Hello. You suck.

Mueller.  Muller.  Mueller.  Muller.  

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.  Thank goodness for that first e.  I would hate to have the same last name as that Robert dude.  We’re in quite a bit of a cahoots, literally.  Down below is a video of a guy that is in the spotlight of the clusterfuck that is our justice system.  *Big tall doofus man.  

Follow the money.  You’ll learn a lot about your country.  

*big tall doofus man

Boner petite.  I’m having a fucking awesome day.  

Was Harry Anslinger a Racist?

Seen above, Harry Anslinger, one of our Nation’s honorable heroes, seems to have had a KKK hood crudely pasted over his head.  Why someone would want to portray Anslinger as a racist bigot I have NO idea but it’s quite the piece of work, and worth a share.  I can think of a couple reasons, I guess.  


Wanna Know Something?

I’m transcribing my hand-written writing, which was written here in the car at a gas station parking lot, and is being transcribed from the same parking spot, and I have not left my post since I got here. The reason I started to write, was I had an encounter with what I am led to believe was a racist cashier. This belief comes from probably 10 transactions. I drive for a living and I drink coffee arguably for a living, and I like to come to this gas station for convenience and convenience only. Don’t “oooo Nick you’re over-reacting” me, bitch, you wasnt with me when I was shooting at the gym. I’m a fair and fairly honest fellow, and I can honestly say, I have determined the cashier to be a racist old man. With good reason not to like white people, he was a black man, and if you ask any fairly honest man, they’ll tell you it is reasonable, or else you havent asked an honest man. Here is the hand-writing:

Just a quick ‘thanks’ to all of the people who have a hard time with seeing past the skin-color of other people. Thanks to you for making this life interesting. Life is literally a never-ending mother-fucker-of-a-struggle. (Mac- I know that life is a bitch, I just thought she’d take a cab by now.) Never. Ending. I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this bullshit if it wasnt.

If it wasn’t a struggle, I’d be home right now, writing and making music.

If it wasn’t a struggle, I’d not be sitting parked at this Wawa gas station across Hillsborough from the casino with a coffee, waiting for a couple friends I just dropped off to have their fun, so I can insure they have a safe ride home.

If it wasn’t a struggle, I’d have already made enough music at home today, I’d be parked across Hillsborough, and I’d be inside the casino drinking casino-coffee served by a chick around my age who might wanna get my digits, I’d be gambling, telling jokes and laughing all of my boners off without any care in the world.

If it wasn’t a struggle I’d have brought the bookbag with me that I never leave anywhere and then I’d have grabbed the $7 cash that’s wadded in the top pocket and turned it into $50 by throwing it in the gas tank and driving around some drunk hoes, I wouldn’t have cared about the cashier, I’d-a had shit to do. I still would have posted an Instagram story about it but then I would most likely have went about my life and swept this under the rug with the rest of the shit, who knows what…

If it WASN’T a struggle, I wouldn’t have ever had to come here to write this. I wouldn’t have had to pay an absurd amount of money to have my own separate media medium to dislodge myself from association from all the bullshitters venting their petty nonsense on free social media, clogging up the stream so that us good mother fuckers cant put some words in your mouths for a change. I wouldn’t have had to do this, but because the black cashier who took my coffee money definitely doesn’t fucking much care for white people who have my face. Or he just definitely hates all other men, because the lady in front of me must have been a Goddess if you compare the two encounters, except she was black too so it really doesnt help solve much. She was also closer to his age than I. I dont think they were family because I dont think any black people are from West Virginia. That was a joke about incest and also a joke about there not being any incestual black folks from West Virginia. Because I’ve never heard of any is why I say it like that. If you know of any, please correct me. I’ve definitely been wrong before.

Just take my fucking word for it- racism is alive and well. So, thank you, again- all the generations before the last couple. Thank you. Thank you so god damn much for helping me write this.

In other news…

So I was watching a Malcolm X speech today on YouTube, but I never finished it because I had to run. So, I’ll just post it here and you can fill me in on how the last 10 minutes go.

Here is the link, I will try to remember to embed the video when I am not using my smart phone.

Also, the weed I just smoked to get high enough to feel like writing– let’s just say it was included as driver gratuity. It’s not the first time its happened (only been driving for income for the last few weeks). Will it be the last? No– God-willing, of course.

Same Jamaican passenger who gave me the ganja clued me in on the biggest secret I’ve heard since I learned the Roosevelt family gained its family successive wealth from illegal opium markets– BOB MARLEY’S DAD WAS A FUCKING GRINGO! HE WAS A MIXED KID! (He didnt just blurt that out like I just did, we worked into it, but I don’t have the time or the energy to reconstruct in my mind and write out the conversation. I will say that the conversation started because I was listening to Reggae in the automobile we were all cruising in. His girlfriend was here, too.

Here’s the exact picture the homie showed me while I was driving.

I could not believe this shit and I still can’t 3 hours later. I’m willing to bet I wont believe it tomorrow either– says the guy with no money parked across from the casino.

Serendipity. Serendipity. Serendipity.

It ain’t to play games with you, it’s to aim at you.

Came out of retirement to fix some issues I foresee fit for fixin.

Recorded in August while in my hometown of Bath, NY. Ripped and produced by Robert Bidwelack.

Ds, Ps, and As

The best reason to continue living in this life is to become the best version of yourself that is humanly possible.  If you are not better than the you of yesterday, in my opinion, you are essentially wasting your time, or whatever.

Is today the first day of the rest of your life?  Do you have unanswered questions?  So do I.  It’s day 1 for me too.  A peculiar elderly Peruvian Lyft driver of mine told me in January that the answers to all of my questions are “all right there in front of you [me]” and that simply need to watch, look, and listen to discover it myself.  Just about every day since then, I’ve thought of the long conversation I had with the mysterious stranger that night, and out of the purest serendipitous circumstances after heeding his words of wisdom, I was never more sure of what I’m sure of as I write this optimistic-minded post.  No matter how sarcastic my writing gets, somewhere in the message is a glimmer of hope.  I do not know why it exists or why it’s there, but it is.  The fact that I recognize it is enough to move me on to do what I do the next time I wake up and see what’s out there.

Serendipity.  Serendipity.  Serendipity.

“…However, let it go.  It is the will of God that we must have critics, and missionaries, and Congressmen, and humorists, and we must bear the burden.  Meantime, I seem to have been drifting into criticism myself.  But that is no thing.  At the worst, criticism is nothing more than a crime, and I am not unused to that.” -Mark Twain, on criticism 

Cut to the scene where I will be myself and speak my mind regardless of what criticism shows itself on the horizon.  Press play.  That’s right now, yo.  I will not be intimidated by some AH who has nothing better to do with their time but hatefully criticize a thought that shaves against the grain of the mainstream mustache.  I’ve lived enough, I don’t feel like I need any more stories, yet I continue to write them and share new stories for nothing much more than the fuck of it.  Why would any sane person put themselves out there the way so many like us braves have, for nothing but the fuck of it?  Are we reaching for love?


Nick’s Top Netflix Picks

A nice article where I praise the fine blue work done by a few of our Nation’s heroes. #BlueLivesMatter

crown pleaser

Now– I love the law as much as the next guy, but there’s nothin’ like a good ol’ Hawaii Five-Oh, ya know what I mean?  Maybe I’m not using that in the right context, whoop whoop.

A good quote even more gooder if you read it in a Jeff Foxworthy voice:

“When you realize it’s a cop on a motorcycle pulling you over for not wearing a seat belt, you might be living in a police state.”


As for blue lives mattering, yes, I value them just as much as I value all of the rest of the lives of the people who do their own thing and keep their noses out of my own thing.  All* lives matter.  I do realize that these police are under a ton of stress and public scrutiny, but the point is, the stress is unnecessary and the scrutiny is totally called for.  Have a conversation with anyone who handled a firearm and followed the Rules of Engagement of traditional warfare in the conflict taking place in the Middle East, ask them how it’d go if they shot an unarmed citizen for no good reason.  We add it to our own plate and then we force-feed our own fat cocksuckers with our own fat shootin’ hands and we lick our trigger-happy-finger-tips clean of all the bullshit dripping off of them and we smile and we demand more and we are number one, ~protect and ~serve!  Whatever I have to say, let me know.  Something needs to change.

*you may interpret this as you interpret any Holy scripture, or the law so I’ve heard.  If you’re a lawyer, which I am not, but I heard you’re able to take the written word of the law and interpret it however you want as long as you have a credibility in doing so… because what I’m hearing is that it’s not what the words mean when they’re said, read, or written– it’s how the words are interpreted and it’s what you can prove in the court of l— well, sort of.  Eventually I’m sure they’ll realize what a mess all of this is and they’ll start to fix it up, I’m sure.  We have nothing to worry about whatsoever, why should we worry about a thing?  We’re Americans, we shouldn’t have to worry.  But that’s just how I am interpreting the trends I’ve been noticing.

Last word:  I’m in the market to speak with someone who can bake muffins that look like hand grenades.  (That is a joke.)

Remember folks, there is truth in every joke.

Rantall Cunningham III

A brief introduction to the history of the core problem that needs addressing in the US of A.

(photo courtesy whitehouse.gov)

Ladies and gentlemen, in my world, everything is a joke but nothing is funny.
Here’s a history lesson I hope none of you will overlook.  I’ve read, re-read, verified, re-verified, discovered, re-discovered, forgot, re-learned, and read some more.  I’ve done so in light of the words written by numerous distinguished scholars, leaders, entrepreneurs, historians, war veterans, abolitionists, excavators, world travelers, shaman, journalists– artists in as many senses as infinitesimally possible within the confines of my finite time of enlightened senses.  The information I’ve managed to gather over the last decade +$ome change has humbled me beyond a point of caring about much in life at all.  
I was once humbled to the point of homelessness.  To the point of defeat and faulty existence.  It was a sturdy reminder that human beings make mistakes, that they seemingly exist, and that it seems that I am one of them.  Whoever I am and whatever it is that causes me to be how I am with perspective to all of my experiences moving my host through space and time is simply that alone, and it’s unfair to judge someone merely by the words that they had the nuts to publish for the wandering gossipers eyes to see and interpret.  I will use a common analogy to tie in a corresponding factor– if I tell you “don’t think about an elephant” you will most definitely think about an elephant and you are inferior to me muahahahaha.  Do not take my words to heart, if you have a problem with them (see: definition of ‘offended’), just remember, with my flawed personality I’m provoking your flawed personality on purpose.  For example, if you are Christian and you are offended when I tell you the Bible is a horrible book to be reading to children, no matter whether it’s read to it before or after that child is or isn’t sodomized, and this offends you– please forgive me and resume your prosperous journey to heaven.  Rest in paradise, Mr. Bill Hicks.  
I simply do not have the time to apologize for the words I write.  But there is truth in every joke, I can promise you that.  I believe what was delved on in the long history of medicine in Food of the Gods (by Terence McKenna) will prove to be true and accurate information.  I believe in the healing power and versatility of plants with regard to the various different uses and formalities, with the idea in mind that their benefits directly coincide with nature symbiotically, and they far-outweigh the negative factors they’re implied with, specifically when it comes to legality of plants that grow naturally all over the world as we know it.  The “problem” with what my belief seems to be in this society is that it’s not popular, so it will never be “cool” until it reaches the right platform.  Statistically speaking, my full name most likely lurks at the cold, damp bottom of a government hit-list because I’ve culminated enough data in my research to decide that whatever most** people seem to choose to believe is just, well,  is just plain ol’ gahdam rawn-guh.  Somewhere in the midst of all that lineage is an outline of documented holistic ritual artwork in the form of hand-painted symbols on the walls of caves in West Africa.  The story behind the symbols is basically this in a nutshell: we were Sapiens but we weren’t always homo (did you know homo translates to ‘wise’ in Latin) (did you know we stopped teaching the Latin language to our youth around the turn of the 21st century in this country?) anyways, without digressing any further, we were once hetero Sapiens, or whatever the opposite of homo is, and then we ate fungus that grew on the platter of cow poop, and then, as we evolved, the matter and make-up of the fungus further-developed our brains to full-blown-homo mode, and our Pineal gland became/re-became a thing, and fast forward through an undetermined amount of years in the form of estimated, scientifically-educated guesses (theories) injected via cultural language with history unraveling before us and only captured when recorded both objective/subjectively, and wham bam here we am, mah’fockizzz.  Or, as Joe Rogan put it, we are monkeys on a rock flying around in space.  
Okay, taken with a grain of salt, all of the above- that is, I think I’m ready to finally get to the point. 
For the sake of argument, let’s assume a few high-ranking government officials are capable of exploiting their “power” in order to make a bunch of money by using a bureaucratic legal/justice system unfairly to their advantage– and accepting that possibility allows us to (for the sake of argument) assume that’s exactly what has-been and is-being.  Here are the verified facts:
In the mid-1800’s a man by the name of Warren Delano, an American… let’s call him a philanthropist because when a spade is a spade we call it a spade in this country, sailed to Europe to meet some drug-dealing buddies of his.  Although it was illegal in China, Honeybadging Delano did not give a shit, and managed to acquire riches and wealth by smuggling opium forcefully into the Orient, which was successively passed down to his kin, which I will get back to that in a Florida minute.  Now, China would go down in history as a once-great Empire that ate its own foundation from the inside out with the help of the side-effects that can be found on the side of prescribed pain-killer medicine containers today, some 150 years later.  Not to quote the great George W, but to quote the great George W——— “fool me once…” suttin’ bout shame.
So?!  Warren Delano and his mob of cronies tore apart a prospering nation by injecting its heart with opiates?  “Why, I don’t see the problem here?  What EVER are you getting at, young lad?
Well, after the economy collapsed (Panic of 1857), all of Mr. D’s hard-earned, honest livings went to shit, and I’m assuming some bridges were burned and he wasn’t able to make the trip to Europe and that’s why he provided opium to the Union army during the civil war this time instead of going back to China to re-destroy it… after all, how do you sell opium to people who don’t have money, amirite?  Blah blah yadatadablah, did you know the hypodermic needle was invented towards the beginning of The War [the Civil one in America, we’re well past the Opium Wars at this point– catch up, bruh]?  Why stop at China when you can tear apart your own society at home right after!?  Then, with all thanks being to God and his mysterious ways, Warren D was able to mount up and regulate on a clear dark night which happened to cast a clear white moon.  Rumor has it, even, that he was trying to consume some skirts for the ‘E, or something that sounds like that if you’re like me and not 100% sure on the song lyrics, and Warren D had much rejoice in his re-acquired riches.  I reckon it’s a lot easier to REGULATE a large society consisted of highly-capable warriors when that band of warriors is strung out on morphine, but I’ve reckoned incorrectly many times before in the past.  I do remember, way back when, one time I read a book, and I don’t remember what it was called, but everything about the book was great except the cover really fuckin sucked, but I decided I’d just look past the cover and grant the inside info for the taking, but that was just that one time.  
Anyways- I started wondering why the area of Tampa I frequented the most was named “Hyde Park”.  And why Platt Street is named Platt Street.  And why at the end of Platt Street there is a 30-foot statue of a man who wasn’t American and never actually set foot on America, and why that same guy has a federal holiday celebrated in his honor in this country, and why the person who created that holiday was the grandson of the guy who got richer than a goddesses golden vagina juice from illegally selling a by-product of a plant that rivals another naturally-growing plant, and why that rivaled naturally-growing plant was signed into prohibition by that same grandson of the opiate pirate when he became president, and why Oliver Platt was one of the most  quote-unquote ‘influential’ Senators of those times and there’s hardly any information about him readily available on the surface of the world wide web but of the little that is available, it’s known that many of the records in his office were destroyed after is sudden death from an unsuspected illness just weeks after yet another US Senator passed away from the same, and why there are historical text books written by Ivy League school professors that admit Columbus had nothing to do with this country but we still celebrate him like he did.  I wondered a lot of that and a few other things.  I still wonder how this was able to happen.  I’ve lost friends and I’m losing friends because of the deceptive origins found in the poppy plant in question.  It’s very unnecessary.  It’s wrong and it needs to be fixed.  One way to do that is hire an Attorney General who isn’t afraid to get the downtown-Dallas parade treatment, and have that AG de-schedule all of the substances which are being controlled by a bunch of buttheads on high horses to something more reasonable.  I’ll save sugar, tobacco, alcohol, cotton and slaves for later.
I’m halfway through reading Mark Twain’s first volume of his autobiography, and I learned that the 1,400 words he wrote each day were quite a lot, even for a writer… I found that pretty interesting because I’ve proven myself capable of hand-writing 4,400 in a small fraction of the day.  And I planned on going far into all of this but I think this is a good stopping point for right now.  Remember, this is just how I feel, so please make sure to stay classy out there, San Diego.  “It’s just a ride.”
*Bottom Line Up Front
**most does not mean all so if you’re offended you’re probably a most but there are exceptions to every rule, just ask the people who make the rules and if you’re not a most then they’ll tell you that some rules can be bent, but I’m like wait if my pool cue is bent isn’t it as good as broken?



“Aw man, I woke up an hour before my alarm.” -Me, once or twice, at least, when I didn’t have goals, drive, or ambition

*Ryan, I know you’re looking down, or from within the light- I should say.*

That’s where the truth lies– in the melanin, in the chlorophyll, the dark and the green. The herbal power, the country tree that grows wherever it feels it should go. The skunky brewster, the funky rooster call, any weed’ll do when the cock’lldoodle’doos. Any brew or two, what’s a monkey ta’ do when it sees through bullshit, a colossal hunk-a-shit-bigger-and-stinkier-than-Hillary’s alien clitoris I’m so fuckin sick of this. We long for peace and leave justice hanging to dry.

The democratic party may seem pretty gnarly– free education doesn’t mean shit when the curriculum there-within is brainwashed in— across the waterboard. I wouldn’t say these words if I’ve never seen ’em. I’d never translate my stories, transcribe my stories, write down my stories, edit my grammatical errors- some of them, at least- publish my stories- then tell you to read— my stories– if i didn’t believe in what I am selling… which I’m starting to epiphanize is probably my soul.

Like Twain said, or was getting to, was that there comes a point of time, when you represent yourself and serve your community well and forever-constantly- they may start to serve your needs in symbiosis. But it takes a mind null and void of as much/as little distraction as zero’ly possible.

It’s all in the language. Language is everything.

Here is a video one of my old supervisors showed me a couple of weeks ago when I was visiting over dinner. In order to get some gossip and opinions flowing, and because this is relevant in other platforms, said old supervisor is not white… well, he’s the same amount of white as the first black POTUS, by the world’s standards– not mine.

I’ve been busy.

Welcome to The Truman Show

HeLikesItHeyMikey.jpg“…there are many strong arguments for keeping creative writers out of politics and Mr. George Orwell is one of them.” -Sir Victor Pritchett, 1938 (1984 was published in 1949. If you own a copy and you are missing the point of that story, read it again, you hypocrite!) 🙂

“Writing is ditch-digging, it isn’t backflips.” -Cole Bellamy, 2016

**Think about those quotes. Think about when they were said, where they were said, and why they were said. Sometimes you have to ask the artist for that extra feedback. I’m all ears.

Anyone who wants to do it [write] can do it. Just roll up your fuckin’ sleeves and grab a shovel.  As long as the ditch is dug, that’s all that matters. How deep are we talking? Am I talking about writing or digging ditches? (Note to edit: Just get it done and get it done right. ______________________________________________________________________________________ 

Wow, what a day ahead.  High hopes, high expectations.  Plenty of room for error but it looks like the money is right for now.  Keep people off of your back by keeping them in the loop instead.  Be open with goals to those you care about.  Only put your shit out there if you want it out there.  I have a writing company.  I’m a writer.  Start acting like it.  Stop your bullshitting and give the people your product.  Nicholas, in Latin, translates to ‘Victory of the People’, will I ever finish any of the checklists I’ve ever made for myself? Why is it so hard to get 3 things done each day?  Am I distracted?  Oh my fucking god yes I am.  I need another day where I leave my phone in a drawer somewhere and go explore like Huck Finn.  I was born where Mark Twain was buried.  That wasn’t his real name.  Nor Orwell’s.  Nor Ali’s.  I don’t wanna change my name but I will if I have to.  Bill Clinton did it too.

Side note for re-emphasis: **Did you know Clinton took the last name of his abusive Step-Father?  Same name HRC decided to get behind.  Rodham wasn’t (trails off)… Do you think it reminds him of good times every time he hears it? [his Step-Father’s last name, knowing his mom went through hell to put up with several years of abuse from another unsung alcoholic]

One of the things my mentor gave me for advice on writing and curing ‘mental writer’s block’ [my term in paraphrased form] was to wake up and write whatever comes to mind.  It’s a practice called ‘free writing’– go figure.  This was advice passed to me in 2011 via e-mail (7 years ago, for significance– there is a reason we had to consider the plot, setting, characters before we read books in school as a class), as I was living in Qatar.  It was advice given to him years before that, and it’s designed to help you clear your mind of any ‘noise’ that is affecting your ability to create art of your own.  My mentor hung himself 4 years ago, and I unfortunately didn’t have a chance to thank him for that advice because I read the e-mails again just this past year. (4 years posthumous)

Have you ever lost someone important?  Someone who believed in you more than you did?  Ever lost someone who talks you up to others and markets you more than you even do?  That’s who Ryan Muller was to me.  The big brother I never had.

If I’d have not been so caught up in my job, there’s a strong chance that my mentor would still be mentoring me today, but the fact of the matter is– I was caught up in the ‘McDonaldized’ society we live in.

When I was deployed to the other side of the world, at the age of 22, I had things like TMDEX to worry about weekly.  TMDEX stood for Theatre Missile Detection Exercises.  We practiced triangulating ‘simulated’ missiles in case someone like Iran decided to use one.  That was not in 1984.  I wasn’t born then…. same war, same idea, but 2010-2011.  That was just a side duty though.  I can remember ‘touching’ (jargon for ‘controlling the mouse/keyboard of a computer system) Google Earth servers before they became ‘a thing’ on the internet– except we were just using them for the war effort at those times.

Even when the official NFL Super Bowl commentary was recorded ‘Live’ on the airbase I was deployed to while I was there, I had a job to take seriously and I didn’t have time to watch Football.  (This is evident with my lack of participation in the Fantasy Football leagues I was trying to compete in– key word: tryingWhile I was over there, THIS HAPPENED, and I felt hopeless and sick to my stomach.

Fast forward 4.5 years through a thick jungle of bullshit, and now it’s the day after Christmas and I’m about to go home and see my cousin, my mentor, for the first time since I finished my godforsaken service to this country, I had just woke up and was set to fly home and be in my hometown in 5 hours. /And then my dad walked into the room…

He didn’t have to tell me [what was up] because I could already see [it in] the look in his face.  You see, I’ve been to war for 8 years, I know ‘the look’ when someone is coming to Staff Sergeant Muller with some shitty fuckin’ news that I absolutely do NOT want to hear; yet it’s the ugly truth about war, and I now realize it’s the ugly truth about life- in general- it was the same shitty fuckin’ news that I absolutely NEEDED TO KNOW.  The truth hurts but it needs to be known.

So, what did my dad say?  What did I already know he was going to say?  I can remember it like it was just a few minutes ago:

“…Hey, uh, Nick… I’ve (deep breath) got some bad news.  It’s about Ryan… He hung himself yesterday.  I’m sorry, bub.

CLICK. (That’s the sound of the off-switch that went off in my head.)

You see, I was almost another Ryan a couple of years ago.  Almost another Mac Miller.  Welcome to Thee fuckin’ Kid’s Table, mother fuckers. (Your kid is back.)

A week ago today, I was visiting home for just the 3rd or 4th time since I had returned from my 1-year deployment.  You learn a lot about life when you’re forced with life/death decisions on a nonchalant, at-least-daily basis.  It makes you a cold mother fucker.  A capable one.  I’m not on here to talk about the Distinguished Graduate award I was awarded upon graduating Airman Leadership School.  I’m not gonna tell you how I was awarded as an Honor Graduate in Basic Training at the age of 18 “competing” against 400+ men/women [ages 17-27] from all over the world.  I think I was 1 of 12 Airmen on that stage out of the ENTIRE class.  That’s 9 Squadrons? 2 flights in each squadron?  60 in each flight?  And not everyone makes it.  As an Element Leader I can say that we were missing 5 or 6 guys from our ceremony that started with us initially.  Look at how I [we] was [were] standing.  We call that discipline. [Look at the pictures below please***]

oath of enlistment 11Nov06Last Family Photo Nov2010

(Oath of Enlistment evidence.  Last full family photo, BWI Airport, before deployment***)


…you see, I may have long hair now, and you may see my arms covered in tattoos, and I know you may not have a reason to want to get a tattoo.  But I earned my stripes, and the art on my arms are the stories that remind me who I am when I need it most.  As an avid reader, believe me when I tell you– PLEASE DON’T ever judge a book by its cover.

Who am I? What’s Thee Kid’s Table?

I’m here to break the trend.  So many artists lack the courage to show their best work out of fear/anxiety that their “friends” will judge them.  If that’s something you’re worried about, you’re in the business for the wrong reasons.  Do what you love and if you can make money doing it– sick!!!  Apparently you need money to live comfortably in this fucked up world.

And don’t tell me it ain’t fucked up.  I’ve seen enough for 100 lifetimes and I’m still alive to write about it.

“ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?????!!!!!!!!” -Maximus

Keynotes/end rant: **anything in bold text is things I’ve added that doesn’t show in my notes, for the sake of this purpose. If you haven’t figured out that I’m trying to inspire others to write and giving them an idea of how it can be done, even when you wing the shit out of it, it’s still art. I’m not building a fuckin’ piano here. So to all of you mother fuckers out there who explain what I’m doing as “I heard Nick has a blog going LOL”, here’s your blog post. Believe me though, I’ll write a book by Christmas. And if I don’t have a book by Christmas then call me out on it and I’ll face the music. Deal? I just got back from vacation and I quit two jobs to chase my dreams. I know it sounds crazy, but believe me, I’ve got stories for days. 

“Slow Your Roll” by Nick Muller

Written in August of 2016 for ‘The McDonaldization of Society’ at St Leo University.

“In a world of flashy, eye-catching advertisements, it can be rather easy to fall into the rampant stream of McDonaldization. Seemingly everywhere we look or go, we are hounded and set on battling one-another to get the best ‘bang for the buck’, even if it means we have to kill and steal(1). Constant improvements in efficiency flood the marketplace, with emphasis on saving more time and more money, as the addictive properties of profit are slowly replacing the emphasis of satisfaction of service and genuinity. How far can we go before this cancerous mentality topples our society? Or, more importantly, can this path down Highway McDonaldization be reversed for the betterment of mankind? I believe it can.
After 8 years of active duty service in the US Air Force (enlisting after high school) I was Honorably Discharged in October of 2014. I can remember my whole career quite vividly, as my memory bank filled to the ever-growing brim with rich moments of satisfaction and comraderie, as well as moments of pain, anguish, and/or general dissatisfaction. I’d say it was somewhere in the middle of my one-year deployment to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia that I realized what McDonaldization was, I just didn’t know the term existed…yet. I noticed how materialistic our culture in America was, as the majority of my brothers and sisters in arms were often debating over what their next vehicle upgrade was going to be; what the next family cruise would entail; what the newest shopping trend was and what bar had the best happy hour specials; what multiple choice Air Force policy questions to study answers to in order to promote to the next tier of leadership. Blindly, I was drowning in a sea of desparation that seemed to make sense at the time, but after I became an unemployed vet who struggled to find a job, money was tight and I had to re-order my priorities. No- the ‘me’ that now understands McDonaldization of society has a way to paddle upstream and avoid being a part of the masses who end up plunging over the waterfalls edge.
As Ritzer explains in his writing, there are four basic components to McDonaldization: efficiency, probability, calculability, and control(2). In order to reverse the effects of McDonaldization, one has to resort to being more emotionally engaged with processes instead of being so automated. If you find yourself rushing from one appointment to the next, it would make sense to want to save as much time and money as possible, so stopping at Starbucks on the way to work seems like a marvelous idea. What if, instead of rushing to the coffee shop to wait in a rush hour line for a $10 order, you invested in a coffee machine at home- brewed it while showering and getting dressed- and then poured into a travel mug before scooting out the door? Spending that $10 on ground coffee beans(3) goes much further than the amount one could potentially spend on 3-5 visits to [insert favorite coffee shop] a week. The key here, though, is not being in a rush. Why are we in a rush? One example: we stay up too late watching [insert favorite TV show marathon] and sleep till the last possible wink that gives us just enough time to get to the job we don’t necessarily love to do. This is just one example of how doing a little extra planning ahead can save you more time and money than paying someone else to do things you actually know how to do. We’ve gotta stop being so lazy. It’s also a proven study that completing simple tasks daily actually lead us to be more productive individuals throughout the day. If you’re not convinced, I’d highly recommend checking out the commencement speech given by a former US Navy SEAL; he explains the importance of ‘making your bed as soon as you wake up’ and the psychological benefactors associated with knocking out such tasks.(4) I’ve tested this theory out myself, and not only have I saved money (I brew several pots a day in a week on a $10 bag of beans) but I also have this sense of satisfaction that I accomplished a better use of my resources, multiplied by the extra satisfaction of knowing I saved more money, when that was the goal all along. Oh, by the way, I make my bed when I wake up– the Admiral’s free advice can improve efficiency with the theory that just a little extra effort can truly go a long way.
Ritzer explains to us how probability can be beneficial in McDonaldization because people can expect the same level of distinguished services at each location across the grid. If I go to McDonalds in an airport in New York, and I land in Florida later, I have McDonalds there and it will taste exactly the same. This same effect of probability now makes it calculable. Profits/revenues can now be accurately predicted, as the standard for a McDonalds meal is the same from your personal greeting at the cash register down to the size of the pickle chip between your standardized burger buns. The probability of standards in service gives people a sense of comfortability and when people are comfortable they’re more likely to revisit. As one ‘foodie’ blog points out, the reason people keep coming back is because they know what to expect.(5) Making things calculable can also lead to revenue-based business decisions, which can sacrifice important business aspects such as quality. Ritzer provides an example of this when he cited an elderly couple being forced to leave a McDonald’s premise after spending too long in the dining hall. The fact that we are treated as numbers instead of humans in that respect, is reason in itself to take a step back and re-think whether it’s worth being a part of the profit herd. On top of that, documentaries like Food, Inc. cannonball into exposing the food industry and the extremely poor treatment of livestock animals, as well as the unsanitary slaughterhouse operations.(6) It explains how these poor conditions can ultimately transfer to those who consume the products. An example of combatting this is paying a higher price for grass-fed beef, vice those that are corn-fed. Corn-fed cows have ties to obesity. Guess where McDonald’s gets its beef from. It’s a cruel world out there.
The hardest part about swimming to safety out of the McDonaldization flood is actually admitting that you’re caught up in the mix. As the phrase goes, “the first step to solving a problem, is realizing that there is one.” What do I mean by that? Ritzer draws up a brilliant example of this with his breaking down the typical shopping experience at an IKEA warehouse. He explains IKEA as a giant maze. It’s true, even if you are there only for kitchen materials, chances are you’re going to pass through the living room, bathroom, and bedroom sections (amongst others) along the way to the cash register where they will so graciously accept your payment. It takes a lot of discipline to pass up on all the sweet ‘deals’, but to the trained mind, it can be done. The only proven method of avoiding it, however, is to not enter the store at all. I, personally, would rather spend a little more time in researching furniture instead of going spending all that time lost in the maze at IKEA. Sometimes a trip to your local antique store can be much more rewarding than getting lost in the generic assembly line styles of McDonaldization.
It’s important to understand that McDonaldization is, in fact, an ongoing thing and that it is affecting the lives of many, many people. Yeah, sure, McDonaldization is efficient, saving time and money (I disagree), but at the cost and expense of others. The next time you purchase something, ask yourself if you ‘need’ it or do you just ‘want’ it because you saw it on an advertisement? Don’t be so McDonaldized!”
Works Cited

  1. MailOnline, Wills Robinson for. “Black Friday Brawl Sparks Shooting Spree Panic at Mall: Shoppers Flee in Terror from ‘gunman’ in Maryland as Bargain-hunting Chaos Continues across the Country.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 29 Nov. 2014. Web. 09 Aug. 2016.
  2. Ritzer, G. (2011). The McDonaldization of society 6. Los Angeles: Pine Forge.
  3. Jet.com – Prices Drop As You Shop. (n.d.). Retrieved August 09, 2016, from https://jet.com/product/detail/4064bb0fcd224f1ab54ff7797eba9f9e?jcmp=pla:bn

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(4) T. (2014). University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address – Admiral William H. McRaven. Retrieved August 09, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxBQLFLei70#action=share
(5) 5 Reasons to Love Starbucks. (n.d.). Retrieved August 09, 2016, from http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/07/five-reasons-to-love-starbucks.html
(6) Food, Inc. (n.d.). Retrieved August 09, 2016, from http://www.takepart.com/foodinc

Sisqo was on the stage right before. Was it worth it? You tell me.