How to survive in Utopia.

“Hard times make strong men,

Strong men make good times,

Good times make weak men,

Weak men make hard times.

Our parents, uncles, aunts, and grandparents fought in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II. The suffered the effects of the Great Depression, or they were raised by survivors of complete economic fallout. They lived through housing booms and bubbles bursting.

They were drafted. They dodged the draft. They went to work, joined unions, got degrees on the G.I. Bill. They started companies. They got married and divorced, opinions be damned. They stayed in marriages they didn’t want to because divorce wasn’t an option for them. They lived fulfilled lives without having kids. They had children they didn’t want to because they didn’t have a choice – or at least not a physically or morally safe one. And they had as many kids as they wanted. Continue reading

I’m a superhero.

What’s your superpower?

Everyone has one. I have many. For instance, when I was a kid I could tell the difference between first-run TV shows and reruns by the audio alone. That is a completely useless superpower, unless the fate of the world depends on whether this is a very special The Facts of Life, or if it’s just a regular one that you’ve already seen.

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They call me the working man.

Confession:  I quoted Rush in a paper I wrote in high school completely out of context, but just to do it.  It went something like this:  “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.  That has literally nothing to do with this paper, but I wanted to cite Rush in my bibliography because I’m a senior.”

That’s what you’re working with here, guys.  But on to actual points that are worth making (maybe):

I’m forever working on myself. I want to be better than I am. I also want to be more content with who I am. Yes, that’s right, one of the things I’m working on is not working on myself so damned much.

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I’m a total badass.

I used to be a badass.

I had swagger. I viewed myself as, quite possibly, the best damned thing that had ever happened.  The undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

Of course, as is the case with anyone with swagger, I was insecure about my possible inadequacies. I had a low grade fever all the time: a fear that my inflated versions of my own reality would be punctured. The fever sapped my energy. The echoes of my own inner voices reverberated in my head on a constant loop until my ears were ringing.

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The Stupidity Vigilante, or: How I Went From Eternally Pissed to (Mostly) Peaceful

You’ve never heard of the Stupidity Vigilante, and that’s ok. He was my alter ego, and I killed him slowly and quietly. The world is better off for it. Trust me.

Here’s the history. I am from the middle of nowhere, raised in an evangelical Christian home in the rural United States. We were not “poor,” I’d say we were lower-middle class if I had to guess. I’ll put it this way – the kids I thought were “rich” turned out, with some perspective, to just be normal suburbanite families with more than a few hundred bucks in the checking account.

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