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The Ties That Bind And The Lies That Blind

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posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 04:26 AM
Lighting up the last cigarette from my pack, as I begin typing this out, has me feeling even more tense than when I was pondering this thread itself. It is, ironically enough, 4:20 in the morning as I type these words ( And, no, that is not a veiled reference to anything at all. It honest was the time on the clock when I glanced ) and I have no desire to right my appearance, throw on my Doc Martens, and drive 15 minutes, one way, to the nearest open gas station. That's one of the odd qualities of living in the Atlanta suburbs. I am so close to a major city that if a nuclear bomb were dropped on it, I'd be instantly vaporized - and yet my surroundings are country enough that open stores are miles and miles away. At any rate, cigarette lit and digression behind me.

Besides, I take anxiety medication at night and the label has a pretty little orange sticker on it that says "Hey, dolt, don't even try to operate a microwave after taking this pill - much less a car". So I defer to their wisdom and don't drive after doing so.

I am a rebel, however, and I use the bloody HELL out of my microwave after taking my pill. Screw authority!

Anyway, back to the purpose of this thread.

My time here at ATS is truly one of the things that I count as a blessing in my life. In fact it is rather high on the list. Many years ago, now, I started reading the threads on this sight. I was a somewhat younger man who was still naive enough to think that he knew it all. I had been successful in my life - at least in the terms I personally used to define such. I was never a money mad individual. My upbringing had instilled me with the idea that the man was the breadwinner and that he took care of his own. This much I did, and did well. I married, and subsequently divorced twice - both marriages lasting exactly six months each... though both of my ex's and I did live together for several years prior to tying the knot. It's one of my unresolved personal mysteries as to why my marriage shelf life seems to have a six month expiration date. But that is a tale for another late night entry. In those early days of reading ATS my ego allowed me to do what I see so many others doing - I would simply reject the assertions or thoughts of others, off hand, outright, and irrevocably solely based upon the reality that those opinions or experiences did not match my own. Hell. I'm a bright guy, don't you know. And, in youth, that realization often comes with the false belief that "bright means "right".

Then, one spring day, some post - one I cannot even remember now - just flat pissed me off. It got under my skin. So much so that I felt compelled to enter the word "Hefficide" and a password into a form and then await the conformation email so that I could come here and righteously defend my sense of decency and to school the heathen who had dared typed such offensive drivel as what I had read.

I quickly found that posting for the first time on ATS is a lot like the first time one has sex. Doing it was the ONLY thing I could think about, I was in a damned hurry to get started, I had no clue at all about exactly how to go about doing it, and I knew I was in way over my head about five seconds after I entered into the activity, I finished rather quickly, and am pretty sure that my handy work was shoddy at best. That first post, wherever it is hiding these days, probably shows just how arrogant, inept, and overly idealistic I was at that point.

What I do remember is that I did manage to intellectually beat down the person who had infuriated me. As bad as I was at this - my moral indignation somehow saw me through it.

As I said, this was many years ago now. Many ideological battles and mental scars ago.

As my ATS "persona" or "image" if you prefer, began to coalesce, I discovered that I was drawn to the political and chit chat type forums. Not politics in the strict sense. The General Conspiracies, New World Order, and other forums piqued my interest as well. But not the core subjects that tend to attract people to this site. I am a pretty simple man ( for a completely insane and complex one ) and I see it all as relatively simple;

Aliens come to my house? I will shoot them.
Bigfoot takes a shortcut through my yard? I will shoot him.
Chupacabra in the basement? Getting shot.
Succubus coming to molest me at night? Well that one might work out differently. But THEN I'd shoot it.

So the "fringe" stuff really doesn't catch my fancy often due to my "shoot first and never ask questions" approach to the unknown.

In the forums I did visit I fell into a bad crowd...those evil liberal and socially conscientious folk. Their views matched many of my own - so I began posting alongside them. But I had weapons at my disposal that many of them did not. I am verbose, obtuse, and predatory. The Irish among us will get how that works. See a wrong and want to right it? Punch the jerk who caused the wrong. When he gets up? Punch him again. It's effective and it's fun!

Unfortunately those doggone ATS moderators don't take kindly to the punch and punch again approach, so I had to adapt rather quickly. The staff here used their "this post has been removed...." signs to force me to learn the fine art of punching without punching. At first I was resistant. But soon I caught on. As time passed, I got pretty darned good at it too.

So, armed with my new methods of asymmetrical warfare, I entered the fray and vowed to take no prisoners in my quest to make EVERYONE accept that my way was the right way!

But a funny thing happened on my way to being permanently banned from ATS for being an obtuse and agenda driven member who had mastered the art of the subtle ad hom attack. You see to be good at attack, one has to actually read and really think about the posts one wants to use to tear apart so bad that the OP cries for hours afterwards. One has to get inside that other members head. An icky evil, but a necessary one - so I began doing just that. They watched Glen Beck? I watched Glen Beck so that I could throw HIS stupidity up in their faces in ways they never could have seen coming! I engaged their propaganda. I dissected it. I committed it to rote. And then returned read to fight and to win.

There's an odd consequence to walking a mile in another mans shoes... You find yourself understanding why he feels the way that he does. You see things from his side and his point of view. While I never did learn to empathize with a single word that Glen Beck spewed forth from his gaping hole - I did start to feel an affinity for the ATS members who used him as a source. Now that Beck is largely marginalized, simply substitute any pundit ( from either side of the spectrum ) and it still applies.

Once I had learned to empathize with the "enemy" - well they didn't seem like my enemy at all anymore. In fact they seemed to me to be people just like myself. Maybe with slightly different value systems or experiences. But people.

ATS there are a LOT of folks in our society who make their livings telling us the lies that blind us to the plights and thoughts of others. This is their stock in trade. This is their vocation. And, believe me when I say, no matter who it is you think is speaking for you on a television or a radio - they are not speaking for you at all. They are saying whatever the Hell they have to in order to get advertising revenue enough to stay on the air and to keep that income flowing.

posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 04:26 AM
It's their JOB to keep us all at our wits end, misinformed, and in a state of fear so profound that we are ripe and willing to believe anything that we are told. In fact I will lay out the horrible truth of it all as plainly as I can. Once upon a time, media existed as a means for people to communicate. During that period it was necessary to have commercials - filler - to keep the lights running and those early pioneers in enough of a salary to support their families. Today? Everything between the commercials is the filler and the media exists ONLY to advertise products and promote sponsors. The entire thing has turned upside down. So how can any of us take it seriously?

Complain all you want about ATS ads. but at least they don't interrupt the thread you are currently reading for THIS important message from....In fact if you know now to navigate ATS in certain ways, the ads become so unobtrusive as to barely ever be noticed. They simply blend in to the background in such a way as to be seen in what I feel is a proper context. Again, digression. This time I will blame the fact that my last cigarette is now extinguished and that strange phenomenon is occuring where simply not having any cigarettes is making me want one in the worst possible way!

Anyway, back to my rambling story...

Once the "enemy" had become not just humanized, but seemingly reasonable to me? That changed the entire way that I thought of ATS. It is a powerful, powerful thing when you can be in a heated argument with another person and suddenly find yourself saying "Wait... that last thing you just said... I TOTALLY AGREE! THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE!"

Often, here, such a statement is met with something along the lines of "Don't you dare agree with me jerkface! I still think you're a commie doodie-head", But still - that doesn't rob one of the beauty and catharsis of that moment. Adversaries, in heated battle, agreeing. And often upon critical hinge-point issues. It is simply an amazing thing! I mean this is not like your cat and dog walking up to you and saying "Yeah, we've decided to call a truce..." - this is more like your cat and dog walking up to you and saying "We've decided to get married. The wedding will be in June. Kibbles and Bits and Nine Lives will be the dining options..."

For a fairly long time I found so much hope in this phenomenon. So much potential for growth and change. While ATS has rules against recruiting - it has NO rule against grass roots paradigm changes happening here. I spent months truly thinking that I was witnessing exactly that. And I was awed.

Then the elections came.

I will be the first to admit that I am still in shellshock over the 2012 elections. My mind is a blur and all I can summarize, even in my own mind, is something about binders full of Obamaphones... and that maybe Donald Trump is set to star in the next installment of "The Fast And The Furious"??? I simply don't know. It was all so very confusing. Confusing and demoralizing because I watched so much good just get burned down by propaganda and rhetoric. It was like the ghosts of Ghaddafi and Hussein had risen, possessed most of America, and had us all drawing lines of death in the sand and speaking of the Mother of all wars.

And since? Talk of secession, rioting, insurrection, assassination, lay-offs for no other reason than who got elected as POTUS, a seeming need for EVERY American to write posts that are nothing more than love sonnets to their guns - and the vitriol and hate that we seem to have garnered towards all those who aren't EXACTLY as we are. Richer than me? Then DIE! Poorer than me? THEN DIE! Want universal healthcare? DIE! Don't want it? Well you can DIE TOO!

Where is all of this hatred coming from?

Personally speaking I am not opting to defend the rich currently because my Sunday morning talk shows are not yet populated with billionaires crying that they can't pay for their kids Christmas this year. But I have seen these stories, for several years running, now, on my local news. Long story short? The squeeky wheel gets the grease.

My point - before that "Do not touch the microwave" pill finally puts me down for the night. Folks... we have so much more in common than we have differences. We all have the same dreams. The same desires for our families. The same fears. The same problems ( to one degree or another ). How long are we going to let that which separates us blind us to that which binds us?

How long can a house, divided, stand?

Never mind any of this. We idealists get melancholy and overly thoughtful sometimes.


posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 05:03 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

First, I'll say that was unnecessarily long for the point you were making.

But as always, your threads are fun to read through. It's just me, I like to get to the point quickly.
Long answer sort. I know exactly what you are talking about. And have noticed a similar experience for myself.

And the house will continue to be divided until it burns it's self to the ground, and we are left trying to warm ourselves on the smoldering ruins.

posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 05:04 AM
Checked your profile to see if you'd been on tonight since you stopped speed debating, came across this. It's a bit of a gem, very poetic.

My favorite line was binders of Obamaphones

Reading this was good for me because I was just getting pretty frustrated with a thread that is clearly fictitious.

I think the first step in solving the problems we face is taking on a genuinely cooperative and optimistic attitude, leaving the i-need-to-be-right pride behind and just stepping up as an individual with some concrete actions that are indisputably positive.

This site does tend to have a lot of negativity, and I appreciate every attempt to highlight the vast evidence that humanity is in fact not on an irreversible crash course. We do have the potential to climb out and prosper.

Also, was good to see a pure positive thread like this get hot on ATS:

Touching video

edit on 11/21/2012 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 05:08 AM
reply to post by watchitburn

I've never been shy about calling myself verbose.

Writing long posts is just something I do. Even when I know it means far less participation than if I'd have just written a 30 word tirade. It serves a purpose in my life by allowing me to fully flesh out concepts and, through that process, gain perspectives and connections I might otherwise have missed.


posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 05:21 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

And we wouldn't want your posts any other way.

Otherwise it would be too easy to figure out what you're really getting at.

posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 09:22 AM

edit on 21-11-2012 by DC434L2A because: well, cause I'm an idiot...

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