You may not of heard about this in Sunday School, but there’s this thing in the Bible called the Millennium which is the thousand year reign of Jesus on Earth. The time when He and his freshly resurrected followers will institute the kingdom/government of God on Earth. Sounds pretty good, don’t cha think? What could go wrong? Every time religion was in charge here below everything was just phucking wonderful. It all starts when Jesus returns in the clouds (which begs the question: when did He leave?) Too bad He’s gonna land at Jerusalem International, so if I wanna see it I’m gonna have to stay up late and watch it on the eleven o’clock news.
Here’s the thing: Not everybody in the twice-born community believes exactly when this will happen: Before or After the millennium. The Pre-millennialists believe it starts after Jesus returns to Earth, and the Post-millennials believe Jesus returns after the thousand years. I personally think a universal government of God focused on Truth, Justice and the American Way (oops..that’s Superman, not Jesus) would be pretty nice. All the different alien species on the Starship Enterprise (except those evil Klingons) seem to get along fairly well and like life under The Federation. Just think, everybody on their best behavior, and if there were some backsliding, they’d get a pitchfork pocked in their ass by an angel.
It’s those Post Millennialists ya gotta watch-out for. They think they got to bring Earth up to God’s standards before Jesus can return. That’s a lot of house-keeping, and entails instituting all the Old Testament biblical laws worldwide, which would be good for those in the medical profession that specialize in foreskin removal. Unfortunately, history has proven when God was in charge but absent, his servants made life pretty much a Hell on Earth.
Every year I gotta do this little dance with Direct TV. That’s because the 12 month contract I negotiated with them a year ago expired and they’re swift to raise my rate by $40. So in order to get the $40 credit I had last year (and the year before and year before and…) and avoid being taken to the cleaners by AT&T, I gotta go through this little charade of a dance whereby I call them and speak to a representative usually from South Asia (literally) and ask what they can do about this rate increase. They pretty much stay on script and really can’t do shit. That’s when I ask how do I terminate service. That sets off bells and whistles in the call center and I’m immediately transfered to the ‘retention’ or ‘customer loyalty’ rep, who speaks much more understandable English. This is where I have to play the ‘woe is me’ card and mention that I’m retired, living on a meager Social Security income and can’t afford such a rate increase (don’t wanna be reduced to eating canned cat-food). All of which is partially or half true; 50% truth being pretty dam good after four years of Trump.
I’ve been doing this for years now and there’s even websites tellin’ ya what to do and how much you can expect based on how many years you’ve been with Direct TV. This time they tried to low-ball me with a $25 credit – cheapskates! But I was ready. I had all the competition’s weekly adds in front of me and even the price for streaming live TV like U-tube and Hulu. [I can’t believe these cable guys. They mail me weekly flyers trying to entice me over to there service. And act like a bunch of piranhas nibbling on an ever dwindling customer base.]
Well, I didn’t have to mention the D-Word (disconnect) and they eventually gave me the $40 credit I had the year before. What a bunch of bullshit and a waste of my time, but I did save myself $500 over a year which is far more than I could’ve earned sitting around doing nothing and watching the same ol’ shit on cable TV.
I actually do Like Direct TV. It’s easy to navigate and you can record a lot of shows. But ‘On Demand’ TV like Netflix and the like has a lot to offer, and, is a whole lot cheaper with no installation charges or DVR’s to rent monthly. Got close, but I didn’t ‘cut the cord’ this time around.
Usually, in the evening when my medication has fully kicked it, I like to kick back and let my mind wander with the hope that something blog-worthy might magically appear. Most of the time I have quite a fertile imagination (aka dirty mind), with no end to all the strange shit that floats through my mind. That was a big problem when I was into Buddhist meditation: Vipassana or Insight Meditation. The practice consisted of sitting quietly and focusing one’s attention on the in-breath and out-breath, noting the rising and falling of each breath in the body. Pretty easy. Problem was, after 15 to 20 seconds of that a thought would enter my mind like: I wonder what I’m gonna have for dinner tonight? Let’s see. What sounds good? Do I have it in the house or am I gonna have to go to the store (a real bummer); and while I’m there what else do I need? Might as well pickup some of this and some of that – sure hate to run out.And, hey whoa…I’m not following my breath. I’m planning out my whole evening with all the likes and dislikes attached to each option.
So, for another 30 or so seconds I manage to focus on my breath when sure as shit another thought comes to mind and we’re off to the races again. After a while I can see a pattern developing and become aware when I’m focused elsewhere. The Buddhists call it Monkey Mind The key to dealing with all this monkey business is to observe it, name it (thinking), let it go and gently return to the breath and the present moment.
Mindfulness is becoming a popular term these days, especially after enduring four years of mindlessness, and basically consists of staying in the present moment, not attaching any positive or negative value to anything that arises, and not reliving the past or anticipating the future.
The Buddhists also talk a lot about suffering, which makes me wonder if America is still (if it ever was) a christian nation cause we’ve been suffering a long long time and would like the present moment to quickly turn better. But this is enough of that. If you’ve gotten this far, surely you have suffered enough.