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Monday, August 27, 2007

Negativity, Environment, and Brian Harnois

I don't really know where this fits. I'd say over to The Wording is probably best, but since the IP address is changing in the next couple of weeks, and I have known this was coming for several weeks now, I haven't been adding anything to that blog for a short time. I have a feeling it may just get started over from scratch (I will copy and paste a few of the more pressing entries).

But there's another reason I wanted to include this one here: because of the discussion regarding Brian Harnois and TAPS. As I reported, Harnois and a few other TAPS members recently left the group and formed their own little ghost-hunting organization.

So here's the thing:

You can't be around a certain mood, atmosphere, or person who fosters such without it affecting you. We can argue "Nurture" and "Nature" and all that nonsense until Doomsday comes, but it's really a basic fact.

I am poor. My parents weren't poor, but they weren't rich either; we were pretty much middle-class or even lower middle-class, if you please. And even though I have moved back into my parents' home a few times over the years, it isn't like I really unpacked or anything while I was there - it was more like I was just "crashing" for a while until I got back on my feet and moved out again. That being said, I have always been poor, thus I have always lived in areas where there are a lot of other poor people. The thing about a lot of poor people is that they tend to have given up.

Not all of them, mind you; there are many people who just happen to be poor. They are hard-working, upstanding people who just have too many bills or maybe children, go to school when they aren't working - whatever - and I like to think of myself as one of these. After all, I am skilled, they just happen to have outsourced most of the jobs at which I am skilled, so finding a job that earns me what I am worth is not so easy. Instead, I am eking out a living online, blogging and running a website that I have been having nothing but problems with since I paid for the damned thing!

But still, I really love what I do and, I must admit, had I not been more or less forced into doing it, I would probably still be doing whatever job I was lucky enough to have. So, for me, things seem to have worked out for the best (knock wood). But as for my neighbors?

Well, let's just say that, excepting the (very) few who are hard-working, most all are on drugs and/or drink everyday. Now, I don't do drugs, but I do drink, and I tend to drink more than I should at least once or more every few weeks, so I'm not judging that. Still, I obviously can't drink everyday and I can't afford to drink too heavily too often on the days when I do - I can't because I can't work drunk or hungover, not because I don't want to.

Most of my neighbors don't work and are not looking for work. Instead, they sit around, getting fucked-up, complaining about their lives and how they can't do anything to change it. That's the thing about people like that: they have just resigned themselves to being poor; they've become used to the whole thing and just don't mind it enough anymore to bother trying to change it. And after listening to them go on and on, day-in and day-out, you not only start to feel sorry for them, you start feeling sorry for yourself. It's just a matter of outlook and mood; even when I have wanted to chat with someone about whatever the hell Lindsay's up to or the latest movie release or some great paranormal account I just read about, they have no idea what I'm talking about and they're far too busy feeling sorry for themselves and complaining about the state of their lives to care.

Which brings me to Harnois and why, I think, it is best that he and his little crew left TAPS (at least for now): Brian was not that serious about the organization. I'm sure he was at one time, but he just hasn't been lately. And when you have one person like that in a group, he can bring down the entire group! It's like an infection of sorts - it's contagious, even if the person goes to extra lengths to avoid passing it along; you just can't be in an atmosphere like that for too long without it affecting you to some degree.

Everyone knows a "wet blanket" - like Debbie Downer from Saturday Night Live - and even though you may truly like that person and consider them a friend, you don't invite them along when you want to have a good time because you know that, even if they don't actively do anything to ruin the mood, they just have that sort of air about them that brings others down.

Brian's constant relationship issues, his jealousy of Steve, and all the other negative things he brought to the group brought the group down. It wasn't just that he wasn't focused on his job, it was that, for the rest of the group to work with Brian Harnois, they had to work around him. And while I don't blame him for that so much, I do think it best that they have parted ways.

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