Friday, May 6, 2011

Blokes, Birds, etc.

Women, they keep the world together. It's almost inconceivable to think of a world without the naivety, temperance, and conscience thought of women's influence. Obviously, this doesn't entirely include every woman, but from my experiences, they keep us intact. If I were left to my own devices, and all men the same, it seems as if the morality of world would be quite desolate. It's something subconscious that we only realize later in life as men. I remember hearing of the Oedipus complex in my psychology class. The just of the theory is that men only act like their fathers simply because they are in-love with their mothers, and the case is vice-versa for women. They act feminine in accordance for the love of their fathers. The story of Oedipus is that he eventually married his mother and subsequently became something of a weird incestuous example for the love of our mothers.

I don't believe that we act like males because we want to hook up with our mothers per say, but because we desire a woman that resembles our mothers. Look at it from the female's perspectives. We hear all too often about women with "Daddy Issues." These women usually live promiscuous lives trying to fill the void left from their father's disapproval or departure in some cases. They look for acceptance in all males which ultimately have the same tendencies as their fathers, and most of the time up-and-leave them for something better, much like their fathers did to their mothers. Alcoholism become apparent in these groups, as well as a lack of moral fiber that usually leads to teen pregnancy and becoming single mothers with multiple children followed with multiple fathers. Always looking for love. Their idea of "love" isn't exactly the type of social norm. It is not affectionate love like the type we dream of. The love they receive is that of ignorance, being that they are ignored and constantly trying to connect, with complacency in any type of affection and adoration, even if it's ill-gotten.

Ok, enough scientific thought of these type of women, let's be real. These girls are dumb. The type who think their intelligence is greater than it really is. They feel superficial "love" and are easily the ones who "puppy-dog" you. They follow just looking for that little scrap you throw their way. They affection is more of an infatuation. Always the first one to throw terms at you such as "I love you" or "you're my whole world." The type of girl who posts various statuses on their Facebooks that go along the lines of "OMG, He's so great." "I couldn't be happier!" "hanging out with boyfrannn" or the types who will start a ruckus if your relationship isn't exactly "Facebook Official." We all know who I'm referring to. The ones who have nothing even resembling tact in their actions. The type who would find your number, come up to a boy with no inkling of what type of person he is at all and throw everything out there with no shame or self-pride. I have very little patience with girls of this type. There are other men who absolutely adore this type, more of an easy-picking type of deal. I personally couldn't tolerate a women who's love is easily acquired with a small example of eloquence.

Every time I've came across a girl such as this I am easily amused at first, but then become distant. As a younger man, I would have easily settled with an easy relationship such as this. All that is really required on the man's part is to simply tell them what they want to hear, and I can see why some men would want something like this. The main reason being that they, themselves, aren't exactly in the higher echelons of intelligence as well, and they have their own problems of abandonment and become complacent with mediocre feelings and the security of someone who will be there regardless. Which is understandable. Everyone's idea of love is different and constantly changing. I know mine has through time.

Early in my experience with girls, it was something coy and typical. First real kiss in the 6th grade, awkward of course. Even though I did, in-fact, like her, my fear was too great to overcome without some coaxing on her end. I was essentially forced to kiss her. She stole something of mine, put it in her mouth, and told me I could only get it back if I "came and got it." Once again, daddy issues. I remember being awkward around girls around that time that they started to develop. One saying that is FACT: Girls do mature quicker than boys. FACT. So, fondly I remember the girls in my class, around 5th grade, starting to develop breasts. Something that was completely alien to me. "What's this?" I thought. The awkwardness of a pubescent male is completely hilarious to me, especially in reference to myself. I remember a small anecdote of myself in the 6th grade. We were receiving our social studies books for the school term. I was sitting there, the first day, looking at these girls who I had grown up with since I was 5 years old, all equipped with these new, curious, things. Staring at the girl in-front of me, thinking to myself "wow, so-so, sure did become really cute all the sudden." My heart-rate became very high, and I felt a small tingle in my pants region. Hearing the kid's name who I knew came before mine alphabetically, all I could think about was how to get rid of this inconvenience before the teacher called my name. Sadly, for me and my ego, this did not happen. "Tony Os-Os-Osar-io? Come get your book, hun." I had no choice but to respond with something quick and witty to remove the awkwardness. Hoping the pressure would dissipate my new sexual urge. This thing is uncontrollable. "Can you bring the book to me, miss? I hurt my leg and it hurts to walk." The teacher soon urged me not to be cross with her and to come up to the front and get the books just like all the other students. I wasn't near the front and I had no other choice. I squatted down, picked up my chair/desk combo, knocking down all the fresh school supplies I had just put in my desk cubby-hole. I walked with my entire desk glued to my waist, all the way to the front. Luckily, in this case, the teacher just laughed and met me half-way. The majority of the class just looked at me awkwardly and did not notice what had really been going on.

As I grew older, I quickly learned the "boner-in-the-waistband" tactic to conceal such things, or a simple sweater tied on the waist. You learn to control these things as you get older, but the awkwardness still remains quite comical to me. "Think of baseball, think of anything to get your mind off it." I would say things similar to this to myself to make sure to avoid embarrassment. All boys go through the phase of being "mean" to the girl you liked. I remember hitting a girl in the face with a dodgeball and her nose bleeding. Wow. My first experience into the female psych y would not come until around 7th grade. Some boys miss this and I feel this experience is what helped me become more adjusted as a man and let me become a seasoned-vet when it comes to conversing with girls. I had always been somewhat shy in my elementary years. Just being the smart kid who liked sports, but also had a disdain for school, and lacked what they called "punctuality." I would find out later that this was me facing depression for the first time, as a child. I genuinely hated going to school. I felt bored all the time and I did not want to be around my classmates. Making up work was easy because the work was relatively simple to me.

In 7th grade I became acquainted with girls outside my own school. This was a God-send. I had gone to a very small, private, religion-based, elementary school. I was not really the definition of cool and I liked to do my own thing and I was really just casual friends with kids in my class as well as the girls. My best friend at the time, Isaac, had been a relatively good-looking kid, as perceived by a 7th grade female. He had begun talking to a girl from another school named Maria, who also had a best friend. I had been the smart one of the bunch and as a curious young male, I asked for the immediate hook-up. Apparently, my asking was of no importance because Maria's friend Stacie, had already asked her the same. Being in the awkward stage of growth I was in, I was somewhat nervous. I was in the state of beginning to grow into my body, a little pudgy guy with low-confidence levels. This relationship with Stacie and Maria grew into a long-lasting phone conversations. Within days, I began to understand the things of which to stay, the subjects of which to talk about, witty remarks, and began to develop a sense of humor to convey. I felt as if I were a little caterpiller who was finally getting out of the cocoon and slowly, this girl began to really care for me. Of course, as much as a young girl can.

Later, more awkwardness developed. I had never actually met this girl. I had spoken to her on the phone, but not really face to face. I don't even think I knew what she looked like, just knew that she "sounded hot." A common statement between young boys like ourselves. Isaac, of course, had moved on from Maria who had "cheated" on him, or whatever, and had a nice new fling now named Ashlee. Well, weeks later, we were to meet up with Ashley and her friends, and I was to meet with Stacie for the first time. All of this was to take place at the Cleburne Skating Rink. I was pretty nervous about this. From what I recollect, I danced with her a little bit, but I could not leave my friend Isaac to deal with Ashley and her friend, so essentially, I ignored Stacie. Being the nice boy I was, I left her by herself. Ashley and her friend had ridiculed Stacie's looks, calling her a "horse-face" and I went along with the jokes. I remember seeing Ashley and thinking she was absolutely beautiful. How could she be with this idiot who could barely finish our easy math problems in class?

Stacie fell to the wayside, we remained casual friends but I became infatuated with Ashley. (No worries, I remember talking to Stacie later on in High School and she grew to be more beautiful than I could ever conceive.) Ashley and Isaac broke up, of course, and me and her became best friends. I remember spending nights up until 5 am talking to her on the phone about everything, our favorite types of music, life in general, people at school, even going as far as to singing songs together on the phone. I had learned to play guitar at the time and would even play songs for her over the phone. I was pretty smitten with that. We dated for exactly 1 day, after which I had randomly kissed some other girl, she became enraged, and subsequently broke up with me. The experience was all I needed, though. I had finally grown up socially and I was able to speak to girls without awkwardness and left school and went to Cleburne High School where I had some successful relationships, including the best one I've ever had.

I don't really feel like going into the past relationships of High School, my mistakes, my insecurities with those situations. I'll sum it up by letting you know that I had handled many of them the same way. When things got serious, when I felt the inkling of emotional connection, I left, I ran. Being a teenager is rough to conceive the idea that someone might actually love you. You began to see the dependence you can have on another person. That connection was hard for me to keep because I always felt like there was other things that were more promising, some of the times I was correct, other times, I was not. It seems like everyone likes you when you're already taken, doesn't it? I remember being single and having girls who liked me and contacted me to become more than friends, but those numbers weren't as high as when I was already dating someone else. It seems like girls at that time, and even us men, are like children. A child sees a toy, plays with it, then leaves it. Another child comes and picks it up and begins to play with it, at that time, the previous child sees how fun the toy really is, and tries to take it back. When he finally gets the toy back, he realizes that it never really as fulfilling as once thought, and usually just lays it down again. Is the grass greener on the other side? Probably not.

When I realized this, is when I felt like I began to mature greatly in the relationship aspects. I would make gains, then fall back at times just being a dumb boy. Temptation can be a rough thing when you're young. I think to myself, what do I really want from a partner? That's a tough question to answer. I have things I really like, things that attract me, but I'm not exactly sure. All I can speak of are things that have made me happy in the past, but sadly, not every person is the same. I am not in-love at the moment and I can't judge purely on what made me happy in the past. I may meet a person who I truly connect with, but was nothing like the person who made me happy before. I realize that you can't really control the ways your life goes. It's not really up to us, even as much as we try.

My opinion about love is this: It does exist, I know this. In respect to emotional love, I feel like there truly are soulmates. God predestines those we are to love. Our soul is not complete without another to join with. I remember watching "The Royal Wedding" and feeling that the ceremony was something that was sacred. The idea of divorce really does frighten me. I've seen so many of my friend's parents getting divorces and that idea gives me nightmares. Some divorces are because of infidelity and I consider "could that be me? Would I cheat after taking a vow like that? Wouldn't I be doing something that God condemned?" Think about it. You take this promise with another person, sometimes it is later in life after things had not worked out with the one you really love, but the promise is done in-front of many, so it is to be held accountable. We do the ceremony in a church, as a covenant with God. A promise you make before your entire family, before God. Who am I to break that? Yet, almost half of marriages end in divorce? Are they quitters or is it just man's folly to have the urge for more than just one woman. When I think of infidelity, it's not simply because the man does not love his wife anymore, he just became momentarily bored, being sexually, or psychologically. I don't think it's because he does not love his partner less, it's simply a misjudgment. I am not making excuses, I just feel like that's the reasoning behind it. I pray this doesn't happen to me.

When I think of my past relationships as well as the mistakes I've made, I ask myself "Can I love someone? Truly?" A tough question because I don't think it's happened to me fully, yet. Plenty of times I have liked someone, but have just not felt the entire connection to follow through. I run, I back out, and possibly come back to it later on, when I'm more ready for something like that. Not always a good idea, but that's fate. I hope I am, but I think for everyone at my age, I can just go with life and see what happens on this front. I'm confident it'll happen, just not exactly sure when. I'm not in a hurry, but I definitely become curious at times.

I know I'm attracted to women who are intelligent, unpredictable, and those who keep me on edge, yet comfortably. A girl who is strong in her own ways and will pick me up where I may fail. That's really all I can say, because I don't want to categorize a person I would potentially love only because I do not know what will happen in the future. I feel like that's the best way to approach this. Accept people for who they are, and if I feel the connection, just go with it, no worries. I suppose, let's just see what happens.

You go from different stages of maturity in life. There was a time where I realized exactly what any woman wanted to hear and I would easily attain their affection. Some call it "game." It really is a game, but you don't really win. No one wins that way. You get the affection, but under a false pretense. The reason being because you have to become almost sociopathic and change your true character to win the affection. Soon, that lie becomes apparent and you begin to look foolish, or you leave before this happens, and you try to make them the fool, but truly you are the "jerk." It's a fun game to play when you're young, but it gets old. False emotions are just that, false. Your heart does not grow, your soul just slaps you in the face and it's not exactly something I want in my life.

Hmm, I guess let's just see what happens. I'm content with my current plight, and I am assured this will come along. 21 isn't old and I'm in no rush for anything at the moment. Let's just see.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Drugs, Alcohol, and All Other Naughty Things.

Why does a person make a decision to take drugs? Why does one do anything? What makes us get up everyday and go to work, school, or do nothing at all? Life is all about choices and believe me, I've made some pretty bad ones in my day. I wouldn't say that they were necessarily "horrible" or even wrong for the situation. They just seem a bit... Out of character. Doing something I never thought I would ever do makes a person realize how far I've come in the past few years. Call it growth, call it destiny, call it stupidity. Honestly, I don't give a shit. Things happen and I can never change the past. People spend so much time thinking about the past. Studying it, dissecting it, reliving it even. Hindsight is 20/20 they say, I say don't even look back at the things that you have done in your own life. I'm not saying having memories is necessarily a negative thing, but one of two things happen when you try to elaborate on things of the past: 1) You have a fond memory of said thing, but you really don't remember every detail and you probably have distorted it to such a way where it is skewed to be more positive than it actually was. 2) Guilt comes into effect, you feel painful, shameful, hell, even remorseful. Maybe I have never done anything too wild in my life that I don't really have true regret. I feel sorry for some of the things I've done and the people I've hurt. But nothing was intentional, and I'm rarely ever going to regret the past.That's no way to live a life.

In regards to drugs, let's talk about it. Let's see, we have: Marijuana, alcohol, LSD, Ecstasy, heroine, mushrooms, cocaine, PCP, codeine, methamphetamine, peyote, salvia, k2, and I'm sure there's some really awesome stuff I neglected to list or maybe haven't even heard of before. Now, what really makes these things so negative in our society? We've always heard, "drugs are bad." They have tons of different marketing campaigns they push in our faces in elementary school, commercials we see on TV, as well as advertisements. I remember being told that these things would totally destroy your life if you even knew someone who took them. You watch tv shows like Intervention and you see people on Death's door. You see Steve-O taking in more whippets than oxygen. We all had a big laugh at Charlie Sheen banging 7 G rocks and FINISHING them (he also banged some pornstars as well, both sexually and physically). I see Sheen and I think a few things such as this guy is really living the American dream. I mean, look at this cat; He's unemployed, a drug addict, and yet so savvy and charming that we can't help but watch him and even pay to see him perform mutterings that really don't even make sense. He married a girl who I thought was truly an angel when I was going through puberty. I remember praying that I would find a Playboy with her in it somewhere in an abandoned house or maybe I could catch a glimpse of one of her R-rated movies on cinemax late on a Saturday night. Now, my puberty and Denise Richards' sex appeal is neither here nor there, but I'm just saying, look at how much he's accomplished? Dude was "Wild Thing" Coach Bombay's brother! Now he got kicked off a show, which honestly probably wasn't even that funny or original, but he was getting paid 200k+ an episode to just show up and say some cheesy jokes and wear his completely ridiculous bowling shirts, all in-between him smashing Buddha-sized rails of coke in the green room. Yet, he is an American Darling, albeit a really fucked-up representation of America, but he is what he is, and we love him for it.

One thing about the perception of drugs that I don't really understand is how drugs are compartmentalized into different categories of whats acceptable and what's simply not. I admit that I'm guilty of such actions, but is it really right? I think someone shootin' skag (heroin) is pretty hardcore and definitely not something I would never openly endorse, but honestly, I'm somewhat of hypocrite for thinking I'm a socially better human being than those who do it. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" I'm not sure of the verse, but I remember Jesus saying this to a group stoning a known adulteress (yes, I did say 'stoning' for all the high people reading this who just giggled a little bit.) Just because it's not my drug of choice doesn't mean that I'm all the sudden better. The fact of the matter is, almost everyone is on drugs, so maybe drugs are a part of life. Think about it: Nicotine, alcohol, anti-depressants, pain killers, muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, cough medicine, they all do something for us. Some say they take them for "purely medicinal" reasons, but the fact is they still take them to be normal, to be happy, so technically, they are addicted, very addicted.

What really pisses me off are these super-conservative, self-righteous, pretentious people who talk about people who smoke marijuana in such a negative light. These same people are the "church going type" or maybe not even religious, just simply judgmental assholes. They love to demean those who are homosexual, socially different, economically different, all the while patronizing those who are not a carbon-copy of themselves, rest assured their shit stinks the same, if not worse. These same people just want to feel better about themselves. I have found out that they like drugs just as much as any of us. They try cocaine and such when their younger, but when they get older, in between working their office jobs, and piety, they love to consume a nice glass of wine before bed, or take vicadin or two, or maybe they have just let so passion out of their lives that their drug of choice is heart-medicine and Viagra to go with that. Viagra to add some more intimacy to their lives, yet they are truly unhappy with their spouses, and often their infidelity sweeps into their kid's life. Let's move on from the pretentious and talk about myself.

Now, I would not consider myself a tremendous pot head, but personally, if I had to choose a drug that I would have to do everyday and could still function properly, it would have to be marijuana. I would say I've always had a pretty good experience with it. Every person reacts differently ofcourse, but it seems to always be good to me. I have had one bad experience, in-which I felt something that resembled tremors going through my body, and then I ate Nutella straight from the can, with my fingers, which of course immediately eliminated all problems I had. This is a plant, simply that, a plant. You smoke it, partake in it, it is no where near as harsh on the lungs as a cigarette is and actually has a pleasant taste to it. The only negatives I would say about the so-called "Item 9" is that it is unfortunately Illegal in the US, decriminalized in some states, but it ultimately is associated with social deviancy, and we can't have that can we? It sucks that I have to stay away from my beloved mary jane, but we all have to have priorities don't we? What about God's intention with Marijuana? Did Adam grow it in Eden? Was Eve just super-baked and the snake knew she had mega-munchies and that made her decision a lot easier? Honestly, I doubt it. I'm tired of these stigma's associated with the wonderful plant. Let's talk about the laziness associated with it. This could be possible, I wouldn't exactly say it makes you "lazy" per say, but it definitely does make you want to sit down, chill out, and just enjoy the people, and the environment around you. It does not stop the creative process in my opinion, but it does stop my drive to get out and do things. But everyone is different.

Many people who are close to me know that I have recently been diagnosed with Chronic Depression. And while I was slowly descending into depression, marijuana was my one release, the one thing that made me actually smile, made me actually feel somewhat socially ready. Zoloft has recently replaced marijuana and after 3+ weeks of taking it, I feel great. I feel lively and ready to conquer the world again, which is good. Yay Tony. Everyone needs something, right?

So, let's talk about my social experience with drugs and alcohol. I have a quote of a friend of mine. Now, I would not say this person is one of my best friends, nor do I really admire him a lot, but I like him, he makes me laugh, and such as anything or anyone in our lives, he has molded me into the person I am currently. His quote goes like this, "Doing drugs isn't cool. Doing drugs with friends, now, that's cool!" Naturally, he was inebriated when he made this statement but it made me laugh and it is really an ingenious statement. Social acceptance and drugs go hand-in-hand. We don't always do them to fit in, but usually it starts that way, then it seems as if it evolves in to us taking them to "lighten up" or to let to mood become more relative. What is the most important thing in life? Relationships, feeling close to other people. I know this is true for myself. All I want to do is love and to be loved. This hasn't always turned out the best but it's a fact for me.

My First Time:
The first time I tried any drug at all, I believe I was around the age of 13. Of course, one does not just do drugs without someone showing them how to properly do them. Nor do they do them without knowing/thinking that the result will be enjoyable. Marijuana was the drug I was to consume. The quality was poor, a little schwiggity schwag. My cousin, who was the same age as me, had been smoking with her boyfriend (who was 18, but that's neither here nor there) and had asked me if I wanted to. My best friend at the time had been staying the night with me, as he normally had during the weekends of 8th grade, and he insisted that we do it. Saying he had done it before and he had enjoyed it. So I go into the garage with them, and see the smoking apparatus they had constructed. They called it "the steamroller." Now, this thing was massive, and I wasn't exactly sure how to even smoke out of it. It was a large cardboard cylinder with rigged with a vacuum hose and was about four foot long. I had no idea how to smoke out of it so my cousin showed me. I remember taking about two hits and coughing extensively. I'm talking about something happening eight years ago, but I do remember feeling so good. So relaxed, so relieved, and most all, so HUNGRY! I raided the cabinets, but there wasn't much. I remember the craving for peanut butter, just pure peanut butter. I grabbed the entire jar of peanut butter, poured in some Reese's Puffs and just went to town. I awoke the next morning with pieces of puffs randomly around my bed, but I do remember it being a completely new experience for me, something I liked. I asked my cousin if I could keep a little bit of it for myself, she obliged and gave me a small nugget.

A few days later, I had been up late, as I had done a lot of times while I was going through what I have recently discovered as my times of falling into depression. I had stashed the very small amount of weed in-between pages of an old Bible I had been given by my uncle Curly when I was a baby. It was an King James Version so I couldn't really understand the dialect of it, I usually read the more contemporary bibles I had, but it was still very dear to me because it said Anthony on it. I looked at the marijuana, and realized that I had nothing to smoke it with, and I knew you had to use something. I had no knowledge of how to use the massive steamroller and it required two people to light it so I had to become the McGuyver of smoking weed at this moment. I knew that I could roll it up like a cigarette, but the printer paper I had available to me was much too thick and coarse, and I knew it would really hurt my lungs when I smoked it. I was watching my normal late night marathons of Degrassi so I had really wanted to enjoy television high for the first time. I needed some sort of paper that was thin and could burn easily. Then it hit me, the pages in the Bible would do perfectly! They're very thin, and there's so many of them that I wouldn't even miss them! I would never rip a page out of my Goosebump's books, many of which I had never read, but I only had one copy. I had at least 5 different Bibles. I had grabbed one of my Bibles I had from the previous year in school (the private school I attended required us to purchase a certain Bible every year, and each one was different.) I tore out part of a page from I believe it was Isaiah or maybe even Songs of Solomon. I recall feeling somewhat guilty about this, but thinking that if I smoked it, maybe the words would stay with me, be within me, it was almost spiritual to me to do it. Needless to say, I became thoroughly high, and I watched Drake, before he become black, talk about his problems on the Canadian teenage soap opera, Degrassi with a smile on my face. I read some of the Bible, too and prayed a little bit, and I felt good. I have only told a few people about this because for a long time I was ashamed, but now I don't feel as if it was truly that bad. Another good question comes to me, What role does drugs have in spirituality?

I have heard from a few people (Sean Shahkarami for example) of how certain people only feel spiritually connected to higher beings when they smoke marijuana or consume other substances. I remember hearing about the Native Americans smoking peyote, and passing the Peace Pipe as well and burning other incenses to invite the gods to join their ceremonies. There's something mystical about changing your state of being to becoming closer to God. I'm not saying this is correct, but I certainly am not one to condemn it. I remember at a religious retreat my senior year in high school, we were having worship and praying to the Holy Ghost. I attended a very charismatic church at this time and we were going through something called a "Tunnel of Fire" of which we waked through a tunnel of youth and had anointing oil placed upon our foreheads. The oil burned, but I think it did because it had some form of cinnamon or peppermint on it. After walking through, I was stricken with some overwhelming feeling of grief. Grief of the sins I had done in my life, not drugs necessarily but of jealously, sexual promiscuity, as well as lying, judging, and being hateful to my enemies as well as to those who I loved and that had loved me. I had cried for about 30 minutes, the entire time laying flat on my face, speaking in tongues. I tell this story because after that 30 minutes had past, I felt the need to laugh, laugh uncontrollably. Soon I began to feel a feeling I can only describe as being similar to being drunk, but without all the negativeness that come with it. I was so joyful, social, loving, and I felt as if everything had been laid before me and my slate was completely clean. It lasted me the entire night. I remember the entire time that I was so close to those around me, I understood everything about them, I loved them and everything was simply glorious. The world was beautiful, and God could come speak to me and say whatever he wanted. There were no barriers, and I knew he could hear me. I know he did. There was no hangovers, and I honestly have never felt that way again. But from that moment on, I have no longer been afraid of my life direction, what I will do. I know God will be there for me and though I am not perfect, everything will be as it should.

I do not write these blogs with any set intentions of what to address, or place any boundaries or prepared ideologies to make sure I include. I just let it flow. I think I understand what drugs are, we are just chasing that one feeling that I felt that night at the church retreat, it may necessarily be wanted a feeling close to God, but God plays a role in it. The love and affections we can feel with others, He blessed us with that. We take drugs to feel super-human, to escape the reality of the world. The world was not meant to last forever, and it certainly wasn't created to be the entirety of existence. There must be something more. Something unseen. Something comprehensible at this current state of existence...Hmm

Alcohol, A little naughty water.

Let's address alcohol. Haha, all I can do is laugh in relation to alcohol. Some of the most hilarious experiences of my life has happen while I was drunk or around drunk people. Something about it just brings us to life. I can not see a party at my age now being considered a real party without some form of alcohol. That may sound deplorable, but it's true. Alcohol is a purely acquired taste, and let's face it, when you took your first drink of beer or liquor, you cringed and thought to yourself "I don't think I could possibly drink enough of this stuff to ever be drunk." Wine was the first thing I ever became inebriated with. I had around 5 or 6 glasses at a friend's house my freshman year of high school. I remember his father letting us have some, as he was also pretty drunk at the time. He got a pretty good rouse out of chasing me with his gun, which was not loaded. I remember attempting to jump his wooden fence and it breaking as I grasped the top of it, causing me to punch myself in the nose. He ran up to me while as I lied there with blood running down my face. Picked me up, told me he was only joking with me and I was a "funny kid." On our way back inside the house, he proceeded to punch out the porch light because it was simply "way too fucking bright." I could spend an entire day speaking of the calamities than ensued whilst being drunk, but I will spare you such until a later time. Drinking drinking drinking, fun fun fun. It has it's place and should only be done on weekends, or Thursdays for the thirsty college student.

I'll close out this entry with a little conclusion of drugs in general. I know I only elaborated on marijuana and alcohol, and those are not the only drugs I've tried, for the sake of time and space I will address those on a later date. The fact about drugs is that they are really not for everyone. If you're an impressionable person or have an addictive personality, you probably should stay away from them in my opinion. That's the reasoning behind the advertisements and campaigns and pseudo-brainwashing we impress upon our kids. In the same way that "some people just can't handle Vegas" some people just can't handle drugs. Be it; Cocaine, pills, heroine, amphetamines, they're not for everyone and you should chose wisely what you put in your body. I think the portrayal of drugs as being villainous is meant well, somewhat ignorant, but overall it is meant for the average Joe who can not control his carnal urges to over-do something. In a society where obesity is at an all time high, we somewhat promote over-indulgence, and it is only natural that use of recreational drugs becomes abused. It is an escape, and sometimes the perception of the world can become so ugly and frightening to people that they must escape. We all have fear. We all can become nervous and anxious. We all have problems, but numbing them will not address them or make them better. I do feel as if we should not blame problems solely on drugs, though. Drugs do not kill people, contrary to popular belief. The people who take them kill themselves. Just as guns do not kill people, the people who use them kill people. An object, a chemical, has no malice, no intentions, no hatred, no bias.

My opinion of drugs is not a negative one. They can be fun. They can make you relate to a certain group of people. They can make certain situations tolerable. Above all, we must think about what you hold dear to yourself though. What is the most important to you? Why are you taking the drugs? Are you taking them to feel closer to the people around you? Or are you taking them just to take them? When you start taking them because you simply must, then you have a problem. What is dear to you? If the only answer you have is "drugs" then think about when did doing drugs stop just being something fun to do with your friends. When did drugs become something I need? Most importantly, where did all my friends go?

Drugs can have a safe place in the world, but I pray that I will never see the day when drugs simply become Tony. If that day ever happens, I pray my friends will still be there. I know God will be.

I don't have such worries about this. All of this is speaking hypothetically of course.

Of course.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Religion v. Faith

It seems to me like there is a constant battle going on in the world between those who are devout and pious and those who are not and on the outskirts of spirituality. We have these religious fanatics who live on the far right and even though I would consider most people moderate, they always seem to leave their own little mark on the world. Their mark is left in many ways. We have the relatively small cults that we hear about, I'm talking about the Jim Jones' of the world, the David Koresh. These two types of people are both perceived"cult leaders" and are as extreme as you can get, both with their own ideologies which differ from the mainstream of religion, and honestly, you can't really speak much about their legacies because none of us really know what went on there. But what really irks me in today's society is the social institution of organized religion.

We in American society see the ultimate goal is to have a family, raise children, have a secure job that is financial stable, be involved in a somewhat prominent church, and live happily. I really don't understand while that last part is important, though. Maybe I've have just been raised in the south in a pretty fervent small town, but I can see it as I go to college as well. People tell me that they are either Catholic, Baptist, Episcopalian, Jewish, DOC, Presbyterian, Methodist, Gnostic, Agnostic, Methodist, Mormon, Buddhist, Baha'i, Pentecostal, and the list goes on and on. The question that always strikes me is: Does it really matter? I mean, honestly. I study religion and I know the differences between each Christian denomination, each major religion also. But what's the point? Why does there have to be difference between a person who believes in confession and one who doesn't? I thought it was the same God? It seems to me like it only makes more division between humanity.

I see these people who attend church regularly and it just seems to me like it is simply just a ritual to them. They go just for the social setting of the services and listen, give money, and leave. Do they really listen, though? Do they really hear the things that are said. I think that by giving their money they must truly support all the doctrines and opinions conveyed by the church and it's clergy. This is what has somewhat conflicted me from the church I used to attend. I remember going on a Sunday morning a few months into my freshmen year of college. I had finally left the comforts of home and really the social structure of Cleburne, Texas. I had never met a Jewish person in my life until college, I had virtually known nothing of any other culture besides the typical Cleburne culture which is mostly Christian. I actually don't think I knew of one person who was not a Christian.

I remember reading in my World Religions class about primitive religions such as the one's Native American's have, and seeing the similarities to that of Christiany. Then we got to the origins of Judaism, which soon became Christianity, that which branched off to Islam and the smaller Mormonism, and even completely split itself off into Protestant and Catholicism. My Professor tells us about how each religion(Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) trace their roots back to Abraham. Abraham had 2 sons, Isaac and Ismael. Abraham represented the Jews, Isaac Christianity, and Ishmael Islam. This is where the confusion gets me the most. These are 3 separate faiths and yet they all praise the same God(Yahweh, Allah, God) and have basically the same principles of justice and the same ideologies of what is righteous and what isn't. Why must they differentiate? Why must we be perpetually confused? Why does this confusion lead to anger and even war? When I grow older and take things into consideration, it continues to make more sense to me why these things have happened. I reach this conclusion: 1) God is truly real, he is the same, unchanging. He has tried to explain himself throughout the entirety of man's existence. He tried to come as what is familiar to each culture, and as each culture of man is different, their perception of God is going to differ. We have the same past, but we get so convoluted that we let these petty differences ruin the unity God wants us to have as humans. 2) Man is ignorant, stubborn, self-righteous, greedy, impressionable, and most of all: Prideful. Just look at the Bible, I have read this my entire life, and was raised with the impression that every single word of it was holy and unquestionably true. That ideology is ignorant and almost idiotic to say. Now, I consider myself pretty Christian, but saying that a book conceived, produced, interpreted, translated, and compiled by man is infallible is almost insulting to human intelligence. Let's consider when the Bible was written, the last book of the Bible was circulating before the first century AD. The notion at this time was that the world was flat, and people were even killed for trying to imply that science could even be considered. Come on now. God gave us a brain to use it.

I'm not trying to offend, and I'm absolutely not saying that the Bible is entirely false, not at all. I believe that a lot of it is to be revered, and revered dearly. It has a great instructions, by great men who truly knew God's wonder and glory, to live life a way that does truly please the Lord. Yet, we must also put into consideration who wrote what, and most importantly, what their intentions were when they wrote it. Which brings me to that Sunday morning which made me realize that this entire organized religion thing may be full of some human error, and actually a lot of bullshit to go along with the bureaucracy of it all. As a disclaimer, I have to say that not all churches have this same opinion, and of course not all churches are bad and I'm sure there are tons of them that are open-minded and truly on the path to help people be more spiritual.

I sit there listening to the Head Pastor's words and I can not help but just feeling outraged on the ideas he was conveying as facts. The most appalling is that he was implying that this was God's feelings and it was only righteous to feel this way. He was speaking about homosexuality, particularly that there were homosexual churches out there. I remember him saying that these people were simply all just going to Hell, and anyone even remotely associated with them or their beliefs would surely burn in Hell as well. I'm not sure about you, but my picture of Jesus is not him as being a gay-basher. God created love, that's actually what he uses to prove his existence in my opinion. I never feel closer to the Lord until I feel that emotion of Love. I'm not exactly talking about intimate love, there are so many different levels of Love. You have love for a friend, love for a family member, love for a significant other, and there's the feeling of love and warmth that simply comes with the acknowledgment of beauty in something. Jesus never addresses homosexuality in the New Testament, so is this religious leader condemning an entire group of people? Does Jesus Hate? I don't believe he did whatsoever.

I walked out and really didn't even feel comfortable talking to the members of the church I had attended for the past few years. It burned me in a way in which I looked around and felt as if I was somewhat of a coward for not confronting this obvious message of hatred that conveyed in the name of God. It got me thinking, and in the months that came and went I realized why he had these opinions. He was ignorant. Brainwashed even. His entire life he had attended different churches, all of which conveyed the idea that God had a disdain for homosexuality. Even some cultures had painted homosexuality as something to be ashamed of, and even that of a deviancy. In Ghana, they are trying to pass a law in which every person who is convicted of homosexuality is to be put to death. This is also really appalling to me.

I essentially feel that organized religion is to blame. I'm not going to get into Catholicism and the incidents that happened there because I simply do not know enough to state upon such matters, I only speak of the things I've seen in my own life, in my own experiences, and sadly the place I called my home church for so long. Was I brainwashed to hate? I honestly thought going to this place of worship was making me a better person. I thought that by going, I was becoming closer to God. Was my entire life and spiritual growth just some sort fallacy guided by misinformed people who I had respected more than life itself? I honestly don't think that is true, but this I know is true:

God gave us a mind to think, a heart to love, and most importantly, a soul that connects us all. We are all the same, every one. We have the same plight and purpose in this world so why let this institution continue to separate us? We have to realize that in every positive and beautiful thing in this world, there will always be someone or some entity that will try to defile it. The church can be a beautiful place of fellowship and genuine love for the Lord and eachother, but we can not stand for such hate in any variety. Jesus did not hate, so how can continuing disdain bring us closer to a relationship with him? It simply won't.

Finally, I want to make it clear that I'm not condemning organized religion and the church entirety, on the contrary, I'm simply condemning the ignorance of man to ruin something that was intended to be so pure and so great.

Please, continue to go to church if that's what you feel makes you closer to God and closer to people. Realize though that simple attendance does not make you a better person. Have faith in God, have faith in people. Let your heart tell you what's right. Just because you're told something does not make it fact. I am just a man so I have some fallibility in the things I say. I am not perfect. I strongly feel that as humans we should follow a simple ideology: Live to Love and for nothing else.

This is my first blog so please excuse any typos or any syntax problems and also if I ranted a little bit, but this is a personal blog, not an essay. I would really appreciate any comments at all, be it agreeing or disagreeing.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Road Trippin'

I am so pumped for the roadtrip from Cleburne, TX to Arizona. It's been soo many years since I've driven that far, but it seems like the adventure is the drive there. It's like Oregon Trail with gas and stuff. I'm ready to ford some rivers!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fiesta Bowl

As it was announced, TCU will face Boise St. in the Fiesta Bowl. Do you think that TCU deserved a better bowl chance, if so, why?

BCS Madness

This is my News-Media Project entitled "BCS Madness."