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Friday, August 11, 2017

Opinion on Suicide



I was having a casual conversation with a stranger in a coffee shop and the subject of suicide was brought up. She said to me, “Did you know the highest rate for teen suicide in the country is Fort Collins CO?” I took her word for it that she knew what she was talking about and did not look it up. I believed her because years ago, I had a suicidal night while I was living in Fort Collins.
It was the darkest night of my life so far. I could not go on living anymore. At least that is how I was feeling then. I struggled to make my world right, and it seemed to be wrong every time. I want a do over.

People say suicide is the coward’s way out and it is a very selfish act. I agree its selfish, but it is the self that is tormented. There is no room for considering what others may be thinking. You want to make my torture about you? Butt out, this is my crisis! When I am dead, I won’t care anymore.
“A coward’s way out”, I don’t agree. It takes the ultimate bravery to step into what’s next. Death is coming to all living things. What happens next is a mystery. It may not be like corporate spiritual institutions would have you believe. The human consciousness is just one tiny aspect of this universe. Selling plots in the afterlife sounds like an awesome business plan and doesn’t even have to be true.
Recently a couple musical celebrities, died by their own hands. That makes all of us ask “Why?” They had money, fame, everything. Yes, they did and they also had their demons. The lifelong companions that scratch and tear at a soul as long as it takes. Sometimes they win.

The stigma of suicide is that everyone that even attempts it is suffering from some form of mental illness. Sometimes mental illness can be just as terminal as cancer. The end result is the same.
Terminal medical patients make their decisions to die very soberly, and with a lot of oversight. I am a big supporter of assisted suicide for terminal conditions. Another example is the Samurai of Japan, they performed many ritual suicides when the situation called for it. They were honor bound.
A hero may give his/her life in sacrifice to save others. That is still choosing to die. I guess since death is inevitable for us, we really should think about how we want to go out. I do miss the people I have known that have committed suicide. I miss the people I have known that have died when they wanted to live. We miss our loved ones that have passed regardless of how it happens.
That night in Fort Collins,  I was suicidal. I had no idea about the future. In my anguish, all I could see was Death waving me closer. I laid on the floor and sobbed inconsolably well into the early morning. I wanted to die, but was too afraid to move. I fell asleep on the floor. When I woke up, I was breathing hope. Every conscious breath I felt better. I did not end my life that night in Fort Collins. I didn’t have what it took to do it. When I think about it, sometimes I think that I was a coward. I still wanted to live. A lot has happened since then. My youngest daughter was born. I started my career in stand-up comedy.


Death is a harsh reality. I would try to help someone in crisis. I know what it’s like. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

I have been bitten by the YouTube video bug

I have been bitten by the YouTube bug. For the past two months I have focused on creating humorous videos. I really have a lot of fun making them. I have thrown in the occasional commercial to experiment with what people are responding to, however my favorite thing to do is comedy.

I am always surprised at how challenging it is to record an idea. I know what I would like, but limits and restrictions sometime make it so the only way to pull it off is with some creative compromise. One of my videos is about what it would be like for me to go to heaven. The final product was very different than what was imagined in my mind,.Still I feel good that I produced something funny. You can judge for yourself ( https://youtu.be/sL-PDpLYWuM ).

I  have had my driving privilege temporarily suspended. It has made it difficult for me to make it to do stand up shows. That is why making funny videos has been a godsend. I am still writing and being creative without having to travel. I do miss travelling though. I am working on a few characters. I hope people will find my newest projects funny, I really do. Let me know what you think. Check out my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/DickeyBillWagner. If you like my channel please subscribe.

I still love to do stand up comedy and continue to perform regularly. The difference is that in a live performance the feedback is instantaneous. I only know for sure if someone thinks a video is funny is if I am present when they watch it. I get the same thrill when laughter erupts. The amazing thing is that different people laugh at different things. For example the very first video I made during this last frenzy of output; I showed to everyone I know. Each person laughed out loud at different aspects of the same video. That did fill me with hope that maybe I am on to something here.

Before you judge too harshly, just know that my videos were recorded on a Samsung 6 smartphone. I would like to upgrade the production quality. Better equipment gives more options to how a video is produced. I have started a GoFundMe page just for this purpose. There have already been some donations. This proves to me two things.
              1. Some of my friends have faith that I will produce quality comedic content.
              2. People do want funny videos to watch and laugh at.
I know that I will keep producing videos even if it is just on my phone. I have a fantasy of making the whole world laugh. Donations are appreciated. Go to https://www.gofundme.com/dbwcomedyvideos and give what you can. Really anything helps. So there you have it. This is what I have been doing for the last couple months. Hopefully I will check in a lot quicker next time.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday! Whatever...

It's Friday again. I like Fridays, but these days I am not sure why. Maybe it is because I am conditioned to like Fridays. Growing up Friday was the last day of the school week. That had a great feel to it. Friday evening it was time to party, okay that added to the good feelings. I now work on weekends. Friday is like Tuesday used to be. No one really cares about Tuesday.

I am really tired of conditioned responses. And we are being conditioned to respond. Today on the Today show, there was a report about able body models posing as disabled athletes. Oh the outrage! Right off the bat, Matt and Savannah were "What?!?" as if a major national incident just happened. How dare this marketing company do this? Well it turns out that, it is okay with the people who are para-athletes. Oh they are? Well where is the story then folks? It is a non issue being blown out of proportion by the media.

I am careful about what I say. I don't want to come across as insensitive. Lately I am getting to the point where I don't give a fig, whether you like what I have to say or not. And I have noticed that you really don't care what I think either. So we are even. If I make an off color joke, and by off color I am talking about anything from race, religion or gender. Maybe I am talking about a whiter shade of pale. It really doesn't matter, if you are offended by my sense of humor I don't care.

I care about things that make a difference. For example, someone parked their car in front of my mailbox. The mail carrier (note there is gender neutrality there, I did that for you. I really am a nice guy.) could not deliver my mail. But that person did deliver a note saying mail could not be delivered because the path was blocked. That my friends is an issue! I'm sorry you can't have your mail, but here is a note saying why. Gone are the days when the postal workers would fight the elements that be to make sure the mail was delivered. I have to be careful though, I don't want to piss off the Post Office.

I noticed that I cringe when I am a passenger in a car and the driver is raging. I think that is another conditioned response. Road rage is a problem unless I am driving. Then it's just a guy pointing out how stupid the other drivers are. There it is. The reality of this is really about me. You can say I am not the center of the universe, but I don't believe you. All I have is my reference point. What this means is I will consider myself free to say yes when everyone is shaking their heads no or vice versa. I am going to get rid of responding a certain way just because I am conditioned to. And it starts now. Friday! whatever...