Waking Times » Humor http://www.wakingtimes.com Entering a Time of Natural Health, Elevated Consciousness, Sustainable Living and Total Freedom. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 02:45:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 5 Things the “Powers-That-Be” Don’t Want You to Know About Monsanto http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/07/24/5-things-the-powers-that-be-dont-want-you-to-know-about-monsanto/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/07/24/5-things-the-powers-that-be-dont-want-you-to-know-about-monsanto/#comments Wed, 24 Jul 2013 18:44:14 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=27516 Gary ‘Z’ McGee, Contributor
Waking Times

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.” –George Orwell

Everyone likes eating food, except maybe cibophobiacs or method actors from the movie Soylent Green. But assuming you have a mouth … More

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monsanto-GMO-cornGary ‘Z’ McGee, Contributor
Waking Times

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.” –George Orwell

Everyone likes eating food, except maybe cibophobiacs or method actors from the movie Soylent Green. But assuming you have a mouth and an anus, and everything in between functions properly, you probably enjoy the occasional nosh-up. I too am a connoisseur of countless cuisines. I enjoy nothing more than a steaming plate of garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and a hot, juicy, mouth-watering slab of… horsemeat!? How in the unholy fuck? What is this, Ikea?

This may seem a mild affront to one’s sensibilities, but it bears mentioning because, as outlandish as it seems, there is a viscous plot afoot behind the scenes of how our company-ran food industries are making the food we all consume. In the past I’ve written about the Military Industrial ComplexCourage, and even Loving Greatly, but for now, how about I go into a wool-pulled-over-your-eyes shredding diatribe about what such malevolent food (poison) corporations as Monsanto don’t want you know.

#1. The Research is Not in Their Favor

Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s GM (genetically modified) foods can lead to serious health conditions: such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility, birth defects, and possibly an arm growing out of your forehead to challenge you to an arm-wrestling match, or at least a thumb war.

Okay maybe not the arm bit, but the rest of these ailments are serious enough that alarm bells should be going off in our heads long before we ever get to the point of crackers made out of humans. -Yes, I referenced Soylent Green again. -No, I won’t stop.

French scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen recently discovered that lab rats ingesting GM corn, sprayed with Monsanto’s Roundup weed-killer, produced tumors the size of: does-it-matter? And have caused liver and kidney damage on the scale of: Fail! They also found that 70% of the GM corn-fed rats died prematurely. This was a peer-reviewed study that took place over a two-year period. Monsanto supposedly does its own studies: if you can call a non-peer-reviewed, less than 90-day study a “study”. Just recently, May 21st 2013, Monsanto was found guilty of chemical poisoning in a landmark case about a 47-year-old French Farmer.

Granted, we should never put all our eggs into just one basket. Meaning, almost all studies are riddled with bias and contain hidden agendas. But even if these studies are skewed, shouldn’t we at least have the option of consuming natural or organic foods over GM foods? Shouldn’t we, as the consumers who keep these greedy companies afloat, be allowed to decide for ourselves what we want to put into our bodies? Polls have found that 93% of the public wants GM food labeled. I mean, if drugs ever do become legalized and Cracksanto becomes a world-wide drug monopoly, shouldn’t I be informed if the crack I’m about to smoke is 70% more likely to kill me than the already 70% likelihood of dying from smoking regular crack?

Okay, bad example. Here’s an easier question to answer. Why do the FDA and USDA continue to allow cancer-causing chemicals to be used? And why is our food being modified by the world’s largest pesticide manufacturer (Monsanto)? I mean, how can these companies legally get away with this shit?

#2. Corporate/Political Stranglehold

The answer, of course, is that the food industry is now dominated by the actions of U.S. government regulators. Like Henry Kissinger said, “Control the food supply and you control the people.” I guess somebody was listening (*cough* lying, conniving, filthy, half-wit scum of a puke-faced, do-anything-for-money, corporate pig *end-cough*) I mean, what better way to get people to buy your product than to monopolize the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup, and then secretly force your product onto shelves without any legal discourse? The only thing preventing this scenario from completely playing out is a well-informed public. It seems the internet, even with all its high school melodrama, is our saving grace. Who knew?

What’s worse is the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives. Say what?! Can you say “biased”? Can you say “self-fellatio”? Can you say “we’re all screwed because somebody with their head up their ass is telling people who don’t have their head up their ass to pull their head out of their ass”? This is an atrocity. As it stands, the corporations that dominate American food and agricultural interests hold a ridiculous amount of influence over the FDA and USDA. Consumers are offered no real protection from dangerous chemicals intentionally added to their foods. “They like to pretend they are feeding the world, but this is a convoluted lie. Hunger is not a global production problem, it’s a global justice problem,” said International Co-Organizer and MAM Founder Tami Cana.

And now Monsanto has the unmitigated gall to come out and claim that grassroots organizations moving against them are guilty of reverse-elitism? Are you kidding me? Here’s the thing, you Monsanto Kool-Aid drinking douchebags: You’re either for profits, or you’re for people. There really is no way to weasel out of this. Make a decision! If you’re for people over profits, no matter how much it affects your bottom line or how much your “boss” gets paid, you’re cool in most people’s books. But if you’re for profits over people then FUCK YOU! Bottom line! No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The right to know what we are eating supersedes corporate profit. There is no wiggle worm here, you uncompassionate waste of space; you unsympathetic, worm-for-a-backbone fucktard! Those dollar-signs in your eyes are not glints of future prosperity; they’re outdated symbols for parochial perspectives that simply DO NOT work for a healthy sustainable world. Pull your head out of Bill Gates’ ass! His 500,000 shares of Monsanto are the only thing keeping that monster of a corporation afloat anyway.

#3. Environmental Impact

“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” -Marshall McLuhan

You know why they mislabel so many fish products? Because they don’t have the guts to tell you that the fish you like are gone. Yes, 85% of the world’s fisheries are either completely exploited, overexploited or collapsed. This should come as a wake-up call of the highest order. I mean, I’m cool with salmon just looking like salmon, or tuna just looking like tuna. But eel! What the fuck is that shit? Did you just paint a chow’s tongue brown and call it a day? Come on!

And did you know that one in every three bites of food you eat depends on the honey bee? That’s right. Bees pollinate at least 130 different crops in the US alone, including fruits, vegetables and tree nuts. And it has been proven that GM crops sprayed with pesticides are linked to the death of literally millions of bees. A phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has led to the disappearance of bee colonies that are needed to pollinate our food. Massive declines in bee populations means the diversity of our food supply is in jeopardy. This should come as a body blow to biodiversity.

And it’s not just the direct impact on the environment that is causing concern. In North Dakota there’s a GM yellow canola weed plant, known scientifically as Brassica napus var oleifera, on the loose in the wild, screwing things up like a retarded monkey in a Facebook chat room. And then there’s the “herbicide treadmill” to contend with. No, this is not a love-handle blasting, get skinny fast dieting routine. It’s a viscous cycle of plants becoming resistant to chemicals which need more advanced chemicals to contain them. Eventually these plants also form a resistance and the cycle continues, over and over. For many ecologists, this is a major concern.

No one wants to acknowledge these tragic occurrences. Instead they just sing the day away with a mind numbing, just-get-through-the-day song, some nails-on-chalkboard tralala of musical dissonance that hits the ear like a pissed-off hornet’s nest. It’ll be fast-paced and full of idiot colloquialisms that will sooth you for ever having been someone who is upset about the natural order of things. But you’ll listen to it just to get through the day. Won’t you? That was a rhetorical question.

#4. Monsanto Protection Act

There’s a reason why more than 50 countries around the world have either banned GM foods all together, or are at least labeling them. That reason is freedom of choice. Nobody wants to be force fed anything. The amount of trust we put into our food industry is baffling, but the food industry should at least respect our trust by honestly labeling their food products.

The Monsanto Protection Act, passed in March 2013, essentially allows Monsanto to sell GM products without federal permission, thus dodging any judicial consequences. It strips federal courts of the power to halt the illegal planting of potentially hazardous crops. This is an outrage. If Monsanto and Dupont need a bill passed that protect them from legal action, then surely they know what they’re doing is illegal. It’s not so much that these companies are making scary food that is potentially harmful; it’s that, with acts such as these, our basic human right to choose what we want to eat is being violated.

Short of saying “your mom’s ass tastes like Caesar salad” there are very few phrases you will find that will offend you as much as “shut up and eat what we tell you to eat”. Um, no! Not an option. Anybody thinking they have the authority to decide what I can or cannot eat can go jump off a bridge. Here, I’ll give you a boost.

#5. How Polyculture Systems are more sustainable than Monoculture Systems

Monoculture is the agricultural method of growing a single crop in the same area over many years. Polyculture is the method of growing multiple crops in the same area but in accordance with nature and balanced with the needs of the immediate environment. Both have NOTHING on the independent farmer transforming his/her yard into a garden. I commend anyone who, instead of planting a rosebush or a showy tree (that does nothing but disguise a culture that has lost touch with nature by displaying it superficially), plants a garden. And I commend even further a community of urban farmers who get together and share their food.

But back to our battle royale of mass agricultural systems. Monoculture is about industry. Polyculture is about diversity. Monoculture suffers from a lack of biodiversity and nutrients in soil. Polycuture thrives with biodiversity and replenished soil. Monoculture requires pesticides. Polyculture is a function of biological pest control. Monoculture is unnatural. Polyculture is natural. Monoculture leads to disease and famine. Polyculture leads to abundance and permaculture. Monoculture is about money over people. Polyculture is about people (and environment) over money.

This isn’t about the wealth of an industry or the robustness of our nation’s ability to trade. This is about ecosystems and abundance over ego systems and greed. This is about people who need to eat healthy foods in order to live long healthy lives. When we farm alongside nature, in balance with nature, we discover more biodiversity which helps the progress of both humans and nature.

No matter what kind of impact the March Against Monsanto (May 25th 2013) has on the future of GM foods, the point is clear: We the People demand to know what we are putting into our bodies. No industry should have the power to dictate what we eat. I don’t care if you’re the president of the United States or the queen of England, you can both find that bridge I mentioned earlier if you think you can get away with allowing this farce of a judicial system to continue acting the way it has. Pull your head out of each the others asses. Wake up and smell the genetically modified flowers!

Yours truly,

-Some guy on the internet running through the streets screaming, “It’s people! Soylent Green is people!!”

About the Author

Z, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.  His recent works can be seen here and also found at Z’s Hub.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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Ways To Celebrate Your Freedom Like A Rebel – Humor http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/07/04/ways-to-celebrate-your-freedom-like-a-rebel-humor/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/07/04/ways-to-celebrate-your-freedom-like-a-rebel-humor/#comments Thu, 04 Jul 2013 16:35:19 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=26514 Heather Callaghan, Guest
Waking Times

If we’re not laughing, we’re crying, right? It’s hard to find humor when depressing reports constantly assault our psyches by depicting the blatant trampling of our rights.

But being a “rebel” today means different types of battles and fronts than in the days of our … More

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Flickr - American Flag - Beverly & PackHeather Callaghan, Guest
Waking Times

If we’re not laughing, we’re crying, right? It’s hard to find humor when depressing reports constantly assault our psyches by depicting the blatant trampling of our rights.

But being a “rebel” today means different types of battles and fronts than in the days of our founding fathers – although the inspiration is the same. The following are just a few ways you can really live it up this Independence Day.

We want you to add your own in the comments!

Drink raw milk. Better yet, meet your Amish “dealer” at a state line and drink your illegal public health safety risk with one foot in each state.

If you’re self employed and send quarterly taxes to the IRS, use an invisible envelope with invisible money – same difference.

Call a random cell phone number. *Brrriing-Brrriing Hello…NSA? Happy Independence Daaaayyy!

Visit a rebel naturopathic doctor before they’re completely outlawed. Get your nutrition advice from an illegal consultant or a blogger who’s on trial, the ones who are not state certified ADA drones.

Dig up a genetically modified crop – it’s the biggest new thing in Europe, very chic these days, and we can’t let those blokes show us up when it comes to revolution.

Get involved in any jury opportunity. Nullify-nullify-nullify! Raise hell – be the 12th Angry Man.

Get arrested for the following: sit on a park bench and eat donuts, hand out juror rights before a trial, record a police shoot out with your cell phone, dance at the Jefferson Memorial, ask a cop a question, or buy bottled water.

Smile for your police profile, then make your mugshot your Facebook profile pic.

Weave some clothing from industrialized hemp.

Go “Robin Hooding.” (Google it, then do it – it’s fun!)

Grow a front-yard garden – hang a sign that says “NO BUREAUCRATS!”

Might as well get some heritage pigs while you’re at it. Are you up in Michigan? Ooooh, you cheeky rebel, You!

Vote third party or for whoever floats your boat - heavens no, what  a waste!

Or don’t vote if you feel you shouldn’t. And when someone tells you, “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain,” express your right to complain even louder!

Go into the average church in America and start talking about Ron Paul, foreign policy, or Austrian economics. Seriously, have you ever tried this? You will need the shoes from the boy in The Sandlot. Start running.

Deliver your freedom baby at home. Refuse vaccination even while told you may not take exemption. “NO” is a complete sentence – the founding fathers said “no,” maybe with more words.

Send that kid to school with healthy lunches and Kombucha drinks – they’ll call the bomb squad.

Wait! Did you catch that? Why would a rebel do that?? UNSCHOOL!

Eat lots of calories, you devil you! Eat potatoes! The latest media diet buzz pushes small portions, potatoes are bad, eat few calories, and NO snacking – who’s hungry?? Eating real food is an act of rebellion today - because thriving is a rarity.

Throw a party and serve grass-fed burgers and raw milk shakes. Treat your vegetarian and vegan friends to your organically grown garden – soon to be illegal. Serve up your organic cucumbers, bean sprouts, and alfalfa – they know there’s no e.coli on them, right?

Make iced tea with non-fluoridated water.

Speaking of which – check into decalcifying that pineal gland. You’re gonna need that third eye to stay sane in an insane world.

Let your kids have a lemonade stand . . . until the cops shut them down.

Enjoy some FDA-seized elderberry juice concentrate in sparkling mineral water.

Speaking of elderberry, drive by your local DHS Fusion center, stick your head out the window, make a face and yell out your favorite Monty Python quote.

Visit the TSA wearing a diaper on the outside of your pants. During the search throw the diaper in the air! That might be over the top, but remember when the TSA was really into diapers? Like, literally?

If TSA doesn’t confiscate your diaper, give it to a cow. They won’t be allowed to fart outdoors anymore.

Find a clean cow-free area, start gulping in lots of puffs of air. When someone asks what you’re doing, say you are hoarding it before they tax it.

If you feel like celebrating what’s left of your freedom this year, shoot off fireworks a few decibels above the allowable city ordinance sound levels. Don’t use guns, you’d be wasting precious ammo, hard to come by.

Plus, people might mistake you for the blockhead who thinks freedom is a country song about an eagle flying over a faded bellowing American flag backdrop.

Buy some precious metals. You won’t be allowed to purchase gold and silver very soon – you outlaw!

Invite your friends to a movie night at your house and get them all pumped up. But when they get there, show a movie like America: Freedom to Fascism. They will think that is so considerate and thoughtful of you…

When someone experiences cognitive dissonance and decides to challenge you to a game of wits, only answer in terms of: “So…??” “So what?” or “And…??” They’ll come around and get there eventually.

READ THE CONSTITUTION . . . so you can remember it when it’s completely erased. Fahrenheit 451 style.

Read it by the light of an incandescent bulb.

Better yet, out in the bright sun with no sunscreen!

That’s right, choosing not to slather on that toxic white goop is truly radical! Plus, the sun is awesome.

React with kindness. Live a great life. Humor is your strength.

The most rebellious act? 

Know, I mean really know…

That you are free from the inside-out because you exist and you are precious!

~Happy Independence Day from Waking Times.

This article was originally featured at Activist Post. 

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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The Power of Nonsense – How Laughter Makes Life Better http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/05/24/thepower-of-nonsense-how-laughter-makes-life-better/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/05/24/thepower-of-nonsense-how-laughter-makes-life-better/#comments Fri, 24 May 2013 23:29:20 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=24372 Christina Sarich, Staff Writer
Waking Times

“Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It’s more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see More

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Flickr-laughter-chris.hugginsChristina Sarich, Staff Writer
Waking Times

“Nonsense wakes up the brain cells. And it helps develop a sense of humor, which is awfully important in this day and age. Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It’s more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack.” ~ Dr. Seuss

This science of mirth is no laughing matter, but it is wonderfully amusing. We’ve studied laughter, it is its own science called gelotology. Laughter helps us socially, mentally and physically. It has evolved for good reason. Here’s why:

Laughter as a Survival Instinct

“It’s time to take humor seriously, and seriousness humorously.”
Swami Beyondananda

The philosopher John Morreall believes that people first laughed as a sign of relief after they were exposed to danger and then shared a collective sigh as that danger passed. Some researchers are trying to figure out if primates did their own form of stand-up. This subject has been scrutinized for centuries, with people trying to figure out just what makes something funny, and how the tickled fancy supports human beings in their evolutionary process. Many say it is an instinctual survival tool, and not the cursory response to a razor sharp wit. Surely, if children can deliver peels of laughter after hearing a soldier in worn-torn Afghanistan pass gas, it must serve some greater purpose.

“Gun control? We need bullet control! I think every bullet should cost 5,000 dollars. Because if a bullet cost five thousand dollars, we wouldn’t have any innocent bystanders.” ~ Chris Rock, comedian

“I wanna live. I don’t wanna die. That’s the whole meaning of life: not dying! I figured that shit out by myself in the third grade. ~ George Carlin, comedian

“A sense of humor – is a needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that a person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.” ~ Hugh Sidey, journalist

Laughter as a Community Builder

Laughter is the way we bond with one another. Laughter is contagious, and so are the bonds that are formed among people who laugh. We usually feel closer to those we’ve shared a laugh or two with. It doesn’t even need to be expressed verbally. Charlie Chaplin made a whole career out of making people laugh with just his expressions. Surely the audiences who watched his black and white films felt closer to one another.

“I’ve always though that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, ain’t that the truth!” ~ Quincy Jones, musician

Laughter Cures the Sick

When we feel a heart-felt chuckle, it can cure a panoply of ills. Laughter lowers cortisol levels (which are linked to all sorts of stress-related diseases including heart disease and high blood pressure.) Getting the giggles also increases the antibodies in your blood, which boosts the immune system so we can more easily evade bacteria, viruses and parasites.

In a recent study, laughter was found to boost the immune system by as much as 40 percent! In the study women watched funny films in one group and dull boring films in another. When the films were completed, researchers took samples of the women’s killer cells, our natural disease fighting cells, and mixed them with cancer cells to see what would happen. The women who had laughed out loud in the films had much healthier immune systems, capable of even destroying cancer cells, than the women who had watched some boring tourism films. Now that’s a powerful way to keep people from being sick without spending trillions in health care costs. Instead of pumping violence and anger into our media channels, how about a little more hilarity?

Laughter also makes us more physically beautiful as it brings increased blood flow to the skin through increased aerobic activity in the lungs and heart. Laughter even lessens depression.

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” ~ Audrey Hepburn, actress

Laughter Keeps us Going

Maybe the ridiculous or the nonsensical seem to have no place, with the endless photographs being circulated on Pinterest and Youtube of kittens and bonobo monkeys, or the late night comedians keeping our insomniac brains in a state of elevated hilarity, or the best friend who tells us a good joke when we are feeling a little down, but laughter keeps us going. It supports our mental and physical health and allows this mundane and chaotic world to keep turning.

“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” ~ Robert Frost, author

About the Author

Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao TzuParamahansa YoganandaRob Brezny,  Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.

Additional Resources:
http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/the-laughing-brain-1/

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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16 Ways To Spark Creativity http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/01/26/16-ways-to-spark-creativity/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/01/26/16-ways-to-spark-creativity/#comments Sat, 26 Jan 2013 13:38:12 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=17551 Laura Grace Weldon, Guest Writer
Waking Times

1. Get out of your head and back to your senses. Touch, smell, and taste. Reach out and feel the texture of bricks as you walk by a building. Forgo utensils to eat with your hands. Notice the sensation of cool water More

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Laura Grace Weldon, Guest Writer
Waking Times

1. Get out of your head and back to your senses. Touch, smell, and taste. Reach out and feel the texture of bricks as you walk by a building. Forgo utensils to eat with your hands. Notice the sensation of cool water sliding down your throat as you drink. Be in your body.

2. Avoid your playlist. Listen to music from a genre or part of the world completely unfamiliar to you. Music is a language more evocative than speech.

spark your creativity,

3. Better yet, try silence. The constant presence of media playing in our homes, cars, and public places dulls the essential connection we have to our inner selves.

eliminate blocks to productivity,

4. List your aggravations. Highlight the ones you have control over. Cross out the ones you don’t have control over. It’s a smaller list now isn’t it? Once you stop fretting so much you have energy for more generative pursuits.

why you should doodle,

5. Doodle. What seems like an aimless activity is a great way to allow your brain to idle while creative impulses emerge. And the doodles themselves may tell you something.

fun is good for your brain,

6. Play. We function best mentally and physically when we indulge in the free form fun sort of play that calls on us to improvise, move, and laugh. If you’ve forgotten how, consult a three-year-old.

Mateo Inurria: Daydream

7. Welcome daydreams, they fuel our creative lives.

Familia

8. Seek metaphors. Challenge yourself to discern a “message” in the first billboard you see, first sentence you hear when you turn on music, or first visual that appears when you flick on the TV.

Margret Hofheinz-Döring/ Galerie Brigitte Mauch Göppingen

9. Listen to your dreams. Before falling asleep, ask for a dream message. Remind yourself to remember the dream. As you waken, pull the threads of your dream into your conscious awareness and let it inform your day.

“Sprich! Ich höre Dir zu”

10. Imagine your own burning questions are being asked of you by someone you love dearly. Then answer as if you’re talking to that person. Your responses tend to be more wide open, innovative, and kind when responding to someone you love, much narrower within your own “self-talk.”

spark your creativity,

11. Keep creative thinking notebooks, as da Vinci did. Use them to make quick sketches and doodles, note ideas, write observations, free associate, draw mindmaps, and keep track of your inspirations.

creativity exercises,

Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

12. View issues from all angles. Don’t accept what you’re told or think what you’re expected to think.

Danny Gregory

13. Don’t wait till you have more time or life gets easier. Cultivate a passion that has been dormant too long. Pick up that paintbrush, practice your guitar, try out for that play, take those glassblowing classes, learn to sail. For inspiration, take a look at Everyday Matters. Author Danny Gregory’s wife became paralyzed in an accident. While caring for her and their infant son, Gregory decided to start drawing. His study of color, value, and ordinary beauty helped to heal their family too.

teach yourself to be more creative,

14. Make an effort to connect regularly with something in nature. Watch the same tree as it changes throughout the seasons, pay attention to a body of water in different weather conditions, take an evening walk (no matter the temperature) each time there’s full moon.

Mary Barnes

15. Cultivate flow, what’s also called being “in the zone.” That’s the feeling of being fully absorbed in your activity. Time is irrelevant, in fact you may feel at one with the project whether it’s sailing, gardening, sculpting, composing, or welding.

16. Do something unusual (for you) every day. Try an unfamiliar food, drive a different route, make up your own lyrics to a song, compliment a stranger, make a unique board game out of an old one, laugh off an irritation, use a new word three different times, lie in the grass, write affirmations on your underwear, leave encouraging notes in books, compose an anti-thank you letter, go on a media fast, use binoculars, chew every bite ten times, do somersaults.

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. –Martha Graham

About the Author

Laura Grace Weldon is a non-violence educator and marginally useful farm wench who lives with her family on Bit of Earth Farm. She’s the author of Free Range Learning. She edits books, contributes to a Wired site, and blogs about conscious living. Laura invites people to contribute their stories to her next book, Subversive Cooking. Please visit her excellent blog at www.lauragraceweldon.com.

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Everything is OK: The Absurd Revolution of The Love Police http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/06/29/peace-through-sarcasm-the-absurd-revolution-the-love-police/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/06/29/peace-through-sarcasm-the-absurd-revolution-the-love-police/#comments Fri, 29 Jun 2012 16:46:00 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=9104 Buck Rogers, Staff Writer
Waking Times

There are a million and one ways to revolt against an over-indulgent and self-destructive social and political system, but, sadly, history leaves us with the impression that a revolution requires firearms and bloodshed. Perhaps at times it has, however, in this thrilling digital age, … More

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Buck Rogers, Staff Writer
Waking Times

There are a million and one ways to revolt against an over-indulgent and self-destructive social and political system, but, sadly, history leaves us with the impression that a revolution requires firearms and bloodshed. Perhaps at times it has, however, in this thrilling digital age, the age of hyper-connectivity and global awareness, it is the mark of the enlightened to revolt in entirely new, creative and peaceful ways.

Keen on setting brushfires in the minds of the people, The Love Police is ‘an absurdist performance arts group which concentrates on issues such as the encroaching fear and greed in our society, [and] the police state,” says Charlie Veitch, a former neck-tie wearing worker-bee for the finance industry, turned activist.

A consortium of open-minded and wide-awake activists who directly and publicly confront the mass psychosis we call ‘society’, The Love Police is fully engaged in a new kind of revolution, shunning guerilla warfare and political coups in favor of megaphones, video cameras and  a sort of ‘peace through sarcasm’ tactic.

Their main objective is to make people think. Their chosen battlefield is a public mall or public event, and their primary tactical advantage is a lazer guided wit backed up by a keen understanding of the law and their rights.

Their victory sign: a hug.

Amongst those who have ‘awoken’ to the control matrix that dominates modern life, few muster the courage to move into a life of action and activism, and fewer still are able to completely change the game by taking genuinely creative social action, that which begs the masses to think, reflect, and stop with business as usual.

“You cannot make a man by standing a sheep on its hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position you can make a crowd of men.” -Max Beerbohm

Have a look at some of their most dubious and thought provoking works, but, you have been warned… ”Smiling is bad for the economy!  Do not smile!”

“Thinking is boring!  Thinking is hard work and it is not worth the energy!”

“Hey Mr. CCTV Operator… You have a very small wee wee…”

Watch more of their thought provoking, hilarious and truthful works at The Love Police and their YouTube channel and please share your ideas for a creative revolution in the comments below.

The Love Police – “The Revolution is Now!”

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‘Why do Oppressed People Have Such Great Jokes?’ – The Yes Men’s Andy Bichlbaum http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/04/24/why-do-oppressed-people-have-such-great-jokes-the-yes-mens-andy-bichlbaum/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/04/24/why-do-oppressed-people-have-such-great-jokes-the-yes-mens-andy-bichlbaum/#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2012 14:28:18 +0000 http://www.wakingtimes.com/?p=5416 Laura Gottesdiener, Contributor
Waking Times

Last week, a press release was released revealing a new website apparently from Bank of America, YourBofA.com, followed by another, seemingly hastily-written press release imploring readers to ignore the “malicious website (YourBofA.com) that is fraudulently representing itself as a Bank of America re-branding effort.” The … More

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Laura Gottesdiener, Contributor
Waking Times

Last week, a press release was released revealing a new website apparently from Bank of America, YourBofA.com, followed by another, seemingly hastily-written press release imploring readers to ignore the “malicious website (YourBofA.com) that is fraudulently representing itself as a Bank of America re-branding effort.” The second release insisted that “Bank of America is not making plans to enter into federal receivership.”

The malicious website (and both press releases) is another creation of the activist pranksters The Yes Men — the group that has posed as World Trade Organization representatives, George Bush henchmen and many more, all in good, subversive fun. To learn how laughter can be the greatest weapon of all, I sat down with Andy Bichlbaum, one of the founders of The Yes Men last month at Scratcher Bar in the East Village. Now, in addition to The Yes Men, The Yes Lab and teaching at New York University, he has been involved in developing the Plus Brigades, a project of Occupy Wall Street meant to infuse the movement with renewed creativity in the streets.

What was your goal with the YourBofA.com action?

I thought it would be good to get people thinking about what happens when you bail out a bank. I’m presuming that when you bail out a bank, there’s probably a lot of different ways to do it. One way would be just to give it a lot of money. But another way would be to give it that money and say, “Okay, now we own you.” In general, when you pay for things you own them. But, surprisingly, in 2008 we gave them money but gained no control. And they just kept doing the same old shit.

What was your favorite part of the action?

The phishing was pretty nice. Bank of America complained, so Google put a big phishing warning on the site. But then we emailed all our friends and told them to complain to Google, so the search engine took off the phishing warning. That was a pretty good example of people power.

Let’s get to the basics: Why do more than march or hold a rally? What’s the point of these fun, creative actions?

You want a reason to have fun? That’s pretty easy: Because it’s fun. It galvanizes people. There’s that famous video of that guy dancing at Sasquatch and he’s dancing alone on a hill and beckoning people to join him. At first two or three people join him, and then after a while thousands of people have joined.

What makes people join in, besides the fact that dancing is fun?

I think it starts with having rules that are simple to follow. The other day, a Plus Brigades clowning action at a Chase bank was really well-directed. These kids happened to be passing by on the sidewalk, and one of them asked, “So, we just fall down? Is that the rule?” They totally wanted to play along. I think that’s when it’s infectious: When everyone is doing something purposefully that has some rules to it.

But isn’t fun something spontaneous and uncontrollable?

There are always rules and structure. Even within an anarchist society there would be lots of rules and structure, but hopefully a lot more fun.

It seems like now we have a lot of rules, but very little fun. What’s up with that?

I can’t think of a time in history when fun has been normal. There probably have been times — I imagine the anarchists in Spain having fun all the time. But not in our society. It’s a pretty radical vision: a world in which fun is normal.

Since it’s not, fun is really useful politically — first, for the prefigurative reason, because it shows people that life can be fun. Second, you can communicate a simple message pretty powerfully using fun, so it’s good for getting messages into the media.

How you do work with the media?

I think of journalists as collaborators. There are a lot of really bad journalistic organizations — there’s nothing good about CNN or MSNBC — but there are a lot of individual journalists, including at CNN and MSNBC, that are really friendly and love Occupy. When you do creative actions, it’s like you’re giving journalists an extra token that allows them to say something important.

Does using fun also change the way the message is communicated?

Definitely. If you’re angry about something, you rant. But pushing facts down people’s throats doesn’t work. Humor can really sideswipe this problem. It’s like there’s a wall between you and a person, and if you make a joke, it’s a crack in the wall.

But aren’t we a society that prides itself on being rational, logical? Why don’t facts work?

Facts don’t have any emotional weight. I believe there is an objective reality, but we don’t live through facts. It’s like we’re dancing with objective reality. And some people are closer to it than others. We build these structures inside us that are much more powerful than facts because they are ours, and they are deep and emotional. Imagine it’s this big eight-legged metal thing that you’re living in that’s walking over reality — humor can knock off one of the legs so that the creature falls over, and you’re suddenly looking at the sky.

Okay… I think I’m just going to draw that monster instead of transcribe this interview.

Ha! No that probably wouldn’t work.

Okay, so then tell me more.

Well, why do oppressed people have such great jokes? The pat explanation is that they need solace, they need to laugh because they are suffering. But it also might be that they constantly need to be inventive, to reinvent their relationship to reality because it’s so inimical to them.

Making jokes pierces through the stupid logic that supports a system, and we laugh because we know that it makes no sense. It’s laughing at yourself for being so stupid as to believe in this system.

You know when you laugh so hard your sides are splitting? It’s because everything you thought was true is not true anymore. And then you’re left with nothing, which is hilarious in just the sheer hopelessness of it. When we create jokes about society and the way reality is and how it can be, it’s a way of getting past this reality and recreating the world.

Do you think power structures are derived from people believing in that power?

Of course. No one can govern without the consent of the governed. So making fun of power enables people to see in themselves how they are the power, and how they are propping it up — how we are all propping it up. And the more you can laugh at that, the more you stop doing it.

So, if you recognize the power and how you reinforce it, and if the power wouldn’t exist unless you reinforce it, then…

Then you just go, Shit! You collapse on the ground laughing because you are the one making these crazy decisions.

You are the thing that’s oppressing yourself.

Yeah! Why do we do that?

Ha, I don’t know. So is that the reason that your work often centers on Wall Street or the government or the NYPD? Is that your political slant coming through, or is the 1 percent just the funniest group to make jokes about?

They are the only people to make fun of. Why would you make fun of anyone that doesn’t have a ton of power? That’s not funny. It’s not funny to make fun of the weak.

You do both on-the-ground actions and send out a lot of fake press releases. Why bother with the real world if we all sit in front of our computers for the majority of our lives anyway?

Because the real world is real, and the virtual world doesn’t really exist. Computers are only good for communicating simple information from one point to another, and yes they’re an improvement over the telephone, or town criers, or smoke signals, but they’re not categorically different.

And the smoke signal, or the computer thing, has to reference something visceral. In Egypt, Facebook was supposedly so important, but it was really useful only to tell everyone to go to Tahrir Square, and that only worked because everyone knew there was a reason to. Facebook didn’t give the reason; everyone knew why because of life.

This article originally appeared at WagingNonViolence.org, an excellent source for inspiring articles and information about obtaining freedom non-violently in a violent world.

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Television Is A Drug (Video) http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/03/12/television-is-a-drug-video/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/03/12/television-is-a-drug-video/#comments Mon, 12 Mar 2012 16:38:18 +0000 http://wakingtimes.com/?p=3692 Vimeo – Beth Fulton

Have you ever wondered what your TV would say if it could talk?

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Vimeo – Beth Fulton

Have you ever wondered what your TV would say if it could talk?

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TSA Help Wanted (Video) http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/02/09/tsa-help-wanted-video/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/02/09/tsa-help-wanted-video/#comments Thu, 09 Feb 2012 13:02:41 +0000 http://wakingtimes.com/?p=2417 Natural News

Mike Adams from NaturalNews.com brings us this hilarious and painfully all-too-real satire on how the Transportation Safety Administration recruits its finest public officers.  Enjoy!

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Natural News

Mike Adams from NaturalNews.com brings us this hilarious and painfully all-too-real satire on how the Transportation Safety Administration recruits its finest public officers.  Enjoy!

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Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/02/05/twelve-things-you-were-not-taught-in-school-about-creative-thinking/ http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/02/05/twelve-things-you-were-not-taught-in-school-about-creative-thinking/#comments Sun, 05 Feb 2012 13:03:01 +0000 http://wakingtimes.com/?p=2238 Aspects of creative thinking that are not usually taught

Michael Michalko
Psychology Today

1.      You are creative. The artist is not a special person, each one of us is a special kind of artist. Every one of us is born a creative, spontaneous thinker. The only difference between people who … More

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Aspects of creative thinking that are not usually taught

Wiki Image

Michael Michalko
Psychology Today

1.      You are creative. The artist is not a special person, each one of us is a special kind of artist. Every one of us is born a creative, spontaneous thinker. The only difference between people who are creative and people who are not is a simple belief. Creative people believe they are creative. People who believe they are not creative, are not. Once you have a particular identity and set of beliefs about yourself, you become interested in seeking out the skills needed to express your identity and beliefs. This is why people who believe they are creative become creative. If you believe you are not creative, then there is no need to learn how to become creative and you don’t. The reality is that believing you are not creative excuses you from trying or attempting anything new. When someone tells you that they are not creative, you are talking to someone who has no interest and will make no effort to be a creative thinker.

2.      Creative thinking is work. You must have passion and the determination to immerse yourself in the process of creating new and different ideas. Then you must have patience to persevere against all adversity. All creative geniuses work passionately hard and produce incredible numbers of ideas, most of which are bad. In fact, more bad poems were written by the major poets than by minor poets. Thomas Edison created 3000 different ideas for lighting systems before he evaluated them for practicality and profitability. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart produced more than six hundred pieces of music, including forty-one symphonies and some forty-odd operas and masses, during his short creative life. Rembrandt produced around 650 paintings and 2,000 drawings and Picasso executed more than 20,000 works. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. Some were masterpieces, while others were no better than his contemporaries could have written, and some were simply bad.

3.      You must go through the motions of being creative. When you are producing ideas, you are replenishing neurotransmitters linked to genes that are being turned on and off in response to what your brain is doing, which in turn is responding to challenges. When you go through the motions of trying to come up with new ideas, you are energizing your brain by increasing the number of contacts between neurons. The more times you try to get ideas, the more active your brain becomes and the more creative you become. If you want to become an artist and all you did was paint a picture every day, you will become an artist. You may not become another Vincent Van Gogh, but you will become more of an artist than someone who has never tried.

4.      Your brain is not a computer. Your brain is a dynamic system that evolves its patterns of activity rather than computes them like a computer. It thrives on the creative energy of feedback from experiences real or fictional. You can synthesize experience; literally create it in your own imagination. The human brain cannot tell the difference between an “actual” experience and an experience imagined vividly and in detail. This discovery is what enabled Albert Einstein to create his thought experiments with imaginary scenarios that led to his revolutionary ideas about space and time. One day, for example, he imagined falling in love. Then he imagined meeting the woman he fell in love with two weeks after he fell in love. This led to his theory of acausality. The same process of synthesizing experience allowed Walt Disney to bring his fantasies to life.

5.      There is no one right answer. Reality is ambiguous. Aristotle said it is either A or not-A. It cannot be both. The sky is either blue or not blue. This is black and white thinking as the sky is a billion different shades of blue. A beam of light is either a wave or not a wave (A or not-A). Physicists discovered that light can be either a wave or particle depending on the viewpoint of the observer. The only certainty in life is uncertainty. When trying to get ideas,  do not censor or evaluate them as they occur. Nothing kills creativity faster than self-censorship of ideas while generating them. Think of all your ideas as possibilities and generate as many as you can before you decide which ones to select. The world is not black or white. It is grey.

6.      Never stop with your first good idea. Always strive to find a better one and continue until you have one that is still better. In 1862, Phillip Reis demonstrated his invention which could transmit music over the wires. He was days away from improving it into a telephone that could transmit speech. Every communication expert in Germany dissuaded him from making improvements, as  they said the telegraph is good enough. No one would buy or use a telephone. Ten years later, Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone. Spencer Silver developed a new adhesive for 3M that stuck to objects but could easily be lifted off. It was first marketed as a bulletin board adhesive so the boards could be moved easily from place to place. There was no market for it. Silver didn’t discard it. One day Arthur Fry, another 3M employee, was singing in the church’s choir when his page marker fell out of his hymnal. Fry coated his page markers with Silver’s adhesive and discovered the markers stayed in place, yet lifted off without damaging the page. Hence the Post-it Notes were born. Thomas Edison was always trying to spring board from one idea to another in his work. He spring boarded his work from the telephone (sounds transmitted) to the phonograph (sounds recorded) and, finally, to motion pictures (images recorded).

7.      Expect the experts to be negative. The more expert and specialized a person becomes,  the more their mindset becomes narrowed and the more fixated they become on confirming what they believe to be absolute. Consequently, when confronted with new and different ideas,  their focus will be on conformity. Does it conform with what I know is right? If not, experts will spend all their time showing and explaining why it can’t be done and why it can’t work. They will not look for ways to make it work or get it done because this might demonstrate that what they regarded as absolute is not absolute at all. This is why when Fred Smith created Federal Express, every delivery expert in the U.S. predicted its certain doom. After all, they said, if this delivery concept was doable, the Post Office or UPS would have done it long ago.

8.      Trust your instincts. Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged. Albert Einstein was expelled from school because his attitude had a negative effect on serious students; he failed his university entrance exam and had to attend a trade school for one year before finally being admitted; and was the only one in his graduating class who did not get a teaching position because no professor would recommend him. One professor said Einstein was “the laziest dog” the university ever had. Beethoven’s parents were told he was too stupid to be a music composer. Charles Darwin’s colleagues called him a fool and what he was doing “fool’s experiments” when he worked on his theory of biological evolution. Walt Disney was fired from his first job on a newspaper because “he lacked imagination.” Thomas Edison had only two years of formal schooling, was totally deaf in one ear and was hard of hearing in the other, was fired from his first job as a newsboy and later fired from his job as a telegrapher; and still he became the most famous inventor in the history of the U.S.

9.      There is no such thing as failure. Whenever you try to do something and do not succeed, you do not fail. You have learned something that does not work. Always ask “What have I learned about what doesn’t work?”, “Can this explain something that I didn’t set out to explain?”, and “What have I discovered that I didn’t set out to discover?” Whenever someone tells you that they have never made a  mistake, you are talking to someone who has never tried anything new.

10.   You do not see things as they are; you see them as you are. Interpret your own experiences. All experiences are neutral. They have no meaning. You give them meaning by the way you choose to interpret them. If you are a priest, you see evidence of God everywhere. If you are an atheist, you see the absence of God everywhere. IBM observed that no one in the world had a personal computer. IBM interpreted this to mean there was no market. College dropouts, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, looked at the same absence of personal computers and saw a massive opportunity. Once Thomas Edison was approached by an assistant while working on the filament for the light bulb. The assistant asked Edison why he didn’t give up. “After all,” he said, “you have failed 5000 times.” Edison looked at him and told him that he didn’t understand what the assistant meant by failure, because, Edison said, “I have discovered 5000 things that don’t work.” You construct your own reality by how you choose to interpret your experiences.

11.   Always approach a problem on its own terms. Do not trust your first perspective of a problem as it will be too biased toward your usual way of thinking. Always look at your problem from multiple perspectives. Always remember that genius is finding a perspective no one else has taken. Look for different ways to look at the problem. Write the problem statement several times using different words. Take another role, for example, how would someone else see it, how would Jay Leno, Pablo Picasso, George Patton see it? Draw a picture of the problem, make a model, or mold a sculpture. Take a walk and look for things that metaphorically represent the problem and force connections between those things and the problem (How is a broken store window like my communications problem with my students?) Ask your friends and strangers how they see the problem. Ask a child. How would a ten year old solve it? Ask a grandparent. Imagine you are the problem. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

12.   Learn to think unconventionally. Creative geniuses do not think analytically and logically. Conventional, logical, analytical thinkers are exclusive thinkers which means they exclude all information that is not related to the problem. They look for ways to eliminate possibilities. Creative geniuses are inclusive thinkers which mean they look for ways to include everything, including things that are dissimilar and totally unrelated. Generating associations and connections between unrelated or dissimilar subjects is how they provoke different thinking patterns in their brain.  These new patterns lead to new connections which give them a different way to focus on the information and different ways to interpret what they are focusing on. This is how original and truly novel ideas are created. Albert Einstein once famously remarked “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

And, finally, Creativity is paradoxical. To create, a person must have knowledge but forget the knowledge, must see unexpected connections in things but not have a mental disorder, must work hard but spend time doing nothing as information incubates, must create many ideas yet most of them are useless, must look at the same thing as everyone else, yet see something different, must desire success but embrace failure, must be persistent but not stubborn, and must listen to experts but know how to disregard them.

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