Popularity

I’ve never understood why it’s important to like popular things. For a lot of people the transient attribute of being popular is more important than the substance of the thing which is popular. It goes for music, movies, games, people, the latest gimmick and so forth. It doesn’t matter if the music is good or if the movie is interesting as long as it is popular a lot of people will like it. Why? One might think that since something is popular it would imply it is good and it has gotten its popularity due to being good, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, of course, it is applicable. Nowadays governments and corporations spend millions in advertising. They can make their Harry Potters and Twilights popular by building up the hype even before anyone has seen it. Other things can become popular by accident, a meme that is simple enough gets repeated by lots of people over time even though they don’t really care for it and voilá; the thing has become popular.

I can understand the part of wanting to be popular with other people to a degree. If I spend time with my friends I want some of their attention, I want the to respect me, consider me interesting, funny, witty or something. Especially the attention of women feels nice. Yet too much attention feels fake and uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want to be the center of attention for too long. Sometimes for a moment it can be nice, if there is a good reason for it, such as I’m making a presentation.

The thing is, I don’t understand why people like things simply because they are popular. What’s the point? A lot of people do that. A couple of times a girl has asked me rhetorically if I’m popular with girls, sort of hinting I might be (but I’m not). I just didn’t know why does it matter? I’m there with the girl, what does it matter what others think of me?

I sometimes want things that I consider good to be popular, whether it be my favourite games, music, ideas like Tao te Ching or David Icke. They might help enlighten the human race as a whole, instead of the corporate pop-culture and lack of philosophy in society. Yet that too seems like a pointless task, since if people are interested in it, they’ll find out about it, if not, I cannot make it popular.

We don’t do things ourself anymore

Our grandparents used to build their own houses, farm their land, grow their food, make their clothes. We don’t. We get it from a supermarket. We have little effect on the world or our lives. On top of that we don’t even experience things on our own. We do it through a proxy such as television or a computer game. Our romance is a Hollywood movie, which can be a perfect idea, but we can get rid of it when it no longer amuses us. Even if we have a girlfriend/wife we still fantasize about the Pussycats Dolls song “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?”. We don’t even fight our wars anymore, we play Call of Duty or Counterstrike. We don’t have adventures or excitement, except in watching Avatar (it actually never excited me, but apparently for a lot of people it did), reading Harry Potter (never read any of them), or playing World of Warcraft (guilty of having done that one). Our ideas and beliefs aren’t formed by ourselves either. They’re formed by the authority we believe in, be it the pope, the professor or the economist. We believe in Creationism because they tell us to, or in Evolution and Global Warming, or in Neo-Liberal capitalism.

 

All of this is by design, of course. As it is, it shouldn’t be too difficult to rid ourselves of the dependency once we realize it is an engineered one. First we have realize that state of affairs intellectually, then distance ourselves from it emotionally, after that we can begin to live genuinely, instead of being a nice little automaton slave for the system.

No-one wants to Know Me

No-one has ever wanted to know me. Not my friends, family or ex-girlfriends. People who have some interest in me, either have superficial interest, because I’m related to them by blood or by destiny, or because they find me fascinating in some way, yet too weird to really want to know. Either that or they project their wishes onto me, who or what I should be in their minds.

I wouldn’t say that I’m that boring either. Some people have found me interesting because I see things different from most, or simply because I look different. Some have even claimed I’m good looking, but even if I am, it hasn’t helped much with the opposite sex. A month or two ago I was clubbing with some friends. Around five o’clock in the evening a couple of girls were talking to a friend of mine. I walked in and immediately one of the girls said I’m just her type, that she wants me to be her boyfriend. At first I thought she was kidding or just fucking with me, but I played along politely. It turned out she was serious. We spent talking a few hours, I became interested in her too. We agreed we’d meet again the next day.

We exchanged a few messages on Facebook. We agreed to meet the next day, however the next morning she had blocked me on Facebook. She didn’t answer my calls or anything. It didn’t take too long to figure out she had changed her mind. I was disappointed but not too surprised. If we had met again maybe it would’ve been nice. However, maybe it was for the better. If I had done things differently, I was fairly reserved the whole time I was with her since I wasn’t sure about her intentions. Besides I thought her friend was prettier than she was. I didn’t expect a relationship that starts off so suddenly at five in the morning to last. Turned out I was right. However it could have been a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I had been more open-hearted with her, maybe she wouldn’t have dumped almost as fast as she became interested in me. The might have beens and could have been isn’t the point though.

The point is she thought I was her dream man when she saw me, but after she got to know me a bit I was no longer. There are various factors involved of course, like she was drunk when she met me, as I was, and sober when she dumped me. She was interested in an image of a guy that already existed in her head, not me. I merely reminded her of him for a while.

Most people who have contact with me either project their prejudices onto me, be they positive or negative, or sense I am somehow different and either avoid me or observe with curiosity.

I’m not the most unique magical indigo child in the world, but I wouldn’t say I represent the average guy, the average Finn, or an average human very well. Most other people seem more alike their friends and they get along with each other better. Like likes like. At least that’s how it looks to me. I’m not really alike anyone I know, so it always separates me from others.

The question is do those other people know themselves really, is it easy for them to do so if they are more alike? Or perhaps they are not so alike deep-down, but they adopt a common basis for action to feel connected to each other? What about me? Do I really want to know others, or just some superficial level. I’d say that for a lot of people I’m just not interested in knowing them deeper. They don’t seem interesting enough. But for some people I know I’ve at least tried understanding them. Maybe they haven’t been interested in my attention, or my interest has also been superficial.

Formula for War

Our world is and has been in a constant state of war for centuries. By war I mean both actual war with bombs and guns, and war on the hearts and minds of people to force upon them beliefs they would not otherwise posses. War is never fought over ideologies like Christianity, Communism, Democracy, freedom or Islam. There is only one ideology behind war; money. The abstract concept of money in the practical sense is resources such as gold, oil or land. Resources are being hoarded by sick individuals such as bankers, kings, bishops and politicians. They are the only ones who actually want a war, the ones who think they benefit from it. The foolish masses who go to war due to nationalism, religion or other ideology have been given the ideology only to delude themselves to think the goals of the ruling “elite” are the goals of the people. The “elite” need the resources in order to control others. The need to control others is always due to fear. When you are not in a state of fear, you have no need to impose orders on others. When you are in fear, you feel as if you have to do so to protect what is yours. That which is “yours” may be physical property, social status or an ideology. Those who do not live in fear have no need for such things.

War is fought over resources and money. Money equals control. The need to control others is always due to fear. Do not be persuaded by people under the fear delusion. It is a dangerous form of insanity.

Violence in Computer Games

I’ve played computer and video games all my life. Their role in my life has changed over time, but for better or for worse they’ve been a part of life ever since I was 4 years old or so. My first computer was a Commodore 64, then Amiga 500. Both machines, especially Amiga 500 contain so much nostalgia for me that can never be surpassed. That’s why I wouldn’t really wanna play with them in order to not ruin my memories. I also a Gameboy at some point, Amiga CD32 and Sega Megadrive. Then a Playstation, Playstation 2. I have a Wii, but nowadays I mostly play PC games.

I’ve learned many things from games, for example computer games played an integral part in learning the English language. However computer games are also a big waste of time, very annoying at times, and a form of escapism. At small doses escapism is good, but not when it begins to rule over your life. I couldn’t really care to try to weigh whether they’ve helped me or hindered me more.

As an elementary school kid computer games were the best thing in existence. As I got a bit older they began to lose some of their magic. They became more of an escape from an unpleasant reality. Eventually I realized it, and thought I shouldn’t be too attached to them, yet I was afraid I could never do it. After I woke up, I wasn’t so much attached to them. I didn’t see the point in playing games anymore on an intellectual level, yet on an emotional level I was still attached to them somewhat. Now I figure “It’s just a ride” as Bill Hicks used to say. Playing a few games every once in a while is a fine part of the ride as long as they’re not the majority of it. I much prefer doing other things, like stuff with real people. I can’t imagine myself saying stuff like: “Sorry I can’t go out tonight because I have to play ______.” Some people who play World of Warcraft are like that. Nowadays I seem to be drawn to games mostly at times when I feel stress about schoolwork or other boring “society stuff”. Games are diversion, sometimes pleasant, other times annoying.

The topic is supposed to be violence in games so let’s get to the point. I’ve almost always liked violent computer games. (When I was really young, less than 9-10 years old I probably didn’t.) They’ve symbolized freedom of expression to me. Some “moral guardians” wanted to censor games even though they’d never played them. Violent games was one way of fighting against censorship. In the early nineties games like Syndicate and Cannon Fodder were amazing partly for the violence. I was smart enough to recognize even as a kid that a game is a game. Killing someone, especially in a bloody way, is not real. Rather it is sort of an silent, non-intrusive way of rebelling against the social order. I’ve always been rather peaceful. Games can make me angry, and other people angry, even aggressive but whether the game is violent or not has little to do with it. If a game annoys you, it can make you pissed off. It has more to do with bad controls, unfair level design or something like that, a deeper aspect of the game than a superficial theme like violence or lack of it.

Recently I’ve realized there’s another way of looking at why I and probably some others like violent games. There’s a new shooting game called Hotline Miami which is really old school nineties style game. It also has lots of blood, violence and a sick nihilistic sense of humour. The music if good too. In other words I love it. Playing it made me realize it’s one way of confronting the violence that the modern society is based on. There is a veneer of decency, civility and politeness in society, but in fact it is founded on exploitation and suffering of others. We know the colourful adverts, the smiling people high in social hierarchy and the modern metropolis hide the fact of hundreds of years of genocide, oppression and violence; physical, emotional and intellectual. Living in this society is it not easy to clearly recognize how contradictory and violent the society really is because of all the diversions that tell you otherwise. Yet, deep down we all know what the story is. By playing violent computer we recognize the violence inherent in society and relive it in a non-harmful way. It brings our inner antipathy toward society from the subconscious to the surface. We long for the violence, the same as our society. When the society no longer yearns for violence, then we can cease to do it too.

That being said, when I was a kid there were no online multiplayer FPS war simulators like Call of Duty, Medal of Honor and all that stuff. I’ve never played them because I’m not really interested. It could be that those are deliberately, or accidentally, used to brainwash children, or adults. I really cannot say since I have no experience. I can just comment on my own experiences on violent games. They can be liberating. Killing a bunch of people in GTA is fun. Still, it doesn’t mean I only like violent games. Violence is simply one aspects among dozens that I like. As do a lot of my friends. As long as you’re not fucked up in the head you can enjoy any sort of fiction, be it a game, movie or book, if you enjoy it.

There is only one Religion

Since Obama won the new presidential election I feel I must rant a bit. This is a continuation of the theme of the Ruled by Images rant. First of all him winning the election surprises me less than a Catholic priest molesting a choir boy.

People worship their cultural construct. It is the same program that each of us have, until we start to deprogram. It manifests in various different ways as different cultures, religions, beliefs, political movements etc. Ultimately the result is the same, the person loses connection with natural reality and prefers the world of images constructed for him. We are no longer attuned to the natural flow of life, but to the particular cultural construct we associate ourselves with. The flow (a matrix of belief and emotion) atheistic intellectuals in New York are attuned to differs greatly from the flow Muslims in Pakistan are attuned to. The New Yorkers are in some ways on the same frequency as atheists in Berlin, and Pakistanis are somewhat on the same frequency as Muslims in Tikrit. These flows or matrices are completely artificial, i.e. man-made. Not naturally formed, nor created by God or anything like that.

When people are stuck in these matrices they tend to like people and things that affirm the truthfulness of their particular matrix. When an idea or person does not flow according to their beliefs, they don’t like them. Each such matrix is a box that might be entertaining, or even contain great morsels of wisdom, yet overall it is a gilded cage. The inhabitant deep down knows it, but does not want to realize it consciously as the ego has promised 70 million virgins, golden toilets and fancy gadgets for those willing to go all the way. The promise, of course, is an empty one. People stuck in the cage live under the delusion that if they shut down information coming from outside the box which contradicts their constructed unreality, the box will become not only a reality, but a paradise. As if not seeing something makes it disappear.

Each matrix is unique in the details, even though the program is the same. The program is mental self-enslavement with false promises of hope and satisfaction. People are attuned countless flows like entertainment, music, movie, politics, sports, religions. Being deeply attached to your favourite sports team, politician, pop artist, or even conspiracy researcher means the matrix has you. When you care emotionally about such external matters, you identify with the external suppressing your internal self, you become artificial. There is no problem if you enjoy some of these things, but if deep down you believe they matter, that is when insanity occurs.

Living in a modern culture there are various groups and subgroups. One person may care deeply about Left-wing politics, computer games and jazz music. Another in the same country may be obsessed about Christianity, football and fashion. According to the program its slaves can only derive pleasure from the things predefined in the program, other things are not interesting or important. One part of being attuned to this artificial flow is to loathe those who support the anti-thesis of their favourite memes. Christianity vs atheism. Left vs Right. This football team vs that team.

It is all bullshit. It is there just to distract you from reality. You need to distinguish those things actually exist and matter from ideas which only matter in minds of people.

Being an open person

For most of my youth I weren’t a very open person; I was a “closed” person. Now I’m learning to be more open, and I kinda like it. I think most people are open, at least generally, even though they are extremely closed to “weird” stuff like conspiracies. It means they accept things that don’t seem threatening on the surface. Closed people are more concerned about not letting themselves be suckered in by bad things and pointless crap, but it also shuts them off from the many good things there are.

Open people tend to accept the information they receive with little resistance unless it contradicts some of their strong beliefs. Information can mean anything from music and movies to scientific discoveries and philosophical ideas. Open people hear the new pop song and think there’s nothing wrong with it, so they go along humming it, dancing to it. They watch the latest blockbuster movies. They accept the world view told to them by churches, governments and media as they don’t blatantly contradict their common sense. Closed people, as I was, still am to some degree, are skeptical of most things. Especially popular things. The new hit songs and movies are shallow entertainment, we prefer to find the “independent”, “alternative” or more extreme choices. Not the mass produced aphrodisiac for the masses. Same goes for ideologies, religions and all that.

I cannot say that either way of seeing things is better than the other. However, being a closed person I cannot help seeing the wisdom in that approach. The world is full of bullshit, it’s best not to buy it. It doesn’t mean that closed people never buy bullshit, but I think we buy less of it. Open people miss out on the more esoteric secrets when they accept Gangnam Style so they never hear about Combichrist or Velvet Acid Christ. They accept main stream Christianity or the Left-Right paradigm of politics, thus cannot understand how things actually work. They care more about the surface than the substance.

Yet the world is full of beautiful things as well that our kind often runs away from. It’s a waste to throw away a whole bag of flour just because there is one worm in it. Open people don’t do so. They focus on the positive. That is also what I’m gradually learning to do. Be open to life, to people. Even though I don’t know if I like this guy or maybe that girl is boring, but I still try to interact with them. Now after a few years of being a proper conspiracy nut who is interested in spirituality, the need to look for video games or movies to entertain isn’t that great, yet there are various forms of entertainment I find pleasant from time to time. It would be a waste to deny myself of them for ideological reasons. I merely shouldn’t use them as a means to escape reality. Also there can be great wisdom and truth on the surface as well. Not every nugget of wisdom is hidden in a dark cave shrouded in esotericism. Many secrets hide in the plain sight, which only the open people can realize.

Now as I write, I hope that my inborn pessimistic skepticism can guide the newfound positivity and openness to bring about nice things. For me, and to allow me to spread it unto others. Right now I feel as thought the “law of attraction” is working. I don’t know if has any mystical aspect to it, cosmic ordering or something. I just think that if I feel positive and genuine in my heart other people can sense subconsciously and act the same way toward me. Doesn’t work with everyone, of course. Moreover my life is bound to have good, bad and average situations. My attitude toward each of them is important. If I’m having a bad time and I bitch about to myself how unfair everything is I just make it worse. If I try to force every situation to be good, I’ll make it worse, and when I’m in a good situation if I try to force it to last longer, I’ll eventually spoil it. Go with the flow. Not as a mindless victim, but as an experienced swimmer who knows he cannot control the river, but he can control his own position in it.