OMGabe

by Gabe Berman – the author of Live Like a Fruit Fly

Today’s Serendipitous Little Lesson

This is me waiting at the Apple store while my friend’s phone was being fixed.

The linebacker looking guy who helped me moments before was abnormally calm for working at a store where people usually scramble like it’s an ant colony shaken up by a mischievous school boy.

I asked him, “This place never gets to you? Never stresses you out?”

He gave me the are you kidding me face and said, “Not after my last job. I was an MP.”

Military Police.

Life is perspective.

So, dear reader, in this moment, let’s take a breath together, abide in perspective and receive a bit of calmness.

Thank you.

– gb

WinTheWarWithYourMind.com

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Calling All Heroes

If we save our country from the clutches of vile forces posing as Christians on Election Day, republicans won’t even think to thank us.

And that’s okay. We’ll still do it for all of us. Them included.

But if we can’t save us, they’ll be so ecstatic as they watch the Constitution burn. And we spiral deeper into authoritarian rule. In the name of Jesus.

Jesus, who said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Please vote with your heart.

Thank you.

– gb

Violated By Fox News

My friend recently had surgery and I just brought him to the doctor for a follow up.

We’re in the waiting room.

Fox News is blasting on the TV.

I nicely asked the woman at the front desk to change the channel or at least lower the volume.

She isn’t allowed to. The doctor literally mandates everyone must watch Fox.

And there are no controls on the TV.

I considered unscrewing the coax cable, which is easily in my repertoire, but I didn’t want to make my friend more anxious.

I literally feel treaded upon.

They just called him in to see the doctor.

I’m in the car now waiting until he’s done.

“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

– George Orwell 1984

What’s Our Fate?

A snapshot of what America has become:

Yesterday I was leaving the shopping center where I get my haircut.

A woman, who was in rough shape, was about to walk in front of my car so of course I waved her on and smiled with my foot firmly on the brakes.

My window was open.

Instead of walking by, she approached me and told me a horrible story that sounded too rehearsed to be true (but what do I know for sure) so I dug into my cupholder for a some change to give her.

Meanwhile, the woman in the car behind me, honked her horn aggressively at us.

I tried to give her the friendly “I’m sorry” wave, but she kept on honking as I found quarters pennies etc.

Selfish child.

Of course, like goddamn clockwork, devil’s advocates will jump on this post and jump down my throat with variations of, “Gabe, I’m disappointed in you. Maybe the woman was rushing to the hospital to visit her dying mother who, whatever whatever.”

Ok, maybe so.

But, I seriously fucking doubt it.

She was calm but annoyed. Feeling entitled. Zero compassion or patience. As long as she has hers.

Kindness will save us.

And the lack of it will be our demise.

livelikeafruitfly.com

In Love We Trust

Does Donald Trump make you want to kill yourself?

This isn’t a joke – on the night of his election, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline received two and half times more calls than it normally would have and I literally went to bed feeling like Anne Frank.

I was filled with a fear that most of us, thankfully, have never felt before. What’s going to happen to us? What’s going to happen to non-whites and non-Christians? To women? To gay people? What’s going to happen to this country of ours?

If you think I’m exaggerating, go click on the news.

There are children, probably as you read this, being ripped out of the hands of mothers who are legally seeking asylum at the border. These mothers are told, by government officials, that their kids are being taken away just for a quick shower. But in actuality, they aren’t being returned. They’re being taken away and detained. Some, like dogs in cages.

The comparison to concentration camps in Nazi Germany is almost too obvious to make but there it is just in case

Just two days ago, it happened while a woman was breastfeeding her baby. In America. The land of the free and the home of the brave.

What’s next?

As with everything, we’ll have to wait to see how it all unfolds.

But we can do it together.

And we can remember, together, that love prevails.

Regardless of the fear we may feel, we will live with love in our heart.

They can take away our health insurance. They can deport us. They can intervene with our reproductive rights. They can kill the environment. They can put the interest of big business before the well being of powerless people. They can treat animals abysmally in slaughterhouses. They can alienate the global community. They can make the rich richer and the poor poorer. They can persecute me because of my skin color, gender, religion and sexual orientation. They can destroy this country which hundreds of thousands of people died to defend. They can even cart us away to detention camps.

But we’ll live and die with love in our heart.

They can’t beat us.

We will never lose.

Because, for us, love prevails.

We will see to it.

Together.

Because united we stand and divided we fall.

Thank you, as always, for trading your time for my words. And please remember, you are loved. And, with that, you are love.

– gabe berman

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK

www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

Soul Food

Anthony Bourdain.  

I used to worry about his health.

Every time I’d serendipitously find that show of his, he’d be eating like a goddamn teenager.

Some sort of third-world meat, followed by more meat, with noodles, beer and sake.  Voiced over deliciously with subtle smugness and a side of self deprecation. And then, of course, a nightcap with old restaurant friends in a place like Okinawa or some other city he seemed to have the keys to.  

 In the morning, as you know, he’d wake up, eat an egg based seafood dish in a market that looked like it was in Blade Runner and after the next commercial, he’d get a new tattoo and then head over to a barbecue where no one knew english but spoke wine well.  

And there I was on the couch, always thinking variations of, “Jeez, how does that bastard stay so thin?  I just hope it doesn’t catch up to this guy.”

But now, none of that matters. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. Now, I just hope he enjoyed every morsel and every drop.

It’s sort of the same with my Dad. In our family of four, he’d eat enough for a family of four and I’d plead with him to be more careful with his weight.  I was so scared it would lead him to an early grave and we’d fight about it constantly.  

But here I now sit, late one night in June, the month of my dad’s birth (as well Anthony’s), and I’m just so glad he got so much pleasure from his bagels cut into three slices and his swiss cheese and onion omelettes because it ended up meaning nothing.

Brain cancer doesn’t give a fuck about your diet.  

 Imagine if I could have known how it was all going to end? Imagine if I could just get back the time with him I wasted fighting about food?

But the truth is, I knew how it was going to end.  Not exactly, but I know how it ends for everyone.

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.  

You’d think that, and that alone, would make us want to be more kind.  More kind to ourselves, more kind to others, and more kind to animals.  But it doesn’t.

We live selfishly, as if we’re all that matters, with almost no love for our neighbors.

And maybe this lack of love we feel in the world, although not self-described on the inside that way because it feels more like an overwhelming, undefined darkness of not-enoughness, pushes us to eventually pull our own plugs. Regardless of how great we seem to have it on the outside.

What does this have to do with my dad dying and how I handled it before, during and after?

Nothing.

Thankfully nothing.  

I was a good son.  

But, as you know if you’ve read my stuff, almost everything gets traced back to my dad nowadays.  

And I know that he knew that I was just looking out for him.

As he did for me.

As we should for each other.  

With that said, it’s been awhile since I’ve written anything so I thank you for trading your time for my words. And, if you’re one of the few reading this right now, I know you have nothing to learn from me about kindness.  I’m sure you’re already there.  So, thank you for that as well.

love/thanks,

gb

pick up my books here – livelikeafruitfly.com

Meet Joe Black

I have sort of an ethical question. 

Maybe you guys can help me out. 

It’s a bit embarrassing, but I’m just going to muster up the courage and ask it.

So, here it goes:

Is it wrong to choke an old white lady to death in front of Whole Foods?

No, right?

Okay, good.  

Because, not only was she a racist, and not only did she call me a self hating jew to my face, but, get this, her mouth was filled with a white, pasty, bird shit substance.

I mean, c’mon, if you’re going to hit me with your pro-Trump, anti-Hillary, hate fueled idiocy, can’t you at least have the common courtesy to swallow the fucking free sample of cream cheese first?

For the love of god lady, you’re gross.

And I can hear what some of you are thinking right now. 

“Gabe, she was an eighty-six year old woman. You could have just been nice and let her off the hook.” 

NO!

It’s directly her fault, and directly the fault of others of her ilk, that 12 million people just lost health care. And her fault that net-neutrality was just killed. And her fault that we dropped out of the Paris Climate Agreement. And her fault that social programs are being fleeced to give more money to the wealthy. Etc etc etc to infinity.  

No one gets a free pass if they hurt others.  

No one.  

– gb

P.S. “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it..”

 – Albert Einstein

www.LiveLikeAFruitFly.com

61 Million Benedict Arnolds

Shit. Piss. Fuck. Cunt. Motherfucker. Cocksucker. Tits.

This is George Carlin’s list of Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television and it, of course, popped into my head as soon as I saw the following headline on thehill.com a few days ago:
Words Banned At CDC Were Also Banned At Other HHS Agencies.

Here’s how the article starts: Multiple agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have reportedly been told by the Trump administration that they cannot use certain phrases in official documents.

Officials from two HHS agencies, who asked that their names and agencies remain anonymous, told The Washington Post that they had been given a list of “forbidden” words similar to the one given to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A second HHS agency was told not to use the phrases “entitlement,” “diversity” and “vulnerable,” in documents. It was also told to use “ObamaCare” as opposed to the “Affordable Care Act” and to refer to “marketplaces,” where people purchase health insurance, as “exchanges.”

The Post’s new report builds on its Friday report that the CDC had been told it could no longer use the phrases “evidence-based” and “science-based” in documents being prepared for the 2019 budget.

The list of “forbidden” words and phrases given to policy analysts at the CDC also included “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender” and “fetus.”

Listen up everyone, there’s a coup d’etat happening right here. At home. In the U.S.

Appointing of unqualified judges. The discrediting of the media. Colluding with foreign powers. Obstructing justice. Threatening the arrest of political opponents. Making it harder for people to vote. Blatant misrepresentation of facts. The banning of words. Gaslighting. Etcetera, to almost infinity.

Gil Scott-Heron said the revolution will nor be televised, but the takeover certainly was. And regardless of the abominations we saw on the campaign trail, over 61 million people still opted for it

1984 is simmering in 2017. Right out in the open.

Millions have died to protect our nation, successfully, but will we survive this attack from within?

In my book, Live Like A Fruit Fly (jesus man, this blog post is started to sound kind of official), I said:

I’ll share a little secret with you that may help you sleep better tonight: there’s nothing to worry about anyway. How did I come to this conclusion? All you have to do is look at the past. Good always wins. Evil may percolate from time to time and have its day in the sun, but sooner or later, the good guys prevail.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Nazi German seemed pretty tough and so did the Soviet Union. And where are they now? In history books.

It seems as though the universe allows evil to dominate from time to time to give the virtuous an opportunity to show virtue. And when the time is right, they’ll step up to the plate. So get in the batter’s box and wait for your pitch.

Even with the hellish, Twilight Zone styled news I see flash on my phone everyday, I still stand by my words above.

But with that, I also know that all empires fall.

All.

Empires.

Fall.

So, we shall see, together, how our collective destiny will unfold.

And with that, my only point of writing this, as always, is to say if there was ever a time for us to evolve as a species, it’s now.

There is no other way.

There is no other.

– gb

www.WinTheWarWithYourMind.com

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Five Years Short Years

Hey, guess what?

Everyone you care about will be dead soon.

Crazy, right?

Dead, as in no pulse. Blank stares. Cold skin. Never to be heard from again.

Everyone.

Go scroll through the photos in your phone. Corpses. All of them.

Maybe not today or tomorrow or even in a few months, or maybe not, if so fortunate, for another eighty years, but as Dr. David Hawkins said, “The final moment arises unannounced…quite unexpectedly.”

What can we do about this?

Nothing. We’re fucked. “No one here gets out alive,” sang Mr. Mojo Risin.

And you would think this utter obviousness would wake us up.

Wake us up to the realization that only unconditional kindness, not constant competition, is the only path to a graceful, peaceful life. For the giver and receiver.

Kindness expressed to all of life. Not just for the photos in our phone. Yes, even the people who relentlessly cold call day and night about some shit they’re trying to sell you.

Those people are people too. Just doing what they can to survive just like you. Needing to feed themselves and their families just like you.

Yes, surviving this life can be a battle. And we must take up arms. But with that, it’s high time we evolve to making kindness our sword as well as our shield.

I promise you it’s the only way.

This comes up for me today, and now for you, because it’s December 11th, 2017 and my dad died one thousand, eight hundred and twenty-five days ago.

If he could come back from the other side for just a few moments, I think this would be one of the things he’d tell us. That, and, I waited too long to get my tires rotated but at least I finally did this morning.

thank you for taking your time to read this – it truly means the world to me,
gb

www.WinTheWarWithYourMind.com

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Karma Police, Arrest This Man…

If I had one wish: 

Those who help relieve suffering of others will receive the same in kind for themselves and their love ones.
But those who act wickedly towards others, out of greed and/or violence, will receive in kind but ten times the amount for themselves and their loved ones. 
The Trumps of the world, and those who vote for them, will be gone or completely converted by sun up. 
And global hunger will end by sundown.

– gb

 

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