Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Greetings free thinkers!

Greetings free thinkers. Feel well. Everybody. Just, go ahead and feel well.
There you go. It’s going to be a long one.. Grab a beverage.
We have much to discuss, so let’s start at the top.

Wednesday, December 17 is Sonya’s last chemo disconnect! She’ll get disconnected and be through with the treatments, and she kicked cancer’s ass! She’s so amazing, you’d never know what she’s gone through by looking at her. We are very ready for the next chapter in our life.

On RVD RADIO, on the 17th, we’ll talk about cancer, and survivor stories. We want to hear from you, so be ready to share. Also joining SVD and myself will be Survivor contestant and actress Jeri Manthee, ECW original Francine, Neil Kaplan and Sabu, to name a few.. We’ve all had so much fun with RVD RADIO over the last several weeks. My blogs have to share the outlet position for my life pondering now. We’ve talked about so many topics from government conspiracies to holiday seasons, organized religion to language censorship. Last week, we had Sabu, Fonzie-that’s right, Daddy, Kid Kash, the Masterpiece, of course SVD, and our official RVD RADIO law representative Officer X all talking about Road Rage. Lots of stories!

RVD RADIO airs live Wednesdays 6-8 P.S.T. (9-11 E.S.T.) and you can go to blogtalkradio.com/rvdradio or call (347) 308-8754 to listen or join in.

RVD TV recently aired its 50th weekly episode! That’s a lot of kick ass videos and they are ALL still available to watchers. Check out the site for membership information.

In celebration of RVD TV’s 50th episode, we’re upgrading the web site AGAIN, to add more features and more fan interactive options, not to mention making everything more user friendly to enjoy. Also...

The Best of RVD TV DVD -Vol 1!

Featuring ten episodes, an autographed case and priority shipping, this DVD is only available at robvandam.com! Shipping starts on the 15th, so there’s time to get this and wrap it up! Huge 5 Star thank-you’s to Justin McCully, Jay Mohr, Andrew Bryniarski, Taboo, Warrior, Chris Masters, Samoa Joe, Jack Herer, Brad Williams, Eric Bischoff, Chris Nowinski, Daniel Puder, David Defalco and others for their participation. Let me read off the back of the box for you..

“When one of wrestling's most popular personalities stepped away from the ring at the height of his career, fans were shocked and demanded a return of "THE WHOLE FN' SHOW." And, return he did, but not to the squared circle. Rob Van Dam took to his personal website and launched a groundbreaking reality series "RVD TV." For the first time ever, fans were able to not only get a glimpse into the life of the the mega star, but to truly GET TO KNOW THE REAL ROB VAN DAM. From his personal workouts to his insight to spiritual growth, he reveals the reality of being RVD. Plus, fans get an inside look at some very interesting moments in the life of the former "Mr.Money In The Bank," as he sits down with his celebrity friends to discuss and debate the issues that matter to them from gun control to language censorship and more! "Often Imitated, Never Intimidated" RVD is truly ONE OF A KIND and now he has personally selected 10 of his favorite 5 STAR episodes for this MUST SEE DVD: THE BEST OF RVD TV!”

Congrats to Justin “the Insane One” McCully for his victory over Eddie Sanchez on UFC’s Fight for the Troops Night. This bout did not air on Spike TV, but can be seen at http://www.ufc.com/index.cfm?fa=videoPlayer.home&gid=16440
JMC was in his best shape in UFC history and fought like the master that he is.

My good friend and very funny comedian Larry Weaver has a new eBook entitled "Funny Employee Awards: Your Complete Guide to Organizing a Humorous, Entertaining and Rewarding Recognition Ceremony." It features 101 funny awards certificates that you can print and give to your coworkers.

Check it out at http://www.funnyemployeeawards.com/funny-awards-book.asp

Sonya and I went to a screening of “The Wrestler”. I like Mickey Rourke. I like Marisa Tormei. It was entertaining to watch, from the beginning to the end, but it left me feeling a bit... disturbed. The character is doomed from the start because he’s a wrestler from the 80’s who just won’t quit and sacrifices everything for his passion. It was too real. At the same time, that’s what they went for. They told a story about a particular man at a particular time in his life, and they chose a depressing story to tell. I didn’t really know how I felt after seeing it, just unfulfilled. Maybe it was because I wanted the other side of the coin exposed. Maybe I felt judged. When I shook the director (Darren Aronofsky)’s hand, I just id “Thanks for reducing my life’s dream’s to rubbish.” I’m not sure if everyone got the message that I did from the movie, but I’m pretty sure it had to do with the meaninglessness of the wrestler’s commitment to his dream. Go see it, form your own opinion. You know what? Let’s talk about “The Wrestler” on RVD RADIO Wednesday as well.

Click here to read about the oldest stash in history- two pounds of still-green marijuana found in a 2,700-year-old Gobi Desert grave!

Here’s something else in the news that I found to be VERY interesting. A man named Felix Kha was cited for possession of marijuana, even though he produced the proper documentation, identifying him as a medical marijuana patient, here in Cali. The Orange County Court ruled not only that the man was in compliance with the law, but also that the police must return the marijuana to its rightful owner. The police refused-of course- and with the city behind them in support, went to the Supreme Court to fight for their cause. DENIED! They have to give it back!
"It's now settled that state law enforcement officers cannot arrest medical marijuana patients or seize their medicine simply because they prefer the contrary federal law"."Perhaps, in the future local government will think twice about expending significant time and resources to defy a law that is overwhelmingly supported by the people of our state."

Read more about this story at Cops must return stolen property . Remember everyone, we now have 25% of American adults living in Medical Marijuana states, and a president-elect that will not endorse arresting patients. Still don’t see a change happening in our life time? Keep thinking that then, stubborn reader-but I side with common sense.

When I read the comments that you readers leave for this blog on my myspace page, I’m going to be looking for your answer to a question I pose.. Well, that and of course more importantly the congrats to SVD. Yay! Ok. You ready? This is a serious question. I really want to know what your opinions are on this. Here we go.
Why do you think the top killing drug ( by far-many hundreds of thousands of annual deaths ahead of second place) is the most accepted to use?

I look forward to learning from your responses. Until then, and after then...oh, what the hell- during then, too...Have an awesome time enjoying life!


Anonymous CalmMountain said...

Nihao RVD-san & SVD-san,

Congrats on yet another year full of accomplishments. Words can hardly convey how happy I am for both of you. Coming through cancer so well is... Impressive and rare. Not everyone has the emotional and mental fortitude to stay positive when faced with such challenges, that's all.

The DVD, webtv, radio and semi-upgraded website are all fun, informative and worthwhile. Thanks for reaching out and making people think. On a slightly less serious note: We know that acting - on stage and on camera and in video games - has been in your past. We strongly suspect that there may eventually be at least one book and a lecture tour in your future. As long as you're going to continue to diversify, what about releasing a music CD? Then you'd have all the mainstream broadcast methods covered!

I'll be thinking of you, down in Cali where it's still warm. I'd really love to catch tonights radio show but seriously doubt that we'll have power at that time. It's sunny and below freezing here - both at the same time - and we've got a storm on the horizon.

May the pending Holidays be everything you deserve. May the pending birthday be all that and then some.

I've not seen the Wrestler, don't know if it will even make it out here. Read a bit about it. Please don't let it get you down though. Fact is, people like to profit off other peoples misery. Didn't you ever hear the saying that 'someone always comes out smelling like roses'. The industry you've left, it's got a lot of stories to tell but the people making that film... Sounds like they were out to sell just the one depressing story - which may even be valid and may strike true. They have to take a stand and judge the industry in order to convey the force and enhance the drama of their point, I suppose. Still... Any reasonable person should understand that this needs to be taken in context, that it represents not the whole story but merely one of them.

Forgive the comparision but perhaps wrestling is, in this tiny way, a little bit like cancer. I repeat: not everyone has the ability to stay positive when faced with such challenges.

To answer your main question at the end of your post: greed and fear breed ignorance and doubt. Plus we can't outspend the people who are profiting from all the legal idiocy. We live a society that valuse wealth before health, basically. This is what keeps many positive changes from being enacted. Things are changing, slowly but steady... And only time will tell what it all adds up to. But you knew that already.

Please keep taking care, keep celebrating life and asking questions! Hug to you and SVD-san. Travel safe, wherever you end up.

Courage and Peace!


December 17, 2008 at 12:24 PM  
Anonymous The Invisible Man said...

Hey Rob!
First off congrats to SVD!!!!!!!!!! I have a friend who has cancer and she basically has maybe a year left. I have to say that when I hear of others 'kicking' cancer's ass it really picks me up!

Secondly, after a long absence it's great to read another RVD blog! As always: insightful. I'd love to read your thoughts on the bible...I'm definitely not a part/member of mainstream religion but as a guy who's studied that book for about 6 years in depth, it's very intriguing to say the least to find a 2000 year old text talking about the earth as a 'sphere that hangs upon nothing'.

Something I posted once before, I would love to provide some free motion graphics for RVD TV! I have a business that produces motion graphics and special effects and I'm a huge RVD mark...so it'd be my pleasure to contribute for free. My site: www.lostmarble.co.uk

Seriously dude, never change, don't give up and never stop looking...

Peace bro!

The Invisible Man

December 17, 2008 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger peaceonearth said...

Congrats to SVD on pulling through the chemo and coming out on top. Not only am I happy that she can continue to live a life without the restrictions that cancer imposes, but I am happy that she continues to be an inspiration to all your loyal fans, listeners, and everyone else you both reach out to. It's touching to see someone act as such a source of hope to those who at times feel like they're in an impossibly bleak situation.

As to your question, as easy as it would be to just say money and greed and walk away, I think there are more factors that go into it. It's not like alcohol was untouchable and is some sort of revered drug within our society. When we first enacted prohibition, alcohol was not a lucrative business, at least not as lucrative as it is today. There were no giant alcohol manufacturers, you weren't mass producing alcohol and shipping it across the country. It did generate a lot of money, but that money was spread out between individual breweries and taverns that couldn't rally against prohibition the way that the alcohol corporations today could. While prohibition was started by a group of opportunists looking to further their own means, a group that by the way included a one Mr. Henry Anslinger, the prominent government figure behind the cannabis criminalization effort, it was carried by social factors.

America had to that point always been prominently a white, protestant country. While this still holds true, it was even more true back in the days before prohibition. Mass immigration to America started in the late 1800's and early 1900's, and as always change did not go smoothly. There was very much segregation between immigrant communities and the established population. Many of the immigrants were poor, they were mostly working class, and in many areas they had very different customs. In the west, for example, where there was a particularyl large influx of Asian immigrants, white communities organized a successful effort to criminalize opium. Going to opium dens was a common custom among Asian immigrants, and even though there was precedent for a large scale epidemic being caused by the drug, there was no imminent threat of such an epidemic breaking out in the U.S. and the criinalization effort was mainly a case of culture wars. That fact is evidenced in the predominant method that was used to graner support, posting depicitions of Asian men luring young American women into opium dens in order to take advantage of them.

In a similar parallel in the east, where a majority of immigrants were working class Catholics, there was a culture shock. Protestant culture is a very restrained culture, whereas among working class Catholic immigrants, going to a bar after work was a ritual. The most commonly accepted explanation for the reasoning behind prohibition taught in schools, and indeed the one I was taught, was that there was an astronomical rise in debauchery brought on by the rise in saloons. The truth is that the immigrants' custom of drinking and getting drunk after work was in conflict with the Protestant values that dominated the country, which made it easier to recruit Protestants who felt threatened to the cause of prohibition. Prohibition was started by opportunists, but made possible by a rabid contingency of voters.

The cannabis criminalization can draw a few parallels to prohibition. The culutre wars were present, as cannabis was largely depicted as being an invention of Mexican immigrants used to seduce young women into dangerous situations. Unlike prohibition, though, money was the largest vehicle behind the movement. Cannabis was not criminalized because of citizens mobilizing, it was criminalized out of indifference. Prohibition didn't last because such a large segment of the population refused to go along with it. Cannabis, on the other hand, was criminalized because opportunists could get legislation passed without a large amount of opposition. Cannabis supporters were not nearly as vocal or numerous as alcohol supporters.

So now that cannabis supporters are more numerous and vocal, why do theses conflicts still exist within our value system? Why is one of the least dangerous recreational drugs we know of classified as schedule 1 while one of the most dangerous drugs we know of is a commercial success? I don't think the corporations' money can be discounted, but I think the bigger factor is tradition. The lies and half-truths that have been told continuously for the past century have come to be accepted as fact. I think this is more due to culture differences than anything. People don't want to change their values, challenge themselves, or face these issues. They live in a culture, whether it be Protestant, Catholic, Islamic, Jewish, or otherwise that doesn't see a need to decriminalize. These institutions feed on regularity, on conformity. Now, I'm not trying to attack religion, but I grew up in a very religious house and saw a lot of the methods of organized religion first hand. A very common misconception is that organized religion is a series of beliefs. It's not, it's a code of conduct for life. It's a perpetuation of a certain way of life that has been proven to withstand the test of time, politics, changing philiosophies, advances in science, and more. I'm all for spirituality, the problem I have is when spirituality becomes mistaken for a perpetuation of values. Not only that, but those values are represented to be greater than any other set of values. It's a creation of a certain environment, and this environement is inherently resistant to change and the act of challenging values.

I know a lot of this sounds borderline hateful, but I do not think it is healthy to look at religion as just a set of beliefs. It is so much more than that. It is a social factor, it is a way of life, it has a heritage all of its own. My problem is with none of that, my problem is when that is all used in a cult-like manner; when it is represented to be inherently right and, although not explicitly stated but implied by definition, all others inherently wrong; When it is perpetuated by gang mentality. Why don't we decriminalize cannabis? Because there are too many people who are too set in their ways to allow it. I've said before that no cnadidate from either major party will decriminalize it. They risk losing too much support from the general populace to do so. It was the same way with abortion. No major candidate got behind a pro-abortion movement, it gained credibility through a large group of people determined enough to take it all the way to the Supreme Court. Like it or not, this country is still dominated by Protestant values and Protestant thinking, and as long as it remains either a democracy or dominated by such values no high-ranking publicly elected official is going to challenge cannabis criminalization.

The cannabis movement is unique from alcohol prohibition is one way. Prohibition started as a social movement, gained traction as a social movement, and was defeated due to a social movement, and stays defeated due to a combination of money of social factors. Cannabis criminalization started as a result of certain individuals seeking to gain financial gain, gained traction as a social movement under a veil of lies, and now gains support as a social movement. There is a lot of money still dedicated to keeping cannabis criminalized, but the bigger factor now is how society views it. I've read news articles that very non-chalantly state accpeted half-truths as fact. I saw a broadcast yesterday where they did a story on how drug trafficking is causing violence in Mexican towns where they very discreetly thew cannabis in with opium and cocaine as a major drug that is trafficked, right before cutting to a clip of an American sheriff saying that recreational drug users have blood on their hands. People still portray cannabis users as shiftless hippies and take every cheap shot they can. The only way cannabis laws are going to change are by people defying the law and getting more people to support them. There is now precedent on the books of a state supreme court saying that state's rights supercede federal rights and that law officials cannot choose which one they like better. This is a MAJOR step for drug laws everywhere. Precedent is how thyings get done, and one thing that helps precedent get set is support. It is easy for a judge to ignore one stoner, but if thousands show up outside a courthouse to show their support that same judge cannot help but consider their point of view. Our point of view is valid, the problem is the social warfare. Once we show the world that we are not a bunch of deviants, once we expose the half-truths as such, once we show that we are large enough to deserve serious consideration, then we will start making more progress. That is only going to happen by changing peoples' minds, by making them challenge their own values, by showing them the contradiction of their values. The best way to help the legalization effort, be educated on the subject, be knowledgable, and be adept enough at debating that when you do encounter someone who is stubbornly stuck in their values you can show them the inherent contradictions. What we need is legitimacy, and we get that by being educated and outsmarting our detractors.

December 18, 2008 at 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Brianne said...

Hey Rob!

I've been infrequent with posting comments, but I'm still an avid reader.


A/ Happy Birthday!

B/ One of the best things I could possibly have heard now was that SVD is doing extremely well. My uncle was diagnosed with liver and stomach cancer a few weeks ago and has started chemo as of this Tuesday; we're not close, but I'm wishing him all of my best, and your wife is an inspiration to the people who might feel like cancer is still a death sentence.

C/ As for why alcohol is perfectly legal and marijuana is not...my theory is simply this:
That's IT. That is the ONLY reason I think they demonize it, criminalize it, and punish people for having it. How could they regulate the trade of something that you can grow in your backyard, provided you have the climate for it? It would be damn near impossible.
As per usual, the bullshittery all boils down to cold hard cash and the desire to be the biggest dog in the yard. If they control every aspect, they control all the money, they control the economy.
And let me tell you, the first sign that shit was getting bad in the small town I grew up in before the economy began to tank was this: you couldn't find anyone with weed. The town had dried up damn near entirely. This is never a good sign, in my opinion.

Take care, and let Sonya know that there are people out here sending her positive thoughts.


December 19, 2008 at 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Clinton Cronin said...

I think that's in the process of changing in regards to the number one drug. I agree, alcohol is a MUCH bigger problem in the USA when it comes to "drugs" but now is different than say 10 years ago. Back in the day on Friday night after work you would see a line down the block at the liquor store. Those days are over. The "war on drugs" turned info "if you can't beat' em join em". Once the USA figures out how to legalize and distribute I think they will. If you want proof just go to a Walgreen's pharmacy on Friday nowadays... All of those people that were lined up at the liquor store 10 years ago are now on line to get their prescription buzz on..

The wrestler was a pretty sad story. Do you think it's bad for the business or may help to serve as a step towards helping the talent in terms of getting health care or retirement benefits going ?

I'm really really happy to see that SVD is doing well. That's awesome news.

Peace and best wishes,


January 28, 2009 at 8:55 AM  

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