21 03 2008

I was sitting with some guys last night after a night at Billy Bob’s and had sort of an epiphany about something.

This one guy was saying how he was frustrated because he still didn’t have a girl, and how he just wanted everything to be over. He said it very facetiously, but the other guys said something to the extent of, “Quit being so Emo”. I was struck by this, because for some reason it just seemed wrong. Now, I know people that are “Emo”, and to be honest, they are some of the nicest people I’ve met. Most people I know that are “Emo” don’t really have the stereotypical suicidal thoughts or depressed mood that most people believe they have. Their joke really upset me. It frustrated me to a point where I started to lose faith in people in general.

I contemplated this all last night, and I was led to a conclusion that I think most people know, but don’t know that they know. (Sorry…that’s the only way I can really describe it.) The real problem with this is, no group of people completely understands any other group of people. Think about that. When you were in high school (or even if you are still in high school) whatever stereotypical group of people you were or are in would make jokes about the others or even about the people who were in your own group. It’s the people who didn’t quite fit in or stuck out. The oddballs, the weirdos, etc. and the jokes would be about something everyone assumed they did, or what they looked liked, or something else along those lines. That’s because they wanted to single them out, to get a laugh, or something along those lines. The picture I get is of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Actually, I can’t think of a better example for the point I am trying to make. Rudolph had that huge, red nose and it was weird because no one understood it, and why he had it. So, everyone called him names. (No pun intended) This goes far beyond one group of people. I mean, think about it, parents complain about their kids, because they “don’t understand”. Everyone, at one point or another, probably has been in this position.

So…we’ve got that no one understand anyone else. Why does this happen, though? Why is it that liberals don’t understand conservatives, why parents can’t understand kids, why Americans can’t understand Europeans, etc. The reason this happens is because everyone has different experiences in their lives, and everyone’s experiences lead them to where they are in their lives. If I had certain experiences growing up, other than what I had as a child, I’d be a completely different person based on the facts I established from those experiences. This is true for anyone. Our identities are not given, or set in stone before we are even born. We come to be as a person by these inanimate and superficial factors that are different for every person, hence why no one is exactly like everyone else. No one can understand why you act the way you do, unless those experiences are shared with someone else.

What can we do about this, now that we understand what is going on in our world to some extent? There is nothing we can do to change the experiences we have had, and why we are the way we are. That would require a “Back to the Future” type scenario, which is impossible. However, while we can’t change who we are, we can change our attitudes about others. Why do we need to worry about why someone is acting the way that they are? It’s irrelevant and it completely misses the point. It doesn’t matter why these truths are there, because in the end they are still there. It’s like a dog chasing its tail. The dog can chase its tail until the end of time, but the dog still won’t ever get it. Instead of worrying about why people are the way we are, we just need to accept that they are who they are. I don’t care if someone is a conservative or liberal, or whatever polarizing groups they happen to belong to. Start to see people as a citizen of the world. As someone who is your brother or sister in the modern world we live in. Find some common ground that you can agree on, and move on from that point. There are so many things that literally everyone can agree on. We all want to be happy, to have our needs met, and to be able to do all the things we want to do. It doesn’t matter what makes you happy or what makes me happy. We all just want to be satisfied. Maybe you don’t understand a certain person, but it doesn’t matter anymore, because they are still a person. You may not understand each other, but you still can treat them as a person. It’s ok if you don’t understand each other. Be satisfied with that mystery.

If we could all move off of these things that are so simple to understand, yet so hard to actually practice, we could do so much good in the world. But, I wonder if it’s possible for us to ever move off of this issue. We’ve been stuck on discrimination for millennia…I have a hard time believing that it’s going to disappear overnight…


17 03 2008

When you’ve been listening to a lot of The Chemical Brothers and just letting the music take over…things are bound to happen. 

So…depending on how long you have known me, you may (and I emphasize may) remember a time when I would actually write poetry. Somewhere along the first month or two of freshman year, I just stopped. I couldn’t do it anymore. It was like I had nothing to say. Looking back, I think I just had drained myself of creativity. I was a well of thoughts that had just run dry.

So…to get to my point, one night the week before spring break I was restless. I was sitting in bed for at least two hours just thinking and unable to sleep. So I got up and sat down at my computer. And I started to write. Then it all just sort of spewed out. Then…last night I had another one of those moments, and I wrote again. It was such a relief. I had a feeling of relief as I finished.

Anyway, I decided to post them here. You don’t have to like them, but read them if you wish. The first is entitled Shapes and the second one is titled Penny on a Train Track. Thanks.


Two shapes on a vast, eternal landscape of blue and violet

One, a shape of disease

A shape of earnest

A shape of lust

A shape of courage

The shape of a Bird.

One, a shape of stress

A shape of tenderness

A shape of frenzy

A shape of beauty

The shape of a Lion.

Two shapes on a vast, eternal landscape of red and orange

One, a green-blue trapezoid

Overflowing with desire and passion

Brimming with apathy and lethargy

A tornado of thoughts and dreams

Ablaze with generosity

Frozen with hatred and frustration

Without a concrete identity of self.

One, a sunlit oval of rich purple

Teeming with wisdom

A careful cautiousness

A swarm of selfishness

An army of compassion

A chain-link identity of self

Two shapes, on the edge of eternal mystery

What the shapes make is unknown

To find out is a dare

The risk, too great

The consequences, too final

Yet, the thought is irresistible

You can’t choose to take this Test of will.

The Test is a hunter that crushes the “greatest” of men

When it finds You, it savagely corrupts

Until your will is defeated

Then your conscious reality becomes viscous soup

And you realize what it is you are fighting

And the futility of it all.

Penny on a Train Track

Can’t remember when this happened, but…

One day this slick Dick in a stone grey suit drilled a hole in my head

With this sickly, crispy green drilling machine

Shoved in a huge metal antennae, with a flashing red light

As the red-red blood flowed out and covered his greedy appendages

Went away before all the damage was done, this slick Dick.

Never saw such ruin of compassion.

There’s a static static buzz buzz in my noggin, now.

My organic entrails are turning moldy yellow with browny spots

My skin has morphed into an unsophisticated shell

It really wasn’t that before.

My body used to be such a tithe

Forced, now, to be a casket of a former self.

This droning, monotonous buzz shoves and drains and pumps being out every opening, every crack, every scar

‘Til I am vacant of all essentials.

Now, and forever, a continuous thumping invasion on my empty, physical self

Unable to defy, I must quietly allow this gross assault

An irresistible raid on humanity

Silent pain, in need of liberation

Such a priceless, ritual experience

The being gone, my arid eyes turn to dust

My gaping mouth and shriveled tongue silenced forever.

Glad I can still feel it, though.

Feeling something is better than feeling nothing

Like I used to

A few permanent snip-snips

Can’t fly an empty carcass, anyway.

3 03 2008

There’s a giant ship in a large ocean.

Everyone in the world is swimming in the water, and trying to stay afloat.

Everyone is also tied to the ship. You can’t move very far from the ship, and if you stop moving, you will drown.

The ship must not remain still.

So…what is one to do in this situation? You have to move, and the ship must also move.  Well, it’s a good thing everyone is also in the ocean with you, because if you were alone, you would never move the ship. With the help of some other people (many, many more people), you can move the ship. However, unbeknown to you,  on the other side of the ship, people are swimming in the other direction, countering your attempts to move the ship. And there’s another group on a different side doing the same thing, and there’s yet another group, and even many other groups.

This is the metaphor that I thought of when I was talking in a group about the world. The ship is the world, and everyone in the sea is trying to change the world in the ways that they want to. You’ve got all the different political groups participating, and everyone is trying to change it in their own way. You can’t be apathetic in this scenario, and that’s because I don’t think apathy is constructive. If you choose not to participate, you can’t live because you will drown. This is like real life, because if everyone chose apathy, we wouldn’t get anything done. There’s also those people that are “Moderate”. Since people do not continually support the same party or group, that is factored into the scenario.

This is the way it works out: There are times when one group will get the ship moving their way, and when that happens some of the people who see this happen decide that it’s moving to far one way and must go swim on the other side. When this happens, some people see the ship moving too far this way and try to move the ship another direction. This goes on and on, and this is the way the world has worked for a very long time. People are so worried so often that things are “going to Hell in a handbasket”. But, whenever something happens that moves the ship to an extreme, it may stay there for a while because those in power will try to maintain power, but ultimately that power can and will be overthrown. The greatest dictators have all been defeated ultimately, and this will always be the case. Eventually, the ship will find its way back to the center of things, and everything will be fine again for a time. The cycle is unending.

It’s very frustrating and annoying to hear people try to say that the “end is near” and that they know because “the signs are there” or whatever. People need to realize that 1: God is taking care of everything. 2: The “End of Days” will come when we least expect it (If it ever does). 3: We aren’t going to kill ourselves. There are enough intelligent people on the planet to prevent us from doing something that stupid. (There are a lot of fools out there, but there are enough intelligent people to cover up for them).

Calm down, people. Everything is going to be ok.

Just let it ride.