Normal Is a Myth

I started writing this in March and put it down because at the time, I felt like it was a bit tone deaf. We were just getting started, and now we are in the midst with no relief in sight. – Dom

I don’t think we’re ever getting back to normal.

This COVID-19 pandemic (nicknamed The Corona Virus, The ‘Rona, That Shit and other epithets) has rocked the world to its core, and since I live in the United States, I can speak specifically to how it has affected this nation.

The short answer is that we’re in dire straits.

The long answer is that this crisis has further revelaed every single flaw, blemish, weakness and ugly truth that this nation has attempted to hide throughout it’s 200+ year history. This reveal has been going on since, hell, probably since 2008 if we’re keeping it a buck, but the reveal was ramped up in 2016 upon the campaign and eventual election of the most incompentent president this nation has ever seen.

Herbert Hoover breathes a sigh of relief.

Every single truth we’ve been told is being revealed as a lie. People can work from home and don’t have to subject themselves to an office environment and still be productive. Low skilled jobs are actually some of the most valuable positions out there. This country can turn around and actually help it’s fucking citizens. Teachers deserve to be some of the highest paid professionals in this country. Greed is not good.

The jig is up. Whenever this is all said and done, we cannot go back to normal. I know a lot of people want to. A lot of people are hoping that this will blow over before the summer so we can go back to work and going out and what it was before.

I don’t think we can go back to that. I don’t think that I want to go back to that.

For one thing, everybody’s normal is different. That’s something to look at.

For another thing, our previous normal has proven to be unsustainable. Our previous normal has put us into these dire straits, woefully unprepared, at the mercy of a narcissist who can’t even be bother to act like he gives a damn about anybody but himself and his own self interests and his merry gang of sycophantic oligarchs. Our previous normal gets people killed. Our previous normal keeps the nation in a contant state of fear; it doesn’t allow for us to live, it allows for us to survive, at the expense of whoever or whatever gets in our way. Our previous normal has put it into our minds that the elderly and those who are already sick and disabled and who don’t fit into certain segments are expendable. Our previous normal allows for billionaires to keep getting rich when they don’t fucking need it and for everyone else to constantly be one paycheck, medical bill, accident, stock crash, housing crash away from the poor house.

I get it, some of you want to go back to normal because normal was safe, normal made sense, normal was something that you had a bit of control over. Normal is a myth. It was never safe, it never made sense. Normal is a sedative, a balm over the festering wounds that this country has inflicted upon each and every last one of us (yes, even white people).

I hoped that people would see what’s been going on and would fight for a new normal, but a slate of protests have sprang up and I have given up on fighting. People want the soma. Normal is our soma. People want to go back to normal. Granted, these protests are plants backed by some bullshit, but even those who aren’t protesting want to go back to die at the altar of white supremacy (more on that in another post).

What these people don’t realize though is that even getting back to normal will not be normal. For a lot of people, they have lost loved ones, colleagues, associates. Some folks might breathe a sigh of relief that they get to go back to their favorite restaurant and then realize that the cook who fried their wings just right is dead. People will go back to work and realize that the gossip in the cubicle next to them, the one that had all the good tea, is dead. Their children will go back to school and find one of their peers with a shell shocked expression that will not go away for a long time because their parent was deemed an essential worker, or was on the front lines at a hospital and they died. People are dying alone, in a hospital, and they can’t even have a proper send off. People are dying in apartments and the fucking coroners won’t come pick them up.

But yes, let’s get back to normal so that you can get a fucking haircut.

The Art of Storytelling

I’ve been writing for 20 years.

I always knew I wanted writing to be involved in my life, but up until high school, I didn’t believe that I would actually make a career out of it because becoming a successful writer, especially back when I first considering it was a bit difficult.* So I always had a “proper” career in mind (pediatrician, orthopedic surgeon, psychologist), but, I was a writer.

I am a writer.

Even after deciding to really do it and putting the medical stuff aside*, I would still also say, I want to be a writer instead of saying I am a writer, because for the longest time I believed that to be a writer, I had to be published by a big publishing house, book on the New York Times best sellers list and thousands or even millions of people reading your work.

As long as I put pen to paper or type on a keyboard, I am a writer.

With that being said, when it comes to my fiction work, because fiction is what I want to write, I haven’t placed myself in one category and I’m not going to because there are a variety of stories I want to tell, and have been wanting to tell for the last 20 years.

However, that is where we are now. I came up with a lot of my ideas when I was in middle school, high school and college, and many of these ideas have evolved and mutated beyond what they initally were, but, even with their evolution, now being 31 years old, do I still want to tell these stories? Is my constant shifting and changing of a lot of these stories due to growing older, gaining more experience and living life a bit more as a self-sufficient** adult instead of a dependant child or is it now because I no longer can relate to the story?

What kind of stories do I want to tell? I still lean on the old ideas because deep in my heart I still believe in them, but do I still want to tell those stories? On the flip side, I am at a point in my life where coming up with new stories to tell has stagnanted a bit because my life admittedly is a bit stagnant. I work jobs that don’t really stimulate my creative muscles, my current position keeps me in my house so I’m not getting out as much as I would working in another location*** and I’m not really doing anything – no new friends, no parties, not of the stuff that I would occasionally**** do back home. I’m inside, tending to plants, eating, playing video games, watching YouTube and simply existing. Even on the rare occasions I get out, I’m not exposed to novel things and it’s very quick and easy for me to get back into a rut.

So what kind of stories do I want to tell? Do I still want to do space epics? A fictionalized version of the final years of my 20s leading into my washed 30s? Sinister neighbors and family members? Or do I want to tell stories about what I’m going through currently with being a bit older, navigating life in a new city away from my family and friends, working another job that drains me of vitality?

Time will tell, I suppose. I recently pulled out all of my old handwritten works to look back through some of them. I can definitely evolve some of those works. The stories still have power and potential. Maybe this is more about getting out of this extended rut than anything. That might prove a bit harder now because it isn’t just me. I have to find the stories again.

*I am also prone to taking the easy way out and choosing the path of least resistance. I am working on that.

**As self-sufficient as one can be while living with their parents rent free.

***My car also said fuck you for leaving your check engine light on for two years. I’m in the market for a new one so I can at least go to the library.

****I was a homebody at home. I still had options. Here, not so much. In addition to it being a smaller city, from what my fiance has told me, they shoot a lot around here. The news confirms this.

Featured photo by Reetha Ferguson, give her a follow on Instagram.

New Year, Same Me?

I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions. I don’t like them because I don’t keep them and I don’t keep them because the pressure to make and keep them becomes too much and I end up saying fuck it at least a week into the new year. The act of making resolutions for me is mostly for show, to appear to be like other human beings, but I gave that up for Lent* one year and never looked back.

So I came into this year the same way I’ve come into the past five or six or seven years – with a renewed sense of optimism for what the days might bring, but with no plan on how to be a better or different person or to adjust my lot in life. I’m the living Kermit meme.

Nigga hush.

I might have to change that though.

Wait, let’s let the lightning strike and the thunder rumble and finish getting your chuckles out.

Don’t worry, I’m not making resolutions, because again, there’s just a bit too much pressure with trying to achieve them, especially if you put a timeframe on it like I am prone to do. But there are old habits that I need to break, old patterns of behavior that once again I need to reexamine how they fit into my life at this point in time (spoiler alert: they fucking don’t).

Stay tuned.

The 2019 Bored Ambition Master Plan

It’s finally the end of 2018 and a few days before my 30th birthday, and as many of my ilk – the goal oriented yet jaded, underemployed super millenials- have done or are in the process of doing, I have devised my master plan for 2019, the list of hopefully attainable goals that I will achieve within the upcoming 365 days. Because I am such believer in sharing is caring, I am going to outline to you all what exactly those goals all, so that maybe you, my audience, can keep me accountable, because remember, these goals affect the trajectory that this site will go in.

Without further ado:

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I’m Sick of Nostalgia

Part of The Dirty 30

This post is going to be hypocritical, as I too have waxed poetic over the favorite things from my childhood. Power Rangers, Space Cases, the Fox Kids weekday and weekend lineup, Nickelodeon on Friday and Saturday nights, the beginnings of both Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel, BET, MTV’s Rock N Jock Baseball, Daria, you get the idea. The 1990s were a hell of a decade in human history, and those of us who lived as children in them are now approaching or are in our 30s.

We washed y’all.

What comes with age and the further progression of time is the tendency to look back fondly on those years; I happen to see those years with a golden aura around them. Considering the state that this country is in, the future is bleak and the present is complete bullshit; therefore, many of us, aided and abetted by like minds on social media are able to relive those moments from our childhood and reminisce about how good everything was back then and how we wish we could go back and have it all be so simple.

Fuck that.

I don’t want to go back and be a child in the 1990s. I don’t want to to it. I refuse.

For one thing, common sense says that shit was just as foul then as they are now. We just had a few radicalized white men send mail bombs and open fire in synagogue recently; in the 1990s, we had Waco, Ruby Ridge and the Oklahoma City Federal building bombing. The government fucked up the Middle East then just like they continue to do now. The nations of Africa were still struggling from the effects of colonization then and now and Black Americans people were no closer to being “there” that we are now. People were getting killed every fucking day. We just barely had a 24-hour news cycle reporting on it and grown folk didn’t allow us to be in their whack ass business.

Speaking of grown folks…listen. I know paying bills and being responsible sucks. I know. But if that’s what I have to do so that I don’t have to depend on grown folks to look out for my well-being, then so be it. I don’t want to go back to being a dependent. If that’s your MO, then by all means, go back and do it. I’m good luv, enjoy.

Finally, how much of the shit from the 90s did I actually enjoy and didn’t just watch because it was expected that I watch and enjoy them? I just recently revealed that I didn’t like Living Single. A show about a group of women living in a 90s kind of world and glad to have one another just didn’t mesh with me. That shit was on every week in my household though because it was a Black ass show. Maybe I’m simple. Even the stuff that I did enjoy, I’m not about to sit and watch that shit today. I’m not going out of my way to find or wait for The Splat on Teen Nick to air the Mega Diaper Babies episode of Rugrats. The reruns of Martin and The Wayans Bros. on MTV and BET were cool for all of five seconds. I stopped somewhere in the middle of Power Rangers Zeo on Netflix and haven’t been back yet. It’s not just a time thing, it’s a I don’t care to relive this shit thing and also a I just don’t enjoy consuming television and films like I used to* thing.

We get so wrapped up in the past and and remember things as being so much better than they actually were. That shit does not do you any favors and if you’re someone like me who is prone to bouts of depression, then you don’t need to linger on things that you cannot go back and experience again, or change. Again, I know the present sucks and it doesn’t look like there’s too much to look forward to. Truthfully, we’re kind of stuck in that regard. The past is gone, the present is a mess and the future is uncertain. For many of us, nostalgia is a salve, soothing over the current battle wounds, carrying us to relief in the future. Maybe I’m just a sucker for pain.

 

 

 

*How am I going to be a filmmaker without wanting to watch films and TV shows though?
Follow the photog on Instagram @bladvagacian

 

 

Cover Letter 3

Dear Mr./Ms. I’m Too Good to Tell You I Won’t Hire You,
I am writing in response to the job that you’ve posted on this job board. I see that the job has been posted for 30+ days, so you must not be finding what you want, or are just doing this for reporting purposes and will close this job without hiring, so I figure I don’t have anything to lose.
I say that because I don’t have the experience you’re looking for. Instead of spending the last five years doing what you’re looking for, I’ve spent the last five years taking various levels of abuse from customers and incompetent managers alike. While I may not be able to do many of the listed job functions without a bit of training that your organization no longer provides, I can communicate effectively, without breaking out into curse words; I am able to find busy work to occupy eight hours of time since you don’t like for people to work from home or have a four-hour work day; my mind is sharp until I have a mental breakdown and I’m a quick learner, but y’all don’t really care about that shit.
Anyway, my customer service laden resume is enclosed and I typed out all of this shit in the application again. If you made it this far, congratulations. I am looking forward to your computer generated rejection email.
Regards,
D. Simpson

Cover Letter 2

Dear Mr./Ms. Fuck Face McGee,

I’m interested in the job you’ve posted.

However, I don’t have any of the experience you’re looking for, nor the education. But I have balls. I’m a quick learner if you’re actually willing to train, or hell, give me a book to study. Help me help you. I don’t want to go back to customer service, those people are insane. And I keep getting pulled back in, it’s like Pookie from New Jack City, they keep calling me and calling me.

Anyway, just consider it. You might be surprised.

Regards,

Me

Cover Letter 1

This is the first in a series of cover letters I wish I could send to employers, and obviously the angriest one.

Dear Mr./Ms. Whoever You Are,

I’m not really excited about this opening for this position that you have posted, but this is the game we have to play.
I don’t have any of the experience nor education that you are seeking. I got a degree where my options for employment with it are perpetual student and I don’t want to do that because there’s no money in that, and the whole point of me even writing this and wasting both of our time is so that I can get money. It’s a degree that I got so that I could have a degree, so that I wouldn’t be stuck to one thing for the rest of my life while I chased dreams of a life of leisure, I mean, filmmaking.
All of my experience involves me taking bullshit from other people and judging by the vague ass description of the job you posted, I feel like I will be able to do that for you in spades. Need me to get yelled at by angry people? I got you. Need me to do busy work to justify you paying me to sit or stand around for eight hours? I got you. Do you need a face for your customers to slap in lieu of slapping yours? I got you. I can do all of that shit without training me or having me learn on the job, because you don’t want to do that anymore.
But I don’t have 80 years of experience in filing documents or answering phones for a particular self-important individual or using a scanner/copier/face or being a typist or running after kids, but I know I can do this goofy shit. Matter of fact, I received an award for Excellence in Doing Goofy Ass Shit from the National Association for Leveraging Goofy Ass Shit (NALGAS) two years in a row.
That’s on my resume, which is also attached to the application that you still made me fill out with all the shit on my resume. I would like to interview as soon as you receive this application, because I’m broke and candles, food, crochet and tarot don’t pay for themselves. You have my info, call me.
Regards,
Disgruntled Rapper

 

I Don’t Know What I Want to Do

Picture perfect, I paint a perfect picture*…

I live in the South now. Louisiana to be precise. It’s a long way away from the creative bubble that Los Angeles, my hometown, is. I thought I wanted to be part of that bubble and for some time, I worked to gain access to that bubble – I minored in film and television at UCLA, attended a trade program in new media production after college, spent countless hours, sacrificed numerous trees in writing down my ideas, moved around on the outskirts of Hollywood. Now those pages sit colleting dust, my Canon T4i that I received as part of my tuition package sits on a shelf, this blog even sits unattended to for nearly a year….

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