All posts filed under: Society & Perspective

Skipping Class, En Masse | 2-oz. Read | Joe Blend

ON SKIPPING CLASS, EN MASSE

Sense is a stalwart companion on the journey of life. It tells us to dance in the rain but only sing in the shower…because a slippery tub and disco moves are not good bedfellows. Sense implores us to walk before we run…because an ability to run doesn’t mean we should panic. It begs us to think smarter, not harder…because brick walls won’t let us pass, no matter how hard we try. That is sense, and it’s learned. Unfortunately, some people skip that class…en masse. Those individuals strip function from form thinking form doesn’t need to function. They think road rage is all the rage, and they stand tall thinking mere height means they’re taking a stand. Those individuals don’t think less is more because they still seek more even though it’s less. And they take advantage of their excuses, but they don’t excuse those who take advantage of them. There is nothing common about sense. Stay in school. © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.

Torch and Pitchfork | 2-oz. Read | Blog

ON TORCHES & PITCHFORKS

A carrot was dangled. It baited the hate and uncaged the rage, trading lives for votes using a soul with a hole. And now there’s noise that tries to drown the sound of the fears and tears about being selected and collected, rejected or ejected, blamed and shamed. You see, that noise does not bother with a founding father since that was then and this is now, so who cares about the “how”? A beast was unleashed—that much is certain—but it did not come from the heart of a nation. It came, instead, from the bowels of a station. But that collective force is finally seeing its claws slowly clipped, a growing effort to stifle the trifle that values characters over character and con-fidence over courage. In that spirit, let’s open the windows to vent the fears and dry the tears, to embrace fresh air because we care. Let’s take our steps together, in the same light and under the same sky…toward the same horizon. your voice is a spark igniting truth and belief— let’s …

ON SILENT HEROES & THE DARKEST OF FRIDAYS

Most of us will spend Thanksgiving evening enjoying semi-accidental food fatigue alongside desperate dreams of elastic. However, there will be, in fact, a specific group of individuals who are mentally bracing for the tempest to follow. That storm of materialistic proportions is what’s commonly referred to as Black Friday and as with any disaster, it too has its heroes. Go to any large retail store during Black Friday and you’ll see how the path of least resistance is a knee-jerk choice for the human mind; it’s in our nature to avoid obstacles and minimize struggle. That’s why the average customer—when given a choice between straightening their own mess or leaving it for a hardworking brand minion to fix—will often look the other way and keep on truckin’. Guess who is left to clean up aisle 7? Yep, that’s right, the retail employee. You see, retail employees are silent heroes. After John and Jane Customer plow through aisle after aisle, pawing at price tags and thug-handling random merch—thus treating the store like Times Square on New …

Power Cliches Keep the Hive Alive | 2-oz. Read | Blog

POWER CLICHÉS KEEP THE HIVE ALIVE

The prepackaged aspects of contemporary society produce a misguided mirage. That’s because “follow the leader” is the name of the game, and it is a game because square pegs in square holes built a cardboard landscape. The mentality behind the mirage—let’s call it “the hive”—believes trite speak on framed mountain peaks and bold ads for fresh fads should serve as challenges—to you and for you—to “be” a “better” “you.” It preaches the notion that working harder and not smarter will give you a reason to hold your head high. It wants you to believe that the latest and greatest tomorrow is within your grasp, but only with their guidance. Sounds great, right? Well, what the hive doesn’t tell you is that they’ll own your tomorrow if you let them. If you subscribe to their future, what was once considered cookie-cutter will suddenly appear as if it’s the cream of the crop. And you’ll dream in beige. Before you know it, life becomes a bland illusion in which you’re always chasing a carrot on a stick. …

LESS, SOMETIMES, IS MORE

There are many people who, sadly, chase the carrot. They’re constantly after something: maybe it’s the latest and greatest gadget, the best Black Friday has to offer, or the notion that “work harder, not smarter” is an acceptable definition of life and a badge of honor if you live through it. However, for some of us—definitely me and probably you—the carrot isn’t an option. We prefer to slow down when everyone else is accelerating. Our idea of happiness consists of substance over surface and balance over bat-shit-crazy bewildering behavior. But despite our clarity, we are still forced to commute through the cultural detritus that’s left in the wake of those who embrace the chase and covet the carrot. So, when the masses are hustling and bustling to outpace the race, I let them pass because in my heart I choose to walk. © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.

Don't Frown, You're a Clown | 2-oz. Read | Blog

DON’T FROWN, YOU’RE A CLOWN

In our big-top world, some consider themselves ringmasters. Because to them, you’re a joke they want to poke with a stick as they flick a switch so you fall through the floor, a door that welcomes your final laugh or what they call a gaffe. If you let them, they’ll watch you botch the act, which they think is a pact since they sold tickets. However, you’re a danger because you’re a stranger who never plays sidekick to anyone. A threat, I’m willing to bet, since they sit on a throne—alone. When they want you to struggle, just juggle—like a clown, dancing and prancing as the orbs fly high in the sky. And just wait because your smile, in a while, will cause their crown to become a frown. It will pull them down to the ground, a soul chained to the pain of a shallow life. Don’t subject yourself to a ringmaster: be a clown for the world. © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.