Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#firstworldproblems vs. some perspective

A Nation of Finger Pointers

I am reading the "Intolerance of Tolerance" by D.A. Carson and he has this quote from Lance Morrow's essay in 1991 in Time magazine.  You could see it coming even back then.

"The busybody and the crybaby are getting to be the most conspicuous children on the American playground. The busybody is the bully with the ayatullah shine in his eyes, gauleiter of correctness, who barges around telling the other kids that they cannot smoke, be fat, drink booze, wear furs, eat meat or otherwise non conform to the new tribal rules now taking shape.The crybaby, on the other hand, is the abject, manipulative little devil with the lawyer and, so to speak, the actionable diaper rash. He is a mayor of Washington, arrested and captured on videotape as he smokes crack in a hotel room with a woman not his wife. He pronounces himself a victim- of the woman, of white injustice, of the universe.  Whatever.   Both these types, the one overactive and the other over-passive, are fashioning some odd new malformations of American character.  The busybodies have begun to infect the American society with a nasty intolerance - a zeal to police the private lives of others and hammer them into standard forms.  In Freudian terms the busybodies might be the superego of the American personality, the overbearing wards.  The crybabies are the messy id, all blubbering need and virtually infantile irresponsibility."  

Where do you stand?  And how easy has society made it for us to be either one or the other at any given point?

What He Said

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Is it Just Me? Probably.

I've always been the kind of person with a quick to get agitated personality.  Pat Summit described herself one time as a person as it wasn't hard to push her buttons because they stayed about halfway pushed in all of the time.  I can relate to that.

But recently, I have gotten worse.  I don't know if it is my age, my blood pressure, my coming off my anxiety medication, but I cannot believe how little is actually done correctly and how uninformed people are.  Someone once told me that I see things a certain way and if not done that way, I get frustrated.  It's gotten worse lately. 

From the lack of being in control of just about anything, to actually having some control, but not ultimate control has frustrated me.  I watch and see how few people actually do what they are supposed to do. I see how people want something and complain but when they get it, there's always something else to complain about.  I read social media (I should stay off that, I know), and read so many things by people who have an opinion, but don't know what they are talking about.

I have tried to be seems to be getting worse. I don't want to come off as the angry teacher/coach/parent/person, but I am afraid it is coming to that. The lack of outrage at some situations and the misplaced outrage in others drives me crazy. Meanwhile others just live their lives in the confused fog of thinking they have it figured out.

Luckily I have a wonderful wife and am surrounded by great people at my work, or I might actually lose my mind.  Not really.  Okay.  Maybe.

Friday, August 29, 2014

America by Dinesh D'Souza

If there is no God, then what does it all mean?  Why is there something and not nothing?

Chapter 1; pages 1 and 2:

Writing in the mid-twentieth century, the French existentialist writer Albert Camus posed for human beings a central question: to exist or not to exist. In Camus's words, "There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide." In a sense, this was Hamlet's question: "To be or not to be." For Camus, human beings had lived for millenia in a meaningful universe, a universe created by God, and one that gave significance and purpose to human life. But now, Camus wrote, we have discovered through science and reason that the universe is pointless, merely a constellation of flashing and spinning orbs and objects. God is absent from the world, which is another way of saying he does not exist for us. Consequently humans have to find ultimate meaning elsewhere, and there is nowhere else to look. So life becomes, in Shakespeare's words, "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Drawing on ancient myth, Camus likened the human predicament to that of Sisyphus endlessly rolling the rock up the hill, only to see it roll back down.

For Camus, the problem wasn't merely that the universe lacks meaning; it was that man desires meaning and there is no meaning to be had. Consequently our situation is kind of absurd. "The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world." Most people, according to Camus, ignore this tragic reality. They deflect the meaninglessness of their lives by engaging in various trivial pursuits. But for morally serious people, Camus says, this deflection is not an option. He Proposes that humans must take the absurdity of their lives seriously, and in doing so, they must consider whether to live in tragic absurdity or voluntarily end their lives.  Suicide, for Camus, was an ethical choice.