Tag Archives: thinking

2016-What the hell was that?

So, how’s everyone doing?

Anyone else feel like the world got some kind of galactic food poisoning this year? Am I the only person who thinks life suddenly seems to have far too much in common with things like Animal Farm and bad reality TV? I haven’t spoken to a single person who has said that 2016 was a good year. But it only has a few weeks left. Then we head into 2017 with cautious hope or abject terror. Maybe a mix of both. All while waiting to see what kind of existential cherry 2016 will drop on itself as a finishing touch.

So what the hell happened?

I will try not to get into much relating to the politics and election of this last year. I addressed that, with my own nerdy stance, in my “Blue Lantern” post. Go there if you are interested. So let’s look at the rest of it.

DEATH: I know. There is always a lot of death. Everyday, people die. Someone loses somebody they care about everyday. But one of the impossible to ignore points of 2016 has been a very high death rate among the famous. I’m talking about ginormous levels of death. Prince, Harper Lee, Muhammad Ali, Leonard Cohen, John Glenn, and a seemingly endless amount more. Personally, I was and still am very sad about the loss of Alan Rickman and Gene Wilder. Don’t even get me started on David Bowie! I’m still holding out hope that he just went back to his home planet!

So with this in mind, I encourage that all records stop calling this merely “2016” and give it the more metal title of Year of the Reaper. We can have a plaque made or something. The year has earned it.

CIVILITY: Overall, I think that everyone just became meaner this year. We are less prone to being polite or civil to each other. We are more insistent that the thoughts and feelings of others have no value. The only opinion that matters is our own and it is always right. Also, I’m well aware that I’m putting my opinion into a blog in the hopes that someone cares what I think.

Look, I’m not saying we need to put a stranger’s thoughts at the top priority of our lives. That would be silly. Assuming you don’t play host to an alien parasite, only you live in your own skin. But how bad would it be if we actually put some thought into how our actions impact those around us? I like having nice things as much as the next person, but I don’t want to hurt anyone so I can have them. And what’s wrong with actively trying to listen to someone else? No one says you have to agree with an opinion. Hell, I don’t even think you’re required to respect it. But we can at least acknowledge that it exists. I have met people who said their favorite Batman was George Clooney! That is their opinion and I acknowledge it. I think it’s wrong and bad, but I acknowledge that they feel this way and it really isn’t destroying the world. They aren’t attacking those that disagree with them. So I’m not going to treat these people poorly because of their Dark Knight preferences. It shouldn’t be so difficult to treat other humans like they are human.

TRUST: From what I’ve seen, this took a beating for a lot of people this year. Don’t trust the government. Don’t trust the media. Don’t trust the cops. Don’t trust the activist groups. Don’t trust your neighbor. Basically, don’t trust anyone at all.

Now to be fair, I think that people as a whole find their trust gets abused far too much. It’s good to be wary and think critically. But the important word in that last sentence is think. Dismissing everything is just as bad as believing everything. People can be easily manipulated in either extreme. So when it comes to trust, there are things we need to work on. Read everything. Trust your own ability to be analytical, but also trust your instincts. If something feels off there is probably a reason that it does. Find out that reason. Check facts as much as possible. Get varying opinions and try to find what has some real weight to it. And remember that trust is something we have to earn. If it’s lost, then see if it can be earned back. If one person proves that they absolutely cannot be trusted, don’t assume this needs to apply to everyone. You don’t want to be naive and being paranoid isn’t any better.

We still have a little time left before 2016 is over. Many things can happen still. But I think it would be wrong of me to not include something that, at least for myself, was a positive point this year. I would like to thank the individual who made the following video. You filled a void in my life I never knew existed. And to everyone else, I say best of luck in the coming year. REGULATORS! MOUNT UP!

 

The off switch

The brain is weird. For quick clarification, I am talking about the organ and not the cartoon mouse with the Orson Welles complex. We all have one. The brain is something we depend on and still struggle to understand. Even people who aren’t what you’d call “thinkers” use their brain on the most basic levels.

I love/hate my brain. Sometimes I wish it had an off switch.

My brain helped me get through college and grad school. It lets me enjoy reading and music and movies and so many other things. It has helped me write stories, poems, plays, regardless of whether they ended up being any good. It lets me play with my kids. It lets me communicate with people, especially the ones I love.

My brain also likes to bitch slap me. It will smother me in doubt and insecurities. It will trigger anger that I will struggle to control. It will take an attempt to me cool and interesting and turn it into, well,  me seeming like a guy who consumed a box of crayons. It stops me from communicating with people.

My brain almost never shuts up. I have had one or two people accuse me of having a stutter. I have known people who actually have that condition, so I know what that really sounds like. But there are times when I have so many thoughts trying to get out of my head and once I just stop talking for a moment. I guess that’s close enough to stuttering for some people. They are probably the same people for whom Velveeta is close enough to cheese.

I would love to have an off switch for my brain. Keep the basic, life-giving functions going but just have the option to shut everything else down. If nothing else, having the option of doing that at night when I’m trying to sleep would be awesome.
It would be great to have a restful night’s sleep on a regular basis.

Although, I suppose this off switch concept may be too much like turning into a zombie for some. I can’t say the whole human flesh-eating and rotting appendages is appealing. Though it does put an interesting spin on the whole “brraaaiiinsss” idea.

Damn it. Just my luck to have an idea that could actually cause the zombie apocalypse.