Making A Difference In The Word – Suicidal Tendencies – Institutionalized Video and Lyrics

Sometimes due to something someone says, or something I read somewhere, a distant memory of me sitting in a government office applying for an educational grant pops into my head. Part of the necessary criteria to receive the grant money was for me to pass a psychological evaluation, which I did end up passing, thankfully, though one of my responses to the scripted verbal questioning did give my interviewer pause. He asked me “Do you think you can change the world ?”

I replied “No”

I could tell this was bothersome to him, and a moment later he said “Hmmm”

“What ?” I asked

He said “That is not the correct answer, you are supposed to feel that You can change the world.”

I thought about it a bit, and had a look at what I could see of him as I did it, sitting in this non-nondescript white walled concrete office on the second floor on the ten story building, with a standard government desk, surrounded by thousands of other similar offices, each with their own desk and similarly dressed people with similar haircuts sitting behind them, all arriving at the same time each day, and going home at the same time as well. We were surrounded by many similar buildings, in a little town, that is not even listed on a map of the country, let alone the world, and I felt that he also could not change the world.

“Really ?” I asked.

He replied “Yes, you are supposed to feel you can change the world.”

Ostrich With Its Head In The Sand

Ignoring Reality

I didn’t know exactly what to say to him, my thoughts were all over the place, and I felt it was ludicrous to think you could “change the world”, obviously his paper said I was a lunatic for thinking I couldn’t. I guess one would also have to define what you mean by changing it, with every breath I was changing the atmosphere just a little bit from oxygen with carbon dioxide, but real lasting change was pretty much impossible, even if you somehow managed to change the entire world for a day, it would not last for a millennium, and if somehow it could last that long, would it last a few googolplex?

So I replied simply with a non questioning, and hopefully dismissive, “Huh.”

He asked me why I thought I couldn’t change the world, and I explained to him that I used to think I could make a difference, but a few years before when I visited India, I had tried to help some of the poor, hungry people around me by quietly giving my own money and food to them. People saw this, and a crowd formed around me in seconds, it was like a swarm, their hands were all around me, the people that I had given a handout to already, would not leave the crowd. Some people started pushing and they were all asking for money. With no path for me to walk out, I was forced to push my way out, and then had to run to get away from them all.  I think I came to the conclusion as I ran down the road, past a seemingly never ending ocean of poor people, in a country that exports enormous amounts of food, even though it’s own people starve, that I could not make any real difference to India, let alone the world.

“Huh.” He said.

For some reason now, whenever I think of anyone being psychologically evaluated by others, I think of the following song. If you really listen to the lyrics, way down deep, there is some wisdom in there. If you aren’t into old school punk, you can just read the lyrics, but it just isn’t the same without the shouting in my opinion.

All he wanted was a Pepsi.

Enjoy !

Suicidal Tendencies – “Institutionalized” Lyrics

 

Sometimes I try to do things, and it just don’t turn out the way I wanted to
and I get real frustrated, it’s like, I take my time and I try real hard, but
no matter what I do and no matter what I try it never works out, it’s like I
concentrate on it real hard, but it never works out, it’s like I need some
time to figure these things out, but there’s always someone there going:
– Hey Mike, you know, we been noticing you’ve been having alot of problems
lately, you know, and like maybe you should talk about it, you’d feel alot
better.
And I go:
– No, it’s ok, I now have some problems, I’ll figure it out myself, just
leave me alone I’ll figure it out.
And they go:
– Why don’t you talk about it, you’ll feel alot better?
And I go:
– No, I don’t want to, just leave me alone, I’ll figure it out myself!
And they keep on bugging me and it builds up inside, it builds up inside…

So you’re gonna be institutionalized
You’ll come out brainwashed with bloodshot eyes
You won’t have any say
They’ll brainwash you until you see their way

I’m not crazy – institutionalized
You’re the one who’s crazy – institutionalized
You’re driving me crazy – institutionalized

They stuck me in an institution
Said it was the only solution
To give me the needed professional help
To protect me from the enemy, myself

I was sitting in my room, and I was like staring at the walls thinking about
everything but then again I was thinking about nothing, and then my mom came
in and I didn’t notice she was there and she calls my name and I didn’t hear
her and then she started screaming:
– Mike, Mike!
And I go:
– What, what’s the matter?
She goes:
– What’s the matter with you?
I say:
– Nothing mom.
She goes:
– Don’t tell me nothing, you’re on drugs!
I go:
– No mom, I’m not on drugs, I’m ok, I’m just thinking, you know, why don’t
you get me a Pepsi?
She goes:
– No, you’re on drugs, you’re crazy, normal people won’t be acting that way!
I go:
– Mom, I’m all right, I’m just thinking, you know, so why don’t you, like
give me a Pepsi?
And she goes:
– No, you’re crazy!
All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn’t give it to me,
just one Pepsi.

They give you a white shirt with long sleeves
Tied around you’re back, you’re treated like thieves
Drug you up because they’re lazy
It’s too much work to help a crazy

I’m not crazy – institutionalized
You’re the one who’s crazy – institutionalized
You’re driving me crazy – institutionalized

They stuck me in an institution
Said it was the only solution
To give me the needed professional help
To protect me from the enemy, myself

I was sitting in my room and my mom and my dad came in and they pulled up a
chair and they sat down, they go:
– Mike, we need to talk to you.
And I said:
– Okay, what’s the matter?
They go:
– Well me and your mom, we been noticing lately you’ve been having alot of
problems, and you haven’t been acting like yourself, and we’re afraid that
you’re going to hurt somebody, and we’re afraid that you’re gonna hurt
yourself, so we decided that it would be in your best interest if we put
you somewhere where you could get the help that you need…
And I said:
– Wait, what are we talking about?! We decided?! My best interest?! How can
you know, how can you say what my best interest is? What are you trying to
say? I’m crazy? When I went to your schools, I went to your churches, I
went to your institutional learning facilities. So how can you say that I’m
crazy?

They say they’re gonna fix my brain
Alleviate my suffering and my pain
But by the time they fix my head
Mentally I’ll be dead

I’m not crazy – institutionalized
You’re the one who’s crazy – institutionalized
You’re driving me crazy – institutionalized

They stuck me in an institution
Said it was the only solution
To give me the needed professional help
To protect me from the enemy, myself

It doesn’t matter, i’m trying to get hit by a car anyway.

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I was happily relaxing, when I began to hear the sounds of trouble working it’s way through the house. Doorways were being forcefully opened and closed, as the aggravator’s footsteps grew steadily louder. A grumbled murmuring began as she drew near, as though she was warming up her mouth’s well oiled engine for the marathon session ahead.

In the realization that I would soon be shanghaied onto another journey to Idiot Island, over it’s ocean of accusations, demands, insults and madness, I began to panic.

I had no door to escape through, so considered hurling myself through the glass of a nearby window. With just moments to spare before the verbal assault began, I finally found my salvation with a nearby music player.

 

Problem Solved.

The Start Of War

My eleven year old son asked me the other day why wars start. This is obviously a very difficult topic to explain properly, so I decided to over simply it for him as much as I could.

I told him, the usual causes of war are not much different than why we have fights on a school playground. Often one person has something the other person wants, and the instigator feels he has the power to take it from them, sometimes it is a physical object, but sometimes the bully feels threatened by the victim’s perceived power, and feels the need to take their power away, before they become too powerful.

Of course the other key ingredients in wars are a total disregard for the needs of others, or human life in general, and a defiant victim standing up for themselves.

I then used this short video below to show him exactly why wars start. Enjoy !


We Need Something More Productive To Do

I have been wanting to write something on this for quite a while, but have not been able to put it all together into an article that would really express my feelings of chaos towards the modern consumer world. Consumerism was all I knew until I started traveling in my early twenties through many “Undeveloped Countries”, and “Developing Countries”, but since then, I have seen the effects of consumerism change these societies, and I do not like it very much. I have been accused on occasion of being the “Anti Consumer”

The funny thing is, I have never been able to escape the consumer model, I have sold electronics and cars, been a travel agent, and done tech support for computer companies, I also taught for a few years, but really I was just teaching people how to make money in the modern consumer society.  I still sell things for a living on my website, I tell myself it’s OK since we all need clothing, but the real reason I do it is because it’s he only way I know how to feed and clothe my family.

Wikipedia defines Consumerism as the following:

” Consumerism is a social and economic order based on fostering a desire to purchase goods and services in ever greater amounts. ”

I had someone mention to me the other day how some of the very religious countries I have visited  such as India, Laos, Nepal or Myanmar spend far too much energy on their religions, some of these country’s religions employ over 80% of their work force in temples and other religious activities, and with so many National religious holidays, no one really has any time to do any work.

Religion of Consumerism

I responded to the comment that hardly anyone does any necessary work in our society anyhow, last time I checked, less than 15% of the western population actually has a job producing anything at all. The work most people do is just paper shuffling, managing, serving, selling,  and general nothingness just to keep us all busy. The only thing most of us ever actually produce is more waste for the landfills.

My friend responded something to the effect of, “What are all the super religious people producing then?” I told them they were producing “Peace of mind, happiness, and hope”.

Now I am not a very religious person, and do not feel that utopia would be created by everyone simply running out and joining the closest religious institution to their house. I actually appreciate the critical, and often out of the box thinking a less religious society is able to produce. I am just saying that sometimes the very religious, sometimes referred to “Backwards” or  “Overly Religious” do quite well with producing happy  places for everyone to live, that are far less destructive to nature than consumer societies, and in case your confused, we are a part of nature, also needing clean air and water to survive.

I can hear people saying to me now “Where I live is clean and beautiful. ” and maybe it is, there are still some places far enough away from the car fumes everyone is used to breathing, clear skies free of smog, haze and acid rain without industrial chemicals and fertilizers tainting the streams near their house, and still have beautiful lakes you can swim in and drink at the same time some places on this earth, but there are not very many of them. People have gotten used to where they are and can no longer dream of a time without our very polluted, over consuming, industrialized world.

I saw this video below recently, and I thought it did a pretty good job of summing up the modern world, and consumerism. I vote we make things better that last longer, and stop throwing out things that still work.

Have a watch, it is worth the five minutes.

So what do we do then if we scrap the consumer society?

The following video has all sorts of ideas about what is right and wrong in society, and all sorts of ideas about how to fix them. I am not in favor of overthrowing those in power,  for I believe seeking power will always be in some man’s nature, fighting it would only lead to unnecessary bloodshed, since once the rulers are thrown out of their castles, it will then be occupied by another, so what is the point?

The movie below is two hours long, and again it is worth the time, if you do not have two hours right now, you may want to come back and watch it later, I do not agree fully with all of it’s solutions, but I do agree with the problems it points out:

I am surprised where only 30% of the world actually needs to work for all of us to have the things we need, and yet so many people work until they are dead, or face starvation, doing things that in the grand scheme of things don’t really do anything for anybody. Why can’t we all just work two days a week or retire at 35 or something instead? I would rather see people producing things that we can all enjoy,  than filling out forms and filing them away where no one ever sees them again.

Rather then the bureaucracy, inflation and consumerism we have, I would prefer to see a new age of art and innovation, a new Renaissance. We don’t need to throw out the monetary system, but we do need to stop printing more money if we want to end inflation. Since it seems that giant banks tend to control most of the world, it would be nice if they allowed us all some slow, measured, and painless change. Ending inflation would give us all much more free time, free universities would give us the means for new innovation, and hopefully through it all, society can find more productive things to do.

Sources – Civilian Employment by Industry and Country: 2000 and 2010

The Secret To Being Wealthy

I had a bit of a strange conversation the other day with a friend of mine,  I had just informed her that the business has finally begun to pay the bills, and I guess she got a little excited thinking great wealth might follow.  Though we are finally turning a profit, it has cost a large amount of money to get it to the point it is now, so for this venture to actually become a positive one, the company still needs to put all the startup money back in the bank, with interest, and that could take several years.

It was not so much the context of the question, but the wording, she asked me “Do you think you are going to be rich?”

I was a bit stunned by the question and looked around at my rented house with the multiple air conditioners, large HD television, stereo system, full fridge, computers, laptops and comfortable furniture. We had just returned from a one week vacation on a tropical beach, and I am about to fly off to another country only two weeks later, we eat out two meals a day and see a movie in the cinema every week. The only reply I could think of was “I thought I was rich already.”

Financial Freedom SignAssuming the company can continue to turn a profit, I will be able to continue this lifestyle indefinitely, and even if the website stopped working for some reason, I still have enough money to continue to live this lifestyle for probably another decade or so.

In reality my comfortable couch only cost me $100, my delicious healthy meals out are almost always less than five dollars, and my one week vacation only cost about $180, even though I make more, I normally live on less than a thousand US dollars a month. I wonder, does being rich really need to have a monetary value?

It is my opinion that rich is a feeling. I have everything that is truly important to me, comfort, security, love, and freedom. I don’t own a car, but living where I do, I currently don’t need one. If I did need one, I would have to have one to feel rich I guess, but since I don’t need car, having one doesn’t matter, what type of car would be irrelevant, because vanity is not really one of my needs.

I have found from experience that most people with millions of dollars in things, often do not feel rich, they are constantly driven to get more and will never be satisfied with what they have. They could lose it all in a few months without work, they know this, and can not relax. I agree with their feeling, in my books, they are poor, but it’s because of their mindset, not their paycheck. If you really want to be rich, you need to live on about halve of what you make each month, then the other halve goes in the bank, and you just bought yourself a month of freedom. After you have a few hundred of those months in the bank, you will also feel wealthy.

I replied to her question, “Look I don’t know what rich is in your head, but I am comfortable, have many vacations and my belly is always full, I do not have any worries about where my next meal is going to come from, or my next thousand meals. In my opinion, The only way to be rich is to be satisfied with what you have.”

I don’t know if I expressed my point properly to her, when she sees a big shiny new car, she probably still wishes she could ride around inside it, and I would like it also, but not at the expense of losing my freedom, and feeling poor once again.

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