Having attended several meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous over the last 18 days, I can confidently state that drunkards and drug addicts are the most selfish people on God’s favorite little planet.
To those of you who have to deal with us on a daily or even semi-regular basis, that is probably the most “duh” statement you’ve ever read.
And not that we haven’t heard if from you many times previously – but when you are cosseted and coddled in the impermeable womb of the Id, or the all-inclusive and permanent vacation destination of the “me”, noises from the outside are by design muffled and extraneous.
I mean what could they portend other than commotion and discomfort?
Of course it’s ironic that I would be discussing John Nampion and people like him when there are all sorts of other subjects that are of much more import (really?), but hey, I just can’t help myself.
I remember my Mom telling me all through my childhood, teen years, and now adulthood to “stop thinking about John”. After all, there are “lots of other people out there, and you have no idea what they are going through, so why don’t you just think a little bit about your fellow man instead of your next meal or nap?”
(Or beer, or sh*t, or whatever. Basic functions – don’t make it too complicated.)
And then she would slap my hand away from the meatloaf or roust me from the couch and ask me to help my Dad mow the lawn (he had only been out there for an hour), or assist my Brother-In-Law in moving a dresser from the basement to the upstairs. (Was that me he’d been calling?)
From the Big Book, page 62:
“Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.
“So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid. Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them even though we would have liked to. Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God’s help.”
You have to be in a pretty bad place to admit you can’t do anything about your pathetic (here it comes again) self. All those promises to quit drinking (pouring the vodka down the sink with your daughter watching you), to blog every day because people you respect say you have talent, to be fair and decent to the poor unfortunates who are forced to be in your company for hours a day, to start a new life: Early to rise, healthy, vibrant, appreciative of all the good things you have – nothing but flimsy matchsticks that never amalgamate into any sort of creation.
Hey, presto! Forget it…how about tomorrow?
I am floating in my cocoon…over the earth…I can now see out of it somewhat fuzzily, and hear bits and snatches too…. It is scary down there…lots going on…but if I just close my eyes and believe…that I can become part of it, and develop some interest in those who travel through it and live on it, well…God will let me join in. It will be chaotic and messy and have the occasional waft of decay and despair, but I have heard tell of such a thing as joy, too. I can’t bear to think of the next steps: Listing my wrongs on paper and sharing them with another person, and even worse, making amends to those I have harmed…please God, can I just worry about that another time? Right now the sensation is light and I am trying to muster the courage to go down there…or, I should say, to allow you to take away my burdens and bring me there yourself. We shall see….
GOING WITH THE FLOW
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him. . . .
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 96
The first words I speak when arising in the morning are, “I arise, O God, to do Thy will.” This is the shortest prayer I know and it is deeply ingrained in me. Prayer doesn’t change God’s attitude toward me; it changes my attitude toward God. As distinguished from prayer, meditation is a quiet time, without words. To be centered is to be physically relaxed, emotionally calm, mentally focused and spiritually aware.
One way to keep the channel open and to improve my conscious contact with God is to maintain a grateful attitude. On the days when I am grateful, good things seem to happen in my life. The instant I start cursing things in my life, however, the flow of good stops. God did not interrupt the flow; my own negativity did.
From the book Daily Reflections
© Copyright 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
It has been a long and circuitous road to the passage above.
I read it for the first time today.
Because I attended my first AA meeting today.
It was wryfully and quietly funny, almost a little poke in the belly from God, that the subject of blaming would come up in my inaugural 12-step meeting. After all, many people, from my boss to my ex-wife to my shrink to my employees to, most importantly, my kids, had been telling me for an exceedingly long time that I was angry and spiteful and hateful and full of rage at all the seeming injustices in my life, when in actuality it was my response to neutral, everyday events that was the problem.
Now intellectually I knew this. I am not a super-dumb guy by any means.
But man I am stubborn.
So when my boss would tell me that I was alienating my employees with my hair-trigger flash-point flare-ups (they weren’t listening, after all), why, I just blew him off. It was his fault anyway. He had put me in an untenable position where I was forbidden to piss any of them off but still needed to get production out of them but I couldn’t do that because they didn’t respect me because they were allowed to do whatever they wanted.
And besides, the office was going to shut down any day. We were the forgotten satellite site, the red-headed step child, it was only a matter of time, everyone had been talking about it for years and it was a foregone conclusion.
So why would I want to listen to him?
The ex-wife? She was just goading me. She did it all the time when we were married, and now she had the luxury of regular alimony checks and lots of free time to turn my children against me, at least when she wasn’t working those two jobs, so why not bust my balls just for the heck of it?
The shrink? He was supposed to be treating my eldest daughter for some “issues” (that I had no part in creating), but he was wondering why I wasn’t willing to change anything to meet halfway with her.
I would point to her when she would smirk and casually insult both of us, and ask him why would I do that? She lives on Planet Earth for one purpose only: To push my buttons and reduce me to a jiggling mess of manhood, a Mad King Ludwig, permanently banished to the lowest and meanest part of the castle.
(OK, I didn’t really say that, but it sounds kind of good I think.)
And the other two Children, well, the youngest daughter was piggy-backing off the elder, and the boy was just too “intellectually developed” to listen to anything I might want to say.
Besides: The house was always dirty, thanks to them.
All kidding aside, my life has gradually become a series of automatic, wrathful “reactions” to any and all stimuli that I take to be annoying, or in any way a “challenge” to my obvious good sense and correct way of thinking. The reactions have escalated over the last few years, and now come pretty regularly and dependably. The Shrink calls it the “Gunslinger” syndrome – he tells me I have created a neural pathway in my brain, and because I use it so often, it works really really well.
And so I rant at my kids – and others – and they become frustrated and lash back – and the cycle repeats itself.
Drink becomes the salve, the cooling balm for an overheated mind.
Of course the “relief” only works for a short period of time, and it actually creates a condition whereby the next day the smoking engine of my brain starts out at an even higher temperature.
This is not good news.
And there is no way to “control” any of it.
In fact, I recently told the shrink that I needed to learn to “control” my temper better, and he actually laughed at me – a harsh and almost sardonic cackle.
“You can’t control anything. Don’t you know that?”
He leaned forward, a crusty and commanding hulk of a man. He is older and balding, but he still has the remnant of a possibly rebellious youth – there is a white ponytail hanging down just behind the naked spot at the back of his head.
“No one can regulate anything in this world. All you can do is decide how to respond.
“But you can always make a decision – that’s the good news. You have to walk around that pathway you’ve developed, and take a different route, and let it gradually become overgrown and hard to walk down.”
(He actually did say that.)
Which brings us back to the passage at the top of this post: The hardest, the very hardest part for me will be to understand that I not only cannot stop the world from being what it is, not one iota, but to add the religious element (God as each of us understands him), I can’t even really make a decision.
I can only “plug into” and be receptive to the power of the Almighty – Lord, Savior, Universal Consciousness, the Laws That Regulate The Universe, whatever you want to call it, and ask for blessings and help and direction to do right by others, which in turn will bring a heart that finally beats peacefully.
So for all of you that I have harmed in some way: I am truly sorry.
I will take a step here and ask you, if you are so inclined, that you would pray for my children. They are the three most wonderful human beings I have ever met – and maybe if I (oops, God) can set the right example, their hearts will in time beat peacefully too.
Here is the link to the real post: ‘Chemtrails,’ Ron Paul, and the Cost of Conspiracy in Arizona
Please peruse it, enjoy it, and comment profusely…the finished product reads exactly as it should (due to Mr. Swindle’s exacting editing skills)…nothing needs to be added, and nothing needs to be taken away….
But there is, in most posts, stuff that ends up on the cutting room floor that is kind of fun and witty, and you sort of enjoy it – almost like the rough heel of the bread smeared with butter and honey…it isn’t good enough for the discerning reader, but it does have its charms, and you would really prefer to keep it out of the trash can, at least for awhile.
So here is a peek at the original postscript before it gets consigned, once and for all, into the rusty, clanky, and offensively scented garbage receptacles – no, over there – in the right-hand sideyard of the mind….
About 30 miles southwest of Sedona, just below the summit of Mingus Mountain, four Paulite Acolytes fan out, awaiting the impending carnage.
It is dark all around. The SORPS (Soldiers of R. Paul) are united only by their black stealthy clothing, walkie-talkies, and sense of outrage. They communicate fluently via a series of Aboriginal tongue clicks – because you never can tell who might be listening.
They know, as only a few others do, that there is a secret underground U.S. Military base in the nearby town of Cottonwood; it is from here that the nearly-silent helicopters and jets come, issuing forth night after night, to slowly annihilate the reasoning abilities of John and Jane Doe, Americans.
The Mission, as always, is not to interfere (How un-Dr. Paul-like that would be!), but to collect data – to accumulate and amalgamate enough evidence to bring the rotten-to-the-core Military-Industrial Complex to its knees once and for all.
Although the duty is dangerous (think about it, people!), there is a sense of honor and Esprit de corps among the volunteers – they know that any night could be the tipping point in the battle against the Huns of War.
A slight vibration is felt from within the mountain and out in the surrounding sky; it is almost unnoticeable, but our veteran spotters know it like their own heartbeats – the Cavalry is coming! The clicks escalate – the enemy will be here soon – but what an honor, to be here, in this time and place, during the battle for the collective soul of human-kind!
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality · Chemtrails · Contrails · Illuminati · Islam · New World Order · Ron Paul · Sedona Arizona · The Artist Formerly Known as Prince · Trevor Baggiore · Ty-D-Bol · United States Air Force · Weed-B-Gon
To read episode one, click here.
To read episode two, click here.
Mike and I didn't speak too much the first few days back to work. I could tell he was a little embarrassed with how the night at Beckiyama had turned out: No photos and a very large bill for yours truly.
The money part didn't really matter, to be honest - Mike, for all his self-centered blather, had been a pretty good friend, helping me with all manner of construction, landscaping, and electrical projects, not only at the former marital abode, but at the new place, too. He had given me everything from eight-disk DVD players to stereo speakers to X-Box games for the kids, and had even helped me move when I sold my ex-wife's "dream" house after the alimony bill came due. (I stayed in town, but the neighborhood was entirely different, ha ha ha.)
But I could still tell he was a little tense that the long afternoon turned to early morning hadn't worked out differently. So when he finally got around to talking to me, he seemed a little quiet, if not downright diffident:
Hey, listen, we can still work on those profile pictures - next time I promise we'll do it right. And I figured it might help you if you actually took a look at my profile - no one ever has, except for the ladies, of course - so you can see for yourself how it all has to go together to make it right. In fact, I even quiz the gals just before I bring them to my place:
'What about my profile drew you to me?'
That way I can tinker with it and make it even better.
It was a nice offer, I have to admit, and would probably be very helpful, but something in me cringed at the thought of seeing another man's innermost thoughts expressed to potential female companions. It was just a bit too private, and came perilously close to creepy. I didn't want to view soulful bathroom pics of Mike shirtless - just like I didn't want to be privy to his idea of a "perfect" match - especially after hearing second-hand for years about all the Chickee-poos he had ravished (my first choice, "railed", is not suitable verbiage for a family website like this one) in the back seat of his F-250 Crew Cab. (At least he never named names. I was sure I would recognize more of them than I might want to.)
But the Begunga Man insisted I take a look - and he whipped out...his phone, and handed it to me after the page had loaded.
My kids bothered me the most; I was supposed to be their example! Not that I told them about my social life, but how could I instruct them in proper conduct when I was nothing but a rutting and bestial cad, hell-bent on conquest and orgiastic pleasure?
I made the mistake of telling this to Mike. He just shook his head and laughed:
That thing you call a conscience is part of a primeval section of the brain known as the Godhead. It developed in the earliest humans and then grew as we became more and more evolved. Its function is to create the illusion of purpose in the organism — so that it doesn’t self destruct. This Reptilian nerve bundle created religion — and in later years hobbies like stamp collecting. But that’s a side issue. Do you want to get laid or not?
It was obviously fruitless to continue the conversation. Mike had already solved the riddle of existence: We were simply alligators in a Florida theme park — and the most aggressive among us would get twice as many dead chickens — and all of the females.
A couple of Yuletides ago I tried to drum up support for a “new” holiday that would more fully address the needs of our time than some tired old story about a magical kid being born in a barn. I christened it Empowerment Day and waited for it to take off like a dysfunctional Soyuz rocket.
Of course it merely farted like a sick Yorkshire Terrier and then imploded of its own worthlessness – but the idea of a fresh, more contemporary celebration stuck with me, and I am ready to try it again.
If the new endeavor ends as badly as the last one, who cares? The whole point of this holiday is to use it as a vehicle to justify my failure to ever get any of my nephews and nieces a present, a card, or even a phone call on the two most important days of their lives: Christmas and Birthdays. (No, Confirmations and Graduations don’t count.)
Yeah! I am stoked!
I do get my kids Christmas and Birthday presents of course, but they are here with me in AZ, and, try as I can, I just can’t seem to avoid them.
But the Sibling offspring (some of whom I successfully waited out by allowing them to become adults, thus removing them from my “I should really get them something this year” consciousness), have been a consistent problem for me – until now. (more…)
Here’s the link:
Most women aren’t very smart. In fact many of them aren’t fully formed human beings. They delude themselves into believing that they want this or that in a relationship, when in reality what they want — and need — is exactly the opposite. If I were you I would ignore their words and just lead them to whatever destination you have in mind. They will be grateful for the help — and will thank you every time.
Here’s the hot link:
And for your gustatory pleasure, a sampling from the main course:
Dad, religion is mostly a crutch. Scientists know that, and you should too. Anyone who takes it literally is just stupid.
OK, my boy, let’s try this another way. Let’s say all religion is just kind of daft, but it gives comfort to people, so if they want to worship, they can. What would you think of a religion that denies other creeds (not to mention atheists and agnostics) the right to exist? That dictates that all unbelievers must be killed!
That’s a load of crap, Dad. The Bible says the same stuff. Hardly anyone takes it seriously. Do you really think most Muslims want to kill Christians, or Jews, or anyone else? Ninety-nine percent of the Muslims in the world just want to have a peaceful life and get along with other people. So why would you interfere with their right to worship?
I don’t think I’ve said I wanted to do that, Nicky. I’m just saying that this “religion” that you seem to find so benign is actively involved in killing people all over the world who won’t succumb to its tenets. Therefore we need to be wary. People who speak out tend to have problems.
Christianity is the most violent religion in history, Dad. What about the Crusades?
Well I think it depends on who you talk to on that one, and besides, why do you keep bringing up such ancient history? What about 9-11? What about the terrorist attacks that take place every single day worldwide?
Dad — those people are lunatics. Just like the guy in Norway.
I’m not sure the Scandinavian Slayer is Christian. He might say he is — but his actions don’t really fit in too well with the New Testament. And he is one person. One twisted and evil individual. These others are actually following the instructions in the Koran. There’s a huge difference!
I’ve heard Begunga Mike might be making another appearance over at the Lifestyle section soon.
Make sure you have a mat and plenty of ice water before you click here!
There are those moments in life when you feel everything slipping away from you — you lose your compass, your defenses, your pride, and although you know it’s going to turn out really really badly, you can’t seem to resist the pending catastrophe. This is what I felt like during the ride to the studio.
Dar-Dar and CMO were reliably upbeat as we sped through traffic.
“You’re gonna love it, Johnny,” said Dar-Dar. “There are all kinds of different people there. ‘K’ [the instructor who gave Mike the coupon] is really nice and will work with you.”
“Yeah, and she’s good looking, too,” CMO said. The two girls smiled and giggled, just enough to make me suspicious.
“And wait until you see Camel-Toe!” Dar-Dar said.
“Camel what?” I asked.
My three fellow passengers were yuck-yucking and chortling. Mike, who was driving (naturally), leered across the front seat at me and said:
Yeah, you’re gonna like Ms. Camel-Toe. That’s for sure….
For the second time in the last couple of years, I have the opportunity to thank David Swindle for helping me out with my writing career.
He gave me a shot at NewsRealBlog back when I first started flinging my thoughts into cyberspace, and even though I didn’t usually get a ton of views, he continued to let me post there, and gave me lots of good advice.
Now he’s given me a chance to make a name for myself at Pajamas Media Lifestyle. My first post apparently did fairly well, lots of comments, and he is guiding me through my second, which is having more problems than one of those Obama-backed solar-powered start-up companies.
Oh, well – David is a good man, and a very patient individual. I hope I won’t end up embarrassing him too much.
Click the link to to get to the story – John Nampion vs. the Hometown Community Homeowners Association.
Hope you like it.