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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

the Puppeteers

Politicians are all liars
They control like puppeteers
The lighters of all fires
None escape their selfish seer

We the People of this country
Are not a second thought
Power, strength and money
Are all that these men want

Why don’t we speak?
Why don’t we shout?
Because we’re weak
With few ways out

Whats happening
Is Our fault too
So cut Your strings
Let’s fight
Let’s fight
It is our Rights

We stand to Lose

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bitch of a Glitch

There's an ache in my heart
Something's missing
A glitch
All I know is one thing;
That heartbreak's
A bitch.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Virus X

     I was thirteen when the first Bio-Bombs were dropped on the United States. In what was reported to be the largest, most organized acts of terrorism ever orchestrated, chemical bombs containing an engineered super virus were detonated over twenty five isolated rural towns across the Midwest, ranging from Montana to Oklahoma. It was given the name biogenetic terrorism. The bombs unleashed what is now known as Virus X. This virus was unlike anything the world had ever seen. Once a person was infected, the virus was designed to seek out specific cells in the human body such as blood cells, skin cells, neurons, and so on. When the target cell was found, Virus X attached itself and injected the cell with an engineered genetic material. This “genetic payload”, if you will, wasn’t like other, normal viral infections. It did not use the cell to create more virus nor did it destroy the cell. What it did is much, much more incredible. The genetic payload targeted the DNA itself. It targeted specific DNA sequences and added on, deleted, or rearranged the coding as it was programmed to do. The overall consequence was purposeful DNA mutation.
The human genome had been completely mapped for about thirty years at this point, and scientists knew what every single sequence of DNA was responsible for in the human body. Not only this, but a computer program was created that could perform DNA genome mapping thousands of times faster than anything scientists had used before. Consequently genome of every single known species of life on Earth was mapped out as well. As scientists began to use this knowledge to experiment DNA alterations on voluntary human test subjects the government quickly became weary of these experiments. They deemed them too dangerous to the citizens of U.S. and outlawed any and all research that had anything to do with the altering of DNA, human or animal.
Angry, outraged, and with their lives work down the drain a small fraction of genetic scientists came together and formed Catalyst, a bio-terrorist organization. We were told their goal was to, as the name implies, be the catalyst for the next step in human evolution. They believed that by creating as many genetic mutations as possible, they could create a better human that would take the first step into the great unknown of our specie’s evolution. Catalyst was responsible for the bio-bombs. Reports from the bomb sites portrayed a brutal and disturbing picture of what happened to the people who were contaminated with the Virus X. Reports of people’s skin hardening into bone, their mucus membranes being overproduced so much that they drowned in their own snot, and extreme, rapid aging were just a few of the horrors that the victims apparently suffered. With the fear that the virus would become contagious the government quarantined every infected person in every town. No one was allowed in and no one was allowed out. As a result, all information about these attacks came from press conferences with the government officials that were involved in dealing with the after math.
About eight months after the attacks the news was broadcast out to the population; the terrorist organization Catalyst had been completely destroyed by the military’s efforts. The threat of biogenetic terrorism was gone and the American people could once again live in peace. They were wrong. This is my story.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

957 Words That Changed My Life

When I applied for Texas A&M University last fall, I fell just short of every acceptance requirement they have. My GPA was a few hundredths of a point too low, my high school grades were mediocre at best, and my academic resume was all together unimpressive. The single factor that gained me my acceptance into A&M, I believe, was my admissions essay. I can't state that as fact unless I were to personally ask the head of admissions himself (and even then I doubt he would have any inkling of a memory of reading my paper), but I truly believe that my "Topic A Essay" saved my ass from another semester living at home. I present to you, my admissions essay to Texas A&M University.


            My name is Steele Stephens and, on paper, I don’t have what I need to get into your university. I know this might not be the best way to start my transfer application essay but it is the honest to God truth. Why don’t I have the proper requirements to get into your school? It is mainly because I have tried to find the easiest ways to get things done for most of my life. Also, I didn’t take high school very seriously. I see now, being a few years older and wiser, that this was a mistake on my part. But, you live and you learn. My problem was that I found it very difficult to stay motivated to learn about subjects that, frankly, I didn’t care about. On the other side of the coin I excelled in the subjects that captured my interests. Now, as a college sophomore wanting to major in Telecommunication Media Studies at Texas A&M’s College of Liberal Arts, I am experiencing the consequences of the actions I made as a younger man. My college GPA is too low and my true accomplishments are not effectively displayed when looking at my “stats” primarily through an academic lens. 
If you look at my cumulative college GPA, you will see it is too low for the acceptance standards for the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M, but hear me out. In high school I took dual credit courses, which I’m sure you are familiar with. As I said before, I didn’t take my high school courses very seriously and the dual credit courses were no exception. You see, I was under the impression that all I had to do was pass each dual credit course to get the dual credit. I also believed that both my high school and college GPA would be unaffected as long as I passed.  So, naturally, I made C’s in every dual credit course I took. What I didn’t realize, however, is that if I went to the community college that the dual credit courses were associated with then the letter grades from those courses would transfer over and be calculated into my cumulative college GPA. This, coincidentally, is exactly what ended up happening. In short, if I hadn’t taken dual credit courses in high school my current GPA would be a 3.231. However, as it is, all those C’s I acquired in my dual credit courses have dragged that number down to a 2.737.
            The second point I would like to address is this; my true accomplishments have occurred outside of the academic arena. The most notable of these include completing a solo flight in a Cessna 172 at the age of 16, obtaining my private pilot’s license at the age of 19, as well as the creation and ongoing success of four entrepreneurial ventures. While I may not have thrived in a classroom environment, my intelligence and discipline can be seen in the activities that actually captured my interests. It was hard for me to sit down and attempt to learn about the symbolism seen in Charles Dickens’ description of Miss Havisham’s wedding dress. But, when I sat down to learn how to fly a cross country flight using only VOR navigation techniques I soaked in the information like a sponge. It was difficult for me to comprehend and apply the seemingly random formulas I was presented with in my math classes without any instruction as to their application in the real world. However, when I needed to figure out where to set the prices of my vinyl record resale business in order to make a profit I was able to calculate it up without a hitch. Practical knowledge is my forte. If I can use it in real life, I take it and run with it. It is for this reason that I believe a degree in Telecommunication Media Studies would be ideal for me. Through studying the practical aspects of human communication I would gain a skill set that would help me in a multitude of careers. I believe that effective communication is one of the most valuable skills a person can have. Everyone communicates. If you can learn to do it well, not only will people be more inclined to like you, but they will want to listen to what you have to say as well. This is something that is essential for success in sales, management, journalism, education, politics, television; you name it. I believe my intelligence is not displayed in my ability to memorize and regurgitate massive amounts of information, but in my ability to retain practical knowledge and to problem solve using it creatively. The learning atmosphere in college has shown itself to present massive amounts of practical knowledge and to truly encourage creativity. Because of this my academic success has improved exponentially. I believe it will continue to do so.

            In conclusion, a degree in Telecommunication Media Studies, I believe, would be the ideal degree for me. But, my intelligence and potential are not portrayed accurately when observing my accomplishments through a purely academic standpoint. My cumulative college GPA is too low.  There is no doubt about that. However, I respectfully ask that you take a step back. You will see the grades I have made while actually attending a college do indeed meet the acceptance standards for the College of Liberal Arts. On paper, I may not appear to be an academically intelligent individual or to have much potential in such a prestigious university as Texas A&M. If I may, I humbly request that you look up from that paper and fix your focus on my life. I believe you will see a very different kind of man.

Around Around Around the Sun

Sunlight crowns
This planet's ground
With ups and downs
Happy sounds
Angry frowns
And coming 'rounds
Love is drowned
But then rebounds
True life is found
As the sun goes down

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Treasure Ranch

    My childhood summers were unique. Instead of staying home, bored and restless, only to have that boredom interrupted by a week of vacation to some stereotypical, over-crowded, tourist trap vacation destination before heading back to bored restlessness like all my friends had to endure, my family stayed on our family ranch in Montana for up to two months at a time. Now, I’m not talking some “ranch” with a cow and a few four wheelers where we could go play Little House on the Prairie. Oh no, this is a real, working ranch. Yes we do have four wheelers and a cow. But not just one cow. Our family ranch is home to eight hundred head of cattle situated on eight thousand acres of land smack dab on the banks of the Yellowstone River. I don’t mean to brag, because that would be abrasive. Plus, it’s no bragging matter. My father inherited the land from his mother, who inherited it from her father, my great grandfather. That guy has the bragging rights, but he’s dead, so is my grandma, so now we have a ranch. One lazy summer day, my dad, my brother and I are sitting around the old TV watching John Wayne movies (my dad loves John Wayne) when we hear a knock at the front door; which is weird because we live fifteen miles from town and almost never have any unsolicited visitors.
            “Steele, can you get the door please?” My dad says.
            I say yes, get up, and open the old creaky door. The man that stands before me looks like something out of a bad movie set in the 60’s. He stands about six foot even with greasy hair falling limply down to his shoulders. The man wears khaki cargo pants and an old button down plaid t-shirt that barely covers his beer belly. He is holding an odd devise made of copper. The copper device is shaped into a 90 degree angle and is connected by wires to a battery pack in his pocket. In the man’s other arm is an old beat up metal detector.
            “Uh, hi sir, how can I help you?” I ask hesitantly.
            “Hi buddy, is your dad hear? I have reason to believe that there is a significant sum of buried gold treasure on your property and I mean to find it.” He replies in a thick mid-western accent (think Fargo).
            I say ya and go get my dad. My dad invites him in and we all sit at the kitchen table to talk. The man says he is a treasure hunter and has invented a new type of technology that can triangulate the approximate location of large sums of gold using their natural molecular frequencies. He explains that his device has pointed him to our property, which makes sense to him because, after he had done some research, he had found out that our property was home to a Crowe Indian Agency back in the 1800s (that part is actually true). He tells us how he hypothesizes that some thieving Indians had once stolen a large amount of gold from the agency and had possibly buried it in the hills of our property to hide it but had never come back to get it.
            “So . . . how much gold are we talking about here?” My dad asks skeptically.
            “Well sir . . . based upon the amount of material that is needed to allow my device to work, as well as todays gold prices per ounce, I would estimate about . . . $130 million worth.” He replies.
            Our jaws drop. My dad tells the man that he needs a minute to discuss this information with his sons and beckons my brother and I into the next room.
            “What do you boys think?” My dad asks.
            “I don’t know dad,” I say, “he seems a little weird. I’m pretty skeptical.”
            “Ya I don’t know Dad, I don’t think that he’s for real,” my brother agrees.
            “I don’t know, men, that’s a shit ton of gold! And even if he’s weird there’s a chance he could be right. Stranger things have happened. And if not, we’ll have a great story to tell! I say we give him a chance.” My dad suggests.
            It is decided. We walk back into the room and tell the odd man (named Bob it turns out) that we will give him permission to search our land for the buried gold and that we will even help him try to find it. My dad and Bob write up a make-shift contract (with my attorney grandpa on the phone to make it “official”) that says “should any gold be found, the profit will be split 50/50 between Rob (my dad) and Bob.”
            We all pile into the old ranch SUV and drive Bob to the location on our property where he thinks the buried treasure may be. We stop the vehicle in a gully in the hilly part of the ranch. Bob hops out with his weird device and starts slowly walking back and forth around the hills, holding his copper instrument directly out in front of him. Occasionally his copper piece curiously turns in towards his left hand. He stops and sticks a small red marking flag in the ground, walks a few hundred more feet, sticks another marking flag in the ground, and so on. We watch from inside of the SUV wondering what he could possibly be figuring out.  At one point, a golden eagle circles over head in the hot summer sun. Bob sees this and completely loses his shit. He runs back to the car and exclaims,
            “That is a good sign you guys, that is a really good sign!”
            “What is?” my little brother asks.
            “The Golden Eagle of course!” Bob shouts.
            My dad, brother and I exchange looks as Bob begins walking around with his weird instrument again. We sit in the hot car for another hour, bored out of our minds. Then, Bob lets out a whoop. He marks a place in the hill with a big green marking flag and runs back to the car.
            “I need a backhoe,” he informs my dad excitedly.
            “Okay I’ll go get it and drive it on over!” My dad says, “you think you found the spot?!” He adds, excitement growing in his voice despite his best attempts to keep it down.
            “Oooh yes sir!” Bob replies with a grin.
            That’s all my dad needs to hear. He starts the car, slams it into drive and floors it back to the barn to get the backhoe. Now, despite our initial skepticism, we are all getting really excited. My dad pulls into the barn, sprints to the backhoe, turns it on and speeds back to the hills, my brother and I following behind in the SUV. Now, our backhoe is only a few years younger than my dad so it takes an hour to navigate the 2 miles back to the dig sight. Finally after a couple of near tips, the backhoe makes it to the spot where Bob is waiting, more excited than a schoolboy on the first day of summer. My dad starts digging. He gets five feet down; nothing. Ten feet down; nothing. Five more feet down; nothing. Then . . .
            “STOP!” Bob screams.
            My dad stops the backhoe and hops out excitedly. Bob is already down in the hole with his beat up old metal detector. He scans the hole, mumbling to himself. The detector remains silent. He scans it again; still no sound comes forth from the detector. He scans the hole three more times; each time not a sound is heard. He climbs out of it with a defeated look in his eyes and says,
            “I think I may need to reconfigure my technology.”
            “I’m guessing there’s nothing there?” My dad asks.
            “Oh no, there could still be some gold on your property, just not right here. I’ll reconfigure my device and call you back in a week or two,” Bob assures us.
            We drive Bob back to the house. He packs his equipment up in an old Subaru Outback and drives away.
            We never did hear back from Bob The Treasure Hunter. I think it’s because he realized his “technology” was nothing more than a useless piece of copper connected to a battery pack. But my dad has a different theory. To this day he thinks that Bob actually did find something that hot summer day in July and lied to us so that he could come back later and get all the gold for himself. Seeing as he no longer lives where he said he did and we haven’t heard from him since, that theory isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility (even if  it is highly unlikely). But, who knows, maybe ole’ Bob is sitting on a beach somewhere in Mexico right now, sipping a piƱa colada, living the good life with  $130 million worth of buried treasure he stole from some suckers up north. I guess we’ll never know.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Unsolicited Wisdom from a Twenty Year Old

I'm twenty years old and what that means is I have lived long enough to have gained some worldly wisdom but I haven't lived long enough for anyone to take it seriously. But, fortunately, I don't really care if anyone takes it seriously so I'm going to share some of my wisdom with you right now. Life is a bitch. If you think you are living your life, you're delusional. The fact of the matter is life lives through you. And sometimes life is going to put you through hell, just for the hell of it. When that happens do not feel sorry for yourself. Stand up straight, look straight ahead, and keep living. Pray for the best, prepare for the worst, and work with what you get. Simple as that.

Lost in the Red Sand: Part 4

Adrenaline flooded the man’s body. He was now in complete battle mode. The next hunter’s pale blonde Mohawk peaked over the top of the edge of the cave. The man was ready. He crouched down in the darkest part of the cave and watched as it scrambled up over the ledge. Upon seeing its fallen companion, the Hunter began yelling down to the others in its gravelly strange language. The sound of hastened climbing reached the man’s ears. The next hunter heaved itself up over the edge of the cave. The man knew he had to react quickly before the other two hunters made it up as well. Gripping the first hunter’s mace-axe, the man burst out of hiding with a roar. The two hunters saw the man and scrambled to adopt fighting stances. This time the man charged. Sprinting towards them, he hurled the mace-axe directly in between the two with all his strength. The hunter on the left was quick and managed to duck out of the way of the projectile. The hunter on the right was not. The braided chord holding the axe and the metal ball together wrapped itself around the creature’s neck. The momentum of the steel ball carried it on further passed the hunter’s neck. When the chord it was attached to came to its full length, the sphere was forced into a u-turn and buried itself in the creature’s face with a sickening crunch. It collapsed and fell over the edge of the cave’s entrance. 
The man slowed his run and faced the other hunter. Their eyes met and it snarled at the man, baring its teeth. The man quickly stooped down grabbing a handful of red sand. Before the hunter could react he flung the dirt into its angry eyes, blinding it. The hunter grunted and began back pedaling deeper into the cave. He rushed the disoriented creature and tackled it to the ground. Unable to get to his knife, the man unwound some of the utility chord he had wrapped around his hand earlier that day and began strangling the hunter. It kicked and grabbed at the man’s face as he pulled the chord as tight as he could around the hunter’s neck. It slowly grew still as its attempts to breath became more infrequent. At last, the creature died. The man crawled out from under the hunter’s body and immediately looked towards the entrance of the cave. The head of the fourth hunter had just appeared over the edge. The man, scrambling to his feet, took off in a sprint towards it. The hunter, seeing him coming, hastened his attempt to pull himself up. The man was there before it could. He kicked the hunter in the head with all his might hoping to knock it off the edge. As the full force of his kick buried itself into the hunter’s eye socket, a snapping sound, followed by excruciating pain emanated up from the man’s foot. There was no question, his foot was broken. The hunter went lip and dropped pathetically to the ground below. The pain in the man’s foot bit at his mind like a white hot knife, his vision going blurry and his head spinning. Hopping on one foot to maintain balance, the man landed on a small rock, causing his ankle to twist. There was nothing the man could do other than scream as he fell the edge of the cliff. 
The ground rushed up towards him, then, about half way down, he hit a ledge on the cliff face causing the world to tumble around him. The man landed with a thud, flat on his back, the wind rushing from his lungs, directly next to the two hunters he had just killed. He lay there for a moment attempting to regain his ability to breath. As he gasped like a fish out of water, the man desperately scanned the area around him for the fifth hunter. It was nowhere to be seen. The man gradually managed to take in a little bit more air with each successive breath and finally he sat up. He could see the hunter’s steeds off to the right. The odd reflective orb lay shining in the sand to his left. All five animals were still tied to their stakes which meant the fifth hunter was still there, waiting for its chance to attack. The man stood up, trudging away from the side of the cliff with a heavy limp as his head whipped back and forth, searching for danger. The seconds ticked by as he grew more and more anxious. Finally, he lost it.
“Where are you?! Come on out you little shit! I’ll kill you just like I killed all your little friends!” He hollered furiously.
Silence answered him; the kind of silence that can only be experienced in the middle of a hot, dry desert landscape. Then; the shuffling sound of something running in the sand. The man spun around and came face to face with fifth hunter. Before he could even raise his hands to defend himself, the metal ball from the hunter’s mace-axe smashed into the side of the his head. Every color the man could see burst into a molten shower of pure white light which was instantaneously replaced by deep, dark, blackness. He was unconscious before he even hit the ground.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Why?

INT. LIVING ROOM

Owen and Steele sit on either end of the couch slouched back into the cushions with their feet propped up on the coffee table in front of them. They are watching TV. A Calvin Klein commercial comes onto the TV screen. Owen and Steele watch the commercial in silence. As the ad ends, Steele’s eyebrow raises skeptically.

STEELE
Dude, why is fashion even important?

OWEN
Because we all want to look good.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
          Because we want to attract the ladies.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
          Because we want to get laid!

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
         
Because it feels good!

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because the signals our nerve endings in our junk send to our brains while we’re doing it say so.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because that’s how our brains are wired to respond to that kind of physical stimulation.

 STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
          Because we want to bust a nut!

 STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Well, if you follow it out to its logical conclusion it’s so that we can reproduce.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
          So that more people will be on Earth.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because we want the human species to remain strong.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because it’s biologically engrained into our DNA.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because if it wasn’t you and I probably wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because there would have been no drive for our ancestors to procreate, thus, without the biological incentive of pleasure associated with the reproductive process, every single one of our ancestors, all the way to our parents, would have been significantly less likely to procreate and, consequently, the statistical likelihood of either one of us existing under this hypothetical circumstance is phenomenally low.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because if you negate the inherent biological drive to reproduce for the sake of reproducing, the factors that would play into two people deciding to engage in procreation would be far less circumstantially common and would most likely vary between each and every individual. Our family trees consist of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of individuals before us who all decided to, or accidently, procreate due to the afore mentioned inherent biological drive to reproduce that is sequenced within the DNA of every single cell of every single one of our ancestors. Without this, the millions of people that came before us would have all had to decide to reproduce based upon other, less common, factors. Not only this, but every single one of our millions of ancestors would have had to choose to engage in sexual reproduction with the exact same partners, at nearly the exact same times, and in nearly the exact same ways to pass along the exact same sperms to the exact same eggs all the way until they created the exact same people who we are today. Those same factors, and more, would all have to occur in nearly the  exact same ways for every single one our millions of ancestors and for our ancestors’ ancestors and for our ancestors’ ancestors’ ancestors and so one and so forth until we get all the back to the two original people.

STEELE
          Oh, that makes sense.

OWEN
          Why do you ask?

 STEELE
          I don’t know why I asked. Why do you ask?

OWEN
I don’t know why I asked. Why do you ask why I asked?

STEELE
I don’t know why I asked. Why did you ask “why do you ask why I asked”.

OWEN
I don’t know why I asked you “why do you ask why I asked”.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN

          F—[bleep] you.
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