Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Viva la DEVOLUTION! And Prevent Idiocracy from Becoming Reality 

While we were busy scanning Facebook headlines and playing Pokémon Go catching dragonites, our country caught a rare case of the "we're fucked" virus. Let's hope it's not fatal. And instead of focusing so much attention on evolving voltorps to electrodes, let's de-evolve OURSELVES into the caring, empathetic human beings we once were. Start a devolution back to rational analysis and decision making....Based on knowledge, truth and intellectual thought. 

Yes, my dear friends, it’s a sorry state of affairs in the “divided” states of America. Together, we have elected a dishonest, racist, bigoted, sexist (and quite possibly rapist) sociopath to the leader of the “free” world. And are feeling…well, confused…bewildered…embarrassed…nauseous. Trying to pick up the pieces and figure out where it all went wrong. Trying to make sense of it all and forge a new way forward. Well, to our surprise, the way forward may very well be the way BACK. To the way we were. Pre social media’s (and “traditional” media’s) hijack of our collective independent thought. Where we think for ourselves, based on analysis of the real issues at hand. A truly devolutionary idea, indeed. 
DEvolution, (modern day revolution) is essential for us to come to an eventual solution…To our current crisis state. Remember when news used to be more than a sound bite, a headline devoid of logic, fact or reason? Remember when media outlets used to be embarrassed when reporting false information and fact-checked sources before reporting? Remember the days when social media didn’t spoon-feed you news based on a fancy algorithm designed to keep you “liking” every piece of information across your feed? Remember when conversations and debates were through the mediums of actual spoken word and physical interaction, not texting each other from across the dinner table? I wonder if you can…

Our distinct lack of empathy and respect for differing points of view and one another is a direct result of social media replacing real interactions and human contact. From cyber bullying to presidential election votes, technology has reshaped the landscape in which we interact and understand one another. And not for the better. From being fed false information that social media thinks we “like”, not having time to analyze (or even read) content, to the ease of unfriending anyone who offends our sensitive nature or thinly researched opinions, we have essentially evolved into cyber “group think”. If everyone on our social feed agrees with us, we must be right. RIGHT??

WRONG (in the best Trump voice I can muster). You’re wrong. We’re wrong. And soon we’ll be fired. From the stewards of our country that we were supposed to be. And our myopic view of the world will be shattered through black swan events like president-elect Trump as the new leader of the free world. And the consequences will be UGE. For you, for me, for future generations and other nations. 

Yes, my friends, it’s time we turn toward credible sources of information and truth. To allow us to analyze the issues and reach rational decisions. Not to be led like sheep to the slaughter by social media, traditional media or anyone else who attempts to control the masses. It’s time we bring compromise back into our collective vocabulary and strive to understand the other side, HOWEVER much we may disagree with their point of view initially. It’s time to TALK with one another. In person. Not virtually, to understand their individual point of view, where they’re coming from. Their personal struggles and challenges, their values and ideals, their personal pain points. Because guess what? Saying it in person is WAY harder than online. Putting your name behind your ideals is WAY more challenging than an anonymous post or vote. And understanding and tolerance is ONLY possible through human interaction and investigation into the needs, goals and pain points of the constituents of this democracy. When one’s needs or voice does not feel heard, one is more likely to be forced to make radical choices and decisions. Affectiving everyone involved.

It’s time to burst our collective social bubbles of likes and agreement and get back to reality. Devolutionize ourselves back to the members of society able to meet in the middle on issues to come to a solution best for the collective as a whole. STOP using social media as our PRIMARY source of news and analysis. Verify the sources of media we are consuming and the people who are making statements that may or may not be accurate. Police ourselves and our behavior towards one another as stringently as we do our Facebook privacy settings. And get back to where we once belong. Back to caring and thoughtful political races, uniting a divided country around real issues and values (not the reality TV show the media and our political offices have evolved into). Because while we’re too busy playing Pokemon, scanning headlines, unfriending people who don’t agree with us, and not paying attention to the state of current affiars, or one another, we are unwittingly contributing to the profit and ratings of these “independent” news agencies and social media machines, designed for clicks, not truth, for reaction, not humanity, regardless of the social cost and destruction that ensues.

Its time to wake up and devolve… back to before we allowed ourselves to be subtly controlled through a stream of dis-information. When we speak, see, feel, touch and have a sensory experience with the plight of the common man. Whether black, white, blue, red, male, female or fluorescent pink. Unplug from technology to free up time for real, concerted thought and action.

Because the stakes are too high… Because old school America was a melting pot of diversity, mutual understanding and respect. Because the global and political climate is quickly deteriorating to the point of mass extinction. Because we need to protect our basic human rights, sense of decency, our safety…and after January 20th, our pussies. 

Because idoicracy is not a reality ANYONE wants to see in this or subsequent lifetimes. Let’s stop outsourcing analysis and decision-making to potentially biased sources of information, claiming not enough time in the day. If our world implodes at the hands of Donald Tupee Trump, while we were too busy playing Pokemon or updating our Facebook status to care, NO one will LIKE it. Not even on Facebook.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Captain's Log: I Survived Epic World Tour 2012. Operation: Escape Europe, Return to North America Fully Underway. ETA: 18 hundred hours.

Captain's Log: I Survived Epic World Tour 2012. Operation: Escape Europe, Return to North America Fully Underway. ETA: 18 hundred hours.

With a fruitful European invasion under our belts (as well as an extra 5 pounds from mass consumption of fromage, fois gras, chocolate, and creme brûlée) we depart for North America...Victorious in our conquests (to drag a bag the size of Sweden around the world without wearing half of the clothing or shoes packed) Triumphant in our endeavors (to stay alive). Yep, smoke em if you got em, my dear friends, because we can congratulate ourselves on a job well done. Due to the fact we did not break our backs under the weight of our ovrsized luggage, nor perish via the various options available on this epic journey that took on a life of it's own.

Nope, we managed NOT to fall off the ship as we marauded our way through the South Pacific En route to the land down under. And although our journey included a near shipwreck off the coast of New Zealand all 2,000 cruise passengers made it to the land down under relatively unscathed...physically, that is...mentally is another matter to be dealt with at a later date as the nightmares involving mobs at midnight buffets continue. But for NOW, let's raise our glass to avoiding the many dangers to our health and safety that we had the opportunity to encounter over the course of our travels:
-shark attacks while failing to learn to surf in Bondi,
-snake and spider bites while spraining our ankles in the outback,
- angry bulls in Spain,
-and last but in NO way least, being run down my an angry mob of Frenchmen, appalled at our lacking French vocabulary and use of ketchup on potatoes for breakfast (a distinct threat potential which fortunately never materialized)

And I haven't EVEN mentioned surviving the end of the world as predicted by the Mayan calendar. Congratulations are CERTAINLY in order that we live to see another day. And return home triumphant (to still be breathing). Yes, victory is OURS, my friends! High fives to still be alive! And make it through our travels in sound body and spirit (again, the mind will have to be dealt with at a later date as yours truly is now unable to hear the words cruise, Bingo, buffet or formal night without twitching)

As we reminisce on the good times and bad, the happy and the sad over the last 90 days abroad, we can rest easy knowing we have managed to conquer the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, France, Switzerland and Spain, with a brief layover in Istanbul for good measure. And though we return with less in our bank accounts, we return RICH with experiences, adventures, friends and acquaintances. And though our epic travels end today, our new friends and 5,000 photos will remain with us throughout the years (at least on Facebook). And the memory of Epic World Tour 2012 will live on in infamy... In our hearts and minds (and on Facebook). And I LIKE this. (In real life too. Not just on Facebook).

Captain signing off. Over and out for now. More updates to follow.

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This just in: the French use "baby on board" signage too. See below for more details.

The question remains as to whether the use of this outdated and somewhat tacky signage is ANY more effective in preventing aggressive driving and subsequent motorized vehicle accidents in France than in the USA. Will continue to report as additional information is obtained on this very important subject. 

Captains Log. Day 8 in France. 015 hundred hours. Man cannot live on Cheese and Chocolate Alone...or CAN HE?

Captains Log. Day 8 in France. 015 hundred hours. Man cannot live on Cheese and Chocolate Alone...or CAN HE?

After a successful invasion of the good country of France, a jaunt in gay Paris and the festival of lights in Lyon is now under our belts (along with an inordinate amount of fantastic French food). Accordingly, we venture over to Geneva to expand our european horizons (and probably our waistlines). All the while, our epicurean adventures continue, and the question on everyone's mind remains: Can man survive on fromage, chocolate and vin chaud ALONE? The answer remains to be seen, but we are scientifically testing our hypothesis that the answer MAY be <insert bad french accent here while twirling fake mustache> "Oui, Oui Oui!"

Time will tell whether we survive this riveting inquiry into the collective amount our digestive systems are willing to withstand before staging a revolution. In the meantime, we are busy occupying ourselves with Swiss army knives, Swiss watches and, yep, you guessed it, Swiss chocolate (god help us) before venturing back to France to continue our mass consumption of cheese and vin chaud, with charcuterie on the side. When in France...Viva la fromage!

Over and out for now. More updates to follow.