17
Aug
11

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY

I had been thinking of all kinds of weirdness for today. A drunken podcast. Posting all the prank phone calls I’ve made. I even considered “outing” myself and telling you my real name and showing you a picture of my face. I seriously kept trying to think of something really crazy and awesome to do.

But, in the end, it was my wife who gave me the best advice for how to mark this occasion. She said I should just do what I always do. That is, after all, why people come by this site. So I spent some time reflecting on why I started Magnus Greel a year ago today in the first place.

I began blogging as Magnus Greel in 2005 on the website Daily Kos. It was, at the time, my only real outlet for venting the anger and frustration I was feeling with regard to where this country and the world were going. Bush was in office. Congress was in Republican hands. We were at war in Iraq. And I really believed that empowering the Democratic Party was the path to overcoming all of our troubles. Jesus, was I ever that young?

I profoundly thank Markos Moulitsas for founding Daily Kos. Having a forum I could visit while at work or from home helped me realize that I wasn’t alone. For the first time I felt like I was part of a movement. But a movement, by definition, only goes a certain distance before stopping. By 2009 I found myself evolving and KOS was evolving as well. Just in different directions. I needed something else.

I started Magnus Greel with my youngest son on my lap. His death a month later would give me the clarity to see that, while this is only another blog in a sea of blogs, I had something to say and only a finite amount of time in this life to say it. Ultimately, Greel has become more than an alter ego. More than a platform for me to say what I think. More than a way to entertain people. It is the thing that has often kept me sane. And without getting all fucking weepy I do want to say that I owe a lot of this to you guys for coming by this site and reading what I have to say. And if there are any pillars of wisdom at the core of Greel then here they are.

 

IT’S ALL BULLSHIT

“The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance… In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation.” – George Orwell

The political divisions in this country are largely manufactured. Politicians, and businessmen for that matter, thrive and profit on conflict. The gridlock in Washington is basically theater put on for our benefit. And while I do believe that certain ideals and beliefs are at stake the end result has little to do with us. As I have said repeatedly on this site, 99% of us are not rich yet the people we routinely elect to office are. You really think they’re going to Washington or the state capital to represent us? And if you think the courts are here to put a check on the rich people making and passing laws, consider that to be a judge you have to first be a lawyer.

 

GOD IS DESIGNED TO SCARE YOU

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” – Thomas Paine

God doesn’t give a shit about money or pornography. He is, in all likelihood, not even real. There’s a reason that organized religion seeks to assert control over the most intimate parts of your life like eating, dressing, speaking and even fucking. Religion is about scaring the shit out of you at even the most private moments. Once that’s accomplished it’s pretty easy to tell you who god wants you to vote for or what store he wants you to shop at or what country he wants you to bomb.

 

CAPITALISM HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FREEDOM

“What do you mean I don’t pay my bills? Why do you think I’m broke?” – Dave Mustaine

Economics in general, be it capitalism or socialism or whatever, is designed to keep people like you and I running in place until we die. The reality is that there will always be rich people and poor people. And while America does offer an unparalleled chance for anyone to become rich, the sad fact of reality is that most of us never will. It’s not that I want to put a damper on the American dream or anything. I just think it needs to come with a dose of realism. The more realistic your expectations in life the greater the chance you’ll end up happy.

 

YOUR JOB DOES NOT DEFINE YOU

Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.” – Tyler Durden

Why is it that when we meet someone for the first time the first thing we ask them is what do they do for a living? What fucking difference does that make? I don’t give a shit what you do for a living. No offense, but I don’t. Having to make a living is as old as human history. It’s an unfortunate reality. I work because I have to and I refuse to add further insult to this and allow my job to somehow be a measure of who and what I am.

 

QUESTION EVERYTHING

“Small though it is, the human brain is quite effective when used properly.” – Doctor Who

I don’t think I’m smarter than anyone else, except maybe George Bush (not that one, the other one). However, I think I achieved a certain enlightenment when I finally got it through my thick skull to take nothing for granted. Nothing. Just because it’s on TV or on the internet or spoken from the halls of power does not mean that it’s true. The human mind has a natural ability to connect the dots when we allow it to. Asking questions is at the very core of what freedom really is. The most effective form of tyranny comes not from the barrel of a gun or the fear of persecution. It comes from letting others tell us what to think.

Thank you again for reading and remember: we’re all in this together.

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2 Responses to “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY”


  1. 1 CSB
    August 17, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Thank you for keeping this going…..thank you for making me think…..

  2. 2 Seriouslyconfused
    August 17, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    A great blog to start off the beginning of your 2nd year with! Keep up the great work… Oh and when are you going to get yourself a fucking twitter account already?


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