When I was a kid the initials F.T.W. meant “Fuck The World”. I first saw them written on a bloody Nikki Sixx’s arm:
Once I found out what it meant I kind of took it on as my life’s motto. Fuck The World! It has a simple beauty to it. It served me well in my younger years, realizing early that you can’t change the world or the ways of those who walk it gives you a certain relief and freedom. But as you get older it get’s harder to just say fuck everybody. Now I know this may not be the way it works for everyone, after all there are no absolutes. For some, I’m guessing, it get’s easier to say “fuck the world” the older you get.
Yes, the older you get, the closer you feel to being done with it all. You’ve seen how people can be and experienced the cruel ways of the world… so as each year passes you become a little more cynical and less able to fake that smile as the people around you do their best to screw you. I can totally get that. But as I said it worked in reverse for me.
At a young age I realized the world was full of shit. They all pretended they had answers, and as a child you believe it. But teachers, preachers, and politicians are the great pretenders. Every adult, right up to and including your parents are winging it, not much different as we all do as children. Going with what is told to you, following what everyone else is doing. The idea that adults have any answers or real understanding to what all this is about, like Santa Claus is a nice lie told to children to sooth and reassure them… but it’s still a lie.
No need to get too deep in all this… but for me, I saw through the lie early and with that knowledge I ran with it.
“Fuck the world!” You can’t please everyone, and why would you try when we are all in the same boat, right? No one is better than the next, just a world of people playing pretend from birth to death.
Simply put (is anything ever “simply put” here?), instead of growing more cynical as I grew older I started to realize it was a little more complicated than the simple way I had been looking at it (see, simple, right?).
Having children is definitely part of it. When you have kids (for most at least) you have to give a fuck about something more than yourself. You have to start caring about the future and the way the world is, even if it seems so unworthy of your cares.
Children are only part of it though. For good or bad everyone you come in contact with is a part of your world. All those around you shape and mold you and are essentially, your life. And in return we are the lives of those around us. We all fit in like puzzle pieces, affecting and being affected.
So from my earliest childhood friends to those of you I have met here on the blog. From my parents to my siblings. From my wife to my children. The people I’ve worked with and those who worked against me. You are my life and make all this what it is… so you can’t just say fuck all that… you might as well be saying fuck your life, and though some may feel just that… I do not.
Heavy, I know. But we can’t get stuck in the depth, we could drown. So let’s just leave it at this:
As I got older, “Fuck The World” became less of a motto and more of just a mood I sometimes was in. If you have read here long enough, you’ve seen me in that mood a few times for sure.
The world, whether you say fuck it or not moves on and so shall this post.
When I first started blogging on WordPress, I had used the initials F.T.W. a few times and there seemed to be a confusion about what I meant (this also happened more recently with the initials S.S.D.D. Which I promise will be dealt with in the next post). So I did some Googling and sure enough the meaning of F.T.W. had changed as the world moved on:
At first this kind of upset me. My motto turned mood had become something else. I blame the internet. LMFAO! But really, as I have said over and over again, the internet changed a lot of things. I worked at a video rental store, was actually a manager for a place called The Video Studio in Covina, California (I am mainly mentioning it so I can put it in the tags. I loved working there and who knows, someone might Google it and find this post. That would be cool, right?). I also worked at a few record stores, Sam Goody, The Warehouse, and of course Tower Records. I really thought Tower Records would be the job I kept for ever. But just like F.T.W. the internet has changed things.
I know… poor zero. My love/hate relationship with the internet is a moot point though really. It too is part of my life (it’s up there in the title, RL and IL… the L stands for life). The internet is much a part of my life as everything else that has been a part of it over these last four decades (has it really been that long?) as it has been for most of us working are way through it. So I just had to accept, that while F.T.W. will always mean “Fuck The World” to me, for others it now meant “For The Win”!
If you think about it, it makes sense. And it actually seems to be a positive move, right? “For The Win” seems much more positive than “Fuck The World”, right?
If you say so. It does fit right into the world in which we find ourselves in now. Helping pave the way for Donald Trump to become President. It seems to become all about winning now. Which of course, it’s become that way because we had tried to pretend for a while that winning didn’t matter. It obviously does. Participation trophies are great, but we want the win.
Let’s not start drowning in the depth again. This post is not gonna debate winners and losers, but I will say it sucks to lose, we all know that, still… “the devil loves the winner just as much as he loves the sinner”. That’s from a lyric I once wrote. Perceive at your own risk.
Winners, losers, we all get a taste of both from time to time, it’s no mystery why people prefer to win. Shall we move on?
When I first learned of “For The Win” and I mourned the loss of “Fuck The World”, I saw a third phrase (of course there was a third one, everything comes in threes). It was something I had known of since those early days of understanding, something out there like a sickness… growing, infecting. I just now had a name for it, and all I had to do was put it together. Literally.
Fuck The World For The Win.
Go ahead, say it out loud. Think about what it implies. Some of you probably don’t even have to continue reading… but please do.
From the first time I read Book of Revelation at the age of 13, I understood it, or at least how people perceived it. I now had a name for it.
Fuck The World For The Win.
I guess the best way to explain it for those of you who don’t yet get where I’m going, is to take a look at the terrorism spreading the past 4 decades (my entire life!) from the ideas of Radical Islam. The word Jihad is just a short way of saying, “Fuck the world for the win”. But it isn’t just in the Islamic religion. It’s an idea that flows through many of our worlds religious teachings. The idea that one day the world will end and judgment and salvation will be dealt out respectfully. Everyone has their own version of an Apocalypse awaiting all of us.
See where I’m going yet?
We all have beliefs. We all have philosophies and religious convictions. Traditions passed down from a time we can only read about. Necessary, but dangerous. Necessary because we build our lives upon these beliefs and convictions. Dangerous because people want to be right. They want to win.
So think about it, where does it leave us. I know you can figure it out, you don’t need me to make it clear… just in case though…
There are so many out there who have been taught and believe their way is right and that some day it will all come to an end to punish and reward, again, dealt out respectfully to each persons own perspective. How do we expect any real self thinking individual to know which way to turn or react. Yes, so many out there who believe the end is coming and see no reason to try to prevent it. In fact, those who truly believe find ways to try to get to that end and prove they were right all along.
Now you see what I’m getting at, yes?
People will destroy it all to be right. Fuck The World For The Win!
I should point out that from the beginning of time people though the end was near. When the Book Of Revelation was written the early Christians believed the end of the world would come in their life time. In fact everyone generation thinks there’s will be the last. The end is always near. To me that proves just how wrong of an idea it is. If you keep expecting the end to come and it doesn’t, when do you finally give up on that idea?
Just in our recent history we can discuss the lunacy of Y2K or 12-21-2012. But people believed it. Shit, we wanted it. People believe the end has to come, so we race for it. After all, the end will prove who is right and who is wrong. and that’s what we really need… to be right, at any cost.
Like most things, it’s all backwards to me. The end of the world seems to be something we’d be happy to be wrong about. And yet so many say, “Fuck The World For The Win”.
And here we are, destroying everything for the sake of an argument that doesn’t really involve us.
Do ya feel me? Can you dig? Or am I the one who’s crazy?
Maybe I am. Because so much of this seems so easy to see and yet we close our eyes and march on towards a destiny we believe was already decided for us.
Damn, I was trying to keep this under 2,000 words, but don’t know if that’s gonna happen. Let’s try to bring this to a conclusion leading into another post (get ready, because from here on out they are gonna fall like dominoes).
I never got a Father’s Day post out this month, lately it’s just been hard to find a reason to come here and write. So that leaves this blog with no Father’s Day post in the 4 years I wrote here. That kind of sucks. After all I’m a father. There is plenty of material for me to write about on the subject. Did it seem like we just took a sharp turn and are heading a different direction? What does Father’s Day have to do with this post? How about a Spiderman reference about paying for the “sins of our fathers”. Or how many think of that father figure up their in the heavens watching and judging us. Or how most of us grow up with out our fathers. I could blog about my own dad. Talk about how untill the 3rd grade my dad was a huge part of my life. Then he was just not there anymore and that’s just how it was. After all I was just a child and the adults knew what they were doing, ha! I could also write about how I’d later go to live with my dad when I was 15 years old and how odd the whole thing was, and get into the different kind of relationship I had with my dad then. Because in between the time I had last seen my dad at age 8 and the time he was back in my life at 15 I had figured out that truth about adults: they didn’t have a clue.
There we go, getting back on topic. Forgive me though, because I’m gonna jump right back off.
Last year around this time I wrote this post:
As you can read in the post, I had started out wanting to write a post about how no matter how bad the world seemed, that it was up to us to paint our lives with the colors we wanted in them. How what seemed like an upcoming Summer of Fear could easily be turned into a Summer of Love if we wanted to. But the tragedy of Pulse Nightclub rocked us all and the post ended up being a confusional attempt at the realization that it wasn’t so easy to do any more.
A year later and the only difference is I’m not confused. From the moment I hit the “Publish” button on that post to the time I hit “Publish” on this post it has been made all to clear to me the fear has won out. The Summer of 2016 continued to show that path leading us here. One tragedy after the next backing us all into a corner. Need a personal example to demonstrate exactly what I mean? Of course you do:
Last week I woke up to this song on the news:
This song was new to me… I had just heard it for the first time a few days earlier… I’ll get to that in a moment. The reason it was being played on the news was because Rachel Platten had released an acoustic version of the track to benefit the victims of the nightclub shootings:
Rachel Platten releases new version of ‘Fight Song’ to benefit Orlando victims
So here I was coming out of sleep to this song that was recently familiar to me. It’s a beautiful song and it is easy to see why it would be used as an anthem for standing up against the forces in the world waiting to strike out against us. An uplifting tribute to the human spirit and our choice to stand and face our obstacles. Yes, from bullies to terrorist, the song fits into the narrative we all find ourselves trapped in. A cry out that we will fight.
So it may not come to a surprise that the place I had first heard the song a few days earlier was at my 5th graders graduation ceremony. I had seen and heard a group of children sing it loud and proud as they looked to the uncertainty of middle school.
A couple of quick side notes on all this:
First, my granddaughter (who is still a few years off from her own 5th grade graduation) was with us that day and was reading over the program with me. She saw the name Rachel Platten written in it next to the song title and her eyes lit up. She of course knew the song and liked it quite a bit. She easily sang along once the 5th graders began singing it. As I have said, I had not heard of the song before… I am getting old.
Second, right now, as I copied the song to post it above, it began to play on my laptop. My soon to be 6th grader came running in and sang a duet with Rachel Platten… it was very adorable.
As I said, it’s understandable why this song would be chosen for the 5th grade graduation ceremony, but the song chosen to accompany it is where all this starts messing with my head a little:
I know, right?
Yes, it was very cute. Watching those up and coming adults belt out, “I’m proud to be an American”, was very inspirational…. but in context, well my context at least, it all seemed to be pushing and pulling. Not to mention there was a representative there from both the Republicans and Democrats pointing out how important it was to vote. A message for the parents I’m guessing, since these graduates wouldn’t be voting for quite a few years yet. The whole thing seemed to be getting us all ready for the fight, though that may be a little bit much. But it definitely was sending the message that we will stand strong and proud against all that tries to defeat us. Which again, fits into the narrative we all find ourselves trapped in.
If it seems like I’m getting side tracked, that’s partially because this is 3 posts wrapped up into one. The Father’s Day post I didn’t get to, bled in a little. A post that developed in my head the morning I woke up to “Fight Song” on the news, which I did actually start writing but didn’t get very far. And a 3rd post which is long over due, the one titled “Fuck The World For The Win”. It’s been in my head for a while now and I had to get it out to move on. The funny thing is, it was meant to be like this… the reason I couldn’t write the “Fight Song” post a few days ago was because it belonged here. These two ideas were locked together in a deadly embrace.
You see, as I said in the Summer post a year ago, the choice between a Summer of love or a Summer of fear may just as well have been made for us. I defiantly believe so as a new summer is here. And it’s not our fault. We have to stand up to these fears in order to get past them. We have to fight for what is right. Corny but true.
Here’s the rub though… and it’s a dangerous one. When we all feel backed into a corner and everyone feels the time has come to say enough is enough. Those out there waiting for the end get a twinkle in their eyes. This is a sign that they are right. And they see the way to victory. They see a way to fuck the world for the win.
Hell, I ain’t saying nothing most of you don’t feel deep inside. You get how it all works. And like I said, the world keeps going on no mater how many try to bring on the end. Still if we keep trying and that lovable, dreadful internet keeps fueling the FTWFTW, who knows.
LOL, now I’m right there with every other generation who thinks that Armageddon is for their generation. And maybe it will be.
To be honest, it don’t matter. Because that’s not the point of this post.
As I have said many times before, the longer I stay away from writing here the easier it is to not write here. And as we all know, I plan on ending the blog at the end of the year. Which is why sometimes with all that’s going on in the world, I wonder why bother even finishing.
But I can’t do that. That wouldn’t be fair to any of us. We’ve come a long way and we can’t stop now. We’ve got a graduation to get to.
So buckle up once again as we head down one last bumpy road together. The whole fucking world can come crashing down along the side of us, this blog is marching right on down to the end. Whether you say Fuck The World or For The Win… even you sick fucks that say Fuck The World For The Win (I know there’s a few of you out there reading) it don’t matter…
“Fa shizzel, my wizzel, this is the plot, listen up
You bizzels forgot, Slizzel does not give a fuck”