Posts Tagged ‘Food for Thought’

Meet me on Fayette

December 4, 2009 Leave a comment

Similarities?  Maybe more than we’d like to admit…


What’s Goin on tonight?

December 2, 2009 Leave a comment

I remember a time when I didn’t know how to text.  It’s a vague memory, but one I’m cherishing more and more.  It started out as a slow process.  First I learned how to send a rudimentary text – often entering one letter at a time, and usually to embarrassing results (‘Wht tim is t?’)  Then I took the next step; I finally gave into the trust fall known as ‘t9’.  Who knew that a simple cell phone could reliably guess what word I’m meaning type after only a few letters?!  The notion seemed strange at first, but now is a facet of my daily life as basic the newspaper or hot water.  Then I began to send picture messages – slowly at first, but with more regularity once I realized there was an audience for such things.  Being abroad – in both South Africa and South Korea – only emboldened my sms-habbits.  I had always assumed that Americans lead the world in our pension for texting.  How wrong I was.  And now I’m here: 24, a college grad, and a hopeless, fervent texter.

At first texting seems ideal.  After all, how many times have you called someone up to ask a question, only to hang up the phone 45 minutes later without an answer, and an unnecessarily vivid picture of what someone did over Spring break?  People like to gab.  They feel it’s the friendly option, where terse, direct speaking can come off as rude, or aloof.  (Hold on, I need to hit the can…) Ok, I’m back.  But let’s be frank: most of the time, phone calls are meant to convey a brief message.  Therefore, texting seems to be the better option.  All the information transference, and none of the awkward social niceties.  But like facebook, emailing, and most of the other tech-oriented features of our cultural zeitgeist, texting has mutated into an insidious, life-sucking beast.

I am now almost crippled when it comes to phone conversation.  I speak when I’m not supposed to, I laugh at the wrong times, my cadence is totally off.  I’m a sniveling, awkward mess on the phone, and texting has made me so.  I hardly call anyone anymore.  But at this point, I can’t even lie and say that it’s due to the convenience of texting.  It’s not.  I don’t call people anymore because I’m afraid to.  The fear of exposing myself to another person on a field I’m so incapable of navigating is a dreadful feeling.  It’s like I would rather exist as this amorphous avatar in the texting world.  I can be anyone, and speak however I choose in the texting world – as long as I do it in fewer than 160 characters.  The truth is that texting is starting to do irreparable damage to my psyche.

And so from this moment on I am committing myself to a strict regimen of phone calls.  I will continue to text as the moment demands, but know that I am willfully weening myself off the text message.  Never again will anyone be greeted by a dead phone when they call to confirm a text I’ve sent.  This, by the way – the act of texting someone and then not picking up their call a moment later – is the clearest evidence of a person hopelessly in the grips of a disease more heinous and pervasive than h1n1: Conversaphobia!  I’m a sufferer, but are you willing to admit that you are as well?  No more!  I will be calling you.  We will be talking, awkwardly albeit, and we’ll be bettering ourselves all the while.

Who’s with me?!


October 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Truly one of the greatest comedic minds of our time.


October 12, 2009 Leave a comment

“You’ve got to keep the fights clean and the sex dirty.” – on how he and his wife have made a Hollywood marriage work for 10+ years.


October 9, 2009 Leave a comment

sneezeThere are certain behaviors that have been socialized into almost all of us.  Of those, almost none are more pervasive than the act of ‘blessing’ someone after they sneeze.  I had never thought anything of this habit, that is, until I went to Korea.  It’s not that Koreans aren’t into God.  We’ve already discussed that Koreans most definitely are a God-fearing people, like us.  However, unlike us, they forego the post-sneeze blessing.  You could let loose an air-raid level sneeze in a crowded room in Korea, and hear nothing but crickets.

I suppose I found this disquieting at first.  Sometimes I would relent and toss out a ‘bless you’, though it would usually fall on deafening silence.  It’s not that Koreans didn’t know what I was doing, in fact many of them were excited to hear me use it, as they had heard that Americans do such things.  Though that excitement only came out because they saw my reaction as a novelty.  To them, I suppose sneezing is a personal thing, and any acknowledgement thereafter is superfluous.  I definitely didn’t get it at first.  Sneezing to a room of utter silence just felt so… naked.  Then I began to think about the ramifications of the post-sneeze blessing.

What does it say about us as a people that we invoke God after what is essentially just a bodily discharge?  Having considered that, why don’t we all bless each other after a fart or a burp?  After all; farting, burping, and sneezing are hardly dissimilar.  There’s almost no difference between a sneeze and a cough, and yet coughing goes unanswered.  Do we not bless after the cough because it’s less… silly-sounding than the sneeze?  If so, isn’t the blessing then totally superficial?

I think the most fascinating thing about the ‘bless you’ is that it is commonly used by people who practice little-to-no religion in their daily lives.  When you don’t profess to have faith, from what well of divine juice do you fish out your blessings?  Of course most non-religious people don’t consider the implications of a ‘bless you’, because it’s just something that Americans do.  When someone sneezes, we bless them, and it has nothing to do with God.  Right?  But when you think about it, blessings cannot really be secular.  Thus, I have no problem with a religious person throwing it around after I let fly, but how can it not be hollow from a non believer?  Listen, I don’t personally buy into faith, so I can’t really accept a truly religious ‘bless you’.  But I appreciate a religious ‘bless you’ a bit more because it has some weight.  I’d rather get something else from a non-believer, maybe something that actually means something to them.

So let’s really discuss the merits of a ‘bless you’, and I’m talking now to all those out there like me who don’t really see a place for ourselves in the pews on Sunday.  Do we a)just cut out our use of bless you (as I basically have) or b)do we come up with a secular alternative for our use.  Let’s talk about the second option.  What is important to secular people?  Let’s say… money.  So if money is the God of secular people, do we then say “Good wealth, brother” to a dude who has just sneezed?  Or let’s say you’re a secular person who’s really into music.  Should you use “Rock on!” when in the presence of a sneeze?

Right now I’ve officially abandoned saying anything after a sneeze.  In Korea this would be normal, but just yesterday it got me into an awkward situation.  I’m sitting in a room with one other guy, we’re both working on various materials, he sneezes, I do nothing, he sneezes again, I do nothing again, repeat x 2.  The whole time I’m sitting there thinking, “This guy must think I’m a douche bag.”  But really, aren’t I just a more conscientious person for not blessing him with religious capital that I don’t really have?  After all, you wouldn’t write a check you couldn’t cash…

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Booyaka Booyaka

October 7, 2009 Leave a comment


Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Food for Thought…

October 7, 2009 Leave a comment


“You are handsome like Gretel… you are a good friend… you are on my side… you are on my side with the Midas touch.”

Wesley Willis 1963 – 2003

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