Why are we keeping the elderly around anyways? By McKenzie Lee

Why? Let us delve into the dark places nobody likes to go. The elderly. Smelly, lethargic, incapable, dangerous (when they operate vehicles), need I go on? You reach a point in your life where your health develops characteristics of a neutron star, though quite less cataclysmic. Your organs curse you for continuing to use them, your skin becomes weary of holding onto your brittling bones. Then, THEN! Your own offspring become sick of the mass you’ve accrued, they don’t want to be sucked into a neutron star, it sucks (so I’ve heard). Now, you live in a facility with other dying stars, the big triumphs you had as young'n turn into small victories. “I defecated without complications today!” You say to your checkers opponent as he says “I walked all the way to the rec center and back without falling.” Small victories, that’s what you become, and they keep getting smaller, all the way down to the quantum level where your atoms finally escape their jailor and move onto new life. “Finally!” They cheer. So why do we keep the elderly around? If I didn’t answer your question then you have your answer. Nobody knows! Moral compasses and all that. Would these warm bodies not be put to better use as, oh let’s just say, an economic solution to the fuel crises? So, elder folks, we keep you around and pay people to take care of you in the peak of your senility because you can’t, that seems to resemble a little friend I have named selfishness. I propose, and please, dear reader, your feed back is most welcome, a test, a simple trial of motor skills that is required biannually once an individual reaches the age of 65. If you pass, congrats! See you in two years chap. If you fail… Well let’s just say, furnaces are rather inexpensive.

Peace Through No Peace

Peace. What is peace? Before you start forming an opinion I can tell you: it is a delusion. Let’s take a look at what would happen if the human race lived in harmony. For one, there would be no technological advances, because if humans were peaceful to the core they wouldn’t be competitive. Everyone would still be content rubbing sticks together and banging their heads on rocks (or whatever it was that caused all the other species of homo to make themselves extinct). The ancient homo’s would never had defended themselves from predatorial animals, because they were peaceful and wouldn’t want to hurt the animal that just dragged old nan off into the bushes to be devoured. Overpopulation would be another issue. If nobody had ever had the good sense to kill other people, the earth would resemble a Japanese subway. 
Disease. In order to find a cure for a disease one has to be at least somewhat combative, were humans to be peaceful, we would all be content with letting something like small pox run rampant. 
Government would be non existent; not a single person would have the urge to lead and improve society, thus keeping it right at the contented level of hitting our heads on rocks.
Realistically, if humans were inherently peaceful (I hate that word by this point) there would never be a story of “us”. We would have all been prey and promptly perished millions of years ago. So, if you happen to find yourself with overwhelming urges for peace crusading then congratulations, you and your ilk tried to orchestrate the extinction of our species. Inconsiderate.

My past life. By Mckenzie Lee

 Whenever I encounter somebody who believes they have lived a past life, I immediately jump to the conclusion that they are 1) on drugs 2) on harder drugs or 3) they are thoroughly stupid. Not stupid from a scientific perspective because it’s possible ,in theory, until proven wrong. No, the reason I find it far fetched is that nobody who lived any past lives ever had a bad one. It’s always, “oh, I was a queen. Oh, I was the 4th Pope. I was a great Tzar or Tzarina.” Not very believable is it? I’ve never heard any body say, “I was serf that was executed for heresy.” I’d probably buy that one.
If I had to speculate on what my past life was, I would say probably along the lines of a court jester who couldn’t get hired on for any sort of gig. Not even birthday parties. Maybe a farmer with a single goat to his name who died of the plague.

When telling people about your past life or lives, it is essential to set ascertainable goals. Otherwise, you’ll have no chance of selling any body tickets to your deluded train of thought. So, all of you past Noble Lords, wealthy Dames, and great mathematicians. Get out there with some achievable characters! And maybe, just maybe science with prove you right. But I doubt it

The beginning of an adventure.

When people hear the word adventure their mind tends to jump straight to 12 dwarves showing up, unannounced, at your doorstep. Or, wandering through a wardrobe, even perhaps a galaxy far, far away. This, however, is not a reality, the reality of it is my flight arriving in an hour and I’m sitting at an airport bar drinking an over priced Blue Moon. Great adventures don’t start out great, they start mundane, or even maybe a little boring. Stressed out, anxious, wondering if there is even really a point in traveling to another country. Although, if traveling is what claws at you, while you are trying not to kill yourself at work, you don’t really care much. Those too afraid to plunge into the unknown can keep their delusion of leaving the Shire to reclaim a treasure from a grumpy dragon. Now, I love The Hobbit, but real adventures begin with the question of whether or not I even care, but I’ve already bought the plane ticket so might as well right? Then you ask yourself, can I afford it? I’m laughing to myself now as I ask this question because I’ve always been adamant on the philosophy of “you can’t put a price on an adventure”. Turns out you can. Right about 500$, and I haven’t even left the country yet. But hey, I’ve managed to look at my adventure with the utmost optimism. It’s a simple algorithm really: what would Bilbo do?

Kids in Museums

The age old question of the more explorative humans. Why? If you find that you don’t frequently ask “why” you are most definitely part of the problem. So, getting back on topic, young children dashing around from display case to display case shouting questions at their uneducated parents about the exhibit in question. This was my experience in the American Museum of Natural History. I found myself incapable of reading, let alone even looking at the exhibits without being disturbed by the little cretins sprinting around like the beasties they are. I searched for solace in the Hayden Planetarium, “ahh”, I sighed. Sub atomic particles, even there I surely wouldn’t find the parents and there disruptive spawn. I was wrong of course. I found two children pointing at pictures of the big bang theory as if it were a goosebumps book. Long story short, if you plan on visiting the American Museum of Natural History break in under the cover of darkness so that you may enjoy the exhibits in silence. I’m sure the security guard will sympathize with you if explain to him that your intentions are benevolent rather than malevolent. Or you could just knock him out.

​Oddly enough I’ve had no compulsion to write since I’ve been travelling. Perhaps it’s due to the French, their language consistently gives off the impression that they are conspiring against me. Not to mention the throaty rasps that accompany every other word, I suffer a neuralgic twitch because I think being spit on is imminent. That was Paris anyway. Luxembourg apparently had a castle somwhere although it never revealed itself to me. It may have been there, somwhere behind all of the construction going on. You’d think a city built in 937 would’ve stopped expanding at some point. I suppose it could’ve been restoration but why give the benefit of the doubt to anything? 

I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Brussels now, writing this little insight into my travels. Brussels surprised me, I must say. The palace was breath takingly beautiful, though I guess it should be after being restored in the late 18th century. Another thing we can thank the French for. Everybody say thank you King Louis the XIV. “Thanks King Louis.” 
Tomorrow I head to Amsterdam, I figure I’ll hide in Anne Frank’s attic, you know, really LIVE the experience. Oh yes, one more thing about Brussels, apparently in the red light district, the prostitutes are on display behind windows. Which may be one of, if not the most, degrading things I’ve ever heard of. Now, I’m not a feminist, but damn. So if you ever are in Brussels and find your self window shopping for women, feel free to beat natural selection to the punch and off yourself. Merci!

Allergies. By McKenzie Lee

 And here I find myself at the end of my travels. It’s peculiar how you can find yourself one day wanting nothing more than to go back home to your own bed. Then, as your plane takes flight, you wonder, “should I have stayed?” It’s strange how the people in your life, the new and the old, can influence your decision making. Once again, the humanity I try to supress strikes again. I never expected to find a place that made me feel so at home, other than my home of course. Finland did though, the last place on earth I would have guessed. You could probably ask most Americans if knew where Finland was and they would either say no, or accuse you of making it up.
I’m back in the United States and I’ve had a headache since I’ve landed, most likely attributed to an allergic reaction by being IN the States. Back to the impolite, impossibly insolent, and inclement ignorance. Just going through the beefed up security at JFK was the equivalent of being lobotomized with an ice pick. God bless America: because according to us, God has a favorite country.

Trapped! In Amsterdam by McKenzie Lee

 My first hour in Amsterdam I thought I had stumbled through a bend in space time and was actually in New Orleans. But then I explored a little more and found that I was, indeed, in Amsterdam, and to my dismay, hadn’t proofed a very important theory about physics. The architecture was stunning, ancient, and humbling. The debauchery that was oozing from every open door and window I couldve done without. Appreciating the city becomes rather difficult while the streets are coagulating with drunken idiots and people who had smoked weed for the first time and really just could not police themselves.
As a whole, the first two days were enjoyable, I felt consistently inspired to write, which is a miracle, and ate wonderful food. Day one I had a slight mishap with my bank. Well, I didn’t notify them that I was traveling so naturally they flagged my debit card. But, no worries, i was able to sort it out within a couple of hours, and everything was peachy. More like rotten, decomposing peaches.
The night before day three… that fateful day… I had only withdrawn enough notes for day two, which I presumed to be a responsible decision. Declined. Okay. Fuck. Declined. No really, what the fuck? I had this dialogue with three individual ATMs before accepting defeat. So now what? I had no cell service, and no money to pay for an international call, or eat. Eating was, at first, my biggest concern.
So what did I do? Instead of staying at the hostel where I had one more night, I checked out, threw on my back pack and started walking. Apparently you cannot walk the airport, I found this out about 2 ½ hours into my escapade. Great, I’ve got no money, no way to call anybody, and I was fucking hungry. Your thoughts wander into strange places when homelessness looms before you, the places where the trees form tunnels through the woods that you’ve never seen before and you swear that stump just winked at you.
So, naturally, I instantly played out a life of crime in my head. Robbing houses, fencing the goods, having an awesome hideout and then getting caught and thrown into prison. Another scenario was inspired by the several trillion pigeons that flapped around stupidly all over the place. “Am I going to become one of those bizarre homeless guys who seem to have become one with the pigeons?
I walked back to the hostel, crestfallen, pissed off, and STILL hungry. Luckily they let me check back in. Oh yes, even returning to the hostel had its difficulties, especially in the realm of getting lost. The city of Amsterdam doesn’t look large on map, but when you find yourself on the opposing side of where you want to be, it IS. I had been walking for 5-6 hours by the time I reached the hostel. My ankles were blistered, my shoulders hurt, and I was, yup you guessed it, still hungry. It was like being in the Marines again except I didn’t have any buddies to bitch to.
I went to sleep hoping that things would magically change over night. And they did! Never under appreciate your parents, boys an girls, they may save your ass while your trapped in Amsterdam.

Life, For Dummies

Words of Over 20 Years of Compiled Wisdom From McKenzie Lee