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Welcome to my homepage.
I was honored to learn my page was chosen as a Best of Pod in the Writers' Block Pod. (Note: That was a couple of years ago before Lycos bought Tripod. I don't think there is a Writers' Block Pod anymore, but the distinction was nice at the time.)
I am a non-functioning literate, are you? I am also a standup comic, and a writer. This site was designed to showcase my work, and to explore the concept of the non-functioning literate, a concept that visited my brain a few years ago. Here you will find stories, poems, rants, journal entries, opinions, and various pieces of my mind.
Don't let the poetry site scare you off. I hate that stuffy academic crap as much as you do. These are my poems that I think represent who I am and what I see. They are poems from one non-functioning literate to another. By the way, Charles Bukowski is not only a God, but the non-functioning literate emeritus.
The comedy contains stories, experiences, thoughts, anecdotes & whatever else I deem appropriate. It does NOT contains any portions of my act.
Other pages are on the way. Stories. Journal entries. My bio, resume...Get it? This is basically all about me.
I hope you enjoy this site. I will be updating it all the time until I run out of free disk space. Than I'll probably have to shell out some money to expand it.
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Non-Functioning Literates (The Manifesto)
Definitions: A non-common Noun. 1. A bright, cynical person who does not function well in a world of status-quo values. 2. A person who hangs on the irregular rack of human haberdashery.
This whole concept began when I had a landlord who was functionally illiterate. Instead of feeling superior to him, I realized that, although he couldn't read or write, at least he owned a home. He was the landlord and I was the renter. He was collecting my money. As I reflected on our situations in life, I realized that, as polar opposites, he was functionally illiterate, but I was a non-functioning literate. Therefore, we had something in common.
I put the concept away. Several years later the concept resurfaced and it became the diagnosis for my troubled life. Then I realized I was not alone.
There are many of us out there among the rest of you that do not buy into your world of status quo. We are bright, cynical, literate people who cannot function & thrive under your rules. Most of us are underachievers. We read books and thrive on ideas. We are non-functioning literates.
Some of us go on to success in spite of this condition, but the majority of us wander through life entertaining bright ideas that others catch up to and profit from later.
We live in a world of dreams and ideas, but we usually never follow up on them. Our ambitions are short-lived passions that feed on us. We get an idea, an inspiration and follow it to it's quick, inevitable conclusion, obscurity. We are the cab drivers with PhD's. Well, actually, most of us would not have finished college, preferring instead to attend. The corporate world is not ours. We are curious, jaded, cynical, lyrical & passionate. We thrive on concepts. We are idealists and purists. Many of us are dejected souls sadly lost in our own delusions.
Many of us suffer from what you call 'lack of self-esteem.' Many of us were abused as children when our souls fell asleep and we are here among you attempting to reclaim ourselves. We are trying to heal. You have given us a world we cannot buy into. But relax, we are not out to get you. We just want to criticize you. Don't take it personally just because we really mean it. We are not out to destroy you, we just don't want you to destroy us.
We realize you have your valid view of the world, even though it is tainted with way too much optimism. There is a dark underbelly to life that you cannot seem to fathom. We acknowledge it because most of us have lived it, have been victimized by it. Rather than allowing our experiences to destroy us, we survived our abuses and are here to tell about it.
These are the stories I wrote to preserve my sanity, a collection of voices from the darker side of the human condition. May it entertain and inspire us to more tolerance among us all. And now, on with the show.
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The Non-Functioning Literate Hall of Fame:
Celebrities: Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Tom Waits, Henry Miller, Paul Cezanne, Rev. Jim (on "Taxi")...
Mike Welch (Hey, I came up with the concept, so back off!)
Friend: Jim Otey (AKA Dr. O)
The list is growing. Any nominees?
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How can you tell if you are a non-functioning literate? You...
Hate wearing a suit and tie. Enjoy your dreams more than your job. Attended college but didn't get a degree. Operate under the suspicion that everything is pedigreed bullshit. You value honesty more than status quo.
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"Tips for other Non-Functioning Literates"
Unfortunately, the world does not work in your favor. Here are some suggestions to tip the scale a little:
Marry a spouse with a stable career. It keeps you grounded to the other side and allows you to function by osmosis. ( Many househusbands are NFLs.) Please note: This is not an endorsement for sponging off your spouse. It is about going through life bearing the mark of Cain and finding a soulmate who understands you and loves you for who you are, someone more grounded to what the status quo refers to as "reality."
Do everything you can to believe in yourself. Realize you are not flawed, THEY are.
Buy lottery tickets.
Listen to your heart.
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Mike Welch, Editor-In-Cheese
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Copyright 1997 Mike Welch
Links to my other 'Non-Functioning Literate' pages