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Sethomas Sethomas is offline
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Old Nov 6th, 2007, 02:45 AM        I think I'll rant for a little bit, okay?
when i was in fourth grade
There was a feel-goody poster on the wall
it told a story about thousands of starfish being washed up on a beach by the tide
some guy was walking along, throwing them back in the ocean
someone asked him what difference it made to throw one goddamn starfish back into the ocean when there were too many for him to possibly get them all
his response was, "it makes all the difference in the world to this one"
i'm lame, so i've been trying to take that to heart
but you know what?
i'm tired of fucking throwing starfish back into the ocean
i wanna blow up the fucking moon so there aren't tides any more in the first place

This was reflecting thoughts germinating from a post I made a few days ago on Live Journal, which one might find here: http://community.livejournal.com/theologia/125901.html

I’m in a position where I’m looking at a long stay away from academics that will probably last until next summer. So, I guess I have to look inwards a bit. Doing this reminded me that I am, in fact, extremely pissed off at the world. Maybe I paid too much attention to the missionaries that would visit during mass, maybe I paid too much attention when I visited the United Nations before 11.09.2001. If you hadn’t noticed by now, the world is a crock of shit. In the realm of hundreds of dollars, tens of thousands of people could be given a modest meal of beans and water. But, they won’t get it, so tens of thousands of people are going to starve to death today.

It is a huge fucking crisis of self-actualization for my family and me to dump thousands of dollars into my “future” while there are far better uses of those funds in the third world. I tell myself that hopefully it’s an investment for the greater good, that maybe if I plug $1 into myself today then maybe I’ll be able to pay $2 to the world tomorrow.

At the same time, what pisses me off the most is that nobody else seems to be pissed off. It’s as if there’s a point where a problem gets so huge that it becomes okay to ignore it. I’d love to conquer the world, put an end to poverty, uncleanliness and toil. Realistically, I have too many skeletons in my closet to ever get anywhere near public office, and my main point that nobody gives a shit would undermine any possibility of that anyways.

But if I were emperor or the First World, you know what I’d do? I’d find all the billionaires and hundreds-of-millionaires and tax them to the point where they couldn’t take a shit without financing a new house for someone that needs it. I’d take that money and I’d build complexes in the Third World where the poor could live in clean and safe conditions while working to produce products for the first world that would give them a glimpse of what life is like outside of squalor. And these complexes would educate them at all levels so that someday they could leave and actually live the life of someone in the twenty-fucking-first century. These complexes would be huge enough to be fiscally successful while benefiting human beings by the thousands.

I’m not a genius, but in a world of six billion, geniuses should be twelve for ten cents. I doubt it’d be very hard for someone to come along and say that my idea sucks. But, if someone’s going to do that then they should at least come up with a better idea. I’m sure there’s hundreds of possibilities out there to take the world and make it at least slightly less of a shithole. I know what a ten-day hunger feels like, but I sure as fuck have no clue what a thirty-day hunger feels like without the reassurance that food will be there whenever I feel like eating. Scores of thousands of people DO know what that feels like. In a global economy that floats in the tens or hundreds of trillion dollar neighborhood, I’m sure feeding the teeming millions wouldn’t put that much of a dent in our lives. People still read Adam Smith’s 1776 textbook that says we should feel good about buying a Ferrari instead of a Porsche to round out our nine-car garage because it better increases “universal opulence”. Yeah, well Eli Whitney was convinced that he was doing the slaves a favor by inventing the cotton gin. If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, laissez-faire capitalism has built an interstate so far up Satan’s ass that he’s digesting it.

At center stage is the United States, a land where the only way you could expect a statistically significant number of the citizenry to learn where a foreign country is located is to start bombing it. A country where we can spit on the legacy of France in spite of their role in our foundation because we saved their asses in WWII. If you even suspect that this isn’t true when one considers the fact that Hitler had twice as many troops allocated on the Eastern Front than against the Americans during the apex of the war, or that roughly fifty Russians died fighting the Nazis for every one American that died in the war, then you can fuck yourself all the way to Gitmo for letting the terrorists win.

It’s one thing for me to be eaten alive by giving a shit without the power to affect any change. It’s a huge other thing for that to happen while nobody else gives a shit.
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Last edited by Sethomas : Aug 13th, 2009 at 04:15 PM.
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Preechr Preechr is offline
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Old Nov 6th, 2007, 02:59 AM       
I think you're wrong on your solutions as far as the taxation of certain people, but other that that, I'm right there with you, brother...
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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Sethomas Sethomas is offline
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Old Nov 6th, 2007, 07:47 AM       
Well, I came up with an alternative idea to raise capital. And you know what? It's the best goddamn idea any fuckface has ever come up with to solve world hunger as far as I know. Find out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQNSHHdc0Fo !!
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Perndog Perndog is offline
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Old Nov 6th, 2007, 08:20 AM       
"I am without the power to effect any change."

Make some money. Make millions of dollars. Maybe billions It's possible. You're bright and sound like you have a pocketful of quarters to get started with. Rich people had to become rich somehow, and not all of them just inherited it. Then start financing cheap housing and food and effect some damn change. You're only powerless as long as you keep telling yourself and everyone else that you are instead of just fucking doing something about it.

I didn't listen to your video because I'm at work. Sorry. But I don't think I'd like the idea anyway.
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Sethomas Sethomas is offline
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Old Nov 6th, 2007, 08:27 AM       
Actually, I think you would like it a whole lot.
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Preechr Preechr is offline
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Old Nov 6th, 2007, 11:53 PM       
Ok... I got about halfway through and read the summary. Maybe George Soros is up for a little bloodsport?
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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DeadKennedys DeadKennedys is offline
No sir, I don't like it
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Old Nov 7th, 2007, 01:28 AM       
I went through the starfish-chucking, pissed-off-that-no-one-cares-about-the-inhumanity stage too. I grew out of it, for better or for worse.

Call me a heartless bastard, but this is just how the world works. We're animals. We can care deeply and fight to the death for our loved ones. Hell, it's in our blood, you don't have to be taught that. Think of your lover or mother getting hurt - your blood starts to boil, doesn't it? It's a base instinct that someone is trespassing into your domain. Are you gonna donate half your paycheck or lay your life on the line for a starving kid you never met? You could suck it up and do it, but in your heart, you don't really care for the guy, you're just entertaining the idea of empathy.

At the end of the day, whether you're you or me or Bono or Cheney, we're working to put food on the table for us and out families. Everyone else comes second, if at all.

Sure is depressing, huh? My parents took care of each other and me, and I'll do the exact same thing. I'm an animal. I can sleep well and happy at night about that.

My eyes used to well up with tears when I saw that picture of that skinny African boy, dead from hunger, feet from an aid station, with a vulture eying his every move. Maybe yours still do, for better or for worse
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Perndog Perndog is offline
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 09:45 AM       
Ok, I'll check out the video when I'm at home tonight.
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 10:33 AM       
You are not alone in your anger or feelings of hopelessness, although you may well be in the minority. Still, here's what I have to offer. Simple stuff I think about when I feel overwhelmed.

You are alive. You are experiencing life, and I think that this is as close to an absolute good as there is, and mostly I don't believe in absolute goods.

The fact that it often hurts, maybe more often than not, doesn't change this. As far as we know during life, it's all there is. We will each stop experiencing it in a relatively short period of time, so pay attention.

You will decide what to do with your life.

On the global scale, it will make almost no difference if you throw back one star fish, or one million, or none, or stomp on six and eat ten. You are one member of a vast heard species.

How you decide to deal or not deal with the starfish during your brief span on earth is what you will do with your life, the very center of your experience.

Of all of that I'm fairly certain. Now I'll tell you what I guess. Your experience is a tiny sliver of God's sensory aparatus. It is how it observes itself. For your one tiny part, what do you want from God? How many starfish would you like God to experience throwing back?

At this point in my life, I desire a God that experiences laughter and loves my daughters. I want this particularly as I believe Gods time to see through peoples eyes, compared to say, whatever it means to be a planet or a star is very, very brief. My personal time as part of Gods sensory aparatus is almost non existant.

Sometimes I wish I was more drawn to getting God to pay more attention to starfish, because honestly, I think God ought to be all about starfish. But I am who I am at this moment, and without me, God would never read my jokes or see my daughters through my eyes.

God has many experiments going besides us, before, after and at the same time. decide what to do with your piece of this one, and then decide again, and then again, until you die.

Oh, and lots of times? I get too angry or bored or I have a headache or something I like is on TV or I want a candybar and I forget to think like this. But God probably needs to experience anger and candybars too.
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Jeanette X Jeanette X is offline
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 11:40 AM       
That's deep, Max, it really is.

Seth: I often feel the same way. I too, want to blow up the moon so there won't be any more tides. But one person can't save the world, its too big a job for one person. But we can make a difference. You may not be able to run for office, but there are jobs out there that pay decently and help heal the world.

Sure, there are plently of people who don't give a shit. But there are plently who really, really do, and you aren't the only one, although it may seem that way. The important thing is to let yourself burn out and give into apathy. EVER.

Maybe I'm a naive young idealist. I probably am. So what? I'm still going to stand there chucking starfish, even if other people laugh at me while they surf.
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Grislygus Grislygus is offline
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Old Nov 8th, 2007, 05:13 PM       
I didn't read any of the responses, don't intend to put in any worthwhile philosophical dialogue.

However, I just wanted you to know that at least one person out there immediately got the Bad Religion reference.
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Slinky Ferret Slinky Ferret is offline
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 06:28 PM        Thoughts
I know how Seth feels, it seems some of my friends and perhaps a fair majority of people seem to just exist for themselves in a little bubble, whilst others go out and work for charities for months and years and help people or achieve amazing things through other ways.

I'd like to think that my parents brought me up to appreciate what I had and consider other people. Of course this caused some friction at school when I would have huge rants about the injustice of the world in exams!

However, I realised when I went to Nigeria last year, that you cannot help everyone. If I had given money to every beggar I would have had none! I gave them bread instead and whilst over here, if you give a beggar food they normally keep it to themselves or share it with their dog, the Nigerian's even in poverty thought of others and shared the little they received.

I learnt many humbling lessons during three weeks out there. The first is, it's amazing how much we have to be thankful for, clean water, good healthcare and education, freedom to travel etc. Maybe, my dear Seth, you are setting your sights too high at present. Sometimes it's the little things that can make a huge difference to people. A smile, a hug, someone to listen to. You can change the world by being yourself and using your strengths to help other people. Or you can just stay in a bubble and have a comfortable and easy life surrounded by material possessions.

p.s. sorry if this makes no sense, I'm really tired!
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