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Question and Answer III

God created the Earth in seven, scratch, four point five billion days right? It took him an extra 4,498,000 to create man. He tinkered, toyed and experimented. Who would be the best inhabitants of the new world? Who would be the best protectors of its glorious lands? The giant lizards were a decent attempt. Great beasts, who could live in peace and harmony, with their surrounding habitat. Living in unity for nearly 200 million years. Each member complying communally with their rank on the food chain. Plants, animals, fish, and insects lived under their reign. Mammals have lived to 200 million years. Insects have lived to 400 million. They only killed for food. They didn't kill out of vengeance, jealousy, or a troubled childhood. But, they didn't progress. They couldn't think. One of the four-legged beasts stood up over two million years ago.  A Homo Sapien. The mongrel race first appearing in the Upper Paleolithic Era. Descendants of a number of extinct species including Habilis, Erectus, and Neanderthalensis.
The Thinker? Or the stinker?
Coincidentally, on the other side of the world, another species was evolving. A species that was directly entwined with that of homo sapiens. Bos primigenius. Also known as aurochs, or the ancestors of domestic cattle. Animals that could sustain human life providing food and milk. This is one of the reasons why Hindus revere the animal as divine. Why did our species win? Why was it our collection of matter that came to control this planet? Who was responsible? Who implies it was a person or being, but nobody I know is capable of something like this. Was it Mother Nature? Was it simply science and how the Universe restructures after a disaster? Was it God, in the monotheistic sense of the word meaning source of all and supreme being? HA. I fart in your general direction. God is a curse word to the one who pulled it all off. Whatever he or she doesn't ask to be called God. That’s just what we nicknamed him because we are lazy and God’s only three letters. The Lord. The Almighty. The father, the son, and the Holy Ghost. Gitchi Manitou. An Incarnation of Yushu. Yahweh. 
Hosanna in the highest
It doesn’t matter, all religions tell the same story. Just in a different language.  I'm Catholic because I like the music the best. Though I'd rather be Baptist.  Whatever you call it, lead one particular animal out of the jungle and into the world. The earliest descendants of man came from Africa. In those days the world looked differently and they didn’t call it Africa. One of the monkeys in the jungle was fooling around and started to think. He wanted to say something but he couldn’t speak. He didn’t know how. He was depressed because everyone else kept making fun of his deformed thumb. They were jealous because it helped him do things. He didn’t care because he knew he was different. These new outcasts dragged their feet out of the forest and out into the wilderness. They walked in search of a better life. There were many obstacles along the way. Treacherous foe threatening to ingest the man if he didn’t protect himself. They just wanted to find peace. They just wanted to find happiness. They thought and thought. They banged their heads against the walls of their caves in frustration. Thousands of years of this went by and the man finally realized what he had that was special. He was a Cro-Magnon. During man's genetic evolution he didn't develop sharp claws or poisonous skin or even venom. Though that would be cool. What did God give him that made him different from the rest? What defining characteristic led him to control a planet? To literally have the world's health and well-being in our hands. Ingenuity. Intelligence was his defense mechanism.  
"I believe in a religion that believes in freedom."
His brain protected him. It was how he was designed. An intelligent design if I might add.  And whatever or whoever was responsible for the production of the human brain should be held accountable. 10,000 years ago, humans decided to trade in their nomadic tribes and hunter-gatherer mentality for comfort and community. The first prototype states were started 6,000 years ago.  Man went from sticks and stones to warlords with bows and arrows. They waged wars over resources. How barbaric? 3,000 years ago religions like Judaism and Hinduism were founded. In the last 2,000 years, we went from pretending Kings with armies to elected officials with cell phones. Believing in God isn't believing in a set of rules or archaic rituals, its believing in an idea. It's an inspiration. It's a belief. I was inspired by a movie to ask a question. I got the answer within a second 
O Deep Thought!
My friend's cave doesn't have internet so I had to wait till I got home. In 1880, Herman Hollerith invented the machine for recording data. It could process information via feedable punchcards. Ten years later the United States used it to calculate the Census. That company would become IBM.  Less then a hundred years later it would partner with a young man named Bill Gates to create the basic computing system. In 1996 this divine giver of answers was founded at some school in California as a research project by some homo sapien born 4.5 billion years after the Earth. Today nearly two billion homo sapiens can communicate through the internet and almost double that have cell phone subscriptions. Now for the follow-up. How long do men live for? The average human lifespan on Earth today is 69 years old. 39 years older than the oldest Tyrannosaurus Rex. Add ten years if your an American and twenty if you live in Monaco. We replaced razor sharp teeth and concrete skin with AK47s and bulletproof vests. We are the tyrants now. But if history has taught us anything, it's that we have the capacity to change. We have the technology. We have the power. We will evolve again. It's our nature. It's in our blood. It's our destiny.




Question and Answer II

Whether its a man with a lightning bolt sitting in a chair, or the wide expanse of unknown elements far beyond our reach known as the Universe. Something gave us the most precious thing in the world. Life. Our brains can’t comprehend the complexity or secrets of life even though we spend a lifetime doing it. Let me rephrase that. I can't say "God in a metaphorical sense," for my atheist brethren and pretentious hipsters out there because I don’t believe it. I didn’t need any more proof something else was out but pondering the question gave me the evidence. You see Earth is over 4.5 billion years old. Taking into account the expansiveness of the universe, a relatively tiny speck or atom of energy gravitated to a specific light. A specific location just close enough to the sun to be warm, but no far enough away to be cold. It spends so much time around this spot of comfort it started collecting dust.  Dirt, water, terrestrial elements collided with the light and Earth was formed.

They settled, gathered, and grew to like the place to which they were stuck. They didn’t choose it, they just gravitated to it. Some divine force pulled them together. Years of this went by. A couple billion to be exact. A protective layer formed around the Planet that made it possible to colonize. Eventually, the visitors from outer space colonized the surface of the earth. Microbes of interstellar debris accumulated. Algae spread and spread. Volcanic rock formed epic mountainous landscapes. Trilobites, Nautiloids, and Sea Scorpions populated this new terra. A severe snowstorm overtook the planet for millions of years. What remained were organisms so minute, so minuscule, so resilient, that they endured over elements more careless. They understood that survival was the most important thing. Unfortunately, most of their limbs got frostbite during the storm and fell off that they would need to grow back. They would need to develop, transform, modify, and expand. They needed progress. They needed to evolve. Billions of years following the creation of the Earth, life as we can possibly perceive it, began. In a swift stroke of genius, a resident of the milky way galaxy started life. The only rock with the means and motivation to try something this ludicrous sprouted a seed. 

Evolution took place on a scale so tremendous that even the man upstairs thinks its pretty cool. An enormously colossal, tremendously monumental, family sized elephantine mammoth of a massively mega-monstrous scale.  It was so preposterous we can barely comprehend it actually happened. In fact, we’ve been in denial about it for the greater part of our existence. Vast chaos and lofty experiments took place simultaneously as these Lilliputian beings whipped themselves back into shape. They squirmed, they scrawled, and they stood. The organisms that remained saw fit to weaponize themselves for the dangers of the outside world. They knew they were going to be threatened. What terrible creatures rose from these ashes of the Earth? Lizards and reptiles. Beasts outfitted for the most rugged terrain imaginable. They were equipped to battle the most violent, brutal, and humungous creatures that would challenge their very right to live. To exist. Forget Israel and Egypt. Their evolution took place out of survival, not some dinosaurian theories based on religious beliefs. 

These affiliations, which are ultimately based on geographical location, are both insignificant and irrelevant to the human species. I’m Catholic, but not by choice. Nobody likes being Catholic. People go to church to find peace. Catholics go to church out of guilt. I just like the music the best. I appreciate all religions because their root teachings and beliefs center on the idea of progress and quality human behavior. Be good to your fellow man. But most have seen their religions twisted into hateful Zionist organizations. In the dinosaur world, they would be the carnivores. The predators. And the biggest and baddest mother on the block was none other than the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex. The King Lizard. The carnivorous bipedal coming straight out of the late Cretaceous. Stomping around with the most powerful jaw and tiniest arms. He ruled the land with cruelty and unreasonable consumption of dinosaur meat. But, there are those who take a peaceful approach. Beings that understood their survival was connected directly to the Earth itself, so they decided to feed on her, rather than feeding on each other. Apatosaurus' tired of getting on their friends' shoulders to reach food, grew longer necks. Stegosaurus developed elaborate defense mechanisms to shield themselves. Imagine a human being trying to survive in a world like that. How would you protect yourself? Lucky for us the mighty universe gave Earth a fresh start.  65 million years ago, an astronomical sized meteorite struck our planet and life as we knew it, ended. For millions of years, the Earth was a vast wasteland of molten rumble. A hell so unimaginable that no microbe dared survive. Hark! What did the Universe see? Survivors? Something new was taking place. A new species was gaining its balance. Animals crawled, squirmed, and stood again...



Question and Answer I

Obviously, given my vocation, I have thought long and hard about God. I've had countless discussions, lectures, and uninhibited questions dealing with the big guy. Most people wonder why I have faith. They ask if there was a specific situation that gave me faith? Was there a miraculous idea or an ominous question incepted in my brain. The answer is always a resounding yes. Yes, there was a question. One specific question that I couldn't help but answer. Scour the universe for even a hint to the answer. A question so daunting I cowered in its shadow. An everlasting, perpetuating, metronomic question that hypnotized my conscious. The question that made me believe in God was this: "How long did a T. Rex live for?" Let me clarify in college terms: "what was the average lifespan of a Tyrannosaurus Rex?" You may find that childish and I admit it is rather moronic, but then I sought the answer to this and a number of other seemingly pointless inquiries. Were there 75-year-old T. Rex’s pushing around tennis-ball-bottomed walkers with their tiny arms? What about the middle age T. Rex? 

RIP

Sick and tired of risking his neck to catch and devouring triceratops all day. Comes home to a disrespectful nagging mate and ungrateful pestering offspring? The answer is that most T. Rex’s didn’t live past 30. They were just hitting their prime. Most didn’t live past 18! How miserable is that? This question or rather, the search for the answer, lead me to believe in God. Not in the classical, gray beard, Church going kind, but the creator, the universal, the eternal entity that controls all matter,  purpose, and gravitational direction kind. You might be asking yourself why? Well, ladies and gentleman. I have the answer...

Competition

As an avid sports fan, one of my favorite sports is track and field, because it is elemental. A primal sport. It's just you against you. I met a coach once, some time ago, when I was visiting Philadelphia, who I want to pay homage to by relaying something he taught me about competition. He and I had a very similar view of sports and competition. We weren't competitive in the classical sense, but we had to be the best at everything. It wasn’t something done out of anger or spite of the challenger it was done out of love. Love of the game. When I was younger everything was a race. It wasn’t just sports. It was drinking, girls, and money. I wanted everything right now.  It was a desire to do well by my fellow man. If that meant beating him in something, then so be it. I was lending a helping hand. I knew early on that competition was a good thing. It made you better, stronger, faster. Being competitive, when you can control, is a dangerous weapon. 
THE BUSTER BROUGHT ME BACK!
It’s like putting your car in overdrive. Competition is just another word for a desire to win. To achieve. To stand up and tell the world and the universe that, “Yo, I’m still fucking here.” You thought I left? Died? Gave up and went home? Nah man. I told you I’d be right back. Whether its up the against the ropes, the bottom of the ninth, or final seconds of the fourth quarter it doesn't matter. It's Kobe doing work. It's yelling give ME the rock. That’s what competition is. Beating the other guy. Plain and simple. It's the turn on the final lap. It's the straightaway. It's pulling up to a guy you have no business racing, rolling down your window, and with a wave and a smile, cutting him off. Honk Honk. See ya later.  
The Octagon
In track, especially at the Mecca that is Penn Relays, it's the whoop from the stands that sounds like a fallout siren from the fifties, making your opponent feel like he's stuck in the mud. I don't know if any of you know the Armory in New York, but imagine running an all-out sprint around a track three stories high in a warehouse in Harlem. DMX blasting in the background. "Y’all gon make me lose my mind. Up in here. Up in here." They were underground foot races. The place is always crammed too. Kids hanging off the edge of the raised track and teammates and some coaches on the inner circle screaming and yelling. 
Drive the lane and dunk on dunkers
After two laps at a dead spring around a two hundred meter track, you are close to death. Literally, your brain has no idea where the other gear comes from. As you struggle to breathe, your vision goes blurry. You can barely hear yourself think about how much pain you are in. Someone is yelling, “Keep going. Fuck this kid next to you, why is he better than you?" You want it more then he does. I friend of mine would say, “He can’t bang with your shit.” So what do you do, Quit? Not now, not after all that, after what you’ve been through. You're so close. You can taste it on your lips?  If you win you'll be showered in roses like a gladiator in the Coliseum. You’re an unstoppable train. No one can stop you. Then as you look at the clock and smile, you lean and cross the line.  Break on through to the other side. Baton still in hand you get mobbed by the rest of your team. Bite your lip, nod your head, bounce around the track, pound your chest and think, “Rumble, young man, rumble.” 
"A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he'll never crow. I have seen the light and I'm crowing."
That moment is when competition becomes something more. In an instant, it transforms. It becomes the sweetest thing known to man, excluding women. Unlike her cruel mistress of a sister, defeat, this diva is magnificent. Her name is Vittoria. Winning. Triumph. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, but losers don’t get laid. A few years ago I was at the Atlantic 10 Track and Field Championship, in Charlotte, NC. I watched La Salle win in last race of the year, to repeat as champions for the second time. It came down to the wire. Charlotte, Temple, Fordham, Rhode Island, were all neck and neck with us going into the last hundred meters. A white kid in tube socks pulls out of the pack and marches to victory. He crossed the line and dropped the baton on the track like Chris Rock dropping the mic. They wanted to disqualify him. They didn’t. Fuck the police. That’s competition. 

You Are Now Running On Reserved Power

I sit on the edge of the universe and look out past the stars. In the distance the beginnings of an impending episode spark. A galaxy-wide shift alters the fabric of space so subtly you’d need a jewelers eye to catch it. 


Running my digital pointer over the little battery in the corner of the screen barely a sliver of red reveals that a mere 0:03 remaining. Three minutes left in existence. I have been granted three minutes to surmise my entire life. Three minutes to repent for all my past transgressions. Three minutes to pay homage to all the people who I love and got me to this exact point in time. I must give credit to all those who deserve it. I must give thanks to those who have affected me, better or worse. What can say with three minutes left? Who would you call?  Ghostbusters? My time is nearly up, I wish I had...

Delirium

Professor Wikipedia defines Delirium as a common and severe neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by random and fluctuating onsets of attentional deficits and generalized by severe disorganization of behavior. Typically involving cognitive deficits, changes in arousal, perceptual deficits, altered sleep patterns, and psychotic features such as hallucinations and delusions. 


This definition of delirium means that almost every person under the age of forty suffers from delirium. Kids grow up watching TV shows and movies that skew their perception of reality and then down a two liter of Mountain Dew at lunchtime. Introduce drugs in high school and you have a recipe for every maladjusted youth between the Atlantic and Pacific. 

Search your feelings