The Mind

Addiction to Acceptable Emotions

emoticons

Forget your flaws! Forget the haters! Do what you like! Do what you feel! Don’t just be a customer; be a happy, delighted, determined, excited, enthusiastic, pleased, proud, peaceful, obedient, and satisfied customer! Why? Because you’re perfect just the way you are!

Yeah, except that I’m not. (more…)

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Turning The Tides

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“I SAID STOP THE CAR! DROP ME OFF!”

I parked by the side of the road. She tried to get out but I locked the doors.

Whoever said, you can’t fight fire with fire, obviously didn’t know shit about putting out fires; and whoever said, two wrongs don’t make a right, didn’t understand that sometimes… well, you just don’t care about making things right.

“LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT! I’M WALKING HOME!”

“ISN’T THIS WHAT YOU WANT? ISN’T THIS WHAT YOU FUCKIN WANT? YOU WANNA TALK, RIGHT? WELL NOW WE’RE GONNA FUCKIN—”

Imagine looking at it from the outside: Two figures screaming at each other in muffled sounds. One was a silhouette of a slender girl, coming out of the passenger seat and snapping her teeth; and the other was a shrinking finger, pointing bravely in defense for its life.

That one was me. (more…)

Working Through Pain: Principles of The Relentless

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My face hurt every time I turned to look at something. My head harrowed like a bitch if I made even a slight expression. Exiting the freeway, I turned into the gym’s parking lot with my brain feeling like a sore testicle.

No parking spots.

Suddenly the lies began speaking to me again: Look at that. The gym’s full. You’re hurt. You’re tired. You’re hungry. Besides you fought well last night. Why don’t you just use this day to rest. You can come in tomorrow and train twice as hard.

Bullshit! I told myself. Don’t listen to the lies!

I saw a car’s reverse lights come on and immediately my hand clicked the turn signal to claim the spot. Are you really gonna do this? You can’t spar today. Look at you. The wind felt its way into my spine despite the sun. Global dimming or global warming, they’re never there when you needed them.

As I reluctantly waited for the car to back up, my thoughts drifted to last weekend, when I visited my friend, Nazy, in Fremont.

I knocked and the door opened.

“Hi, Roun,” Nazy greeted—tiny and sweet—peeking out with her smiling Persian eyes.

“How are you Nazy,” I said, leaving my shoes outside before entering. I gave my friend a hug and then we went through our routine. First she complained that I hadn’t visited her in a long time (even though it really wasn’t that long), and then she accused me of completely forgetting about her. To this I responded with my usual, “of course not,” and, “I would never do such a thing”—just a few of the many counters I had come up with over the years.

“How’re the kids?” I asked, referring to her twins—two twenty-one year old boys, whom I had become familiar with through our acquaintance. Nazy was older than me, but for some reason we became very good friends. In fact, by this time I was somewhat part of the family—a stepchild of sorts, a bastard that only comes for dinner and leaves without washing the plates.

“Oh, you mean those little shits?” Nazy said, her smile quickly turning into a gathering menace.

I laughed at her sneer. “You love them,” I teased. “They’re your babies, remember?”

“Yes, dumb babies!” Nazy shot back. “What is they do all day? Eat, poop, sleep?” Then her eyes turned to their pet, a little brown dog walking in a red t-shirt. “At least that little shit doesn’t ask for money.”

I laughed again. (more…)

A Time of First Times

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It was a time of first times. I was already in my late teens when we moved to Japan. All my life I’ve always dreamed of living in my ancestors’ home to recapture the essence of my samurai bloodline.

Well, we didn’t actually move to Okinawa where my dad was born, but to Sakae, a city in Nagoya where his work was located. And later I found out that having samurai blood was just something a lot of Japanese parents tell their kids to inflate their ancestral balls (at best, from what I’ve heard from relatives is that my great, great grandma was a mistress of a samurai who descended from the castle to go to Tangie town—yes, he did it for the nookie—so there ya go). But regardless, such things didn’t stop me from living in my world, in the way of the sword, while getting drunk from beer vending machines that ask for no ID, no bullshit.

Before all of this, however, I lived a princely lifestyle—the prince of meatballs—and never had to work a day in my life. It always bothered me that up till then I had been lacking any sort of challenges, any sort of real struggles, unlike the people I looked up to who at the time were Alexander the Great, Musashi, and Robocop. So I was pretty excited to finally experience what it was like being an adult and working.

On the first day of my first job I had to wear something like what Jessie and Mr. White wore, minus the gasmask. After going through a room where you have to get locked down and sprayed with disinfecting chemicals, my manager came up to me in a similar outfit and gave me my first assignment. I worked in a meat factory. And behind him was a giant silver-metal barrel which he rolled out of a freezer that was so cold it froze the air in your lungs the moment you inhaled. In it was a thick layer of frozen blood.

My manager said something, punctured the sheet of red ice with his hand, and pulled from it what looked like a prehistoric frozen penis. “Cow tongue,” he said. Then he proceeded to repeatedly smash the thing into a wall until it was tender and threw it in another container. “Now you do it,” he said. So I did as I was told and by lunch time, my white uniform was drenched in red. (more…)

The Danger of Holding Back

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There was a flash of leather in my face and suddenly I was looking at the ceiling. When I looked back down, the bastard was already moving to my right. And when I turned to follow him, he just stabbed me again with another jab to the face. I felt something burst behind my front teeth and then something warm leaked down my nose and into my mouth. Ten seconds into my first fight at King’s Boxing Gym in Oakland, CA and I was already on the rag.

Served me right.

Two weeks after joining the gym and I was already salty. I wanted some action. But the coach wasn’t letting any newbies spar. Nevertheless I insisted. In my arrogance I figured, “hey I fought for my high school’s karate team and I didn’t do no pussy kata’s either (the display of posture, patterns and movements), I did kumite (competitive fighting)!” But this was not karate where fights lasted in two to five second blitzes; this was boxing, a three-minute, all-out, fast-paced hell with just you, your opponent, and your inadequacies. Needles to say, I wasn’t ready. I lasted two rounds because my opponent (this “white boy” I thought I could bully) bestowed mercy upon me.

Sitting in the corner—heaving and humbled—this little black girl came and began wiping the blood off my face. “You did good,” she consoled me. She was probably one of the gym residents because she obviously knew what she was doing. And she knew what I was—a beginner, an amateur. At the time all I had was ego, not pride. And there’s a difference. Pride is earned, ego is for free. (more…)

Denouncing Innocence and Deferring My Childhood

Because_it_s_summer_III_by_incrediPeople always say, “protect a child’s innocence.” But then I ask, at which point does innocence become ignorance?

You see, nobody tells you that. Because every teenager knows that at some point, their once encouraged and tolerated behaviors somehow turned into shameful and moronic offenses without notice. It usually happens when you go through the mutation phase—when you get zits and pubes, when you sweat excessively and you start to smell, when you develop breasts, skin oiliness, voice fluctuations, vaginal discharge, ass hair, menstruation, large teeth, disproportionate nose, and hanging testicles. In short it all happens when you cease being cute. (more…)

Generation-R(onin)

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Gone is the age of Kings, of Royalty and Executives. Gone are the days of being tapped on the shoulder and becoming “discovered.” Gone are the studios, the record labels, and the idea of Hope because now man can lay claim on his destiny once more.

Free of institutions, titles, and guidelines, the ronin wanders as a rebel and a vagrant. A vagabond in the eyes of many, he has long ago thrown away the dagger and the plate, and now carries with him the strategies and tactics he has acquired from his former academic lords. Masterless and socially adrift, he climbs heavenward into the clouds on the back of the serpent—the ancient star-spangled snake.

Hurled into the centrifugal force of Wall Street and cyber space, he is instantly met by a stream of dedicated non-thinkers on TV: the depraved and debased cynics, the bile-faced despisers, the castrating thundercunts, and the love anorexics who sell confidence-boosting suppositories to the masses of the walking dead. (more…)

21st Century Censorship: Designing Decent Men

censored__by_khos_prinzAndy Schneider was a decent man, a swell guy. Yeah he had some alcohol problems back then, but so what? I mean he ain’t no Christian at the time but he was certainly into guilt, which made things much easier. Whether it was a stroke of luck or a twist of fate (so to speak), Andy eventually met Jesus at the bottom of a Cutty Sark bottle and married a meek Asian woman named Susan Cho—a good woman. Why, the first time I saw her she kinda reminded me of that song—your mama don’t dance and your daddy don’t rock n roll—which was a good thing of course. There’s a lot to be said about a woman’s clothing in relation to her respectability after all. Not to mention, Susan was very progressive—she buys coffee beans above their market value, observes “No Meat Mondays,” and bags her groceries using recycled materials.

Andy was indeed a very lucky guy. (more…)