Is It a Sin to Be a Christian in America?

Warning: Author expresses his actual opinion without succumbing to popular beliefs. Be forewarned if you disagree. And here’s the great part: if you disagree with me, you can do that and I won’t hold it against you. It’s your right as an American.

America was founded on great principles, the freedom to believe whatever you wish and act on those beliefs without government officials knocking down your door and shooting you in the head. We have an idea in this country that if you believe in something, you should be allowed to believe it, no matter if other people do not. For the past two hundred years, however, the major religion in America has been Christianity. And interestingly enough, it still is statically so. We, however, have perpetuated a weird illusion that to believe in something that popular and well-known is to “be ignorant,” to be a simpleton. Why, then, if the majority of Americans profess themselves to be Christians, is Christianity attacked so often?

Let’s get down to brass tacks. As a group, we Christians haven’t exactly been the most accepting sort of people. In the past, The Church has prosecuted non-Christians, but those who did do not represent the whole of the Christian nation.

For the most part, presidents have been predominately Protestant which keeps politics mostly in line with the Christian doctrine. In fact, because of the Christian majority, many laws have been made that somewhat delude the rights of other religions. Before reading on, understand that I understand that. I totally get that the establishment of “The Church” has done some really despicable things throughout history, and because most people do not differentiate between “The Church” and the body of Christ, this makes Christians look pretty bad.

It seems now the tables have turned and it is Christians who are being persecuted for their beliefs. Before you stab me with pitchforks and burn me with torches screaming “There’s no real WAR on Christianity,” think again. The truth is, those in power have a very difficult time coinciding their personal beliefs with their jobs. Think about this. You have very strong views on something, let’s say… anything, but you also have an obligation to listen to the will of the people. Which means putting aside your personal beliefs to kowtow to the wants of the people who put you in power. You are their figurehead, after all, right?

This moral dilemma of doing what one personally feels is right and what others believe is right has caused serious schisms in the political world. And as long as we’re being completely honest, there are really only two groups taking part in this argument: Christians and non-Christians. Those who are Christians say that what they’re doing is exactly what America wants, but those of other religions and those who do not proscribe to any religious beliefs claim that Christian lawmakers force their own beliefs onto the people through public policy. And for the sake of argument’s sake, both groups are actually kind of right.

But now more than ever, in today’s society, it is especially unpopular to be a Christian. Why? Well, it is extremely popular to claim Christianity, to say “Jesus is my homie” and that “God is love.” That’s all fine and dandy as putting a Bible verse bumper sticker on your hybrid car, but saying something isn’t the same as doing something. So, what’s so hard about being a Christian that it causes consternation? Again, being perfectly honest, it’s extremely difficult. When you want to express your opinion as a Christian, which so happens to be what the Bible says, you get labeled as “brain-washed,” a conformist who doesn’t bother to rely on facts. Someone who accepts what he is told.

There is this stigma of Christians as bleating sheep, repeating the same things to each other. But that stereotype simply isn’t true. Just because someone is a Christian  doesn’t make them unenlightened. Forget for the fact I too am a Christian and think of this: if I said that yes, cells are the building blocks of biology, you would not question me. And some people know that as absolute fact who, unlike me, have never studied cells, who have never looked at micro-organisms under a microscope. To believe this, then, takes faith, yes? Some people simply read this in a book and call it fact. So, why are Christians the only seen as the ones believing things they read in books?

Another question we should ask ourselves is this: should we base our political beliefs on our religion? One of my not-really-friends on Facebook once said, “I don’t understand why everyone has to have certain political beliefs just because they have certain religious beliefs.” My response to this is, Huh?! What someone believes about life and about the afterlife, understand, are not at all mutually exclusive. You can’t say, yes, I believe everything the Bible says, but when it comes to politics, I have my own set of beliefs. And the obvious problem everyone will point out is that we’re aligning ourselves with the exact principles of a religion. Which makes us in the eyes of society close-minded. And what ever happened, you say, to the American spirit? So what if your holy book calls a person wrong? They’re entitled live the way they want, right?

Of course they are! But because of that doesn’t negate the fact that Christians too are allowed to hold and voice their own beliefs. I am not trying to say either that people legally restrict Christians from expressing Christian beliefs, only that media construes these beliefs as “bigoted” or “narrow-minded.” When the real truth is that when it comes to beliefs about the afterlife, God, and morality, we are ALL close-minded. That’s right. We HAVE to be, or else we’re left believing nothing. Sure, we’re not going to deny someone a job because of their religion, but that doesn’t mean we’ll agree with them on theocratic doctrine solely because we’re accepting people. No, because no matter what you believe, you BELIEVE that. And by believing that, you are– however unawares you are of it– calling everyone else essentially wrong.

Believe in God? Well, that means that you believe people that do not believe in God are simply wrong. There’s nothing wrong with that. And if you don’t believe in God, that only means you believe those who do believe in God are wrong. And this is a simple example, but everyone facet of life we base on our beliefs: what the purpose of our life is, where we go after we die, who rules the universe, and so on and so on. Only those without any conviction at all are truly “open-minded,” and is that even a good thing? To believe in nothing, flip-flopping, changing opinions based on who we talk to?

Yes, we need to keep open minds. We need to allow others to change us, but that’s a fine line to cross, a difficult trapeze walk. You’ve got to allow yourself room to change for the better without compromising what you know to be true. So, many of you will disagree with me on this and on many other things. If that’s what you believe, that’s fine. If you gain pleasure from shooting down other people for your own amusement, what does that make you?

So, why is that? Why do we claim to be a free country where no one should be condemned for anything, yet Christians are condemned for stating what they believe? The Church is viewed through a skewed lens where it is no longer accepted to act morally. We spend so much time in America defending the rights of those who wish to act immoral that we stomp all over those who want to do any good. Tom DeLay mentioned in an interview by NBC that Christianity is treated as “some second-rate superstition.”

When we approach political debates, like legalization of abortion of gay marriage, and Christians side with what the Bible tells them, people deride them for not being progressive enough. But being progressive for the sake of it means nothing. If people didn’t stick by what they believed, there would be no point in voting on laws in the first place. And it’s not just Christianity, honestly. Almost any religion is seen as a fallback for a belief system when those who believe see it as the truest of belief systems.

Okay, so let’s crack this shell open slightly further. Why, then, does it seem that Christians always side with right-wingers? I have for one hold no political affiliations, and I think one of our problems as a country is that too many belief rely on supporting a party rather than deciding on candidates based on what they personally believe. Because right-wing candidates use religion as a crutch, as if to say, “Hey, I’m a Christian too, so if you’re Christian you should vote for me,” we have an overwhelming amount of Christians voting in the right wing. It makes sense as these politicians have more conservative views. What we fail to realize, however, is that these same self-proclaimed Christian candidates take our votes for granted, then turn around to use their power to make things worse, not better. And if this is an OMG moment for you that, yes, Republican politicians do some very crummy things, then take a big look around.

Christianity has taken a beating in the past decade or so. On television, we’re depicted as Hell-raising fanatics coming from a bloody history. Any Christian character on any Primetime show is there only to show how bigoted Christians are, how hypocritical we are. And because we sin too (of course), we can never really escape that image. We can’t always act exactly how we preach, so when we do preach, it comes across as condescending, even pretentious, a “I know the truth and you don’t” vibe. When really, it should be a “I want to share the truth because I love you” vibe.

Think about this. Around Christmas time, you see a lot of complaints that Christmas displays are too religious. We as a country prefer the secular Santa Claus and his reindeer. But what many people fail to realize is that Christmas is a Christian holiday. We commercialize this holiday to remove the religious aspects from them, pumping it full of sugar and fluff. Why? We hardly ever take other religious holidays and begin making it a secular tradition. The idea of gift-giving and Santa Claus basically override the original meaning of Christmas SO much, that those not celebrating religiously complain about too many religious affiliations with Christmas, even changing its name to X-mas. If you celebrate Christmas for no actual reason, why are you complaining? The entire holiday has been turned-upside-down. This is one more specific example of how Christians are attacked. We have a holiday and are attacked for actually celebrating its true meaning.

If you’re not a Christian, remember to keep an open mind to us as we do to you, and even if you ultimately disagree, don’t hate on what we believe and we will not hate on you for what you believe. As Christians, if you hate others because they don’t believe what you believe, you’re sending a really bad message to the world about us. We’re supposed to be accepting and loving, so think twice before you condemn another to Hell for not agreeing with you.

Again, don’t complain about this being biased. It’s biased because I have something called an Opinion which I’m not at all afraid to voice. Share your thoughts below, but keep it clean.

Advertisements

Privacy? We May Need It, but No One Wants It

Facebook, over the course of its existence, has changed many times its privacy settings. Some people limit everyone from seeing pictures on his profile and some allow anyone to see all info. In fact, privacy settings are very rarely used by Facebook users under the age of 25. Middle aged users tend to use privacy settings more prudently. We teenagers, we allow anyone to see what music we like, what books we like, and what celebrities we admire but get offending when someone “stalks” us.

It annoys me that some people will say they have read my blog or seen a picture, then apologize for “stalking.” If we were really a generation afraid of unwanted attention, we wouldn’t have Facebooks, tumblrs, and Youtube accounts. We would not recklessly share our inner lives with a computer screen.

No, we don’t mind that anyone may be stalking us because it stokes our ego. We feel better that someone is paying attention; who cares how creepy it seems? If all info is available, all info is free-game. No one is a creeper or stalker for looking at another’s profile, just worshipers of a single ego.

There is a voyeuristic pleasure we receive with allowing others to see into our “inner selves.” What we portray on social-networking sites like Facebook, however, we can manipulate. We can make ourselves appear exactly how we want to appear. A moralistic Christian? Post Bible verses all day and list Jesus as an inspiring figure. You don’t even need to go to Church. Want to be seen a stoner? Why not simply like “weed” on Facebook? It won’t even matter that you don’t smoke as long as you perpetuate a certain image. And we enjoy intensely luring others into believing they’re learning our deep, dark secrets when we have shaped those secrets meticulously.

Teens are like D-list celebrities who complain about the paparazzi, then wear sheer shirts onto the red carpet so pictures of their nipples end up on the internet. We love that attention. Attention is the new love. Facebook is the perfect mirror to preen in, making ourselves into what psychologist Maslow would call our “self-realized selves.” We’ve reached a stage where we can lie without making any facial expressions because words on the web give no social cues. On the internet, we can create new identities.

We’ve seen this time and time again where some fourteen-year-old girl meets her internet boyfriend for the first time at Target only to be kidnapped by Buffalo Bill. But creepy skin-wearers aren’t the only ones who reform their identities via the internet. We do it too. Facebook merely is a better tool to facilitate how we get others to perceive us. Back in the day, we would subscribe to certain stereotypes, then dress in a certain manner. Today, we’re allowed far more uniqueness to express ourselves through what the pins on our Pinterest boards say.

The internet offers the perfect fantasy. A social illusion, where you are the all-important person. Any person following your blog does not simply appreciate your insights but is a “creeper” obsessed with you. Aren’t we all in love with that idea, that celebrity status where people check Twitter just to see whenever you poop in public?

Earlier today, I worked very minimally to post a blog about The Avengers. I am really excited for The Avengers and definitely want people to know how much of a comics book geek I’ve become (especially superheroes), but it was for that reason I wrote the post. That, and because Avengers is such a popular search item currently, I figured it would boost my view count. Does that not just shout megalomania, Tony-Stark-style? I didn’t feel passionate about revealing my thoughts; I was too tired to write and forced myself to just because I hadn’t for two days. We’re all on the internet like it’s some high school party, keeping up appearances.
Obviously, I’m not immune. I’m consumed, sucked in, and obsessed. I crave attention as well and am as self-centered as Superman if he hadn’t found Earth and had instead floating in space his entire life thinking he was the only living organism in the universe. Of course it affects me. That’s the nature of the beast call ego-centrism. When my psychology teacher inferred it passed after adolescence, I wanted to laugh. Our generation may never grow out of this, never stop fueling our own need for obsession and rejection of privacy in return for new-age love.

No need to stop feeding the ravenous machine that is Derek Berry’s ego, so comment and like and view this post sixty times to give me delusions of internet-grandeur. Just giving you something to think about.

Hipster Fever: How To Combat the Disease

*WARNING, KEEP DISTANCE AS SCIENCE HAS PROVEN HIPSTERS SPREAD DISEASE THROUGH THEIR SPIT AND BODY ODOR*

Hipsters take on many forms, but sometimes look like this.
Photo Credit: http://cavemancircus.com/2010/02/26/hipster-douchebags/

Recently, there has been a hipster witch hunt in our immediate area where people have pinned down those they believed to be hipsters and burned them at the stake to stop the infection from spreading. Well, not really. Instead, several would-be hipsters were quite offended to be labeled such, because labels are so defining, right? But why? Why is it equal to blasphemy to name someone a hipster?

To be a hipster means to be a pretentious jerk who thinks he or she is better than others simply because he or she likes more unique clothing, bands, or books. Hipster-ism is like identification with the alternative to the extreme because those who do generally identify themselves as hipsters actively seek out new things to “like” so as to upkeep their image. You can see why this is a bad thing: if we all seek out unique identities for the sake of it, we don’t really become “US” but rather something that is different than others. Identity is tricky like that. Of course you don’t want to be boring, but hey, if you’re a boring person, embrace that. Don’t succumb to the disease.

The last thing you would want is anyone calling you “a hipster.”

Here are some surefire ways to make sure you escape the plague:

1.) Listen only the the Top 40 Charts

Hipsters are notorious for their obscure taste in music, like new-age banjo. They generally attend concerts no one else goes to, ensuring their uniqueness. Combat this by listening to the most popular songs of the moments.

2.) Make sure you’re wearing the same clothing as someone else each day.

Call up a friend. Red Blouse? Check. Blue skirt? Check. Remember, the worst thing you could POSSIBLY be is unique and pretentious because GASP!, that would be terrible.

3.) Punch Vegans in the face.

Hipsters like to take up vegan diets, so renounce hipsterdom by attacking any vegan or person who suspect to be a vegan. This will win you non-hipster points.

4.) Do Everything Literally

“Oh, so you’re voting for Mitt Romney… ironically?”

“No, I’m actually voting for Mitt Romney because I want him to become President. If you don’t want him to become President, why would you vote for him? Even ironically, your vote counts.”

“Right… are you being ironic?”

Nope, everything you say or do must be literal. You could eat a horse? Then…. eat a horse.

***

The worst possible thing you could do is give in and begin living a unique lifestyle just like everybody else. Break the mold and conform!

Photo Credit: http://justatitch.com/everydaylife/middle-school-brutal-honesty/

Wait, what? Derek, you make absolutely no sense. How can I conform to something and show my unique identity at the same time? Well, you can’t. Sorry to break that to you. No matter how you choose to live your life, you will be pigeon-holed into a stereotype. Remember back in middle school when everyone who wore polos were preps and every who wore black goth demon-worshipers?

Well, we never really grow out of that phase in our lives. The human mind is meant to categorize. So, if we see a single group of people intending to not be categorized, the need to do so is overwhelming. There is no such thing as living outside of these socially-imposed groups: accept it. Even if you wear feathers in your pink hair, wear platform shoes and a leather vest, we have found a way to bestow upon you a stereotype. Whether hipster or hippie or flower child is appropriate, it doesn’t matter. There’s no real escape from someone else identifying you one way or another.

So, what are you supposed to do with this shocking information? How will you survive? How will you express yourself?

Be yourself. Cliche, I know, but true every time any old person, young person, middle-aged teacher says it: be yourself. And maybe deep down, you really want to wear feathers in your hair. It doesn’t bother me, so knock yourself out. Deep down, you care about animals and want a vegan diet? Doesn’t bother me. Go do it!

But don’t do anything for the sole sake of appearing cool or special. Why is it such a bad thing to share some traits with others? If you spend your life shouting “Nobody understands me,” no one will even try to; we need human connection, and therefore, we need to find other people like ourselves. But if we put loads of effort into breaking those connections and socially isolating ourselves, we miss an essential part of life. Human contact is not just nice, it’s psychologically necessary.

If you’re a born fisherman, fish. If you feel compelled to be a hipster, go do hipster things. Isn’t it time we stopped caring so much about what bands we listened to or what clothes we wear? Can we not as a society rise above the need to categorize people? The answer is no, but maybe that’s a good thing. Else, we’d spend our entire lives trying to live as we’re not, trying to become something different for the sake of doing so. Settle down. Look around. Enjoy life. Stop decrying every band that’s played on the radio. Whatever you choose to do, do so because you enjoy it.

Instead, do you. Then, stop caring about what other people label you. In the end, it’s not death they’re giving you, only a way they can relate you within their world schema. So, if someone wants to reduce your explosive personality into a single word, who cares?

A girl who nicely gave me a ride home the other day after my car broke down told me this: “I don’t think I care if people call me a hipster. That’s just their perception of me, and that doesn’t really matter.”

So, if someone has squeezed you into a word, don’t take it upon yourself to “prove them wrong.” They’re just missing out on getting to know people for more than a label.

Thank you.

Photo Credit:http://www.dvdactive.com/reviews/dvd/breakfast-club-the.html

Internet Trends Are No Reason to Be an Idiot: #YOLO

“Oh, that’s a very funny status my friend– I mean, that person who happens to be in my chemistry class but I’ve never talked to before– posted. Maybe I should leave an equally funny comment, or…. I could un-originally post a *rageface* because LOL, YOLO!”

Memes, internet fads, and pictures of f**king cats: I hate them all. But if you want to Brace Yourself for being Forever Alone because like a pretentious Willy Wonka, you post so many captioned pictures that it becomes a First World Problem, that’s your business. Maybe. I honestly don’t understand the obsession, and I also hate memes’ torture of decent grammar.

“Hey guys, I heard this really funny joke, so I’m going to apply it to everything in life until people want to stab my in the eyes.”

For those who live in nursing homes or under rocks... this is a meme. They are annoying.
Photo credit: http://nuevosmemes.tk/scene-wolf-11/

I really hope it’s just a teen thing. What if pretty soon, you’re grandmother joins in until life is nothing more than Awkward Penguins and spitting your cereal out each time something incredulous occurs? But if I can stand not to implode the world over idiotic internet trends, there is one thing I cannot allow to continue. A motto for poorly-clad, soon-to-be-pregnant preteens: YOLO.

These four letters sprang up all over Twitter and Facebook within a matter of days and continue to trend. Admirably, people take the advice far too seriously.

The phrase “You Only Live Once” has been around for quite some time, meaning “Hey, don’t give up on your dreams because you’re pretty much going to die.” But then again, maybe YOLO isn’t the best philosophy in life. If you spend your life thinking of things to do simply because one day you will die and, unlike zombies, will never be re-animated, you must spend your life making very poor decisions. Just because you live only once is no excuse to do the following things:

– Inject heroin into your veins

– Post naked pictures of yourself on the internet

– Run in front of my car at BI-LO screaming “YOLO” (I will hit you, you crazy crackhead middle schoolers)

– Get admittedly-funny-now-while-we’re-drunk-but-not-even-close-to-funny-later tattoos, such as having YOLO written across your forehead. As if you need to proclaim your idiocy more efficiently to the world.

– Take sixteen shots of tequila in a row

– Have a foursome (What’s a condom? Who cares!? YOLO!)

We take something seemingly normal to say and turn it into an internet trend, but you don’t expect it to wear out and seem stupid after awhile? Once anything hits the internet, it’s ruined, worn out, beaten like crazy until it’s dead, then raised from the dead, then shot in the head because that’s how you kill zombies. I’m not trying say that YOLO is always bad advice, but I’m not sure that everyone understands what it actually means.

“Didn’t do my homework. #YOLO”

Oh, so you blame the fact that you’re a lazy procrastinator on the fact you only live once? Great. You live such an adventurous life. I’m sure you used that time wisely, ogling over pictures of One Direction band members on Tumblr.

YOLO cannot be a motto for living wild, because really it’s just an excuse- something to say- to justify your own stupidity. By saying “YOLO,” people try to make it okay to make bad decisions. When was it ever good to make bad decisions? But I guess when the greatest advice in your life is the advice you get from a Drake song, you already have some serious issues.

If you want to save the world from water pollution because #YOLO, good for you. If you want to snort cocaine off the rim of a toilet because… #YOLO, well… It’s annoying and pretentious. By even using that phrase, you advertise your own lack of development in your frontal lobe. In a court of law, you cannot be freed merely because #YOLO.

Seriously. Stop it.

Have an idea? How about use your words (not pictures someone else drew and used a caption under) to express how you feel?

And if you want to do something stupid, do it because it’s stupid, not because it will give some false vilification that your life was worth living.

Photo Credit: http://www.funnyreign.com/funny-pictures/bad-decisions/

Doubt Ninjas: How to Defeat Them

They may attack in the middle of the night, while you’re asleep. Their cloth-clad hands will shake you from slumber and bring you headfirst into a molten lava pool of self-doubt. From your lovely dreamland, they will wrench you, and at midnight, hold very awesome-looking swords to your throat, whispering, “You’re no good. You’re worthless. You can’t even spell correctly!”

Being attacked is inevitable– the scary part is the wait, knowing they will come, knowing knowing knowing that once you let your guard down- AH! They ATTACK! HIYAH!

You’re in the middle of the SAT when you look up to see them surrounding you, arms crossed in Ninja coolness as if to say “I’m a Ninja, so I’m so off-putting, it’s scary. Also, you suck!”

Despite how cool they look or act, you don’t want to spend a lot of time around these guys or else they will black-belt-beat you into submission until you’re a sobbing, self-loathing person who cannot function. Defeat the Doubt Ninjas by partaking in the study of self-doubt defense!

Step Number 1:

Remember that you’re pretty much an awesome person. So if Doubt Ninjas say otherwise, punch those Ninjas in the throat.

Step Number 2:

Assert your awesomeness so that you claiming awesomeness doesn’t seem pretentious. Go save a baby, and we’ll throw a parade. Or rather, save all the babies, and we’ll have parades for a year straight. Or just do something great, like helping someone out. Then you can say, I made a difference today. Take that, Doubt Ninjas!

Step Number 3:

Vanquish the Doubt Ninjas. Hire a lawyer and sign a restraining order against those jerks. On the basis of emotional bullying. Then remember that they cannot harm you anymore and the only one to tell you that you can’t do something is you, and let’s face it, the ninjas say you’re usually wrong. Which means of course you can do it.

Go forth, Be a Pokemon Master (or any other variation of such a dream), without the nagging of those sneaky a-holes we politely call the Doubt Ninjas.

Amateur Sketch of the Perpetrators

Are Yahoo! Writers Real Writers or Middle School Students Paid in Trident Layers?

For the longest time, which isn’t that long since it constitutes maybe two years, I have been receiving a bulk of my news from the Yahoo! website. Today, I decided to take a step back and wonder why. Well, the titles are often promising, even if the articles don’t pull through. And they have that nifty scroll bar so you can read the headlines very quickly. But the more I read Yahoo!, the more angry I get at the poor quality of journalism shown by its writers.

There are some staff writers who write news, which is hardly ever news. The latest breaking news story is about Ashton Kutcher singing country. The rest of their content, they take from various blogs which contribute to Yahoo! But the writers are unprofessional, not at all meticulous enough to catch spelling mistakes, and down-right petty.

Take a gander at this article about technology, about what gadgets “turn women off.”  Okay, I understand the basic concept. If you wear

a blue tooth in your ear, women will steer clear of you because you seem too high-tech.

But then the writer also prattles on about how important brands are, how if you’re not carrying an Apple IPhone, no one is going to talk to you. Now I’m starting the see the trend. These writers are petty eighth graders paid to worship brands, restaurants, and politicians while dissing on others in the judgement of the head editor. And this biased, chest-puffed trash is what news has become.

Seriously, you’re going to write “news” about how women love certain technology, then just describe all the technology you personally own?

For the credit of Yahoo!, they do cover some controversial and serious topics. Anything that explodes online finds its way within twenty minutes onto Yahoo! I wonder, however, why it only takes twenty minutes. Let us take for example the KONY video released about a month ago. When people began sharing it on their walls, many people criticizes the supporters for jumping on a web bandwagon. But then again, people see something and need only click to share.

Many complained that no one checked their facts and that the video was riddled with falsity. But these are Facebook users and twitter users. There’s very little social responsibility for us beyond keeping up with who is in a relationship with who and who posted what pictures from what party last night. If this seems rather pathetic and ignorant, it is, but at least I can understand why someone just

checking their Facebook wall would not need to go on a scavenger search for truth.

And the day KONY2012 exploded, Yahoo! began posting about it as well. It is most certainly their responsibility to check facts. Days later, they upped the ante by criticizing KONY supporters while days ago supporting them. It’s not about facts or news or even interest. They work harder on their catchy headlines than any other part of their stories.

Besides not checking facts, the writers make a number of other follies. Most annoyingly, writing news about things that do not and will not ever matter. Read this breaking news story about the new Russian revolution going on– Oh, sorry, I meant, about Carrie Underwood’s leg: http://omg.yahoo.com/photos/2012-academy-of-country-music-awards-slideshow/

If I have to read another article about celebrity clothing or who divorced who after thirty days of lackluster marriage, I’m going to pierce my eyelids with fire pokers. For that reason, I’m giving up Yahoo! I am still going to use Yahoo! for my e-mail account, but beyond that, nope. I vow to from these day forward find an online newspaper with real news. With news that matters and news that isn’t petty and hockey-fashion-related on any day. Maybe I’m a grumpkin who can’t stand happy-feel-good stories, but seriously, another cat video?

That’s not a story. It’s a cat video.

I don't read the news. I just gossip with this girl who doesn't understand the importance of fiscal stability over chewing gum.

I Will Write a Title Tomorrow

Normally, I might start off a post apologizing for not posting in a while as if my blog posts fuel the universe. As if the words are hooked up to someone’s life support system and if I don’t blog every day, that person might die. Unfortunately, I don’t hold such power in this world. When and how often I post matters only to me to bolster my self-confidence whenever I check the Stats page, to which I am unhealthily addicted.  (Instead of Facebook or e-mail, it’s the first thing I check upon arriving home. I even have an app to check it on my Nook.) But I see no need to apologize for not posting. Laziness is merely a natural part of life and perhaps I am busy. With… well, work and school and learning things about the world I never knew before.

I spent the weekend in Charleston, touring the college there and learning much. But I can’t blame my lack of posts on merely being away. No, I have also been reading. As if reading so voraciously is a bad thing which I don’t think it is. In the meantime, I’m still getting excited about Game of Thrones and have seen The Hunger Games, but no, I probably won’t write a review. Everything to be said about it has been said. I thought it was great, but if I were to review the movie, it would only be to raise that magic number of views on my Stats page. Worst than opium, that Stats page. Addictive as a snakebite.

In a perfect world, I would like to say I have spent a lot of time not blogging because I choose to do “real work” on my novel. Or writing short stories. That fantasy dies quickly when I really consider how much I’ve truly written in the past week. So what? I’ve been reading and playing Angry Birds Space, which I will also not review though it is a lot of fun, but will include as a tag in this post to raise view counts and subsequently… well, you know where this is going.

The truth is, I enjoy procrastination. Nothing gets my heart beating quite like sitting to waste time, doing nothing. Such fervid inactivity makes my blow flow faster, I swear. Perhaps not doing things is what we were meant to do. Perhaps God meant for our species to laze about, sleeping, waking only to use the restaurant, eat fruit, drink, and procreate. Oh, Garden of Eden, how I miss your sweet benefits. I would also if within the garden, we might have been kin with the animals. We could ride on the backs of tigers and lions in between naps.

But of course, such paradise of doing nothing exists only in death. Unless I was a koala in my past life (highly possible), I am not dead. And so, “doing so” demands to be done no matter how much my own will wills me to do naught. Interesting thoughts, yes? So, what compels me to post an entire blog post about not posting? Am I blowing your mind, breaking the convention of the “I haven’t written a blog post in a while” post? Will I promise to stay ever-vigilent in continuing to post blog posts? No.

Perhaps one day I will quit. Perhaps I will change blog names and never tell you. You will be lost to me, forever, dear readers. But whoever deludes himself or herself into the belief that those readers NEED to blogger, they are so mistaken they might as well go back to the third grade. Blogging is nice and fun and connects you with people. In fact, blogging is far less pretentious than I imagined it might be. It allows us not just to communicate ourselves but our ideas. To circulate ideas about life which invigorate conversation and notions that might change minds.

It can be self-indulgent at times, like whenever I toast myself for scoring a week of days when the view count is consistently over 200. Or when I comment back and forth to every person who comments to ensure the blog post will read that many, many people have commented on it despite the fact that more than half of those comments came from me. Blogging can indeed be for those who love themselves as I do, but it can also help us learn things in a personal way. No one depends on you posting blogs, but that doesn’t mean to stop posting! What if you end up changing someone’s ideas?

That would certainly be interesting? Why now? Why have I now decided to post a blog to translate an idea which may or may not mean anything? We can only postulate. But the pen calls to me, so write again I shall and write much I shall. Rambling is merely the product of having too much to say, which perhaps is better than not having anything to say out of which procrastination is born. So when I stop thinking, I will stop writing and in extension, stop blogging. Not that this particular event will happen any time soon. We should wait to see, though, shan’t we?

So keep blogging. Take as many breaks as you need. Post as sporadically as you need. Write no matter whether someone is reading what you write. Of course it’s not necessary, but it gives a relief to the brain and if looked at through a queasily spiritual lens, the soul. This is not to say, keep writing or reading. Only to say, don’t stop.

If none of this makes sense, remember it’s only Word Salad. It’s life. It’s not supposed to make sense.

Life on Earth-616: My Spidey Senses Are Tingling

Life on Earth-616 is a relatively new series for the Word Salad blog by Derek Berry, inspired by Roy Seeger’s poetry. In these blogs, Derek considers life as a superhero. Earth-616 is a reference to the version of Earth that exists in the Marvel Universe. 

SpiderMan must feel pretty lousy sometimes. Positively cheated. He possesses some of the coolest superpowers in the comic book canon, so no complaints there. Spidey senses, the ability to climb walls, the ability, to shoot string of sticky web from his wrist: Peter Parker doesn’t have things terribly bad compared to other orphans. Except that he’s an orphan too. Then again, so are Batman and Superman. Among costumed crime fighters, perhaps his sob story is not utterly unique.

Of course, Peter Parker is susceptible to more than just one sort of death. It might have served him a lot of use to only have one weakness in the form of a very rare mineral that glows green. Take away his suit and spider powers, and his weaknesses number highly. Bullets, malevolent spirits risen from Ouji boards, stabbings, bug poison, and gravity to name a few.

And when he’s done slinging web and saving the day, he has to return to an unsatisfying job as a fake celebrity photographer for a jerk boss. At least Iron Man and Batman, despite not having true super powers, get to return to being multi-millionaires when they take off their masks. Peter Parker has to deliver pizzas for extra cash and pay for his grandmother’s nursing home bills.

Spider Man is simply the every man. He is a superhero, but on the inside, an average guy. If not through fate or chance, he might have continued the life he had been leading. He would have turned out perfectly normal, but nothing special. Instead, greatness and responsibility were thrust upon him. This is not someone who went looking to defend the weak. He once WAS the weak, but then was given a unique opportunity which he felt he needed to use “for good.”

Spider Man lives only because Peter Parker does. He lives, he protects us, and he dies. He must die defending us, becoming a martyr for every man too weak to defend himself. Such is his fate, to be scorned yet necessary. To wear a costume to defend us, then wear another to hide his heroics. Suffering under the suffocation of two masks instead of one.