Ryan Johnson's blog

Out-and-out liars or Outliers?

Out-and-out liars or Outliers?

Often heard in our modern tale of triumph, like Perseus slaying Medusa, is the glossy version of a business person who has beat all odds to become the most successful, most imitated, and ultimately, the most wealthy in their field. Heavy books are written about them—can you go into a bookstore without having Steve Jobs stare you down? The almighty business heroes comprise the bulk of our mythos that feed the global capitalist imagination. Warren Buffet. Oprah. Bill Gates. They don’t even need a full sentence because you already know their stories.

Waiting for the Mushroom Cloud

Waiting for the Mushroom Cloud

As an activist doing outreach with the Zeitgeist Movement, I often come across those individuals who believe that the human race is simply incorrigible. The message gets communicated in such responses as, “I’m just waiting for the mushroom cloud,” or “All humans are psychotic,” or “Humans are a virus that needs to be eradicated.” These are actual statements that have been told to me, as if they are the cold hard truth that I must come 'round to submitting to.

You Aren't Free Without Me

You Aren't Free Without Me

An exercise in personification

Hi, my name is Freem. Nice to meet you. Well, I’m not sure it’s nice to meet you yet, but I’m going to find out. I want to learn about you. To be honest, I just want to learn enough about you so that I can figure out what you can do for me. I would really like to know how you can help me in my mission of self-aggrandizement. I like being able to do what I want without restriction.

Generalizing Grief for the Greater Good

Generalizing Grief for the Greater Good

Have you ever been to a funeral or memorial service? The grieving family and friends have their attention divided between holding back their inner sobs and trying to relate to others who are gathered to share their memories. The harmony of quivering voices overlaying a solemn code of conduct gets punctuated by bouts of laughter from the telling of funny anecdotes. I suspect the comical stories are tacitly required so that participants have some sanctioned relief from the somber mood.

Our Era's Racism

Our Era's Racism

Last week I heard this piece on public radio titled, "Are Candidates' Spouses Off-limits?", and I just felt so disgusted. Skip ahead to the 40% mark, and you'll hear what I'm referring to.

The conversation turned to the expensive shirt that Ann Romney wore, and how people felt about it.

Regarding The Educational Imperative

Regarding The Educational Imperative

It is commonly understood in the Zeitgeist community that education is the means by which we can move into a transitional economy, which will evolve into a transformed society that respects and advances each person’s well being.

Bad Decisions

A few years ago, a nameless couple signed a contract with pages of purgatorial fine print that committed them to decades of debt so they could own a home. The economy crashed, their house value plummeted, one half of the couple was laid off, and making ends meet became impossible. Those who were not so unfortunate blame these victims and sum it up to “they signed the contract, so they made a bad decision.”

Our Hollow-hearted Neighborhood

A 65 year old man lives near me. Physically fit and socially active, he is able to live independently. He has lived in his home for 26 years and has earned his living through a specialized trade. Business has been steady for him for most of his time as a craftsman, until a few years back. Since that time, he has struggled to make ends meet. He has been, as far as I can tell, mostly generous with his neighbors and his church community. What he lacks in intellectual volume, he makes up for in heart dimensions.

My Week at Occupy Wall St -- Orange County

I have spent the past week at Occupy Wall St in Orange County in Irvine. Occupy is not a Zeitgeist Movement event, but it is a meeting place of people who are feeling and acknowledging the failings of our current system. People of many different backgrounds are passionate about alerting the public to the dangers of our economic system and they desperately want it changed.

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