contagious diseases of thought that culture spreads to make girls think that they aren’t perfect enough or pretty enough. This idea that girls have to be pretty and perfect all the time gets ingrained in your mind. You then think you’re good if you’re pretty or that being pretty is the value you have to the world. Girls then start to believe that being pretty matters more than anything else – more important than being funny, smart, creative, artistic, interesting, or kind. When all you care about is being pretty, then you can no longer see yourself truthfully. When girls obsess about beauty they often will only see their faults – and how they are not beautiful enough – and this disease makes them mutilate themselves with plastic surgery.
    The Munch: Is that where you change your face with doctors?
    Toni: Yes. These women become so insecure that they change their face with surgery because their minds have the disease of believing that they are not good enough. I’ll show you.

    We got on my phone and spent about 20 minutes looking at before and after pictures of women with plastic surgery. In every photo the before was the better photo – the actual faces of these women, smiling and yet to be ravaged by the Hollywood machine. We looked at what they did to themselves, what society did to them, what doctors allowed to happen. These human faces transformed into plastic masks.

    When we were done The Munch stopped talking about her hair. She hasn’t really talked about her hair since. I know the road is still long for us to go down, and this will most likely be the first of many conversations about this. I wanted to at least plant a seed in her consciousness because it breaks my feminist heart to think of The Munch plagued by insecurity around her beauty. Any woman who has gone through this knows what a waste of time it is. How when you are worrying about how pretty you are, you aren’t fighting against the patriarchy that made you feel inferior to begin with. Our daughters don’t have time to worry about this bullshit. Insecure women are controlled by the paradigm of male dominance and are trapped in a compact lacking the foundation they need to break free. Insecure women will waste their money, resources, time, and energy on the impossible task of seeking perfection.

    As humans we all deal with insecurity because it is genuinely hard not to compare yourself to the other. Yet if The Munch is going to feel insecure I’d so much rather it be because her friend Becky is better at science and not about who has the cuter pigtails.

    I mean its not every day that I can do a “Game of Thrones” style hair on an 8 year old.

  • Did I Fuck Myself By Making You a Better Person Than Me?

    Before having a kid, I had all sorts of ideas and goals about how I was going to indoctrinate a human. I felt very confident in my ability to socialize a person, and believed my influence could guide my child’s essence to develop into my ultimate Nietzschean ubermensch. In my fantasy she was going to be a counter-culture anti-corporate non-conforming anarchist revolutionary that would be really into Avant-garde art, only listen to obscure neurofunk tracks, watch exclusively Dutch films part of the digressionism cannon, and of course be an intellectual prodigy. So far things haven’t worked out exactly as planned. The Munch did in fact go through a 3 year My Little Pony phase, is not as interested as I would have thought in my anti-capitalist rants about the Amero or the federal reserve, and genuinely enjoys such TV programs as Full House – but at least she likes Pink Floyd so, that’s something.

    I guess another aim I had was to install a deep sense of empathy in my kid – especially if she’s not going to shave fractals into her hair and write gnomic poetry about the absurdity of existence – sigh. It’s hard to say if The Munch’s empathetic nature is a result of my flawless parenting or more an innate impulse that would have existed regardless, but she is one of the most moral and thoughtful people I know. She is genuinely happy for her friends when good things happen to them, she feels authentic sadness if she causes someone distress, and she’s hyper-aware of how others are feeling. It’s almost uncanny at times how compassionate she can be, and for a while I thought this was a good thing.

    But is it?

    The other day we were driving to my dance studio in Vermont and there was a homeless lady on the corner. We were stopped at a red light so The Munch had time to read her sign asking for money saying “any help is appreciated.”

    The Munch: Mom, the lady’s sign says she needs some money.
    Toni: Ummm… here is $2 – roll down your window and hand it to her.

    The Munch complied and the lady said thank you and we drove into the parking lot to go grocery shopping before I had to teach my class.

    The Munch: Why did that lady need money?
    Toni: Because she’s homeless.
    The Munch: How do people become homeless?
    Toni: There are so many reasons. Sometimes they have mental illness. Sometimes they have addiction problems. Sometimes they lost their jobs and can’t find another one and don’t have friends or family to help. Sometimes they are coming out of prison and can’t find work and have nowhere to go. I mean in truth it’s is a crime against humanity that there is homelessness, especially here where there is the national income to support homeless people – we just make the choice not to. There are solutions, but it’s just not the priority of the government or I guess any of us.
    The Munch: So, they need other people to help them and give them money to survive?
    Toni: Yeah.
    The Munch: So why did you only give her $2?
    Toni: Huh?
    The Munch: Why did you only give her 2$?
    Toni: Well, it’s more than $1…
    The Munch: But you have a $20 bill in your wallet. I saw it.
    Toni: Oh. Well… ummm…uhhhhh… you don’t really give homeless people $20???
    The Munch: WHY NOT!? THEY ARE HOMELESS!? MOM SHE DOESN’T HAVE A HOME AND YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GIVE HER $20?!
    Toni: Well, it’s complicated. I don’t know what she’s going to spend it on….
    The Munch: MOM WHY DOES THAT MATTER!? DID YOU NOT HEAR THE PART ABOUT HER BEING HOMELESS!?
    Toni: Touché.

    Munch took my wallet, grabbed my last $20, and went to find the woman to give it to her. And that’s how I began a relationship with a homeless woman where every time The Munch and I see her Munch gives her all the money in my wallet.

    Here she is making sure that I’m giving all my cash away.

  • How to Stay in Love and Be Happy in a Relationship ForEVER!

    I think we all know the narrative of the classic love story. Human meets human. They fall in love. They have sex 3-5 times a day. They think this will never change. They know they are the real deal, the ones who have found the hidden elixir of eternal love and lust. They are convinced they are different. They move into together. They are happy. But who’s turn is it to unload the dishwasher? Why are your dirty socks always on the sofa? Don’t use the sponge to wipe up the floor! THAT’S FOR THE SINK! No, you take out the trash! I did it last time. Who’s turn is it to make dinner? But I cleaned up yesterday! Why are you in such a bad mood all the time. No, YOU’RE THE ONE WITH TOO MANY EMOTIONS! Why are you always interrupting me? That’s my story… I want to tell it! I don’t want to watch that show, I want to watch THIS show. I guess we can have sex. Did you brush your teeth? Does that mean I have to brush my teeth? No it’s fine, I’ll do it. Wanna put some music on? Not that track, I hate that track. Have you always had this mole?

    The intimate relationship of living with a person and committing yourself to them is not an easy dynamic. Cohabitating means you’re exposed to MANY different sides of a person. No one is in a good mood all the time or has the energy to consistently be on their best behavior, so as a consequence you’re going to see the worst of your partner. (Except for me, I’m always a delight) It’s the moments of witnessing the shadow side of your lover that you may even feel some hate for them, but here is the question – how long do you hold onto that hate? How easy is it for you to access forgiveness?

    Genuine forgiveness is the KEY INGREDIENT to keeping the cherry pie of your relationship stay fresh. When you start to resent your partner, and are unable to forgive them for their behavior, that’s when you know you’re in trouble. Forgiveness is best accessed when the other person owns their shit and can say to you, “Whoops, I know I just took a huge metaphoric dump on the rug of our love and it’s smelly and moist, but hey, I’ll clean it up. Maybe the scent will linger for a bit, but I won’t deny my shit stank up the room. I also have this Nag Champa incense we could burn.”

    Of course, not everything a person does is forgivable. People can be abusive and if you’re living in that paradigm and keep forgiving then you’re putting yourself in danger (emotionally and physically). Yet for many of us our problems with our partners aren’t major red flags but more insidious scratches all over the body, and if you have too many, you will slowly bleed to death. You have to have time to heal each abrasion before the next one forms because even if they scar, they at least are no longer open decaying wounds.

    Having unconditional love for a person doesn’t mean you don’t have boundaries. I used to think that to show unconditional love I had to always say “yes” and do what a person wanted. But that’s not sustainable. Saying “no” is sometimes the most loving act you can do if saying “no” means you won’t resent them in the future. Unconditional love is what we are looking for, yet that means we also have to give it. So how is this achieved?

    We have to separate the person we love from the behavior we want to choke them for. People don’t change, but behavior does. It’s hard to fathom changing who you are, but it is totally possible to change how you act. When you’re with a partner you love and respect you have to take their feedback of your behavior and modify accordingly. Chances are the stuff you do that drives your partner crazy also drives everyone else fucking crazy. Your partner just nags you about it more because they have to goddamn live with it!

    We have to train the person we want to be with to be the best versions of themselves. Just as if you got a puppy, you wouldn’t just expect that puppy not to piss in your shoes. You’d train them how to act so they’d know what behavior was acceptable. Some people lack the skills of being a good roommate and they have to be taught how to be so they aren’t insanely annoying. The more your partner is willing to be influenced by you, and learn from your wisdom, the more you will be able to work together in being the best versions of yourselves more often.

    A lot of my friends who date men often accept their ways because they assume that’s just how men are – especially around the house. NO! People have so much potential for growth, you just have to figure out the best strategy to motivate them to work with you not against you. Many men haven’t been taught to access their nurturing, caregiving, or homemaking sides. But a life partner than can cook, do the laundry, care about your emotional needs, express their emotional needs, clean up after themselves, take care of children, is a person that’s more fun to live with. When the woman takes up all the slack of running the house, holding the emotional space, and has to also work a job – she’s going to feel bitter. When a person refuses to evolve you’re going to resent the shit out of them. But you sometimes have to train your lover to learn that evolution is best for all parties. The better person you are to your partner, the better person you are to the world at large.

  • Mushroom’s Mental Meanderings

    A schedule is a helpful asset to adult survival. It allows structure to existence so as to better enslave my spirit to the constrictions of the matrix. Yet every so often I can feel oppressed by the mundane predictability of life. Go figure! I know I’m not alone in this feeling of psychic enslavement. We all have our methods of mental escape. Right at this very moment there is a guy on the Internet buying a pair of panties from a lady who has worn them for 6 days without showering. For whatever reason smelling these sullied undies will bring this man joy he can’t otherwise access. I must be kind of a square when it comes to rearranging my headspace because even the thought of strange man’s underwear penetrating my nasal cavity makes me dry heave. As such, I instead turn to other sources of inspiration to mix up my mind…

    Mushrooms!

    Mushrooms have become very “in vogue” recently thanks to Microsoft engineers partaking in micro-dosing morning rituals. Many of the human androids belonging to Silicon Valley wake up, have a bit of coffee, and then ingest tiny licks of psychedelics with their Wheaties. The true breakfast of champions!

    Psychotropic drugs are ever so slowly becoming normalized in mainstream culture as a means of healing and self-betterment. “Micro-dosing” is a developing phenomenon and method for partaking in this mind-magnifying ritual of psychedelic ingestion, and I am a big advocate of this happening! I’m pretty sure if the Republican party woke up every morning to a Grateful Dead smoothie instead of their usual breakfast of goat’s blood and virgin flesh, the world would be a much different place! Yet personally I’m not sure I can keep up with the micro-dosing schedule. I barely remember to brush me teeth in the mornings (read as never) so adding slightly tripping to the docket seems like an unreasonable expectation of myself. As such, I prefer my mushrooms the old-fashioned way. Eating a bunch on top of a mountain and hoping I eventually find my way down in the dark.

    Considering not everyone can get their hands on some cow shit foraged mushrooms or a fresh sheet of acid, I figured I would share my top 3 most recent mental meanderings while on mushrooms with you. Who knows, maybe reading this will save you the trip?

    1) Nature is excessively beautiful. It’s painful how gorgeous a sunset can be. Even when inside the moment of experiencing natural glory, there is always a part of me that can’t appreciate it fully. That can’t suppress this underlying sense of nostalgic mourning for what I’m observing. I look at how amazing it all is and simultaneously feel the loss that the moment is fleeting. This tragic knowledge makes me miss the moment even when it’s right in front of me. Everything ends and will be lost in a memory I can only vaguely access. That tragedy makes me never want to leave the beauty of nature and instead focus purely on how gorgeous it all is. Yet with nature, the beauty is endless. As day turns to night, which turn to day again, there is nothing but beauty to witness if your eyes are open enough to see it. How perfect a blade of grass is, or a butterfly wing. How remarkable it is the way ants move, or when clouds morph. Human beings had to develop an indifference to this beauty. It was crucial to not always see it in order to prioritize other things like eating, mating, and staying alert for the dangers of predators. It was an evolutionary necessity to build up an indifference in order to function, yet this muscle has been over-developed. It’s become grossly exaggerated, pulsing, throbbing, and taking up too much space with its excessive force. Now in order to relax that muscle we often turn to drugs to bring us back to that state of being. Drugs are how we access the ability to acknowledge fully just how magical it all is. We crave reprieve from this feeling of indifference yet it’s this same feeling of indifference that also paved the path for “progress.”

    2) In a capitalist society class is so deeply ingrained in your psyche that it will forever stain your understanding of self regardless of what’s in your bank account. If you were born rich, you will always see yourself as a rich person. Even if you lose all your money, you will just feel like a rich person who happens to not have money. Yet if you’re born poor, that mindset will stalk you as well. Even if you make a billion dollars, you will still feel like a poor person who just happens to have money.

    3) After I made it down from the mountain (SURPRISE) I of course sat under the stars. Looking up at the sky, I could see the energetic connections between the stars – this hazy blaze of luminescence that tied the stars together in a cosmic web of connection. It looked like the synapses that attach neurons in our brains. This made me realize that not only are the stars communicating with each other, but the structure vastly resembles the neural network of the human mind. So… check it. What if planet earth is just one neuron inside the head of giant conscious being, and every star in our universe (or multiverse) are actually neurons inside this giant conscious skull? And what if that giant being is part of a community of other giant beings and whatever planet they are on is just one neuron inside the scull of ANOTHER giant conscious being? Which means subsequently that every neuron in each of our brains are actually the stars of a smaller universes and in one of our neurons is a little planet like earth?

    RIGHT????

    Aren’t feathers and clouds UNBELIEVABLE!! Isn’t it crazy not to spend your days staring at them and never doing anything else ever again?

  • Sea Glass Insomnia and Obliterating Borders

    There is nothing quite like crawling into bed, closing your tired eyes, allowing your breath to deepen, and then just as you’re about to drift off into a sweet slumber snuggled inside the encompassing embrace of Morpheus… you instead start thinking about everything you’ve ever regretted about your life coupled with enervating anxiety about your future. I love when that happens!!! As a life-long insomniac this is often my process in going to sleep, and it’s EXACTLY as fun as it sounds. Something about trying to lose consciousness makes me instead consciously obsess about all that’s wrong with me which then transmutes to all that’s wrong with the world. So relaxing!

    I just got back from vacation, and during that time I was sharing a room with The Munch. Her method for settling down into slumber was to toss and turn in bed as if she were training for a breakdancing marathon. Go figure, but it’s really hard to sleep when someone next to you is engaged in a head-spin. The sounds of sheets rustling against her flailing body eroded my psyche and disturbed any chance I had in settling my soul. With every grand gesture she made, I fell further into the abyss of my own self-loathing. I began stressing about my career and overall lack of financial success. I then started feeling inadequate for all my political impotency. This lead to my being consumed by a deep sensation of dread for everything that was to come in not only my life, but in the future of humanity as well. Stories of the horrific news swirled through my synapses. It was a Kafkaesque nightmare of my own making, and my daughter’s thrashing punctuated my every concern as if she were mocking my anguish with rustling fabric.

    Toni: Munch, I’m having a really hard time trying to fall asleep and it doesn’t help with all that wiggling you’re doing! It’s actually really loud. Can you stop moving around so much?
    Munch: I just can’t stop thinking about sea glass?
    Toni: What?
    Munch: I just keep imagining giant pieces of sea glass. In my imagination, I go to pick up a piece of sea glass and just the small corner is poking out, but when I pull it, I realize it’s actually a GIANT piece of sea glass. I just can’t stop imagining that. That’s why I’m wiggling.

    AHHHH TO BE A CHILD!!!!

    The beauty of her thoughts compared to mine.

    Sigh.

    As an adult it’s impossible for me not to envy the purity of a child’s imagination. A brain that hasn’t been burdened by social programming and conditioning… YET. This still malleable mind of the innocent that thinks beyond the confines of civilization. I was inspired by The Munch’s mental meandering about sea glass and equally lost in self-pity. To live in my mind feels like being trapped in Dostoevsky novel while also inside a Russian prison. Yet to live in The Munch’s mind is like experiencing a perpetual episode of Pee Wee’s Playhouse on acid. Her perception of existence feels unattainable for me to achieve because the corruption of culture has infiltrated my sense of reality. I can’t fathom the relief of a mind that focuses so deeply on the joy of finding GIANT pieces of sea glass that it kept me up at night.

    Yet this lack of imagination, of creativity, of seeing how the world could be different, is exactly why we are watching the demise of this country. As annoying as it is to have my kid keep me up at night, at least my kid is fucking with me and not being ripped from my arms by the US government!

    If you have my mental sensibility, chances are the world depresses the fuck out of you. The news overwhelms you. You fear for the future of not only your own life, but what is going to happen to mankind and the animals we are forcing into extinction. Sure, the planet will continue, yet I can’t help but want life to as well. Call me a romantic, but I like life. I think it’s nifty. It would be a real bummer if human beings annihilated it with their selfish greed. I don’t think this is the way things have to be. I think we are stuck in our programming and need a major reboot of how we configure everything. We need a lot more imagination when it comes to solving our political troubles. For example, the solution to this so-called immigration “problem” is not baby prisons. Let’s actually re-imagine how we structure society and get rid of borders.

    I don’t understand why this is such an outlandish proposition. We already live in a global society. Our media is global. Our communication is global. Our trade is global. Why are we holding onto borders? What do they accomplish? Having borders means we have war. Having borders means we have EVIL anti-immigration tactics. Having borders means we have nationalism that promotes racist ideologies. What do borders accomplish that are good for humanity as a whole? Borders don’t even reflect the truth of how we interact. Borders are a colonialist structure that benefits those in power. Borders are a way to perpetuate capitalist corruption. Borders serve zero purpose to the suffering, and clearly only have value for those in power. Why can’t we instead develop a system that supports and admits our interconnectedness? What are we holding onto by maintaining this antiquated arrangement?

    I want to see a political platform that is thinking on these levels. That wants to truly eradicate the infrastructure that’s designed for the rich to oppress the poor. Only then will I have a night where I can maybe think about sea glass instead of traumatized children.

    To be fair munch is right, sea glass is pretty epic.

  • The Meditation of The Mundane Moving Me Through My Mania

    I don’t help people move. I do a lot of things in this world, but moving you is not one. When even my best friends tell me they’re moving, I just smile without teeth, nod, and then change the topic to myself. We all have our limitations. I will share my underwear with you, I will hold your hair back while you vomit, I will pick your toenails, clean your open wounds, and listen to you endlessly complain about your lover – but I will not help move that lamp.

    When it came to be my turn to move, I knew I had to go this journey alone. I can’t ask people to help me do things I would never do for them. Even when friends offered, I had to deny their generous gesture because I didn’t want to be beholden to a future moment of retribution. Fuck you friend. I’ll lift this bookshelf without you because your bookshelves are your problem!

    When I used to move apartments in my 20’s, I would get through the experience by doing bounteous amount of cocaine. I would fully pack and unpack a house in a 36-hour period and not stop once to sleep, eat, or even rest. The only thing I would pause for was of course, more cocaine. Yet now that I’m in my 30’s I had to approach this move like the mature adult that I am. Plus, I don’t have a dealer out here in the woods so…

    I guess I could have smoked weed, but who wants to puff on a joint and then pick up a couch? That wasn’t going to work, because then I would just eat chips and think about space. I had to move sober and totally aware of every moment.

    There are a lot of things I had to face during this 8-day process of moving, cleaning, and organizing from 8 am until 12:30 am. The first most glaring reality is that I am an ecological terrorist. The number of meaningless things I have accumulated over the years were frightening. The amount of trash that was produced as a consequence was utterly horrific. The frequency of dump runs was downright depressing. I am never buying anything again – except for white cut off shorts for the summer because cute right?

    I also could not help but notice my own naivety and entitlement. Because I’ve never owned a house, there is a detachment I have in the places I’ve lived. In my parent’s house I’d do the obvious things to keep it clean, like put away my dishes and pick up my room, but if I spilled crumbs of the floor I’d figure someone else would deal with that. I wasn’t going to wash their floors or windows. When I lived in apartments with boyfriends, we’d just accept crumbs on our floor. I never cleaned my toilet, or my shower. I didn’t vacuum, or scrub. I didn’t care. I’d just look at massive dust bunnies as pets and brown stains as decorative. When I’d see mouse shit on my counters I’d just flick it behind the oven and move on with my day.

    Throughout my 30’s I’ve had a cleaning person that has helped out with these nitty gritty details. I’d pick up for her and make things presentable, but I’d still assume that someone else would deal with things I didn’t feel like doing. This privileged perspective of “Oh, that will get done eventually, just not by me.”

    My own ignorance became glaringly apparent to me when I realized there was a major moth infestation that had to be dealt with. Now, I’m not a total idiot. I kind of knew that you didn’t want moths in your house and something about putting cedar in closets. But I also simultaneously thought moths weren’t that bad, and just night butterflies. I didn’t realize that moths would eat the shit out of fabric and plague your belongings with their maggots! I don’t know if you’ve ever picked up a cushion and then realized that you’re covered in moth larva, but holy shit is that a humbling moment. I spent 6 hours of my life vacuuming, scrubbing, cleaning, vacuuming, and then cleaning moth larva – breathing in these miniscule fetuses.

    So much of my stuff was covered in mouse piss from storing it that I had to clean every single thing I owned, including my cleaning products. I realized that I had to accrue a different awareness about my impact on not only the planet, but also how I approach my own relationship to responsibility. I can’t have the entitled attitude of the past, nor can I pass that on to my kid. As such I got her a dust buster so she can vacuum up her crumbs every time she sits down to eat.

    Yet despite my spoiled complaining of how much it sucks to move, it was actually a truly profound meditation. White people pay for meditation retreats to find enlightenment (present company included) but the mundane process of going through everything you own, cleaning it, and then putting it in a specific place was akin to a mediation retreat on crack. This mundane work took me to a mindful place where nothing else mattered but wiping off a counter. Dealing with how in the beginning it felt so overwhelming to stare at everything you own covered in animal feces to slowly chiseling down the effort where not only is all clean again, but also put away in its newly proper place was truly transcendent. I didn’t listen to music, or podcasts. I didn’t talk to anyone or distract myself with drugs. I just focused purely on the act in front of me, even if it was finding an onion that had somehow been packed in the kitchen “box” and said onion had molded to a point of creating a new ecosystem of fungus.

    I became so absorbed in this process that I forgot who I was. I forgot my ambitions, my anxieties about work, my depression about my unrealized dreams. I even forgot one of my best friend’s birthdays! I didn’t check email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. I didn’t hear about the news or the fact that WE ARE PUTTING BABIES IN DETENTION CENTERS AND OUR GOVERNMENT IS RUN BY IMMORAL MONSTERS WHICH ONLY HIGHLIGHTS OUR AMERICAN LEGACY OF SEPERATING FAMILIES THROUGH THE GUISE OF POLITICAL POLICY WHEN IN FACT ITS PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE AGAINST THE OPPRESSED!

    Fully immersing myself in the mundane was a vacation from the mania of myself. I dove into my psyche at its core and scraped off the superficial concerns that usually plague me. Yet now I don’t know who I am. I sit in front of my computer and I question everything. I became Toni who vacuumed and scrubbed, and that Toni had a mental freedom that the Toni that writes, makes videos, talks comedy into microphones, and tries desperately to be noticed doesn’t have. Cleaning Toni can have a goal and accomplish it. Cleaning Toni can eradicate crumbs and handle moth abortions. Trying to get into Sundance Toni I’m not so sure about.

    My stuff… still covered in pee pee of rodents

    ecological terrorism 🙁

    I also found such gems as the below old diary… where I not only practiced by alphabet cursive, but graded myself and A+ and decided I was “great.”

    June 21, 2018 • ambitions, change, emotions, Musings, responsibilities • Views: 411

  • I Just Feel Like Being Upset

    I have no heart.

    Well according to the zodiac I have no heart. I am a heartless Capricorn.

    Yet anyone that knows me know this isn’t true. My friends would say that unlike the Tin Man, I do in fact have a beating ball of tissue lodged in my chest, and it’s actually a pronounced part of my personality. This impression I make on others is most likely because of my Pisces rising, where as you can see, my skin is crawling with hearts like some venereal disease gone awry, infesting my body with pulsing crimson organs oozing with emotion. Exhausting!

    As you can see by the below note, written when I was 17, I have a deep compassion and love for my friends. I care profoundly about their well-being and the important things in life, such as what they are going to wear, if they are hungry, and of course, how soft their lips are. Please also notice how I signed off this note… not with as you may assume a pot of steaming spaghetti, but rather a bowl of burning weed.

    SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE!

    My emotional self is much more tied to the needs and feelings of others than to my own. My personal needs and feelings are a bit of a mystery to me, on the back burner of my consciousness, lodged in folds of my temporal lobe, twisted by my brain’s pleats and creases. As such I’m not the most externally emotional person. I can trace this back to my socialization, conditioning, and programming done within my familial structure, drawing a picture of my identity that has become the current shape of “adult Toni.” Yet despite why I am the way I am, there is also an equal truth that I know no other way. Regardless of whatever personal self-reflection I engage in, or how I deconstruct my psychic constructing out of colored construction paper, this is still who I am, and there for a way of being I am passing on to my child.

    The Munch, who is almost 8, hardly ever cries. Like her mother, months and months will go by without a single salty tear. She rarely has emotional outburst and is mostly an even-tempered child who’s easy to get along with. She is quick to prioritize the needs and wants of others, which is a trait I both respect and fear. I think it’s necessary to be empathetic, but that can also leave you vulnerable and lacking boundaries. Yet I am the one socializing her and have to accept that it’s my doing of creating a mini version of myself to look into.

    Yet every so often The Munch will be excessively tired, burnt out, hungry, whatever, and she will throw a fucking fit. There are many ways I could handle her intense display of feeling, and the way I do is most often through calm rational conversation which as you can see above, is probably because I have no heart. But her emotional displays are insightful lessons for me about the nature of humanity, which I guess because of my android temperament I often forget I am apart of! Even though I bury my feelings deep in my colon, they are still creating a mountain of shit inside of me that I can’t deny!

    The Munch: Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
    Toni: Munch, what is the problem?
    The Munch: Well, I didn’t want Jennifer to wear my clothes!
    Toni: But hers got wet when you were playing in the rain. Do you want your friend to wear wet clothes?
    The Munch: No. But I didn’t want her to wear my favorite shirt!
    Toni: Munch, you picked out the shirt, why didn’t you just give her a different shirt?
    The Munch: Well, because it’s all my fault that she fell in the rain in the first place. I was the one who said that we should jump rope, and if we never jumped rope, she never would have fell.
    Toni: So, you feel guilty your friend fell?
    The Munch: Yes!
    Toni: Do you think your friend is blaming you for falling?
    The Munch: No!
    Toni: So, is there really a problem right now?
    The Munch: I DON’T KNOW!
    Toni: Do you think that maybe you’re upset because you were gone for a few days staying with your grandmother and when you stay with other people you feel like you have to act with your best behavior? So now that your home with mom, you are tired of acting with your best behavior?
    The Munch: Yes.
    Toni: Sometimes acting with your best behavior is really exhausting. I know that when I visit someone I really try to be a thoughtful guest, and then when I get home, I can feel cranky. So, if you were working hard being a good guest at Grandmas, now that you’re home it’s easier to have a meltdown.
    The Munch: Yes! It’s hard to always be on my best behavior.
    Toni: So, do you think you’re really upset about the clothes or feeling guilty about your friend falling?
    The Munch: No.
    Toni: So, what are you really upset about?
    The Munch: Sometimes I just feel like being upset!!!!!
    Toni: That’s okay. Sometimes I just feel like being upset too. But it’s important to realize that. Don’t get caught up in the details, and just let yourself feel upset. In order to know happiness, we have to know sadness. So why don’t you let yourself feel upset until you don’t feel like being upset anymore.

    SOMETIMES I JUST FEEL LIKE BEING UPSET!

    That’s just it isn’t it!!

    We need to remind ourselves of this constantly. Unless something HORRIBLE is happening to you at the moment, such as being consumed alive by flesh eating parasites, usually our sadness and pain is about our perspective. It’s never about what’s in front of you, but rather your emotional disposition. Sometimes you just FEEL like being upset, and you can cherry pick from a variety of problems in your life to justify that feeling. For example, I get upset because I am a financial failure and I feel like I work desperately for goals I will never achieve, and sometimes I FEEL like being upset about that, and sometimes I don’t. It’s always there, yet I don’t always direct my attention in that… uhhh… direction.

    I also have a cluster of mosquito bites on my ass at the moment and I go back and forth about my feelings about those. At the moment I feel like being upset enough to scratch them until they bleed, but an hour ago I was leaving them alone. What’s with that?

    Maybe we should put less meaning to WHAT we are upset about and embrace the ebb and flow of life. Sad feelings are inevitable. What you are sad about isn’t something to avoid, but rather a little warning sign on your road through life. You are going to pass through sad corners on the highway of your existence and when you look out the window whatever your attention turns to is guide post to address that part of your existence.

    “Here I am, driving through the interstate of my reality and whoops, I’m heading into a sad section of the ride. Okay, well what’s the scenery here? Oh, there is some self-doubt up on the hill over there, and wow look at that field of fear! Lovely. Oh my, coming across a sunset of need to get better at my craft! Just around that bend I see a hint of delusion!”

    That scenery of our sadness is crucial to look at, but we don’t have to take it too seriously either. Be open to the fact that what we think causes us pain also can cause us joy pending on what glasses we are looking out of. My creative pursuits bring me the most intense happiness even though it’s also why I scream into that mirror I’ve written “loser” on with my blood. We will never truly eradicate all the unsightly landscape of our psyches, but we don’t always have to feel burdened by the panorama either.