Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Moderately Miserable is Hard Work

Most people who interact with me on a day to day basis are familiar with my canned response when they query "How are you doing?" Ninety-nine percent of the time, I answer, "I'm maintaining my normal state of moderately miserable."

It happened just Monday night at the gym. I entered the facility with a woman, who is little more than a casual acquaintance that I met four or five years ago. She noted that it had "been awhile" and asked me how I was doing. Upon my response, she said, "I would expect nothing less."

For some reason, that kind of stung! An eye-roll, a snicker, or a giggle are the only appropriate responses to my sarcasm. Didn't she get the memo? After all, I'm just throwing out shtick here. Right? Surely, she understands that my sarcasm is just a "front" I throw out for shock value.

Or, IS IT?

Recently, I have been reflecting on the role I have purposely and intentionally taken on as the "grumpy old man." The CURMUDGEON! When first called that term on FB, I actually told myself it was a compliment. I had become Red from "That 70's Show." Minus the beer, I had become my TV hero, Red. I was a malcontent and I was surrounded by dumba***s and I liked it!

The problem with the shtick, however, is that, over time, it seemingly becomes REALITY! And I am only now realizing that "maintaining a state of moderately miserable" is hard work.

Well, actually, it's really not THAT hard! A daily dose of the news channels help. And it doesn't matter which one. Left or right! Those arrogant blowhards on Fox News anger me just as bad as that bitter, miserable chick on MSNBC. And I've actually blogged about that! Deep down, I know they are just doing their jobs. Their job is to produce OUTRAGE. That fact was discussed in this very same forum some time ago. I shouldn't fault them for simply trying to draw a paycheck.

The news channels, however, pale in comparison to this silly device I hold in my hand several hours a day. I am only just now realizing the power this thing lords over me. I fell for it. Hook, line, and sinker! Without even realizing how subtly it happened, I was following some of the meanest people in this county on the Twitter. And I wasn't just reading their tweets. I was reading ALL the responses. Some of these threads go on for days. And I couldn't miss a single one!

I don't know if there is any hope for me or not. Maybe I am just a curmudgeon and maybe I just need to own it. But I have taken baby steps in trying to lessen the severity of it all.

I unfollowed all those pundits on the Twitter. Even though I agree with 99% of what they say, I cannot participate in that vitriol. I've unfriended a good friend on the Facebook. I genuinely like and care for the guy. But he has NO filter! And he posts egregiously inappropriate GIFS and comments on my Timeline. It makes my blood boil. And I just can't afford to let that discourage me. And I am off the news channels. After all, I already know what they are going to say anyway. Their respective points of view haven't changed in years.

I'm not certain as to why the change of heart. My natural inclination is to stay in the problem. It's warm and squishy there and over time becomes normal and comfortable.

But I do know this. My energy is waning in my older years. And I just feel tired. I am tired of Harvey Weinstein. I am tired of the NFL. I am deeply saddened by the Vegas shootings. But I am tired of that, as well. And I am tired of the OUTRAGE!

I am just gonna have to leave that for those of you who are better equipped to handle it.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

God Is A Gentleman

I really do not want to post this one! But, if I truly want to get some relief, I have no choice. My Shrink died last year. Not that it really matters. I had not spoken to him in over a decade, anyway.

 If I said "Yesterday was a bad day," my statement could be number one on the Greatest Understatements in History list. I could not turn off the television. Watched way too much coverage of the horrible carnage in Las Vegas. And just sunk, deeper and deeper into the abyss.

My mind went into sermon mode. "Sermon mode" is code for you atheists and agnostics to probably just tune out. It's okay. This silly post is not gonna change your mind. And that's okay, too! CTT covered that a while back. As we have progressed to a society of Truth Creators, as opposed to Truth Seekers, you have created your own truth. I will not stand in the way of your creating your own truth and living it out with all the unaided zeal that you can muster.

Romans 1:22---"Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools."

Romans 1:25---"They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator...."

Romans 1:28-32---"Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although, they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of of those who practice them."


Yes. I said it. Apparently, no one else is going to! I have a NEWSFLASH for Christians. Pagans are always gonna be pagans. They are going to practice all the above things in spades! They are good at it. They improve on it. They delight in it! The fact that we have joined them, with seemingly no misgivings, is the dilemma!

In Hollywood, and on campuses across the Nation, they pity us and despise us. They pity us for believing in such silly superstitions. They despise us for judging them when, for the most part, we act the same way.

I am convinced that God is not disappointed in pagans. They are pagans. He understands that way better than we give Him credit.

His disappointment is no doubt in us. Our secret sin. Our desire to look just like everyone else. To do what they do. Watch what they watch. Play like they play. Our inability to shine some Light into a very dark place and be the Salt we were called to be. Our desire to "worship and serve created things."

"Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools."

We have allowed God to be dis-invited and for the most part, not get ANY mention anymore. And if God is anything, He is a gentleman. And He has honored our wishes.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Trigger Was A Horse!

Last week, when the fine young scholar in Fort Worth called me a Snowflake on the Twitter, he employed a word that is nails on a chalkboard to me. I had commented on the Emmys and he said something to the effect of, "I can't believe that TRIGGERED you!" Since then, I've seen this word used time and time again on the Twitter. Evidently, Trigger is now a verb. Who knew?

Certainly, I am aware that trigger is not a new word. I hear folks all the time referring to sessions with their Shrinks and the time spent, at $100 an hour, identifying "triggers" and how to avoid them. It makes me want to claw my eyes out! But at least they are using the word as a noun. Evidently, everyone is in serious need of an excuse to justify their bad behavior, and if we can only label them as triggers, it's okay to act like an imbecile.

But in this age of Idiocracy, trigger is now a verb. And any response, to any situation, means that the person responding has been "triggered" and they are definitely wrong, as they are only responding out of HATE!

"Can you believe that triggered him?" "You are a hateful schmuck if that triggered you!" "Of all the things to be triggered by!" "Can't you think of more important topics to be triggered by?"

In fact, the mere suggestion of this entire Post is triggering VOMIT!

CTT has addressed this topic before. However, since I discussed the idea that we are now a society where everything is based on unadulterated outrage, things have only, progressively, gotten worse. We have raised two or three generations that observe everything, I mean EVERYTHING.....Parents, kids, education, jobs, sports, recreation, worship, politics, society, behavior.....We only look at every situation form a standpoint of "Just what am I going to see or experience here that absolutely, positively, unequivocally pisses me off?"

I have flag fatigue. The flag and the National Anthem seems to have triggered the entire Nation! Everyone seems to be on one side or the other on this one! It is just so exhausting!

STOP IT! Deep down, we all know what a trigger is. Trigger was Roy Rogers' horse. And what a fine horse he was!

Monday, September 18, 2017

These Labels are Destroying Us

I was labeled a Snowflake last night! Can you believe it? A Snowflake! It kind of threw me for a loop. All I did was post a tweet about the Emmys and why I would not be tuning in. Soon after, some genius in Fort Worth (I know...Cowtown!) commented something to the effect that  "you should just sit in your safe space, with your TV turned off, you Snowflake!"

Dozens of tweets later, we both angrily blocked each other, and I just sat in amazement that I had allowed myself to get caught up in such nonsense. I speak, almost daily of my intolerance for idiots and how they rob me of my serenity. But there I idiot!

So, to rebuild my damaged self-esteem, I went to bed an listened to a speech on The Youtube by a conservative commentator that was recently given at Berkeley. I was grasping at anything!

I've spent most of the day thinking about labels. They have woven themselves into the thread of our very existence. I'm not sure anyone has a firm grasp on the true meaning of even one of them. But the labels exist. They are seemingly infinite. They are often misunderstood. They are seldom defined. But they are mandatory! Everyone must choose their label and proudly display it!

Of course, if someone recognizes your label and calls you on it.....FULL FLEDGED DENIAL ensues! One of my favorite dudes on the planet is a left leaning liberal.  I made the mistake of calling him that one time and he went into a complete defense posture, denying it! It cracked me up.

But we continue to call each other names and hand out labels. The divide only continues to grow. Democrats are no longer liberal. They are leftists. Republicans are no longer conservative. They are Alt. Right. Interestingly, both sides claim to be moderately "in the middle." Yet, the best word they can think of to label the other is Fascist! Are both sides fascists? Is neither side fascist? Does anyone really know what fascism means?

I know I've been and probably continue to be part of the problem. In college, Camino and I would sit in the Student Center for hours with our chairs side by side, leaning against the wall. With EVERY person that walked by, we would slowly turn our heads toward each other and say, "Idiot." Super Coop and I would sometimes go for hours in our apartment just yelling "STUPID" at each other! I wish I was making this up. No other words. He would look at me and yell "STUPID!" and I would quickly respond with "STUPID!"

The movie Idiocracy has turned out to be prophetic. The best we can do is yell names and labels at each other. It is simply all just plain Idiocracy.

I'm not a fascist. You're a fascist. I'm not a leftist. You're a Nazi.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Giving God a Bum Rap

It's been awhile. The last time I was drawn to contribute to CTT, it turned out to be a disaster! I typed it up. Edited it. Was prepared to post. Then, POOF! It was gone! The platform indicated that the piece was "saving" throughout the process. But it was gone. No where to be found. A google search indicated that this phenomenon had only happened in about 172 million other instances, so I just wrote it off as getting what I pay for from a free platform.

I think about CTT occasionally. Usually its when I'm wallowing in depression, self-pity oozing from every pore. That's certainly the case this morning. So, why not? I wore my "I Don't Even Like the People I Like T-Shirt" Sunday and got a tremendous response. So, naturally, the thought occurred to me this morning to put some thoughts down and blast them into the world wide inter-web and get them off my chest. No doubt to offend a few of you. Get over it. Grow some thicker skin!

I'm treading on dangerous ground because, as you remember, Stainless told me years ago that "the biggest difference between me and God is that God never wakes up in the morning thinking He's me!" The very nature of this piece supposes that I know what God must be thinking or am at least convinced that God is being besmirched. Neither of these are probably true. But there's nothing like a "Force Majeure" or a couple of them in a short span to get the juices flowing!

I'm not going to address the existence of God. I've never really met an atheist. Oh, I know a few folks who claim to be atheist. Bless their hearts. If they would only use that dusty Library card in their sock drawer, that could so easily be changed. So, the premise of the piece assumes that God exists. That He exists and man oh man, look at how His name is getting run through the mud.

The "Force Majeure" or "Act of God" is how these natural disasters are described by the legal types in contracts, insurance policies, and the like. Folks who don't recognize God, believe in God, acknowledge God, or want anything to do with Him decided to call these horrible weather events "Acts of God." I find that almost laughable, while at the same time very sad.

Now, with that as a basis, let's look at the oh so delicious next step! All weekend, we just heard Mayors, Police Chiefs, Governors, Vice Presidents, and Presidents call on everyone to PRAY! No, you cant make this up. We are supposed to pray to the God that created this thing in the FIRST place!

But WAIT!, There's more! This is more exciting than an infomercial! Evidently, God answered those prayers and the forecast damage from the latest storm dropped to $50 Billion from $200 Billion and I have not heard ONE person give God any credit. As a matter of fact, the only credit I've seen was assigned to the "Bermuda High." I don't recall any Mayors, Police Chiefs, Governors, Vice Presidents, or Presidents asking us to kneel in prayer to the Bermuda High!

It is just SO exhausting! Blame it on Him. Asked Him to intervene and change it. Then, when He does,  completely deny that He had anything to do with it!

So, all I have are two words, QUIT IT!