Once Again, it Sucks to be a Prep Kid

An inside look into the Jesuit Regime

Insider thoughts on the mounting Jesuit Regime at Prep

As everyone knows, Creighton Prep will begin randomly hair-testing their students for various drugs next year. As an alumni, I have a lot of mixed feelings about this new policy. I appreciate the leniency given to students, as it’s not a zero-tolerance policy, but I absolutely abhor the general motivation around this new system. I realize that it’s perfectly within their bounds to do this sort of thing, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

Before going any further, I want to say that I don’t hate Creighton Prep. As cheesy as it sounds, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not attended Prep, and because of this, I think I owe the school something. And what better gift could I give to my former academic institution than to demonstrate the rhetoric of its own teaching?

Needless to say, I’m not writing this because I dislike Prep, I’m writing this because my teachers always taught me to stand up for what I believe in…because I was taught to ‘be a man for others’. I’m sure not going to catalyze a change to this policy, but I think it’s important for people to realize that it’s not reasonable.

I’ve read a lot of interesting reactions to this policy via social media, and people are bringing up great points, like – “What happened to the honor code?”, or the very simple retort made to all the nay-sayers, “Students who dislike this policy will simply not be attending Creighton Prep anymore.”

From my own experience at Prep, there were a lot of kids getting high, or drunk, or whatever. Some of these kids used drugs because they wanted to fit in, some used because they enjoyed it, and some used because they actually had an addiction. Of all these different groups of kids who were using drugs, the latter is the group that was the most rare, and in my opinion, also dealt with the most poorly.

For all the talk of brotherhood and camaraderie, the administration seemed to have no problem kicking these kids out the door at the first chance they got. The thing was that those kids were the ones that needed the most direction, care, love – whatever you wanna call it. It was as if substance abuse amongst Prep students was too big a problem for the administration to tackle…and that the bonds of a so-called brotherhood could be broken by addiction.

And with this new policy, substance abuse is essentially turning into a non-issue, because students who imbibe in certain chemicals are simply thrust out of the equation if they can’t stop using them.

It’s reasonable enough, but not if you believe that addiction is a disease. Some kids get fucked up for fun, and others can’t stop themselves from doing it. This has nothing to do with the moral guidelines set by the administration at Prep, it’s genetically inclined behavior that’s almost impossible to avoid.

And Prep is not a rehabilitation center, but I know they have the resources to be one if they felt like it.

I say this because after some researching, I’ve found that the average hair test runs for about $70-$100 USD. If roughly 80% of the students are tested, that would be about $60,000 dollars (at minimum) to ensure a drug-free Prep. But knowing Prep students, there will likely be failures and repeated testing, so if you factor that in, the total cost of testing could be estimated at $150,000 and up.

That’s a whole fuck-ton of money to test a majority of students that aren’t using drugs. That’s also a whole fuck-ton of money that could be used for something else. (Perhaps raising the teachers’ wages for their outstanding work?)

But then again, if you know Prep kids like I do (or teens of any kind), they’re not just going to ‘stop doing drugs’. If I were still a student at Prep I’d be totally bummed to hear this news, and my immediate reaction would be despair. But being an educated Prepster that was also leery of authority, I’d probably figure out very quickly what substances weren’t being tested for.

All you have to do is read Prep’s guidelines, or check the Psychemedics website for their testing thresholds: http://www.psychemedics.com/drug-panel-faq/ This link is more or less a list that any Prep student can see, and then figure out what substances can still be used without detection.

So instead of having kids drinking beer and smoking pot, now Prep may have students gobbling their mothers’ anti-depressants, ingesting a variety of hallucinogens, as well as using tobacco. Sounds like the student body will be much better off.

But exactly who do you think will be better off in this situation? Is it Prep’s own image or the students themselves? While it’s all good and dandy that Prep students will be largely drug-free, it seems to me that this is another great opportunity for the school to sharpen its image, and this comes directly at the expense of the students, as it always has.

When the word was spread about this policy, it turned into a pretty big story that created quite a bit of chatter over various news agencies. It appears that Prep certainly wanted everyone to notice this change. They let the camera crews walk right through the halls. Just a cleverly disguised PR stunt if you ask me.

http://www.ketv.com/news/local-news/creighton-prep-announces-mandatory-drug-alcohol-testing-for-students/-/9674510/23816522/-/10l9at/-/index.html

http://www.omaha.com/article/20140108/NEWS/140109081

http://www.kptm.com/story/24400842/creighton-prep-to-hold-mandatory-drug-testing

I get where the school is coming from in trying to make it easier for kids to say ‘no’ to drugs, but the thing is, there are NO easy choices in life, and they shouldn’t be creating the illusion to their students that such simple choices in life exist. Life is complicated and everyone is bound to fuck up at some point, so why demand this absolute perfection of kids 14-18 yrs old? I’m still making mistakes at age 23.

And I’ve been waiting to bring this up, but what are these kids going to do when they get to college? My guess is that they develop unsafe drug/drinking habits because they weren’t allowed to figure this stuff out in high school. Nobody wants to hear this sort of thing, but you know it’s the truth. These students are gonna be totally shitfaced in college, but I suppose at that point it’s no longer Prep’s problem, which is very convenient for the administration.

I’d like to say once again that I don’t hate Prep, but I think that most of the agenda they push on students is absolutely insane. I love the education and admire the discipline, but I will never stand for a program that invades the privacy of so many innocent minors.

Such a blatant disregard for personal liberties is in direct opposition to what I was taught at Prep, and because of this I can no longer support my Alma mater, which is pretty fucking sad if you ask me.

roll jays,

Squincy

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Smokin’ on that Dookie: Jenkem in America

It’s a bright day. You’re at the beach with some friends when someone offers you a balloon, telling you to inhale it. You oblige them and upon inhalation, you immediately sense something is very wrong. The noxious gases make you dizzy, tired, euphoric. You think you’re mouth tastes like doo-doo, but you’re unsure because everything is so cloudy. Next comes a coma-like sleep, where you have vivid memories of third grade. You then wake up on the shore in a fetal position, and a stranger comes and suggests that you go wipe your butt or something. When you look up to respond, you wake up sweating in your own bed, and realize your yellow lab has farted on you. You were just having a bad dream, but you still worry that it was somehow real. You wonder the rest of your life whether you actually did jenkem or not.

CHARLIEBROWN_JENKEMThe last few years I’ve been following the phenomenon of the sewage drug, commonly known as butt hash, or jenkem. It’s a silly, disgusting narcotic, but also very telling of our human impulse to believe almost anything.

I realize that the idea of jenkem probably makes most people squirm, but if the idea of a sewage-narcotic makes you uneasy, I’m guessing that you’re rather unfit for confronting most of the other heinous truths in life.

People huffing feces was bound to happen at some point in time during human existence. It must have been quite the occasion, too, because you don’t often see a human being rise up and say, “Give me the jenkem and steady your pen, today history will be written.”

However, it’s with a tidbit of regret that I say this never could have happened because jenkem is not, and never was, being used as a narcotic (in America). It’s up for debate as to whether children in Zambia were getting high off of their own feces (as opposed to inhaling glue) in the 1990’s, but it’s undoubtedly clear that people in America thought jenkem was for real.

Just think about that for a moment. The citizens of America, including myself, believed that people were inhaling balloons of their own poop to get high. I’ll admit there could be a few isolated, unreported instances of jenkem use, but for the most part I believe this is a fictional substance with fictional users. Methane gas is also extremely toxic, so if there are any jenkem-sniffers out there, they are likely not going to be around much longer. And they probably smell god-awful.

It’s a pretty crazy, fucked-up thing to believe that people would do, but jenkem infiltrated the media, even causing sheriffs to think local teens were starting to huff on that sweet butt-nectar. Below is a copy of a leaked document from the sheriff’s department in Naples, Florida, which was passed around and assumed to be ‘totally legit’.

Jenkem1

Even worse, there was a follow-up story on it, and the broadcasters were totally serious about the new drug on the streets:

While you can probably laugh really, really hard at that newscaster saying ‘butt hash’, the reporting was totally real, and totally fucked.

Authorities were truly concerned that citizens in their locales were getting intoxicated off of their own waste, and citizens like myself were truly interested in finding these people. I mean, what does that say about us? At the very least, jenkem is a good laugh, but when looked at seriously, it reveals an alarming gullibility within the press and the general public, which has clearly been accelerated by the Internet.

Because, the thing is, jenkem never really existed. As far as I can tell, it started with a few harebrained forum users back in the early 2000’s. I’m not sure if it was intended to be a hoax or if people are that stupid, because people are that stupid, but I do know that someone read about it on the internet (a journalist), believed it, and then broke it through to the general public, where we leached on to the story like flies to dung.

But why did we believe this? Was it our instinctual urge as Americans to expect the worst from people? Is the United States possibly stuck in the anal stage of psychosexual development, as suggested by that cokehead Freud? I don’t really know.

People believe a lot of different things. Some think that we never landed on the moon, and others think that Affliction t-shirts are ballin. A lot of people believe that butt-hash is just a revolting, made-up drug.

I think a lot of different things about jenkem, but most importantly, I believe it functions as a metaphor for how our media works us. And it also says something about what we want to believe.

Because we all have to believe in something, don’t we?

Squincy

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mall Culture is Poisonous

obey_consume

Don’t be dumb

I don’t go to malls very often because for the most part, they scare the shit out of me.  It’s not just the loitering tweens or the plastic women waltzing around, and it’s not the sales-hungry clerks. It’s the reality of what malls are that bothers me, and in my opinion, they’re nothing more than lofty temples to the culture of consumption, which has been institutionalized and celebrated in America.

Have you ever noticed that malls are often bigger, nicer, and more accessible than places like courthouses, libraries, museums, or city council meetings? Do you still wonder why corporate-backed materialism controls us? It’s probably because we’ve allowed it to.

Behind the glossy floors, nice clothes, expensive electronics and general bullshit that constitutes a mall, something malicious lurks and it’s called consumerism. As soon as you walk inside, a death-grip squeezes around your throat, only loosening when you release your wallet and all of its contents into purchasing an Orange Julius and a turquoise bra from Victoria’s Secret. But honestly, I wouldn’t ever blame anyone for buying an Orange Julius because they’re magical.

So, to explore the culture behind consumption more deeply I took a trip to Westroads Mall, the local mecca of conspicuous consumption in Omaha.

4077682050_9128200383

Inside of the Mall-Temple

Upon entering Von Maur I was immediately reminded of being inside a casino: no clocks, lots of mirrors, and shiny objects littering every nook & cranny. Also, the whole place was littered with babes. Like what gives? Why do these women hang out at the mall? My guess is that schmucks like myself tend to stay far, far away from retail shopping outlets. Whatever.

Anyways, the coolest thing I saw at Von Maur was an old man napping to some bubbatunes that the hired pianist was playing, and I also got a free sample of some shaving cream from a nice old lady, but who shaves anymore?

After fingering through $75 dollar shirts that myself and nobody else would ever wear, I went to a store that just sold huge blankets, and that was it. If you ask me, this place wasn’t a store, it was just a huge fire hazard right in the middle of Westroads mall.

photo-28

We were all thoroughly impressed by the stupidity of the blanket store

After getting the fuck out of the rug shop, I went to a store that I had never previously stepped inside of, which would be Hollister. I’ve just never understood clothing stores that expect you to pay them for clothing, which you then wear and become a living, breathing advertisement for their company. And also, this store has always repelled me because even from the outside it smells like douchebags. But on that day I plugged my nose and stepped inside the most dimly-lit retail store in existence.

Immediately, an attractive woman wanted to help me find some clothing. I asked her if anything didn’t say HOLLISTER on it, and she just turned around and walked away, which is when I noticed that her booty shorts also read HOLL-I-STER on them.

The only thing I noticed about Hollister was that the security alarm was inexplicably set off when a young black kid walked into the store with an application for a job, which I thought was funny, because Hollister.

After getting the fuck out of Hollister, I encountered the most aggressive, attractive, Israeli saleswoman in the world. Her name was Daniella and her mission was to sell Dead Sea Salts, which are pretty useless unless you’re 40 and getting a divorce. She lured my friends and I to her booth with her charming accent, and made us stand there and try out her product. I’d never exfoliated my hands before, and it was pretty thrilling, but I’m not willing to pay $80 dollars for a jar of fucking salt.

The whole experience was pretty humiliating, and I felt bad for Daniella because she was just doing her job really well, but she embodied the essence of what a mall truly is – which is a place that forces you into buying things you don’t need. Daniella was about ready to force us into buying some of her product when I just had to cut in and say, “Daniella, I don’t want your Dead sea salts, but if you give me your heart I’ll set you free.”

…And I might not have used exactly those words, but it was something chivalrous and romantic. Daniella didn’t even care though, because she just wanted my greenbacks. I’d been cock-blocked by capitalism.

After scurrying away from the sea salt stand and refusing other offers of massages from different foreign women, we found ourselves starting to tweak out way too hard from the Redline Energy drinks we had bought at GNC. We were starting to sweat a whole bunch, and the vast amount of stimuli one encounters at a mall was beginning to get the best of us, so we scurried out of the mall-temple and back into reality.

I have to be honest: I hadn’t been inside of a mall in quite some time, and it wasn’t as bad as I originally thought it would be. I might even say I enjoyed it.

But then again, that’s exactly what I’m supposed to think. Instead of remembering that I couldn’t afford most of the garbage for sale, or that none of it would make my life any bit better – I remembered the pleasant faces, the smell of roasting almonds, and the generally charming atmosphere that a mall provides.

But the mall is just so goddamned tactful, gimmicky, and unnecessary. Call me crazy, but I still believe the mall is just a temple to consumerism, which is still an idea that I’m not comfortable with. I don’t like to think that corporations rule the world and that I’m just a pawn floating around in their labyrinth, under the illusion that I have choices to make and paths to follow.

Mall Culture

mall rats

I don’t mean to say retail stores suck – because I fucking love Kohl’s and Goodwill, but it’s just that malls are so extreme and overbearing and boy bands usually play in them. I’ve even seen two women in a catfight over their pimp, throwing milkshakes and pulling hair in the food court. And don’t even get me started on food courts. They’re the absolute lousiest places on Earth.

But my point is that malls really just don’t have anything to offer. Sure, shopping at the mall might be a comfortable way to cope with reality for some people, but there’s far more to life than Cinnabons and half-price designer jeans.

Don’t be fooled. You’re not a commodity.

Stick a fork in the toaster, read the ingredients to your shampoo, or drink out of the toilet. Go HAM, just not at the mall.

Happy fcking Holidays,

Squincy

p.s. I also noticed the mall had no coin-spinning donation things anymore. LAME!

hqdefault

Nonexistent coin-spinning donation funnel

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ode to Memorial Park

'The Park'

‘The Park’

If you were ever a teenager in Omaha, then chances are you might have hung around Memorial Park. Since its creation in 1948 it’s served as a war memorial, but every adolescent in Omaha knows its true function: an uninhibited teenage wasteland.

Sure, the 67 acres of open fields allow for unparalleled games of ultimate frisbee, and the rose garden and monument offer a small respite from the trivialities of everyday life – but to me, Memorial Park was and never will be about the war memorial, the grassy expanses, or the annual shit-show concert on the 4th of July.

My affair with the Park started in the summer of 2006 when my cronies and I would wander over to the fields to toss footballs, and then to the creeks to smoke pipe tobacco -all beyond the beady eyes of the neighborhood parents. It started out as just fun & games, but eventually we found the strength to wander up to Robert H. Storz Drive (the circle), where we knew all the magic happened. After this fateful move, away from the baseball diamond and into the heart of the wasteland, there was no going back. This was like Boyz 2 Men type shit. None of us would ever be the same after.

For some reference, at this point in time kids were starting to ‘party’ –  and whether that meant drinking alcohol, smoking schwag, or gulping down Robitussin, there was an unquenchable urge to not be sober anymore. The Park was an oasis for minors trying to catch a buzz, and the creeks and shaded areas provided endless room to experiment with new-found, alternate sensory realities.

I’m going to tell you right now that I’m not here to talk about whether it’s okay for teens to use drugs, but then again, I don’t care what anyone says – every kid just wants to chug some UV Blue at one point or another.

I got totally drunk off UV Blue once. But just ONCE.

I got totally drunk off UV Blue once. But just ONCE.

If the lure of drugs & alcohol initially brought me up to Robert H. Storz Drive, then it was the people that I encountered there that brought me back for the entirety of my high school career. The Park shaped the way I dressed, thought, talked and acted from the summer of 2006 until pretty much right now. I did a lot of growing up there, whether it was learning how to function socially or just having a basic understanding of how to not act like a dipshit in most situations, I think I owe the Park a word or two.

Memorial got a lot of bad press as a place for kids to do drugs and act like real-life delinquents.  All that stuff was obviously going on, but the Park also harbored a group of people that forged a pretty incredible, diverse community.  Nobody meant any harm, and nobody was trying to cause a ruckus. That’s kind of why we were hanging out at a park all day, duh.

Delinquents at the Park circa 2007 or something

Delinquents at the Park circa 2007 or something.

The mainstays of the Park were from all different walks of life. You had your typical high-schoolers, middle-age hippies, wanksters, gangsters, and then a few random neighborhood derelicts that would saunter to and fro. I’ll admit the crowd was not always pretty, but for the most part everyone got along because everyone was up there to have a good time. Also, it was a public park, so its not like anyone was barred from going there. When shit did hit the fan, like if the cops circled through or if a fight was about to ensue, everyone pretty much cooperated to make the experience as painless as possible.

One instance I remember is when the Sandman, aka the Peppa’ Man, was defending a bunch of high-schoolers from a group of thugs that were firing airsoft guns. If you knew the Sandman then you probably realize he was absolutely nothing like the high-schoolers, but nonetheless he defended the flock. After aggressively swinging some jumper cables he got the airsoft punks to leave, and paradise was saved. He really had no reason to intervene, but he did. God bless the Sandman.

This is only one of many examples, though. Memorial Park was not just a meeting place, it was the place to be. Most of the time I remember just showing up there because I knew somebody would be hanging around. Friends were everywhere. Friday and Saturday nights were packed. Occasionally things got so hyphy that the cops decided to disperse the crowds with helicopters. I mean, when has a park ever been that hoppin’?

But that was some time ago, and while I’m glad that I don’t still hang out in a park all day, I miss those years. I mean, a lot of kids practically grew up together there. Everything seemed so inconsequential at the time, but the Park was probably an important place for a lot of people. Although I could have been doing something productive instead of spending time at the Park, I don’t regret any of it. It was a lifestyle, and an opportunity to think and act for myself in some pretty real-life scenarios. I really doubt that anything like what happened from ’06-09′ can ever be done again. The community there was real if you just looked for it.

Friendships were made, doobies were smoked, virginities were taken, and lessons were learned. To everything there is a season.

Memorial Park Forever

Memorial Park Forever

West O still sucks,

Squincy

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Why COPS is a Great TV Show

Reality television is a strange beast. From Survivor to The Real World to Jersey Shore, everyone has seen their fair share of shit going down and getting nasty. I think reality television gets a bad rap, and it definitely should because it makes super-stars out of hare-brains. When I think about these kinds of shows I get very concerned about the future of the human race, knowing that a lot of people actually enjoy watching them.

However, I think there are some reality TV series that actually do a great job of capturing ‘reality’ as it happens, and one of those shows is COPS. Sure, it’s just as edited as other shows, but some real-life shit happens on COPS, like people getting arrested, shot, and killed. Lives are torn apart right in front of your eyes – how much more real can it get than that?

Cops: Not your average reality show

Cops: Not your average reality show

I’ve been doing some research, and I can say with a decent amount of certainty that COPS was the first ‘true’ reality television show. There was, however, a show that aired in 1971 on PBS which chronicled the life of the Loud family in a show called An American Family. It was supposed to be pretty dumb and boring, but the parents divorced and their son Lance came out as a homosexual during filming. The family pretty much fell apart right in front of the cameras and actually served as the inspiration behind MTV’s The Real World.

However, at the time, the show wasn’t viewed as reality television because the concept didn’t exist yet, and the show was discontinued because there was no longer a family to film. This is why 17 years later COPS became the first ever reality television show, and why it’s also one of the most important historical documents available to the American public.

Under arrest for lewd haircut

Under arrest for lewd haircut

If you look beyond all the glorious mullets, Space Jam t-shirts, and jorts, COPS is not just a show from the 90’s about petty, poor citizens being filmed violating the law. This show, when looked at as a whole, is incredibly fucking important. It’s a show that, knowingly or not, has captured massive changes and schisms within American society.

A lot of people will insist that the first reality television show was The Real World in 1992, but I say, ‘fuck that shit’. COPS first aired in Florida in March 1989 and is one of the longest running series on television, spanning 24 years.

A quarter century is a lot of time to capture on film, especially with the environments that were captured – mostly the lives of the poor, and their endeavors to live their lives without too much trouble from the fuzz. COPS has been criticized for only airing footage of these poorer, minority figures as they break the law, but the way I view it is that usually these peoples’ stories go untold. History usually only makes way for Kings, but this series is filling in the gaps. It’s showing the trickled-down results of years of bad policy in Washington, and what effect it had on the daily lives of citizens in America.

COPS effectively chronicles the Crack Epidemic of the late 80’s and early 90’s, the rise of the use of methamphetamine, as well as showing us a drastically different world from pre- and post-911 filming periods.

This does not look like a group of police officers (post 9/11)

Police in military gear?

The episodes from earlier in the series feature lots of drug-busting, and that doesn’t surprise me because this was the height of the War on Drugs and also the Crack Epidemic, and the police were using the show as a recruiting tool and also as a way to spread Reagan’s anti-drug propaganda. Newer episodes portray a more competent, almost militant, police force that did a lot of growing up after 9/11. There are less mustaches, better weapons, more technology, and better policing in general, and I can’t tell if that’s a good or a bad thing.

However, what’s most fascinating to me is what COPS says about cops.  Some Police Forces, such as the Chicago Police Department, have come out and made public statements against it, saying that they have no time to play those types of ‘games’, which is good because Chicago is one hell of a fucked-up city.

The fact that some Police Departments are willing to entertain citizens instead of doling out justice is alarming, but telling. It’s funny that it’s illegal for us to film a policeman, but it’s perfectly fine for these television companies to come in with camera crews and broadcast those same activities over cable television (albeit with some careful editing).

Police love attention

Police love attention

I don’t know if Police Departments or producers of reality television shows are to blame, and it’s hard to differentiate who is preying on who here, but what I do know is that both the goals of the reality show producers and the cops is to entertain you.

They want you happy, quiet and complicit. They want you to laugh at the mullets and the crackheads, and most of the time that’s well deserved, but don’t be distracted by them. Don’t forget that the criminals and the COPS are all playing the same game, infected with the reality TV bug, subject to some corporate money-making shaman. Nobody is winning, and everyone is laughing.

But I don’t know, I’m probably wrong. Maybe COPS is just a reality show with a bangin’ theme song by Inner Circle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd68AthoNIw

I’m totally serious about everything I just said,

Squincy

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

College Prepared me for a life of Squalor, which might be Okay

All throughout college I thought that I was being prepped for a life of professionalism and success.  However, as my sad post-collegiate life is blooming, I can’t help but to look back and think that I was just a vagabond-in-training. I mean, I did eat out of the trash maybe once or twice.

We had the best coffee table ever.

We had the best coffee table ever.

First off, I learned to live in complete and utter filth.  Not just your dirty, run-of-the-mill college house, either.  I shit you not, there were mice living in the stove and birds nesting in the walls.  The floors were always sticky, covered in a quarter-inch of crusted booze & blood from parties thrown eons ago. We also had a collection of couches, some of which I’m convinced were legitimate bio-hazards. I don’t even know if you could really call the place a ‘house’ let alone a ‘home’.  I probably should have worn a hazmat suit while living there.

Also, for about three or four months we had no hot water, and that was literally the lowest I’ve ever felt in my life. This was like a legitimate 3rd-world problem and it totally ruined me. During that time I’m willing to bet that every bum in Fort Collins took more hot showers than I did, which is good for them I guess.

This was my favorite bathroom in the whole house!

This was my favorite bathroom in the whole house!

Something else that struck me as very hobo-ish is the fact that I worked but never had any money.  I delivered pizza to the masses of Fort Collins, and after a shift was over what would I do with all my tip money? Drank it all away every single chance I got.

The Summer of 2012 was all about Lost Lake.

The Summer of 2012 was all about Lost Lake.

I wasn’t drinking any of the good stuff either. I went through a particular phase where I explored the underside of the beer world, because everyone knows there is no bad beer, some are just better than others.  I’m talking about Lost Lake, Olympia, Schlitz, Minhas, Gennesy, etc.  Every time at the liquor store when I was making a selection for what shitty beer to try next, I’d just let a drifter come inside and observe what he/she was buying, and then buy the same thing.  Vagrants really know how to drink bad beer, and I respect the shit out of them for that.

As a side effect of exploring all the varieties of poo-beer, I adapted to sleep in all sorts of different places, which is also characteristic of the vagrant.  After a little practice, you can adapt to sleep on floors, chairs, corners, and tables (because, duh, couches and beds are only for the bourgeois).  My personal favorite spot is the floor because nobody messes with someone who’s knocked out on the ground, and when you wake up on the floor it gives you great perspective into where your life path is or isn’t taking you. I like to think of the floor as a great equalizer.

This is solid form for floor-sleeping.

This is solid form for floor-sleeping.

Perhaps I’m over-thinking things here and maybe college wasn’t a training ground for an impoverished life. However, I did see a lot of bums catnapping on the sofas in the library, and they all oddly resembled my university professors, which tells me that success is not such a linear path as we’re taught to believe. The library bums had a place to sleep, books to read, access to computers, and lots of tail to look at. They might as well have been politicians.

In retrospect I probably didn’t have to live like such a dirtbag, but I’m really glad I did. It made me appreciate stuff, like hot water, old food that still tasted kinda good, or the feeling one gets when being awakened to the chirping of baby birds inside the walls of your house.

It may be a mistake for me to think that I’m entitled to success because I’ve graduated college and have done everything I’ve been told to do up until now. But perhaps I’m making an even larger mistake by believing that I can succeed. In the Tao te Ching Lao-tzu taught that ‘success’ is like a ladder with no end: you can climb very high, but the only outcome is that you will eventually fall off. The ladder doesn’t really exist,  and the only way to achieve balance is to remain on the ground, or in my case – passed out on the floor.

Because when you’re lying on the dirty floor the ceiling always looks desirable, but no matter how hard you try, you won’t ever be able to sleep up there. The best you can do is to get a bunk bed, but that’s cheating. So perhaps a good dose of squalor is what a lot of people need, because if I’m not mistaken, living like a scumbag in college was the best time I’ve ever had.

Life should be enjoyable, but it doesn’t have to be clean, pretty or successful.

Squincy

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Family Line is in Jeopardy

The thought is always creeping around my mind, sticking it’s head out in front of me once in a while and scaring the be-jeezus out of me.  It’s an odd and unrelenting predicament that finds a few unfortunate men, and it’s all caused by the god-damned social construct that we know as Patriarchy.

As I have no first cousins (you heard that right, I have no cousins) and am the only male offspring of a very small family, it is now solely up to me to carry on my family name.  And as I’m getting older and seeing people my age getting hitched & impregnated and whatnot, it’s blatantly clear that this little problem is only going to become more obvious as life crawls onward.

My family tree has shriveled marvelously in the last few generations, leaving only a few leaves from which my progeny and I must spring forth.  Check it out.

Beholdeth: the Family Tree

Beholdeth: the Family Tree

When I dote over the dilemma that I’m faced with, I can’t help but to think back upon my ancestors who have dealt with it as well.  They stood up to this Herculean task, but then again, I’m pretty sure all my male ancestors were sufficiently better at living life than I ever will be.  They were born in sod huts, got hit by trains, and were introduced to manhood by fighting for their lives in foreign wars.  However, they also managed to spread their genetic pools, which have dripped down solely to myself.  Yikes.

Great-grandfather Matthew: man of class and composure.

Great-grandfather Matthew: man of class and composure.

Take a look at this guy.  He makes it look too easy.  His parents brought him in from Ireland on a boat and said, “Matthew, welcome home, don’t catch polio and go get a job at that textile mill.”  Matthew, from what I know, didn’t do either of those things but I like to imagine him hanging out in Victorian parlors, smoking tobacco and sipping tea while occasionally spinning a large globe, choosing what continent to embark on next.

However, in reality he must have just been like, “Yolo, I’m moving to Chicago and raising a bad-ass son so he can do the same someday. I’m also raising him as a White Sox fan because the Cubs are dog-meat and they always will be.”  He was right about the Cubs and his bad-ass son.

Clyde Fox circa 1944, just mobbing with the Coast Guard.

Clyde Fox circa 1944, just mobbin’ with the Coast Guard.

Take a look at that goddamn mustache.  I think that says it all about my grandfather.  He could probably drink me under the table.  Oh yeah, he got hit by a fucking train too, on his way to World War II.

HE PLAYED FOR CREIGHTON

HE PLAYED FOR CREIGHTON

Some of you might know this guy, my dad.  He mows the lawn, drinks more Coors light than water, smokes stogies, played basketball at Creighton in the early 70’s, and can cook a helluva steak.  He passed on absolutely NONE of his athletic ability to me. He’s also been around the block a couple of times if ya’ know what I mean.

Then there’s me:

Squincy, the end of the family line?

Squincy: the end of the family line?

Well folks, this could be it.  The sterling, iron-eating nature of the family line is clearly gone, replaced by a drunk guy with a mullet eating a meatball in dangerous fashion.  I didn’t play ball for Creighton, or get hit by a goddamn train on my way to engage in foreign combat.  However, I can throw a boomerang extremely well and hold my breath for a pretty long time, which are good attributes to have at least in my own opinion.

When it comes down to it, I’m kind of like an endangered animal, except I’m just a dude.  However, the difference with a dude is that he can realize he is endangered, and then he has two choices: to give a shit about his endangerment, or to not give a shit.

I don’t know what camp I land in, but I think it’s pretty badass that I alone hold the power to extend the family line, thereby continuing the flow of hundreds of years of family breeding.  I have the power to destroy, and the power to create.  I’m not sure which is better, but then again, it’s not like I asked for this, I’m just trying to deal with it.

I guess it doesn’t matter if I carry on the family line or not because either way I’ll be getting screwed.  And it doesn’t matter how ‘punny’ that last line was because whether it’s patriarchy or matriarchy, we’re still following the same ideological bullshit that got me here in the first place.

I’ve got a lot of work to do,

Squincy

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment