Friday, April 23, 2010

The Dust is in the Detail by Allen Masterson

I've worked hard most of my adult life. I'm talking "fingers to the bone" type work. I've only had a few cushy jobs like; bank teller, suit salesman, security guy. Most of my employment history sounds like a "what's what" of careers which are detrimental to one's health: screen printer, hod carrier, lumberyard guy, sign painter, gas tank removal, and the list goes on. I've never actually sat down and created a list of all the jobs I've suffered. I've never made a detailed list of my sexcapades, either. I guess I'm not a list type a guy.

My latest increment in Job Purgatory, is auto detailer. With all my previous experience with mind-numbing work, I fit into this occupation like a murderer fits into a noose.

"Misanthropic Me" takes over as I clean the filth of others from between the seats of Ford Focus's,  Mercury Grand Marques, Flex Fuel Expeditions, yada-yada.

Everything about car detailing sucks. Every piece of lint I find after the fact makes me hate the human race and the laws of physics. Cleaning chemicals coat my nostrils and leave my mouth tasting like I just ate a sandwich made by Jack Kevorkian.

I know I have bad Karma. There's no question in my mind I have toxic energy seeping through the walls of this particular incarnation. This may sound a bit defeatist to the average person.  No one wants to acknowledge their life may be influenced by factors beyond their observations. I have learned Eastern  ways to possibly minimize suffering due to the residue of bad Karma; but the discipline is monumental while the concept is fairly simple. In other other words, it's easier said than done.

I'm realistic enough to lay down my sword, pick up the Shop-vac hose, and curb my rage while sucking up the half melted fragments of a discarded Clark Bar under the driver's seat of a Ford Taurus. It's all for a good cause. I'm scrubbing away at the nastiest stains in my soul; to give my next vehicle that showroom shine...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Selfless Selfishness by Allen Masterson

We inhabit a planet comprised of many different systems. Our very natural environment is an intricate and beautiful system which most of us look upon with awe and wonder. We try and master Nature by instituting a system called "The Scientific Method". Human civilization is made up of many different systems; from global trade structures, to family units. Ideology and Theology play big roles in constructing systems created by humans. The systems created by Man and the system we witness in Nature are as different as nightmares and freshly squeezed orange juice.

As an individual, I attempted to make sense out of my environment by taking sides on certain issues, and finding fault with those which ran against the grain of my self-admitted conditioning.

Taking a stand and pointing out the injustices of my reality and perspective kind of validated my existence. If I could only make others see things the way I did, and inspire them to do the same, then I could look at reality and say, “I’m alive, I exist”.

I sharpened my rhetoric on whetstone barstools. I read Freud and Jung. I sought out the Extreme to get their perspective. I made errors of judgment. I had “AHA!” moments of complete delusional enlightenment. While in prison I examined the criminal mindset and mentality. I studied Eastern philosophy and practiced Zen meditation techniques. I experimented with entheogens (and still do) to face my hidden demons. I have brought myself to the brink of suicide and death just to catch a glimpse over the edge of it all. None of these methods have led me to join any political group, religion, adherent of any school of thought permanently, however.

I have often heard of great men who had gone through amazing tribulation, and even depravity, to emerge greater for their experiences. Most great and inspirational stories left from these persons of Herculean will are twisted and fragmented into quotes for speeches given by ideologues with ulterior motives. I often hear the great Martin Luther King Jr. quoted by politicians and media pundits who have just enough cunningness to get a camera on them or get majority vote out of a populace. It seems to me no one can translate the great lessons of another without attaching an agenda to it.

So here I sit with no seeming point of reference, and becoming more and more misanthropic by the hour. But I’m beginning to realize something significant I may have missed if I were at this point earlier on in life. I’m not completely miserable; actually, I’m quite content. Exhausting my efforts in pursuit of ultimate answers has allowed me to look inward, and examine my experiences more objectively.

I no longer get angry with any seemingly opposite point of view. I’ve taken my view almost completely out of the equation. I’m not so bold as to say I can completely sympathize with religious fanaticism, or hatred and biasness of any sort. Any time I get worked up over an issue, I check myself. I eventually recognize the pitfalls of passion when it comes to a shared reality.

Most would throw terms like; apathetic, lazy, or even coldhearted at me to get a rise out of me. Whatever tricks passionate people use are easily thwarted when I point out the very passion that fuels their beliefs are also felt by their opposition, but from different perspectives. For some strange reason, that throws the tempo of a discussion off. The usual response is, “But they’re wrong”.  

I have but one more direction to take to justify my existence, and that direction is inward. I’ve decided to detach myself from any so-called concrete issues, or systems of belief. I will reflect back on all my experiences during the course of my life as if I were examining a completely different person. To keep this all as pure as I can, I will attempt to reignite whatever way I happened to look at the world during certain events in my life and share them with others through my work. I’m not only going to dig deep into sore spots and completely dissect my ego, I plan putting it on display for any and all who wish to examine themselves.

I don’t want to win over adherents, or change the status quo of any system but my own. I have realized how selfish I ultimately am, so I give my selfishness over to the world, selflessly.