Posts tagged “zen

4 Things I’ve learned about blogging from blogging


Yes I read my own blog sometimes. It’s not because I’m so in love with myself that I have to experience my own awesomeness a second time around. And no it’s not because I’m incredibly bored and have nothing to do. It’s not like I read everything. Sometimes when I’m doing pingbacks or editing old posts I sit there and go over what I’ve written. I remember things about as well as Dory does so sometimes I need to refresh my memory about what I’ve already written about. So for the sake of getting more thought garbage out I decided to summarize my blogging experience thus far.

It’s just another persona
Argue as much as you want, a blog is not mirror image of your persona. It’s just yet another extension of your personality.  A blog can be a very close reflection or a wildly contrasting side of your true self. It’s all about what you want to get out of it.  I started blogging to clear my mind of excess clutter but it’s mutated into something more. I have a very warped train of thought and twisted sense of humour that apparently appeals to some. I am an entertainer. I’ve always been that way. The joke maker. The proverbial life of the party. I enjoy entertaining on multiple levels but I still very much write for myself. The twist is that I try to make what I talk about somewhat appealing to the masses. There are those who know me like a book and those who stumble upon this wasteland. From the outside looking in I come off as an egomaniacal, super geek with a heart of gold who needs his mouth washed out with soap. Some people drink that in and take it for what its worth. Those who have the luxury of being able to match the truth against the show are awarded a much more enjoyable reading experience.

I don’t subscribe to your reality
Just because I don’t subscribe to blogs doesn’t mean I don’t read them regularly. I’m sorry. I just don’t subscribe to many blogs and even when I do I turn off all the notifications. I don’t like being told when I should read. I read when I want to at my own pace. My place of honor lies in the blogroll. I don’t just dump anyone there all willy nilly. People on that VIP list have earned their spots there. If I haven’t been to your blog more than 3 times you don’t get listed. In the world of the Zen Assassin the authors found on the roll are people I respect and follow religiously. I spread their words to weary travellers who happen upon my blog through that prestigious link.  It’s my way of paying homage to them. That it why they are referred to as The Worthy. So don’t get offended if I don’t click a subscribe button. Get offended if you’re not on the Guest List.  *nyuk nyuk*

Not everyone is a douche
I feared blogging for a long time. It reeked of pretentiousness. Admit it. If you’ve never blogged before and someone tells you “hey check out my blog” you cringe in disgust and think to yourself you pretentious little motherf*cker. I openly admit that was my mindset prior to getting involved. After all just about anyone can be a food or movie critic because they have a blog, right? However since entering this strange and addictive world I’ve come to understand that the egotistical, self-serving, c*cksmoking attention mongers are in fact the minority. The vast majority of bloggers are just decent everyday Joes and Janes with something to say. Unlike Facebook and Twitter where it’s a competition to see who can have the most grammatically flawed tweet or wittiest status message bloggers tend to have one inescapable commonality – they like to write for the sake of writing. Sure some have diatribes of rambling nonsense *ahem* but in a world as large as ours there’s something for everyone out there. I’ve met some pretty extraordinary people during my stint here and absolutely regret not diving in sooner.

Commenting here will make you a God-hating atheist, give you the clap, cause pain, suffering, instant death and send you straight to Hell
… or at least that seems to be the stigma attached to my blog. No one comments. I for the life of me can’t figure out why. I haven’t placed the impaled bodies of those who have commented in the past on my doorstep. I love comments. It lets me know I’m just not talking to myself as usual. I have a very loyal following of really eccentric and utterly intriguing individuals who almost always leave a comment. They’re the ones who actually keep me writing more often than not and I thank them wholeheartedly for that. I admit, I don’t comment on everything I read either but I do when it’s something I appeciate. Every blogger goes though the “is anyone even listening” phase. When you have a fountain of unconventional sanity like you find here, sometimes people choose to observe from a safe distance. Have no fear though. I don’t bite…

…unless you let me.


Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind… and that’s what’s been changing.


Ah Christmas. How I hate thee so.

Yes. Call me Ebeneezer Scrooge, the Grinch or a stupid poo poo-head meanie. I don’t mind. Before the self-righteous avengers out there  get their feathers all ruffled about someone bad-mouthing arguably the most popular holiday ever just days before it is celebrated let’s clarify exactly what I don’t like about Christmas. I don’t hate Christmas just to be an a douche nor does it stem from having a childhood wrought with personal letdowns. In fact my early years were fantastic. My parents, family and friends were awesome (and still are). I’m disgusted with the perversion that has adopted the name.  I pride myself in not buying into the corporate merchandising gimmick that has cleverly masked itself as Christmas. We’ve been manipulated over the past century into believing in this twisted concept that giving is something that is measured by quantity and cost.  This isn’t me channeling the power of the hippies. This is what’s going on. I’m not saying everyone has  bought into the madness. There are still many people out there who still remember what Christmas is all about. Don’t feel bad if you’ve fallen victim to this though. There are many of us out there with pure intentions but get caught up in the media fueled consumer frenzy. How many times have you been strapped for cash and felt bad over the Christmas holiday because you couldn’t get everyone you love something deliciously dazzling. How is that even remotely right? Why should a person feel guilt, remorse, pressure or even sorrow because they can’t afford to purchase something for someone? Is this really what the concept of Christmas has devolved into? Stampedes and trample injuries on Black Friday? Peer pressure spending? Depression over the holidays? 5 year olds getting iPhones and laptops?

I was reading the paper the other day and came across an article about some local Inuit children. The newspaper decided to get into the spirit of the holidays by printing their Christmas wish lists. One girl wanted a doll. One boy wanted skates. One after another there were simple and humble requests ranging from a puppy to a sled. Then along came the last little girl who literally turned my stomach when I read what she wanted…

“I would like an iPod or maybe an iPhone. I haven’t made up my mind yet.”

Seriously?

She couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7. I’m a 35 year old man and don’t even have an iPhone and yet, sure as shit stinks, someone will get this for her. Why? Because she needs it? Because it’ll make her happy? You’ll win her approval by doing so? I’m not too hip with my elementary school politics but I’m quite certain there’s nothing that pressing or important going on in a child’s life at that age that would facilitate the need for an iPhone other than the desire to be cool. I highly doubt she’ll be paying for the plan needed for such a gadget so guess who has to foot the bill for that as well? It’s getting really expensive to buy people’s love nowadays.

I was brought up with the understanding that you had to earn everything you get. I wasn’t underprivileged by any means but my parents also didn’t simply give me anything I wanted , even being an only child. Everything seems to be handed to people, especially children, on a silver platter nowadays. Gifts are meaningless. It ends up becoming a sick game of one-upping with the next “gift” exceeding the last. How can anyone learn to genuinely appreciate anything if  the whole gift-giving process revolves around the predication of “who can get me the better item”? Let’s take it back a few centuries to the cat who this holiday is all about, Mr. Jesus himself. It’s his birthday. Why are people stressing over getting other people gifts or not getting what they want? Isn’t the birthday boy supposed to be the one getting the gifts? Heck, I’d be pissed if it were my birthday and people were giving each other gifts and not me.

Just kidding Big J. Don’t strike me down just yet. I got two ideas to save Christmas.

Blasphemy aside, I dig where you were going with the idea JC. You wanted selflessness and giving to one another from the heart to be your birthday gift. Although the Catholic faith and I are bitter enemies at this point in time, there are certain principles that we share. That is why The Way of Zen will actually keep the tradition of Christmas intact. However we’ll have rules about how to celebrate it. People seem to follow suit when given instructions kinda like how they do when it comes to recycling programs. If left to their own devices people think far too much for their own good and start marring even the simplest of notions. Therefore we at the Way of Zen will enforce one of the following two ideas:

  1. All Christmas gifts have to be created by the person giving the gift. Gone are the days of being lazy. You need to make gifts matter. Bake something. Stitch something. Craft something. Build something. Teach someone something. It doesn’t matter. Any parent in the world knows how precious it is to receive a gift from their child that the little bugger created with their own two hands. You’ll save it , cherish it , talk about it, show it to everyone, and use it thirty years down the road to embarrass them when they’re adults. That sense of pride should be universal. Don’t cop out and brainwash your loved ones into believing expensive, complicated or flashy is better. So what if it brings the economy crashing down. Which would you rather have, your values or your cash? It’s quite obvious we can’t have both.
  2. The older you are the more expensive the gift. For those of you who can’t seem to wrap your brains around the thought of not purchasing something, I have this brilliant idea. Gifts based on age. The longer you’ve been on this planet the more expensive and greater amount of gifts you receive. Talk about earning your way. If you’re like 90 years old you should be bathed in lavish gifts cuz dammit, you earned it for lasting this long. It’ll give you something to look forward to as you age. We’ll have no more of this getting babies and children tons of gifts. Why? They haven’t earned a thing yet. Besides their gift is that their bloody parents are taking care of them for 18 years. They shouldn’t even be asking for anything more than that.

As always, if you can’t take things lightly you really shouldn’t be floating around my blog. I poke fun at anything and everything. Nothing is off limits. I do that because people need to learn to lighten up. If your life revolves around being uptight about anything anyone says because it differs from what you think then I truly feel sorry for you. Loosen up, put a smile on your face and enjoy the holiday for what it’s supposed to be – not what it is.

This will probably be my last entry before the grand spectacle so I’ll leave you with this…

To my family and friends
Blikes and blends
Whether you agree with me
Or drown yourself in holiday glee
With everyone’s favorite holiday near
I wish you a very merry Christmas
And a safe New year

I know. My poetry rocks.

Remember…

…if you can’t be good, be good at being bad. 😉

blends and blikes,

Who’d want to be my friend? I hate everyone and everything seems stupid to me.


As part of the Hippie Cahier Algonquin Experiment we were asked to write a little bit about the magnificent search terms used by people to find your blog. In my particular case I don’t have many searches at all. Those who find my blog usually unknowingly come wandering in from other blogs I’ve posted on. I mean why not, right? You see a creepy little hand on a keyboard and the name The Zen Assassin how can you not take a peek?

I equate my blog to an exotic dish – tasty and treasured by some but otherwise disgusting and uninteresting to most. My writing style – if you can call it a style – can be summed up as psychotic pessimistic paranoid schizophrenic cynicism. Wait a minute. That’s not a style. That’s just random technical terms all mashed together. Bah… regardless my writing has all those elements in it which makes my work a hard read at times. When my top two searches happen to be “you probably don’t think i’m a very nice guy” and “mcdonalds zesty mcmini commerical” you can get an idea of how random my thoughts can be. One was a post about my favorite movie badasses and the other was a rant about how racist McDonald’s is. That’s the reason why my blog is titled “The $#&! I Think About” because frankly that’s all it is. I tend to think that those who search and find this diatribe of ramblings came here by accident. It’s no secret that my blog titles are movie quotes. I even try to relate the movie I’m quoting from to the subject matter which makes naming my entries more of a task than actually writing them. Unfortunately this throws people off most of the time. They’re expecting one thing and end up reading about something completely different.

I’m not a complicated guy… just very muddled. They say geniuses keep very cluttered and unorganized work spaces. My workspace is my brain so what’s that say about me? Sociopath? Megalomaniac perhaps? Have no fear ladies and gentlemen. I just draw and write. I’m a geek and everyone knows geeks aren’t dangerous, right?  If only more people had a creative outlet perhaps we wouldn’t have so many pissed off chaps in the world. I’m living proof that you can be morbidly pessimistic and still be a productive member of society.  I’d be more concerned about the people who actually read my blog. I have a tiny but loyal following of people who keep pace with my twisted mind and actually enjoy what I ramble about.

Isn’t that how cults are started?

No worries though. There’s no Kool Aid here… just Pepsi.

From cats to the apocalypse, nothing is really out of my range of thought. What were people thinking when they searched? Probably the same shit I think about. We’re more alike than you’d ever care to admit. Scary, huh?

Till next time people.


Ladies and gentlemen, you have been judged guilty of sinning against our almighty God, and I promise you, you shall pay for your trespasses, in blood!


This post has been a long time coming.

For years I’ve had to contend with death gazes and finger pointing because I don’t choose to affiliate myself with any particular organized religion. I’ve been called a blasphemer, heretic, and soulless both to my face as well as behind my back. Why? Because I don’t bow to peer pressure?

Let me fill everyone in on a few things. I was brought up as a Catholic. My mother is a devout Catholic therefore it was kind of written in stone that I was destined to be one as well. I went to Catholic school for 8 years, from 1st grade all the way to 8th. Yes I got to wear the awful micro bible-thumper uniform, got taught by fierce nuns and was an altar boy for 4 consecutive years. I even won awards for being Altar Boy of the Year for 3 years in a row because I rocked so much at holding that plate under people as they received communion and got that bible off the altar with the grace of a swan. None of the priests at the church I served at were ass-grabbing pedophiles so thankfully I never got to experience some of the horror stories you tend to hear about nowadays. For what it’s worth, the Catholic lifestyle wasn’t all that bad. Boring as watching whales screw, but not awful.

As I started to get older I began to question some things. Sitting there in pews every Sunday listening to the same sermons over and over, I wondered to myself why this was mandatory. Yes, my school made it a punishable offense if you missed 9am Sunday Mass. Even if you slept in and caught the 10am or 11am one you’d still be in shit. I believe that was the beginning of my dissidence towards organized religion. It disturbed me how I, a loyal follower and active practitioner of these teachings, was quite literally being forced to do something I didn’t feel was necessary. Every night I prayed to a mystical being that I really didn’t believe was there, respected my elders, knew the “good book” pretty much forward and backwards thanks to the fact that I thought I was one of God’s peeps being an altar boy and all. To me I felt I didn’t need to prove anything by going to church every single Sunday. I assumed that the bible was merely a guideline for living your life.

Boy was I wrong.

I began to purposefully miss church just to try and bolster the fact that I didn’t appreciate being forced into doing something I didn’t feel was necessary. I didn’t think that God was a narcissist that needed his ego stroked on a weekly basis. I thought that following and living by His teachings was paying tribute enough. Isn’t that what this religion was supposed to be about? Apparently the kind and understanding nuns didn’t see it the same way so I would often get into trouble. You know. Rulers, detention, more forced reading about crap I already knew. By the time I was in 8th grade I had stopped going to church all together and my belief in this supposed religion was on thin ice. I was the quintessential “disruptive influence in class” and damn proud of it. I was having fun finally. I managed to find that comfortable middle ground of being able to live a good, honest and respectful life without having it beat into my head every single week. My divorce from Catholicism was finalized when in the 9th grade I went to public high school.

That’s a post for another time…

As I grew older and was able to comprehend more about the world around me I saw how much bullshit organized religion was. Let’s not forget the fact that I never got to choose to be Catholic. I was decreed one, baptized and pretty much told to accept it. As a kid, what are you going to do? Defy your parents? Say no to the people with the funky outfits who are 5 times bigger than you? No. You just end up being a good little follower and do as you’re told. That is what I absolutely can’t stand about organized religion. High school allowed me to see religion for what it truly was – a popular clique where if you’re not “down with them” you’re ridiculed and bullied until you either succumb to their will or become the Antichrist in their eyes. Is that really what religion is supposed to be about? I was under a lot of false assumptions. I thought that as a human being we got to choose what we believed in. That’s not the case with most religions out there. You either believe what they mandate or you’re just wrong. That’s it. Wrong. No reason or proof as to why you’re wrong other than collections of short stories written by people who believed the Earth was the center of the universe and over embellished over the centuries by those looking to turn a profit. That’s awesome. I also wrongfully believed that we were supposed to learn from this almighty book of knowledge not follow it blindly like a bunch of lemmings.

Don’t misconstrue what I’m saying. I’m not bashing religion in general. I’m criticizing this mutated perversion that disguises itself as religion. I’m a fan of religion. I believe in believing. Faith is powerful. It can start wars and end wars. Having faith in something is what motivates one to achieve his or her goals and provides the focus to do so. If believing there an an all-powerful being that manages our lives like a game of Sims, then by all means believe in it. If it gives you the strength and inspiration to get through your day to day;  if it brings up the people around you and makes you a better person then believe. Pray. Pay homage. Do what you feel like doing because it’s right for you. Some people need that light at the end of the tunnel in order to focus their minds.

I don’t need that nor do I need anyone chastising me for what I do or do not believe in. I don’t need people preaching to me that their way is the only and right way. I don’t need a book to tell me that killing is wrong or that fucking people over is a bad thing. I don’t need to be taught daily how to be a respectful, kind and understanding person. I just do it. I’m not saying I’m better than anyone else. I just know how to walk on my own two feet. I truly thank Catholicism for introducing me to the principles that I live by to this day but those concepts of love, honor, respect and loyalty aren’t exclusive to just them. They are common themes in all religions. Heck, you don’t even really need a religion to tell you most of that just some uncommon sense. It just saddens me to see so many people believing in the same key characteristics and yet will venomously denounce one another because one version of the fairy tale is different from the other.

So after long and exhausting brainstorming I’ve decided to do something ground breaking. I’m going to start my own religion so that I’m not ostracized anymore for not having one.

Here are some of the key notes of The Way of Zen:

  • There is no deity in this religion. We feel that you should pray to yourself (if need be) because that’s the only person who’s going to do anything. Listen carefully to the little voice inside you. That’s not God. That’s you.
  • We won’t have a book unfortunately. We only have one verse to follow “Be good to people if they’re good to you. However if they fuck with you then don’t take any shit.” Theoretically if you’re nice to someone they should nice good back to you and the process goes on and on therefore there should never be need for violence ever again. However we all know there are douches in the world so being nice to a blockhead isn’t very productive for anyone. Open the bottle of 100 proof ass-whoopin’ and let them know the deal. Don’t be selfish with your kindness but don’t be a pussy either.
  • We won’t have places of worship. Since you are your own temple all you really need is yourself.
  • There are no bishops, monks, imams, clerics or any distinguishable ranks. We feel that no one should be placed higher than another based on their level of belief.
  • We don’t require mandatory donations, although if you wish to contribute try donating to a homeless shelter or disaster relief charity.
  • There’s also no paraphernalia or idols needed in order to get started.
  • There is no recruiting. We exist through word of mouth, that’s it. If a person hears about The Way and decides to join, then so be it otherwise there is no active recruiting by any members.
  • There’s no ledger. We keep no record of who joins so your privacy is safe.
  • We’re also open to all races, creeds and lifestyles. Gay, straight, black, white, male, female, converts… it doesn’t matter. All are welcome.
  • You are free to leave whenever you want without fear of persecution or harassment.
  • You don’t have to drink the Kool Aid. If someone asks you to then they’re not a member of this faith.
  • Most of all never ever, under any circumstances, take another’s life. That’s what cops and hitmen are for.

I’m still hammering out the finer details but once I’m done I think I’ll have the basis for a kick-ass religion. Remember, I’m not only the founder. I’m also a follower.

Peace and be good brothers ans sisters of The Way.

… and for all of you out there with the stick so far up your ass that you can’t take a topic lightly all I ask is that you think before you speak.