Thursday, May 14, 2009

Close the Laptop > Open the Mind

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

For several odd reasons, I have been consuming books at a rapid pace. Voraciously zipping through hundreds of pages a day (while I'm also conducting a line-by-line read through and word-by-word examination of Lost Vegas).

After a quick brainstorming session, I know a few reasons why I'm gobbling up the written word. First of all, the Yankees suck. Even though I purchased, specifically I upgraded HD version, which means I can see the Yankees suck in an even more clearer and crisper picture. I only watch a couple of innings of atrocious baseball before I angrily shut off the game. The Yanks' shitty performances have opened up large chunks of unstructured time. These days, baseball games are four hour affairs. By shutting the games off in the third inning after watching Joba get rocked, I'm saving anywhere from two or three hours of my life instead of wasting away watching baseball.

I have been filling the void with books.

I abandoned TV. All garbage. Pure Americana trash. I did catch a couple of scenes from Caddyshack on the Golf Channel for old time's sake, but aside from that, I avoid TV at all costs. That's how "they" brainwash you. Through TV, Hollywood, and social media websites.

I watched a little bit of the NBA playoffs (the Bulls/Celtic series was actually quite enthralling), and even then I'm remotely paying attention because I'm no longer betting on the games. I have no reason to watch... zero financial investment in the games. Sports cease to have any relative function unless I wager on the outcome. That's when something of ill-significance takes on some sort of value.

After along day of work, Nicky watches TV on at nighttime including random things like Lost and American Idol. I don't watch either show which makes me a freak and a very weird dude according to the average American who does nothing but watch TV. Even when they sleep, they dream about either watching TV or being in their own reality show.

Hey folks, every fuckin' day we're in our own reality show. It's called.... life.

Yes, I'm a freak because I rarely watch TV. Then again, less than 10% of all Americans actually read a book last year and here I am about to try to sell a book in a country where people don't read.

Maybe I should have written a book about Lost or American Idol? Dare I say, best seller?

Alas, I'm pissing in the wind because I'm trying to pitch a book to an illiterate populous. That's OK. The people who actually read books are people I want to associate with anyway. The lack of boob tube time has enlightened my mind, and it will do wonders for you. I feel smarter every time I finish a book which is amazing because every day it seems like the world around me is getting dumber. Perhaps there's a correlation between the inbred nits that we have to deal with on a daily basis and the fact that Perez Hilton is the heaviest reading they will do all year. 150 words segments with faux-cum dribbling from the mouths on doctored photos of random celebrities.

Well, shit, I can't compete with that a splotch of jizz on Britney's face.

I read something like 2,000 pages and five books in the last 15 days or so. Devouring the written word. Like crack. I seek out knowledge. Books are a major source of knowledge. Feed your brain instead of numbing it.

Here's another reason why I have more time to read.... I spend significantly less time on my laptop. It sounds so easy to do, but in reality, it's so hard to pull myself away from the machine.

I finally figured out that the laptop shuts down when I close the lid. Remarkable. You have no idea how differently I act in a room when the laptop is open versus closed. When it's open, I'm compelled (rather, utterly addicted) to know what's going on out there.

Email. Bloglines. Twitter. Email. Google Reader. Email. Twitter. Hatemail. Blogger. Email. YouTube. Twitter. YouPorn. Email. Shoot me now.

However, when the laptop is closed, I only feel compelled to hop on if absolutely necessary. It's like I don't want to wake up the sleeping baby. I used to open up the laptop every morning and left it open until I went to bed. Sometimes that meant the laptop was on for 20-24 straight hours and I probably spent 75-90% of that time chained to the keyboard.

These days, I close the lid several times a day on my laptop which helped to significantly reduce the time I wasted away doing absolutely nothing to improve my intellect and instead numb the senses. Although watching "AlexJonez" chemtrail videos and downloading leaked copies of Wilco's new album hardly constitutes nothing. Those are both vital to my existence. But you can make a solid argument that even those things are simple distractions as I allow a political and financial coup to take place right in front of us.

In high school, we had a Latin teacher who used to say, "Close the books and open the minds." I flipped it around... "Close the laptop and open the books." Or perhaps, "Close the laptop and open the minds."

Breaking the shackles of Vicodin addiction, TV addiction, sports betting addiction, and internet addiction is refreshing and I have been celebrating my new found freedom by delving deep into books on different subjects. I also re-read a couple of classics, or at least chapters and excerpts of my favorite books.

On Wednesday, I set aside time to write a short story that will eventually appear in Truckin'. The theme was inspired by some of the chapters on smuggling and drug abuse in from McMafia and Mr. Nice. The overall story and characters materialized quickly and some of my favorite things that I write about simply rolled off the finger tips. The story about a bunch of speed freaks in Australia literally wrote itself. I have no idea if I can turn any of it into an actual novel or screenplay, but I can definitely revisit these characters at some point in the future. That's what was the beauty of Jack Tripper and Sweet Nothing. Those were two NaNo novels that I completed and were inspired by characters (Ivan the Russian cab driver along with both Baby & Winky) that I originally wrote about in Truckin' short stories. (You can sift through my Truckin' archives to find those stories)

In cooking terms, it's sort of like whipping up a large meal and having plenty of leftovers, so you freeze them for a later date when you thaw it out and feast on it again. Sometimes you use it in a different dish and sometimes it stays just the same.

Which reminded me of something I read about how McDonalds is the largest purchaser of potatoes in all of America, perhaps even the world. No single entity buys more. And you know what? They freeze them all before they are soaked with so many different chemicals to make it taste... appealing.

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