Thursday, November 01, 2012

Shitty People

I want to ask you for your thoughts on something. While the subject is one that affects me directly, it is also one that affects everyone on a greater scale. This is a kind of problem that can be personal, familial, national, international and global. I am going to come at it from the personal level with the aim of keeping it focused and specific so that I can get your thoughtful insights and feedback.

First I need to set about describing this thing I'm talking about. Bear with me, it's a bit complicated. Here goes.

There is a sad truth that applies to humankind. It seems like such a simple thing and yet it has proven impossible to overcome. That truth, and the problem I'm talking about, are one and the same.

I must try to put this in a nutshell so as not to try your patience. The best I can do is this. While the majority of people in this world are basically good people, there are always some among us who are not good. The ones among us who are not good are responsible for the vast majority of pain, suffering and destruction that affects everyone around them. They make life miserable for others.

I call them shitty people. They are not honorable. They have no concern about being dishonest with others. They don't play fair. They are self serving. They are brutal. They cheat. They lie. They deceive. They destroy. They can be just downright mean. They are either incapable of, or disinterested in, considering the negative effects their words and actions have on others. They not only don't care how much damage they do to somebody else, they often enjoy inflicting it.

There are some people who are nasty through and through. These are people who cannot be reasoned with. They cannot be escaped or avoided and there is no way around them. It is a nightmare to encounter someone like this because there is no chance that you can escape unharmed. You may not even be able to escape at all. People of this type are very scary once you realize what they are. It's not always obvious at first. These types are also very good at pretending to be good, decent, upright, respectable people. They are good at selling appearances of decency and respectability but they are neither good nor respectable. They are nasty and very dangerous people.

But there are others who only behave in these ways situationally, in other words it's not their usual way of behaving. It is due to group influence that they behave in ways that would ordinarily go against their values and beliefs. Like George Carlin said, and I'm paraphrasing like crazy here, one on one people are great. Sit and talk face to face with someone and they are reasonable, intelligent, good. But get them into groups and they become insane and monstrous. I guess it's the gang mentality. Us against them. Separatist, aggressive, competitive, violent. All of that holier than thou crap comes in along with all of the self justification that allows and encourages breaking the rules of human decency in the name of taking their cause to victory.

There are also others who behave very badly due to their own life experiences. The accumulation of scars and damage they have received in life, instead of strengthening them in a positive way, makes them cruel. They want to take it out on others. It's a form of payback, only instead of paying back those who harmed them they transfer their vengeance onto people who have never done anything to them. It's no surprise that taking it out on innocent people is so devoid of satisfaction. By never addressing the actual problem they never achieve what they need, which is full and sufficient justice. Therefore they must constantly seek new victims to brutalize, and on and on it goes. It becomes even more complicated when the humiliation and rage they feel are not legitimate because they are essentially nuts to begin with. Not fun to be around people like this at all.

There are other reasons that people behave badly as well. Emotional immaturity, lack of knowledge about the world beyond their own tiny piece of existence, lack of education, even being born psychopaths. There are a great many reasons that people behave badly, but regardless of the reasons, the outcomes and effects are the same. Serious damage is done to others. Worst of all is how impossible it is to stop people behaving badly, and how often there is nothing the victims can do about it. Justice will not come. Often the victims cannot even explain to someone else what they are going through. They are not believed, or they are accused in some way. Too many times, legitimate victims have no means of defending themselves and the nasty persons win. They often win big. And the victims simply fade away, broken and demoralized and alone.

That's a general description of the concept I'm talking about. Shitty people. People from all walks of life, all social and economic backgrounds, whether they do it alone, do it with a family, do it with a group, organization or on the job, rich or poor, old or young, all races, both sexes, all of them have some shitty people. Now here is the question I have that I would love to get your reasoned and thoughtful responses to. How do we deal with such shitty people?

There is an old saying in America, "You can't fight City Hall". What that means is that one wronged person alone cannot take on City Hall and win. One person fighting for justice against a larger group of people, people enclosed to themselves, people all on the same page, corrupted, self serving, for a plethora of reasons and motivations, will be able to use an assortment of tricks and tactics, while backing each other up, in order to close ranks and present an impenetrable wall to the seeker of justice. One person cannot win against such a group. The group has strengths and resources that the single individual does not have. And when you throw into the equation that the group is a shitty group of people it becomes all the more impossible to prevail against them. It can often become dangerous to even try to take them on.

When we're talking about formal, organized groups like the police, the courts, the government, institutions and so forth, you know that as a single individual you have no chance whatsoever of being heard or getting a fair outcome. This is about power. The group has it all, the individual has none. One person cannot prevail here. It is much more likely that he will be crushed out of existence. It doesn't matter that he is right and they are wrong, all that matters is who has the most power.

Historically though, when groups become abusive their abuses are seen by the general public. The more abusive they become the more visible they become. And the more people they victimize the more chance there is that those victims will become a group that will then begin to have some power and can begin to fight back. The general public can see both the abusers and the abused and some of them will stand up for the abused. This is political and there have been countless successes against abusive powers. It's not always pretty but success is not out of the question when groups take on other groups to force shitty people out of power and restore justice into the status quo. When power is equalized you can fight for what's right. When you have no power you just get victimized.

But how can a single individual fight back? Is there no hope at all for individual justice?

Something that I find deeply disturbing is that there are a lot of people who have a nasty value system. We see this in the military, in those who remain invisible to us but who are the ones responsible for long range planning and overall military philosophy. We see this in big business, in Wall Street, in the class wars we're in today like hair on fire. Some people consider the world and the way it works and they ask themselves, what can I do to guarantee that I will get my way and have everything I want? And the answer to them is a no brainer. Use force. Force overcomes everything. Force, violence, the more overwhelming and unnecessary the better, literally reduces the enemy to ashes. This is the guarantee of total success.

It means dropping all human decency, ignoring every law standing in your way, behaving as badly, as madly, as it takes to crush the opposition. The only rules that matter are the ones you make.

This "philosophy" of total selfishness and brutality is in direct opposition to my own philosophy of life and my personal values. I feel respect for others. I do not believe that I should have whatever I want at any expense to others. I am a firm believer in the golden rule. But then I also have a fundamental desire to see everyone do well. I want everyone to be happy and get their needs met and live wonderful, free lives. But there are many others who do not want these things. They do not share my desire to see everyone else doing okay. On the contrary. They have no respect for others. They don't care about others. In fact, some of them despise others and want them all dead. There is nothing new here, this is imperialism and it's been strangling the world for millennia.

But that same imperialist attitude is encountered at the personal level too. It is so common it's not even funny. We have a lot of names for it, racism, sexism, etc., but it boils down to that same exact mentality of self over others. There are people today snatching people off the streets and selling them into slavery, sexual slavery, labor slavery. It's happening in our midst, not just in far away places. This is a mindset that is pervasive. Other people are exploited for personal benefit without a single thought given to the injustice done to the victim. Nobody cares about the victim in their circles. In fact, people like this feel absolutely entitled to victimize others as much as they like.
ENTITLED to have a sexual slave. ENTITLED to exploit individuals or groups of people because it is what they see as beneficial to themselves and somehow that translates into entitlement to destroy other human beings at will.

I can't speak to that because I don't understand it other than to say it is wrong and they are wrong and they are nasty, shitty people. I don't know how to not give a damn about doing harm to someone else. I don't know how to not care about someone's life being stolen, about enslaving them and using them for whatever I please. I could never do it. I don't even like being waited on at a restaurant because nobody is supposed to be subservient to me or to anyone else. But I'll tell you what, you'll find no shortage of people feeling entitled to top notch "service", and demanding it in the most obnoxious, snarling and insulting ways. As if it were owed to them to have someone else think of nothing else but serving them, breaking their back to keep them firmly ensconced in their delusions of superiority and entitlement to be treated like a king. To me people like this are just plain nuts.

The reality is that people like me are snack food for people like them. Even though there are many more people like me than there are people like them, they have power. Shittiness is power. Full blown shittiness, the kind where the shitty person feels entitled to be that way, can make millions of people's lives absolutely miserable. They do more damage to more people in a day than I could ever do in a million lifetimes. I would never hurt anyone on purpose, it's not in me.

I do believe in defending myself against shitty people who harbor the delusion that they are entitled to do harm to others for no good reason other than they want to. I know they're not entitled. Their personal delusions don't bind me or anyone else. I'll shoot 'em if they're fixing to shoot me or if they're shooting other defenseless people. Hell yes, I wouldn't hesitate because they don't get to force their personal will on others. I know the difference between right and wrong and nobody gets to run around stealing people's lives and happiness. No such creature exists who has any such right. It's nonsense. I wouldn't relish shooting someone in self defense, and if I killed them it would be deeply upsetting, but I wouldn't bear any guilt over it. Standing up for your own life in the face of imminent destruction is fair and square. They started it and if I have to finish it, I will.

Not every situation is that clear cut and it's not always about imminent threat to life. At the personal level it's usually about beliefs, insecurities, immaturity, selfishness, jealousy, things like that. It's not a life or death situation, but the damage done is still very real. Being insulted, dismissed, ignored, being treated thoughtlessly or unjustly, these are all things that take a very real toll on human beings. It's that imperialist attitude of entitlement to not consider others again, it's amazing how common it is.

What do you say to people like this? You have to deal with them. If you don't they'll just run over you like a Mac truck runs over road kill. But what do you say? Remember too how easy it is to become what you hate, we see it every day on the world news reports. If we say we must fight fire with fire then we become what we are against. We become the same as they are. We are not the same, and I won't have that taken away from me.

So far I have found that the way to deal with these people is to simply speak the truth. State the facts of the situation in a way that is succinct, deadly accurate, and without anger. Truth is a mighty weapon and it can and does take down giants. Sometimes the truth is dismissed and I am accused of all sorts of preposterous nonsense. Sometimes people caught with their pants down will stand and angrily deny their pants are around their ankles and they will attack you for the rest of their life rather than take a look at their own ankles and see for themselves how silly they are.

In your own daily life, how do you deal with the petty imperialists that stomp in and stir up discord? What is the best way in your experience to deal with the bullies, the liars, the cheats? Conversely, what is the worst way?
What has worked in the past and what hasn't?

If anyone would care to offer anything up from their own personal life experience I'd be delighted to hear from you.


On a very personal note, my Dad passed away on Oct. 2nd. Cancer. I didn't get to be with him when he died. I didn't get the chance to say good-bye or to tell him things I wanted him to know before he went away forever. Although we didn't see eye to eye on some things and our relationship has always been a difficult one, there were some things about him that I admired very much. He was a dignified man. He had diverse interests. He had a creative streak which he often shared with me, like his love of stamp and coin collecting, Far Eastern culture, leather working. He could even knit amazing sweaters. He built a huge boat all by himself in our garage, it was amazing. A cabin cruiser. Once it was finished he sold it without even taking it out on the ocean. He'd spent twenty years in the Navy and retired, coming then into the private sector where he got a regular job like everyone else. He tended to be rather serious and could be quite intimidating at times. But he was also superb with people, a perfect host or guest. He treated my mother with great respect and never abused her in any way. He loved her very much and that's a fact.

One of the things I liked most about him was his willingness to hear information contrary to his current opinion, and to see my point, and even then to change is position. For instance, I remember once being at his house and george w. bush was on the TV. President bush was saying that we really had to do something about frivolous lawsuits. He then claimed that 60% of lawsuits against corporations were frivolous. They were a waste of tax payer money. He was talking about abolishing lawsuits against corporations. My Dad was listening and immediately was on the president's side. Sixty percent was over half and it was not acceptable at all. He would have been willing to go along with whatever the president said he was going to do about it. I looked at my Dad and asked, even if it's true that 60% of those lawsuits were frivolous, what about the 40% that aren't? He quietly thought for a moment then said, "You're right. I hadn't thought of that." How can you not love that about somebody?

I'm going to miss him. I'll miss his strength. I will miss the feeling that no matter what, my Dad's got my back. He was a pretty good guy.


  1. Ang, my heart reaches out to touch yours with sympathy in the loss of your beloved father. May your memories of him and your interactions with him bring you comfort.

    I, like you, wouldn't hurt another and do not understand the mind that goes with people who can hurt others. I have been damaged by folks like those and it cuts for a long time. I married one. Bad idea. Divorced him; found a better man and married him. He understands and protects me from shitty people and I am grateful for that everyday.

    1. Lynda,

      Thank you. It is hard to lose someone you love.

      I am glad to know that you were able to survive marriage to a shitty person and got away from that situation. It is even better that you found someone who makes your life better, instead of worse.
      I would feel grateful for that too.


  2. Ang,
    Hello there.
    I have commented before, and read you for a number of years now. I have been recently so busy with a new job that I haven't had much time to read blogs or respond.

    I want to respond to this wonderful post, because I have something to say about it. I will do so later this weekend, I hope.

    First though, tonight, regarding your father: my condolences. He's lucky to have a daughter like you. I use the present tense, because you are still his daughter, and he still existed... that will always be true. And that's not even talking about an afterlife, whatever you believe about that.

    My own father died 4 years ago. It was intense and traumatic: he was supposed to come down to my son's 2nd birthday party, but he died instead, after being unloaded from a medivac helicopter. He told the nurse that he felt the greatest pain he ever had, and was dying. He was right, he died.
    My dad was always a valetudinarian, if not a hypochondriac. He lived to be 86 despite his endless battles with alcohol and drug addiction. He was very abusive at times, but sometimes compassionate and empathic. He was a conundrum: the best dentist in the midwest, probably, and he treated poor people without demanding more than they could pay. If they couldn't pay at all, that was OK.

    He was open-minded: he used to invite a local orthodontist over for dinner, person who was thought to be gay - and was, and eventually was driven out of town. He was OK with homosexuality. He was an FDR liberal. Open-minded, despite his demons.

    Anyway, I can honestly say we were reconciled before he died. I wish he hadn't had to suffer so much from whatever it is that drove him to addiction and mental illness. But he was my father. Some people could never forgive him, but what does that say about him?

    More later. I want to talk about an odd issue with my new job... it's a good job in many ways, pays way better than the old job, but my current supervisor is someone who just gives me the creeps, who I instinctively don't trust... I am trying to determine if it is my paranoia, or if he really is one of the "shitty" people. I am starting to see patterns... how he only uses fear and disapproval to motivate, but never praise. The main thing though is just a heavy, intuitive feeling of distrust and uneasiness. Due to my background of growing up in a "dysfunctional" family, I am not sure if I am just paranoid, or maybe have a more attuned sense for manipulative people of ill-will. I need your help. Thanks again for your essays over the years.


  3. Hi Publius,

    It's nice to hear from you again. Thank you for your condolences.

    Congratulations on the new job and the better pay. I hope it works out well for you.
    I am glad you asked me for advice about the creepy supervisor. Here's what I think. First off trust yourself. If you feel creeped out then trust it. 2. Keep your interactions with this person strictly professional. Don't talk about personal things, don't talk about feelings, in other words don't give them anything that they can use against you. Just be smart, stay cool, do a good job and realize that at least for the time being that person is not a friend. Maybe after you work for them for a while and get to know the supervisor better you might feel more comfortable with them but if you don't feel "safe" with them in some way then keep a respectable distance. Don't be cold, don't be overly nice, just be yourself and do your work and do it well.

    I don't know what line of work you're in or where you're located, but in my experience work places can be nests of jealousy and have long running soap operas underway. Just... watch your back. If you can make friends easily there then that's a very good sign. If it's impossible to get anyone to warm up to you then that's not so good. You didn't mention anyone but the supervisor so if that's the only person you're uncomfortable with then that's good. It might turn out that you're not the only one who feels that way about the supervisor, but finding that out will probably be down the road a bit.

    New jobs can be unnerving sometimes, that's just how it is. But you will know whether something is over-the-line or not. If you're treated with brazen disrespect then you've got a problem. The supervisor may need to see you prove yourself and then once he/she earns respect for you, they might lighten up. You weren't specific about what kind of creepiness you feel, but don't distrust it. It's real. Respect it. My guess is everything will be fine, but again, you'll know that after a time. I hope that helps a bit.

    I'll look forward to your thoughts on the post when you get some time to write them down.


  4. Ang,
    Great reply - very helpful, and sane and pragmatic.
    Gosh - what is it really going on here?
    I work at a software company, a small one that is growing fast. Making lots of money. They don't make anything that hurts people (good!), and make a product that actually helps people (double good).

    They've grown so fast that they hired a bunch of "middle managers" just after I started earlier this year. These are people who don't really know technology, but manage people... I think they should have promoted one of the younger "kids" who were really doing a good job of managing themselves and others, but no, they had to hire the classic middle manager.

    Why does he bother me? Even before I was in his department (I was moved recently), I felt that he was superficial, unempathic, and... reptilian. Seriously. He is very into his appearance. I wouldn't find him attractive if I were a woman, but he's probably considered to be a normal, good looking, thin, youngish, ambitious man. But I didn't like him... I felt an air of callousness and manipulative energy. My paranoia? I don't know.
    I think he added an element of fear to the department. I think he primarily motivates people by fear.

    After I was moved to his department, I was still doing tasks for my old department, plus I was (and still am) the sole person responsible for an important task that safeguards our customers. I was then given a glorified paperwork task, just when a big customer had a major technical problem. I worked on this problem late, at home in the evening even, etc.
    I missed the unimportant, glorified data entry task's deadline.. I literally couldn't do it all.

    He then suggested that he would give me a "time and a half" pay if I did it at night or on the weekends. Well, find... except that I am salaried. I suspect he doesn't even know I'm not hourly, and didn't want to go there.

    To make a long story short, he threatened to "write me up" if I missed the new deadline.
    I met it by ceasing to do the important work I was supposed to do, and focus on the somewhat unimportant data entry.

    I specialize in a certain type of technical work, but he recently asked if I could take more of the other kind my sub-department does. First of all, I was already doing that - trying to help out in that area. Secondly, I felt he was suggesting I wasn't working hard enough.

    I have noticed that he will talk to other fellow underlings of his about things such as his new big screen TV, thus "wasting" a fair amount of his and the other employee's time. I don't care, really... but how does that jibe with the idea that I should be doing more work, and taking more tasks on?

    He displays a "hypervigilant" streak, as though he wants people to know that he's always observing them.
    Now, I am admittedly overly sensitive in some regards, perhaps seeing patterns in the world at times that aren't there, or more likely perceiving patterns correctly but exaggerating the extent of it. I feel that the carefree atmosphere with a lot of good camaraderie I saw in the department when I got there has been degraded... it's becoming more standard and corporate. The "boss" in question emphasizes procedures and standardization and reproducibility instead of people and the gifts they bring.

    I think this description should suffice.
    My main goal is to learn some new skills, and get out of that department or even the company altogether in less than a year. I'm a refugee from academia, and am lucky to be given a chance in a new field I wasn't strictly qualified for, other than perhaps innate intelligence and curiosity (no, I don't think I'm a genius, just very adaptable and willing to start again with a beginner's mind).

    Be well.

    1. Yeah... I hear you. I know the type. Reptilian in the sense that where a normal sense of empathy and compassion are supposed to be there is nothing. Just a cold blank spot. As if to compensate, there is an overabundance of ego. Insufferable. And very corporate.

      This guy is doing what he believes is the right thing. The corporate mindset is that you must create an environment of fear amongst the lowliest workers in order to get the most work out of them. They believe in the stick and carrot philosophy, minus the carrot. It's really a sad and sorry belief system and the reason there has always been so much animosity between workers and bosses.

      First, he's not going to change. What you see now is all there is ever going to be. So step one is to accept it. Next, your way of seeing things is very much like mine. I find it irritating to come up against the corporate mentality, and I mean that in a literal sense. It can become intolerable in short order because it's just so dang degrading and f.o.s. But for your own sanity and success you can try to perceive this guy as a lost individual. Someone who doesn't get it and is therefore challenged. Have patience with him, and be courteous. He can't help it.

      The way this guy thinks is managerial. So make him manage. If he's telling you to do something that you can't fit in then ask him to manage it for you. Turn it around by making him solve the problem. Once it's back on him he may recognize you can't do the impossible and maybe he'll back off. Just tell it like it is, say, I have this to do which is priority one, do you agree with that? Get him to see it. If he says your primary duty is not priority one then your butt is covered and it opens the way for you to get clarification from HIS boss. Talk to him like a machine. Is this A or B? I was told it was A, now you're saying it is B. Which is it?

      He's also obviously trying to make you feel the pressure to do more than your original work contract stated. Since you're salaried you're exactly who he'll want to squeeze freebies out of. You knew going in that there would be some amount of overtime, but if this guy is wanting overtime to become a part of your regular day then you have the right to say you want a pay increase. I know the politics here, you're supposed to be a team player and all that jazz and if you are so unwilling to supplicate yourself as to stand up for what's fair and square it can quickly brand you in a negative way. Another way to go is to turn it back on him to manage for you. If you he wants to give you more work then he'll have to take something away from you to give you the time you need to do it. Again, just say, I have this to do and it takes X amount of time, right? Get him to acknowledge that. Then say I also have this and that to do and that fills up my entire day. I don't want to take work home every night, I want to get my work done during the work day. That's what a work day is for. You tell me what the priorities are and if you want me to take on something more than I already do maybe you can choose what to take away from me to make room for it. I want to do what you need but I can't do the impossible. Like I said, he's the manager so let him manage it. You have to stand up for yourself because if you don't you'll be miserable.

      I guess the good thing is that you only planned on staying a year. In a way that gives you more room to stand up for yourself. It's not like you had twenty years there and are now getting crushed. So, what you're experiencing is sadly, the usual corporate crap. You wanted to develop new skills, so here's your chance to learn to do wicked diplomacy. It can be done. If you can do it well your problems with him will decrease noticeably.


  5. Addendum: I seem to have met a fair number of people who like me or even really like me. I have trouble with some of the more "aspy" highly introverted, computer geek types... I'm somewhat in the middle, mildly introverted but I really like meeting people and getting to know them one-on-one. Some people seem to be strangely intimidated by me at times... I may be out of my mind, but I sometimes feel that my observational and perceptive abilities ( I studied biology and have always been highly into observing and perceiving and theorizing about the world)are noticed by some people and that they don't like having a person like me around. I should also add that I think I am highly empathic and attuned to emotional nuances. This can be a disturbing ability to have working in the corporate world!

    1. Well I like you Publius, and I don't care what anybody thinks. ;) It can be disturbing, but it doesn't have to be. Being sensitive and aware serves to give you information. As long as you don't expect others to be sensitive too then you'll be good. You'll have the information you need to see others for the way they are and deal with them as is most appropriate for all involved.

  6. Ang,
    Thanks for the great advice, again. Wow.
    I was kind of nervous about checking on your follow-up, because... well, I guess I felt I revealed something of myself.
    I really can be overly sensitive and paranoid.

    Except that my intuitions are often correct... except when they are not.

    At my last job, a guy who wasn't my boss, but the CFO, started harassing me all the time. Saying things like, "So how was your weekend... with all those pot smokers in your neighborhood" (I live in the inner city, where people are supposedly too liberal and drugged out!).
    Or, he might attack me for my anti-war views, which me must have found out about when I stupidly "friended" my real boss on Facebook the day after his brother committed suicide, so I accepted his request. Well, my boss shared my political views with the CFO...

    It got so bad I had to report him to someone else in management. He was chastised, and sort of apologized, claiming that it was all in "good fun," we should get a beer, etc.

    The same jerk, I found out, called a nice older coworker, a woman who had just been dealing with breast-cancer, a "bitch". He has also been known to get frisky with young co-worker women when drunk, etc. Very strange and just plain mean... He found out my wife is a yoga instructor, and told me once, as some kind of half-joke, half-revealing comment, "my yoga is drinking." Yikes.

    Anyway, my current boss and I are getting along OK, partly due to your good advice. It helps that my role has, suddenly, become very critical and strategic to the company, and I am the only one who is doing it right now. Of course, he is trying to hire two or three others ASAP to train for me role.

    I have started to notice that he often "attacks" or unexpectedly critiques other people in the company. It's like he's a loose cannon out to make a name for himself as some kind of crusader. Interesting.

    You are an unusually perceptive and wonderful person. Thangs, Ang.

    It's been a tough week, the holiday and all. My insane brother and my crazy mother are ganging up on me, and criticizing my wife, etc. That's a whole different story. Ever since my dad, who was an alcoholic and mentally ill but somehow able to be strangely open and empathic at times... ever since he died a few years ago, it's been a strange trip. I thought the family dynamics would improve, but somehow the sickness is being kept alive. My brother makes a lot of money, but is lonely and bitter. He used to be suicidal sometimes, but my wife would counsel him. Now he does nothing but bad mouth her. Last summer he dated a young woman, but they broke up. When he thought she might be pregnant, he was going to sue her for custody, because he would be a "better parent." Main point?

    I feel like I'm surrounded by craziness and insanity. When I try to explain my feelings about politics and the fact that our gov't is killing innocent men and women and children with drones, and that I hold Obama responsible at the moment, the Obama fans get angry and freaked out. It seems that a tiny minority of people I interact with can even see the reality of the brutal world our government helps to foster, in league with corporations, the police state, the arms industries, and the media. The Democrats are as dim-witted as the Republicans, and almost everyone is a willing accomplice.

    Add in family issues, and the fact that sometimes I dread going to work (like tonight, after two extra days off), and life can be somewhat... challenging.

    I do have a plan... leaving this company in less than a year and working with a friend who is a real genius in technology, and who, amazingly, is amazingly ethical and empathic and... good. And a great entrepreneur. But I'll really have to push myself to concentrate on almost nothing but learning a new/old fiend in real depth and breadth.

    There you have it.
    I hope you had a good holiday, if you celebrate it.
    Keep on writing.