Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Eve Rant

One of the things that makes me most angry in the world is intolerance. Who cares if there's a moment of silence in school? Or pledging allegiance to the flag? Who cares if a group of students wants to pray on campus? Who cares if people say Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? If someone doesn't wish to participate, they won't. I think there should be a mutual respect for all religions. And as long as they're not hurting anyone (like extremists) they should be tolerated and even welcomed.

Values are being whitewashed. Assimilate! Just like the great immigrations; people came from everywhere around the world, and eventually just became the same. They were encouraged to do so. Not to mention the Native American children being taken from their homes and forced into American schools and American cultures. In other countries today people are forced into silence. They will be punished if they try to practice anything but their required religion. I never want our country to be like that. I think the only concern would be for anti-religion in this country. I don't aspire to belong to a plain vanilla society, where people have to practice their beliefs behind closed doors because they might offend someone else. I want everybody mixed together and learning and understanding about one another. I want choices. I want non-judgement. Since when did anti-religion become our religion? It is freedom OF religion that our country has promised us, not freedom FROM religion. That covers all religions: Christian, Jewish, Wicca, Agnostic, Atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, etc.

"Put Christ back in Christmas" they say. Well, sure, if he's in Christmas for you, feel free to put him in. But when someone replies with "Happy Hanukkah" don't get all pissy about it. There's no way to know what someone's religion is unless they let you know. Opening up this discussion in an adult way, which is nonjudgmental and generates from interest in someone's culture, is very healthy. If someone prefers "Happy holidays" then good for them. They are trying to be considerate of all beliefs, and I respect that. But of course there are people who get pissed when they hear "Happy holidays!" These snobby a-holes should get over themselves. The whole world doesn't revolve around them and their particular beliefs.

On the same token, I retreat when someone is trying to force their religion on me. There's nothing that turns me off more than someone getting pushy and telling me what I should believe. One evening (in my teens) I was attending a youth group at church and the youth leader felt it was time to teach us that all other religions are going to Hell. By that time I was already questioning religion, but that really put it over the top. I walked out and was lead to the current belief system which I hold: "I don't know anything."

So many wars have started over religion; I honestly think it is toxic. Hey, religious leaders, you could have thrown us a bone and at least TRIED to foresee people disagreeing with you and starting wars. They might have included something in their religious texts along the lines of "be fucking tolerant"? I think Buddha worked out something similar. Kudos to you, Buddha. You're kind of a badass.

Every December I hear a lot of bullshit being expressed about how everyone is doing it wrong. I guess you might be able to add this rant to the list, but I had to say my piece because I've heard too much about how certain people are bad or wrong or putting Christian culture at risk of extinction, blah blah blah. I'm just so spent on all the negativity and judgement that I had to say something about it. Thanks for listening. Feel free to speak your bit.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Milk, from Cows Mad as Lorries

Alright, so I don't know if anyone else feels like this about milk, but my emotions regarding milk came as a surprise to me today as well. First of all, I stopped drinking milk when my colitis was going crazy, so maybe I'm not the best person to even HAVE emotions about milk, but I'm going to push forward anyway. This afternoon we were having our annual company Christmas lunch, which was awesome and probably my favorite in all seven years of my employment with the company. We ate at this nice little Italian place with games and laughter and prizes. After our drinks were ordered and served, as I was casually glancing around the room at everyone having a good time, I did a double take when I saw a tall slightly bubbly glass of cold milk. I looked around in search of raised eyebrows of my coworkers and saw none. I thought of reaching out to someone and whispering in conciliatory tones. I resisted. I would keep my milk snobbery to myself, bear the burden alone. I tried to focus on other things, but my eyes kept darting uncomfortably at the glass of milk. Somehow milk seemed totally inappropriate for a professional environment. It made me think of mother cows with babies at their teats. Milk mustaches. Brownies wedged between the small pearly white teeth of children. A substance the should be hidden and sacred, kept within the confines of ones home or the home of very close loved ones. It was milk, warming on the table in a land filled with iced tea and sweating glasses of Coke. Milk, who got pushed around, trying to fit in and being snubbed and ignored and teased by the other kids on the playground. I tried to reconcile the reasons for my recoiling. Is this normal? If I were to visit the home of an acquaintance (not a close, personal friend) would the list of beverages they might offer perhaps include milk? "Would you like anything to drink? Soda? Tea? ...Milk?" I managed to hold down the unsightly sneer my lip was quivering to make, and once the milk was gone I pushed it to the back of my mind, promising to revisit the thought later and hopefully come to a conclusion about the reasons behind my unexpected reaction. All I can conclude is that the film Snatch makes a good point, as follows:

Tommy: You shouldn't drink that stuff anyway. [looking at the milk Turkish is drinking]
Turkish: Why, what's wrong with it?
Tommy: It's not in sync with evolution.
Turkish: Shut up.
Tommy: Cows have only been domesticated for the last eight thousand years. Before that, they were running around mad as lorries. The human digestive system hasn't got used to dairy products yet.
Turkish: Well, fuck me, Tommy. What have you been reading?
Tommy: Let me do you a favour. [takes the milk off Turkish's hand and throws it out the window and it hits a car behind them followed by screeching tires and a loud crash]
Both: [look at each other] Whoops.

It's not much of a theory, but it's all I've got. As a side note, Snatch is a badass movie and I highly recommend it. It's better the second time around, because you're kind of confused until you get to the end otherwise. (Much like Fight Club and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Derby Dames

Since the first time I heard about it, I've been smitten with roller derby. Bad ass chicks being allowed to act aggressively, duke it out with other girls, and still rock fishnet stockings? Yes, please! I feel as though some day I, too, will be a derby girl. From time to time I find myself fantasizing about what my derby name would be. The movie Whip It had some pretty excellent names. Recently I've been toying with the name Purple Nurple. Think about it, purple fishnets, black tutu/shorts, purple/black shirt layers? No? Perhaps not something so themed? How about Blitzkrieg Britt? Too many WWII connotations? Alright, alright, I'll keep working on it. I hope you do the same!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meddley of Many Things

I was lucky enough to be listening to NPR today when Nikky Finney was being interviewed about her poetry. I heard her read a couple and they really speak to me. Poetry is badass and I love the way thoughts and creative expressions slip and slide through my brain. Miss Finney said something during the interview about needing to write every day. I cringed internally because I tend to feel a pang of guilt every time I log into Blogger and skulk through the writing of others without giving back a single word over such a vast amount of time. Have I ever told you that I've been writing since I was a kid? I mean, young elementary school age. Either a diary, or a scrap of paper, or a spiral notebook or anything I could get my hands on at whatever moment a thought strikes me. For years I have slept with a notepad on my bedside table in hopes of capturing a groggy whim. My notebook has been a bit of a dust collector lately. While I strongly resist making commitments, I feel like I should make more of an effort to exchange ideas instead of solely observing the ideas of others. Now that I'm thinking about it, this is the way I deal with new people who I meet in the real world. I am non-committal, quiet, and observant, until I feel safe enough to unleash my true self. So this "observe only" thing I seem to be partaking in really isn't a surprise. I don't know why I've gotten shy all of a sudden. I know I have had excruciatingly little time to get ANYTHING done except go to work, school, and occasionally shower, since this semester began. But I feel like I need to start putting an effort forth for "self time" where I write (or take pictures), even if it's a couple words a day. EVEN IF those words are "I don't wanna" or "avoid the paht thai." Whatever makes me feel like there is an open and flowing dialogue rather than a closed, tiptoeing, take-only relationship going on here. In the spirit of giving, allow me to provide you with a current life happenings update: I recently turned 27. Wooooah, dude. I have officially completed 3/4 of the Spanish I am required to take, with nothing less than a B average. Criminal Justice and Social Work classes are going along smoothly. By the end of Spring 2012 I should have my Associates Degree. Only took me...um...8 years? The lesson to learn here is, when you want something, just fucking do it and stop twiddling your thumbs! Though I did have to support myself all these years with a job and paying for classes as I take them, 8 years is far too many years. Despite the fact that I get down about the uphill battle of schooling ofttimes, I'm pretty proud of myself, and that's a damn good feeling. Moving on. Family chaos, good and bad, has been and will continue to brew. My little brother, Jeremy, just came for Thanksgiving. I love that little Hell raiser; he's nice to talk to and a free-thinker. He plans on moving here in March, and I hope he doesn't change his mind. I love all of my siblings and wish we could be in closer proximity more often (i.e. always). I am wholeheartedly howling Christmas music in my car, shower, and home in general. (I do this all year long, so it feels good to have a specific time of year that it seems "normal" to those who are around me.) I have a cold, but am planning on beating the shit out of it with an onslaught of vitamin C. [Life Happenings Update List: Complete] Seems I've jumped around a bit here, but covered some good ground and have the monkey off my back, if only for a moment, about my lack-of-posting guilt. Stay tuned. "After these messages, we'll be riiiight back!"