How Entities Control Our Lives


We many times like to think that even if we are been spied on, and we have a government which is letting major corporations getting away with poisoning our food and water, that we are still free as individuals, and that we individuals do not willingly give in to our own incarceration. However, the truth is that we do, and not only that, but we think it makes us special, we think it makes us more important.

Most will not be wondering what I am talking about, but the problem is, we see incarceration and a dystopian society in a way similar to George Orwell’s book 1984 where there was a totalitarian government that controlled every aspect of our lives, and we hated it. However, what if instead of a government, the ones that are truly controlling our lives are multinational corporations, who play puppet theater with our government, and us.

Now, to what this has to do with you as a consumer, it has everything to do with you. Corporations have found ways to turn every part of our lives into a transaction, a business, something where they can make a profit. The most obvious example is the gym (in the U.S. cultural sense of the term, which is more like a club where people go to do exercise), where people take their cars to go to the gym to be there for an exact amount of time doing exercise that they could have done just walking around.

However, this applies to much more than just people wanting to do exercise. You have dating websites, which are taking an extremely personal part of your life and making it a business. They are taking something that should be personal between two people, a decision that they make by themselves out previous knowledge of each other, and turning relationships into a market where they can make a profit.

Then, there is also the fact that nowadays people are hiring mentors for their children. The process of which is basically that you give one of these associations a request, and they give you a well rounded person to mentor your child. Something that should be done by either the parents, or someone that the family, and most of all the child, actually knows.

Then, there are these friend associations which are where they designate your child a friend to play with, that is considered socially acceptable. Which means they are taking you friendships and turning them into a business as well.

However, what do these have to do with your personal freedom? The fact is that these are all central parts of ones life where associations and businesses are giving you and your family people to socialize with that are specifically socially acceptable, and therefore act like the majority of people. Where these organizations can make sure you never encounter other people who are interested (as I would suppose the readers of this blog are) in alternative ways of living, in going against the norm, in rebelling against the current system. These people can stop you from meeting anyone else like you, and therefore turn you into a mindless zombie that can only talk about yesterdays football match, and how drunk your going to get this Friday, and if you’re a girl, who is going out with who, and what clothes you plan on buying this weekend.

But not only that, but then we end up with a society where everyone is booked from dawn to dusk (and later) with activities. I know kids who from 7:30 to 14:00 they are at school, then they have after school activities that last until 17:00, then they go to work until 22:00, and finally come home to eat some crap food and do homework while watching the latest TV show. And as I said in my post on Free-Time, most of these kids don’t even need these jobs, they just want to be able to consume more and more. But then, on weekends, they go shopping, they have more activities, they go to the gym, etc. People have their whole life on an agenda, and the only way to organize a time to meet with these people is to organize it weeks in advance.

So be careful what you do in your spare time, and how many activities you sign up for (and more importantly, what activities you sign up for). And always try to have at least an hour of free-time a day where you can sit down and just think about things. Think whether you really need to be doing something, or even more importantly, whether you really want to at all. Because life is short, and if you’re going to spend it by letting it go by so you can live a life as the majority, it’s not a life worth spending. Live your life, don’t waste time on these useless activities that you don’t need.

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Stress


Ever since I have gotten back to the United States I’ve been noticing things that I didn’t see before, aspects of the American culture that I had always seen as normal and unquestionable until I returned from living in Spain. But one of the things that stood out to me is that here people actively look for stress. Even though it sounds crazy, people do it here, and it makes my life stressful as well.

Now, if you’re living here, and you most likely will not know what I’m talking about, because it’s what you’ve seen all your life. As I said, I never noticed until I came back here from the calmer life there is in Spain. However, I suppose that I should probably set examples.

One of the biggest things is that everyone needs to be in some sort of activity, whether it be yoga, a martial arts class, the gym, or some after-school club or sport. I know kids who have a job during the school year, and are also in school sports (mind you, here they take school sports rather seriously, with a few hours every day for practice, and a few matches every week). People here are stressed to the point that they put their need for stress over their own physical health. To give you an example, I have a friend who works until 10:00 PM and has to be at school at 8:30 AM the following morning, and this friend isn’t working to support himself, this friend is working for his own unnecessary consumption. Yet, he sees this as completely normal, because sadly, it is.

But even ignoring his case, there are many people who (as I said before) join several different groups/clubs/activities, and end up with no time on their hands to do something as simple as cook dinner. I can’t exactly tell you why they do it here, but I often times see that it somehow makes them feel important, the fact that they’re always busy. I, on the other hand, find it extremely unnecessary.

However, where the factor of stress matters most is among the working class, because those are the people that have stress, not because they make it, but because they need to work three jobs and taking night shifts. So what happens is that these people get stress from all the work they’re doing, and they have to go to the doctor/psychiatrist to talk about it. Apart from having to pay the psychiatrist, the psychiatrist will likely also prescribe them with some “happy pills” which they need to pay. Now you end up with a worker who needs to work even more just to pay for his pills and psychiatric treatment. Meanwhile, the big problem isn’t being solved, the fact that s/he’s still in the ghetto, which is causing all this stress.

Now, people will often misunderstand what I mean here and think I believe that psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies are all out to get you. That’s not exactly true. It’s not that they’re out to get you, it’s that that’s their job. People will do one thing normally in life, and another in their job life. A policeman might have sympathies for protesters in his/her daily life, but is obligated to arrest them in their job life.

Finally, one thing that most people don’t understand is the concept of “going with the flow”. The flow doesn’t always mean the majority, it means the path that comes easier, the path that is easier to take. A life without stress is an easy one to take, but most people don’t like it because it’s not the norm (again, I am referring to the U.S.).

All in all, stress in the U.S. is something fairly common, and something that people look for to be within the norm of people that have a job in high school, or who participate in a school sport, or who go to yoga classes or the gym. People will often do anything to be within the norm. But you have the ability to change yourself, regardless of what other people think. I will say, it’s not easy being the weird guy at times, but it’s less stressful than having to worry about every little thing you do to see if you are within the norm.

Free-Time


On my previous post I said “free-time”, and I might have mentioned it before, but I don’t know if what I call “free-time” is the same thing you call “free-time”. The reason why I’m bringing this up is because the concept of “free-time” has been changing over the years, and not in a good way.

Most people today, especially in our modern societies, think of free-time as an organized time where you do stuff you like hanging out with friends, going shopping, playing the guitar, writing a story, scheduled activities, etc. (whatever you like to do). However, this is not exactly “free-time”, note how I said organized, that’s going to be important.

For me, free-time is an unscheduled time where you just happen to have nothing happening. Then, once you get to this free-time, you decide to do something, whether it be writing, playing the guitar, meeting with friends, etc. The main difference between this and what I said before is that what people usually do is that they have an agenda, and when they actually have free-time, they fill it up with something, such as classes, activities, scheduling to hang out with a friend, etc. The thing that does not make this free-time is that it is planned, free-time by definition means that there is nothing planned. Therefore, when you plan to hang out with a friend, it is not free-time. Free-time is when you have time to improvise what you’re  going to do.

Now, what problems has this caused. The scheduling of everything in every-day life has caused an extreme amount of stress in peoples lives, because everyone is so concerned about doing things according to the schedule, and they don’t take the time to sit down and relax. This is why children don’t know what to do these days when they’re not on the computer, doing scheduled activities, or at school. It’s because they are used to being told what to do, not being able to decide for themselves, it’s because they have an agenda they have to follow. That’s why the television is such a problem, why it consumes so much of the average person’s daily life. I solved this problem by just not watching television, period.

Now, we may think that people were always so busy as we are (with scheduled “free-time” and such), but our definition of free-time, being a scheduled time to do things we want, is actually fairly recent. Not only that, but we have had less and less free time as we advance in civilization. People 200 years ago had more free-time than we do now, and 200 years before that the same. All the way back to the agricultural revolution, which was when we began to reduce our free-time. Before then, people had a lot of free-time, to the point that they only had to go gathering food for about 3 hours a day. Hunting took longer, but the meat lasts way longer, and it’s what everyone in the tribe loved the most. So they didn’t have to go hunting every day.

All in all, we have been losing our free-time because we schedule everything. Whenever we have free-time we fill it up with something. So the best way to avoid the stress is to have a life with more time where you don’t have anything planned, where you are essentially bored. Then, when you are bored, find something to do that does not involve the television or the computer or anything that is just passive consumption. Learn to play an instrument, start to write a novel, learn to dance, do something that isn’t just sitting and not doing anything. However, don’t schedule what you’ll do in this time, just do it when the time comes.