Interacting on Social Media

Something I have noticed over the last few years: everyone uses social media differently.

Let me elaborate.

I am not talking about different people using different social medias. Some people only share memes they agree with. Others will share memes that they don’t agree with in order to support friends. Some people read headlines of articles, while others read the whole article. Others post frequent status updates, and some do not post any updates.

This may all sound superficial, but it really affects the whole experience. People can get really uptight about what is posted or shared. Although I appreciate a good, serious conversation, it’s ok to think things are funny.

Sometimes I share things just to see who interacts with it and how. I have been doing this for months. It keeps things interesting.

I wonder if the fluidity and flexibility of it all dampens the experience. How much do we really know about people online? This is a question I wonder frequently.

The answer likely depends upon the person. Some lie and misrepresent themselves. It is understandable to do this for security reasons, but not necessary…for most.

I am so transparent because I want to be understood. Most people don’t really know who I am. I fear that my wife and family can’t understand what I am going through, and that is a huge part of the problems I am enduring.

It’s easier to find like-minded people online than it is in person. Perhaps that’s part of the draw.

So, no matter how you use social media, bear in mind that others use it differently, and this affects interactions. I try not to jump to conclusions regarding someone’s worldview strictly off of a meme or article they share. I am often pleasantly surprised when given the chance to hear a more detailed analysis of a meme.

It’s like art. Everyone sees something different. At least, that’s my conclusion.

Wagen, over and out.



What Is Vulgar Speech?

Many people assume that vulgar speech is when one uses the stereotypical “cuss” words. Although I understand this approach, and that it is largely rooted in conservative religious culture, I propose a different definition.

Vulgar speech hurts people, no matter the words used. I have seen people use “cuss” words in a fully playful manner, especially between friends or spouses, and everything is cool. Nobody’s getting hurt and everyone is having fun.

Then there are the ones that do not use these words, but still say some hurtful things. In other words, I propose that one does not have to use one of the traditional “cuss” words in order to be vulgar.

An example from my personal life:

A good friend of mine, at least, I thought we were good friends, recently stopped interacting with me on social media. We had a friendship that went deeper than that. Sometimes we spoke on the phone, and we helped each other out. When I tried to reconnect, their response was essentially;

“…I try to limit my exposure to mentally unstable people.”

Not a single cuss word, but I would consider that to be vulgar. I didn’t ask to have mental disorders. Alot of mental disorders are born in trauma. If you do not have a mental disorder, then it could likely mean that

A. your brain works properly to combat stress and other pressures

B. you have not experienced the intense traumas that other people have

There is nothing wrong with either of these. In fact, I am jealous. My wife and I have had several conversations along these lines. She is basically healthy in every way possible. She has told me things like, “I’m sorry you have been through so much shit.” <– Not vulgar, but empathetic and encouraging.

So, while it may be tempting to adopt or keep a shallow understanding of vulgarity, I encourage each and every one of you to think before you speak,especially if you self-identify as “Christian.” It’s not always easy, and I am guilty of this, too, especially under pressure.

Loved ones and friends are most affected by our words. It’s important to remember this.

Wagen, over and out.


George W. Bush as a Cancer

When I say “cancer,” I don’t mean that he is a disease, or at least, not to my knowledge. In the past, I have said some harsh things about George W. Bush, but what many do not know: we share a birthday…July 6th.

According to astrology, both of us are considered a “cancer,” the most misunderstood of the signs. I get all uptight about how he caused or turned a blind eye to 9/11, but what if he didn’t? What if I failed to be patient with a fellow cancer? I don’t like it when people misunderstand me, which seems to be another chronic illness that plagues me.

Sure, he threw in a “u” where it didn’t belong in “nuclear,” but maybe he had a fifth before they speech. With all the stress he was under, everyone, including his wife, was probably impressed that he kept it to a fifth. I’ve drank more, and I’ve never been President.

Maybe when 9/11 happened and they found out about the briefings regarding planes running into buildings in the 90s, then maybe they thought, “Shit, I should’ve done my homework.”

I still can’t believe that they didn’t know about the medical benefits of cannabis; however, maybe he is part of the Loyalists. I prefer the Patriots. But maybe he’s just misunderstood. He was the last president that served in the military in some fashion.

Yeah man. Maybe he is just a good ‘ole country boy from Texas. I can appreciate those kind of folks. Some of them, anyways.

Wagen, over and out.


The Nature of War

War is tough, but simple. I have signed up for one war — The War On Terror. Before I knew it, they were arming me with fully automatic weapons, training me to look for and be prepared for terrorists or terrorists incidents, like bombings or shootings. I’m not talking about Iraq or Afghanistan. I’m talking about right here in Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia.

Although I do have severe PTSD from the training and some of the things that happened, it has equipped me to fight another war — The War on Drugs. Now, I didn’t sign up for this one. This one found me. I have been a cannabis patient since I was 14 years old. I was treating depression from the loss of a loved one.

There were no doctors or adults to consult.

I just knew I felt like shit, and my friends that I skated with — bear in mind that we trusted each other with our bodily safety — said that cannabis would make me feel better.

It did.

Ever since then, I have been associated with lots of different people.

War is simple. I only want to know two things:

  1. Are you invested in this?
  2. Are you trustworthy?

Black, white, gay, straight, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu…it doesn’t matter. I just want to know if you are in this fight, and if I can trust you to get my back, and if you trust me to get yours.

That’s how it works on the streets, too.

Leadership is important in any war. The leader is meant to inspire. They are supposed to be the bravest. The strongest. The ones with hope when everyone else has lost it.

Here are my predictions for this Texas legislative session.

  1. HB81 will pass. They want to decriminalize, but not make legal, small amounts of flower.
  2. SB269 will not pass. The Texans at the top seem to think that if you want medical or recreational marijuana, then you should move. If it does pass, it will super expensive to get a license and they legislate it into oblivion.

Jessica Pallet said it well, “Texas is about appearances. Do we APPEAR to care about our veterans? Do we APPEAR to uphold Biblical values? Do we APPEAR to care about our sick? They don’t really care. They only want to know if it appears to other states and the rest of the world, that they care.”

This made so much sense. It brought clarity to some tension that I have always sensed and hated about this culture. It full of privileged people that only care about appearances, not just in a shallow, wardrobe sense, but they go through the motions, especially the motions of “church” or whatever the hell their calling it nowadays.

Well, I’m going through some motions. I’m moving to Colorado to join the fight at Ground Zero. Many things I love are going to be in the rear-view mirror, but I won’t be looking back, because I don’t give a damn about appearances, and anyone that knows me, can testify that it’s true. Even if they don’t know it’s the reason I drive some of them absolutely crazy.

Also, I want to remind everyone that I did not call it a “War.”

I am just responding appropriately.

Wagen, over and out.


The Importance of Farming

To be clear, farming can be any scale — massive or a small garden. Size isn’t important, what is important is growing things. It’s inexpensive, and can provide tangible rewards from the labor. Also, it can save money.

I have never eaten or used anything I have grown. This disturbs me. Without grocery stores, I wouldn’t know how to feed myself. Such a basic skill is necessary for survival, muchless independence.

When it comes to farming cannabis, some patients’ medical needs can get into the $1000s a month. In this case, growing and processing their own is the only logical solution. Of course, the government doesn’t want people growing their own medicine, or food. It might cut into some profits. Profits of people who have paid good money to lobby congress to keep people as customers.

For the sake of Liberty, and Life, I urge you to grow. Sure, it’s work. But it’s a skill to be sharp on. It does no good to have all the guns, ammunition, generators, backup fuel, canned goods, and other things, if there is no ability to grow food.

Me? I’m serious about my survival skills. This will be my next endeavor: to grow food and medicine in Colorado. I’m excited about it. It’s a decision that is costing me my family and an otherwise comfortable life in Texas.

It sucks.

But I keep my mind on all the fun I will have when I am there. I think about all the patients I will get to know and help. I think about the friendships and partnerships that will be formed.

As I sit in Texas just waiting for the green light to move, these are the things that keep me in high spirits, even as I sit around and cry about how much all of it hurts.

This too shall pass. I see some good times ahead.

Wagen, over and out.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2017

Today is a bitter-sweet day for me. It’s a sweet day because MLK Jr. is one of my heroes…someone I look up to. He challenged the status quo, and made a change that influenced a generation.

As for the bitter, I could go on about the continued slavery through mass incarceration, but I will be writing a more personal story.

Warning: this story is sad and traumatic. Please read with a compassionate and open mind.

It was early morning in the mid-90s. My whole family had the day off work/school, so we were going to do something fun. Dad was gone in the early morning, so we just hung out around the house.

Around 9am or so, Dad came home. He came in,

“Everyone in the living room. Now, please.”

We all met in the living room.

“Look, there is no easy way to break this. Leslie is dead.”

We all just sat there, not sure how to react. Leslie was a close family friend and a babysitter/caretaker. I was the oldest, somewhere around the age of 10.

“She was shot. From what we are told, she passed away quickly.”

We still didn’t know how to process this information. To an extent, the motions of life continued on as normal until the funeral. That’s when the finality of it all started to hit me, though I wonder if my brother and sister could understand.

Not that it’s important, but she was shot by a jealous ex-boyfriend, and he was African American. There have been times where I have wondered if he knew it was MLK Jr. day, or if that fact simply escaped him. It would give me a “reason” to be racist, but my close friends can attest that I am not.

Racism is evil.

That’s what MLK believed, and that’s what I believe. So, today, don’t morn the man and forget why he died. Don’t be a coward like so many. Be brave like MLK and Rosa Parks. Stand up for what’s right, even if it lands you on the wrong side of the law. That’s when it counts the most. It’s easy to do the right thing when it costs nothing. Do the right thing when it costs you everything.

Life is too short to let it pass us by.

MLK eventually took a bullet to the brain for what he believed in.

“Nobody wants to be a hero, it just sometimes turns out that way.” — Black Hawk Down

Remember that on days like today. He had a dream. It cost him everything.

Remember Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wagen, over and out.

Independent Gangsta

You may or may not have heard about “Original Gangstas,” or “OGs.” These guys are the real deal. The leader. The shot caller. They are usually the oldest, bravest, and craziest.

Now, an Independent Gangsta (IG) is a peaceful gangsta. A solo rider half the time, and with backup the other half. Joining a gang never interested me. The initiation alone was enough for me to say, “No, thanks.” Generally, I didn’t stay close friends with someone that beat me up or made me hurt an innocent person.

I will admit, that there is probably something about gang life that I do not understand. I see the allure, especially if I had grown up in the impoverished inner city with little parental oversight. For many young men and women, joining a gang is a choice of survival. Survival from bullies, other gangs, and even the police.

As a middle-class white boy who was very capable with a knife at an early age, I didn’t have much to worry about. I often went with other independent gangstas — of all shapes, sizes, genders, colors, and creeds. We were definitely a crew, but we didn’t feel the need to initiate. I guess you could say that we were abunch of Liberty-Lovers from Liberty County, Texas. I believed in sovereignty of the individual at an early age, I just didn’t know how to adequately express it.

Instead of solving conflicts with violence, we would having smoking competitions. We would go hit for hit, like going shot for shot, off a water bong, and then sometimes we would top that off with a game of basketball. By the time we did the hits, we forgot what we were fighting about, and just got excited about a basketball game.

This was how we lived. Sure, there were fights. When you put abunch of teenagers together, it’s bound to happen, but we kept it to a minimum. And some situations that were tense, were solved with cannabis.


Violence was halted with cannabis.

Wagen (IG), over and out.