Los Angeles, CA
I'm not quite done with Las Vegas because when I write the location in current blog posts, I'm still writing "Las" as in "Las Vegas" before I hit the BACKSPACE twice and finish off with "Los" for "Los Angeles." It's sort of like writing the previous year on checks in January of the new year.
The mind is a peculiar thing. Sometimes it's set in the past -- when it comes to dating checks or writing blog posts. Sometimes the mind is focused on the anxiety-ridden future. How many hours a day do you obsess with scenarios that never happen? Yet you lose your mind worrying about them?
It's one thing to mentally prepare yourself for an unexpected turn of events, but it's a whole other to freak out over the smallest things that no one cares about. I guess that explains the reason why pharmaceutical companies are swimming in profits -- because people are obsessed with the quirkiest things which either makes people anxious in social situations or morbidly depressed -- either way, no one wants to leave the house.
That is the main reason why wonder drugs that get people off their couch and interacting with other people are prescribed every day by shrinks. It's an easy way to churn your insurance carrier into paying the drug companies to hand out happy pills, but at the same time, a doped-up populous is important because the wheels and gears of capitalism will come to a halt if people stop going to work, stop buying things, and stop going to social gatherings (where they usually spend money on entertainment, dining, and/or booze).
Happy pills are the lubrication of so many aspects of society, but then again, so is speed when it comes to the manufacturing and distribution of goods, but that's a discussion for another time. Happy pills keep the utterly miserable get back in line and continue with the daily "sheeple shuffle" as the masses go about their daily routines. The bigger the herd, the less disruption in the system.
It's those who go astray that cause the biggest headaches for the Shepard. Sometimes those rogue animals and former sheep wander so far off the reservation they gain perspective on the entire sham. It's a rigged game, life that is, and it's always been a rigged game, but too many people are well aware of it -- deep in their subconscious, yet ignore it on the surface, which is why deep down they can't get out of bed or walk out their front door with pangs of melancholy and utter disdain for the human race. They get trapped, like the unlucky schmucks in the first act of a zombie flick who become infected then spend the rest of the movie chasing around the good guys.
The best happy pills are the ones that life generates itself. You just have to be willing to seek those out in the strangest of places, which are always off the beaten path. But that's the tough thing about our planet these days -- any thing/place dubbed super cool has been overrun by commerical interests who sell those remote beaches in travel packages, or hype up those exotic adventures in extreme travel brochures. You can't even visit Ayers Rock or Machu Picchu without a tour bus of annoying Americans nearby.
The only place you won't find hipsters (trying to be cool) or sheeple (being told what is cool) is the library or bookstores -- because no one actually reads anymore.
I've been in LA for a couple of years and can't even tell you where the local branch of their public library is located. When I visited NYC briefly, I walked past the new branch that was being opened in my old neighborhood. Even in Vegas, we drove by one of the library buildings -- albeit it was rather small and looked like a dentist's compound. But Vegas has a lot of older people and retirees -- those of whom would actually use those free services like the internet and the ability to borrow books.
But in LA, the lack of libraries seem like a bad inside joke from a dystopian novel that the big suits in the Hollyweird studios met in secret to create a cabal to get rid of every book inside the City of Angels, so the sheeple would be forced to watch bad movies instead. And when I say bad movies, I really mean bad re-makes or re-boots of classic films and franchises, or creating post-modern versions of comic book classics, or printing money with watered-down sequels, or other really bad milk-toast romantic comedies with pretty stars and a third act that goes nowhere.
Sometimes I wonder if I have more books in my apartment than in the LA Public Library. Aside from travel, buying books is probably my only vice because I'm constantly seeking out new authors, trying to catch up on huge gaps in history, or constantly trying to educate myself about a new topic. Right now, I have a pile of books next to my desk. The pile consists of titles I started in 2011, but never finished before I left for Vegas two months ago. In addition, I have a brand new pile of books I never got to read before I left for Vegas, along with a few new books that I acquired over the summer. That pile is bigger than the original pile. I also have a dozen new book recommendations (from friends and colleagues) that I'd like to delve into -- but not until I made progress on either of the other piles sitting in my office.
Then again, maybe books are the keys to a more enriched life instead of happy pills?
Give it a shot. Try reading a book instead of zoning out in front of the TV. Instead of drowning yourself in relentless anxiety, why not turn to a book instead and escape into the words instead of being strangled by your own misguided thoughts?