I like just posting a few links to avoid overloading people with these things.

  • Toxic habits in a relationship that most people don’t realize are toxic.  I will admit that this does describe some situations I’ve been in.  Hints and passive aggression?  Done and had it done to me.  Holding the relationship hostage?  Yeah and she effectively killed it.  Loving jealousy?  Oh yeah.  Buying solutions?  Definitely and I’ve observed others doing it.  To be blunt, this article basically describes a past relationship and it was exhausting.  This is really a big part of why I’ve chosen to remain single or avoid a standard relationship.  There are a lot of bad habits we are conditioned into believing are healthy and positive.  One thing I’ve tried to do is identify bad habits in myself and in past partners to better understand their impact and address them when I can.  Part of the problem is we’re conditioned into believing these are acceptable behaviors and that makes it difficult for relationships to work.  Also a reason I recommend Stranger In A Strange Land to people.
  • The GOP and Trump can’t seem to wrap their heads around healthcare.  Describing their repeal efforts as zombie is an apt comparison.  It will eat them alive.  Personally, I always considered the ACA a good starting point.  Not a finished product.  It does a lot of good and could do more if the glaring flaws are addressed.  Get costs down.  Stop letting the providers hold it hostage.
  • Dairy-free diets might not that good for you.  I’ve heard about how milk being not that good for you as it contributes to clogged arteries, but dairy in other forms has its benefits.  I stick to cheese, whey protein or Greek Yogurt for the bulk of my dairy.  Seems to work for me.  I am usually skeptical of Vegetarian and Vegan diets, if only because I’ve been of the opinion that our diets evolved the way they have for a reason.

The Ancient One: Arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all.

Dr. Stephen Strange: Which is?

The Ancient One: It’s not about you.

 

  • That exchange from the Doctor Strange movie keeps coming back to me.  Kind of hits a point most people keep missing and refuse to acknowledge when it smacks them in the face.
  • Taking a bit of break from Overwatch, playing a bit more Skyrim.  Put off working on my PS4.  I think I’ll try to play Overwatch more when I know people I actually know are playing.  Haven’t played very much as the new character, interesting power set though.
  • Came across an article last week that really got me thinking.  It was essentially discussing how difficult it is to study relationship without showing a bias towards monogamy.  The basic conclusion was that we are conditioned into believing that all relationships should strive towards a monogamous male-female set up and that’s the ideal.  That conditioning also makes it less likely for an unbiased study of relationships.  It just made a lot of really good points about how much of what take to be our cultural ideals are in fact things we’re conditioned into rather than what we determine are best for ourselves.  Not saying that everybody should go try a polyamorous lifestyle, but it does help to remind people to not take everything at face value.
  • I’ve written in the past about Tomi Lahren, mostly stating that I find her to have a limited understanding of the topics she discusses and more parrots her talking points than anything else.  Apparently she lost her job at the Blaze over the abortion comments she made on the View.  Glenn Beck has responded with some criticism of her remarks, citing a lack of intellectual honesty on Lahren’s part.  While I don’t necessarily disagree with Glenn Beck on that, but her comments were on par with her statements on a number of other issues and did not yield a response.  Why was this the line that she shouldn’t have crossed?
  • I’ve really avoided writing about abortion.  I don’t think nearly enough women have been a part of that conversation and that needs to change.  To a certain extent, I do think we need to reevaluate it from a modern viewpoint.  I do think the moral and religious arguments against abortion are too deeply rooted in a time where life expectancy was considerably shorter than it was today and the infant mortality rate was much higher.  With that in mind, it is important to acknowledge that there are more people alive now than ever before and they are living longer–to the point where we struggle to feed the people already living.  On that thought, I do think it is somewhat irresponsible to bring a baby into the world if it is not likely to have the opportunities we all deserve at birth.  I have also heard the argument that Roe v. Wade resulted in lower crime rates as there were fewer unwanted pregnancies and therefore fewer children at risk to get involved in crime due to growing up in a disadvantaged situation.  However, the choice is not society’s to make.  It should be between the parents and their doctors.
  • Finish today’s post on something a bit more… fun.  Starting to rearrange some things to facilitate more drawing.  I’ve been slacking, but hopefully that will be remedied soon.  Have been doing a bit of a series of drawings that I post on Instagram, calling them the “Pretending to be working” series.  It gets the stuff going at least.
  • Made tacos with Bison meat.  It was good.  I should make Tacos more often.

Speaking Truth

February 10, 2017

I was reading something the other day about how Tom Perez and his bungling a comment about last year’s Democratic Primary.  He acknowledged that the primary process was rigged against Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton and that the next DNC Chair Person would have to be “honest” and “transparent” to succeed.  Then he essentially retracted the statement, stating that he “misspoke”.  Or rather the party elders and establishment got wind of it and voiced their disapproval.  Cue the groaning and eye-rolling.  He was right the first time.

I’m trying to be a little less political, but this article I read kind of fits with my general train of thought on a number of matters.  Our whole political system needs an influx of new ideas.  Why do you think Bernie Sanders, the Green Party and the Libertarian Party had such a significant impact on the election last year?  However, those ideas cannot be expected to flourish if truth cannot be acknowledged.

One of the overarching themes I’ve tried to deal with in my writing this blog has been the “Idea of Ideas” and how important it is to always embrace new ideas and information.  When it comes to truth, I often quote Obi-Wan Kenobi from Return of the Jedi.  In explaining his misleading account of what happened to Luke’s father, Kenobi states that “Many of the Truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”  I keep throwing that line out there, but it is a good line.

Ideas were a focus of mine here, but how we regard those ideas is also worth looking at.  Truth and belief can be subjective, but they can inspire ideas.  I will admit that something I’ve struggled with is knowing when to challenge people’s truths and ideas.  Where the lines are drawn.  I have disregarded a myriad of them, but sometimes that needs to happen too.  Although I would hope my writing here does occasionally inspire people to look at their beliefs, ideas and truths from a different perspective, I don’t claim absolute authority on right or wrong here.  I’m sure there a number of opinions on that.  I simply hope I challenged some truths and some new ideas came as a result of them.  Even if it is just an expanded perception, I think it would be a benefit.

Regardless of the situation, ideas and truth need to be challenged.

Right now the song “Battle of Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” from Hamilton has been stuck in my head for the last couple of days.

  • Getting political again.  I’m making plans to get more involved in some political stuff.  Looking into some local groups, going to try to help out.  Advocacy groups and the like.  Voices need to be heard.  Thinking of starting a new blog with more focus on politics.  Might help to organize and focus my thoughts.
  • I was watching Bill Maher’s season premiere the other night and he said something I found interesting.  Talking about the Clintons, he expressed the thought of, “Thank you for service, now I never want to see you again.”  When Bernie Sanders really began to pick up momentum in the primaries, I read that as a sign that the political world was changing.  The era of the Bush and Clinton dynasties was coming to an end.  For a number of reasons, I look at it less as Trump winning and everybody else losing.  Trump’s election was less the will of the people and more… backlash from the attempt to resist the natural direction our political landscape was trying to go.  Trump is very much an establishment figure.  Power is going back to the people, but Trump is not the champion of that.
  • Enough political talk.  Let’s talk about sex.  Was working on a comic script and there was a sex scene.  In writing it, I was going through a bunch of sex positions I had bookmarked at various times.  One stuck out to me.  This has intrigued me for some time.  I think there was a variation where the man and woman are reversed, but it makes me wonder how likely a back injury would be with this.  Admitted I’m in pretty good shape right now, but I’m not sure whether or not I have enough body fat to pad myself or enough flexibility.  It would be a hell of a reason to call out from work though.
  • After being sick for most the last two weeks, I did end up losing a bit of weight.  I had been hovering around 180 pounds.  Now I’m sitting at 175.  I was going to do a bit of a cut, not to serious of one because I like where my weight is.  Basically I’m going to use up what I have left for Serious Mass and maintain for the foreseeable future.  175 was right about where I wanted to be anyway.
  • Reading about how lack of sleep affects your stomach bacteria.  Hint: it isn’t good.  I have noticed I am more prone to upset stomaches and related issues lately, despite improving my diet.  One more reason it was a big mistake to make the jump to working nights.
  • Thinking a little further on the post I did on Monday, I’m going to make a bit of a declaration.  I’m going to think of myself in one word: Human.  Stop with seeing myself as a male, absurdist, romanticidal, feminist, nerd, athlete, artist, writer, loser, etc…  Just see myself as “Human.”  We’ll see how that goes.
  • I realized the other day I actually do have fifty-something followers on this blog.  I find that mind-boggling sometimes.  I mostly do this more for myself, so I’m never really sure how to feel about people actually reading it.  I hope I’m putting some good ideas out there.

Am I done hacking up a lung yet?

  • I’ve been reflecting on Barack Obama’s presidency a bit.   It was a mixed bag in a lot of ways.  I think there were ways he could have done more and been a much more progressive president.  I also think he could have done more to strengthen the Democratic Party.  When he won in 2008, I think the Democratic Party assumed too much about the inevitability of Hillary Clinton and the advancing of the Liberal Agenda.  I was a bit guilty of that too.  As Bernie Sanders has shown, more can be done and people are ready to listen.  And there needs to be a chorus of voices, not just one.  In retrospect, Obama tried to do too much and too little–this could be a much longer post on its own, but I’ll keep it brief–early in his presidency and struggled a bit more as a result.  So… it had a lot of good and bad to it.
  • How did I miss it when Thin Mints went Vegan in 2015?  I’m sorry, but I feel like somebody is missing the point of Thin Mints.  Somebody at work brought in an order sheet.  I ordered the Samoas and the peanut butter ones I can’t remember the name of right now.
  • Been sick the last few days.  Bad cold.  I was going to finish my bulk for the winter and start cutting this week, but I think I’ll bulk for a couple more weeks to try to get a bit more mass and strength back.  Not that I really lost much of either–still weighed 179 at the gym this morning–but I’d like to keep going while I can.  Probably not going to do a real “cut” anyway.  I’d rather avoid losing too much weight.

Some hardcore wondering going on today…

  • The Brexit case is in the Supreme Court over in the UK right now.  Basically deciding whether or not Parliament has a say in the conditions of their leaving the EU or leaving at all, which could complicate the issues at hand.  I will be keeping an eye on this if only because there is so much potential for problems on all sides.  Plus the EU has basically set a deadline for the Amendment 50 negotiations to be done.  When all is said and done, I have to wonder if Britain will be any better off.  I don’t think their trade deals will be anywhere near as good as they hope and the big wildcard in this is what what will happen with Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales–More so the first two, I don’t believe that Wales has discussed breaking away from Britain as much.
  • I saw something about how members of the Electoral College are considering voting against Trump to keep him from becoming President.  Sounds kinda weird, but he did not in fact win the popular vote.  And in an odd twist of history, the Electoral College was originally implemented to keep someone like Trump–an unqualified demagogue–from taking power.  Somebody said to me, “Hell would break loose” if the Electoral College did not vote for Trump.  Hasn’t Hell broken loose already?  Has everybody missed the twitter rants, massive spike in civil unrest and shady double deals?  It is far too late to worry about Hell breaking loose.
  • Taking a moment to ponder the legacy of Barack Obama.  I think he too often had to make the best of a bad deal and compromised too much early on.  First Black President, I think there was a sizable portion of the population that wanted to see him fail.  Maybe because he got the Nobel Prize so soon, maybe he was too ambitious…  It might not have been racism or ego, it could have been a lot of things.  I look back and I say, “You could have done worse.”  Really, that’s all you can say in the end.  He could have done worse with the hands he was dealt.
  • Enough politics.  My birthday was Sunday.  Other people tend to get more excited about it than I do.  Got the usual rounds of “happy birthday” posts on Facebook, a set of storage containers, cash.  Nothing too exciting.  Bought myself some workout stuff of Flex Comics.  Bought this shirt.  And Final Fantasy XV.  Those were my birthday presents to myself.  I really spent most of my birthday and the day after playing FFXV.
  • Enjoying my vacation so far.  Lot of FFXV.  Going to see Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them at some point this week.  Saw there was a bit of controversy about Johnny Depp playing a part.  Apparently playing Grindelwald?  He’s a fine actor, weird guy in general from what I’ve seen, but I’m kinda tired of seeing him in movies.  Heard that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child might be coming to Broadway at some point.  That could be worth seeing.
  • Not really related to anything, but I’ve noticed over the last few months I cannot stand to be wearing much more than a pair of boxers when I go to bed.  I used to wear flannel pants and a shirt, but lately I can’t stand it anymore.  Might be a side effect of putting on weight/muscle in that my body temperature is higher than it used to be?  Just an odd thing I noticed.

I’ve started rereading Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. I’ve read it all the way through two or three times, must have started it three or four more times.  In the last week or two, I’ve come to start thinking about a lot of concepts that have been nagging at the back of my mind.  The story is essentially that a man was born on Mars and raised by Martians, coming to Earth as a young man.  As a result of being raised by Martians, Michael Smith follows their beliefs and practices, bringing strange abilities and philosophies with him to Earth.  One of the early episodes of Star Trek in the 1960s–Charlie X–dealt with a similar premise and themes and was likely influenced by the novel.

The overarching philosophy of the story being grok, which sort of means to understand and know intuitively, as though it is a part of you.  To drink of, I think is one of the more literal definitions in the novel.  It is intentionally difficult to define, as it is designed as a Martian concept.

Mostly I’ve just been thinking about how… little of what’s going that people are able to grok.  So many problems in the world seem to have a baseline in just failing to reach a deeper understanding of the world and how it functions.  On this planet, there is a growing interconnectedness about our cultures that cannot be ignored and we’re going to have accept.  You can resist, throw around ideas about making countries great again, but our concept of the world is changing everyday and you have to grok the things you don’t like about that as much as the things you do.

Politically, I think one of the biggest failures of our elected officials is to take too much of a… religious approach, for lack of a better term.  So narrow they cannot fathom the connections they would see if they grokked the entirety of this country.

And this isn’t necessarily a global or a national thing, it can be a personal thing too.  As I’ve said in the past, one of the more frustrating things about my break-up last year was her lack of personal responsibility–just one more brief anecdote about LMCBW.  A lot of the issues with us could have been resolved by simple efforts on her part to grok our situation as one of equals.  I like to think I understood her better than she wants to admit, albeit not perfectly.  I made mistakes and I take responsibility for them.  I’ve been wrong about some stuff, but I do think I grokked the big things.

Point is, I’m going to try harder to take more responsibility.  To realize how connected everything is and understand those connections.  To grok the world around me.

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