A World Divided

I have to admit. Waking up everyday with a new report of another crime, a vicious comment about someone, a video fueling the rage of any number of people from all over showing that in spite of time and supposed progression, mentally and emotionally the human race is mostly very much the same as our predecessors just with Internet, better clothing and bigger and better ways to cause each other to suffer. Bullies are mostly drawn attention to if they are children, but what about the adult bullies? Childhood bullying however cruel usually will have an end when someone will stand up to say “no more”. Adult bullies come in different shapes and forms. They can be a coworker, a boss, a neighbor, a cop, a doctor, a lawyer, a government official, even a stranger. All over the news, there are countless stories of injustice very many which stem from prejudice, hate and an inherent blood lust for pain and misery. Is it the long struggle of minorities against the “white betters”? Is it a need to be seen powerful through force no matter the cost? Is it just history repeating itself in a different time with new players in the roles?

We now live in a world technologically, politically, and educationally that even only 50 years ago would not have been easily dreamed of. Does that make us better? Does that prove our advancement? Only to a point. While yes, what those predecessors had been working towards all those years ago has come to the present; the prejudices of the past have come with it. The certainty that even with the opportunities out in the world made “openly” to all who seek them is not made for everyone in the same way is still there. I wonder if looking to the past and seeing so many parallels to the present, what will the world look like in another 50 years? Will there be anything in the future to compare to the past to really decide whether if and how we can move forward? For a time with some many resources at our fingertips, how it is that such a willful blindness can persist? We’re a society made with a glass house ideology that as long as we’re who we are, nothing else matters. If it doesn’t affect me and mine, then it has nothing to do to me. Don’t be fooled by this ideology. We are all human and should not only stand up to be counted for the cause when it affects our race, our group, our sources. Hate knows no color, it knows no position, it knows no separation in who to target. It only knows that it wants division. It wants blood, it wants more and more chaos. Why is it that we live in a world in which action is only effective when paired with aggression? And when it is paired with aggression, it has to overtake everything in its path forcing a surrender by any means necessary.

Instead of leading the way with violence, can we not inject learning into the mix? Can we not add knowledge as a weapon to the arsenal? Can we not find a way to finally see that the “I’m better than you” idea of class and status is there because we ourselves have done so? It is true that there is a classification of those who are in positions of leadership because they have the qualities necessary to do what is needed. There are also some who take those positions and can’t handle the power but know how to keep it and make those they lead the worse for it.

We make challenges for sport, to draw attention to a cause, to make a point and for many other things. And in closing, I make this challenge. For those who see themselves as leaders, remember that to lead by example is through more than to do so in front of the crowd, it is behind closed doors, it is in your convictions, it is your character, it is every part of you. In spite of the popular quote, “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, it is not power itself that corrupts; it is mental, it is emotional, it is moral. We stand or we fall based on what hill we allow ourselves to die on or even if we intend to show at all. We are remembered for the great and the terrible. What we seem to forget is that what happens in the middle affects the outcome whether great or terrible. In the work that is done, have we gained victory in becoming something more or have we made ourselves a prisoner of a specter given a body through our actions?

Be Merry, Be Gay

This week’s post by staff writer Frank Friedlander focuses on gay marriage.

So one topic that everyone seems to have a strong opinion on today is gay and lesbian marriage. So strong of an opinion that it often dictates how they will vote in an election, regardless of that fact that they live in a rusted trailer and the candidate they’re backing in no other way benefits them. Others are compelled to protest, and even resort to violence.

While on one hand, I could say that why should it matter to gay and lesbian couples of they are married in the eyes of the government so long as they are together and living the lifestyle of a married couple, there are benefits. Depending on the state one lives in, there are Gay marriages, domestic partnerships, and civil unions, each offering their own set of benefits. Such benefits include insurance benefits, tax purposes, and in some states, medical decisions, all rights that they should be offered to any couple which chosen to marry.

Personally, I feel as though if two people are in love, and want to be with each other forever, and let the government cash in, more power to them. This being said, my opinion on it really isn’t that strong. Why? Because I’m an American, and it doesn’t affect me either way in the slightest. Nobody gets hurt. The government gets extra taxes from them, and everyone gets to live happily ever after. Perhaps adopt a few children from a third world country that would otherwise live in squalor.

Now what I do not understand is those who have these strong anti-gay marriage stance. Do they not have anything else to worry about? It’s one thing to be against the lifestyle. Everyone has a right to their opinion no matter how bizarre, bigoted, or flat-out ignorant it may be. Another aspect of the American way. Furthermore,  I’m somewhat baffled by these backwoods meatballs who dedicate their entire lives to stopping it. Even those who attempt to “cure gayness.” personally, I’d like to meet the scientists with the “anti gay” operation, or serum or whatever it is and tell them to get to work on curing something more important, like cancer, or AIDS, or stupid.

Let’s be honest, while I’m sure that there are a lot of people with a strong, anti gay stance throughout the country who are otherwise normal people in normal walks of life, including doctors, lawyers, and teachers. Unfortunately for them, the mouthpieces of the movement are those who seem to spend the rest of their spare time preparing for the apocalypse, bottling their own liquor using their own urine, and watching NASCAR on a p 12 inch black and white screen.

Look, I know Jesus said that homosexuality is a sin, despite the fact that there’s nothing on record of Jesus saying anything about that, though his supposed disciples tend to translate his words into whatever they want them to mean. In fact, in Matthew 5:28-30, the basis of those who claim that any pre-marital sex is a sin, all it really seems to disparage is adultery.  Now I’m no Christian, but from what I can piece together from the words that Jesus actually said, the only important thing is how people treat each other. Helping ones brother in any way you can seems to take precedence above all else to him.

I’m not sure to wind this down, but apparently my stance on the topic is stronger than I though. The stance being if something is of no threat to you, just let it be. And to the meatheads missing a noticeable amount I teeth, hair, and sleeves, next time you go out and think that the “gaybird” at next table to tour right is eyeing you up, he’s no more likely to be doing so than is the well dressed woman at the table to your left.