Sunday, September 02, 2012
Sunday, July 08, 2012
When I was a kid, I remember going through the channels before church on Sunday morning looking for something to hold my attention. When I came upon Meet the Press or Face the Nation, I would turn the dial quickly. I thought those shows were boring and always wondered, "Who would watch this?"
Then, in my teen years, my taste changed. During high school and college I was fascinated by what politicians and pundits are saying about each other. It was a school fight for adults. I craned my neck to hear the stings and watch people sweat hard questions.
Times have changed once again. Now I am mostly sickened by it. I think I pay attention too much to appreciate it as I once did.
First of all, politicians and pundits will say anything. They seem to ask themselves one of two questions when preparing to speak. It is either, "will this make my side look good?" or more often, "will this make the other side look bad?" If the answer is yes to at least one of these things, they give themselves the green light to open their mouth and let fly. One question they never consider it seems to be "is what I am about to say really true?" This is where I find stomach illness welling up in me.
Both sides are guilty of this and they say the same things:
Republican: We cannot continue with the failed policies of this president.
Democrat: We cannot go back to the failed policies of George W. Bush.
That is just the beginning. Listen for the term "flip-flop" or "flip-flopper." Who is that term describing? It only depends on who is doing the talking. Also, everyone now makes a point with a close fist - like giving the thumbs up sign, but only with the thumb not sticking up but closing around the index finger. I think this was a tactic that has surfaced so politicians wouldn't get into the habit of finger pointing. I am not sure why a closed fist is better, but I guess someone did some kind of poll or test on it and passed out the results to everyone.
Don't get me wrong, there are some differences among factions when communicating. The Democrats are clearly not as good at getting their message out. I really don't think they know who they are talking to when they make their points. The often say the wrong thing in response to an attack. When they do have an adequate response, they tend to speak over the heads of a lot of the folks. Those that are on top of the issues may get it, but the rest are tempted to think it is just double-talk.
The Republicans seem to understand their audience a little better. TThey are masters of swaying the simpletons. They speak in simple terms and simple concepts. Listen to AM radio sometime! It is just full of conservative talk show hosts saying those idiotic and unbelievable things - yet it has been very effective. When Democrats try that technique, they seem to sound like cartoon characters. As one progressive put it, "we have already lost the idiot vote."
Back to the Sunday news programs. It seems that I have come almost full circle. The question, "who would watch this?" wants to resurface after all these years. But this time, I have the answer and I don't like it. I, and those of my ilk, are the ones who would watch it. It is like a wreck on the highway. I know it is probably going to make me sick to seet, but I just can't turn away!
Thursday, June 07, 2012
For those that know me, I am not really wondering if God truly exists. No, internal truth has been revealed to me long ago. Instead, I am just drifting through the questions themselves. There is a lot of aggression on both sides of the debate. The poor saps on the fence are probably turned off of the whole thing. I can picture a curious agnostic observing a debate about God and concluding that there is no God, the world is flat, and it is just best to go to bed and dream (which is another version of reality).
For myself, I try to be the adult in the room. However, I doubt that I am very good at it. I can only talk with any kind of conviction from my own perception. Still, one has to try lest he gets caught up in the game - the major sporting event that pits the Godless Invaders vs the Superstitious Crusaders.
I recently read an article that compares giving between the religious and non-religious. The nonreligious tend to be more compassionate in their giving than the religious. Although the study states that they are not saying that the nonreligious are more generous or compassionate than their religious counterparts, certain aspects of the study would lead one to believe that.
This makes sense to me. I am not going to get into why the religious seem to be less generous or compassionate (I will save that for another time), my comments will be more about those generous and compassionate atheists. Why would they be either?
Morality has to be based on something. People doing things that are not in their personal best interests flies in the face of "survival of the fittest" ideology. They may argue that compassion has evolved down to help preserve the overall species and not just the self. That makes sense . . . except for the part that compassion and generosity seems to be part of an elaborate design to preserve the species. It isn't too likely that random mutations and chance survival would lead to such a thing. But what do I know? These same folks are convinced that we humans have common ancestors with turtles and tomatoes. I am not open-minded enough to embrace that yet.
So what could it mean that it just may be that nonbelievers are, at least, as generous and compassionate as those who champion God as their Creator and Lord? Doesn't that slide the weights to the side of the secular? I say just the opposite. One doesn't have to understand or even believe in something to be effected by it.There have have been people in the past (and perhaps some even today) that do not understand gravity or even believe in this unexplained force. Yet, they are constantly under its influence.
Such as it is with God. Sometimes things effect us no matter where are mind is. All we have to do is be.
When outsiders who have never heard of God's law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience. They show that God's law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God's yes and no, right and wrong. Their response to God's yes and no will become public knowledge on the day God makes his final decision about every man and woman. The Message from God that I proclaim through Jesus Christ takes into account all these differences. ~Romans 2:14-16 (the Message)
Monday, May 28, 2012
|This isn't my house or family, but it captures the spirit.|
Thursday, January 05, 2012
I think it is a matter of communication and a reset of the soul. Life is difficult. We witness the hardness of the world on a daily basis; we see our soldiers dying in Afghanistan, car crashes that kill mothers and their babies, etc. We just can't stop and feel for these things all the time at the moment it intrudes into our brains. We have become calloused for survival's sake. Oh sure, every now and then it stops us in our tracks and touches us if the tragedy is particularly powerful or we are having a vulnerable moment, but for the most part, we simply do not have time to stop and cry over every tragedy and/or touching news story.
Movies, music, books, etc. grab us when we are not as busy. We are relaxed and have our emotional guards down. Our minds and souls get real with us and reset our emotions. It reminds us that we are feeling, compassionate beings. Without this outlet, I believe that compassion would wane altogether and the world would spin violently out of control.
What about the non-tragedy tears - the "tears of joy" phenomenon? I believe it is the same principle, different stimuli. The most significant part of the soul is the part that connects with other souls. There is something that transcends known science here that deeply effects our well being. We need to care about others. We need to feel connected to others in life, love and loss, dreams reached or shattered. Our humanity depends on it.
I believe God made us this way for our own survival and to remind us that there is something bigger than our own life and circumstance. It is mind-blowing when considering that there is something "unreal" by physical life standards that has more power than our current physical life state. It is this type of illogical emotion that humbles us and forces us to admit there is something bigger going on inside. The fact that there is something bigger than life makes us admit the possibility that something will ALWAYS be bigger than life - even when life as we know it ceases for us.
Admittedly, we often find a connection with fiction to our own lives and dreams that can prompt emotion. It is the attention getter. However, it is still fiction and we have our own lives to deal with. Yet, here it is - the passion, the tears, and the connection to the One big Mystery that created us this illogical way.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The holiday season is tough on a lot of people. I used to be a person that was baffled to hear about all the depression around Christmas. “Really? You can’t find something to be happy about with the giving, the carols, and all that Yule-tide jazz? Sheesh, even the cursed snow that causes traffic accidents and wet floors is celebrated around this time of year!”
Now, I am one of those people. Ever since my divorce in 2008, Christmas has been tough on me. Christmas lends itself to family and tradition. A broken marriage and loneliness in the wake of “fa la la la la” is a horse pill. It is that stinging loneliness, too, the kind you feel in the midst of a crowd. Then when you finally think you’re over the Christmas family stuff and the New Years non-kiss fall out, “BOOM,” Valentines Day hits just to trash what is left of your gut. Yeah, I get it now. As I mentioned in my last post, I now have a girlfriend , but it looks as though it won’t change any of these latest holiday practices and feelings for me.
Next time, I will update the original post and subsequent discussion. Depression affects a lot of people and unlike small pox, it will never go away. All we can really do is talk about it let those that are affected and the people around them know that they aren’t alone – even if it feels like it.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
I think that I may be able to get back into blogging - or at least improving the every 8 months thing I got going now. My internet situation has changed for the better. That was the big thing.
I will refrain from going into the NEWS FLASH right off the bat. However, I will touch on at least a little that has been going on. Per my previous post, Andrea and I are still "together". I quote together, because we seldom are. Logistics are hell. It is more complicated than anyone can imagine. And to protect her privacy, I will not go into detail about it. Let's just say it is difficult. I do want to squelch the idea that there is anything inappropriate going on with the logistics - just so your imagination doesn't run away with you.
Anyway, we are working on improving the logistics (I know that I am using the word "logistics" way too much, but let's see you find a synonym for it). Sometimes it seems hopeless and that is the hard part. I have to admit that the approaching holidays doesn't make it easier to bear. For those of you that haven't kept up with this blog, or care to just look back, the holidays have been particularly tough on me since my divorce over two years ago. Facing this season may be as tough because everything I have been dreaming and hoping for is right there in my life - just not in my reach. Even harder is the thought that I don't believe it HAS to be that way. However, she does for now. I have to accept that. It is her logistics, not mine and that makes her more of an expert on them. Still, it is tough.
To the naked eye, it is impossible to see signs of hope. So, with that, please excuse me while I play Sherlock Holmes and grab my magnifying glass and look for signs of logistics improvement.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
. . . more years than most for this good, no wait, GREAT thing. Yet, it happened. I am not use to writing this kind of post. I sort of feel like a fish out of water even attempting it, but before the entire ship can reach a destination, the rudder must be steered. I need to steer my ship away from skepticism and disappointment. Some people find that place; why not me?
There is a woman that walks this planet that is truly the love of my life. She is now and really, always has been. I met her my freshman year in college. Since college, I often went back to visit her in my memories. There I would always find her in the American Movie Classics channel of my mind - the sweet, charmingly quirky Andrea. However, the "movie" always ended bitter sweet. I have written about her a couple of times previously in this blog - here and here.
I remember the very first day of class my freshman year. There I wandered wide-eyed at a huge, midwestern university. Finding my way to my afternoon Introductory to Philosophy class, I quickly found a seat next to Mike who I befriended in another class earlier in the day. There we sat in a huge lecture hall that contained about 450 seats. The professor was making his way to the front, adjusting his microphone looked up to survey the overflowing crowd. Mike and I looked over the throng of students, too. They were bustling and were responsible for the roar that would prevent a normal conversation between friends.
Then, there she was - Andrea, although her name was a mystery to me at the time. She came floating in from the back of the hall. Noticing that there were no seats to be found, she gracefully found a place on a step in the aisle about 12 feet to my left.
Once my eyes found her making her way to her spot, they couldn't leave her. The room changed. It was no longer a rowdy bunch of college freshmen; it was an empty dim-lit room with a spotlight on this beautiful, petite, blond girl with a magical charm that was conjured just for me. No more was there a roar from the crowd but in its stead was an angelic chorus. I was bitten, but bad.
I leaned over and elbowed Mike and said, "See that girl there?"
He replied, "Of course! Everyone sees her."
I, with great certainty, announced, "Well, I am going to marry her."
"Is that your girlfriend?" he asked with disbelief.
"Not yet, but the day is young."
The funny thing is that I wasn't being cocky. I was just sure that she was THE ONE. When people scoff at "love at first sight", I grin. I know it is true. Even today, years later, I still know it. I hadn't talked to her in such a long time but recently that has changed - changed in a grand and dramatic way. My AMC has lit up and I have no plans on changing the channel.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
10. The unwelcome competition for healing.
9. Concerned that the number of prayers from the desperately infirmed will take a hit.
8. Doesn't want to upset His base.
7. Afraid that His own "Millstone" clause will have to be amended to include little ones up to age twenty-six (Luke 17:2).
6. Doesn't want Democrats to take credit for His "love thy neighbor" policy.
5. Fox News told Him to.
4. Likes to be exclusive when it comes to pardoning pre-existing conditions.
3. What's next, feed the hungry?
2. Afraid that the expense of it will cut into His Armageddon War Chest!
And the number one reason Jesus hates the new health care reform . . .
1. It's not clear, but He is sure it has SOMETHING to do with abortion.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
You would think with understanding, comes peace. Not this time. It is akin to knowing something is wrong in your body and not being able to find the source and then after tests and tests, discovering that you have terminal cancer. Sure, there is clarity, but no peace.
So as I walked, I looked around at house after house – each with its own story that I wasn’t privy to. I looked at rock and flower gardens that someone painstakingly created. I saw new cars in driveways, satellite dishes, and fancy shrubbery. I saw newly built porches with Cracker Barrel rockers. I saw many things. It stuck in my gut in the realization that it was all vanity.
People, they have to escape, don’t they. They find their pleasures in toys, rockers and gardens. The image of a “nice home” is their drug of choice. I was on the outside looking in and found myself longing for their blissful ignorance.
Women have it easier in the area of coping with life’s tragedies and disappointments. Creating flower gardens or decorating a room or house just so is only part of their soul therapy. They also combine that therapy with a good crying session alone and with their girlfriends (they can even call their friends “girlfriends” because there is no shame when seeking emotional support if you have the double “X” chromosomes). They get their good cry in, they spend a couple of hours putting together additions to their scrapbooks, and they are good to go. God bless you women.
For men, it is a whole different set of circumstances. Working in the garage, or doing some kind of construction project on the house IS the whole ball of wax. There is no “good cry” or ice cream session with their friends. Why? They do it because there is a code. The code says that you don’t eat ice cream, you eat your angst. You don’t have support from your friends, because they are under the code, too, and they will not allow you or themselves to be “less than men.” No, men strive to be Donald Draper! We eat our angst and die early when the poison finally consumes us.
Of course, we do have the exceptions. There are those that cry with friends (usually with female friends or other “less than real men” types). Some join men’s support groups where there is chanting and drumming and “sharing.” However, society at large makes fun of these groups, don’t they? So that, in the long run, is just extra pressure and the “less than real men” label to boot.
Women tend to support men for reaching out and dealing with their emotions. They “respect” that. They just don’t want to “marry” that, do they? Women, with few exceptions, want a “real” man. A man that is always strong that they can feel safe with - a man that does not show his vulnerabilities, eats his angst, and dies early with a healthy pension and life insurance policy.
So, I and the like minded, continue on that path. We would rather die early as a man than live long as something “less.” I was concerned that I may be enlightening some of these men and ending their blissful ignorance. Then I realized that few “real” men read blogs. They would rather be in the garage nailing a couple of pieces of wood together.
As for the females reading this, show a little more compassion today for your dying men. And if you want to argue with me about my assertions here, you have already missed the point.