Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Seeing is Believing

Wouldn’t it be nice to just know when somebody told you something it was absolutely true?  Always? Belief in people. 

And yet there’s a reason the info we get is so twisted and false and fluffed.  We want to believe each other.  Still?  Yes.  We don’t want to apply the filter to everything the other person is saying.  Pride and self-confidence will and often do muddle the truth, but mostly it’s word of mouth that spreads false news faster than light speed.  News spreads quicker than ever these days.  That goes for things that are actually happening like huge country crushing natural disasters, and things that aren’t happening like “no child left behind”.  So many are so left behind…and yet we trust in such things.  For some of us it’s a day job that fuels ambition.  Others, it’s that thing that pumps blood through their body.  What is that thing called again?

There are promises of a better health care system, more money for teachers and schools, creating jobs here instead of outsourcing to other countries…and I think when they are promised by a politician you trust, you still believe it.  And then, nothing happens.  America is the ever-plunging sinking ship that is taking forever to sink.  And yet more people keep hopping on board to see if they can bail this beautiful boat out.  Why?  And others hop on to raid it, abuse it and leave it still sinking and manipulated.  I guess this is my patriotic cynicism coming out.  A rare thing.

Living in Berkeley is exciting to me.  One of my best friends is tired of this place.  Tired of the snooty upright self entitled smug middle upper class that does infest more and more of the “neat” places here.  Even the dive bars have retrofitted themselves for the “elites”.  But Jade’s school has introduced me to a cross section of Berkeley that I really love.  Maybe I got lucky.  The majority of the parents I see, meet, and know, have ended up some of the most genuine, understanding and down to earth yet creative people I’ve ever met.  In other words I’m pretty happy with the general population here.  Maybe it’s the shared respect and sympathy of parenting that bond us.  Maybe it’s the fact we’re stuck with each other for the duration of our children’s education and we don’t want to piss each other off.  Personally, I know there are options for the hermit parent, but what I witness is a real blend of kids and parents that humbles the pompous and elevates the meek.  I’ll never let Jade learn to drive in this crazy city, but there’s definitely a richer environment here than say the suburbs of San Jose where I grew up.

I surely learned to be a better human from my experiences growing up in schools with kids from every ethnicity and religion.  That, I’ll never take for granted.  I wasn’t supposed to go to the high school I went to.  My uncle’s home was in the zone for a much better school than where my home was.  Recently his house burnt down to nothing.  Huge electrical fire.  He barely got out with his pants on.  When I saw him soon after, he wasn’t shaken or weak, just a bit surprised that everything was gone and everything the house held was a loss.  I told him that I was still very thankful for the education I received due to using his address.  Something that was not lost.  A little self centered, but I think it made him feel better.

Independence High school had more than 4000 students.  It was meant to be a college, but I don’t know what the fuck happened.  It ended up a high school with two Olympic sized pools, diving platform, huge campus with admin driving around in golf carts to get around, and a planetarium.  I met some of my best friends there.  They are more family at this point.  Also had some life changing teachers.  A math teacher that taught me more about life and respect and ambition than well, math.  Freshman year I was failing.  By senior year I was surely not valedictorian but surely excited about writing and reading.

All is not wrong with the world.  If shit news spreads like hot peanut butter on sandpaper, then we still have some hope.  Are we not just desperate?  Do we just hear enough so we can claim such breaking news so we each can claim the “intelligent cool king crown of current events”?  That’s a half-full/empty thing I believe.

I think people still weren’t totally sure the earth was round until the first set of human eyes saw earth from outer space and conveyed that truth to the rest of us.  Only then did we know.  We believed previously, but we didn’t know.  The validity of human experience and how we convey our journeys and lessons to each other is crucial in the success of our species.  Positive tone, negative tone, weird strange pauses in conversations, chemical imbalances, and the overall still-in-place survival of the fittest thing no human can let go of.  We can really annoy the fuck out of each other.  Now, there’s a lot of meatheaded businessmen who have changed our views of “fittest”.  We’ve evolved into desk gorillas.  It’s not how fast you can run and hunt, but how well you can thump your chest in front of others from a cubicle desk.  Even in the office environment I’ve seen the best and worst of people.  I’ve seen the best of the worst people and the worst of the best.  Dedication and loyalty.  I’ve seen such contrast and hypocrisy within all people at this point.

Marriage and the state it’s in as an idea in is serious jeopardy.  Divorce is a tangible option for many.  Nearly my whole family stayed married through thick and thin.  It’s what I knew.  I saw it work and I believed in it.  Still do.  More than a god.  Grandparents, my parents, aunts and uncles…it wasn’t a choice to fuck over your loved one. It was belief and trust and fighting for someone that always had your back.   Real love.  Not the love that was forced down my generation’s throats through Disney, John Hughes and TV sitcoms. Divorce wasn’t even on the radar with my family.  Some hippie shithead may say it’s better to get on with your life and not be monogamous for too long.  I find myself being that hippie shithead all the time.

I’ve reread some of my previous posts and yeah I know nothing I say is new.  Everything I express has been documented by someone in one way or another.  I do this for me.  I rant, I edit, I post.  In the end, Jade may want to read this and imagine who I was at this juncture in my life.  Maybe not, but mostly, I read this shit.  I know what I experience, I know my reality.  I believe in a higher power.  That higher power is us and our future.  It’s who we aren’t...yet.