Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pride and Prejudice

I'm at a loss as to how best to start this entry as there is no best way. Perhaps the best way would be not at all, however I've tried repression for years and have had no positive results from that so let us give expression a try...thoughbeit somewhat public.

I am not what you would traditionally label as a conservative personality. It is my personal belief that religion has been a tool used for centuries on end for the few to control the many. More wars have been waged and lives lost over religion than any naturally occurring event on this planet. The crusades for example...Waging war on the sole basis that they worshipped differently than Christians. What a crock. Now who did the fighting and dieing? Hmm...was it the priests?

Religions biggest reason for decline? Folks learned how to read. They learned that maybe the priests had been taking advantage.

Fear is the biggest motivator these charlatans use...fear of an angry GAWD, going to damn them forever and ever. Now I'm not advocating killing, maiming, adultery, or whatever...I'm still a proponent of personal responsibility, but to teach people you'll go to hell for playing music, or wearing make-up? C'mon.

I was given a George Carlin calendar for Christmas, and I like this entry in particular:

"I've begun worshipping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It's there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There's no mystery, no one asks for money, I don't have to dress up, and there's no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to 'God' are all answered at the same 50-percent rate."

Now I didn't intend to start this as an assault on religion. I'll let anyone believe as they like. All I ask is the same in return, don't push me, I won't push you. But that's never the case is it? Religious zealots can't seem to help but push...crusades anyone?

My chief bitch for this session is prejudice. Now the general association for that word deals with race. Which is just one of many negative aspects of prejudice. I like to believe I keep an open mind, I know I fail on occasion, but I am aware when I don't and attempt corrective action. I am willing to consider all things from all peoples. I am an analyst by nature, and my belief is in logic. Logic depends on data, and I have no idea from whence data may come. Now I filter through that data by applying it. If it works, or just works for me, in a favorable fashion I apply it to my practice. If not I discard it as errant, and file it away as misinformation.

What that means, for me, is that I could learn from those both younger and older, richer or poorer, or even an idiot.

I have rules that I live by, governing principles in truth, and chief among these is consideration. I have found in my time that the masses have a poor understanding of the language they speak, and I am very particular in the words I use and the meanings they convey. However it is also the source of many a miscommunication because oft times there are variations in the meanings that individuals have for words. Hence the need for consideration of all things from all sources.

There are those, however, who feel they can pre-judge how things are or how they will be based on limited, or no information. Belief is an amazing thing; it can enable people to do incredible feats, but it can also cause people to be incredibly blind. A belief for me is an answer in need of constant question...because it could be wrong. People believe that than can predetermine anything they've not experienced have closed their minds to a world of possibility.

I have grown soul-weary from the trials and tribulations I've endured from those whom have closed their minds to *any* other possibilities other than the ones they believe to be correct. They would readily answer me that they know they are right, but refuse to hear any questioning regarding their belief. They can't truly know, because they haven't actually experienced anything, they *steadfastly believe* at best.

I suppose I'll close with this from George Carlin:
"I'm an outsider by choice, but not truly. It's the unpleasantness of the system that keeps me out. I'd rather be in, in a good system. That's where my discontent comes from: being forced to choose to stay outside."

Friday, March 24, 2006

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning … uphill BOTH ways through year 'round blizzards, carrying their younger siblings on their backs. to their one-room schoolhouse, where they maintained a Straight-A average, despite their full-time, after-school job at the local textile mill ... where they worked for 35 cents an hour just to help keep their family from starving to death!

I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

However…now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today you've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it! I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!! There was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter with a pen! Then you had to walk the entire way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!
There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and messed it all up! We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and "Asteroids" and the graphics sucked! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens; it was just one screen forever! And you could never win…the game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! ... Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no on-screen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I’m saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little bastards!
And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire ... imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot. That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled.

You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006