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Virgil's Muse
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{Monday, March 31, 2003}

My job is so boring. It's not challenging at all, unless you count seeing how much tedium I can handle in one day. The things I'll put up with for a buck. I'm such a whore. You know, I wish I were a whore. I don't do it for the money. I do it because I'm too damn chickenshit and lazy to quit and find a job I like better. I'm so not detail oriented. I'm much more field dependent, which I think is an equally, if not more, desirable trait in an employee. big pictures and such.

allecto | 4:02 PM
I feel good today. I took a walk at lunch. I cleaned last night. Put away the humidifier for the season. Talked about the future with the S.O. All’s good. I feel like my life’s on track for the first time in a long time. I am so seasonally dysphoric. What’s up with that? All of the sudden, I don’t have to wear my winter coat anymore and I’m all optimistic and not depressed. Sometimes I swear I have no feelings. It’s all just chemicals. If I’m feeling frustrated or antsy or lethargic, I just blame it on hormones or the weather.

It took me a long time to get over the denial. When I was younger, first experiencing the joys of PMS, I would get all upset and paranoid. I would think that everyone was picking on me. Every little thing was a direct attack. It was awful. As my PMS got less random, I got used to apologizing for being so bitchy after I realized I had been unreasonable. But it is still horrible to feel things, real hurt, real anger, real pain, and know that those feelings are completely unfounded. It diminishes the value of every other emotion I have. My feelings have cried wolf.

Emotions can be seen as a byproduct of or a reaction to an actual real event. However, hormones and chemical imbalances produce phantom emotions that aren't realted to anything. It’s all just another manifestation of the fact that we live our entire lives in our brains. Reality exists nowhere else. This still doesn’t alleviate the incongruence caused by the phantom pheelings. It’s like going through the day without my contact lenses. Except it’s hard to tell when I’ve got the lenses on and when I don’t because the phantom emotions feel so much like the real thing. I guess this might explain why, in a surprisingly unfeminine way, I fall back on logic to make most of my arguments. I just don’t trust my emotions to tell me the truth. I don’t like being jerked around and made to feel like an idiot on top of the insanity itself.

I wonder how it must feel to have an enormous chemical imbalance like being bipolar. It's got to feel like you're watching a different movie than everybody else. Like everything you feel is wrong. like the only thing that's real is the fear and the confusion. because it is.

i guess anti-depressants can help in situations like that, but i feel that these days everybody takes zoloft or prozac or ritalin like they were vitamins. A few people I am quite close to have been off and on these sort of drugs for a long time. And it just seems to me that a lot of their problems are temporary. the normal stresses of life. I get stressed out. I have panic attacks. I get depressed. I also get happy and silly and intense and passionate. I think using chemicals to balance a system we don't fully understand is like amputation. It's a very broad brush. I have always thought that people who went to therapy were just fooling themselves. Paying someone to tell them everything's ok again. Overanalyzing the emotion will only distort it and turn it into some sterilized object of study, like a psychological Heisenberg principle.

Now I've gone and made myself depressed again. Bring on the full spectrum lamps!

allecto | 3:24 PM

{Friday, March 28, 2003}

so i was exploring the blogger community, and i happened upon the "recently updated" list of blogs on the blogger homepage. i clicked on catharsis cause it sounded cool. His blog is a personal journal, which i guess a lot of people's are, but i felt like i was seeing something i shouldn't. i read a little, but i still feeling like i was spying. what's the rule here? am i invading his privacy because i read something personal, or is there an understanding that once you offer your thoughts to the ether, it's there for everyone and anyone to see? im conflicted. he has little comment links (not a single post however). i want to write a comment, tell him i agree or disagree with his thoughts. tell him i think he's interesting reading. but what if the comment links are just for his friends and family. i dont want to invade, this weird stranger poking around in his rhetorical world. im not this painfully shy in real life. i thought most people got braver on the internet. i guess i just never learned my netiquette.

allecto | 3:09 PM
I was going to go on a big rant about how people don't think for themselves, but it's raining and I'm tired, and I just don't have the fire to write a clever piece today. I feel like cuddling by a fire with chocolate cake and bailey's.

allecto | 2:00 PM

{Thursday, March 27, 2003}

What the hell is up with this MSNBC: World Reax shit? Is that supposed to be a pun? Is it hip to spell things phonetically now? Or is it just cool to use lots of X's?

allecto | 4:03 PM
A word about Democracy.

I hate that we brainwash people into thinking that the only viable government type is democracy. I hate that people are willing to die for some abstract notion of “democracy.” I hate that we are willing to kill to protect said abstract notion. How can a system that encourages corruption, incompetency, and mass-manipulation be worth all that? I am familiar with the least-of-all-evils rebuttal, and while valid, I still refuse to accept that one form of government is appropriate for all situations and nations. Suffer my exposition.

So democracy is great because it allows all citizens to participate in the creation of the rules that govern them. This is, in theory, a fabulous idea. It strikes a nice balance between the alienation of a dictatorship and the uber-agency of anarchy. In other words, you don’t have people thinking they have no say in their lives, but you don’t have everyone running around doing their own thing, either. So yay for democracy. But it’s not that simple. The problem is that people are stupid. They’re also very easily influenced. So people don’t always make choices that are in their best interest. Even assuming that people will act in their own best interest, they will rarely make choices that are in the best interest of the community as a whole. People follow leaders blindly. They don’t like to make decisions. They don’t have the training, the information, or the vision to decide.

Not only that, but in a large community, such as a nation, it is virtually impossible to have every citizen vote on ever matter. So let’s elect representatives to make some decisions for us. Now we have a republic. Yay U.S. you’re a republic. (Which, incidentally, is the reason that Al Gore did not win the 2000 election. (I’m talking to you, Michael Moore.) But this only leads to the elected taking advantage of the fact that the public is not educated and easily convinced. Unions. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. FOX News. Everyone has an agenda, and it’s easy to use the voters as pawns in the game.

Is democracy always the least of all evils? I don’t think so. Take a large, diverse country like China. They have a billion people. They have several distinct ethnic groups. They have very little arable land compared to their population. I do not think that democracy would work in China. The human rights abuses by their current government are obviously a bad thing, but somewhere there has to be a compromise. Maybe you have to say that couples may only have one child, for the good of the nation, so as not to strain the limited resources. Maybe you have to make some rules that are stricter than those in other, more prosperous countries. Do I think that every Chinese citizen should have a say in their own government? No. Do I think they should be free to express their ideas and opinions and be free to leave the country if they wish? Yes.

I think that every citizen should have the opportunity to lead, no matter what their station, but I don’t think that the general public is qualified to judge who should lead and who shouldn’t. I certainly feel that some people are not qualified, either to lead or to vote. How many times have you looked at your ballot and not had a clue who some of the candidates were. Are you really making choices in your interest? How much does political party even tells us, now that everybody’s either a moderate or a looney? Most people are sheep. They do what the TV tells them to do, feel how the TV tells them to feel. Very few people have the maturity and education to really know what policies are best overall. I’m not arguing for any Platonic philosopher kings… But, well, maybe I am. Like a board of trustees for the country. People who have the country and its citizen’s best interests at heart, but who don’t have the fear of reelection to keep them from making the tough decisions.

Checks and balances are important, though. The citizens could impeach a trustee if they voted a super-majority to do so, or something like that. All trustee meeting minutes would be public domain. A constitution and bill of rights that could not be changed without a popular vote. Like little institutionalized coups. I don’t know the specifics, I'm just talking out of my ass at this point, but you get the gist. I just see all these idiot congressmen and I wonder what idiots continue to elect them year after year. All these people who can’t even point to the U.S. on a map being given the privilege to vote. Perhaps most poignantly, selfish people who don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves and their pocketbooks being entrusted with the well being of millions.

allecto | 2:29 PM

{Wednesday, March 26, 2003}

Welcome to my blog!

If you don't like philosophizing, you won't like my blog. I intend this to be not so much a journal or a diary, but a place where I organize my political and philosophical ideas. I don't purport to know anything. I don't think that my ideas are more valid than anyone else's. I will misspell things all over the place. I will use funky capitalization. I might contradict myself. I might change my mind. I might even say something profound. If you happen upon this spot, which apparently you have, feel free to shoutout, tell me what you think. I will probably respond by telling you why you are wrong and stupid. but maybe i'll learn something.

I was inspired to create a web log after reading Salam Pax's blog "Where is Raed?" A voice rising out of Baghdad amid the black smoke and AAAs. Salam is an Iraqi. Normal by western standards, maybe not by Iraqi standards. Unwittingly, he speaks honestly for a nation that has become associated only with lies and deception. A kid who could be any one of us in the way he thinks and feels and the way he expresses himself all of the sudden has something important to say. something that made the entire world find him. his message spread like Rumor, first among fellow bloggers, then to the mainstream media. He hasn't posted in a few days. But we just bombed the ministry of information that may well have held the servers that he dialed into. After the fighting subsides, there will be millions of Iraqi voices, nothing to distinguish his but timing, giving him the privilege of having talk shows all over the US fighting for the right to let him tell his story in person. I guess what I'm getting at is that there are billions of voices out there, who knows when yours may be the one with something important to say.

Do you know what an advertising agency would do to create the kind of stickiness that Salam has. He's got everything; he's edgy, current, interesting, and as of now, there's only one of him. I want a "Where's Raed" t-shirt.

allecto | 11:08 AM