They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Aug 6, 2008

Intelligence Defined...

This post is not really about defining intelligence, its more about the ability of a person to actually be two separate things at the same time and still maintain some semblance of sanity, or as Matthew Modine so eloquently put it in Full Metal Jacket, "The Duality of Man"

In my title block there is a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald (for those of you who don't know he wrote, "The Great Gatsby") He said, "Intelligence is the ability to hold two conflicting ideas in your head at the same time and maintain the ability to function."

I think that is pretty much dead on. If you are anything like me, and let's be honest pretty much everyone is about the same in this bland, bloodless, lifeless, consumer cesspool that we have created here in the U.S. of A. So if you are anything like me you have a lot of conflicting ideas and interests going on in your life.

Some examples:

I believe that peace is easily and without question the preferred condition for humans, yet I lust for the glory of war.

I like classical music, and the Dropkick Murphy's

I enjoy drinking in excess, and smoking cigarettes, and yet I still manage to look down on those who use drugs.

I believe deeply that there is a God and he/she loves us, yet I find the idea of organized religion insulting and degrading to the idea of God.

I love reading, and I love playing video games until my eyes are ready to pop out of my head.

I play beer pong, screw your neighbor, and "asshole", yet I play ridiculous amounts of chess.

I love children, but am terrified by the idea of having my own.

I believe in governmental fiscal responsibility, but I can't hold on to a dollar for more than a day or two.

I believe that Social Security is socialistic redistribution of wealth at its finest, but I love the fact that the taxpayers paid for my college education.

I love my family, but I have also never met anyone that has made me angrier.

I despise the idea of war on a macro level. On a micro level (meaning "me") I find the idea of war to be appealing and romantic. Mostly appealing to the wanderlust that I have always had, along with my uncanny ability to be a homebody and a bit of a momma's boy. (Some might say)

However, all of that pales in comparison to the pinnacle contradiction in my repertoire of idiocies.

I hate authority in all its forms, I am deeply suspicious of the government and all those who work for it, I believe that the US government has become nothing more than the legislative and military wing of corporate America...

...and I have worked for the government in one capacity or another since I was 19, and always in a law enforcement capacity no less.

Put all that together and I am about as diametrically opposed to myself as one can be.

Now this next year is going to test my constitution in ways that it has rarely been tested before. I am going in to a situation where I will actually have the opportunity to affect and maybe even change people's lives. (except the Army probably won't let me)

I get to be part of the making of the news, as opposed to a passive, and impotent spectator. I wonder if that is the actual reason that I volunteered? Do I, on some subconscious level, want to be in the fray that badly? What is it that attracts me to something so horrible?

Once again, more and more questions, and fewer and fewer answers. I think that this is going to be an intellectual test more than anything else. Physically speaking, either you do or you don't. You either get up and do it or you bend over and take it. And I bend over for no one, willingly. As you have no doubt already noticed from previous posts, every now and then the Army will bend me over. However, there is really nothing I can do about that.

I just hope and pray that my mind has the strength and intelligence to sort through all of this with a minimum of pain and suffering, and while we're at it lets keep the insanity to a minimum also...

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