I refuse to take drugs I need

I was up by 630 this morning, didn’t get to sleep till just a few hours ago. I was nervous about my test results. I had to go into the doctor’s office and discuss what’s going on. I can’t sleep when I have to wake up early because it pisses me off to know I have to get up early.

I’m convinced I’m fucked up in several ways. I have been having chest pains, tight chest, shortness of breath, possible ulcer, fatigue, insomnia, my left nut retracts way deep into my body when I do Kegel exercises, the taste of blood in my mouth, and I have a weird lump on the inside of my lip. I constantly think I’m dying, I expected the worst, HIV, Undifferentiated Schizophrenia, diabetes, face cancer…

I have been chain smoking American Spirits for the last two years and drinking like a homeless Indian hanging out at an ancestral graveyard. I found myself in a deep spiral of uselessness and sporadic depression after coming back from the Middle East as a botched journalist. I made no impact, maybe I am just incapable of it, maybe I didn’t try hard enough. And I didn’t even get a chance to be vain. I never learned to enjoy failing when I should have. It’s always there. I had one success story in Lebanon, but when things started going down, its hard to recover and that’s when I started smoking again.

I had two articles published in the Lebanon Daily Star, one was an anniversary of thousands of people gone missing during the Civil War, and the other some 80 word blurb about some guy who drove off an overpass and died. The blurb I got totally wrong in the paper. I eventually stopped showing up to the Star because everyone was a total shithead. I kept getting evil stares from some mean looking Leb who sat right across from me. It was bay far the worst newsroom experience I had.

Here’s the big ruse, I tell everyone I worked for the Star but decided to quit because it was just shitty and thankless work, which is not entirely untrue. I was merely an intern, that found Beirut to be boring on most occasions, so I wrote about nothing., just got drunk. I don’t know if they thought I was some CIA agent or because I drank all their instant coffee.

They stopped giving me assignments and they refused to kick me out so I used their internet till I got tired of it and left for good. I thought while walking the streets of Beirut, everyone is smoking here, fuck it I’ll pick it back up again. I had been smoking the narghila on the daily and getting excruciating headaches from not getting that fix. I had to find something to help those times in between. So I started smoking Davidoffs.

June 8th I fly back home with my tail between my legs like I had just failed at everything, at life. Its hard to know you suck at life. I’m chain smoking rollies of prison quality tobacco and working two jobs to atone for squandering every penny I had. I started to decline.

Then I got a gig as a Northern California Bureau Chief for a company that deals in rape. I thought I had the skill-set they were looking for, this wasn’t the case. I am still undergoing therapy, for wasting 18 months of my life in that panopticon. After I quit I volunteered for a month at the Sacpress but that shit sucks harder than a fat kid destroying Mountain Dew Slurppee from 7-11. The Sacpress is like the Cliff Notes to the Cliff Notes to The Bee, but with way more River Cats coverage. There’s my press career wrapped up in a few paragraphs, and its been years of worthless bullshit. It took me the last two years to realize every publication in the world sucks.

There’s more accomplishment for traveling entrepreneurs, charging 200 dollars a head to teach website optimization, than my shit press career. So I drank and smoked like a competitive eater.

During a friend’s wedding I drank about 45 chimneys of Anchor Steam and chain smoked with some professional dancer who does private bartending on the side to make ends meet. This was when shit falls apart on me physically, the beginning of the end for my health. The next day I was crippled with stomach pain. I thought a Ghoulie may have plagued my stomach with larvae that had sharp fetus teeth, gnawing away. I made an appointment a couple weeks later.

The Doctor’s office:
The doctor said “…well… the chest X-Ray looks good…”

…and what about the rest of the tests? Fuck what did he find in my blood? Probably some weird shit I got from that teenager I had sex with a few years ago. I was wasted offa Bulleit whiskey, she kept pouring it into my wine glass. We found a room, got naked, the condom broke. She was cute but had a weird body odor, from the armpits which freaked me out. Maybe it was the sex I wasn’t having that fucked me up? I haven’t had sex since March when I got cut-off. I was getting ignored, fuck it, it was bound to happen. Maybe it was some bacterial infection I had on my hand after touching a door knob, or the bottom of my shoes then deciding to jack off without washing my hands first. Maybe I was finally diabetic? I don’t know…”You’re blood tests are fine. Your Cholesterol is fine, Your HDL numbers are perfect. Ummm I suspect that you have been dealing with anxiety off and on over the last few years, and what we need to decide now is if you want to go on any medication.” I looked at him for being so nonchalant about my mental illness. I have mental issues and I have to decide whether I’m fucked up enough to decide to take drugs or not. There isn’t a single thing wrong with me physically, but my mental health will chip away at that soon enough if I decide not to do anything about this. I told the doc that I would do more research on stress and anxiety and that I wasn’t ready to go on medication yet. I’ve already pounded enough Valium in my day to kill a rabid fighting bull in some dusty ring in Jalisco, Mexico. Too many drugs might very well be the source of my problems. Ok the good news, I’m fine. Mentally I might have something going on.

Driving down Sunrise, I was unable to concentrate on my music which is rare, I guess I was stressing about having anxiety and how its going to fuck up my romantic relationships. What few I had or will have, the future looks infinitely dimmer. No woman wants a guy with mental issues. Cool scars from being slashed in the face with broken beer bottles while protecting some fair maiden is far preferable. Scars are the historical water marks of a real alpha male. Not some guy who worries too much about the devolution of everyday language use and dwindling speaking abilities of the common man. Maybe I can turn all this into some heavily veiled complexity and find the woman that thinks my fucked up mind issues is raw esoteric intelligence.

I drive past an ass-load of empty buildings, that banks used to occupy, then a Smash Burger and then I get nauseous. I rummage around my car for a pack of Tums, and eat two. I can’t tell if its stress at this point of coffee on an empty stomach. I’m eating that shit either way.

I freak out because I wake up everyday knowing I live in a world that not only supports, but sustains the Steve Wilkos show. These fucking people are everywhere like an alien race that has descended on earth, but you can’t tell who the aliens are…Jesus what are the ratings like for this to stay on the air? I’m glad I don’t know anyone who watches this shit. But the people who watch this show are way more fucked up than me At this point in the game

I have a problem with taking weird mind drugs that either pacify me or force me into glazed eyeballs and bliss. Once I’m satisfied I’ll stop trying, I’ll stop thinking, I’ll stop worrying, I’ll stop being a human being with feelings. He majority of my feelings and worries are centered around hate and disgust, but I’d rather feel that than nothing. I might even start smoking.

Colors // Poem

White went to grey

Grey went to black

The black blankness was there

Nagging

Although still functional in life,

Still having the urge to move forward

Missing something,

Without knowing

Chance encounter

Hopefully not just a rebound

Picking fresh flowers like a teen

The spring dew drips off the flower

It drips down to the ground like ink

Slow

Slow motion

It splatters and writes a name

Back to normal motion

Walking around in the moonlight

The names appear hear and there

In between

Joking, Laughing

Writing on shit, not caring

Grey turns to white

White turns to something potentially

Colorful

The Possibility That String Theory can Unify all of The Underlying Theories in Physics

One of Physicists primary objectives is to find a Grand Unifying Theory (GUT). The point of this GUT is to unify all of the four fundamental forces that we observe in nature into one complete theory that can explain them all. There are many GUTs in existence but the most primarily focused upon GUT is a theory that goes by the name String Theory. Since String Theory seems to be the most promising GUT at the moment and has been for many years, I will use current literature to highlight and explore the implications, problems, and possibilities with String Theory.

In this section I will focus on some of the details of exactly what I mean by “unifying fundamental forces” and explain some of the technical details needed to understand the following points. In nature we observe four forces. These forces are the Strong, Electromagnetic, Weak, and Gravitational. The Theories that are behind them are Chromodynamics, Electrodynamics, Flavordynamics, and Geometrodynamics. Their strengths are in decreasing order. In order to give you a relative look at the difference between the strengths I will list the differences giving the Strong force a simple strength of 10. The electromagnetic force is of power 2 less than that so 10^-2. The Weak force is 10^-13 and the gravitational, the weakest of them all is exponentially weaker at 10^-42. All of these forces have mediators and I will list them in respective order. Gluon, Photon, W and Z, and the Graviton. The goal of string theory is to unify all the underlying theories. This has proved extremely difficult although we could easily see this take place in our lifetimes. Whoever finds this theory first will most certainly win a Nobel Prize, as this will be the most significant finding in physics ever.

All fundamental particles have wavelike and particle-like characteristics. The main assumption behind string theory is that every elementary particle is a string, a very tiny string that vibrates in space. Depending on how fast this string vibrates dictates what particle is represented. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. The hard part to cope with in string theory is trying to combine quantum mechanics and gravity and then being able to discuss string excitation that will carry the gravitational force. Intense math is needed to even work with this implication.

A primary objective in string theory is collapsing six dimensions into one. Let me explain. Currently there are 4 known dimensions in our galaxy. Those dimensions are 3 space dimensions and time. String theory requires 10! There is a name for reducing these extra dimensions, it is “compactification”. One way to compact these dimensions is to look for more. You may think of it like looking at a ball from extremely far away. It will look like a dot, which would be 1 dimension. If you get a little closer, but not too much closer it will look like a disc, now you have two dimensions. Now lets get right near the ball. You can obviously see that it is a three dimensional object. So maybe there are unseen dimensions hidden or “curled” up that we need to look for.

The question arises, why is time a dimension? The reason that time is a dimension is as follows. Einstein’s theory, General relativity, takes space and adds curvature, which we call space-time. In space-time space and time are intertwined, curved, and twisted by matter and energy that resides in this “fabric”. The two main ideas that scientists are focusing on are Kaluza Klein compactification, this is where the extra dimensions are rolled up into some kind of space of their own, and braneworlds. In braneworlds the extra dimensions are really large but they hold all of matter and forces in a 3 dimensional subspace. This subspace goes by the name “three brane”. The question at hand is, what characteristics can we look for experimentally to see if there actually are extra dimensions? The most promising thus far is called supersymmetry. The reason that supersymmetry is a feasible attribute to look for is because it could take place at a low enough energy that would be obtainable with current accelerator detectors. Bigger and better particle accelerators are indeed currently being constructed as we speak to further experimentation in this field and to explore fundamental particles and try to find attributes that could result in finding a GUT.

The energy needed to test string theory is extremely high. It would need to be in the neighborhood of 10^14 GeV. This high of an energy is impossible to even get near in any particle accelerator that exists to this day. The probability of us building a particle accelerator in the near future that could reach this energy level looks bleak. When a nuclear bomb goes off, the amount of energy released is usually in the Mega Electron Volts region. To get to the Giga Electron Volt region we would have to produce the energy of a million, million, million nuclear bombs going of at the same time. Although, we can look at the weak interaction where a neutron turns into a proton, and likewise, an electron decays into a neutrino. In this GUT something similar can take place with a proton. A small amount of beta decay can occur and it would be extremely noticeable. But the stability of the proton is why we exist. It is a pillar of stability for the world as we know it. So it doesn’t occur often, if at all. Many experiments have been set up to detect this reaction but none have seen it thus far.

Without getting too deep into the math of this example I would like to show a problem in physics which string theory explains, thus adding to the credibility of the theory. Black holes are stars that are so dense that their escape velocity is greater than the speed of light (3*10^8 m/s). It was shown that black holes can decay by quantum processes and that they have the physical properties of entropy and temperature. Physicists found that the temperature of black holes is inversely proportionate to its mass. Because of this relationship the black hole gets hotter as it decays. It was also shown that the entropy of a black hole is one fourth the area of the  black holes event horizon. This implies that as the star decays the entropy gets smaller and that the event horizon becomes smaller as well. String theory helped provide a relationship between quantum microstates of a “quantum theory” and physically it can successfully explain black hole entropy.

Some subjects in math that are being studied right now that help further the study of string theory are K-theory and Noncommutative geometry (NCG). K-theory is a highly complex math that lets us examine the braneworlds and such associated with string theory. NCG, in short as well, is a geometry for the quantum world. Geometry as you and I know about, is only valid for a 3 dimensional world, the one we observe. NGC allows us to work with string theory as well. For a long time people (since the 40’s) have been trying to quantize space-time in a manner such that its coordinates were not real numbers. Over time this turned into quantum operators that obey a nontrivial quantum commutation relation. That’s where the name “noncommutative geometry” was derived from.

String Theory is an exciting topic in physics if not the most exciting. It is promising and its implications are boundless. If we came up with a valid and complete version of string theory would that be the end of physics? Would all of physics be complete? That is a question that cannot yet be answered. As we have not found a valid GUT, and maybe one does not even exist. The possibilities are endless but I think that we are looking in the right direction.

Much work, funding, and research must be focused on this theory to validate or altogether disprove it. The math involved with string theory, or any GUT for that matter is atrocious. You must have a very solid mathematical background to even approach it in a non quantative manner such as I have tried my best to do so in this review article.

Sociology of Religion

Emile Durkheim had many ideas about society and religion, how they supported each other and how they are linked together. This paper takes two church services of different faiths and examines them prima facie, then draws parallels to Durkheim’s work. The two services are compared and contrasted and then a discussion will follow that explains how the services each fit into Durkheim’s paradigm.

Durkheim argues that in either a mechanical or organic society when there is any separation of the profane and the sacred, religion arises. Durkheim’s view is that no object was intrinsically profane or sacred. A mere objects value would depend on what value humans placed on it, i.e. sacred or profane. An objects value falls into the sacred category depending upon whether humans choose to separate it into its use value or a value that has nothing to do with its use but rather to do with its built in symbolic meanings. These regularities between sacred and profane objects are identified within groups or bands of people with a common belief; they are of the same religion.

Durkheim argued that Gods or deities that are worshiped by a society really reflect the power that is shared by the collective of that society. Durkheim points out how religion is always in a social context. When church goers meet, it is in large groups or gatherings. When these groups assemble for their religions they are actually displaying the power that their society possesses. They do so in order to give something without any physical characteristics a context in which it does, so they can then proceed to comprehend it.

According to Durkheim religion in society has four key components. They have a definite set of like beliefs, a distinction between that which is profane and sacred, a set of practices or rituals that are common amongst their group and an institutional form. The rituals can be negative and positive. The function of negative rituals is to limit the contact between that which is profane and sacred, to stress sacrifice and submission and for the worshipper to be purified. The positive functions of rituals allow members to have contact with Gods or deities who they consider sacred and to renew commitments and ideals to their group. The functions of these rituals in a more broad sense play a disciplinary and preparatory function, solidify social cohesion, encourage revitalization within the community and allow euphoria amongst the members. Durkheim points out that moral beliefs have a sacred component even if they are not outwardly religious. When one breaks the law they feel as though they have done something morally wrong. He also noted that the durability and long lasting power of different religious groups are due to the fact that most of these groups stand in solidarity with the large social group. An example is that most religions believe and actively promote their members to follow the laws of the land. In the post modern society we find religion declining and the conscience collective following suit. Religion and morality become detached from one another, and emerging religious movements come about that seek to repair or enhance the conscience collective in the society.

The Mormon service includes 3 blocks of time, each 1 hour in length. I will focus on the main block that is called “Sacrament Meeting” or would be the same as other religions mass. There is an opening hymn and then an opening prayer. Then there is a “business” section of the meeting where business in the ward is discussed in an open format. After this and a few words from a member of the bishopric, sacrament is served. You have to be a practicing Mormon in good standing in order to partake of the sacrament. A prayer is said for the bread that likens it to the flesh of Jesus. Younger members of the congregation about 14 years old, pass around the bread and then water in the same fashion after blessing it and likening it to the blood of Jesus. The whole sacrament process is conducted in a very ceremonial manner. After the sacrament there is a younger adult who speaks and then two older people, these people are regular church goers who are selected to speak on a given topic. The first talk is about 5 minutes long, and then the second two are about 15 minutes each. After these talks there is a closing hymn then a closing prayer. You are then released to the class that you are required to go to next. Newcomers or people interested are sent to a special class that are taught by local missionaries and give lessons that are geared more towards recruitment to the church.

The Pentecostal service at the East Valley church begins with an opening song played over loud speakers. There is then an opening prayer. After the opening prayer there is a mixed media section that includes a power point projection with the subject of various religious topics, such as “failing forward”. This section is mixed with solo performances by Christian musicians and intermittent scriptures that were related to the theme of the power point presentation. There is a lot of audience participation. There are people standing up, saying “praise the lord”, “hallelujah”, and “amen”. There are people speaking in tongues. It is a very active, involved and informal experience. After this main sermon there is a closing prayer and song. People are then released and the service is over.

The Mormon service is much more formal and structured than that of the East Valley church. The meetings have much more of a disciplined, traditional feel to them. The Mormon attendees were dressed in much more formal clothing, almost all the males had a white collared shirt with a tie, nice slacks and polished shoes. At the East Valley church people were dressed in more of a business casual to regular street clothes manner. There was quite a bit of audience participation at East Valley.  In the Mormon service that was virtually non existent aside from the congregation singing hymns. At East Valley there were audience response, standing, clapping, speaking in tongues and guitar playing by Christian artists. On the other hand the Mormon music was strictly hymnals they recited from a book that resembled a bible with their songs in it. These were sung 3 times through out the meeting accompanied by a large authoritative sounding pipe organ. There were tithing envelopes at both locations. The Mormon service had a sacrament section whereas the East Valley church didn’t. It seemed they more loosely believed that if you have faith in Jesus and follow his word that you will be saved. Although the Mormon Church does not embrace the cross as a meaningful symbol of Christ, the Pentecostal church does. It is an important symbol for them so one can remember that Jesus died for you. The Mormon Church believes that this symbol should not be the center of attention because the focus should be placed upon Jesus’ life not his death.

The Mormon Church service had evidence of negative and positive rituals. The Mormons regularly fast once a month and also at ones own discretion when praying for another person or another group of people. They are required to tithe 10 percent of their income to the church. If they don’t do so they are not allowed to do certain things that full tithe paying members are, such as visit the temple which allows them to come into contact with God, a positive ritual. The sacrament allows one to come into contact with Jesus by partaking a piece of bread and a sip of water that symbolized his flesh and blood that he sacrificed for all humanity. Mormons strongly believe that all members should follow the “law of the land”. Durkheim would point out how this gives society the power to function outside the boundaries and in cooperation with this religious group. The church service was highly organized from beginning to end, with about 250 people in attendance. The highly structured format of this religion satisfies the institutional form aspect of the four components of religion. The Mormons have their own set of beliefs, the book of Mormon as a supplement to the Bible. They have a distinction between the profane and sacred, the word of wisdom, which is a strong moral outline one must follow. One Sunday a month members are encouraged to bare their testimonies in front of the congregation, this group situation, allows for feelings of euphoria to be displayed and shared amongst members. One very interesting thing about this church Durkheim would look at is the fact that it sprouted up in unison with movement of settlers migrating to the west. The beliefs of the church also even tie into America being the stage for their religion to play out, which is outlined in depth in The Book of Mormon. Durkheim would say that this is a perfect example of religion being formed in order to establish cohesion and a set group of rules and morals within a new and growing society.

One can’t help to speculate if churches such as East Valley with a more laid back, comforting, non formal atmosphere are the product of modern day society. They seem as though they fit better into the fabric of everyday life in current day United States. One can more freely join and drop out of the church without many repercussions. There are fewer limitations, and many of the members seem to be new converts whereas many other religions are a way of life lived by one since they were born. Some of the rituals that were observed were the verbal and physical actions of the members. The dramatic behavior that they play out in front of all their peers, the speaking in tongues, the “amen’s”, the “hallelujahs”, these allow the group to have a format in which they come together as one and perform these solidarity rituals that then work as a cohesive factor for them within society. They have a feeling of revitalization and euphoria after the church meeting, this renews their commitments to ideals and the social community in which they reside. This group, as well, believes that it is Gods word to follow the “law of the land”. It is not only encouraged but also pushed as a commandment from God. One rarely sees factions deviate from this, and if they do they are usually labeled “extremists”.

After observing two very different church services it is quite interesting how dramatically different religions can be. Both of these religions consider themselves Christian, yet they varied so widely in rituals and other aspects of the components of religion. Even though there was so much variance one can still examine them, as this paper did, and find the four components of religion within them. In our modern day society religion is declining along side the conscience collective. We find ourselves in an extremely complex organic society with many religions of vast difference. The two religions that were observed are solid examples of newer religious movements that are instrumental in enhancing and strengthening the conscience collective.

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Voice

Just hearing that familiar voice

Sometimes, that’s all it takes

When you are in the depths of a sorrow

Depression or whatever may cause it

Sometimes that voice

Or that call,

That visit

Makes all the difference

But usually however much you want

When you are down and out,

That voice does not come

But

You have substances

Alcohol, pills, etc

They can help to some extent

But the reassurance,

The feeling of life

Of purity

That only comes from another human

Makes you feel OK

It only comes sometimes

Usually when you don’t need it

But when you need it

And it does come

Its lifesaving

Booze, yes // Poem

Vodka, yes

Rum, only when I’m in Puerto Rico

Whiskey, Only ones not blended

Gin, sure

Beer, sometimes

Vermouth, in a martini

Wine, red

Tequila, no thanks

Absinthe, now and then

Brandy, no

Scotch, with soda water

Cider, OK

Water, in the morning

Number 3007

Exhausted yet exhilarated

Drained but excited

Death lurks around every corner

But so too does love

Doves fought and fell to the ground

Right in front of me

I stared down at them in awe

Why did two birds just fall out of the sky?

Landing at my feet

The victor of their skirmish

Flew away, to find the love

It fought for

The Other dove gasped its last

Breath

I shook my head as if in a dream

As I kept walking to my car

From the hospital doors

Cunts

Women or shall I say;

Girls

Nowadays, act as if they can do anything

Largely because guys want to get their penii

Wet

And don’t react normally to the stupid

Shit they do

So, last night, this GIRL

Hit me in the nuts

She thought it was funny

I didn’t,

Another GIRL

Came up to defend

I wanted to bitch slap them both

But some Captain-Save-A-Hoes,

Some Larrys

Were pervin’ around

And wanted to fight

So I didn’t

The Cycle

I work for 15 days

I get direct deposit into my bank account

The bourgeoisie quickly takes it all out

Bills to pay

I work another 15 days for the bourgeoisie

They take it out again

Bills to pay

I’m broke in 8-9 days;

Usually

I eagerly await the bourgeoisie to drop my cash in my bank account once again

So they can take it again