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Writer's Block

Revolutionary Thought

It's the anniversary of the Russian Revolution, marking the Marxist overthrow of the Russian government. Karl Marx once wrote that "religion is the opium of the people." What is the new opium of the people?

Answers (254)

  • Телевидение.
  • It was probably a translation, so exact wording could probably be debated, but wasn't the quote "religion is the opiate of the masses"? I mean, that does sound better, and would look better on posters. As for the religion having a calming/soothing effect on people- there have been to many wars in the name of God to justify that claim in my mind. Unless you are also referring to the way people have drug wars over territory and users (followers/converts). Or the way people are manipulated by their religious leaders like the carpenter and the walrus poem. I would need further clarification to give an opinion. New opiate of the masses: the entertainment industry.
  • Consumerism. People consume like crazy wasting time, money and energy.
  • The internet
  • Television!

    (And to mark this anniversary, Homeschool Kid and I studied Animal Farm by Orwell.  Homeschooling is GREAT.)

  • Personlig ville jeg sagt sport og teknologi. En kan se det lett på hvor avhenging en er av dagens teknologi, og på dedikerte sportsfans.
  • Music. In the grocery store, people around me have ear buds. Cars always throb with overextended speakers in the parking lot below my bedroom window. At my work there is tame overhead music playing for the customers, and more personal choices rocking the back room where we wash dishes and prep the food. Anyone can find a song they like, or sing a long with friends on long car trips.

    It's everywhere, and I'm not sure I'd have it any other way.

    Though I could do without Feliz Navidad stuck in my head. Somebody give that song some verses! I'm dying inside!


    Okay, some part of me wants the writer's block thing and some ranty bit before I can go to bed. Honestly, I don't know where to go from here. I can't decide if I feel cheated or inadequate because the Writer's Block prompts seem to only need brief answer.

    Mm, restlessness. Paired with my recent foul temper, that only means one thing: Red Week is coming. Drat drat drat.

    I can't help but feel like I'm tarnishing the surface of my new LJ account with my silly notions and lack of "serious writing dedication." Like doodling those character busts on the pages of an expensive pad of drawing paper. Silly faces, no rhyme or reason. Faces of beloved little splinters of me that warm me when I'm blue. But on the soft texture of thirty dollar paper, they seem worthless when I view them from the eye of an outsider that should be seeing a masterpiece on thin canvas. And I feel naked.

    As much as I try to paint rose-colored goals for myself to live up to, there is no escaping that I created this account to escape the screaming history of my previous journal - all the angst and tears and rage and hate, all the secrets and lies and ignorance.

    Escape - or do-over.

    I bought a gallon of milk in November. It was nonfat with a purple and white label and had a date printed in black at the top, near the short neck and purple lid. I drank it liberally, stopping when less than 1/4 of it remained. I need to save it for cooking - if I need to make pancakes because my food stores run dry, I'll need the milk and the three eggs I might have left. But instead of pancakes, I quickly forgot I had it at all until yesterday. On my hour break, I came home for dinner and was digesting soup and a gallery on DeviantArt while my roommate made hot cocoa from a gift bag of mix received for Christmas almost a full year ago. She had wanted it with milk, and I offered the jug I'd bought. She quickly found it was no longer milk. It made me a little sad. When I left to return to work, I stopped briefly at the dumpster to throw the whole foul thing away.

    I can't have milk right now. My digestive system is not a strong one, exacerbated by my nearing Red Week, stress over money, the holidays and figuring out just how inadequate my job is and how strong my desire is for new employment. My sleep patterns are funky, my days are miserable if I wake up after noon, my bedroom is a mess and my conscience is guilty of many incomplete projects and a prolonged state of lethargy.

    Soy fails too. I have to clip every fast food option from my personal menu for at least a good while. Arbys, taco bell, mcdonalds, wendys, dairy queen, sonic burger... about the only things that are safe are subway, win-co and possibly baja fresh. Kind granola bars, the almond and apricot variety, and delicious, wonderful tea - hot or iced, green or black or white or what have you, it's all bliss. But tea is a sit down and take a quiet hour thing, and kind bars in worth are five cents short of a two dollar bill - i cannot imagine or look at how much a box would cost me, much less calculate in how little time I would plow through them. And fast food is fast... though these days it seems i'm always chasing these shots to the gut with pepto bismol -or out of the gut with a half a roll of---no, that's a TMI. Shut up.

    No matter how you look at it, I'm whining, and I dislike that. I want to stop now, and devote myself to something more worthwhile - like sleeping. So I'm going to, but not without a parting shot at my future self - even if it's whining, you still let yourself have the page, you self-conscious moron.

    I saw Twilight again tonight. It's a fun movie and we have the soundtrack to it now - myself and my roommates. Whatever you have to say about Twilight, it's just like anything else - you can either take it for its bad things and scorn it, or you can take it for it's good things and round yourself out. I know that I'd rather be reading Lynn Flewelling than Stephenie Meyer, but I can't say that I didn't enjoy one's works over the other's. It's unfair to either, comparing the apple to the orange - both are very delicious and together possess only one thing in common: difference. There is diversity in different things, from writers to movies to music and minds and hearts. Why people so strongly scorn things that don't meet their approval is beyond me. We are such centaurs these days, in that symbolic way - we're lusty and animal beneath a thin layer of maturity and intellect - or even just common sense. Some of us don't get that right, either, the horse's body dragging about the head and torso; a body directed by emotions paying scant attention to the calls of the mind.

    oh my - i paused to pick a fight with a forming blister, created by a chemical allergy - and looked back up to find myself drifting from a small, spontaneous outing, happy with a good film, Welch's fruit snacks and strawberry-kiwi vitamin water to a full-on act of pre-emptive self defense. That's what it is. I could have seen Jesus tonight, two rows up and four chairs to the left, with his feet propped up on the chairs and I would have been expressing my exact opinion of religion and the Christianity I grew up immersed in and my lack of a desire to become re-involved in the church, and a whole unnecessary essay about why. Because it seems I am not allowed to feel without also feeling as though I need to defend any and all opinions, statements or affiliations. How corporate of me! Nothing said lightly without fine print to "negate" anything offensive or actually impactful about it. Ah, the old fear of being naive and wrong. That second brings terror, a taste of shame too. When I was a child I would do something bad, realize it and punish myself in hope that I could avoid a reprimand. If I was punished, I did not like it, and would face those taking responsibility for me - parents, family, friends of the family - with shame and their imposed consequences with what I think was defiance. If my music player was taken away for a week, I would sing the whole week away - even singing myself to sleep and refusing to admit that I wasn't fine without it for a period of time, no matter how I could compensate for the loss.

    Just now I wish, so minutely, that my parents heard me singing myself to sleep, that they had come into my room and brought to my attention that I did miss the treasured item very much, and didn't have it because I had done something bad. That it was an example of the pain it caused them when I promised better grades and earned Fs, and that I needed to feel the sorrow for the missed item and the pain of going without it to understand why not to do it again. Looking back, I wish they'd have shown me around my stubborn defiance and my tendency toward loopholes. When I used to jump on our big backyard trampoline after dark and before bed, I would be called in at ten o'clock. I had my walkman, rain or moonlight, and would always make a final plea: "one more song!" And when granted this, I would choose one ten minutes long. Or one shorter and claim forgetfulness. I love my parents very, very much, but I do wish that they and many others had called me unswayingly on my bullshit. Now I have no grace in defeat, no calm and adult acceptance of reprimands - only a sense of avoiding trouble, an instinct so strong I dare not take a risk. I fear consequences more than I fear death. Death is inevitable. Consequences are not. At least, the self-doubt and shame they can bring are not.

    I am only just beginning to learn about emotions. What they feel like when they're happening and what their names are. I've always been a bit silly, taking it all for granted and making 'doing all right' and 'living to see another day' the same things. Self-centered and incomprehending of my own life, I gave it up as too difficult and decided I was content to live as I was - by my whims and pain. It brought me more pain and more whims. I gained weight, poor self esteem, depression and no sense of self-expression. Whatever my mood that day was, that's what I was infinitely. If cranky one day, I was an angry person and miserable for it. If I was happy one day, I wasn't as bad off as all that - i'm happy today! grades don't matter, see? I can still smile, can't I?

    There is a fine line here, between my intended growth as a writer and my intended abandonment as a human being. A part of me wants to let it all loose on the page until I'm nude before an audience of none or millions. The other part wants to stifle it all, filter it through until everything that defined the pathetic me is gone and a clean slate is left, on which I can carefully structure my new self, choosing my traits like the color of a marker for a drawing. Part of me sees pathetic, the other part sees a gained wisdom and introspection. As a whole, I see thoughts of mine that would not have existed without the flow of words to fingers to keys to screen, nor with it, either. We all need potty breaks - so does the mind.

    To wrap it all up, it is ping-pong with a wall. I am bouncing a light colorful plastic ball against the upended half of the ping pong table, finding a rhythm so I can separate myself from it (like I do with everything), and memorizing the sound it makes - the deep voice with the paddle, the light taps against the table, clicks on the concrete floor of the garage. And sometimes you do have to chase it - it gets away and you have to break rhythm, find it, and resettle the paddle in your hand to bounce the ball off the table for a fresh start.

    Not really any use to anyone, ping-pong or my mire of thoughts, but interactive and cognitively tangible anyway.

    It's just finding balance over the middle ground.

    <./looking for sleep 12-1-08>
    Unedited freewrite
    No time limit or restriction

  • Come on over to , the new archive community for old Writer's Block questions!
  • Socialism is the new religion, so I suppose it's the new opium as well. There's only faith that it works, it's preached by guys on TV and at podiums, we are all supposed to give money in support of it, it has the deadly force available to enforce it's decree's, you are a heretic if you disagree, it's popular at the moment, those who support it don't really understand how it's supposed to work. Yeah, socialism is a religion. I'm fairly sure that was Karl Marx's intent as well.
  • Technology, the ability to be "always-on" and "on-demand". Word has it that TIVO users will soon be able to order a pizza from Dominoes through their set-top box. We are being mollified by instant-gratification, one-click satisfaction. And I wouldn't change that for the world.
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