Where I’ve been

No excuses, just a reason. I have been keeping up my running, but I’ve been in a weird place. I have said before that every interaction you have in life builds up who you are. Some are good, some are bad, most have barely any effect at all. But there are some people, parents, maybe a teacher, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors who can have a profound impact on you.
I did not have a lot of friends as a kid. Of the few friends I did have there was one house where no matter what was going on I was always welcome. My friend’s mom was always greeting everyone with a smile, she’d even play video games with us, or just talk to us. She was an educator and a historian. Even though she had her work, and research, and societies which she belonged to, she made time for the kids, all of us. After a very sudden illness she died the other day and I’ve been dealing with all this. Trying to be there for my friend and his family the best I can, and trying to process my feelings from my end.
My parents gave me so much of my care and drive to help people, to raise everyone up, to make sure every human being is treated with dignity and respect regardless of where they were born, who their parents were, what god they pray to, who they love, where they work, if they work, whatever. Valerie taught me a different side of this though. She knew her story, she knew where she came from and she taught us. She showed us the shackles they brought her ancestors to the New World in. She discussed the racism, apartheid, she shared with us her personal stories about her experiences even in “liberal, enlightened Connecticut.” She was not shy, she was not ashamed. As I sat and listened, I could feel the hurt and the anger, but she never showed it. Even if I didn’t realize it then, she taught me how to listen to other people’s stories and not just take in the words, but to truly take in all of what was said. But it also taught me that no matter what I thought of where society was, or is, I need to listen to other people and accept their experiences, and that I am not the final judge or arbiter of where society stands.
What is amazing is, she didn’t just stop at her family and friends. She reached out to the community at large and taught people about all these things. Fully engaged in teaching New Haven about its own history. Through the Greater New Haven African American Historical Society and Ethnic Heritage Center. They did tours through New Haven of very important sites, even finding a secret room in a house in New Haven that most likely was used as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Her and her fellow historians brought these lessons out into the community and made New Haven a better place.
More than that, those talks also gave me an appreciation for education in general. She wasn’t the only person to tell me the virtues of good education. Not just in a school, just taking the time to learn for yourself, to pursue your own interests in subjects. I definitely would not be an English teacher today without her. I would not have had such in interest in archaeology and history by far. I definitely would not have the perspective on it all that I have today.
I’m glad I got the chance to hang out with the family during Christmas, I feel bad I didn’t stop right in when I got back here this Summer. Loss is hard to deal with. I’m always left wondering if I’ve done enough to live up to what people have given to me. I know so many people have said they just wish me to be happy and healthy, but I feel if people are giving me such wonderful lessons about life and giving me fun, happy, safe places to learn and grow then I really do feel like I owe it to them to do more. I know I can’t help disappointing people at some point, life is full of highs and lows, of successes and failures. I just hope I succeed more than I fail and that all the people who helped get me there are happy they helped me reach that point, and that they feel the time, care, knowledge they used on me was worth it.
That seems like a lot of pressure to put on oneself, put that’s always been the pressure I’ve felt. I am my worst critic by far. Always hoping I did enough, always looking to do better. It can be difficult sometimes, but I wouldn’t want to be any other way. I wouldn’t want to be complacent with myself. First, I’d be a jerk. Second, I think that would be horribly boring. I don’t want to be better so I can walk around talking about how great I am. If I want to raise everyone else up, I have to be strong enough to lift. I have to be kind and compassionate enough to extend that help to all who ask for it. I have to be humble enough to excuse myself when someone doesn’t want that help. Every day, as I say, work to be better than I was the day before. The only competition I’m interested in, against myself.
Not to get too sad, but I’d be remiss at this point if I didn’t mention I actually had two wakes at the same time happening. It was very difficult to miss one, but my cousin was there to pass along my condolences. I have limits and sometimes I don’t want to push them. Let’s go out and do the best we can every day. Also, let’s take the lessons we learn and pass them on, it’s the best way to honor the people who gave us those lessons, it’s the way to keep their memory going.

Have fun, keep running and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!


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Looking up, kind of

Alright, it was the ‘Murica Day holiday on Tuesday, so I didn’t run. Made it to the club run last night which was fun. Got to talk to a new member (sort of) and have fun until I had to run off to get my dad’s car dropped off for some work it needed. The club run did not record on my Garmin for some reason. But today’s run did. My headphones broke this morning, so I had no music and then it was raining on me. So I kind of lost my focus toward the end. Oh well. However, upon returning to my house I had a message from my sister that a large retailer was hiring in my town, so I applied. I have an interview on Tuesday, so we’ll see what happens.
If I can get enough hours and do the things I want to do this will work out well. I know sacrifices will have to be made unfortunately. I did run out and get new headphones too, so I’ll give those a go. I went back to JVC, but bluetooth, the product line has worked well for me in the past, and hopefully these will continue that tradition. Still haven’t been paid for the extra contract I took on at the end of the school year, pretty angry about that. But I will remain patient.
I found myself re-examining my philosophy on freedom, and where it comes from. Because one of the people I was talking with on the club run had an extensive military history, and we ended up talking a little bit about that stuff. I keep returning to the same conclusion though. No matter what the government is, no matter what the rules are, you are only as free as you allow yourself to be. Yes, there may be consequences for your freedom, but that’s just the way it is. I don’t require a government to “protect” my freedoms, I only require my own courage. No government, military, piece of paper, nothing gives any human being freedom save their own willingness to face any consequences. Not that things should always have negative consequences.
That is a different argument though, what should and shouldn’t be allowed to be done without consequence. Governments shouldn’t be in the business of deciding who lives or dies, that’s for certain. Yet still, it’s up to the people to demand justice. Any government not deriving its power from the consent of the people is illegitimate. But who is to say who should be removed by force. If the people refuse to capitulate to the illegitimate government’s demands they will be forced to stop. The problem is too many people are too obedient. Why there aren’t mass protests shutting shit down everywhere at this point amazes me.
Look at all the political arguments across the globe, they’re all the same. How is it possible all governments in the world aren’t doing a damned thing to stop the problems causing so many people to flee their homes and look for safe haven elsewhere, yet at the same time refuse to let in “too many” refugees? How is that possible? How is it possible the economy runs off of exploiting workers all over the world, and yet all governments are refusing to protect their workers from being exploited? Some are working hard to destroy the safeguards won by generations past, others are setting up rules to ensure those safeguards can never be put in place.
So many people are complicit in this system, if they just were to stop force everything to grind to a halt, force their voices to be heard it would all end. Yes, some governments would respond with violence, some people would die. It wouldn’t be all sunshine and lollipops, but it would work. It needs to work. If you look through history it does work. In fact, it is the only thing which ever has. We think of the “Founding Fathers” (for all their major flaws) as “Americans” but they weren’t. They were British. They were citizens of the crown, it was an internal conflict. History is filled with peasant revolts, general strikes, specific strikes, slow-downs, demonstrations, this is how the people have forced the oligarchs to allow them freedom of whatever those people were fighting for. But it’s always followed by the oligarchs finding a way to keep control, either by proxy or directly.
You want to fight for freedom? Go on strike, organize with your coworkers, your neighbors, demand more. There’s no outside force trying to take anything from you, it is all internal. I know what people think, “but what about this country doing this, or that one doing that?” No oligarch anywhere could have ever done anything without the obedience, the capitulation of their population. If you cow the people into not resisting you, then you can do these things. Worse, if you get people to believe that acting externally and punishing other peoples can enrich their lives, you can commit some of the worst crimes humanity is aware of. Refuse to participate, militarily, economically, socially. I don’t watch reality shows, I don’t follow trends, I don’t give a crap about the latest “Rah Rah the world is awesome” music. I decide to fight, in my own small way, every day. Stop participating, stop allowing this to happen.

Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!


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We hold these truths

So yesterday was my running club’s annual 4th of July race, they decided to do it on the weekend, instead of the actual 4th as they traditionally did. We show up early and run the course as a club before, well some of us do. So I went and did that and had a great day catching up with as many friends as I could. Even met some new friends which was totally cool. Then I waited until the Sun was low in the sky before running today, and still struggled because the air quality was horrible. As tough as it is in Italy sometimes, it seems like my lungs burn much worse here.
So I’ve mentioned before I run by the Amistad Memorial when I run past City Hall in New Haven. People have been posting all their ‘Murica posts, and whatnot and as I passed by today it bothered me. I love that there was justice in New Haven on this particular case. But the whole thing should have never happened. I’ve talked about this in pieces before. The founders of this nation wrote a document we celebrate every July 4th and it claimed “all men are created equal”, and yet they owned slaves and claimed that those men weren’t equal. They didn’t treat women equal, and well generally if you weren’t rich and European and a man, you were screwed.
In one breath they’re talking about freedom and equality and on the other hand they codified slavery, the idea that those slaves weren’t people (3/5ths look it up). They weren’t interested in freedom or equality (ok, a very few of them did argue for abolition then but clearly not enough). They weren’t great minds, they weren’t “enlightened”, they were just shitty rich guys screwing over whomever they could. They didn’t want soldiers in their homes, fine. They wanted a say in legislation that effected them, whatever. They turned around and they kept other people as property. They made that part of the law, that you were allowed to keep other humans beings, buy, sell, trade, treat them as property.
All these years later, there’s never been a proper apology and there’s never been recompense to the descendants of those unjustly held. They were promised a payment, and it was never made. Then we have so many people running around saying that the descendants of slaves; who never had any inheritance, had their history, culture, and identities ripped from them, their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents had their husbands, wives, children ripped from them and sold off or worse, are somehow to blame for not having these things. After being “set free” they were still treated as less than. Driven away from the voting booths, denied education, basic services, jobs, any sense of equal treatment. Their lives were forfeit at the drop of a hat, just because of an accusation. Still to this day, when police and even citizens murder them in cold blood they merely have to say they “felt threatened” and they are let go.
At no point has this nation dealt with this. At no point, even after a war over slavery, have we ever rectified this situation. We continue on, and people that have benefited directly or indirectly from this system continue to profit and those who have been victimized continue to be victimized, and if you talk about it you’re “divisive”. No, I’m not. I’m trying to bring about real unity. Unity isn’t achieved through everyone ignoring the past and blaming the poor for being poor, and blaming the victims for being victims, and claiming “the past is the past”. Unity is found through accepting the damage that has been done and putting an end to injustice. Truly putting an end to it. That won’t happen until we literally destroy the system which created the past. If you keep the system, there will always be inequity, and the many will always force the few to suffer. They will justify it however they want, and that is true across the board.
So I’m not too much into celebrating, never really have been. It needs to end, it is evident with the idiot we have posing as a head of state right now. His video tweet this morning was another completely indecent display of jackassery. But it is a glimpse into the buffoonery which has weaved it way through the history of this country, and much of the world. This is what we have sewn. We should have thousands of statues and memorials around the country to all the slave revolts, all labor strikes, all the times the real people, the exploited, the hunted, the disenfranchised tried valiantly to fight back, to gain ground. We don’t, there are controversies over removing statues and monuments to the people who fought to oppress! We elect the people who want so badly to uphold the injustice to office, and cheer their speeches full of hate and bigotry.
So no, I’m not celebrating, sure I’ll go see my family and I’ll celebrate them. But this shit needs to change, and yesterday.

Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!


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Half a year done

We’re midway through 2017. Let’s hope overall the second half is better than this joke of a first half with these idiots running things. Although we beat a fascist in France, and dealt a big blow to the near-fascist neo-cons in the UK. Meanwhile, on the running front, I’m just about at where I want to be for the year, I think 3 miles short overall. If I keep up my current distance I’ll go over 1600 miles (2575 km). My heel is getting better, my knee is still a little tweaked, but overall, halfway there, I feel pretty good. But my speed is not there right now, of course, injury right? I mean that’s the way it goes.
So I did run yesterday and Wednesday. Yesterday’s run was actually pretty good, but I am tired. I have done lots of miles over the last two weeks, so there’s so fatigue there. I’m also not doing well given that things are slow here. No one needs any help and the couple places that have, not interested in someone leaving at the end of September. That’s getting me down a little bit. It is tough here, I actually forgot how it all makes me feel. Unless I had a very compelling reason, I don’t think I could come back here full time. My friends and family are great and all, but it just isn’t the same.
The political situation doesn’t help matters for sure. The Traffic Cone Con said some really nasty things about a morning news show host yesterday, and it was unreal. I mean the baseless idiocy, the cruelty of these tweets was way beneath the dignity of the office he occupies (I feel illegally). I can be pretty mean to people sometimes, but this was so awful. He’s like a child who never got disciplined. He’s the most spoiled known human being in existence, no sense of propriety or decency. I’ve always known this, this is not a shock to me, it’s so disgusting to see people defend it or attempt to. It’s disgusting to see it being referred to as “leadership.” I have so many problems with modern “First World” nations and their policies in general. I don’t agree with any party, philosophically, ethically, I’m closest to the Greens. But the Greens (at least in the US) do nothing to actually build a movement and take over a system which needs to be changed. It seems like angry rich people just buying losing presidential bids. No attempt at local organization, you never see Green Party candidates for Board of Education or Town Council.
Well, the higher inequality goes the closer we get to violent revolution. That’s just what you see as you look through history. So I suppose there’s that. But I think that’s a fairly long way off at this point. So we will see and try to be patient.
All I know is I’ve been in the US for two weeks and I’m stressed out.

Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!


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Line up together

The title will make sense later. I’ve been neglectful, lazy even! Trying to find something part time for the Summer still. Hey if anyone knows of anywhere that needs someone for the Summer, let me know! haha. Thursday’s run went well, Saturday I ended up not running due to rain and other issues, Sunday I got 15 in, but it was slow and tough. Yesterday I did some catch-up miles, and today I actually had the best run out of all of them. I couldn’t run in the mud on the trail around East Rock, it did rain pretty hard early this morning. Which made for a cool run, althought it was humid as the Sun was burning off the water. But I’ve been taking it easy the last few weeks and will continue to do so until I heal properly.
So I make no secret that I’m a rugby fan. I used to play and for an American, I’m actually not so bad at it. But just like football (not American Football, actual football) I don’t support the US team. Firstly, I’m not really American now am I? I’ve already had people on the internet complain when they disagree with me that I’m not “really” American anymore because I don’t always live in America. Because if you don’t have a real argument, just attack where your opponent lives. But anyway, when it comes to “The Beautiful Game” I’m an Italy supporter, but for Rugby we’re talking New Zealand. Not because they’re great, although they are, but because they clearly work hard and their skills are amazing.
Now, there are always problems with sport, they can be used to distract people. It’s usually too expensive for the average fan. Then there’s the whole issue of putting people on pedestals, protecting them from punishments for poor behavior due to their status in society, etc. But the fact is The All Blacks, at least seem, to bring the country together, and it’s a priority to them. I don’t live there, I only can go on what I see. I think it is due to the fact that a large percentage of the team is Maori, as opposed to the general population. Again, Europeans trying to wipe everyone out. Certainly on that front you can check out “Once Were Warriors” which is a movie which delves into. But they do try to get the country together and their latest effort is fantastic.
I think this one should be used by the whole world honestly. It’s a folk song from the 50s, in Maori. The lyrics are pretty simple:

Tūtira mai ngā iwi,
tātou tātou e
Tūtira mai ngā iwi,
tātou tātou e
Whai-a te marama-tanga,
me te aroha – e ngā iwi!
Ki-a ko tapa tahi,
Ki-a ko-tahi rā
Tātou tātou e
Tā-tou tā-tou e E!!
Hi aue hei !!!

Line up together people
All of us, all of us
Stand in rows people
All of us, all of us
Seek after knowledge
and love of others – everyone
Think as one
Act as one
All of us, all of us
All of us, All of us!!
Hi aue hei !!! (best I can figure not knowing Maori, this is kind of like “Yell it from the mountaintop”)

Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run so can you!


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Putting in some work today

The run went pretty well. I had some good conditions, cloud cover, low humidity (relative to what it has been), good temperature. I was able to keep a decent pace through most of the run. Seeing as I was short of where I wanted to be on miles today, I took a turn that sent me up a decent hill at the end, and that’s where I lost steam. It’s ok, I’m still breaking in the new pair, my ankle is still healing, so all in all I’m very pleased.
Got back to the family home, washed up, ate a good lunch and then picked up my 16 year-old niece to take her driving. She needs lots of practice. I was fortunate growing up, my paternal grandfather was a truck driver and that he was retired before I was born, when we’d visit on Summer vacations he would set up obstacle courses for me to tackle on his tractor. My father was always teaching me about driving, my sister too. We learned from a very young age, and we got practice too. Given how tiny I was as a child, my grandfather even had blocks I could tie to my shoes so I could reach the pedals on the tractor. I always realized I got a special experience there and it paid off, I passed my driving exam without an error on the first try. I’ve always felt confident behind the wheel and have skills many other drivers do not.
The rest of my family, I believe, takes this experience for granted. My niece did not have this experience. She needs practice, she needs instruction, she needs help. But most of all, she needs patience. It’s not always easy and of course you don’t want 2000 lbs of metal and plastic going out of control, and you certainly don’t want a few thousand dollars of car crashing into things. But today was good, a little stressful for me, and I’m very tired but good. Given that it was her first lesson with me, she did well. I’ve certainly had worse lessons with people in the past.
I think in general, apart from lacking humility, many people lack true patience. I have to say I did lose my patience with her when she drove up on a curb as a bus was coming down the lane in the parking lot we were in. Yes, I started her in an empty parking lot. I did lose my patience, I felt bad but she also understood. But she made other mistakes, even if I thought they were silly or due to being inattentive, I stayed patient. How else can someone learn if you’re always jumping on them for the slightest infraction. So I took it easy and just calmly explained what needed to be done. She will learn in time.
Patience, humility, these are virtues we should always look for in life. If people aren’t showing them, we should probably steer clear. It doesn’t matter the situation, except one. Ha, of course I’m going to give myself an exemption! Seriously though. when it comes to climate change, we don’t have time for patience, when it comes to direct threats to survival, when you know what needs to be done, you just have to put the plan into action. I think when it comes to survival, particularly of the biodiversity of the planet, then yes patience needs to be foregone.
Other than that, in life, equal parts humility and patience are needed. In teaching, in caring, in politics, in science, in art, in every single thing we do. This is the key, this is how we learn to excel. This is how we become the best we can be, and it’s how we bring out the best in those around us. I lack patience sometimes I know, even beyond the instance I’ve excused myself from. My exception there does cover fascists and racists, because they have often exhibited their desire to kill, so survival is an issue there. But with some other forms of ignorance I am less patient than I should be. When people are just plain ignorant, or draw false conclusions, I get too upset sometimes. I need to work on that. But as I always say, our only real job in life is to be a better person than the person we were yesterday.

Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!


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Breaking in part 1

Got out and ran this morning. Took it super easy the last few miles. Only my second pair of Asics GT-2000, so I have to break them in properly still. But it was definitely better with the new shoes. We’ll wait to see how the ankle feels in the morning, but I am now on the road to recovery. I can’t wait to be able to really turn on some speed and be confident that something isn’t going to tear in the process. I have decided to try to increase mileage a little this year, and increase speed.
It was a decent day to run, I definitely enjoyed it. I ran by the courthouse with my name on it. Thought of how my ancestors, either directly, or by lack of care caused the deaths of the natives in the area. It was kind of heavy. I was thinking about it, because as I pass people on the sidewalk, I tend to make myself as small as possible, and I felt like I got some side eye from a woman. I didn’t mean to insult her or make her feel like I was acting strangely. She was wearing a hijab, and I hope she doesn’t think that’s why I drew my arms into my body. I just didn’t want to accidentally have my arm swing hit her and wanted to make sure she had as much room as possible while I was running down the sidewalk.
That’s what got me thinking about the other thing, because I passed the courthouse right after. I thought it was a good metaphor. Maybe the way to make up for all that is to take up as little space as possible, from a sociological standpoint. How else can one make up for all these past sins? You can’t. You have to step aside and let those who have been pushed down over the generations catch up. You must stand aside, you have to be humble, you have to show you’re sorry, not say you’re sorry. Apologies aren’t words, words don’t fix anything.
In that, I had even earlier in the run seen several signs on lawns which read, in a few languages, “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.” Now, regardless of the gentrification and other problems we have in my city, that is one thing that is cool. All in all this is a fairly inclusive place. There are still shitty people doing shitty things. There’s poverty and bullshit, but at least people generally let people be themselves and respect and accept that. Now, if we can just lift up those who have been kept down for so long. There’s lots of work to be done.

Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!


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Guess who’s back in the mother-f*ckin’ house!

When I got off the plane on Friday I had a massive headache. Got through passport control and customs, met my ride and got on the way to mom’s house. Traffic was atrocious and as we progressed my headache increased, then my stomach started to hurt. I tried my best to stay calm but the pain eventually overcame me and we had to make an unscheduled stop at the Milford Rest Area. Throwing up in a bathroom on I-95 in the middle of Friday rush-hour traffic is now something I can check off the list. Alcohol wasn’t even involved. But I was not feeling well at all and slept as soon as I got home and cleaned up. I was beat on Saturday, so I didn’t bother with a run and today there was no way I was going to have any pace for a race. It’s super-humid here and the Sun is just now starting to try and show itself. So I went out and took it easy giving New Haven a giant hug today! I took it easy the last couple miles, I really need to buy new shoes tomorrow.
Since I neither have a scale, nor a blood pressure monitor in Italy, I did my first checks today. I’ve put on a few pounds over the past few months, so I’ll work on dropping that before I go back home. My blood pressure isn’t good, it isn’t bad, but it isn’t good. It hasn’t moved from where it has been the last few years. In all seriousness, if I just quit drinking it’d be fine, but meh I need to enjoy life too. It’s a fine line and if my blood pressure were getting worse I would consider further adjustments. That it’s staying where it is tells me it’s nothing I need to worry any more about than I already do. Plus it’s blood pressure, worrying about it will make it worse.
There’s so much I was thinking about today. New Haven is my first city after all, it’s where I was born. So much of it has changed through the years and yet so much stays the same. See the same types, or same people even, running about their day as I went through. Saw some new things, new stores, new constructions, but old buildings too, Rubber Match is still there, how, nobody knows. Still have homeless folks out there doing their thing. But lots of people waving back and smiling. Some nice ladies even moved out of my way, even though I asked them not to as I was jumping into the street to not bother their walk and conversation. It’s funny how different running here is, but I wouldn’t trade it for runs down a lungomare, watch the waves from the Adriatic crash up against the shore.
But I still remembered exactly where to turn to get to the distance I wanted and just kept moving. Every now and then I’d have to stop for traffic of course, but so be it. All-in-all it was a good first run back, and good to see my favorite, the Triceratops statue out in front of the Peabody Museum. Also, are they ever going to finish building shit on George St.? Most people have no idea what I’m talking about here, but it’s local New Haven things. Although, if you come to visit, the Peabody Museum is fantastic.
So it’s Father’s Day here in the U.S. and it’s time for me to head over to my sister’s house and hang out and do family stuff. The kids will be happy to see me and I’m sure the others will too. Although, at this point I really want a nap, that humidity just sucked the life out of me today.
Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!


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Winding down

As I try and relax with my remaining days before I start my Summer travel, I’m getting a little lazy. I need to watch out for that, but it’s not as bad as last Summer. I also hurt less, even though my Achilles tendinitis is not getting better (fat chance of that happening as I keep running on it in shoes past their mileage!). Yes I know, totally my own fault. But, as stated, this actually doesn’t hurt as much as my hamstring did last Summer. So the kinesio tape I got isn’t the KT tape brand, and so far even though I have to cut individual lengths I am preferring it. It’s adhesion is superior to this point, and it supports just as well. The only drawback is having to cut each piece. But how lazy does one have to be to complain about that? But I have been lazy, and haven’t updated. I did run on Thursday. It was a pretty good run, far better than today where my chest hurt so much (skin, not anything internal) that I basically walked the last 5 miles.
So the UK Snap Election had interesting results. When May called the election she had a 20+ point lead in all polls. In just a few weeks’ time that lead evaporated. But even the polls just before election day were showing the Tories up 4-10 points. That UK polls almost always have a bias toward the Conservatives; that is to say they under-perform in polls, apparently British people are shy about saying they will vote for Tories, it looked like they would still walk with a comfortable majority. They were talking about a Labour blood-bath. Corbyn was “too Left” and not well supported by the party establishment. But he won, well he still lost, but he won. Labour shocked the world, and what looked to be a comfortable majority for the Tories turned into a major embarrassment for May and the Conservatives.
Young voters came out in unheard of numbers, 75% turnout, to support Labour really to support Corbyn. People want government that works for THEM. That is the point, supposedly, of government. But the Conservatives on all sides, think government is about what it was always about, keeping the people in power in power. Conservatives talk about helping “business”. What the fuck is “business”? Why does it get representation. We need it? Do we really need business? What is the virtue in making money for the sake of making money? I really have searched my entire life for someone to explain this to me. Money, a man-made thing, is not a goal. I think by and large this is what people understand without understanding it. That feeling so many have that “something is wrong”. They can’t put their finger on it. I think this is one of the main things. Money isn’t real, it doesn’t mean anything, and yet we’re trained to work our entire lives chasing it.
It may not be a conscious thought for everyone, but I think at the end of the day they understand we are not living a “natural” life. I see so many indications of this, people doing things like the “paleo” diet, and all this other “get back to nature” nonsense. (Yes, that’s all nonsense) They’re striving to bring themselves back to a natural-feeling mental state though. But they’re so trained that everything is external, that they look to diets, or where they go, what events they attend, etc. Then they take selfies to show the world how “earthy” they are or whatever. But that’s not it. We have to look inside, we have to find the mental state that is natural. We have to look to science to teach us how to be human again. We have to raise our children that way, and we have to destroy, not modify, not enhance, not repair, destroy the system which causes us this pain. This existential angst that we then enforce upon others we deem “less worthy” due to a myriad of factors, chief among them being their physical difference to us, followed in short order by what version of “God” they believe or don’t believe in.
It’s not normal and it’s not natural. Competition is not the human way. We are social animals, that is abundantly clear. Like all social animals we have our own way of doing things, but in general, with an abundance of resources, it would make sense that we would look to aide all. Yet we don’t, instead we create a shortage. We produce more than enough food for everyone in the world. We have more homes than we have people living in them. We have a surplus of everything. Yet we sit here and talk of deficit, we have homeless people, children starving in the streets, we have wars and famine, and we talk about bad choices people make. It’s not those who are suffering who have made bad choices. It is those among us who have made us believe we have some sort of resource deficit and that those who are suffering deserve their suffering. I think even people who subscribe to this idea, know deep down there is something wrong with it. I believe that fuels their shittiness toward the less fortunate. Like if they can be cruel enough it will wash away the guilt. I’m not sure, I’m not a psychiatrist. But there is a deficit, a moral deficit in that we believe that somehow Syrian children deserve what they are living through. That somehow African people deserve to work in Cobalt mines as slaves just so we can take a few dollars off the latest iPhone.
That is the reality of the world right now. So many believe there aren’t enough resources to go around, and those who have said resources are worthy due to their “Fill in the Blank”. In reality, there is more than enough for all, and in the drive to create even more we willingly destroy the only place we can call home. In the same instance, we blame those who suffer due to our false deficit and insist they are to blame for their own suffering. I think people get this on some level, even if they don’t realize it. I think if we move our politics in this direction, toward rectifying this situation, toward destroying this system, and helping ALL people, destroying racism, sexism, bigotry, religious hatred, etc., not only will more people vote, but a kinder, more natural humanity will come together, and maybe we can actually fix things before we are all doomed.

Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!


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Apparently, it was global running day

Everything has a day, I got the stupid badge from Strava, because it’s a mindless thing to do now. It was a pretty fast run, as I wanted to get back and wash up and make a simple dinner. Less bugs last night, because it was drier so that kept the little bastards at bay. It’s been so hot and I’ve been sweating so much though, than basically my entire chest is chafing now. It was a bit painful. Today I’m just going to Body Glide the crap out of myself and hope that works.
Also, I was hoping my KT tape would survive the 3 days it’s supposed to, but alas, it was too hot and again, way too sweaty. So I had to buy a new roll this morning. There’s no way I can get through all the miles I want to without it, until I get back to the US and get new shoes. Irresponsible of me? Damned right! So between my train ride into Bari and the bus ride to the place I need to work this morning, I searched the shops for KT Tape. First, I went into a “sporting goods” store. Which is no more than sports apparel around here. They told me to try the Sanitaria, the Sanitaria told me to try the Farmacia. The Farmacia has it, but €16 a roll! That’s outrageous. However, as I said, I need it right now. Oh well, that’s that at least I can tape myself up and run tonight, and it should stick better because it’s not all old and stuff. That was the problem with the last rolls, they were pretty old and I guess the glue degraded.
The weird thing was the lady behind the counter asked if I wanted blue. They only had blue or pink it seemed. She gave me blue, but I told her it didn’t matter. It doesn’t fucking matter what color the kinesiology tape it. It is there to keep me from tearing a tendon or muscle, so what if it were pink? So much of this world is so silly now. In retrospect I should have insisted on the pink, just to make a point. But I was in a rush to make the bus by that point, so practicality dictated the situation.
The good news is, when I finish up this afternoon I don’t have anything until Monday morning but cleaning, packing, and the beach. More cleaning and packing than I’d like. But I’m starting to put a plan in motion to not return to the US after this Summer. Honestly, the airfare between here and JFK isn’t totally exorbitant, even if the return flight is a little inconvenient. With me living here, so I have space for people to stay, it really is not that burdensome, and food is cheap. So there’s no reason for me to have to cram my ass into a fart tube every few months, when people can easily come visit me. Of course, with my friends and family’s track record of visiting me, I still doubt it will happen but I insist on trying. For the first time in a while I’m feeling real anxiety. I don’t want to go back. At this point, even if Donnie Dirtbag is dragged out of the White House in chains, the stain on the nation is too great.
Ever since 1861, the US has been fighting a Civil War. I know we say it ended, but it’s the same battles always. The ended reconstruction by killing Lincoln, they instituted apartheid to keep their former slaves living in slave-like conditions anyway. After that system was broken, they started undercutting the North to take as many jobs as possible. By slashing taxes, busting unions to make cheap labor forces, this is all to try and damage the North, to hurt the people, to pay them back for “ruining” their economy. Their economy based on the idea that some people were property. This is the problem. Trump is the symptom, he needs to be removed, but overall the disease has to be cured.
General Sherman’s greatest fear was that the people of the South would not learn their lesson, they did not. There is no humility, no shame in them. How can you not be ashamed of yourself when you actively seek to hurt other people? How can you not feel sorry when you have spent your life trying to harm others, in a selfish grab for more for yourself. Anyone who thinks they deserve more than another human being should feel shame. It hurts me so much to see what is happening, and how the whole top tier of the government hasn’t been slapped in irons yet is beyond me. It is absolutely disgusting.

Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!


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