May 6, 2013 § Leave a Comment
At what point are opinions even worth expressing?
I mean, you’re either telling them to someone who already agrees with you or you’re trying to open someone else’s mind to an alternate possibility and will probably get nowhere.
I feel like I have so much to say, but I stop before I even start because I don’t want to preach to a choir. The attention is nice, but it’s just a self-serving, instant gratification sense of accomplishment. It only feels good for a limited time and then you’re back to square one.
I want to change minds. I want to open up my fingers, throw down some dynamite and blow your closed minds. The problem is that we’re all stubborn and we’ve all made ours up already and ultimately, you are the only one who can change your mind.
Well, I guess this isn’t completely true. We’re all capable of being convinced otherwise, but so much of this is rooted in being brainwashed or lied to. We embellish truth or hide other facets of it so that the point we’re getting across sounds flawless and perfect and so easy to just fall in love with and believe because it just feels so right.
ie. Most documentary films.
Mind you, most of us watch a documentary film because we’re already interested in the subject and are either biased already and we’re just watching to reaffirm our current opinion on the subject or we’re willing to believe what the director tells us, no matter.
Most of us also know that it’s completely asinine to refer to a documentary when we’re trying to prove a point though, so I’m not sure why we watch them to begin with.
They’re mostly just the interviewers opinions backed by interviewees opinions and sprinkled with a few facts that aren’t the whole truth, which is really a good way to look at most journalism.
So, why are you listening to me? Not that I’m a journalist. But I’m writing what amounts to a journal and putting it out there.
Well, I am level headed. I am calm. I am collected. I am sane. I have opinions but I lean to no extremes. I believe that we’re on this planet to get along. We’re here to treat people kindly and to teach each other everything we’ve learned about life and to help each other get through it as happy as we can possibly be.
I want to tell you what I think is important. What I think is right. What I think is the best road to take in certain situations. I know that at 28, I can’t offer much in terms of experience, but sometimes, you just don’t need to experience something to know the answer. Furthermore, sometimes you know the answer and are just too afraid to experience it so you never do.
That’s a whole other topic, though.
Truth is, we may all be trying to be the best possible version of ourselves, but there’s a balance between trying too little and trying too hard that will work out just right.
Of course, this is all just opinion. I’m sure some of you agree and some of you don’t, but I hope that I can convince the latter of heading in the direction of becoming the former.
November 25, 2011 § 1 Comment
The thing that I am most thankful for is all of the people who get me and appreciate me and love me.
To my co-workers, or rather, my fellow team members, the expression that I appear to wear at work can be misinterpreted as a scowl when really, it’s determination. I think if you’re around me long enough you understand that. Despite being my own brand of hypocrite, and having my own moments of contradiction and failed attempts at rising above, I am determined to be the best version of myself that I possibly can and I just want all of you to do and be the same because whether you or I like it or not, you all share a piece of my heart.
You know who you are.
To my in-laws, you’ve all opened your arms to me wider than I could have ever asked for. Your daughter/sister/aunt surprised you all with her tale of this Canadian boy she had just met on the internet and was to smuggle across the border and spend the rest of her life with and while you may have had your reservations (because, come on, that’s crazy) you made a place in your hearts for me, just as I have for you.
Because, come on, we’re all a little crazy.
To my family, well, you don’t have much of a choice but to appreciate me because you’re my blood, but that doesn’t mean I think any of you feel obligated to love me. I know you love me because you want to and you can’t help it, just as I love you. You are my foundation, my basement, and no matter how much you may leak at times, you’ll always be the safest place to be during a storm.
Not so much.
But that’s why I have a wife. An amazing, understanding, caring, thoughtful, patient, beautiful woman to be my doorway when the ground starts to shake. To be my beacon of light when the seas begin to churn. To be my sunshine when it rains one too many days in a row and my rain when there’s way too much sun. I am thankful that I couldn’t sleep for the nth time that night when I crossed paths with that adorable face of yours on Livejournal. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me and you will always be the best thing that will ever happen to me because for the rest of our lives, what happens to me is because of you and the person I strive to be because of you.
You aren’t just the world to me, you are the universe.
Always blowing my mind.
And I can’t wait to explore every millimetre of you for eternity, because lets face it, extraterrestrials even use the metric system.
Thank you for being you.
I love you.
And of course, even though she can’t read this, I can’t forget the sillyface monkey nose. You’re fluffy and adorable and one strange puppyface. You’re loyal and love me unconditionally because that’s just what puppies do. I strongly believe that if you knew what a gun was, you’d be the first to take a bullet for me, and that, my canine friend, is love.
November 15, 2011 § 1 Comment
The above image was posted by a friend from my hometown who is a part of a wonderful organization that you can visit here. The image was posted on their facebook page, but it wasn’t clear whether it was posted by someone seeking justice or by the miscreants themselves.
Regardless of the intent, my first reaction was that I wanted to take a thousand mile trip to find them and exercise the possibility of becoming a vigilante. You’ve seen Dexter and The Boondock Saints? Yeah, I’m on the titular characters’ sides.
Fairly quickly, though, my blood came back down to a simmer and I came to some conclusions. First, and obviously, these two need to suffer consequences for their actions. Some who don’t place animals very high on their list of things to care much about may disagree, but in the realm of all things right and wrong, by my definition of the terms, this leans pretty far toward the former. Seeking justice, however, is not my intention for sharing this. My intention is that all of you who see this spread it around to shed light on the real issue: parenting.
Time and time again whether I’m watching the news or watching the action take place first hand, I can’t help but conclude that the biggest issue in America (and the world, for that matter) is piss poor parenting. The government seems to like to spend so much money and time worrying about things like the war on drugs and gun violence when what they should really be worrying about is why these kids are turning to drugs and guns in the first place and attempting to fix that.
And what that is is your inability to steer your children in the right direction.
I know, I know. I’m not a parent. I don’t know how difficult it is to make sure that my child flies straight and doesn’t get into a lot of trouble. I don’t realize how much influence my child’s friends have on them. I don’t realize how difficult it is to find that balance to where I’m making sure I’m keeping an eye on my kid and keeping them from making poor choices but not pressuring them into a rebellious state. I don’t know how hard it is to provide for my family and still have the energy to be the best parent I can.
That all might be true, but what I do know about children is that if you give them enough love and attention and positive encouragement and you’re there for them and you’re making sure that your actions are those you want to see them emulate, they’re going to turn out a lot better than if you’re practicing the complete opposite of all of those things.
To address the picture, if these two had some kind of positive influence in their lives when they were growing up, they would not be going to such extreme measures to seek attention. They would not be so heartless to turn to animal cruelty to get a rise out of people. They would be caring and compassionate towards all living things because their parents taught them to care for and respect the world around them.
Unfortunately they had none of those things and while yes, they are clearly old enough to make their own choices, they have no foundation to even begin to care to make other choices. They choose to be brutal and destructive and hateful because any other choice would go against who they’ve grown up to be which is a direct result of having terrible influence.
So please, take some time and evaluate your ideas of right and wrong and whether or not you want to pass these ideals along to future generations. Take a look at the person you really are and decide whether or not you need to be a better version of yourself so that your child can be the best version of them self. Assess the direction of your moral compass and make sure that it’s pointing toward safety and not danger.
Our children may be our future, one we hope to be bright, but we are the ones who make sure that these children shine.
November 10, 2011 § Leave a Comment
They say that you learn something new every day.
Wanna know what I learnt today?
That the African Western Black Rhino went extinct.
Image courtesy of CNN.
I mean, seriously? Animals are still going extinct?
Wait, what’s that? A quarter of all mammals are at risk of extinction?
We ought to be fucking ashamed of ourselves.
Each and every one of us who do nothing to preserve the life of other species on this planet deserve to feel completely and utterly ashamed. We deserve to feel not like we’ve made someone angry, but that we’ve appalled and completely disappointed them.
We deserve to feel like we’re going to vomit every last bit of our insides all over the floor because we’re that sick and disgusted with ourselves.
I mean, this seriously pushes me over the edge.
Sure, a huge part of the problem still rests on the shoulders of poachers in undeveloped countries who are under the impression that their survival relies on the slaughter and collecting of the valuable bits and pieces of these animals, but that’s not just it.
On a day to day basis, we live in a manner that adds to this depletion of the population of certain species. We consume and digest and lay waste to so much of the natural resources this planet has to offer that we leave nothing for species other than our own and we wipe them off the face of this planet forever.
As in, you will never, ever get a chance to see the African Western Black Rhino in person again.
I’m fucking pissed off.
Partly because I’m to blame.
As much as I’ve always loved animals, I’ve done nothing to help this preservation effort.
Partly because I had no idea.
Which I’m sure almost each and every one of you who reads this can attest to.
If something isn’t right there in our faces, we just simply have no idea.
Out of sight, out of mind, if you will.
Well you can trust me when I say that the health and well being of the remaining species on this planet will be in my heart and in my mind from now on and I will try my fucking best to be a part of ensuring that they have the chance to outlive the human race.
In fact, I’m going to take the cheque that I received from my parents for my birthday and donate 100% of it to the WWF and from now on, do so as regularly as I can afford.
And I urge you to please do the same.
There are a lot of things that are happening that are beginning to make me more and more sad and bringing me to a boiling point on a day to day basis, but honestly, not like this.
I’m past angry.
Tears are welling.
I feel sick.
I can’t honestly express a moment in my life that I’ve felt like this with regards to something that’s really happening and isn’t just something in a movie or here say or a biased point of view in a documentary.
Fact: Animals are being wiped off the face of this planet and we’re just letting it happen.
Not any more.
Not any fucking more.
November 10, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Fox’s new show “New Girl” has to be one of my favourite TV shows on air right now and even more so, of all time.
You may say that it’s way too early to say that, seeing as it’s only been on for about 5 episodes, but I get this warm and fuzzy feeling every time I watch it and can’t help but fall in love with the damn thing!
Every 5 seconds I’m laughing about something and it catches me off guard.
I wonder “why am I laughing so much?”
“What have the writers done with this show that makes me feel this way?”
And I realize, while I’m sure the writers have a lot to do with it, I feel like a massive part of it is the actors. To me, it feels like these characters aren’t just characters. It feels like the actors are channeling a healthy portion of who they really are and infusing these characters with that. They aren’t trying to be funny as much as they are simply being.
At their core, they are, for lack of a better word, silly.
You know, silly.
That side that (most of) you only share with someone you’re really close to.
That side that makes you dance no matter how badly you may do so and sing just because you feel like it and do a random somersault into a jump kick because you can without a care in the world because you’re not being judged.
Only these actors, they’ve figured out a way to care less about who may or may not be judging them and don’t hide who they are and in turn, aren’t judged at all and instead they’re praised.
Or they are by me, at least, because I do care and I don’t want to. Sometimes I’ll fly off the handle and forget people are watching, but then I’m quickly reminded that they are when I get a “what the fuck is wrong with you?” glare, and I climb back in my shell, and do you know what the worst part about it is?
I give that same glare to others.
And do you know why?
Because I’m jealous.
I’m jealous that there’s this whole side of me that hardly anyone knows because I can’t seem to forget that they’re all watching and glaring and judging and ridiculing.
For those few seconds that I do manage to forget, though, I’m reminded of the first time I met my wife and we spent the day traveling around Louisville and when we stopped at this park, we just sat there basking in each others silliness and I felt so at home for the first time in forever.
Or maybe ever.
This is what “New Girl” does for me.
Makes me feel comfortable.
Warm and fuzzy.
It makes me want to hang out with the characters on this show because I know I could be myself around them.
So here’s to being me more often.
Here’s to being more often.
And here’s to rubbing off on others so that we can all share the real us and stop hiding.
October 20, 2011 § 1 Comment
Plus-size model Katie Halchishick in O Magazine.
“Beauty is not caused. It is.”
I feel sorry for those of you out there whose idea of beauty has been completely skewed by society and even more sorry for those who change their own image to fit that mould.
I remember back in the fifth grade, there was this girl that I had a crush on for at least three years. A skinny blonde thing who wanted nothing to do with me, but that didn’t stop me from wanting her. Hell, I even whipped up drawings of a couple smokin’ hot Mortal Kombat characters, cause, you know, fifth grade chicks were all about that.
Or so I assumed.
Apparently Kitana and Mileena didn’t do much for her, though, so after three years, I said fuck it and developed this new crush on another girl who was somewhat of an opposite to the blonde one. She wasn’t large, by any means, but she was bigger. Dark, short hair (and I mean short) and unlike the situation with the blonde, this other girl was interested in me, so we became an “item,” which in fifth grade terms didn’t mean much at all. Some empty promises of kisses behind the backstop and complete avoidance of each other.
The relationship isn’t the point of this story though.
The point is that I still remember a thought that I had when her and I first got into this thing and it went something like this:
“Aren’t I supposed to be with someone blonder? Someone skinnier? This can’t be my future.”
Isn’t that sad?
I mean, first of all, I thought this girl was forever, but second of all, I was 10 years old for Christ’s sake! I somehow already had it ingrained in my mind that I was supposed to park my Pink Cadillac in Barbie’s Dream House.
Not that blonde and skinny are undesirable traits. They are desirable. They just happen to be the most synonymous with this idea of female perfection that had been and continues to be illustrated by companies like Mattel and Playboy, just to name a couple.
Somewhere along the line my idea of the perfect woman changed, though. I’m not sure if it was in that moment or sometime later on as I don’t remember any kind of epiphany. I just know that there was a shift at some point.
I couldn’t tell you how many girls I had some kind of crush on throughout my adolescence, but I can tell you that the majority, if not all of them, weren’t all that concerned with their image and they definitely weren’t trying to walk in Barbie’s footsteps.
In fact, looking back on some of them, I must have been more attracted to their personality than anything because some of them weren’t even all that physically attractive.
But, they were beautiful and they weren’t even trying to be.
Beauty, after all, is accepting who you are and working it.
It is a fact that 80% of women in the US do not like how they look.
The number one desire of young women is to lose weight. Even when there’s not much weight left to lose.
Among children in grades 1 through 3, 48% want to be thinner. 50% of children between the ages of 8 and 10 are unhappy with their body size. Of those 10 year old children, 81% are afraid of becoming fat.
There is absolutely no harm in wanting to look beautiful. Hell, I want to look beautiful, even when I’m hanging around the apartment in my pyjamas.
The problem here is what you are basing your definition of beautiful off of.
If you spend all your time and effort trying to emulate something you saw in a fashion magazine or on a billboard, unless these advertisements are promoting health and wellness and illustrating this with a myriad of body shapes and sizes, you’re never going to be happy because you won’t even have the slightest idea who you are anymore. Not to mention you’ll end up attracting someone who wants you for who you want to be, not who you actually are.
So don’t be a part of that 80%.
Be proud of your image.
Be kind to your body.
Respect yourself and others will respect you.
The ones that matter will respect you.
And hopefully the rest will eventually start to matter as well.
October 18, 2011 § 1 Comment
Within the next couple weeks, the Earth’s population will hit 7 billion.
You may think that with so much unused space in places like Northern Canada and the plains of the U.S., to name a couple of examples close to home, that the population of the human race is not an issue, but at the moment, space has nothing to do with it. It’s the resources we consume and the waste that we produce that we need to think about.
So please, think about it.
I know this is coming off as preachy, and some (most) of you are probably rolling your eyes thinking you’re not even a part of the problem or “this world is going to shit anyways, so why bother” and that one person can’t make a difference, but none of this is true.
We are all a part of the problem.
Almost every bit of trash that goes into it’s designated receptacle and ends up in a landfill is part of the problem. This whole giving up on your species’s place in the history of this planet because everyone else seems to have is a massive problem. It’s cowardly and ignorant and it’s something I’ve been guilty of for a while now.
Sometimes, I can’t help but want to see civilization fall. Sometimes I want to accelerate it’s demise. I want to be a part of a Fight Club style movement that obliterates modern society so that it can be rebuilt in a new, better, more poignant state. I feel like we deserve it. Not all of us, of course, but those of us who know there’s a problem and ignore it and just keep on living a life of excess because it’s easier than fighting for a better tomorrow.
It’s hard not to feel this way.
Some people tend to believe that we are not animals, but with the way we live, we are more animalistic than any other species on this planet. If we truly believed that we had souls and that we had spirits and we wanted them to live on and thrive and end up inhabiting the places we dream of ending up, this is not the way to get there.
If you want to avoid revolt. If you want to avoid a completely uncivilized revolution where millions die just so that this change that was promised to us actually happens, then you have to Ghandi up and be the change you want to see in the world.
You don’t have to march in protest.
You don’t have to stop washing your hair.
You just have to stop and take a look at yourself and realize that you have to make some sacrifices. You have to evolve. You have to shift your mentality away from materialism and consumerism and adopt ideas that take you down a road of self-sustainability and zero population growth and responsibility for your actions and your words, two things we need to stop and think longer and harder about before we put them out into the world.
Start living with your heart and not your bank account.
Start producing your own food and limiting the amount of waste you produce.
Start lending a hand and more hands will be lent to you.
We are at a massive fork in the road right now and we have to choose wisely which avenue we are going to take.
To change or not to change, that is the new question, because being just isn’t working for us anymore.