Friday, June 09, 2017

Fake You All!

It's everywhere you look. You wanted to change your life so you decided to become vegan. No problem. You don't have to give up eggs, meat, or cheese because there are smart people out there willing to give you eggs, meat, and cheese that will not conflict with your becoming vegan. Add some chemicals, take some vegan food, tart it up a bit, and voila! eggs, meat, and cheese -- as much as you want without cheating or giving up being vegan. You've been faked. The world has been faked and lines up to play the vegan game with faked eggs, meat, and cheese.

The same goes for the gluten free crowd. A little almond meal, ground up flax seeds, and a touch of gluten-free flour made from grains that do not contain gluten stirred together and mashed up with chemicals and substitutions that do not contain gluten and you have bread. The bread is mealy and gritty and doesn't taste all that good since you left out all the spices and chemicals or other substitutes and dyes made of foods that also do not contain gluten to maintain your gluten free status, and you will get used to the off flavor or the hint of chemicals that comes through when all the ingredients are baked up together at sufficient heat. After all, you don't want to look like you've gone back on your pledge to go gluten free or pretend that changing your whole lifestyle isn't worth the struggle to appear to being going along. What does it matter that you look like you're still going along with the majority of the pack while giving up gluten for your health and to prolong your life?

It's popular to go along with the rest of the world who have decided it is best to fake it until you make it. Food is just one area where faking it is acceptable. Nothing is worth the struggle to give up whatever you grew up with and nothing is worth giving up the appearance of going with the crowd. You are strong. You are ingenious. You are adaptable. You can fake it until you make it.

There is no part of life that is immune to the philosophy that faking it is acceptable until what you look like you're doing will finally catch up with doing what you were faking all along. After all, the ends justify the means.

Doesn't it?

We lie on our resumes, padding the facts with half truths and outright lies to fake it until we make it. Who's going to know? You're new at the job, fresh out of training or school, and it takes time to get up to speed. You are willing to fake it until you make it, or at least until your manic study habits catch up with the person you're replacing has clued you in on what to watch out for and whom you need to avoid until you're up to speed. You pray every morning, noon, and night that you will be able to cram years of study into reading the stack of books that educate you on what you need to do. The universe owes you a favor -- or at least the person who hired you for the position owe you for that gift or favor you did for them to get hired in the first place. The same goes for promotions and newly created positions that you maneuvered yourself into because you need the money, need the prestige, or simply need to get away from the hole you dug for yourself with your attitudes and/or lip. You faked it until you made it this far, so why not fake it until you make it wherever you go or whatever you do?

It's not a crime (yet until you've been caught) and it's certainly not going to cost a person their life because you haven't faked it as a nurse until you felt confident you could fake it as a doctor. Okay, the diplomas on your new office wall were created in a computer, but you have at least a decade of working under some egotistic doctor and making the doctor look good while you did all the heavy lifting and closed his operations. No one could leave the patient with a fine scar that disappears with time the way you did. After all, you turned your sewing skills from cloth to people and the results have garnered the doctor kudos and awards for the fine stitchery. He never told anyone he couldn't sew a straight seam if it killed him and you saved him from criticism far too many times for him to fess up now. How would it look if his patients knew a nurse had finished his surgery and left a fine, nearly invisible scar? The doctor couldn't justify his high fee and there is no way the doctor is going to give up the awards and professional kudos you earned, so there is no way the doctor is going to refund the fees or give you a rise in salary. The doctor faked it and you made it happen. It's a win-win situation and no one willing gives that up, certainly not you.

There is no part of life where someone isn't faking it until they have made it. No position, office, restaurant, cafe, or arena is free of the fakes, especially when the faking ended with success. When faking didn't end with making it, there are plenty of other paths to take. Some end in death from too many drugs or tangling with the wrong person that ended with tears and death. After all, faking it until you make it is not without cost. To everything there is a cost -- not only with magic but with every single venture undertaken in the name of faking it until you've made it. With life -- and with faking it -- there is risk. It's a gamble and sometimes gambles pay off. Ever hear of junk bonds? Horse races? The first gender reassignment surgeries? Prospecting? Divorce? Life? Money market trades? Bad reviews? Blind dates? Arranged marriages?

When we get down to it, life is about risk. Life is a gamble. There are people who have power and are willing to exercise that power to fake it until they make it . . . no matter who or what it costs. In the end, when all else fails, fake the data, fudge the truth, cite an anonymous source, set someone else up for the frame so you can get away with whatever you want when the fake is discovered or when it fails. Humanity is wired to look for the brighter side of things, to be positive, to make the best of a bad situation -- or a bad fake -- and to keep going. Sure, there will be suicides and deaths, but who will miss a few people, except for the ones who knew them best. Nothing is guaranteed except for death and taxes; everyone knows that.

If nothing else, faking it until you make it can be chalked up to sacrifice in the name of a greater good or some god or famous person, and wars are good vehicles for sacrifice in the name of the greater good. It doesn't matter which side you chose as long as you died for a cause. Even if you didn't believe in the cause and were drafted, none of it matters because your death will be numbered among the other clueless and numberless dead where someone will be ready to fake a reason until the people believe it. When the people who know the truth are gone, history will remember. So what if history is made up by your enemies as long as there are gullible people who remain and will spew the slogans they read or were taught until the truth is no longer relevant.  It doesn't matter if history is written by the winners because the historian with the best story will be read and repeated drowning out the truth and those who wrote and knew about the truth. The weight of evidence is in the loudness and prevalence of the voices. The voices of truth that remain will either give up or they will be criticized, reviled, and buried when their positions are taken away and their truth called into question by the loudest voices and the strongest bullying or at least by whoever has enough money and power to destroy the evidence of the truth until only the false history remains and has passed into the realm of fairy tales and deluded scholars.

All that remains will be those faking it until they make it -- or at least convince those who have been paid and derailed with some bright new toy. Truth doesn't matter as long as faking it until you make it is the first long step into the abyss of ignorance and popularity. Everyone remembers the famous, especially those who die while faking it. In the end, they faked it until they made it -- posthumously -- and history will write it so.

That is all. Disperse.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Biased or Straight

I was watching an episode of Supergirl, who as Kara Danvers, had written an article after interviewing Lena Luthor about her brother, Lex's, open dislike of aliens like Supergirl and Superman and where the newly branded L Corp (Luthor Corp) stood on the POTUS's stated policy to welcome aliens without reservation. Lena had her own corporate take on welcome aliens and showed Kara a new device that would identify human from alien, demonstrating how she, Lena, turned the device green when she pressed her thumb to the button to initiate the device. Of course Kara was leery of the device -- what alien wouldn't be -- and stated in the article she turned in to Catco's head of the news division. He turned it right back over to Kara and admonished her that her article was biased.

That's when it hit me that my posts here and on Facebook are also biased. I make no secret of what I find devious, incorrect, and obviously wrong-headed. I call out others who point to the facts that define their views and yet all those facts are based on biased reporting. Some, like you will find here, are factual, but they are not at all without bias. Yes, I do know that my views are biased. Of course they are because I write from my heart and my views. When I write for newspapers and other strictly news venues, I stick to the facts: who, what, where, when, why, and how. I don't deviate from the facts even when my personal views conflict.

That is the difference between reporting as I learned it growing up and what passes for reporting currently in news reports, talk shows, etc. The problem is that the average person not schooled as I was doesn't know the difference. At least in that respect, Supergirl the show gets it right. What passes for news reports in the mainstream media are little more than Op-Ed pieces that may or may not contain facts, but are based on the station or corporate policy as it was with Kara Danvers working for the Catco magazine views. You will find the same bias no matter where you look. The news reporters are hired for good, photographable looks or for their ability to stir up the public -- and guests -- in order to provide sound bytes that can be played over and over. Reporters like Bill O'Reilly lost their jobs not only because of their alleged sexual practices making the workplace hostile and/or sexist but because the corporation was not afraid to throw Bill O'Reilly to the sacrificial fires in order to promote their newly branded image that steers clear of sexual harassment and a supposedly hostile sexual environment at Fox news. Too bad no one cared about the appearance of sexism or favoritism in the administration of the President of the United States when another Bill was accused publicly of sexual harassment. It really didn't matter that Bill O'Reilly didn't have a long list of women suing him for sexual harassment or even a handful of women publicly claiming he had in the past or is currently sexually harassing them, but O'Reilly doesn't currently have a wife like Hillary running interference for him in order to use his name to spring board back into the political limelight.

Greta Van Susteren had publicly stated that Roger Ailes, now dead, had sexually harassed her while she worked for Fox New and was likely instrumental in her taking the job at NBC, putting her Fox years behind her. Roger Ailes, like many powerful men, were brought up with the belief that as a man, a powerful man, he could use the women under him as he pleased, using his power and position to maneuver women reporters into position that served his carnal needs, or at least his carnal pleasure. No play, no advancement. It is that kind of thinking that men have exercised for thousands of years and it goes back to the idea that women are less important than men, except when it comes to giving birth to more men.

Women are second class citizens throughout the world because of Eve eating the apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and coaxing Adam to follow her in sinning against the dictates of the god in whose garden Adam and Eve lived and served. You might have heard of Original Sin as it has been central to the belief throughout Judeo-Christian religion that woman (Eve) is the source of sin and must be controlled, marginalized, minimized because of her gender as the fallible and sinful daughter of Eve. The Original Sin was eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but tempting Adam to do the same. For that sin Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden by God, who also posted angels with flaming swords at the entrance to Eden to keep Adam and Eve from ever returning to the Garden.

My view of original sin is much different from most people's perspective since I believe that the Serpent didn't just tempt Eve and urge her to taste the fruit (apple) but did far worse. The Serpent lay with Eve and got her pregnant with his child. I see God as furious for Eve being able to procreate and the Serpent for getting Eve pregnant. More than likely God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden because Eve was pregnant with the Serpent's child, a child that became Cain, the first proof that Adam and Eve were no longer children unable to be fruitful and multiply. Cain was a demi-god because he was the product of Eve losing her virginity to the Serpent. Evidently God could not countenance the murder of a half-breed child of the gods (the Serpent was the half brother of God in other accounts of this story) and God would not allow Adam and Eve, who was at least fertile, to continue to live in the Garden with the bastard child of the Serpent, at least not until after he had warned Eve that having a child would be accomplished after much pain and labor and that future generations that would come out of her womb would also come after much pain and excruciating labor, all of which she would have to endure outside of the Garden of Eden as Eve had doomed all future generations to living in the wilderness toiling for the bread that they must also plant and grow for themselves. No longer would Adam and Eve live in a garden where their every need was met and food and water were easily obtained from the trees and plants they tended in God's Garden. Eve had doomed future generations when she listened to the Serpent and heeded his words. At least, Eve would be granted the privilege of striking and killing every serpent that crossed her path because God decreed the serpent was Eve's enemy now and always.

Adam eventually sired another child by Eve and he was named Abel. Finally Eve gave Adam a son who was taught to herd sheep and a herd was put in Abel's control while all his elder brother Cain received was the privilege of growing the crops that sustained the family. Abel in some stories about the brothers was a jerk. He led his sheep into the fields where Cain worked and allowed the sheep to feed from the crops and drink from the streams that provided water to the fields. After all, Abel was the golden child and as he reminded Cain, God loved him better than he loved Cain.  Considering Cain's actual sire, that is no surprise, nor is it a surprise that Abel was a selfish brat who lorded his status over his elder brother as was his right as Adam's favorite son. One might say that Cain didn't kill Abel out of pique or because Cain felt that God preferred Abel's sacrifice of a lamb over his sacrifice of the first and best of his harvest. Cain killed Abel because Abel was a jerk who taunted and teased his older brother, flaunting his position as herder over Cain's position as farmer and lording God's obvious preference of him over Cain. From this perspective, the murder that occurred in the wake of this uneven sibling rivalry has nothing to do with the Bible's version of events and everything to do with rivalry between a hard working brother who was mistreated because he was the child of the Serpent and not the child of his publicly acknowledged sire, Adam. No wonder God decided to mark Cain so that he would be set apart from other humans.

The mark was not a burning finger of fire that incised a symbol of protection or God's power. The lasting mark was God making it impossible for Cain to grow a beard, relegating Cain to eternal childhood by being unable to grow a beard. Had Cain been so cruel and inhuman in murdering Abel, it is doubtful God would have dealt with him by allowing him to live, albeit without a beard or any facial hair. What matters is that Cain, also driven from life with his parents among his own kind, was driven out of the human settlement and set to wander on his own until he met up with a woman of the Tribe of Man whom he married and settled down to have children with, forging his own group, siring children that carried his curse to future generations. There are those who look throughout the peoples on this planet and only one group of men carry the curse of Cain -- those whom we now call Native Americans, among whom the men do not grow facial hair and have no beards. These Native Americans are the children of Cain and it may be that European settlers who immigrated to the Americas realized that taking land from the people which are the offspring of Cain was not a sin nor was it sinful to make treaties with the natives and allow future generations to break those treaties. It was not a sin to separate the children from the offspring of Cain, make them cut their hair, teach them in European schools, or be rewarded for learning English and forgetting the language of their forefathers in order to erase all ties with the people of their birth, severing  all ties to their culture and their people so that they would be at last able to put Cain and Cain's mark behind them and be at last able to become one with the settlers who came to the Americas to forge a new life.

The first settlers from Europe, man fleeing religious freedom and putting the Roman Catholic church behind them as they strove to create a religion that was without the power and sins of the Catholic clergy behind them. The chose to forge a new religion, but also to forge a new country that was not controlled or sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church that had such power and presence in Europe. They were putting the religion of Christ into a form that was easily accessible by men and women who had not been trained in the tradition of Greece and Rome but were set free by Martin Luther and the rise of the printing press that made the Bible available for the masses. The Jesuits were spreading Catholicism throughout the southern parts of America and in the far west of the northern American continent while the Puritans, Lutherans, younger sons of England and European nobility, and the poor and middle class of Europe took whatever land they could get and spread their Protestant beliefs in the lands where they set down roots and discovered as they moved outward from the eastern shores of the New World. This New World and the schisms of the Protestant beliefs provided fertile soil, once the natives taught them how to grow crops and feed themselves, in which to grow communities and towns and eventually to grow a nation. These new people took hold where and as they could and from their broadcast seeds a new nation was planted and eventually grew, embracing what they could and growing as and where they could.

We may have never known the real struggles they met and mastered as they grew on this foreign soil, nor do we know the struggles Cain and his new people met and conquered as they moved out into the wilderness and grew from tribe to people in this new land they discovered when they first landed on the American shores and spread out into the land. Some remained farmers like Cain and others wandered here and there following the game they hunted and killed to provide food, clothing, and shelter. It doesn't matter how Cain's offspring came to the Americas or who they fought and killed as they made the land their own. It doesn't matter that Cain's generations of beardless offspring fought among themselves, destroyed the indigenous people they found, or were in turn conquered by Europeans who eventually discovered the land they called the Americas and conquered or absorbed the indigenous natives who were here before them. That is the cycle of life that continues wherever mankind sets up house and sets roots while a new cycle of life sprouts from the seeds sown by the generations before them.

We are all aliens in one form or another. The alien immigration began generations ago in the wake of Cain killing his brother and forced out of the only home he ever knew. Cain was taken in by another clan or tribe, married a woman who found him attractive, and sired a new family, a new clan or tribe, and moved to another land so the generations that followed would take up where Cain and the first immigrants to this land set down permanent roots. Those people supplanted others that arrived before them and were in turn supplanted by the immigrants that in time took possession of the land by whatever means necessary. The cycle of life continued and will continue as long as there are those who are willing to come and set down their own roots, growing or dying in the soil they find so that future generations will craft stories meant to put their stamp on what they find, fighting for a place in the community or struggling to fit in or be forced out the powers that be so that someone will tell the story in such a way that the storyteller can slant the tale to promote their views or change the minds of anyone and everyone who reads it, forging new ideas and a new vision for the future. After all, every version of the story will contain some facts, but in the end what remains is the storyteller's version and bias. Even Scheherazade's 1001 tales have been rewritten and re-imagined as new storytellers put their bias to work.

What you will find in my posts is fact. What you will also find is bias -- my bias -- my take on how the facts relate and how the emergence of hidden facts change the narrative. My views change over time as I learn, read, and experience more. The same is true of all people. The objective is to grow into a better version of myself and a better version of humanity as they read what I write. In the end, I hope we all reach the best version of ourselves and thus the best version of the coming change that is part of the Cosmic change coming to us all.

That is all. Disperse.