Thursday, December 24, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
This world surrounds us,
Engulfs us, and
Passes us by.
There is not time in any single day
To do all the things
We may want.
Time flies away.
Yet from the darkness shrouding our desires,
From this damnable
We can rise.
Heavenly rifts of emotion alight.
Our burdens disappear
And we live
The clouds of our dreams, once so ominous
Are driven away
By but one
Thing -- boldness.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
It's a battle between being sedentary and being active, doing something - anything - and doing nothing. It's, contrarily, not about some sort of fear of a particular or general something. I'm not afraid of doing something. In many ways I'm afraid of not doing something. The problem is that I don't know what I want to do, never mind what I and going to do. I just sit here and do nothing and the need to so something, ANYTHING grows greater and greater.
I know why I feel what I do. Most people I know and all of those whose opinions matter to me are moving on to new things. I am not. Not really at any rate. I know that such a feeling is foolish and that such a fact is some level of true and untrue. I know that I am too harsh on myself in such an assessment. But, nothing stops it from surfacing. In reality, I am moving on too, but the same old negatives of my life will remain and many of the positives which I am heretofore extremely grateful for, will disappear.
I don't really know what I'm doing with my life. I've set a proscribed course which seems on paper to make sense and seems in action to be acceptable. But I don't want to do anything. I don't want to put in the effort I will need to. I don't have any passion for what I will be doing next year at this point. At the same time, I both want to and don't want to do anything at all. I'm stuck in between the old and the new.
It seems like much of my life is set out before me now. Preplanned. Rigid. I finish grad school, get my masters degree. Get a job. Get a better job. And pay off my skyrocketing student loans. At the end of my undergraduate career I owed $27,000 but for each of the next two years I will be taking on an additional $20,000. $67,000 plus interest. I'd be lying if I said I didn't find that intimidating. Especially considering that starting salary is between 34-42K.
It's almost as if I'm tied to my current path simply by the debts that I have to pay. They overshadow all other reasons why I chose my current path and their repayment robs me of the next decade of my life. They rob me of my life.
But it's more than that too. There's a part of me that I don't like. It's a part that I put aside when I began dealing with being gay. But as I've become more and more comfortable with that, this older issue has begun to crop up again. It seems as if after I steady myself after Round 1 that Round 2 is just a bell's ring away. Round 2 is my father and ever little paranoid thought that he has buried in my head over the past 22 years. He is a cancer and he is eating away at me. It's gotten to the point where just the sound of his voice makes me feel like I've died a little.
How fucked up is that. He almost makes me physically sick. His influence on me as a child has made me sick to my stomach. He is an intensely paranoid man who sees only the negative in others or in situations. He is an immensely bigoted man who's vocalizations are nothing short of embarrassing to me. Many of the biggest regrets of my life tie directly into his own personality flaws, which over time have seeped into me to one extent or another.
When I was a little boy I lived two separate lives. One at school and one at home. Never did the two meet, at least for several years. In so many ways, even at that age, I was completely embarrassed of my father. If you did something wrong in my house you got beaten. Almost always, if not always, within the letter of the law... even if the law belongs to Alabama. Likewise, he was verbally abusive, which is never right regardless of the situation. He was not supportive. He was not encouraging. The only time I (or my brother or sister) would be directed at would be if I (they) did something wrong. He never did anything with me or for me. Never a kind word. Never praise. Never any emotional response that can be misconstrued as anything but anger.
When I was a young boy he didn't want anyone in "his house" that would do anything that could possibly irritate him. He didn't want to have anything to do with other people's kids. Likewise, it wouldn't seem unlikely that other people's kids wouldn't want to have anything to do with him. Well, at any rate, his own kids didn't want to have anything to do with him. Times when he was at work were much happier than times when he was at home, or worse on a long stretch of unemployment (at any job he worked, eventually he would screw up and get himself fired).
I remember one time as I had just entered Kindergarten or 1st Grade (I believe it the former instead of the latter). For what ever reason at the dinner table one night came up the topic of phone numbers. The conversation, or rather edict decried by my father, was that I was to under no circumstances give out our home phone number to any other person for any reason. He was talking about kids my age. Why you ask? Because he believed that some how his phone number would make it's way onto telemarketer calling lists. I'm not even coming close to kidding.
I knew that if I did give it out and someone then did call, like that would be a crime or anything, that I would be punished for it. And regardless of whether the premise was wrong or right (and it was wrong), at that age, I tried very hard to gain the attention of adults. Doing the right or "right" thing was one way to do so. To no success with him and to a lot of success with teachers. Yeah, through elementary school I was "that" kid. I knew all the answers and I didn't mind giving them. I could read very well and would do so instantly. I was polite and kind and never talked out of turn. So hey, at least to teachers, I was popular.
Of course, even by Kindergarten I lacked the social skills that the average 5 year old has. At least while at school. I did have friends who lived on my street. 5 or 6 in all. And I did talk on the phone with them, at least to set up what we were going to do that day. I did interact with them in a perfectly natural and fluid way. We were friends. Not great friends. Probably not even close friends. But at least people to do stuff with when there was nothing else to do. And never in my house if my father was home. Almost never in my house ever, as if our presence would some how attract my father's bad mood. My mother was not immune to it either, after all. In the end it occurs to me that I was likely friends with the people on my street because my mom was friends with their moms. They interacted from time to time, and I, of course, tagged along. It grew from there.
School of course was a different story. There was no one forcing me to do anything socially. I could be as sociable or as quiet as I wanted, in theory. Of course, lacking the aforementioned social skills, the latter was chosen for me. I now suppose that I did reach out for approval in the only way I knew how -- by being smart. I was incredibly intelligent after all (modesty aside). To this day I have a phenomenal memory, and elementary school is basically just memory-based learning. So, as I said I was popular to teachers.
Throughout elementary school I wasn't a popular kid to other students. But I wasn't picked on or secluded or anything else either. Granted I was consistently the tallest member of my class and was quite a bit burlier than I am now. Over the six years from Kindergarten to 5th grade I did have a variety of acquaintances and a few light friends at school. But they did not, but for two exceptions, break the school-home barrier, as I said first that my father embarrassed me, second that he discouraged it, and third that I didn't have the tools for it. I had gone to two birthday parties of two male students of whom I really didn't have that much contact anyways. Again it was because my mom knew their mom and grandmother. I didn't really even like their sons. I had nothing against them, but I rarely, if ever, talked to them either. Both were in my 1st Grade year.
During social times at school (i.e. recess) I would stick around one or two other people. At first a guy. Then he fades from the picture. A girl, and two other girls. With a few others flitting in and out. I'm "Facebook friends" with three of them today. The others I don't know anymore and couldn't find even if I wanted to. I was sort of close with one of the girls. But, at that age, and granted my later sexual revelation, we weren't truly close by any means. We didn't really do stuff or share secrets or any of those little kiddie things. We only hung out during recess and to be frank, I didn't really miss her as I moved on to middle school. It was sort of like having a book as a friend. Nice in theory, but not really missed in the end.
Even in those years I found I preferred solitude. Or at least that I enjoyed it too. I never played sports with the boys during recess. Ever. Partially because I didn't know how to play football (which was the sport of choice at our school recesses), still to this day can't throw one, and again lacked the social skills to approach them. I doubt I even realized that I lacked that ability.
Moving onto middle school brings about a whole new chance at life. And, by this point, I realized that I wasn't happy. Yet I did not know how to fix the problem. If I was honest with myself I may have realized that the problem lied within my social skills, even if I didn't know what to call it. Sexuality was interesting, but I'll continue with social skills and pick that up later.
I knew that a new school would mean a new opportunity to become "popular". I saw that other "popular" people always seemed happy. And I wanted to be happy; so I wanted to be popular as well. Over the summer there was an orientation which parents brought their kids to. It was held in the cafeteria and there was some sort of "ice breaker" exercise that we were supposed to do. It was a sheet of paper with a bunch of things on it that you had to find people for which it described. (Perhaps, for instance, "likes ice cream" or "plays baseball" or something like that.)
Students began milling around and parents did too. But I did nothing. I stood there because I didn't have a fucking clue what to do. As if by talking to someone else would imply a non-existent friendship and thus also set me up for a blow off or something. At the end of the day I didn't get one person to fill out one blank because there was no one there (a majority of which went to my elementary school) who I considered a friend. The friends I did have numbered only those who lived on my street, and which number was about to drop as three of them were about to move away.
I remember middle school for one defining moment in my life. Granted, other things happened as well. It was the point when I decided that I didn't care any more. I didn't care what people thought about me. I didn't care about being smart or answering questions or anything. I just didn't care anymore, because I made a conscious decision that not caring was better than being made fun of. There were no real build up of incidences or anything. I just remember one day standing outside a classroom, before being let into the room, and having someone who he himself was picked on for being rather nerdy make some sort of comment about the acne that was bringing to show on my face. (Oddly enough, another genetic marvel donated by my father's sperm.) It hurt because I didn't do anything to him and because his comment wasn't normal for him either. We had gotten along in the past. Not friends or even acquaintances. But certainly not enemies.
I headed into the classroom. I remember that my teacher was sick that day and we had been given busy work by the sub. I think it was math or maybe science. I forget. But I remember sitting in the front desk third row from the right and deciding consciously that I wasn't going to give a damn anymore. I shut up. I didn't answer questions as often, if at all outside of jeopardy games or team competitions where intelligence was lauded in victory. Hell, in my 8th grade Social Studies class I could almost own the entire class in Jeopardy by myself. It actually got to the point where I could answer questions before he even finished reading them... sometimes they were impossibly unfinished. I still remember the greatest one I had ever done. The category was Geography and the question was "This is called the island..." and I cut him off with the answer, which I did so by almost screaming "Right here!" signaling my hand in the air to make sure that no one would get it before me because the teacher hadn't looked up from the paper in time to see who was first. And I knew the answer. "The plateau of Tibet." The whole question having been "This is called the Island on Top of the World." I pretty much left everyone on the other team awestruck, including the Chinese kid who had his hand up second and couldn't believe he didn't get it up first. Hehe. For that brief period from the end of that game until the end of that class period, I was able to compensate for a lack of social skills because for that short period of time intelligence was as important to the rest of the students.
Otherwise, I kept to myself and a core group of three friends. They really were friends too. None of them were all that smart (though one of them was not dumb either). But they were all outcasts for one reason or another. One because he was gross looking. One because he acted gross. And one because he was a year younger than the rest of us and pretty small and came from a sheltered home. In the end, it would only be him who I am still in contact with, if only as "Facebook friends."
Around middle school my father comes up again for a new reason. Sports. He hates sports and he thinks it's entirely impossible for a person to be both good at academics and good at sports at the same time. Well, what he didn't realize is that until I reached AP Chemistry in my junior year of high school and then in college, NEVER did I study for anything and NEVER did I not get good grades with ABSOLUTELY no effort whatsoever. Of course, had he been in better touch with his own son, something might have been different.
Anways, sports. What I knew of sports came from my mother and one friend from my street. I could play baseball and was pretty good at it for my age. I had quick hands and in a backyard game I could easily rout even my sports-crazed street friend. I was offered the catcher's position on my middle school baseball team, for lack of someone applying for it. I quickly denied it however simply because I knew that my father would not allow it. I would be in for an incredible amount of verbal abuse if I had accepted. I knew that. And I'd long since been resigned to it. The same would ring true throughout high school too. My mom would constantly beg me to join a club or something as a "resume booster". But I couldn't draw. I didn't like chess. I hated foreign languages. I wasn't popular enough to be on student council (and I hated them anyways). So then too I would do nothing.
It's funny though, looking back at middle school. Of course, just about everyone goes through puberty during this time, and I was no different. It's funny because, now it's so obvious that I liked guys even back then. But, then I was completely clueless. It almost makes me laugh if it weren't so sad. There are a good half dozen guys in my middle school who I would stare at or even have some sort of crush on. Granted I didn't know what to do about it, or care at that point. Also, there wasn't a single girl for whom I felt the same way. Go figure. Hell, it was a Catholic school; I would have probably been thrown out for making a pass at a guy or something. Detention at least! They never did talk about homosexuality in sex-ed come to think of it. But they did talk about masturbation in religion class... go figure. Ha ha.
As high school rolled around, again I knew it was another chance to change myself. The high school in my city encompasses all of the middle school students who go public, so there would be a lot of new kids there. Most of the people I went to Catholic middle school with went to the private Catholic high school. So in reality, I would be making almost a clean break. Which I throughly needed. I realized that pushing everyone away who could hurt me wouldn't lead to happiness. Although, I maintained my classroom silence so that I wouldn't seem too intelligent. Although grades would prove otherwise, as would Honors and AP classes. But I didn't show off regardless.
The difference at this time involved learning social skills. Despite my father's stupidity, I had realized that this was what I needed to work on as well as how I would need to do that.
It's insane to me to realize that inside I am not the man he comes across as but that in many ways and in many instances I know that I come across in exactly the same way. So then what's to say that he hasn't tried to fight the same demons that I now do? Who's to say that he wasn't impacted by another in the same way that I was impacted by him? And that's fucking frightening, that I know with every ounce of my being that I am not the man that he seems to me to be and that maybe every ounce isn't enough.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
When the third person had died, I assumed that I would write something in detail, something describing my personal feelings about this person's actions in life, something at all. But I didn't and haven't. In all likelihood, I won't either. I don't think it will matter. Those who matter already know what this person did for each of us. Those who don't matter, don't believe that this person did anything for us at all. It is these people I despise over all others. But the fact remains, love this person or hate them, their actions have impacted each of us. You can reject it or rejoice it. You can cheer their actions or chide them. It doesn't matter. In the end you feel their impact regardless. That, in itself, is the greatest legacy a person can leave behind.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Don't Argue With The Gay Flight
My flight was being served by an obviously gay flight attendant, who seemed to put everyone in a good mood as he served us food and drinks.
As the plane prepared to descend, he came swishing down the aisle and told us "Captain Marvey has asked me to announce that he'll be landing the big scary plane shortly, so lovely people, if you could just put your trays up, that would be super."
On his trip back up the aisle, he noticed an extremely well-dressed and exotic young woman hadn't moved a muscle. "Perhaps you didn't hear me over those big brute engines but I asked you to raise your trazy-poo, so the main man can pitty-pat us on the ground."
She calmly turned her head and said, "In my country, I am called a Princess and I take orders from no one."
To which the flight attendant replied, without missing a beat, "Well, sweet-cheeks, in my country I'm called a Queen, so I outrank you. Tray up, Bitch."
Whether or not one argues with this political move, be it a campaign suspension or this educational speech is determinant on whether or not a person agrees with the political figure giving the speech or suspending the campaign in the first place. The content of the message and the reason for the suspension doesn't matter at all in the end. In politics, as in life, all people will bring predispositions and biases into play, without regard to intent, no matter the situation or the intended outcome. According to our biases, we all have blinders.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I set up this blog as a vent for a ranter and his like. Though I primarily created this page for my own reasons, feel free to comment or post something of your own. Talk about anything you want. Nothing is taboo here. Feel free to vent.
But I digress, the purpose of this blog was to create sanity in a sea of insanity. I don't judge; I don't discriminate; I don't hate. If you follow these principles you can write whatever you want. If you write hate I will delete it. But otherwise, have fun.
-November 13th, 2005.
And while actual participation of those other than me has flitted in and out over the years, my purposes remain and my invitation does as well. The most popular article lo these many years has been my rant on Reganism and Deregulation, which has reached some acclaim across the Internet in a variety of sources. I suppose I'm flattered, but as I don't promote myself or this site and I seek no monetary income from ad space, it is only icing on the cake of my sanity. Suffice to say, I would be a much more miserable a person without having this outlet and I'd like to think in having it I've done something useful and substantive over the past four years. If of course, that value remains onto to myself, I remain just as satisfied and just as set on continuing as I was when I began. So, together, let's see where the next few years take us.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
There are different kinds of evolution, insofar as we can group together its various forms into an undetermined number of subgroups based solely on one's perception of the change taking place. The evolution of love or friendship, for example, is perceptibly different than the evolution of the sizes of dinosaur species from the Jurassic Period to the Triassic Period. However, the same general concept of a pattern of change still exists.
Now let's take our dinosaur example. At a time there existed the large hulking masses of the sauropods. Food was plentiful, so they could individually support their sizes. They multiply and their species dominate. But many million years pass and the sauropod's environment changes. Whole climates change and what types of food (plants) which once thrived and fed the equally thriving sauropods are becoming more scarce. As, therefore, are the sauropods.
With a changing climate and less food dinosaurs that don't eat as much (i.e. that are smaller) prosper and the sauropods... go the way of the dinosaurs. For dinosaurs as a whole, this change to smaller sizes promises their continued prosperity while part of the group which was in a different climate very strong, the sauropods are now reaching extinction.
The same process occurs countless other times, even in man. But, unlike other species (to the best of our knowledge) mankind is the only species that can understand what is going on, if still unable to stop it at all.
Luckily, man doesn't take millions of years to evolve ideologically for instance. Each generation brings its perception of its own collective experiences and creates an ideology which individually and as a group is best suited, in their opinions, to their survival.
With each new generation looking to conquer the challenges of their world, older ideologies are replaced. It is safe to say that the average person will at one point in their lives be on the forefront, the middle, and part of a tired, ill-fitting ideology. Granted there will always be some who are only the 1st or 3rd.
The problem with our evolutions is that we are conscious of them and when we became outdated we tend to blame new ideologies. In this we are correctly naming the source of our ill-fate but incorrectly so in placing blame. Each generation has battles to win and ironically the price of success is to be destined to fight against further evolution. The hunter becomes the hunted. In this way it is hypercritical to blame evolution for our ill-fates. Blame our own individual consciousnesses if you must. After all, though losers in the end, large dinosaurs undoubtedly lived happier without knowing they were steadily becoming outdated.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
"The Cause of My Life"
by Senator Kennedy
July 18th 2009
In 1964, I was flying with several companions to the Massachusetts Democratic Convention when our small plane crashed and burned short of the runway. My friend and colleague in the Senate, Birch Bayh, risked his life to pull me from the wreckage. Our pilot, Edwin Zimny, and my administrative assistant, Ed Moss, didn't survive. With crushed vertebrae, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung, I spent months in New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. To prevent paralysis, I was strapped into a special bed that immobilizes a patient between two canvas slings. Nurses would regularly turn me over so my lungs didn't fill with fluid. I knew the care was expensive, but I didn't have to worry about that. I needed the care and I got it.
Now I face another medical challenge. Last year, I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Surgeons at Duke University Medical Center removed part of the tumor, and I had proton-beam radiation at Massachusetts General Hospital. I've undergone many rounds of chemotherapy and continue to receive treatment. Again, I have enjoyed the best medical care money (and a good insurance policy) can buy.
But quality care shouldn't depend on your financial resources, or the type of job you have, or the medical condition you face. Every American should be able to get the same treatment that U.S. senators are entitled to.
This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver—to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, "that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American…will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege." For four decades I have carried this cause—from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society. Now the issue has more meaning for me—and more urgency—than ever before. But it's always been deeply personal, because the importance of health care has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years....
Read on at: http://www.newsweek.com/id/207406/page/1
Friday, July 17, 2009
2. Sometimes it helps to pretend to be happy. You might forget why you're not for a bit and actually feel better.
3. Your successes are dependent largely on your outlook.
4. If you want something enough you can achieve it (short of resurrection of course).
5. If you aren't getting what you want, maybe you're looking in the wrong places. Maybe you don't really know what you want.
6. If you can't answer why you need something, then you don't really need it. You may need something else.
7. The biggest social handicap is worrying too much about others reactions to what you do. Just do it (legally of course) and worry less about possible negative outcomes.
8. Some relationships are fixable. But many times we misunderstand which are and which aren't.
9. Don't ever change who you are for another person.
10. You think you can do better than the person that you're with but you're afraid that you'll never find something better. Simply solution... LEAVE. You can and will do better.
11. If you're nervous talk things out to yourself. If you can't talk them out, they're not going to go right anyways.
12. Always, always be honest with yourself. Especially if you don't want to.
13. Don't take things personally. But learn to take constructive criticism.
14. Learn to work with those you don't like.
15. And finally, always ask for help. There are those who have dealt with the same things you do. But remember, they don't necessarily have the right answers any more than you. Get many opinions, but in the end make sure to trust yourself too.
Friday, July 10, 2009
The movie was ridiculous in the most amazing ways. The antics of Bruno were completely out there and at points crazy (and very naked), but there was an underlying point to the film which, like Borat before it, tried to expose the bigotry of this nation, from formerly gay ministers to straight over-machismo to showing Ron Paul for the bigot he is.
There are a lot of people who are going to be very offended by this movie because they will say that it detriments the GLBTQ movement. That it is too over the top to be taken seriously. I disagree. I sat in a theater with people my own age, straight couples and gay alike, in a not openly gay town. And we laughed. For the right reasons. There were points during it where two to three hundred people fell silent and stared in awe at the virulent bigotry that our nation of freedoms and liberties hides just beneath its surface. In our senators, in our ministers, as I said, but also in our citizens. They sat dead silent.
This movie helps expose those who don't normally realize there are non-hetero people to them and to their challenges. (Towards the end, Bruno tries to marry a man in California after Prop 8 passed and the minister soberly refused and walked from the room. You could hear a pin drop in the theater.) In the end a bunch of GLBTQ people had their laughs and astonishments (I know I did -- stared agape at the Straight Ultimate Fighter scene) but we weren't the only ones staring and we weren't the only ones cheering Bruno on. More than 95% of the theater stayed for the whole movie, some kind of fidgeting, some really fidgeting, but I think they learned something.
We're not something to be afraid of. We have hopes and dreams too. I think the average viewer (at least in my theater- my location prefaced) and I think it both shows us how far we've come that it could be shown at all in a theater (more than just brief glimpses at penis and all) and how much we can still go.
1. The only distraction I had during the movie was the guy behind me pestering his boyfriend (or whatever) for a blow job. Incessantly... for a good twenty minutes. And, well let's just say the movie had a happy ending and so did he. ...With the other people they went with, two straight couples, sitting right next to them. An interesting night in all. Also I'd never before wished I was deaf... for a while I almost considered it.
2. There was a couple in their mid 40's to early 50's sitting next to me who left after Bruno began a good 30 seconds of analingus. I laughed to my self because they stayed for the mechanical dildo scene.
3. I felt really bad for the guy that checked tickets at the gate. He was clearly gay and clearly not quite comfortable with the idea yet. Stumbling over his words and not making eye contact with any of the guys in front of me. Or me for that matter. I hope it wasn't intentional that he was there.
4. I never really realized the knowledge outside of the norm that being gay helps you acquire. You could tell exactly who was gay (or extraordinarily knowledgeable about it) and who wasn't in the theater based solely on who laughed at certain jokes. The same went for anyone who was Jewish oddly enough. (Or smart like that I suppose.)
5. It's so amazing that such a movie will get made and even more amazing it would be shown in a theater legally. And, that straight people actually WANT to see it. It gives me a lot of hope for this country.
Anywho... I give the movie... two big dicks waaaaay up! Hehe!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sitting out beneath the crescent moon,
Shadows flickering across our faces,
Moonlight dazzling in our eyes as
Our hands begin a slow symphony.
With each heart beat the air grows warmer.
Over the horizon our destiny lurks.
And come what may -- but now, this night
We are the banquet, each other the main course
Tucked away are fears of what dawn will bring.
Here and now we are two souls as one.
For now, the rest of the world has fallen silent.
of pain, suffering, and plight
whose agony knows no bounds or end.
Others pen tales of daffodils, birthdays,
and sunshine, freshly baked cookies,
devotion, friendship and love a plenty.
But my story is not so simple
as light or dark, happy or sad.
I cannot be put to float in a single boat.
I am nine hundred thousand extremes,
fighting for their place
at a table that seats only eight.
Spotted brown and gray.
He had a bad habit.
He ate beans all day!
His wife kicked him out.
Soon, his mother did too.
If you see him wanderin' about,
That's the least you could do.
Had I not met a hare so gaseous as him,
Who's so set about rooting and tooting,
(For never a moment does it dim!)
I'd not believe one could be so polluting
As my friend Reginald Arthur Benjamin!
It is this physical expression that describes for each other one's religious beliefs. What you see of a religious person can tell you much of what they are believing internally. The same is true for the non-religious -- absence is a sign the same as appearance.
That said, the purpose of religion is to proliferate one's beliefs onto others and to fortify it amongst the "believers". Period. It serves as a standard by which all members of a faith or a sect of a faith will measure themselves by. ("Am I a good Christian?" "Am I a good Muslim?" Etc.) It keeps people enthused and keeps people in line with a central dogma. And, it's a form of control.
In the end, there are hundreds of types of religious belief and thousands of sects within those beliefs. And each believes that it is the true one or the right one even, if not especially, when they say they're not. I'm not just talking about evangelicals; I'm talking about Buddhists as well, Lutherans as well, Universalists as well -- all people who believe in religion. Just the same, those who don't believe in religions or have religious beliefs (such as yours truly) believe that their correct and that everyone else is wrong. Inherently there is no problem in this. People can have whatever beliefs they want.
Beliefs move forward however, they congregate as it were. Religious beliefs group together with like-minded people doing like minded things for like-minded reasons. Thus, religion is born. Churches are built, ceremonies are created, rules are instituted, and money is collected. Atheism has yet to do this. Perhaps it will. In the age of the Internet, why not? Atheists would certainly be attracted to groups in which they would have more influence and power. Or would they be more reminded of religious beliefs of their pasts? Perhaps it would take a few generations of atheists, but undoubtedly, eventually, they would congregate too.
As with all groups that congregate, by which I mean all religions, they will gain power in their locality. They will get things done their way and soon enough they will drive out those who don't agree with them. Such actions could be benign or they could be physical. It probably depends on how different the minority group's beliefs are and likewise how much of a threat they are seen to be. Palestinians are a bigger perceived threat than the Amish after all.
Regardless, at some point, generations will pass and people in religions will forget what it was like to be discriminated against. They will lose the ability to understand the plight which they could hold on their fellow neighboring minorities. And, impose themselves they will. Excuses will be made and discrimination will commence. The minorities will be hurt. It doesn't matter who they are or what they believe. It will be deemed evil and sought to be stamped out. Those that were formerly discriminated against will now be the prosecutor.
Of course, this evolution, which has been seen historically many times over (Puritans, Evangelicals, Muslims, etc.) and though not universally descriptive of all members of a religion or a sect, can be seen by those who adhere most ardently to the beliefs of any group. Any group at all. Religion is an easy target today, because of who I am and what I believe, but the same is for all groups. Political parties play this game. When one gains power they mock the other. When they lose power, they are mocked. There is no empathy. When the American Colonies became strong enough, they fought off the British. But then to countless other nations, generations later, perspective of discrimination forgotten, they enslaved Africans, massacred Philippians, and waged economic and military wars in countless nations for their own profit. They exploited others in the same fashion that Great Britain had once exploited them. There is no empathy at all for those who do not remember what it was like to be hurt.
This is the cycle that we as a world are stuck in today. It is a cycle of hate and it is self-defeating. One nation will rise off the pain it endured and overcome the nation which oppressed them. Or it could be religion or economy or company or special interest group or any type of group in which people with like beliefs congregate. The fact is that we are stuck in this cycle. It has occurred since the beginning of civilization, that one group would prefer to destroy another simply to ensure that it is most powerful and thereby most successful by default.
The problem with defeating this cycle lies within the beliefs that are held themselves. Simply, the belief itself is that all other societies should be subservient. That is the belief inherent in each person. Survival of the fittest. It's even called "the human race." That's what's going on. We are all racing to the top spot as if, like in a pyramid, there is only one top stone.
Each person holds beliefs which help their group overthrow other groups. Then each person holds beliefs that helps unseat people who are higher in their own group. All because they believe that there is only one top spot.
Right now I'm sure there are those who say, "No you're wrong. I don't believe that way!" But don't you? You think the conservatives are wrong. The neo-cons destroyed this nation. The pro-lifers are anti-woman. The pro-capital punishment crowd is killing innocent people. Private health care is economically biased. Proposition 8 supporters are bigots and hatemongers. Right?
Well that is your belief. The same as the opposite is their belief. We all believe our beliefs (whatever they may be) with the same strength and conviction. It's just that we cannot easily see that because each person's beliefs (and degrees of belief in those beliefs) are different.
So right and wrong are perspectives and nothing more. Even everything I say here is just my perspective. It is neither wrong nor right. It just is. How you see it determines how you perceive it. You decide the same as I do whether something is wrong or right. The only difference to the outcome is whether or not you are in the majority or the minority. (That is, whether you are successful or not is clearly dependent on which group is most powerful.)
We as humans, in my opinion, should give up this cycle which I believe we are in. But those who this proposed cycle has profited believe the opposite. Perhaps they believe that it doesn't exist at all. In the end, belief cannot be factually proven. Even many things we think can be proven cannot. The Earth is round. How is that more or less true than the Earth is flat? Certainly to the majority of us, the Earth might as well be flat. To some who cross the globe or see the Earth from space or have international trade in mind, sure they can believe something else. And, they might convince us of it. And they did. Fishermen, who used the sea for money, and later tradesmen like Columbus, proved it for us because it economically advantaged them to do so. As did kings and queens of Europe. It greatly advantaged them to "prove" to us that the world was round.
In the same right, it did the Christian Church well to prove to us that the Earth was flat. It instilled fear of the unknown, closed the world down, and made the Church the sole power at the top of the pyramid. It suited their desires and their beliefs -- that they knew best, that they were civilized, and that they should rule everyone using their beliefs. The fact that the Earth was flat was no more or less meaningful or useful than the Earth was round. And, in perspective of those who believe one thing, their belief is fact and the other is false. They are right and the other is wrong.
It doesn't matter which is which or whether the world is actually round, or whether genocide is actually justified, or whether pro-life is anti-woman, or if the neo-cons destroyed the nation. All fact is point of view in a world in which each and every person is convinced that they are holding of the one true belief.
In a world where no one is truly right or wrong, in which power is the only guarantee of success. Is it any wonder that we are so insistent that we are right? In a world where everyone believes that they themselves are right and everyone else is wrong in one way or another, how can we even wonder why there are wars fighting for power over oil fields, refugees of religious and social wars, in short that we are a violent society? When violent's moral direction is simply perception, what does it matter at all?
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Oh well, what the hell can I do that is free / extremely cheap / time consuming but not tedious or boring? That's what I need to figure out. Hell, I'd even get a job for the summer, that is IF there were any available where I live. Suffice to say, if you see me working in Wal-Mart, I've clearly hit rock bottom and begun to dig. Otherwise, I'm sure I'll find something or another to do.
I'll try to come up with something to talk about, but I won't force it. When I force it you get a farce post like this one which is only here because I need a placeholder and because I got tired of the headline entry being about American Idol.
Oh well, cheers!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I am not and have never been a fan of American Idol. I think the show's tepid flavor demeans real music and destroys real musicians who try to cookie cutter themselves into fame and fortune. And, it's made Fox tons of money. I have not watched the series at any length and have probably not seen an entire episode in 6 years or so. But while stumbling around the tubes listening to old Queen concerts (of which there are hundreds incidentally) I came across what I'm told was from the last season finale, a cover of Queen's We Are the Champions by the two remaining contestants. So, as I'm bored allow me to rank it as the single best cover of this song that I have seen and seen many I have.
The Original: (Queen: Rock Montreal- 1981)
The Remake: (Queen + Paul Rodgers- Return of the Champions- 2005)
The Best Cover: (Adam Lambert and Kriss Allen- 2009)
With Queen songs, power is key, and this is clearly and easily so the most powerful version I have ever seen. With Paul Rodger's doing his own thing this summer, and a Queen North American tour indefinitely postponed, there's a lot of money to be made here. ..Just saying... ahem...
Damn, I can't believe I've spent an entire entry on American Idol. Certainly I've taken leave of myself. Excuse me while I track down my sanity.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
In November of 2005 I wanted this to be a history of my college career, and it has been so far. But I'm not finished. I'll be beginning my MEd in the fall and will through the spring of 2011. So, I guess the endeavor will continue. Thankfully too! It's been only a week since I've been home and already I'm getting claustrophobic. 14 more weeks or so. This year I'm not counting though. Summer will not be an interregnum between two good things that I have to indure. I'll try to find something that will make my summer fun. I'm throwing around a few ideas to begin writing again. We'll see how everything goes. Maybe I'll post some of it here.
Graduation was a blur and my roadtrip was amazing, granted if the car would work on autopilot it would have been all the better. But, I digress. It was great. Now it's just a matter of staying in touch with all of those who graduated with me. And fuck I'm lazy. This will be a challenge to be sure. But, it's one I think I need to do. At least for most people. I may be an asshole but at least I'm not that asshole.
When people publish scholarly work they cite others' past work. As such we justify new ideas with old ones.
I repeat, it's amazing that we progress at all!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
It's unfortunate though that it's all about to be over. Four years up and gone. Most of the people I know and like I probably won't get to see again, some I should hope I do. But lives change and people go their own ways. It's a fun thing when just about everyone you care about is about to disappear from your life.
I know that life goes on. And I know that I will too. After summer I have grad school right back here again, but it will be different. Just about everyone will be gone. Oh well. I know life will move on and so will I, but it will be kicking and screaming. I've gotten comfortable with the people around me and I'm not looking forward to having to re-network.
I've been very lucky in the past four years finding people who accept me for who I am and who I trust. Not everyone is that way. Case and point, most of my family members. Fuck family. I'm sure I'll find people, but will they be as good? Doubtful.
I'll always remember the good times though. But, now I've got to make the best of this situation.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Anywho, I need to find something or someone to keep me busy this summer. I don't care what or who. Just something non-lethal to get my attention. As anyone who knows me for any length of time, you know that there are two things that I cannot stand in life and they are my parents and religious belief. Thankfully, I can avoid the latter most days of the week, and be hilariously sacrilegious otherwise. The holy grail of sacrilege to me would be gay sex on the altar. It just seems like the right place. Of course, to snap one off in the rectory comes in a close second. But, I digress.
My parents aren't easily removed of. I don't want to spend tons of money. I'm generally lacking in preparation for any large jaunt. And therefore, my jaunts seem to be shorter in nature. I'll be home sometime after dark. With any luck, I'd sleep through the morning. But, I'd still have to bother with them for the afternoon and evening. Conservative, anti-gay sheep. It's not like I can really feel comfortable in their house. I was in the closet for the better part of six years and I have no desire to get my ticket stamped for reentry. Fuck them and their outdated beliefs.
So that brings me again to my problem. I don't have anything to do this summer. A tutoring job apparently fell through. I don't need to go out into the workplace as I'll be back at school here next year for grad school. (I just hope there are people left in the area that I like.) Anything I would find would be of the summer variety, and those seem in short supply this year. Surprize!
I need something or someone to keep me busy. I could start writing seriously again, but that would mean more time at home. I do want to get to the beach again this year. It's been so long since I've been and I love it so much, 3/4ths naked men notwithstanding of course. I'd thought about staying in this area over break, but I don't have anywhere to stay. So that's a negatory. I'd thought about just driving and not coming back for a few weeks. But where to go, and what to do. It's not as much fun if you're alone and doing all the driving yourself. I've thought about sitting myself in the Foxwoods cardroom all summer and building my bankroll. But, as much as I like poker and competition, I can't sit on my ass that much and I'm not willing to risk that much start up cash. Granted I'm going to need a mother load of cash to pay off my loans. At least I have another 21 months in grad school before I need to start paying them back. I'd thought about setting up a massive number of teacher's lesson plans for when I actually hit the classroom after grad school, but intersting as that may be for a while, after a week or two of steady work, that's going to wear on me too.
I need to do something this summer, and it needs to be as far away from family as legitimately possible. Any ideas? I'm pretty much up for anything at this point. I hear Guam is nice this time of year.