Tag Archives: Karma

"When it Rains, it Pours!"

“Now you can smash all the windows that you want, all you really need are some friends and a rock.”

– Dead Kennedys

The universe, while being such a bro to me a few months ago stringing meaning and understanding along in ways that have been impossible to ignore, has recently decided to fuck me hard with a series of semi-related and unfortunate events. I totally hate the universe right now. It can go fuck itself for all I care.

Firstly, let me mention that our newest car, a Ford Focus Electric, has been dead and at the Ford dealership for three weeks now. Why? I don’t know. It’s a fully electric car and when it shits out it shits out in a way that is impossible for the home mechanic such as myself to repair. This was the risk of buying an electric car in 2016: I bought it to be a pioneer on the new frontier of clean, efficient, battery-only vehicles (popularly abbreviated as BEV: battery electric vehicle) and I can’t say that I’ve been wrong about that fact. Trying to get an EV fixed, even in 2019, does feel like the frontier. No one knows a damn thing about them so it’s always back to the dealership for any serious repairs. So far they’ve quoted me $1,300 for the initial repair (and with my insurance deductible that I’ve frugally set at $1,000 to rake in a low premium payment, I’m basically fucked) and they’ve found another issue that they’ve been working on for a week without any update. (I really hope the main drive battery has a fatal flaw; under Ford’s warranty I might get a brand new battery out of this bullshit.)

Double shifting in the meantime — working hellish hours at UPS delivering everyone’s bullshit Christmas packages — didn’t leave me with much choice in what to drive. I still needed to get to work and even more so now that I needed to foot the bill for the EV to be repaired. Luckily we have a derelict and non-insured 1997 Saturn SL-2 sitting around that I was able to fire up and drive to work illegally. It also has no exhaust just to really paint the picture here of how shitty this car is. I literally wore earplugs on my way to work. Gotta protect your hearing, right?

Luckily, a friend at work has had sympathy and has been driving me around on break. Why take two cars when one is illegal to go eat shitty fast food when you can take a single legal car? Anyways, between shifts we seen this asshole driving around:

My friend’s window is dirty as fuck btw.

The picture might not be the best quality but it should be obvious that all of this person’s windows have been smashed the fuck out. Sides, back, and even the front windshield had been completely destroyed with only the front window still present. (Front windows are coated in something so if they do smash in an accident you don’t get your face, neck, and other parts of your body sliced up by flying glass. The window was fucked up, but still intact.) Funnily enough, as we seen the side of the vehicle we realized that not all the windows were destroyed: the driver’s side window was unharmed which was hilarious to see. They even had it rolled up as if that singular window could keep the interior warm while driving around in the Illinois winter. The coolest part was probably how they didn’t even try to clean up the debris, the busted glass shards were still futilely hanging in place as if the owners were indifferent or even proud of having their vehicle fucked up so badly. We had a ton of laughs about this person’s vehicle and misfortune and wonder who exactly they pissed off. Were they cheating with someone and their spouse found out? Did they owe someone a lot of money? You have to pay off those gambling debts and drug dealers, guys. 

As a totally unrelated note that actually is related, I’ve been listening to a fuckton of Dead Kennedys lately, especially the song “Riot.” I really think it’s one of their best, if not the best, song by them. It starts off slow enough but has some serious building energy where by the end of the song the band is just going of the fucking rails. It’s nuts. It’s also a terribly ugly song with a disgusting bass line driving the entire affair, but it all works in such a visceral way.

The song is about rioting (huh…), and how the people who riot end up getting turned away from the ones who really matter, the corporate overlords that keep them fiscally enslaved and stuck in their hourly jobs, and end up fucking up their own neighborhoods. It’s full of fun lines like “Now you can smash all the windows that you want, all you really need are some friends and a rock.” Shit. I’ve been listening to it on the way to work to get fucking hyped and have been joking about busting windows with bricks/rocks because it’s the punkest thing ever. Yeah, let’s smash shit! Gimme a fucking rock or a brick! I’ll go find my supervisor’s supervisor’s manager and smash his goddamn windows out. He’s the real slave-driver!

And then I was fucked by the universe in a cruel bit of irony. I came outside one day to see this sight on the beloved Saturn:

I, like the SUV earlier, had no effort to clean the glass shards up. What’s the point?

Well shit. We called the cops and he didn’t do a fucking thing (because what could he do?) but did suggest that insurance should cover it. “Well it’s not insured. It just sits here as a spare,” I said. I didn’t admit to taking the car to work uninsured because I’m not stupid, and the cop gave me a look that said, “Well, you’re fucked without insurance.” I can’t even drive it now sans-window because of admitting to the cop that I didn’t drive it. It would be pretty obvious if the same cop seen it barreling down the road, loud as hell, and without a window that I was the guy with the uninsured car. Guess I’d have to foot the bill for the Ford EV and the Saturn’s window. Raking in all the extra money during Christmas seemed much less appealing with the impending $1,500 in possible repairs.

The next night we discovered the neighbor’s car windows were also smashed. These were some bold motherfuckers roaming the neighborhood. I fantasized about catching the culprit(s) and violently throwing them to the ground and letting my temper take hold as I beat them to a pulp. I’m talking blatantly fantasizing about torture here: dragging them back to the house to pepper spray them in the face or pull their fingernails out. Tie them up in the basement and kick them in the balls. Maybe steal any sort of cash in their wallets or pockets, because who would the cops believe anyways? Me, the victim of a crime, or some punkass teens who have been smashing windows for something to do? Sadly after two weeks they haven’t returned and I haven’t been able to beat some ass. But boy when I hear a sound outside my adrenaline goes haywire.

Luckily we have four vehicles at our house. The Saturn was out with a busted window and the Ford EV was doing who the hell knows what at the dealership, while our Dodge Caravan and Dodge Ram were still going strong. Or were they? A few days later we discovered the Ram had a dead battery and jumping the thing didn’t help: the battery was legit shot. That was an easy fix though. But today? I hopped in the Caravan, started it, and noticed the power steering wasn’t working. “No big deal,” I thought. Then I noticed the lights were kinda dim and checked the voltage via a Bluetooth stereo cigarette lighter plug-in thingy: 11.8 volts. The battery wasn’t charging. The issue seemed to clear up on its own and considering the power steering issue points to a problem with the drive belt, but I haven’t even started to troubleshoot the problem yet. I just don’t even care to think about it yet.

A common bullshit saying is that, “when it rains, it pours,” and while I shit on stupid sayings like that all the time, well, this is a perfect example of it. The Ford EV dying during the worst time of the year, the Saturn getting its window smashed out after seeing someone driving with their windows smashed out — and joking about it — all why listening to the Dead Kennedys screaming about smashing glass with rocks/bricks at least four times a day. Having the neighbor’s also inherit our bad karma didn’t feel very good either. Like I felt like my bad karma was the real cause of their smashed window. (I don’t even know why I have bad karma; I donated $100 to Team Trees like two weeks ago.) Being unable to get revenge on the window smashers. Discovering the Ram with its dead battery and finding an impending issue with our Caravan: when will we stop getting shit on?

Karmic Justice Sucks

I’m not into astrology stuff. I don’t think anyone can predict the future. Who gives a fuck about tarot cards? And so on. I only believe in the idea of “karma” to the lightest degree, i.e. maybe if you do good stuff in the world good stuff will be more likely to happen to you just because you’re increasing the good in the world and not because someone has a fucking tally board of the bad/good shit you do. Despite my beliefs I seem to have this strange gift, especially at work, where whatever I joke about going wrong usually happens. I’ve never stopped to see how consistently this happens mostly because I’m skeptical about it. I joke about things, and they happen. And they keep happening because I keep joking about them.

From my last post you might recall that I’ve been sick and miserable the past week. And from how this post is going you might expect there to be some big cosmic reason for me being sick and there is. Sort of. At work I discovered that a few of our talented supervisors were scheduled to have Tuesday off so naturally I also didn’t want to come into work because I knew it would be a shitshow. I discovered this the Thursday prior and jokingly asked another supervisor if I could also have Tuesday off. She replied with a resoundingly firm “no.” I then joked, joked, that I might be sick on Tuesday and, oh man, even if it was four days away I felt the sickness already coming on.

And guess what fucking happened?

Not only was I sick Tuesday but was sick the entire weekend. It really hit me hard Friday and lasted all the way until Wednesday/Thursday. I really put an effort into coming into work Tuesday just to tell the universe to go fuck itself but nope, I was miserable and missed work. Just as I was joking about. This also makes me look like a total lying asshole. (“Haha, might be sick Tuesday!” Then I proceed to call in sick. “No, really. I am sick!”) Luckily I came into work Wednesday with my voice sounding scratchy, frog-like, and constantly cracking so at least people knew I was actually sick. I wasn’t faking my sickness, it was just the universe fucking me over for joking about it.

And another curious thing. An employee last week was fired due to poor attendance. He was also notorious for showing up to work baked off his ass. Bloodshot eyes, totally red and barely able to hold them open. Apparently he said he had pink eye. Haha, right? Pink eye. Sure… He even (supposedly) had a doctor’s note saying so. Naturally it didn’t stop me from endlessly talking shit about him and his supposed pink eye diagnosis.

Guess what happened Monday?

My eye hurt, was red, watery, and had all sorts of nasty discharge coming out of it. While I hadn’t been to a doctor or had ever been diagnosed with pink eye, it sure sounded like pink eye. And to hell with actually going to a doctor and having it confirmed because then I might have to admit my karmic faults. At least I can live in reasonable denial by not having it confirmed. My eye did clear up the next day so maybe it wasn’t pink eye, but still. In my sick and slightly paranoid state I started to wonder if the universe was trying to tell me something.

And as a sort of bloody icing on my karmic cake, I had a terrible nose bleed on Monday. And since I had been eating asprin nearly nonstop (and in case you weren’t aware, asprin stops blood from clotting…) my nosebleed was also nonstop. It bleed for literally 55 minutes. So there I was struck in the bathroom at 5:30 a.m.  thinking I was going to die from a nosebleed. Like I’d lose enough blood, pass out, and die before anyone was awake to actually save me. Because I was taking asprin. Because I was sick. With possible pink eye. Because I joked about the two things last week to get out of work on Tuesday. You can’t make this shit up.

I don’t know my overall karmic standing with the universe but I like to think it should be somewhat good. I don’t treat people like shit. I try to help my fellow humans out. Hell, I even let people merge into my lane while driving. I’m that guy. A guy like that certainly has good karmic standing, right? And once again to bring this all back around, I’m skeptical. I wrote this entire post talking about the universe trying to fuck me over, but do I really believe it? No. Of course not. I don’t even know where to start if I did think I was supposed to learn something from all of this. If anything I find it immensely funny. And if you learn and understand one single thing about existence, life, the universe, and everything, it’s that it’s hilariously stupid and makes no sense. And if this past few weeks has had anything to teach me, maybe it’s that. The universe is a goddamn prankster. You have to get a laugh out of it.

Facebook Sucks: Anonymity and the Futility of Chasing “Likes”

Note: This is another “chapter” from my “upcoming ebook” on why Facebook Sucks. It seemed like it would fit well enough here so here ya go. Once again it is pretty rambly but whatever.

I’m a huge fan of the social media website Reddit. If you really want to check it out here’s the link (You lazy fucks. Google it yourself). They also have an app if you’re one of those people. Others on Reddit say the app is kinda shitty so do what you want. The thing I really like about Reddit after the dedicated subreddits for any and everything is the fact that it’s a semi-anonymous site and they pull it off beautifully. You might think that being fully-anonymous or non-anonymous would win out on any pro/con analysis but I don’t think this is true. Let me elaborate.

The shitty website called 4chan is totally anonymous: you post stuff and no one knows it’s you. This is nice in a way because you can be your unabashed self. If you discovered as a teen that you really like hentai and furry-porn, you can indulge your hearts (or any other body parts) content on 4chan and no one will judge you for it. Sure people might judge the graphic tentacle monster and underage anime girl you posted, but they can’t judge you as an individual person with an identity. They can’t say “Did you see what Jimmy posted the other day? Holy Fuck he’s strange.” You’re simply free to post and comment whatever you want. Obviously this comes with the downside that when people are free in anonymity they can say some really hateful, racist, homophobic, and other -phobic ideas (LINK NOT SAFE FOR WORK!!). 4chan isn’t a website for the faint-of-heart.

Facebook, on the other hand, has the opposite problem where you have no anonymity. Sure there are some people with fake profiles, but I think for the most we are ourselves on Facebook. Since your Facebook profile is a representation and projection of your real self you have to worry about your “internet self-image” or some shit like that that sounds really stupid when you write it out. If you are the aforementioned furry-porn enthusiast you might not be able to represent that facet of yourself to you boss, grandma, pastor, wife, mother, or whoever else you’re friends with. You’re restricted in what you can be open about and this restriction is a huge downside with any form of social media. In our normal IRL selves we already have this restriction so extending it to social media doesn’t help any form of self-expression.

The upside to not being anonymous is the fact that you can have a “record” of your social media exploits, i.e. how many “likes” and “shares” you get and (usually) other people can see this. Sites like 4chan have no way to track your “progress” because you’re anonymous. This is where Reddit really shines with its semi-anonymity: you are a person with a username, although this isn’t connected to your IRL self at all. You can collect “points” (in the form of something called “karma”) and see how popular your comments and posts are by how many “upvotes” you’ve gotten. In short you and others get to see a “record” of what your profile has accomplished, how popular you are, and some redditors on their respective subreddits are nearly famous in the quality content they create. Reddit lets you be a person that is free to act however you want but also gives you an identity to work with all without the worry of committing a “social media faux pas” of posting furry/tentacle porn on your Facebook page.

People on Reddit joke about “fake internet points” aka “karma” and they’re totally right with the terminology. It doesn’t make any sense to accumulate “karma,” “likes,” or “shares” at all (or whatever form the “fake internet points” take on your favorite website), and in all objectivity these things are totally fucking pointless. But for some reason knowing your shitpost on r/WallStreetBets has gotten 5,000 upvotes makes you feel like you’re progressing as a socially-adept human or something. I really think Facebook would be much more addictive and potent if they had a “total reaction and share” counter for your posts so you have one or two really quick and concrete numbers to see how popular you are with your Hot Facebook Opinions and Influencing Posts. Then the whole point of Facebook then would really be to shitpost your way to more Internet Points and you’d have a counter for it.

What I’m trying to get to in a roundabout way is how chasing these fake internet points is a hollow sort of pursuit and one that doesn’t fulfill you in any meaningful way. In a way everything is kinda pointless and chasing money, degrees, fancy cars, sexual partners or anything is really the same level of pointlessness (in the grand scheme of the universe) as anything else. Probably everyone as an edgy teenager has had this extremely nihilistic outlook but quickly abandons it because of the inability to actually function in life when you think that everything is, in the end, pointless. Eventually you reach a point where you know that everything is pointless but you need to do something in your life because you can’t just not exist to spite the universe. Mostly because the universe doesn’t give a fuck about you.

So what makes farming for Facebook “likes” less fulfilling than actual IRL progress? For me it is the amount of self-fulfillment you get out of actually doing something difficult. As stated, Facebook is like a lazy-man’s form of social interaction and social interaction that is as easy as typing shit on a screen isn’t going to be as satisfying as actual interaction. Consider talking to a romantic interest: it’s really easy to just send a creepy Facebook message and slide into those DMs, but it’s immensely difficult to actually talk to them. So when you actually do go out of your way to talk like a real person does, you feel so much better for it. You feel like you’ve accomplished something. Actually interacting with people is almost always more satisfying than “interacting” on social media even if it is something trivial.

Another thing I noticed is that getting “likes” or “shares” is a pursuit on its own. Getting a college degree is the final product of years of hard work and I think we like to think of farming internet points as a “final goal” but really those are like the “years of hard work” with the caveat that it doesn’t actually have a final goal. What I’m trying to say is that farming Facebook “likes” has no end: you’re always chasing the next accomplish in getting “likes” and other forms of social media approval. There will never be a point to where you’ve “succeeded” at having “likes” on Facebook. You’re never finished chasing the social media approval of others.

What happens is you get addicted and accustomed to the upward climbing views/shares/likes/upvotes on your posts and you start to think that this is like a rule or a law or something. You might think that you’re just that cool of a person and people really like you. You naturally want these numbers to continually grow forever so when they don’t — when you post something that isn’t quite a popular as the rest — you feel like a failure. Did you do something wrong? Do people not like you anymore? Are you socially not part of “the cool crowd?” You might even put more effort into carefully crafting the next Successful Post and if that’s successful, congrats, you’ve temporarily saved your mood. If that fails, well, you just feel like a fucking failure.

The YouTube channel Veritasium recently had a great video explaining this phenomena in terms of YouTube burnout. In short he argues that as the YouTube algorithm changes, popular YouTubers find that they aren’t popular anymore. This is totally outside their control and while they have been making quality content non-stop have taken to blaming themselves for the lack of “quality” or “getting away from their roots” or something that is their fault. While the problem of chasing Facebook approval isn’t at the mercy of an algorithm (as much) like YouTube the main points are still the same; people get used to increasing approval and popularity and when it wanes people feel like shit and blame themselves. This is true in almost any pursuit but the fact that this can happen so quickly in regards to social media approval is scary. Like athlete or a writer might take years and decades to really “peak” while you could find a “social media approval” peak in a month or two. Then you can repeat the cycle over and over as you never learn your lesson.

The problem with “likes” being your pursuit is that it is too easy to let the growing approval get into your head. There’s nothing to moderate the addiction. When you get this mindset — consciously or unconsciously — you will never be satisfied. If you had a wildly successful post you will crave the next successful post and do everything you can to top the last one. This is true with everything, but the accessibility of this in terms of Facebook “likes” is especially dangerous to the average person. We get corrupted by the idea that we might be the next big YouTuber or influencer that we put much more time, effort, and energy into something that will eventually, certainly let us down and is in the end pretty fucking pointless. They are just Fake Internet Points as Redditors jokingly call them.

Instant Karma Sucks

Imagine (or probably remember at time when) you are driving down the road, nice and comfy, with your family and/or friends with you. You have the windows down, and the music playing, and the warm summer air whips all around the cabin and you love it because life is wonderful and beautiful. It’s a great time to be alive! But then you look in the rearview mirror and some jackass dickfuck in a beat up-ass car is coming up behind you really quickly. Like he’s doing at least 30 above the speed limit. And although the road is a two-lane road, he stays in your lane, right behind you, zipping up like he’s NASCAR IRL or some shit and only swerves over and passes you when he’s seconds away from plowing into your bumper. He’s obviously drunk because when he passes you he rolls back into your lane, once again like he’s driving in a NASCAR race, and nearly runs off the road. He’s drifting all over the place and lanes apparently don’t exist to this fucker. You immediately get pissed off, and silently (or not so silently) hope that the guy wraps his piece of shit car around a tree or a telephone pole. But there’s only one problem with that: he probably won’t because Karma Sucks and is never instant.

Karma, as understood in our culture which I’ll call American Karma, is usually explained as “getting what you deserve” and in the case of drunk piece of shit above, would be flipping his car over and hitting a telephone pole. Instantly. Karma, in an Eastern sense, has a more metaphysical meaning and I don’t want to get into that here. That is about people getting what they deserve as dished out by the powers at be in the universe in a cause-and-effect relationship. If you’re a jackass, so says the American flavour of Karma, sooner or later (probably sooner) you’ll end up getting what you deserve. Except it never works that way because the Eastern version seems to be the way shit actually works.

The problem with karma seems to be that it takes a long ass time for people to get what they deserve and what they do get is some mild, watered-down form of “getting what they deserve.” This does your sense of justice absolutely zero favors. We want to see the drunken jackass flip his car or truck over immediately, when in reality karma will serve him a much more subtler dish of revenge. Most likely, him being a drunk, he might be expected to have a shitty liver and eventually succumb to cirrhosis or some other drinking related disease in a few decades. Maybe he’ll have a heart attack because of that beer belly and high blood pressure? Drinking wreaks havoc upon the body in general, so you know the guy is going to get what he deserves someday, but that’s my point: someday isn’t really soon enough to us. What’s more satisfying? Seeing a guy wreck his truck and instantly getting what he deserves or knowing that in about 50 years his health won’t be good and he’ll die slightly earlier than usual? That doesn’t feel like justice, it feels too boring to be justice. But that’s reality.

Obviously wishing bad on people probably isn’t the nicest thing you can do, but some people deserve to have bad things happen to them just because of the negativity they bring to the world. It’s simply asking (or wanting) for consequences to catch up with a person. While I was using a drunk driver as an example of a person not getting their due consequence, there are much worse people out there than the drunk. What about the child molester? Or the terrorist? Or the murderer, kidnapper, and torturer? The amount of shit they bring upon people in the world should be immediately met by the universe, so we think, with a swift and just vengeance. But sometimes these people are only met with jail time, and in a lot of cases they can get off totally free. There is no justice sometimes, and the drunk who drives down the road might go a million miles without flipping his truck, and the child molester might not be caught and be held accountable for their deeds. It’s shitty because karma, while it might take forever to work occasionally doesn’t seem to fit the deed, and sometimes it doesn’t work at all.

So next time you see the drunk fly down the road all over the lanes, you’re going to want to see him roll his truck, but he probably won’t. When someone passes you doing 30 over the speed limit you might think you’ll catch them at the next red light, but nope, it’ll be green and there will be no justice for you, the law-abiding citizen. The drunk will make it home and abuse his family without flipping his truck and the speeder will make it home 10 minutes earlier than you will. He might even get the fresh french fries at McDonalds. Sometimes a person robs a gas station and gets away scott-fucking-free and nothing happens to them. The lazy asshole at work somehow gets promoted, and the corrupt millionaire gets elected as a senator. That’s reality and Karma, while it exists in some mild form while people suffer consequences maybe, someday, it’s not Instant, not gratifying, and that fucking Sucks.