Saturday, October 27, 2012

The 'F' Werd


           The manner of direction is as futile as it is flawless.  Failing to feel freedoms forthright face is not something to neither forsake nor forget, but rather, a fearful and fatal fight.  You’re either a foolish freak or a fretting friar to forsake and forget such a fate and fight as freedom’s forthright face.  It has become a furnished fortune, not a fear filled fabricated force.  Take down the fake flag and fierce façade you uphold as your final frontier, for anarchists fails to foresee the fallacies of the fallen future fetus, lacking faith’s fire and the female’s fortitude.  Foolish is the man without frugality, flexibility, and feeling.  Their fate holds only frailty and fallacy which eventually leads to a freedom less fatality.  While the felon fornicates his life away, we will stand as a firm force on the foundation of our fortified Father.  As the feather falls from the fierce falcon, we will fill our faith with fire and fortitude.  We will find the fresh face of a freedom’s fight.  Our feet will feel the forest floor knowing of the fortune of the foolish, feeling less man.  Our stomachs will be filled with the food of the fat and free for we did not forsake nor forget freedom’s forthright face.

-Mikey D. B.-

            Utopia.  Often when we hear this word, definitions like perfection, peace, or an ideal society come to mind.  Despite what you may have heard about what Utopia means or even the origins of this word, it was in fact invented by Sir Thomas More in 1515 when he wrote the book Utopia.  The direct translation comes from Greek roots.  The ‘U’ in Utopia, is a root for ‘not’ or ‘no’, and the ‘topia’ means ‘place’.  So Utopia literally means “No Place”.  It doesn’t mean ‘perfect’ or ‘ideal’, but rather ‘not in existence’.  Funny how a word associated with the perfect society actually means that is doesn’t exist, and is a fictional idea.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are reasons why these false definitions are around and frankly they can be argued and probably upheld.
            In Sir Thomas More’s book Utopia, his character Raphael Hythloday describes of his journey to a perfect society; it’s a place of ideal perfection in law, government, and social conditions.  In this land, the people experience peace everyday through social compliance and strict control of desires and pleasure.  Slavery exists in Utopia, but this is like their version of prison, but murder, theft, adultery, and hunger are virtually unknown to the citizens of Utopia and Raphael describes how a people are even capable of creating such a place.  In a nutshell, all of this is made possible not by the people of this land, but by a government eliminating not only private property but privacy in general.  Everyone dresses the same, classes do not exist, their passions and pleasures are constantly monitored.  These citizens are encouraged to pursue education, but not too much; they master limited professions (The Norton Anthology, Volume 1 pp: 518-590).  Utopia is not just a place not in existence, but as Thomas More describes it through his book, it is a place without human desire and drive.
Freedom is a sensitive word and there are many different view points on what people think true freedom entails.  It is a perspective.  There are at least two extreme ends of the spectrum and possibly more (Capitalism and Socialism being some of them), but the obvious ones in my mind are: one, the anarchists who rule by chaos and not order and two, the Utopian nuts creating robots out of everyone, eliminating the opportunity to act on their own thoughts.  In a sense, I agree with both view points because I believe there is a moderation in all things.  When we find a balance between extremes, that is when we are truly free.
Utopia has no antagonism, but at what price?  What is the price to live in a land without murder, rape, and robbery on a world as corrupt as ours?  Jack Rackove, a political science professor at Stanford University, describes what absolute peace costs when he said how when we want to avoid political drama and conflict, all we have to do is make everyone do whatever the ruler does (Jack Rackove, Stanford Colonial and Revolutionary Podcast #11).  We all know how well that works out.  History, along with dozens of stories like The Hunger Games and V for Vendetta tell how miserable it is to blindly comply with a tyrant and that there will always be someone who will fight against that way of thinking, and honestly, I agree with those rebels.  There is a difference between forcing a people to comply by rules because you find them incompetent of judging righteously, and having a righteous people think, judge, and determine what is best by what rules they are given and do so uniformly. 
Freedom is not peaceful.  We deserve the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but we must fight for it.  Freedom must be earned.  There is a sense of responsibility that comes with being free.  When I bought my first car I felt a morsel of that real freedom.  I thought, “I could drive to California right here and right now if I wanted to”, but at the same time I knew if I did, there were certain conditions I would need to follow.  I would have to drive responsibly.  I would have to at least plan some things out like food and gas stops.  I had to work to actually buy the car and would have to continue to do so to provide the funds needed to drive the distance.  I was at the liberty to go where I wanted, but it would come at a price.  Nothing is free.  Freedom is not free.  I won’t go into to much detail here, but Capitalism is based on risk taking.  You spend money to make money.  You invest in ideas and processes that may or may not yield a return, but in the end, you reap what you sew.  So it is with freedom.  Free to think and to feel how you want, but paying with consequential currency, good or bad.
            All in all, when the Founding Fathers drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence, they did so under the belief that “all men are created equal” and all have the unalienable rights, incapable of being surrendered, these being “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  Now, let’s not get into the debate of what “all men” meant then in 1776, because we all know that Thomas Jefferson had dozens, if not hundreds of slaves when he wrote those words, making this one of the great ironies of history.  We cannot judge these imperfect men with our egalitarian understanding.  However, we know now that the freedom they felt was a pure one and one that has unfortunately been tainted, twisted, and then rationalized as unattainable by logical fallacies and intellects of every kind.  But in the end, so does anything that is good and pure.  The werd ‘independence’ in that declaration was declaring to King George III that this nation would be an independent one; it would be a nation free, not needing to be dependent on anyone else.  I believe that that is the true freedom they were seeking and it is what I seek now, being able to provide and protect me and my household, not being dependent on tangible or government assistance and a socialized agenda.  Freedom cannot be given, it must be earned.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pope and Vader Part II

The Mary Kates

The end is the beginning in this story to tell of a Laura and her journey through an inferno and dark hell.

In a puddle of her own ruby blood, she lies and waits, grasping a photo of her friends, the Mary Kates.

Now the Mary Kates were not alive or even in existence. Rather, they were an idea from the boyfriend that was implanted with perseverance and consistence.

One day in early fall, he gave Laura this lie so she could feel grand and ever so tall.

He did so innocently and with no ill intent.  After all, there was no way of predicting that Laura would begin that hellish decent.

The Mary Kates began as small and weak thoughts, but after some time, they turned into demons that Laura battled and poorly fought.

As a little girl she was different but not abnormal or strange nor even a child that her parents corrupted or changed.

It wasn’t until the Mary Kate’s occupied and consumed her mind that she obsessed and grew evil over the days and in such a short time.

For her, they were enticing and glamorous to behold, and she would tell the boyfriend of the stories to her they told.

It was not long for him to realize that he was the culprit and that he was wrong and that the Mary Kates in Laura’s life didn’t belong.

The Mary Kates were meant to enhance Laura’s beauty and special worth but backfired and eventually put her into the ground and dirt.

No matter how many times the boyfriend is told he shouldn’t blame himself, he can’t help but grieve and stagnate away on a dusty, black shelf.

As Laura occupied her mind with the single idea of the Mary Kates, she, with regret and pain, filled her smooth and white slate.

The day finally came for Laura to wither and die.  It was inevitable and many still rue it as the weep and cry.

In the end, a photo was all she had to transition her into the next life as she ended it all with her own blade and with her own knife.

The tragedy didn’t begin as dramatic nor obvious as it turned out to be.  It was just a simple obsession that turned into death and selfish greed.

The beginning has become the end in this story that I’ve told with a principle that has existed from the days of old.

-Mikey D. B.-
            Someone once said that we all must suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.  Awhile back I wrote about the correlation between Alexander Pope and the Darth Vader himself and how the significance of an event is determined by the individual’s reality.  You know, the whole child treating you like the bombing Japanese thing just because you stole their toy or what not?  Some major life changes have been occurring in my life and it has gotten me thinking about this concept: the expansion of a world or the perspective of the world expanding.  I’ve noticed that our perspectives and perceptions do not grow unless they are forced to by change in whatever form and when they don’t change, that’s when things get messy.

            The general definition or idea of insanity is this: trying the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results each and every time we try it.  This kind of relates to the whole Solomon’s Kryptonite thing I wrote about and how we think that we can beat the odds.  We all think that we have the answer to the universe.  However, instead on the large scale of history and not learning from our ancestor’s mistakes, insanity is when we don’t learn from our own mistakes and is on a much more personal scale.  Sometimes we hold onto an idea, grasping onto the fact that it could change our life and change our perspective that we fail to realize how corrupt the idea really is.  “Like thieves in the night, unwelcome thoughts can and do seek entrance into our minds.  But we do not have to throw open the door, serve them tea and crumpets, and then tell them where the silverware is kept!  Throw the rascals out!”  (Jeffery R. Holland, General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints April 2011).   There’s nothing wrong with having a bad idea or thought, for it is only human and that’s how we learn, but when we hold onto or obsess over the unwelcome thoughts, that is when we have become insane.  We all have a hard time letting go at one point or another because we are scared to.  We’ve held onto that thing for so long we are scared to find out what will happen if we do end up letting go, therefore going insane because we are trying the same thing over and over again but hoping for a different result.

            I have a friend that said how “fear comes from two main sources: one is the lack of control and two, facing the unknown”.  Our lives are focused on different things at various times of our lives.  Sometimes those things are good and wholesome and others, well…they’re not so good and not so wholesome.  Like the earth revolving around the sun, our personal worlds revolve around things that can either possess or accent the thoughts in our minds and the ideas we have been fed.  When a comet or asteroid or change enters our orbit, naturally we feel fear.  We fear from not only the lack of control we have over the asteroid, but we also fear because we do not know exactly what the impact will be like.  Despite all of our scientific research, we cannot predict the fallout.

            Recently, I have adopted the saying, “When you’re rich, spending money is fun.  When you’re poor, spending money is an adventure.”  When all is said and done, the fallout is what makes life an adventure.  It’s grabbing life by the horns and not knowing whether or not you’ll be tossed around or if you will be the one doing the tossing.  It’s constantly changing and redefining your future and trying new things in the process.  Life is finding the balance of thoughts, ideas, actions, and werds.  It is suffering from the pain of discipline or suffering from the pain of regret.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I have a dream!

My three cages
Caged from both the outside and within, the faces of the crowd, gather, stare, and grin, to watch me struggle, cry, and fight throughout both the day and into the starless night.

Sleep deprived, I weep until the mercy of rest has at last arrived, taking me into a dreamless sleep, caging me yet again which now makes it three.

Being awoken by piece of fruit thrown at my face, I still lay in my cage and stare back into the starless space.  “What a fool!” a child from the crowd yells, rallying others to cast me down into hell.

The cage I rest in is lifted up and thrown to the ground and miraculously so is the one over my heart, giving the strength the triumphantly sound.  “I will not be broken or destroyed.  I am no fool nor a man with whom will be toyed!” 

I bend the bars of the cage of the outside and storm towards the crowd, causing them to fear me and hide.  All have scattered except for the rallying child.  He just has an expression that is shockingly meek and mild.

With two cages destroyed, the one that guards the third is this little boy.  He awoke me from my dreamless sleep, reminding me that it is my dreams that he does keep.

Although he appears meek and mild, he is the devil’s boy and child who will cage, destroy, and crucify any that oppose and attempt to dream and fly.

No longer will he stand there.  No longer will he guard my dreams, for they are meant for me, myself, and only me.  With a raise of my fist, he shutters and backs away, lightening my night and brightening this epic day.

He throws the key of my dreams at my right foot, knowing that he lost his fight and the victory I took.  A simple thing is all we need, to stand courageous and be ready to do the deed.

I turn around to walk my victorious walk when I am hit to the ground, putting me to a sudden stop.  I am face down with the devil’s boy on my back and one by one, the bodies of the crowd on top of me he does stack.

I struggle and fight with useless might and the day around me again darkens into the night.  The cackle of the boy is dark and dim as the cage over my heart is again placed within.

“I told you that he was a fool.  He is one who thought with me he could duel.  His victorious moment was short and brief and now forever will he live within sorrow and grief.”

The devil’s boy then places me back into the second cage, all the while, his eyes filled with malice and rage.  He reaches for the key of my dreams, but as he touches it, his hand burns and his voice curses and screams.

I can’t help but chuckle at this sight.  Although I am caged, I still have some fight.  “My dreams are mine and mine alone.” I say, and as I do, the night quickly turns back into the day.

Grabbing my key and opening the cage, I step outside to smother his rage.  The one within falls yet again, this time allowing me to be the one who grins.

“Fine!”  The devil’s child speaks.  “I’ll just find another who is feeble and oh so weak.”  He turns to the crowd and finds his next victim, places them into a cage and starts the process over again.

-Mikey D. B.-


            John Mayer once said that “bad news never had good timing” (John Mayer, “The Heart of Life”).  Now I don’t care how reputable he is for getting high or drunk before every concert or if he strips down naked for inspiration of his latest album, truth is truth no matter who says it.  Bad news does not necessarily mean tragic, but rather it could mean unplanned or unexpected.  Many good things can come from an unexpected situation that, on the surface, can appear as a sliver of wood in our foot.  In fact, it is rare to find convenience in a cause that is just and admirable because of the opposition that will inevitably oppose it.  It is almost comical how much we fret over the lack of good timing in our lives.  Because of this, the lack of convenience and good timing, all too often we hold ourselves back.  We cripple ourselves from a fear of the unknown and the things no one has ever tried because of doubt, and frankly a lack of imagination.

            Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being patient for the right time.  Some things, only time can heal and a good idea can be obliterated with a hot-headed, little man syndrome induced individual.  However, do we use patience as a crutch?  I feel that at times we have a distorted and poor definition of what it truly is.  “Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!” (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf “Continue in Patience” General Conference April 2010).

            There is nothing wrong with making a stand.  Yes, don’t be so stubborn that you won’t admit it when you have made a mistake, but when you know something to be true and divine, believe it.  Follow it.  Live it.  Don’t let others determine what your dreams are and if they try to, make a stand.  Don’t stand idly by, waiting for the perfect time to arrive for you to act.  Risk something, take back what's yours.  Say something that you know they might attack you for” (Linkin Park “Hands Held High”).  Make a difference and do it now for the time we have is but a limited amount.  Open your eyes to the world that we live in.  We all see it, the cruelty and sorrow that evil brings and what are we doing about it?  I can only echo what Martin Luther King Jr. said concerning the time that has been given to us.  Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood” (A letter from Birmingham Jail).

            Pioneers and revolutionaries have given us the freedoms we have and enjoy and unless we use our time wisely, we are merely spitting on the graves of these honorable ancestors of ours.  Honor those who have sacrificed much, even unto death, by doing something with our lives.  By making something of ourselves, we show gratitude and appreciation that we are aware of them and the righteous deeds they have performed, not for glory and honor, but for us, their future posterity.  We have an obligation to put a stop to corruption and malicious actions if we see them.  If we don’t, evil will find its next victim, placing them into a cage and starting the process all over again.  Let us make a difference in action and with the werds we say.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Our Inner Batman

The door less window and the window less door

In a room nearby, a proper boy sits and dreams of the day that he will see the outside.

With four walls surrounding and a door less window above, the boy lies down and is encompassed by this imagined love.

Some clouds form just elegant swirls while others are in the shapes of all the pretty girls.

The clarity of the blue sky accents this special view and perfect frame, until the boy remembers it, causing the giddy dream to fade away.

Looking to his left he sees the one door, the only thing here he detests and abhors.

Up above, his perspective is clear and pure, but waiting behind that window less door he is anything but sure.

“What if a monstrous troll waits for me there?  One with a big nose, big hands, and nasty, slimy hair.”

His imagination continues to infest the thoughts in his head as he frets over vampires and werewolves and of the living dead.

“The window provides sunlight and clouds,” he justifies to himself.  “But not grass and wind,” a girl says who has appeared on a random shelf.

Bewildered by the sudden appearance and her cute demeanor, he is captivated and can’t help but fancy her.

“You know I’m right,” she says to him with one of the most innocent and beautiful grins.

Remembering his paradox and blinking his eyes twice, he tries to be direct and yet charming and nice.

“But behind that door, nobody knows what awaits.  There could be your doom and my tragic fate.”

Shaking her head, she hops from off of the shelf to pace back and forth.  “Have it your way then.  Just stay here and be a coward and proper dork.”

She throws the door open and is out before you can say ‘quick-n-slight’.  The boy tries to peer outside but is only blinded by the bright, white light.

He waits to see if a vampire or ghoul appears.  Instead he hears shouts and screams and even cheers.

Shrugging his shoulders he asks, “What the hell?” as he steps forward thinking all is well.

-Mikey D. B.-

I want to tell you of an experience I had about a year ago, and I’m sorry mom if it scares you.  Just know that it has a happy ending.  Last summer, I and some of my friends took a trip up into a canyon.  It was late, midnight or so, but we went up to a park to star gaze and sing kumbaya like the hippies do.  A few days prior to this day, some drama between a guy and a girl in our group of friends occurred.  For storytelling sakes, we’ll call the guy Eric and the girl Jill.  Obviously, there is really only one type of drama that exists between a guy and girl in college.  It’s silly, but yes, that drama is love.  To make a long story short, Jill broke up with Eric because she didn’t like his personality anymore and naturally, Eric didn’t like that reasoning.  Now keep in mind, Eric played rugby and was not a small guy.  He was solid.  He was athletic in almost every aspect and could take a beating.  To top it all off, he had charm and girls skills that caught Jill’s attention when they first met.  He was a muscular Abercrombie & Fitch model.

Okay, fast forward back into the story.  Jill was in our kumbaya group and people were thinking about asking Eric to join us, but because of the potential for drama, nobody did.  So we were sitting in the canyon, enjoying life, when we saw this massive Eric-like figure walking around the park and lo and behold, it was Eric.  We were a bit surprised and nervous that he found us, but we decided to invite him over anyway.  When he joined our group, immediately, I had this uncomfortable and uneasy feeling.  He was cordial at first, but that quickly changed.  He felt betrayed and hurt and I wouldn’t have been surprised if he turned green and started shouting “ERIC ANGRY!”  He started throwing punches all over the place.  He pushed people aside trying to get to those he felt betrayed him the most.  He tackled one of my friends to the ground and I myself got popped in the jaw when I pulled Eric off of my friend.  Eric was out of control, and if it wasn’t for some heavy persuasion, blood literally could’ve been spilt that night. 

We were all a little freaked out, even more so when we found out that a gun and some blades almost got involved in this confrontation.  The drive back to our apartments was a long, quiet one.  All the while, I couldn’t help but feeling like a coward because of the fear I felt about what just happened.  My jaw was sore.  I was disappointed in myself for shaking from the adrenaline that surged through my veins and don’t laugh, but I remember thinking that Batman never would’ve felt like this.  After all, super heroes never feel fear.  When talking to my friend about it afterwards, he told me something that I never will forget.  He said, “It’s okay to feel fear.  That doesn’t mean we’re a coward.  It’s how we react when feeling that fear that determines our bravery.”  In the end, Batman did in fact feel fear, but fought against it and eventually harnessed it, which in turn, made him stronger.         

In light of this past Independence Day, naturally, it caused me to ponder on the significance of the events that took place that day, 236 years ago.  Surely the founding fathers had their fears, their doubts that made them question from time to time as to whether or not the cause they were pursuing was just.  Surely the patriots of that time quivered at the sight and sound of the Royal British Army making advances on the battle fields.  Surely people were tempted to abandon the cause of liberty and their people from the overwhelming emotion of fear encompassing them during this time of revolution.  But I ask you, did they cave in?  Did they abandon their cause?  Did those icons before us hold themselves back because of the unknown future that was in front of them?  No, they did not.  They endured and they rose above those fears and doubts that I’m sure they felt constantly.

I can only imagine the emotions Martin Luther King Jr. felt when pursuing his cause and demanding equality for him and his people.  Yes, we see and read about his courageous and bold actions.  From his I had a Dream speech to his Letter from Birmingham Jail, we are moved by his charisma and bravery, but honestly, anyone pursuing a cause with as great a caliber as he or the founding fathers, will feel anxiety and fear.  That’s not what’s important; it’s what you do when facing such an opposition.  All who live to see times of despair, trial, and sorrow wish that they weren’t around for them, but as Gandalf told Frodo, “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide.  All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us.”  (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring).

“There is a war going on for your mind” (The Flobots: Fight with Tools).  We live in a world where the bells of Hell ring in our ears every time we seek to do good, but I like what Brigham Young said when hearing the complaints about those very bells: “I want to hear them ring again” (Brigham Young JD 8:355-356).  Desire is where it all starts.  What is your motivation to face that windowless door?  Is it a girl?  Is it your family or friends?  Is it yourself?  In my opinion, whatever it is that makes you face your fears can’t be bad, for fears only hold us back from truly excelling in our potential to make a difference.  If we just stay back, not entering into the unknown, we confine ourselves to a room with a finite, door less perspective.  In the werds of Anthony Hopkins: “You don’t live if you never try” (film: Meet Joe Black).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Solomon's Kryptonite

Andi and Dani

We’ll begin with a couple and their curse and the day they drove away in a little red hearse.

As the wheels roll slowly on the asphalt below, family, friends, and acquaintances whisper about the life these two will live together in sorrow.

“Neither happiness nor peace will emerge from this,” they say.  “The two will only rot and decompose and then smell as they decay.”

Before this so called happy moment, each night the couple would vent to others of the yelling and the shouting and the fighting and of their torment.

Not only did the couple’s words embalm with hate and malice, but the only reason they seemed to stay together was so that they could touch that sacred chalice.

However, the two would flaunt their status from time to time, fantasizing that the problematic ashes would blow away in the wind the day the bells of the funeral would chime.

Despite the efforts and advice of caring others, the day has regrettably come to pass.  The gloomy fog lingering as dew softly coats the brown grass.

The tombstones of similar lovers and their epitaphs of misery mean nothing to these two as they vow and kiss and recite the words: ‘I do’.

Morbid music, dancing, and food follow and the sound, sight, and taste of the reality makes it hard to take it all in and swallow.

As the couple step in and lie down in their separate coffins, they are slowly enclosed inside a vale of black that wipes away their giddy grins.

The hinges and clasps lock them inside.  Their shouts of sheer terror echo in the ears of the caring others, causing them to weep, wail, and cry.

In the years that follow, the mothers of the couple will mourn this day daily while the fathers will become bitter, depressed, never cease to be angry.

“There’s nothing more we could do.”  The women will say to their men as they sit together on their porch hand in hand.

-Mikey D. B.-

It has been said before that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.  One thing that makes us, human beings, the dominant species, is our ability to remember and interpret past events in an extraordinary manner.  This great feat can also be our Achilles’ heel unfortunately.  As simple as it may be to just remember and interpret, Leonardo Da Vinci once said that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.  See, the thing is, we all remember significant events fairly well in my opinion.  We all are familiar with at least the basics of historical moments, or a good majority of us are, and we know what the general morals to be learned from them are.  Remembering, that is the simple part.  Sophistication comes when actually applying what we learn and know.  Within each of us is the natural desire to beat the odds.  As we interpret past events, automatically we figure that we know what our ancestors did wrong and since we know that, we figure that although we will do exactly what they did, we will do it flawlessly, because after all, we see the bigger picture unlike our naïve predecessors.

Rene Descartes explored this idea in his Discourse on Method.  Basically, as he walked in the halls and studied in the classrooms of some of the most prestigious universities of his time, he discovered that the more he learned, the less he knew, and he found it highly ironic that many others, when they learned more, they knew more.  He states that to be human is to be a reasoning individual and that if we reason we are human and if we are human, then we will reason (Rene Descartes’ Discourse on Method Part I).  If we reason, we will see that not only are we not invincible, but we are also very vulnerable to the idea that we think we are and that Superman has nothing on us.  We will see that we are not superior and humble ourselves, recognizing our God given weaknesses.  However, people don’t always get it and it takes a tragedy before we realize that yeah, we screwed up big time.

Take King Solomon the Wise for example.  “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.  And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.”  (1 Kings 4:29-30)  From my interpretation, I’d say that it’s safe to say that Solomon was a pretty wise guy.  We read of his wisdom in story after story in the Bible, and yet I find it interesting that somehow there is one thing that Solomon did not seem to get despite all of his wisdom.  He, like his father King David, was wooed away by the curves of women.  David lusted after Bathsheba and killed her husband Uriah, just so that he could take her to wife (2 Samuel 11).  Solomon, son of Bathsheba and David, had his heart turned away by his wives and concubines “and Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father” (1 Kings 11:1-8).  Solomon the Wise made the same mistake that his father David did.  It wasn’t committed in the same fashion, but the principle wasn’t any different than that of his father’s choice.  It’s an irony of history that such a wise son of an immoral act, was blinded and in turn, committed the same basic immorality.

We all subject ourselves to be more superior than we really are.  We all have a morsel of Little Man’s Crack hidden in a secret pouch of our jacket.  All of us shout out from time to time: “A bible, a bible, we already have one and need not another!”  There is not a second that passes by that I, myself, do not struggle with the fact that I am no Superman nor am I Captain America.  The struggle is not necessarily the important part, but rather the fact that am I going to take “the tombstones of similar lovers and their epitaphs of misery” to heart or will I wait until “the hinges and clasps lock [me] inside.  [My] shouts of sheer terror [echoing] in the ears of the caring others, causing them to weep, wail, and cry”?  Sometimes all it takes is a simple werd for us to realize how far down the road we really are.  Will we listen and obey, or will we ignore just so that we can rot, decompose, and eventually decay?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Washington's Call to Arms

A call to arms

When un-ruling rulers rule this land to consume the jealously of a jealous lover’s greedy hand,

They, dividing the divisible to prevent the uniting of the invincible, creates a fire within, burning and purifying and cleansing all from sin.

While there was once one with charity and another with vulgarity, the heart beats of many become the heartbeat of one, all together now, from father, daughter, mother, and to son.

No longer will the restless rest.  No longer will the servants and servitude not be at their best.  Kings and Queens will stand up and rise as the tyrants fall and the dictators slowly die.

Understanding the understandable and common ground, ignites the desire to fight the fighter’s fight and to stand and to shout and to triumphantly sound. 

While there was once one dignity another lacking humility, the footprints of many become the footprint of one, all together now, from father, daughter, mother, and to son.

Uniting the United seems and impossible and nonviable goal, but then again, so does reuniting the body and spirit, recreating the human soul.

Musicians and magicians will refine their art and gift, to contribute to the cause, to the calling of hope and of victory and to light and uplift.

While there was once one with vitality and another with hostility, the breaths of many become the breath of one, all together now, from father, daughter, mother, and to son.

The beginning of the beginning has begun as all rise and sing the song that’s been written and sung.

Teach to be taught the things of truth and seek that which was sought to unveil that which was lost with youth.

While there was once one with loyalty and another with hypocrisy, the secrets of many become the secret of one, all together now, from father, daughter, mother, and to son.

-Mikey D. B.-


            George Washington, this great nation’s first president, cautioned not only the people of his time about the dangers of political parties, but us as well.  This man, who is the father of our nation, was giving council to his people, to his children, to us, to avoid anything that would disrupt the harmony and unity that was created after the long fight with Britain.  Having political parties, he said, would create a spirit of contention among those within the nation.  Washington did acknowledge that this spirit “is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind”, however, he also realized that this spirit is the enemy of government in any form.   Political parties “serve[s] always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. [They] agitate[s] the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.” (Washington’s Farewell Address 1796). 

            Watch the news and listen to the radio and tell me that George Washington was wrong.  From MSNBC to Fox News to the various C-SPAN channels, there is not only a distinct separation of ideas, but values and morals.  I’m not saying that that is necessarily wrong, but if one side does not agree with an idea of the other, often, hostility ensues and both sides tear into the stomachs of their opponent.  Yes, diversity and variety make this nation what it is, but I believe that there is a sense of civil disagreement that has been lost over the years.  Two sides or people can disagree and still be unified.  I’m not married or do I pretend to know how to make a marriage relationship work, but I have seen many, many couples disagree and yet come to a common ground where they aren’t forced to shoot their spouse in the face.  We all have strong opinions and as Rene Descartes said, we all think we have enough good sense to last us for the rest of forever (Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method Part I) but come on people. 

            On Sean Hannity’s radio talk show he was talking about the upcoming election between Obama and Romney, and a caller, I can’t remember who, said that “never has the United States been so divided than right now”.  I don’t know if I agree that now is when we have been most divided.  I mean, the Civil War literally divided the nation, but the spirit of what he said has a certain ring that caught my attention and made me ask: “How ironic is that?  That The United States is divided?”  A country with the word ‘united’ in its title is anything but that.  Again, watch the news and tell me that this anonymous caller is wrong in the fact that we are divided as a people.  Issues from abortion, Wall Street, Women’s Rights, Conservatism, Liberalism, etc. testify of this division.  I could go on and on with examples of this chasm that lays between us Americans, but that’s not my point.

            My point is that where did that unity go?  I was only 11 years old when the World Trade Center towers were bombed and collapsed, but during that moment in history, I felt true patriotism among us.  I didn’t comprehend it then, but reading about it and reflecting on it now, I do.  We bonded as citizens during that tragedy.  We put differences aside, political and personal.  We found common ground to stand on in order to fight a common enemy.  Our hearts beat as one, we all took in the same breath, and we all had the secret pain of loss and sorrow within us.  Read about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the events that unraveled after that infamous day, and you’ll recognize the same sense of brotherhood and unity that I felt in the months shortly following September 11.  Yes, there is a time and a place for differences, but not at the expense of dignity and respect towards one another just because of their political stance.  Instead of voting for an R or a D, consider what is in the best interest of the country.  I pray that it won’t take another tragedy to bring us together as Americans, as human beings, but rather a simple and humble werd.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

From protests to spilt coffee

Shadows and Remnants

The past has passed and the present presents itself while placing historical history and memoirs and memories onto a single shelf.

Modifying and modulating the plan is all you’ve ever known, yet somehow the shadows and remnants of life can’t help but be shown.

Take a breath and breathe. Make a moment to see what’s been seen.

Leap at what’s been leapt and keep the secret that should be kept until the arrival of your moment has arrived for you to survive where others have perished and died. 

The love of your first love never truly fades away, whether that be money or drugs or the individual who has chosen to stray.

Sleep, for you have not slept.  Remember to not leave the gift that’s been left.

Shadows and Remnants Part II

You have awoken from the awakening just before your dream and staring up above you wonder what it all could mean.

From shadows and remnants to memoirs and memories you open your eyes a little wider in hopes that you will see what’s been seen.

Pause and just wait.  Be patient for this is your fate.

Recalling the calling from the gift that one did leave, you arise from the dust, trying to ignore that which did bereave.

Boxed inside another box, you gently open the gift to discover a delicate, intricate, yet simplistic foxy little fox.

Take a breath and make a moment.  It’s a representation of your torment.

Bringing it into the light you are enlightened by the fact that this single icon is what holds you back from letting a bygone be a bygone.

There’s no need to crush it, only to let it go.  All you need to do is watch it fall and spin and then shatter below.

The weight will be lifted because you are a survivor that is divine and gifted.

-Mikey D. B.-

            In the year 1517, one of the most important years in western civilization, Martin Luther made not just one, but 95 complaints against the Catholic Church and posted them to the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany.  We could get down to the nitty-gritty and go through each and every one, debating and arguing, but to make a long conversation much shorter, all of these 95 complaints were made for one basic reason: that the Church was involved in the profane and not the sacred.  That there was no longer a wall or a contrast between the world and the divine.  Martin Luther was bugged by the fact that the Church was flaunting the sacredness of its duty because of their involvement in things much less holy.  These 95 complaints were 95 protests against basically everything the Catholic Church was doing at the time, hence the name ‘Protestant’.  The reformation emerged from this act in 1517, and the basic goal of the reformation was to simply re-establish the lost contrast of the divine and world.  Catholics killed Protestants and Protestants killed Catholics in this battle (Norton Anthology English Literature Vol. 1 p.625-27 8th edition).  Martin Luther’s 95 protests eventually led to the foundation of the Untied States.  There are obviously a lot of details and events that occurred between 1517 and July 4, 1776, like Calvinism and the Puritans coming to the Americas for a quick example, BUT 1517 was the first major link in this chain of events. 
Much like Luther, George Washington, John Adams, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, and numerous others had complaints of their own.  The citizens of what is now the United States of America, had taxes imposed on them without their consent.  These citizens had the benefit of trial by jury refused to them.  They were constantly accused and found guilty of crimes they did not commit. (The Declaration of Independence).  They were being raped both literally and politically.  Their lives were being destroyed right in front of their eyes and were driven to the point of desperation.  I’m putting it mildly when I say they were being treated in an unjust manner.  Revolution was their answer to the responses of a tyrannical and sadistic king and after many battles fought and countless lives lost, they gained the justice they were searching for.  The Founding Fathers gave us opportunity to have justice and equality and to have freedom and security.  We have unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  However, do we take advantage of these rights?  Do we realize the cost of these freedoms that we are born with?  Do we really appreciate what has been given to us?
Today, complaining has come to a different caliber and I believe a much lower one.  We may have the right to complain, but should we?  Lawsuit after countless frivolous lawsuit tells me that no, for the most part we should not.  From coffee burns to gross obesity, these lawsuits testify that we have not realized the gifts that are before us.  We take advantage of our divine opportunities and misunderstand that we are not entitled to wealth and glory.  We have come to a point of separation one with another.  I honestly don’t think that spilt coffee burning someone’s lap is enough to drive that individual to a lawsuit.  There is something more.  Something deeper is driving us to take little grievances and amplify their significance to hate, envy, greed, etc.  Think about it.  When we curse the world and all of its inhabitants because we got ranch dressing instead of blue cheese, it’s not the wrong salad dressing that built the fire, it only ignited it. 

I’ve explored the idea before of how the significance of something determines our understanding in “Pope Vs. Vader”, but there is a fine line between ignorance and a problem that has been festering inside of us for years.  Some things demand justice while others are demanded in order to fill a void inside of us.  "We consume such precious emotional and spiritual capital clinging tenaciously to the memory of a discordant note we struck in a childhood piano recital, or something a spouse said or did 20 years ago that we are determined to hold over his or her head for another 20…. Even if one of those grievances did not originate with you, it can end with you” (Jeffery R. Holland, April 2012 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).  Whatever is holding you back from truly progressing, let it go.  Stop complaining about someone politically correct statements.  Yeah your co-worker has Little Man Syndrome, but who cares?!  Stop freaking out that “In God We Trust” is on a coin or that someone calls it a Christmas tree instead of the scientifically correct term.  Let that foxy little fox that has crept its way into our lives, fall, spin, and shatter below you.  Life is a gift.  Things could be much, much worse.  After all, your father could’ve try to kill you with a hatchet and then blew your house up with you in it (ABC news “Josh Powell Tried to Kill Sons With Hatchet Before Fatal Explosion).  Most of us have nothing to complain about, but we do.  Yes, we all get annoyed from time to time, that is human.  The actions or werds of someone offends us,  but when we let that annoyance fester and infest our lives, that is when we let torment dictate our them, holding us from achieving something more. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spiderman's Cave

Your Secret

Turn left, look right, step forward, and think back to a time when the laughter of laughing children made you laugh.  Not of the questions of questionable adults leaving you to ask, why?

You are keeping a kept secret that if lit would ignite the desire to fight a fighter’s fight.  Instead you keep it and weep and cry quietly into the night.

Hell’s bells continue to ring as they have always rung, but still you do not sing the joyous song that’s been sung.

Inside you scream the screamer’s scream causing your heart to burst.  Not caused by frustration, but the lack of love and the ever present feeling of hurt.

Exhaustion makes you want to sleep moments after you’ve slept because the burden of keeping the secret that’s been kept.

You are the dreamer of dreams unheard and unsaid and the seeker that seeks the roads that wind, weave, and bend.

The musician’s music plays.  What you want is willed to stay.  You are the keeper of a kept secret that cannot only darken the night, but can also lighten any day.

-Mikey D. B.-

            We all have a little something to learn from Plato and his Allegory of the Cave, especially when it comes to OUR own knowledge and OUR light that we have obtained in this life.  I had this discussion with a good buddy of mine earlier this week when I found myself practically blind and handicapped as I was recovering from the corrective eye surgery that I had just a few days prior.  The conversation was sparked by me indulging myself in a festivity of movies on Netflix from a lack of ability to do much of anything else of value.  One of these movies was a documentary called Media Malpractice, which explored the media’s role in the 2008 Presidential Elections.  Making a long story short, the director (who, might I point out, was an Obama supporter and a strong liberal advocate) provided loads of evidence and countless examples of how the media not only exalted Obama by hiding his ill facts and glamorizing his noble ones, but how they crucified Sarah Palin by doing the complete opposite, therefore, skewing the information about each candidate to essentially fix the elections.  If you don’t believe me, I highly recommend watching this documentary, Media Malpractice, and at least consider the possibility that it happened.

After I watched/listened to this documentary, I was fuming.  Not because Obama was elected, but because of the hidden agenda the media seemed to have and the malicious practices that were taken to accomplish this agenda.  It was like they were a fat, little five year-old tyrant who stopped at nothing to get their Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.  In my rage, I texted my buddy as best as I could being as blind as I was, about the loathing nature that I had at the moment towards the media.  He agreed and disagreed with my strong opinion.  He pointed out that propaganda has always been around, from Hitler until now, and that there have always been hidden agendas in society.  When he did, I realized that modern media has only amplified and extended the reach of malpractice and propaganda.  My buddy then asked if it was the media’s fault or if it was ours, the people of the United States of America, for believing anything that was placed before us in the 2008 elections?  Do we believe whatever we are told without doing some research of our own; who’s really to blame for the false information we believe?  Plato’s allegory explores just that.

Plato illustrates all of as prisoners in a cave, chained to the floor, and looking at a wall with our backs facing the entrance and the sunlight coming into the cave.  Just behind us and above the entrance of the cave, is a fire that shines on the wall we, the prisoners, are looking at.  Anything that we see on the wall is from the shadows of objects that pass in front of this fire.  Now in front of this fire, there is a walkway with a barrier that other individuals, not us who are chained to the floor, walk behind.  These people have puppets that they hold above the barrier to project shadows on the wall that we are looking at.  Now since we are chained to the floor and can’t turn around to see what is really creating the shadows, we believe the shadows as reality because we know no different.  In simpler terms, we are ignorant.  For example, if the shadow was created by a puppet lion and the puppeteer behind the wall began speaking, we’d believe that a real lion was doing the talking.  Now what if we could unchain ourselves, leave the cave, go into the real sunlight, and see what was really causing the shadows and voices, which is where Plato makes his point.  If we could do that, would we go back into the cave and tell every other prisoner what was going on?  Would we try to explain how the lion on the wall isn’t real but just a puppet and a puppeteer?

Knowledge is power and as Peter Parker’s uncle said: “With great power comes great responsibility.”  What are we doing with what we know?  Are we keeping that secret to ourselves and hording the knowledge?  Are we afraid of Hell’s bells being rung and the opposition that comes from voicing an opinion?  Our opinions may be wrong and we may believe the shadows on the wall, but we never can know truth unless we explore it for ourselves.  I had a professor a couple semesters ago that changed my life by the advice he gave in class on a daily basis.  He told me something that I will never forget.  He said “I’m proud of you and your generation, but I hope you change.  Because if you change, that means you’re learning.  Now go, make mistakes, learn, and make a difference.”  All too often we hold ourselves back from a fear that we have.  Whether that be a fear of the unknown or of our next door neighbor’s dog, it holds us back from exploring the gifts around us.  All too often do we feel inferior to what knowledge that we do have, that we fail to express and act upon it.

Poet John Donne has been praised as a man that has changed the English language with his metaphysical poetry.  Thomas Carew, another poet and writer, compares John Donne to the Greek god Prometheus, and just as Prometheus gave fire and light to man, John Donne gave the light of poetry to man.  He, John Donne, took the English language which was considered inferior and vulgar at the time, and used it to trump the superior languages of Greek and Latin (Norton Anthology Volume 1 p. 1666-1670).  Where are those superior languages now?  Where is the English language now?  If there is one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that complete control of the inferior can shake and crack the foundations of the superior.  We can make a difference, for better or for worse, if we but simply believe and realize that we are the keeper of a kept secret that can not only darken the night, but can also brighten any day.  Our werd will be heard if we but voice it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Little Man's Crack


Our story will start with the competition of two men: one smart and one dumb which is where we will begin.

Holding a clump of dirt, the dumb thinks, “Here is earth and I am man, surely I can crush it in my hand.”

So he does and says to the smarter, “Ha!  I highly doubt you can do something harder!”

With a grin above his chin and the twirling of his hand, he says to the dumb, “Surely you have underestimated me my good man.”

“With one fell swoop I can crack the planet in two, but first I want to see what else you will do.”

The dumb one says, “Easy as pie, all I have to do is climb up high.”  And in a single second he’s up in a tree saying to the smarter, “I’ll crack the planet in two, just wait and see.”

Out of the tree he jumps, landing and hurting his foots, crying in agony and giving the smarter the fiercest of looks.

Chuckling triumphantly and with the grin of grins, the smarter one’s rant begins.  “What a fool!  A tree’s not it.  A tree’s not high enough you see.  Just wait one minute and I’ll show you, making you wish you were me.”

As quick as he can, the smarter is up in a plane and high above the land and without a doubt in his mind, he thinks in his head, “That moron will soon see my power and wish he were dead.”

And with that, the smarter is out.  He has jumped and as he falls, he triumphantly shouts, “The planet is mine, it’ll soon be in two.  No one will be able to mimic what I can do!”

The smarter one hits the earth and is instantly dead.  The dumber one smiles and thinks in his head, “I was just a dumb fool is what the smarter one said.”

-Mikey D. B.-

I could be paraphrasing or possibly quoting directly based on my notes from my American Heritage course, but Aristotle is in my notebook as saying something along the lines of “Everything we participate in life has a political root”.  Politics, as my professor defined, is “The Master Science” because it deals with the relations between people living in society.   I know that when we hear the word ‘politics’, or at least when I do, our minds tend to jump to Obama or George Bush or Regan and how much they have screwed America.  Our minds may even relay the word to the close-minded conservatives and the ever so accepting liberals and how they are never in accordance with the rights of animals, women, humans, guns, buildings, or even insects, but the word politics is much, much more.  It can refer to the hierarchy on the playground at recess or in the office at work, determining which position you get and whether or not you have been deemed worthy of that 25 cent raise.

If there is one thing that I have learned and seen in my short 22 years of life, it’s that humans, both in societies and as individuals, go through this repetitive cycle of success and failure.  We Mormons call it The Pride Cycle, my American Heritage professor taught it as The Human Predicament and I’m sure there are a few other titles that we could call this circle.  As defined by the Human Predicament, a society has a tyrant or someone that rules by will and that leads to revolution or political change because the people are tired of being oppressed.  The people fight and once the fighting is over, depending on the success of the revolution, anarchy, or the rule of chaos begins until a new government is established, giving society a new leader to follow.  The reformation in 1517 is a perfect example of this.  The Catholic Church was a huge political force then and Martin Luther felt that they were indulging themselves too much in the things of the world and were diverting their focus from what was sacred as a result.  So, Martin Luther came up with 95 theses or complaints which acted as a protest against the Church, which is where the Protestant religion comes from.  Martin Luther Revolted and demanded for reformation in the political system, and chaos ensued where thousands of Protestants and Catholics were killed in the fight for this change.  Out of this reformation came John Calvin/Calvinism, which lead to Puritans and their ideas which then lead to settling in the Americas and voila, another revolution began when on July 4, 1776 George Washington and 55 others signed the Declaration of Independence demanding freedom from the Kingdom of Great Britain.  Even after the American Revolution there was chaos in forming a new government when the Articles of Confederation were written and it wasn’t until the Constitution of the United States of America came around when a new government began.

For the individual, it is the exact same cycle, just on a much smaller scale where our conscience is one of the things that acts as the tyrant, revolution, chaos, and new leader.  Another individual may act as the revolution in our lives by suggesting an idea contrary to our original thinking.  We contend with the idea and if we humble ourselves or accept the idea, the revolution was a success, but chaos works within us because we don’t know how to accept the new idea that our friend gave us.  However, when we do finally apply the idea, a new leader or way of life begins.  René Descartes in his Discourse of Method said (and this time I am quoting for sure): “Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for every one thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.”  In other words, human beings know everything there is to know about everything and we are so awesome that there isn’t anything that we don’t already know.  He said this as he walked the halls and studied “in one of the most celebrated schools in Europe.”  Descartes discovered that every professor he had knew EVERYTHING, however, he felt that the more he learned the less he knew (René Descartes, Discourse on Method Part I).  It is my opinion that Descartes saw through the logical fallacies of those crazy professors who knew, without a doubt, what was best.  In today’s society, how often to we see this on political television or listen to it on talk radio?  There are constant bashing sessions on these programs because the host knows what is best despite the opinions or phone calls of others.  People Tweet and post all sorts of opinions on Facebook about how things should be, and in the perfect world it would be exactly like what they are saying: “Well if he would’ve just listened to me that woman wouldn’t have stolen from him”, “You know what you need to do to lose weight?  Chew gum”, “I told you so but you never listen to me” and I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. 

We have all met the individual who is The Little Man or who has a God-complex or what I like to call A One-Upper. Nothing you ever do is ever good enough because they have already done that and more.  They are so insecure and have placed themselves on an exalted alter.  They have to pee on your parade from that alter and when they have finished relieving themselves, they jump down to guide you by the hand so you can see that what you have done actually isn’t that much of an accomplishment at all.  This happens all the time in school and work and all it does is frustrate the political systems there, especially in the business field.  I’ve talked with my dad about this concept of The Little Man in the work field.  He works with businesses by making them better and more efficient and has studied this concept a lot.  The Little Man hordes knowledge to feed their insecurity; they keep the knowledge to give them a sense of power because they are the only one that knows what they know.  This in turn leads to a Tribal Knowledge System where when that Little Man leaves, so does his knowledge which hinders progress because the company now has to relearn what The Little Man knew.  This Tribal Knowledge System is very apparent in young and immature businesses and even individuals.  Politics is everywhere, not just in the government.

It is inevitable to avoid this Human Predicament or Pride Cycle or whatever you want to call it, and we will all experience the circle either voluntarily or against our will.   At one point we will all be The Dumber Man breaking a dirt clod in our hand, believing we have actually discovered how to clone a human.  At other points in life we will try to attempt the impossible to crack the Earth in two, and because we are in fact The Smarter Man, jumping out of a plane is the most logical choice to make, despite common sense.  It’s been said that “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it” but even then we all know where history went wrong and if they just had our enlightened knowledge, life would’ve been better; if they just knew the werd we know, tragedy never would have been apart of their lives.