Divide And Label

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Labels are strange, yet absolutely necessary. It’s impossible to love writing and hate labels. What are words if not labels? What’s strange is that perhaps we as a society have grown a little too fond of attaching ourselves to labels.

From all the million genres of music, to politics, and beyond, we are fascinated by labels. And in addition we are fascinated in having labels that conflict with one another. Republican, Democrat, Feminist, Men’s Rights etc. Is all of it necessary?

Maybe, maybe not. Truthfully no matter how unique an individual is in thoughts, beliefs, and everything else that makes us human, there will be a handful of labels that define them. There’s nothing wrong with this concept. Where labels get hairy is when people conform themselves to fit an idea, rather than the idea already fitting them.

Anyone can pick any “ism” , or any philosophy out there and bash it. So there won’t be any discussion of one individual entity here. Rather than discussing a specific idea, what is of interest are the rules, and guidelines for every label,  and how the individuals in these groups enforce them. What comes to my  mind is the the short film, The Wave. What happens in The Wave, to my recollection, is that a classroom is divided into a class-system, and the top tier must enforce the crazy rules which the teacher creates. Of course, this creates divisiveness, chaos and a huge power struggle.

If you’re not Republican, or Democratic, or a Feminist, or a Hardcore Gamer, or a plethora of other things, that is an excuse for many people in the aforementioned groups to be condescending. In reality, if we were all to be completely honest with ourselves and one another, each of us would likely be a combination of contradictory viewpoints. All of us may be somewhat capitalistic, with some socialistic views. Or some of us may be a combination of Christian and Muslim viewpoints.

After writing the last few paragraphs, and thinking for a bit, it made me realize that the need to feel wanted may be a big part of grouping. And what also occurred to me, is that those of us whom are labeled with having extreme, or radical viewpoints are often the people who most desire the feeling of love.  There isn’t some obvious answer to our love of groups, and our urges to be desired. After all, those are just human necessities. Ironically, in a country that preaches individualism, we may have forgotten to believe in ourselves, and stand up for our own convictions rather than copy someone else’s. Would we be worse off for admitting that our core belief systems are patchworks, rather than unique standalone ideas?

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Love And Marriage

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Go together like a horse and carriage. Just kidding. Cheesy references aside, it seems that the marriage times are upon me. There are about four weddings coming up within the next two years.

Relationships are strange. Especially since, for some reason, we went from allowing our biology to do the talking to following the rules put forth by religions. When you examine it, there aren’t a huge amount of differences between every major religion when it comes to marriage. Sure, Mormons often practice polygamy, and Buddhism is quite an outlier of a religion in most respects. As far as biology versus theology goes, most of us tend to break one common rule.

Fewer of us are saving ourselves for marriage. This is just a fact. Is this a good thing ,or a great thing? Okay, so clearly this blog is quite biased on pre-marital sex. Enough so that calling it pre-marital sex just seems weird.

What’s important here is that we feel some strange need to unify via religion, but often break the rules we are unifying under. What’s important about sex is that it’s, and always has been, an important part of intimacy. There isn’t any escaping that reality.

Is it appropriate, or even healthy for us to let a set of non-law-rules micro-manage our relationships? Especially a set of rules which every practitioner is guilty of bending at some point? You know it’s easy to answer these questions about religion, but this need to uphold some set of standards in our relationships is pervasive as hell. You could be atheist, or barely religious, but be a die-hard fan of a political party. Somehow, and to an extent, that political party’s outlook became embedded as your code.

Both parties, at least in the United States, speak frequently on moral, social , and cultural conduct.This is especially true when pundits, and talking heads speak about sex. Hell, if the radical on either side has anything in common, it’s their ability to freak out over a female’s nipple. Somehow most of the western world has adopted this prudish way of thinking, and sense of entitlement when telling people how to conduct themselves sexually.

On one hand, the real question is, how on earth did religion, and its set of rules on conduct embed itself into our conscience so deeply? Should we continue to allow this sort of thinking control our relationships, and sex drive? For a world where technology advances so quickly, culture sure feels directionless sometimes.

To Goal Or Not To Goal

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There is a great Robert Frost poem which is quoted above. Everyone views this poem at some point in their life, and being in the age of social media, it gets referenced all the time. The poem I’m esoterically referencing, is that ultra-famous poem called “The Road Not Taken”. Whatever you believe it to mean, it has some meaning to everyone who reads it. Thus is the beauty of the poem.

Some may consider it an affirmation that the road less travelled is perhaps the wiser road to take. They assert their individuality, and use this poem to do so. That’s a perfectly great way to interpret the poem. Relatable, and easy to understand, anyone can see how it’s an optimistic interpretation.

If you are an Orange Is The New Black fan, or just thought about the poem meanings more, then maybe you think differently. Not saying that any view is correct or anything, (In fact, that is the wonderful impossibility of the poem), just that this is another perspective to have. Not sure what the OITNB character’s name is, but she explains that the poem is more so about how everyone ends up in the same place no matter what they do. You can take the conventional route, or the less conventional route. Either way you will end up in the same job, and same life circumstance.

It’s hard to say whether or not one should aim for anything. Perhaps whether one aims the arrow or not is dependent on each individual. For me, the arrow is definitely aimed and hopefully precise. Then again, as they say, the unaimed arrow never misses. So are goals worth chasing, or do we get wherever we are supposed to anyway? Only father time will ever know.

Being Right

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Sometimes we fall off the wagon. You click one news article about something your interested in, read through the comments, and look at some pictures, and before you know it three hours of free times goes by. Procrastination via the internet is a huge dilemma these. And a huge part of it has to with how, in today’s society more than ever, we are all just routed to websites that reaffirm our own beliefs. Essentially, we are all right, and for some reason always have some need to reaffirm our correctness.

Shit, even the people who preach how trying to maintain your correctness is a waste of time,  are often on social media trying to prove their correctness. Whether we are trying to prove to one of our “Facebook” friends, or that little voice in our head, or one of our real life friends wrong, it truly is a gigantic waste of time. Unfortunately, everyone can go anywhere and cement their own beliefs. What’s even worse is that all of the myth-debunking, and political fact-checking websites are as boring as C-SPAN.

This situation probably has been the same throughout history. Stubbornness, and argumentation are two inherited traits of many people who grow older. What’s different today, is that no one can claim ignorance, or accuse ignorance. If everyone has somewhere to go to reinforce their beliefs, no one will ever truly believe in being wrong. There are so many avenues of unnecessary communication nowadays, that their are now content creators who have gotten in trouble for defending themselves from criticism. By ‘gotten in trouble’, what I really mean is that they got obliterated in the court of public opinion for defending their choices, or beliefs

It’s difficult to not see things from a creator’s perspective. Sometimes it’s just too easy to get sucked into the world of comments, and news “articles”. Under no circumstance can it be easy to watch your character be defamed for some odd-remark, or your work being criticized because of something you said. If you aren’t in the type of business where the fame is plentiful, then idly watching while your characters is destroyed, must be way more difficult. What must hurt worse, is that people are always patting each other on the back when they “expose” someone, or trash someone’s character.

To feel as if you constantly having to prove yourself correct leads to a weird type of misery punctuated by moments of joy, and maybe some alcohol. When you realize that none of that shit matters, and you will inevitably die, being right is meaningless. But, don’t take my word for it. In fact, if you don’t believe anything in this post, you probably will find something that debunks everything above this line.  Our over communicated society can suck anyone in, and pull everyone into this strange world of backwards-righteousness. I wish it was possible to avoid getting sucked in forever, but admittedly, it just happened to me and it feels like I’m escaping depression. There’s gotta be a pill to escape over-communication.

Nature Versus Nurture

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Recently my friends and I have had few discussions on growing up. Nature or nurture is a concept that frequently gets brought up Suffice it to say, being part of the generation who became teenagers right after 9/11 happened, our outlooks are a bit different than the older generation. Does nature affect us so profoundly that our future success can be determined now?

Tough question to answer, that’s for sure. Many pundits would call my generation an entitled generation. An entitled generation who had to grow up during 9/11, who missed the wagon when it came to building self-esteem, whose career prospects were got halted because of 2008,  and who pretty much buried themselves in debt by simply listening to our parents. Not saying that to be cynical, (Okay maybe a tad), but those are just the facts.

To me, it is possible to overcome nature. Though, it’s not something that can be done so easily. Unfortunately, it also takes time. On top of time, there is  the fact that the nature which afflicts us does not always intimate to the nurturing entities that they should be optimistic.

Most of the well-adjusted successful people of my generation, and any generation really, are also the most positive. How did that happen when so many people are gloomy, and negative as hell? Nurture is what happened.

Through the strange happenings of life, and the occurrences which are out of our grasp, the nurturing entities; parents, friends, teachers etc, never lost hope in those individuals. It’s amazing to watch when things align so well. You’ll never meet happier, more interesting people than those for whom nurture worked its magic.

Though we as humans love to hear the stories of struggle, sacrifice, and the underdog who came out on top, it’s good to know some of the realities associated with that. Most importantly, it’s great to understand that we all have our own individual ideas of suffering, hardships, struggle, and sacrifice. Nature has the ability to create, and destroy. Nurture is a tool designed to fix, or worsen what nature creates or destroys. And we as individuals tend to receive more feedback from one than the other. Perhaps that is one solution to the “Nature vs. Nurture” question.