After long debate…

Figured I’d actually put this up after all. Wrote it back in July and it’s been sitting as a draft since. Easier using this as a response to some of the feedback on my latest episode of MoM than keep having to type it out…

July 4th was two weeks ago. Our nation’s birthday, the moment in time when we officially broke off from the tyranny of England for what we felt at the time was their unfair taxation. A 2% tax. 239 years later though we have no problem with our own government asking for 5% on everything we purchase, or 25% on what we make, can’t forget the 15% states need on that income, another tax on what you already own, list goes on ad nauseam- and yes those numbers vary depending on where you live. More and more of our money is going to balance a budget on which we get little say because our representatives know what’s best for us. Our country’s revolution was built on the motto “No taxation without representation”. Yet we’re allowing it happen every day.

What kind of say do we really get in where this money is going? It’s constantly leaving our pockets and bank accounts and from there…. Our infrastructure is decaying. For all the talk of how much welfare and out reach programs there are, why are there still so many people living poverty or on the streets? Look at how much is dumped into the war effort, and what as a country have we gained from it? The middle east is still fighting one another, as it has been since before America became a country. No real progress has been made. We’re still using the same power supply as we have been since the early 1900’s, still use combustion engines, list goes on. Our lives haven’t changed much at all from our ancestors of only 4 generation prior, save we now have more things to keep our minds occupied off what’s really going on. Rome had the coliseum to keep it’s populace from focusing on the shortcomings of their “Leaders”. We have internet, smart phones, cable, Netflix, Hulu, think you get the point. Every day I see more and more people buried in their respective screen of choice and ignoring the world around them. There are more ways to keep your attention off what really matters than ever in recorded history…

The latest generation gets a lot of flak for it’s apathetic outlook, but few have stopped to ask the simple question of why. Could it be we have a whole group of young adults who are not happy with how this country is run and the status quo? I don’t like their views when it comes to comedy and speech, but I can’t help but think they might be right that this life shouldn’t be such a struggle. Just look at how much food is wasted every day by not being sold by their expiration date instead of going to a family or individual who needs it. We’ve become a society of waste and greed.

The worst part is we allow this behavior to go on. No one wants to rock the proverbial boat. We accept this is the way it is and keep ourselves quiet. Voting is only part of the fix. The whole system needs a shake up from top to bottom. You can vote all day long, but the people those votes put into office then go on their own agenda, they do what serves them and what will line their pockets. Why do corporations too big to fail get bailed out? Because they were why that representative was in office in the first place, funding their campaign and buying their vote. We say it on Vapor Reporter all the time, it is always about the money. It shouldn’t be. People should matter more. History shows us though just how little we care when it comes to people in this country. From the killing of its indigenous population, to the indentured servitude and slavery, to the fact we said no we won’t take your Jewish refugees Germany before “The Final Solution”… We talk a great game about caring for people, but that’s all it is in the end- talk.

We live in a time where we could have true democracy. No representative but yourself. Even the homeless have cell phones, use that technology to allow every person to vote on every bill. Would be a lot easier to get things passed and implement changes when there will no longer be any dog ears and pork projects thrown on to a bill about speeding for example. There would be no one person’s agenda to be fulfilled in order to make a law pass, it would be true majority rule. It would be a government for the people by the people again for the betterment of all, not just a few. It’s why I’m actually looking forward to the 2016 election. As of right now Bernie Sanders is leading Hillary by a few points in the early polls, and Trump is leading the republican party. We’ll get systematic change one way or the other. Either the people of the country will speak and say we want true representation from our elected officials, or that it is all just a Hollywood production and since we can’t elect the Terminator as Commander and Chief we’ll go with a reality TV star…. But what do I know, I’m just an idiot behind a keyboard or mic….

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Sometimes a song is more than a song…

Call it whatever you will- coincidence, fate, dilutional thinking, really don’t care. When something major shifts in my life, one of the many bands I happen to be a big fan of finds a way to word it in a song better than I ever could. It’s like the soundtrack has been written before the movie so to speak. Emperor’s “With Strength I burn” was probably the first instance of this happening. I was 15, did everything my own way without a regard to what was right or wrong and gave zero shits on the consequences. “Even though I nothing learned, with strength I burned” summed up my teenage years to a T, though it still fits me to this day so not sure if I ever have really grown up since then… R.E.M.’s “New Test Leper” was from the same time period and in the same vein. I had just been told by my childhood friend of 10 years that I was a horrible person and would burn in hell because of my beliefs and what music I listened to (King Diamond specifically), even though nothing had changed about me since we first met except now my views were out in the open, two weeks prior to the release of New Adventures in HiFi. Like with “Strength I Burn” it remains a core song or anthem to my life. Both are one on my funeral playlist along with many others mention and not mentioned in this post (people will need music to listen to as they throw my rotting newspaper wrapped corpse from a moving vehicle after all).

There’s been many a song that hit just the right spot in my psyche during break ups. Bands like Counting Crows, R.E.M. again, Acheron, The Ravenous (“Dead, Cut Up, and Ready to Fuck” is the ultimate hate song for your ex, don’t care what anyone says), Iced Earth, list goes on filled those points. Perhaps none encapsulated better my feelings at the time than Barenaked Ladies album “Everything to Everyone” after the whole “Bitch” fiasco. “Testing 1-2-3” summed up every part of that relationship and it’s aftermath. Really the whole album could have been the soundtrack to that entire moment of my life. It’s the same reason why Counting Crows song “August and Everything After” (yes there is a song, it’s lyrics are on the cover of the album, but the song is not) sums up much of my “dating” life…. “Crazy as a Good Thing” by ilyAIMY has been my wife and I’s song from the first time we heard it. ilyAIMY is our band, neither laying claim to them as their favorite as we do with King Diamond, Emperor, R.E.M. (all mine), Nirvana, Sister Hazel, and Ani Difranco (all her’s) for example.

Since 9/11/15 our life has been turned upside down. Becca lost her job, a few weeks later she’s pregnant, I start a new part time job, which becomes my full time after finally filing my emancipation papers from CVS, it becomes my part time again and now am working full time for a single restaurant 37-41 hours a week, think you get the picture. Nothing sums up how I’m feeling right now better than a song from Ben Fold’s latest album- “I’m not the Man”. Yet again the universe has provided the soundtrack…