The Bitter Truth About Lying

We all don’t want to be found out. Those skeletal remains in our proverbial closet haunt us every morning as we wake up and try to live a normal or nearly normal, well-adjusted life. It is our ruin.

Why don’t we simply clear them out? It is easier said than done. Some of them are attached to other people’s welfare. Others are attached to our own. Either way, it seems, we lose.

Enter normalcy. The simple truth is that everyone has a secret.

It’s just that most people pretend that they don’t, and hence, the urban myth that there are normal people and then there are sociopaths. The truth is that in their private moments, the average person has watched porn, desired like the dickens to poison someone else’s coffee, and lied to a loved one.

It is actually the so-called abnormals who admit to their guilt when their conscience won’t let them rest. But even then, there are promises and secrets which even lucid abnormals will take to their grave.

What seems to be a transgression is actually a mercy. What seems to be, as what our society stigmatizes as, a “liar’s” undependable and irascible nature, is erroneous. If you go to more sophisticated societies than ours, lies are understood as an accepted part of daily life. Lying, along with diplomacy, comprise the social lubricant to peaceable coexistence in many societies. It’s only the primal part of the brain that insists on truth-telling. Well, the good news is that we have evolved and added on cerebral layers. And, these days, some or most of the time, lies allow people to live just that–peaceably.

Basically, everybody lies.

I’m not saying to go out and deliberately cause trouble through lying; that is rarely, if ever, a good thing. Nor am I saying that the manipulation that goes on with lying is good. But it’s just that this entire tell-the-whole-truth thing, unless under oath, is not representative of everyday life. It is abnormal. It’s comical watching different factions of society accuse each other of being liars, regardless of which camp they fall into. It’s amusing because while a seemingly rather insignificant, lonely, trigger finger points warily and witheringly at the suspected liar, three other inconspicuous ones naggingly and firmly point back at them. Meanwhile, the opposable digit does false homage to their Deity. In short, individuals and institutions fall short of the moral standards they so readily espouse. This is why political smear campaigns from the many camps don’t work on more self-aware people of any walk of life.

I anticipate there won’t be many likes for this article. I anticipate it won’t be widely shared on Facebook. People are so afraid of the stigma of being associated with lying and “liars” that they are willing to lie about how they represent themselves to others. And, the irony of it is that this may just be a good start.

©️2019 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved

About That Bucket List And The Meaning Of Life

I have finally concluded that, even as a mentally ill person, Life holds no meaning—for any and all of humanity.

I noted this in an earlier article, “Entertaining Ourselves Until We Die”. I want to accentuate this further in the proof that even religious circles have not the answer, and that there is an urgency in living your bucket list now.

This will be quite the simple article, as most of mine are, so don’t worry. Just enjoy the ride.

St. Ambrose or St. Augustine, it really doesn’t matter whom, said that “the chief good of man (humanity) is to love God, and to enjoy Him forever,” excluding all the other religions that have God as a female figure or figures, too, I suppose. This agrees with whomever it was who wrote Ecclesiastes, be it King Solomon as most presume, or anyone else. He/she says that “All is vanity, a chasing after the wind,” concluding that the only left to do is what we were “meant” to do, which is to “remember Our Creator while in our youth while the silver cord is still not broken…”—meaning to start prepping ourselves for encountering the utter meaninglessness of life while young, by worshipping our God. In short, you’re born, you eat shit, you praise God, gain some measure of reprieve, eat more shit, and then you die. Hopefully, you don’t die like C.S. Lewis’s acquaintance/friend, whom Lewis claims to be absurd as he laid in his bed, dying, screaming he could see that there were little devils carrying his soul away to hell. What a way to go. Even Lewis mocked him in one or other of his books. The poor man probably was just being truthful, delusional or not; and this speaks more about Lewis than about the dying man.

Referencing that earlier article on my blog, I wrote that you should go after your bucket list, NOW. Yet, that is contrary to Christian thought. In the Book of Genesis, God cursed Adam to toil at the soil for food all his life against thorns and thistles and illnesses and human problems, which now include technology from that wretched combustion engine to AI and nanotechnology, and then die to come meet his Maker (loosely paraphrasing the intent of that passage here). There is no visible or contextual mention of a bucket list for wretched Adam, or Abel, or Cain, or Seth—not to mention for Eve either, since she was meant to be the Mother of all Mankind, complete with excruciating labour pains and a woeful desperation for her husband who would rule over her. Both Original Parents were desperate for rest, hoping their children would, like any good Asian kid, take over the family business and look after them in their dotage. Happy family? Unfortunately not.

Humanity, after all this, was not meant to have fun, according to Judaeo-Christian thought. After all, God sent fiery, flying serpents to attack to death the desert-meandering first generation of His Chosen People after He had discovered that, “My people sat down to eat, and stood up to play.” Gluttony and Fornication. Here we go.

You get the sense that all God wants is for us to suffer and praise Him in spite of it. You start to ask, how on earth can He coerce us to do that. Enter fire and brimstone. H-E-L-L. If you can’t coerce them with punishment now from this life’s distractions, focus on consequences of the “next life”, which is a whooooolllle other, mind-bending dimension of Time that we cannot comprehend. But no need to figure it out: God has outsmarted us, once again. Just be a good girl or boy, rally around your God-appointed leaders, and remember to tithe. And not necessarily in that order.

So basically, one is kept safe through suffering. Pfft, as if angst ever made an attractive incentive. Yet, to refuse is to be a fool; because actually, the attractive incentive is in the next life, which, as we have already established, has a befuddling effect on the mind.

So what’s left? The bleak, brutish, nasty, short lifespan of 70-120 years on earth where everyone is unhappy, Christians and non-believers alike, it would seem. Oh yes, if you follow your dreams, if you live out your bucket list, if you’re newlyweds, all is looking up, eh? Yes, until a debilitating accident or illness or divorce takes you out; and even if not, Time takes us all to our graves.

I can no longer say with confidence that following your bucket list is a good idea as a remedy for unhappiness. You can do all your dreamt-of activities and still feel continually empty, angsty, and fearful of dying. If I know there is no meaning to life, no purpose, does that free me somehow? No, it enslaves me nihilism or its cousin, hedonism. Again, what is left for us? If we agree that life is just a blank slate, and beauty is also a fleeting illusion, the question is, do we find anything worth doing? Do we take into account that we also have instincts? Does that mean that anything goes, as the old 20th Century song goes?

All I know is life is short. It’s short because it ends sooner or later, for better or for worse. What we believe doesn’t matter because even if we are wrong on our deathbeds, we’ll be dead soon anyway. We can take up Pascal’s Wager, yes. Or we can make sense of our lives and our need for validation our own way. I personally think that there is a spirit world and that faith and divine intervention is there. That is my journey anyway, for what it’s worth. I don’t know what yours is. I do think, though, that if you’re damaged from Church culture, stop going and start over on your core values with a minimal reserve of what you already know you believe in. Hard to do. It took me two decades. I take back the authority, my autonomy, believing only what I can experience and evaluate. I don’t take someone’s word for it.

Maybe that is it: Life experience, empirical and personal events and your interpretation of them that is unique to you, is the meaning you subscribe to. Maybe, at the end of the day, after overthinking it, all you have are your five or six senses, and the ability to speak intelligibly with grammar. It is time to simply live.

©️2019 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved

Editing The Truth

As a writer with a PR side (i.e. I want people to like me) I find I am constantly having to edit the truth.

Telling the truth, as the adage goes, has its cost. The cost is total. Totally decimating, to yourself, that is.

You don’t make friends by telling them you don’t like their coat colour. You don’t keep friends by telling the friend her hairstyle sucks when they’ve spent a hundred bucks or even five dollars, of which that and their hair they can’t get back. And you never make a person feel badly unless you have to draw boundaries; in such cases, feeling bad is not an option: it’s an inevitable and evil necessity.

What can I say? Truth is malleable because the person on the other end doesn’t need to hear it since they can’t change it. It’s what the ancient Greeks called kairos. In that case, the statement, the “truth” or otherwise, becomes open to debate. It becomes, suddenly, a contextual truth–or, rather, a lie by omission or embellishment.

As a writer and a Scorpio, I don’t like having to water down my “truth”. But, with age, I find it a necessity to keeping friends.

Sometimes, if you catch me really early in the morning, I’ll tell you the honest truth. I’m usually too ornery and unpolished a bitch not to, then.

Acceptance: I Am Old

I have to face it: I’m old. I’m in my fifth decade and I have been having a hard time. One thing I realize that I am going to take with me on my death bed, when the time comes, is my conscience. In the meantime, I have to settle with accepting myself in either a moment of epiphany, or many moments, or in stages. It doesn’t seem to matter what I prefer, actually have no preference, it will happen as I happen to process it when the Aha! Moment, as Oprah’s trademark saying goes, happens, or when, one particular day, I might have more logical and analytical processes going on.

Numero Uno: I’m aging. There were moments when I couldn’t accept this, such as when I tried, at the age of 46, to go on dating apps. It was a big mistake for me. I hope those couple of men got my syphilis (kidding). But, let’s face it. In a heterosexual world, men aren’t looking for a soulmate, and neither are women. But that is for another discussion. Point is, age matters. You can be rather average or horsey-looking but as long as you’re skinny, have long hair, and can look hot (which usually happens when you’re younger) that’s all that matters to a guy. Ok. But for me? I’m average and old and saggy, with short hair and a bit of chub. Because the rejection was so pronounced, (men-actually-sending-their-criticisms-in-writing kind of pronounced), it gave me “age-dysphoria”.

Case in point: I put up a second photo on my profile. One guy messaged me and asked why the second photo, to which I answered that it had more colour. He answered back saying all he saw was more black, white, and grey–implying, perhaps, (and here is where the insults get “man-subtle”) that I had more grey in my temple areas than the other picture against my black-dyed hair. It was meant to infuriate me, and it kinda worked. It would have infuriated me more, though, had I not already preformed a conclusion that nearly all hetero men were misogynistic losers who wanted free whores, hence they hung around dating sites alternately insulting and flattering women. (The same man, before I blocked him, asked me whether all I did that day was pick my nose.) It’s mind-boggling how a certain subset of the human race got to this place. Then again, we women can be hellish when scorned, so whatever. Anyway, so began my descent into a reality-check.

I am too old.

My initial reaction was, “Damnit, men suck.” Then I quickly had to put on the reality-acceptance act. OK, I AM OLD. I knew very early on it wasn’t the heterosexual male’s fault. I was young once and had my glory days, too. My older male, English gentleman friend put it kindly. “(Veek), you’re at a difficult age.” Now, you never take the English lightly. They say what they mean but in subtext. And to disregard what the English say is to lose a friendship. Since I respected him (he was NOT a like rest), I took his words to task. I started to examine my self and my stage of life.

What process I went through, I have not figured it out yet, except that every day, I said to the mirror, “Veek, admit it, you’re old.” “I look older in this light,” “If I turn off the light I might pass for thirty,” etc. The point is, I was coming to the point that I needed a midwife for my difficult passage into the new realm of older adults.

Enter my adopted astrologer, Gregory Scott. As much as my psychiatrist told me to run the opposite direction of the metaphysical, Gregory brought much comfort. He showed his YouTube channel that, Yes! We are O.K.!, but in many more words than that. I cannot overstate the help this wonderful man has given me even as I was only a fan of his channel. He has brought me to where I am today.

Where am I TODAY? Today, as I sit contemplating the reality of my situation, which Gregory Scott made a point to his fans never to hide from themselves (though he does put a nice layer of sugar frosting over it,) I realize I am confronted with a choice. Do I accept ME or self-destruct? Actually, the option to self-destruct didn’t even enter my minds the this query. Just, O.K., I am old. And so the story goes on from there. Where does the story go? Wherever fate and/or chance according to my abilities and my Higher Power, will take me. So I am not desirable to men anymore. And? What does that matter when you can’t change that reality anyway? Why should it infuriate me? Why should the inexorable march of Time and Death that takes us all infuriate me? No I’m not suicidal. We’re all born to die. (Most of us eat a shit sandwich or two along the way.) What exactly is important?

It is what we can take with us. We can’t take our physical bodies with us. We already through cliché platitudes know that we can’t take our possessions with us. Neither can we take our careers, our abilities, our loved ones, our cats, our credentials…the list is inexhaustible. But we can, at the moment of our death, face our conscience. What have we left undone? What can we do within our powers at that time? What was left unsaid that we regretted over? Whom haven’t we told we loved and whom haven’t we forgiven? To whom do we owe a debt?

Backtrack 30 years. These are the things we should be making headway into NOW. It’s not even found in doing the daily practice of yoga, though yoga is essential to my well-being; it is what we can take with us. And part of that also is our self-acceptance. I am old. Yes, I am old. And I am weaker than I was. But, I am also able to accept that and do what matters. No, I’m not going to become the next J. D. Salinger or the next Leif ove Andsnes. No, I’m not going to paint or draw at the level of most graphic artists who started young and have built an impressive portfolio. Hell, I am not even going to land a desk job. But, I have accepted that I am old. And I’m OK with that.

©️2019 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved

Entertaining Ourselves Until We Die

The existentialists were right. From King Solomon to Kierkegaard to Camus and arguably Dawkins, there is no real meaning to life. We’re all a bunch of sentient life forms who are organically intelligent enough to build tall buildings, see and paint the beauty in the dullest of sunflowers, and speak rhetorically enough about things that most dogs wouldn’t understand.

So what are we to glean from this “mid-life crisis”? Other than that death levels us all alike to dust, rich and poor, celebrities and peons, academics and the common worker, it is this: Everything we do, no matter how good or great, will be insignificant 80 years from now. Sure we remember Sir Winston Churchill’s and Martin Luther King Jr.’s awe-inspiring speeches as they reverberate through the millennia, but so what? They’re dead. And so shall we be, given time or accident.

The fact is, there is nothing left for us to do, regardless of how inspired or delusional we may be, but to realize that everything we do do is a distraction from this boring existence where nothing happens unless we make it so. In short, we are entertaining ourselves until we die. It’s that simple. Old or young, no one is exempt. Some of us may have a better grasp of verbal skills useful for public speaking, or bigger hands for musical instruments, or more insight than the average person. Ultimately, none of that matters. If nothing matters, how do we take into account what we do every day? Well, it had better include fun other than the obligatory dues to collect a paycheque and pay our bills and taxes, or else, it’s a waste of a life.

Wait a minute, then, isn’t living itself a waste of a life? So what shall we say then? Without acknowledging a Higher Guide, we flounder. We might as well succumb to hedonism or, if suffering–stoicism. But make no mistake, for those of us who remain unguided, everything we go through daily adds up to a lifetime collection of meaningless events. So, if we are able, why not enjoy ourselves after a day’s work and having paid off our daily dues? It seems there is not much else anyway.

No, don’t stick your head in a gas oven. This essay is a little divertimento meant to encourage you to not to be afraid of enjoying life as you see fit and as long as it doesn’t impinge on someone else’s rights. There is no formula, but there are opportunities. At the risk of sounding Salinger-ish (which I wouldn’t mind at all), be prepared to grab that brass ring. It piques one’s enjoyment of this merry-go-round life to a sense of euphoria—and euphoria is probably the best distraction of all. It comes like a rare, blue moon and some people never really experience it, but when it comes, go for it. As long as it is free of self-sabotage, it is a free gift from Life’s randomness.

©️2019 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved

Starting Afresh

Hello Readers,

Thank you for stopping by to take a look at my blog. I’ve moved away from political op ed to a failed literary writing style, and onto social commentary.

I hope I can entertain you, if only for a few minutes, while I discuss some rather serious topics with as much humour as I can muster in my blinding rage.

Unfortunately for some of my adversaries, I am not blind enough. Enjoy.

Nobody Likes The Crazies

Put it this way: Nobody likes the crazies. People hate what they see as weakness and fear what they cannot understand. THAT is the human condition. Every book that is written, every sermon given, every enterprising idea or gainful employment excludes the psychos whom they berate for being lazy and, at the same time, will not hire, embrace, or address because psychotics are too dysfunctional to be __________ (you fill in the blank).

So began my wretched descent, unprepared for the depths to which I would plummet, and for the rejection from which I would suffer with the constancy of Paul Simon’s deepest lamentations. In essence, we crazies are invariably lonely.

The criminals figured that out long before the merchants and politicians had. Once in a halfway house, they seek mentally ill females who serve both as moneybags with their dependable disability cheques, and as comfort women who will be sex slaves without even being self-aware enough to realize they’re being taken for a ride.

Merchants like to penetrate and push the envelope of this market. Banks are included in this, being the quintessential merchant class. Commercial merchants are testing the market knowing full well we live below the poverty line. Banks simply shamelessly and aggressively push credit cards with $10,000 limits–knowing even better than full well that we live below the poverty line. Way below the poverty line.

Pastors usually try to appeal to the masses, but when coming upon a conflicting part of their otherwise smooth and harmonious appeal, they make the disclaimer that “of course, this doesn’t apply to those who have a physiological or brain chemistry problem”. And they just carry on addressing their sermon, more distinctly then, to the “well” members of the congregation.

This would be all fine and good, except during refreshments these good religious people come up to us to engage in a meet-and-greet conversation, inevitably asking us “And what do you do for work?” We decide to be honest as any good religious person would, and say we don’t work (we all know nobody wants to hire a psychotic) because of a disability. They edge away a little bit and say we don’t look disabled. No, it’s a mental disability. Oh. And then, they make an excuse to wash their hands from the sticky bun they had just gorged on, naught to return.

It’s enough to make us to want to bury our heads in the sands of the LoTR trilogy, or rather, if more intense than usual, the HGttG trilogy in four parts. Nothing beats a new digital gadget than a friendly and comedic social commentary, or so I would like to think.

Even the local crisis line people have been slower to deal with us. Though knowing full well the last psychiatrist quit left us adrift, and we’re obviously suffering, we’re limited to one 14-minute call a day. Second calls are cut short in the first two minutes with the condescending reminder we have already used up our daily quota.

The more they marginalize us the more they isolate us. The more isolated we are, the weirder we get—only proving their point that we should be shunned in the first place. So, TV is our only faithful friend. It’s almost always friendly (or we change the channel); it can’t reject us; and in the event it is discriminatory, we write in to the omnibus-people or, rather, tweet and hashtag. Canada has standards after all, eh?

Or so some like to pose as for.

©️2019 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved

CBC Cultural Comedy Series: A Korean Family Making Good In Canada

Kim’s Convenience, one of Canada’s CBC Gem Comedy series about the relationship dynamics within a Korean family, is a lot like deceptively simple box art, or a series of snapshots in time, leaving much more to the imagination. Yes, it is comedic film. But no amount of coverage, try as the writers may, can encapsulate more than one angle at a time as the Asian-Canadian family struggles to adapt to a country radically opposite of their native South Korea.

It is an irony within an irony that then transcends. As much as the show depends on stereotypes to define the baseline of their inevitable deviance, the characters make cultural norms into an adjustment problem, the defining and overarching struggle of nearly every immigrant family of different do’s and dont’s from what we find in the West. Some seem to adapt more quickly; yet, they too remain “the outsider”. Kim’s Convenience reminds the us of that. What appears or, perhaps, was meant to be poking at comedic archetypes–the immigrant family with their funny accent and overbearing, old world parents, with rebellious adult Canadian-born children, and complete with a black sheep–is a reflection of whatever we want to make it to be of ourselves. For me, it is a foray into isolation, loneliness, and finding comfort in the family unit—something many of my online friends remind me they don’t have the luxury of having anymore, if ever at all. To further point out the irony, such friends of mine are mostly children of WASP-Cs. They may no longer be rich. They may no longer be upwardly mobile. Yet they suffer the same human emotions that I, as an adult child of immigrant parents, do. And, each of us suffer our isolation and loneliness in so many different ways…all of which lead to that one emotional road: heartbreak.

The story of the Kims is not unique. It has been overplayed in too many immigrant families. What is unique is the open-mindedness of the Stoic Mr. Kim, the patriarch whose stern exterior is mitigated by his soft spot for others’ sufferings. It may seem trivial, this owning a convenience store in a bustling, rich city like Toronto, but, no joke: it is the hub of the life of love. We see, in this box art-like snapshot, the quintessential nature of the best of humanity, often disguised in pride and old world sweatiness. The heartbreak in this Hollywood North series does not last long, with the exception of Jung, the renegade who manages to break free of the family in notoriety and reconciles with, you guessed it, the hard-boiled Mr. Kim. Even he, the ultimate head of the household, is a softie and a good hugger.

The Kims, are a breath of fresh air in their ingenuousness. Though the “severely over-parented” children seem on the surface to suffer the most from this dichotomy, it is the parents, with their ever-increasing self-awareness, who suffer for their children while trying, despite themselves, to keep the family “happy” and together. The Korean jokes never grow old, though they be two-dimensional. The story of an immigrant family doing what they know best, while trying to know better, will always draw audiences both entertained by what is heartwarming and challenged by what is our understanding of what it means to be Canadian.

©️2019 Veekwriter All Rights Reserved