Excercise in Futility

The random thoughts of days long past never cease to give me insight into the purpose of tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean I do not doubt. That does not mean I do not have sleepless nights where I wonder about my purpose and my being. That does not mean I ever forget. I will never forget.

It may seem strange that a self-professed writer and journalist would have such thoughts. Aren’t we always so cocky? Aren’t we always so sure of ourselves? And yet, I can’t find a single reason why things don’t go as planned. In fact, I don’t even understand the concept of defeat. I cannot be defeated unless I’m six feet under.

This is an exercise in futility; a lost cause; a hopeless endeavor; a meaningless journey. With a pack of Parliament’s on my left and the bottle of Peach Schnapps on my right, I dive head long into the hopelessness of tomorrow with a psychotic optimism of today. That is the truth about me—I’m a psychotic optimistic, pessimistic, passive-aggressive, loner who has no business doing anything but working in a retail store his entire life, and yet is trying to make it as a writer.

With waves of doubt cascading into emotion, my last paragraph makes no sense to me even as I try to read it through the intrusive rip tides that pull me away from the main focus of this exercise of futility. But—then again—there was never a true purpose to this. The only true purpose was living without fear, and that’s all I’m trying to do. But I like fear. I like the smell of it. It makes me want to understand why things are the way they are. I don’t try to correct the problems of the world, but record them.

So I light a cigarette, pausing momentarily from my stream of consciousness to inhale toxic fumes that I am completely aware will probably be the death of me. I think of all the people in this world, and I laugh. Then I cry. Then I hate myself. But then I realize that it all comes back to a single sentence on a blank page. Perhaps mysticism can be taken out of context? Either way, I know that I’m screwed. This is my nature. I love and hate it, like I love and hate myself. Nothing on God’s green earth will change the fact that I was put on this earth to put pen to paper. And that’s what I’m gonna do.

But I know it’s an exercise in futility. Just don’t try to stop me.

A Personal Appeal

Dear Readers,

I cannot be sure of how many of you are actually readers of mine or are otherwise indisposed of spam bots, but if you are alive and kicking, I need your help.

The protests in Ferguson, Missouri over the killing of Michael Brown are as heart wrenching as they are frightening. There is an attempt to shut out media from the area. There are reports of reporters being tear gassed, arrested, and forced to stop filming. The militarization of our domestic police force is something that is important to take away from what is happening. Far from the simplified idea that this is just some looters who are getting what is coming to them, the unrest happening is Ferguson is a direct result of years of oppression.

In order to understand and to properly report on the situation, I need your help.

I’ve organized a fund to take care of my travel and incidental expenses in order to travel to Ferguson, Missorui. This is not something that I take lightly. I feel like my talents can best be used to help others when they are in dire need. If the people of Ferguson, Missouri need anything, its a voice.

I’m not asking for a handout but an investment in my clean and honest commentary and reporting. Please consider becoming a backer:

http://www.beaconreader.com/projects/the-ferguson-protests

Thank you,

Kevin Limiti

The Angels Bowling

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When I was younger, I was afraid of thunder. The rain would pour down and I would cringe when I saw the flash because I knew what was coming next. There would be a slight crackle and then—in the space of a millisecond—there would be a great boom as if a cannon from the civil war had suddenly exploded into my small suburban home. I would scream and cry, but my mother would just smile. I would look into her eyes, see a reassuring twinkle, and I knew I was safe. “Don’t worry,” she would tell me. “Those are just the angels bowling.”

And then—everything would be fine again … until the next time.

I’m older now, but I still remember the image those words brought to my mind: it was a beautiful land made of clouds filled with gorgeous winged creatures who lined up to spin balls down an alley way of sky towards pins made of hydrogen; a magical place where only the good people got to bowl. Everyone else was in hell.

I sat watching news reports the other day of a distant place that could’ve been another planet. It was called Gaza. The woman on the news told me that the UN schools were being bombed and that children were dying. “International condemnation for Israel’s airstrikes reverberated throughout the world today …” the report would go. Then they would show pictures of children; children who were crying and who were covered in blood that may or may not have been theirs. I thought about the bombs and I remembered the thunder and lightning. I saw the children clinging to their mothers and wondered if they were told anything reassuring to comfort them? But most of those pictures didn’t have mothers and fathers who were alive. Instead, they had corpses—and, right beside them, were screaming children.

While the bombings continued, I wanted to reach through the T.V. and tell them, “Don’t worry, it’s just the angels bowling.” But I couldn’t because the TV did not have a device for communication to other parts of the world. It only reflected images of chaos and destruction so that people waking up with their morning coffee could be just horrified enough to have time to be sad for a minute then switch the channel to watch morning talk shows before forgetting the incident entirely.

But I never changed the channel. I knew that the story was depressing but I also knew it wasn’t uncommon. I knew that it was my good luck to be born in a country where things like that very rarely happened. I also knew that if I could do anything—for the sake of those children—it was to not switch off the channel. It was to absorb the misery and etch their faces into my memory. Because I knew that it wasn’t just the angels that were bowling over there—Satan himself was playing, and he was playing for keeps. But were the children old enough to be judged by God?

I hear the crackling of lightning and thunder, and I instinctively jump. My son comes in the room and I hastily switch off the TV. He looks at me with wonder and says, “Dad, why are you crying? It’s just the angels bowling.”

I grab him and hold on tight, wishing I never had to let go.

I’d rather not write about war … but I will anyway

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Being nothing more than a twenty something year old living in suburbia with the only immediate goals being to graduate from college and get a job as a journalist on foreign assignments, I’m sometimes left wondering why I even bother. It’s not like war is going anywhere anytime soon. But I still focus on it. I still read the news reports and blog about it and get angry about it. But why? I am living a comfortable (perhaps too comfortable) life. Why should I concern myself with these things?

I am not so optimistic as to say that war will end in our lifetimes. In fact, I believe that war will never end because there are certain cases where there is aggression and people will fight and die for a hose of reasons. But I live in the great United States, a country that is so far-removed from any kind of war violence that a Kardashian farting is a more important news story than a hundred people being blown to smithereens. I was at a protest in support of Gaza last Friday, and there was a young boy with a sign that said ‘Dear USA, Your 9/11 is our 24/7.’ I was struck by how true this was, but I was also quite sad. With the exception of 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings, we Americans have been quite fortunate in avoiding death and destruction as seen by Palestinians and others.

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Does this mean that if the United States were subject to more first-hand knowledge of war violence that we would be more sympathetic to the plights of those people in countries torn apart by conflict? I’m not sure, but I would argue that violence only begets more violence. When Osama Bin Laden planned and executed the 9/11 attacks, was he thinking to himself that if he would kill US civilians because the US killed Arabic civilians? Well, he did and United States foreign policy changed as a direct result. But rather than resolving the conflicts, it caused us to act in a knee jerk reaction by bombing and invading Afghanistan and then bombing and invading Iraq. I don’t see how anyone in the middle east could possibly see 9/11 as a good thing; in fact, it may have been the worse thing to ever happen to the middle east ever.

Obviously media and propaganda plays a big role in how Americans view things on a global scale as well, but I would like to transition awkwardly back to the original subject of my blog post: why do I bother writing about war and conflict when I could be doing a lot less depressing things with my time?

I feel that when so many good people are killed for no apparent reason anywhere, it almost makes you feel guilty to be alive. I also believe that the only way for me to truly understand what it means to be in a war is to actually be in one. These two reasons are what motivates me too want to eventually report from a warzone. I know though that it will take years, but its not something that I take lightly. I put some serious thought into this over the course of a year and a half. It’s important enough that I would risk my life for it.

If you think you can talk me out of it, please leave me a comment.