Saturday, July 19, 2008

People vs. Animals

I love animals.  Let me just start with that.  I love them.  They have no malice towards anyone. I know that at least dogs are as close as it comes to complete, unconditional love.  However, I find a problem with people who put animals above humans.  I am aware that some of us consider ourselves just another animal, but to me being human is quite different.  Yes we need similar things that our pets do, like food, shelter, sleep, and sex, but we are inherently different.

As humans we have the capacity to reason.  We have the capacity to emote at a level that no other known creature has yet proven to be able.  We can choose.  We can create and save life better and more thoroughly than any other known being.  Yet, people still often put animals above humans. Many wealthy millionaires have put their prized fish, canary, or cat ahead of their own offspring on their last wills and testaments.  And the reason why is actually not too hard to see.  While we as humans are indeed capable of extremely intricate creative processes and reasoning, and although we can emote more effectively than any other creature, we often do not use our blessed prowess in the best of ways.  We quite often can become far worse than any of our greatest accomplishments or abilities.  We can destroy, kill, and manipulate far better than any other creature.  And that makes us a dangerous potential.  

But, it is the ability to choose that gives hope.  It allows us to see why we are better than animals.  We can choose an almost infinite good, or an infinite evil.  Animals cannot.  While I appreciate a pet's loving devotion and would never want to see any living creature suffer needlessly, given the choice I will always choose human life.  A human life, because its potential for good and evil is unsurpassed, is always more valuable.  

I see protests and demonstrations by PETA, and by other private citizens and organizations for the better treatment of animals.  And, sometimes they are justified.  But if they ever equate animals with people, putting them on the same level, I turn my back.  We are not animals.  We never will be.  Our capacity for evil and good is too great.  While I hope more choose the good, no one can control another's soul.  We make our choices, and we must respect people's right to choose their own.  Animals are not at that level.  They never will be.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Need Somebody to Love?

I've heard from time to time, "I like people who like me."  And, it's never made more sense to me than now.  For years I've watched others chase girls and guys to no avail.  I've been one of those that chased as well.  But I've come to the conclusion that it's all a matter of timing.  If I like somebody, but they like somebody else, it's probably not going to work.  In the same way, if I don't like that same somebody, and all of a sudden they like me, it's too little too late.  What needs to happen is a convergence.  The liker and the likee need to be interested at round about the same time for anything to come of it.  That brings us back to the protective clause: "I like people who like me."  It works.

However, some people are stupid.  This should come as no surprise.  People we like are not necessarily people we will love, or even like, in the future. However, some people tend to think that if they are liked it's like a curse that can only be cured by them being a complete jerk to the person who likes them, by leading them on, or treating them like trash.  Then, of course the liker feels bad, but tries hard anyway, fails, and gets burned.  Then the person who didn't like the person all of a sudden gets a conscience and realizes they were stupid and turn around and like the liker.  Or they don't.  Either way, it's dumb. Games are not worth it.  Life is too short.

But here's something that I've come across in recent weeks that irks me.  I guess this might be where the maxim doesn't hold true.  I have been writing my blog, working, doing my thang, and every now and then I get anonymous love letters or weird off-color notes.  Now, if they were from girls that'd be fine.  But they're not. Gay guys are making passes at me online. And, I am not gay.  Not even a little. And, while I suppose it's nice to be flattered, I want to crush any hope that these deviants will ever have.  I don't play for your team.  I never will.  Get the #$%! away from me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Running Revisited

Some of you might recall a post I wrote a couple weeks ago about running.  It basically said how I think running for the sake of running is pointless.  I said that if I'm not doing something productive with that running, like playing ultimate frisbee, lacrosse, or even baseball, there is no point to it.  Well, I'm starting to come around.

I've been running more lately.  Not every day.  But a lot of days.  And, even though I am reluctant to put on my running shoes some mornings, once I put them on and am out there running, I like it.  I feel like a locomotive.  The Queen song, 'Don't Stop Me Now' comes to mind.  So I've decided running can be therapeutic.  However, I run alone.  I think I might be able to jog with a buddy, but running is different.  I try to keep an even keel, solid pace, but I think my speed varies quite a bit depending on the distance I've traveled and how close I am to the end.  So, I think anyone running with me would probably get pretty frustrated.  Jogging on the other hand really isn't exercise, but a social event, and maybe it gets your heart rate up a little bit.  Jogging is for old people, people with bad knees, or people who are morbidly obese, or guys who want to have an excuse to go somewhere with good-looking women.  I know I used to do that.  All freshman year in college.

At any rate, I recommend running to most people.  And, if you have bad knees or a bad back go on the eliptical machine at the gym, or go swimming.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

All Star Game Ads

So last night, as I assume many of you were, I was watching the Major League Baseball All-Star game.  The game was intense, lasted almost five hours, going 15 full innings, and in the end, the American League beat the National League for the 12th undefeated season.

But that's not what I want to write about today.  The thing that stuck out most were the commercials.  And apparently, the summer classic's advertising demographic.  The advertisers were Viagra, Flomax, Just for Men, and a tone deaf monkey screaming (not singing) 'Take me out to the ball game,' for some contest.  

Of course there were other ads from Chevy and other companies, but most of the ads were definitely directed at the Baby-boomer crowd (plus 40s).  So I began to think to myself, "Could it be that MLB has no new fans?  I heard that the average baseball fan is maybe it's true.  I'm not even 29 yet, but what happens if our national pastime dies with the boomers?"

It would be very sad.  It is a beautiful game.  There is so much math, interesting rules, and history.  Legends were made, nations formed, and familial relations were given new life.  Going to a game with your father, or playing catch is a rite of passage in this country.  I'd hate to see it die.  But, I imagine if many more All-Star games go to 15 innings and 5 hours, people might not have the attention spans anymore.  That, and maybe people are getting embarrassed watching 50 year old guys rocking out on stage with hair color commercials and old dudes with giant smiles and sky blue tuxes running their wives up and down stairs with 'viva viagra' playing in the background. 

 Who knows?  I thought it was funny, and even told one of my friends he'd be the first one of us to use Viagra.  He laughed and said, "I already do."  

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


In recent weeks, narcissism has come back into fashion (not that it was ever out).  People all over the world are becoming their own Barbie.  Everyone has their own method for preening and gawking at themselves.  Some go to the gym for hours not just to lift weights and run on the treadmill, but to watch themselves do it in the mirror and see their rippling muscles bulge in the rhythm of popular classic rock songs.  Some people go to tanning salons, pools, or spas, and follow their visit by a self-stare down in the mirror.  When they look in the mirror they see more than themselves, they see a raw power that they own and control, and love.  It is perhaps a trend you might want to start.

People have begun to neglect their friends, pets, house chores, work, school, and other obligations because they seem more content to stare at their image in the mirror or in a car window, fixing their hair and making their clothes fit just right.  Some people have taken it to other extremes.  The blind are not left out on this.  They cannot see themselves, so instead, many of them record themselves talking about and to themselves, so they can later listen and admire their own voices and the amazingness that is only theirs.  

So loneliness has finally been cured.  For sure there is always at least one person who will love you, and, you have complete control over that person.  Give yourself a hug, a pat on the back, or rub your own head (and then fix your hair afterwards), because hey, you deserve it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Peter Pan Complex

Just recently it was discovered in a suburb of London that Peter Pan is in fact real. He did not get married, does not actually have a family, and the Hook movie was a nice idea, but completely false. Peter Pan is still a 12 year old boy who wears green tights and a Robin Hood attire. He was spotted last tuesday evening by a resident at 54 Kensington Street, in (name not disclosed), just outside of London. Apparently a large 'firefly' was described as having attached itself to his leg or buttocks and was tussling with him mid-air. At first, the resident said that she thought it was a ghost, but then, to her relief, she recognized him as Peter Pan.

He was said by the resident to have endorsed the lifestyle position much maligned by a majority of Christians. While watching the cheerful and infamous character, she heard him say, "Hey wench! Eat drink and be merry! Here's some pixy dust!" Thinking it was a drug reference, and having had some difficulties of her own with local law enforcement, the resident declined and said, "Grow up!" Peter Pan guffawed and flew away (supposedly to Neverneverland).

However, since news of the encounter has spread there has been a new revolutionary movement sweeping through this suburb of London. Most people tend to get excessively drunk, smashed, or otherwise incapacitated and then proceed to jump off of park benches, trees, roofs, and statues. When they are accosted by police, they generally say, "I don't want to grow up." Many have been caught making lewd gestures in public, digging holes in the middle of parks for 'buried treasure,' and having an increasingly difficult time settling down in meaningful relationships or careers. But surprisingly few have been held on formal charges, and many of the local police force have joined in the merriment.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Painted Veil

Last night, as I sat down to watch 'The Departed,' I came across a trailer that intrigued me. And, I wondered about it. I wondered because I heard little said about it. The movie stars Naomi Watts and Edward Norton. Both actors are terrific, and the plot seemed very well thought out. I won't bother you with the details (of which I know little), but it takes place in rural China (which is a splendidly gorgeous backdrop for any movie I might add), and it involves both Norton and Watts as a married couple. However, only Norton's character married for love. The other does not love him, and in fact, cheats on him. But then he tells her he's taking them to China to face the cholera epidemic. Of course, as you might imagine they must rediscover each other, and she learns to love him. I haven't seen it, but I was intrigued, and curious as to what other people might have heard about it. Here's the site that talks about it. It's out on DVD.

Great Paradox

Sometimes, when you feel most powerful, you are in fact the most insignificant. Then, when you feel quite insignificant, you are the most powerful. It is a strange state of irony, but it very often holds true. The more our confidence pushes us toward arrogance, the weaker our moral position becomes, while the more our confidence pushes us to understand the greatness of the whole and our small part in it, the more the world opens up to us. It wanes toward the biblical and the God-fearing, and I find it interesting.

I have had a philosophy for some time now, that I am better off being bold, brazen, and visible rather than quiet, meek, and hidden. My rationale is that if I am confident, and believe I have something good to give or share, it is my duty to share it. It's like the candle under the bushel. I'm not a fan of that. It might catch the bushel on fire. So, while many might find my ways arrogant and cocky, the motives behind them are pure my aim is to be anything but that. I hope at times that my confidence, ambition, and determination inspire hope and optimism rather than irritation, cynicism, and contempt. But the world cannot judge us by our motives.

As much as people would like to prosecute 'hate crimes' differently than other crimes, we cannot become a society that looks to punish for motive. We punish for the deed. What differentiates a 'hate crime' from 'crime?' There are in fact both wrong, but I think the hubris required to attempt to punish someone for their intent, without being able to really gauge it is folly. In the same way, I will continue to be me. I will say what I say, stand up for what I believe, and try to be a visible example. Of course I will falter, make mistakes, do and say stupid things, but my intent is good. And men cannot judge my intent. That is for God.