Wanna read a rant? Because I have some steam that needs blowing off.
Lately I’ve been a bit of a sarcastic asshole. I’m aware of it and have noticed this negative energy hanging around so many of my remarks. It’s sharp and quick, like a pissed-off wasp, and I’m not diggin’ it anymore. It’s just not in my best interest to be so edgy, especially during the season that I consider to be the best time of my life. So I need to vent and let it out with the hopes that something changes (be it in me or the company surrounding).
The following is a list of the bugs that keep buggin’ me.
(and for the record, I don’t mean to offend anyone. I just want to challenge the people that challenge me).
GNAT NUMBER ONE: GOD
I don’t believe in god. I haven’t for a long, long time. But I am aware that so many people do, and part of me will always be irked by that thought. I understand that the debate surrounding religion is massive, infinite and overall a waste of breath. We’re all too stubbornly locked in our system of beliefs to genuinely consider the other side. So this is not a preach of conversion; rather a prod at the behaviors of the folks that pray before they go to bed at night.
To start, a quote:
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
-Epicurus, a really ancient greek dude
If my stance on religion could be summarized in one phrase, I’d have to go with that flurry of questions above. What Epicurus is saying, in my mind, challenges all three potentials of the existence of a higher being. And in that, he reveals the hypocrisy of all three situations. Let’s dissect:
-“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.”
We tend to think of god as an all-powerful being, yet there is so much violence in the world. And it keeps getting worse. The quote states, pretty straight-forwardly, that if god cannot prevent this violence, then he is not all-powerful.
–“Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.”
On the flip side, if he is omnipotent but refuses to fix all of the wrongs, then that would render the almighty an evil being itself. This bothers me.
-“Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?”
If god can and wants to rid the earth of the wicked, then where does the evil originate? How could it come about if god is able and willing to radicate the terrible things?
-“Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
Here’s the kicker: if he is not all-powerful and does not wish to rid of the bad, then why should he have the title of supremacy?
It just can’t be.
Again, like stated before, this is not an attempt at disproving god. I’m a firm believer that nobody could ever prove god’s existence, no matter what, because it supposedly reigns in the afterlife. How could you ever really know? On the opposite side of the same coin, nobody could ever disprove its existence for the exact same reasons. Hence, this argument is just a circle.
In any case, I’d like to set some parameters.
1) “God” is not rooting for you. You must realize this. Too many people in my life are always thanking god for some minor event that is hollow and materialistic and selfish and cold when viewed from an outer perspective. Do you really think that god wants your basketball team to win? Do you really believe that god placed that special someone in your life because it wanted you to be happier than others? Does anyone else see the insensitivity in saying that you’re “blessed” because you have nice things while somebody, right now, hasn’t had water in two days? It makes my stomach turn to think that you think you’ve earned this, as if you’re wearing the right jersey and the almighty just keeps dishing you brownie points. Your successes are absolutely your own. People are fucking miserable everywhere on earth without cause and you have the guts to say that god wants you to catch a promotion? I cannot fathom this as truth. Give yourself credit for carrying your son for 9 months, or scaling Saint Helens, or pushing through depression. YOU did that. In the same right, you were coincidentally placed into a socio-economic situation that permitted you to do that. Had you been a birth of a poor Indian woman, I highly doubt that you’d have found your prince charming at the Starbucks on 80th. Which will segway me to point number two:
2) Your Christ is another man’s Allah. Once you take a step back and think about Earth, you’ll find that it’s actually a pretty massive place. It goes further than this little city, country, continent. I know many people who strongly advocate that Jesus is the true god, or son of god, or second coming of it, or whatever. In my eyes, the most fundamental reason that you are a christian is because you were born in a christian world, where christianity dominates the tournament. How many southern, white females do you see worshipping Buddah? How many western African farmers do you find hailing Vishnu? The god that you found has little to do with the validity of its origins and mostly to do with where you grew up and who was preaching to you as a child, when your brain was a sponge and your thoughts stretchable like putty. The reason that Spike Lee is a die-hard Knicks fan is because he lives in New York. The reason that you believe in Jesus is because you live in America.
3) The Bible is a book. It is a fantastic story that has an infinite amount of interpretations, metaphor and examples of how to be a better person. This is the side of religion that actually promotes good things, where church has its purpose in the world. But it is not even close to being the say-all, tell-all, list of law and order. Again, you have to realize that humans wrote this book, and at the very minimum it’s overdue for a re-writing, a sort of “Bible 2.0” that features updates like “we don’t trade women for livestock anymore” and “what to do with the gays”. Simply put, it has been around for a while, and if you’ve ever studied a second language, you can understand that things aren’t always translated correctly. Stack a couple dozen rows of translation end-to-end and you have a tale that was written like a game of telephone. We as a species have lost so much headway because of the limits and fears of the words in a book, be it the christian tome or otherwise. Religion, in its characteristics, is not a progressive discipline. And I’m sick of being held back by an outdated mindset that refuses to look at the world around them because of the projected world that they’ve created in their mind as the ultimate truth (i.e. the afterlife called heaven). Please understand that this is all we have. I don’t believe anything at all happens to us when we die. For that reason, I’m desperately trying to suck out all of the life I have right now, because I find no comfort in that uncertainty called death. I unintentionally proposed a philosophical thought to my groups of kids in music class at camp when I asked “where were you in 1977?” They weren’t yet born of course, and for that reason they had no real response. Which got me to thinking: why would we be anywhere after we’re dead if we weren’t anywhere before we were alive?
I suppose those are my thoughts for now. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez quoted another ancient greek dude once and said “We think of god as a man. But if horses could speak, they would say god is a horse, which is exactly what humans do.”
GNAT TWO: INTEGRITY
Man, there are a lot of flakey people consuming my social life. This next segment of anger stems from relationships, with both friends and the potential flings that I’ve conjured and seen fizzle in the past couple months. Again, a quote will kick us off for part two of this vent:
“Integrity is what you say, what you do, and what you say you do.” -Anonymous.
The whole idea behind that little word comes down to consistency. An old boss of mine used to use “integrity” to describe building materials, like wood. “You must preserve the integrity of the fence post, otherwise it will crack to pieces.” It is wholeness. So when you say you will and you don’t, then you are not whole. I see through it, and I see you as pathetic.
Granted, I’ve been inconsistent in many things in my life. I am not off the hook in anything I say here at all. But the awareness of my actions allow me to try and get better, and that’s all anyone wants to do.
I’ve had a lot of success in the world of girls. Lately, I’ve been fed a mound of disappointment in that same realm, and I can’t figure out if it’s me or them. Part of me sees myself as the common denominator, so maybe I’m purely delusional and nobody else is to blame. However, when you tell me that you want to see me and make no effort to do so, that seems to be a big bite out of the contradictory cake. When I find myself putting 90% of the effort to make things happen and you can’t even muster up your tenth of the work, that boils my blood. This of course recalls my views on gender roles, and frankly I’m just growing tired of doing (what seems to be) everything to make things happen. This goes for friends, too.
I told my best friend Hannah recently that if I didn’t text anybody all weekend, I’d most likely end up spending three days alone.
I can’t stand the mentality anymore. My personality is that of a go-getter. If you want it, get it. Get off your ass and work for it. Nothing comes to you. Stop fucking waiting. So when I want to be with friends, I plan things. I invite you. I want to see you and be with you, and all I wish is that you feel the same. Of course I understand if you have other shit going on, but to me there is a gaping difference between being busy and being apathetic. You remind me of a little child in a high chair, waiting to be fed his green bean mush. This is a falsely-entitled character composed of laziness. Also, I’m sick of the “maybes”, the “I don’t knows”. Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back said “Do or do not…there is no try.” So when I ask you to go out with me, your answer is either “yes” or “no, thank you”. Don’t make anybody wait for you to make a decision. Just fucking say yes or no. “Maybe” never got anybody anywhere. Can you imagine?
“Hey Lew, wanna keep going west?” said Clark.
“Eh, maybe. I don’t know,” said Lewis as another wave crashed into the canoe. After hours of rocking back and forth and back and forth, the two travelers died of dysentery, and the Native rebels took back New York City.
And then there are the few consistent ones, who do what they say, who invite me to things, who care about actively nurturing a relationship. I’ll probably fall in love with the first girl who shows me that kind of integrity.
The sad thing is, I haven’t seen her in years.
GNAT THREE: ME
Honestly, my perfectionist can’t stand to see argumentative essays have only two solid points, so we’ll keep this part short and sweet for the purpose of balance and composure. Like I said before, I don’t like feeling this way. I don’t like being so opinionated. I’m close with many people of faith and it hurts me to put them down like I did. But these are the things I think about all day, and when I started to write again, I made an oath of anti-silence, a promise to stay integral and transparent in voicing my mind. I want to challenge you because I want you to challenge me. Who am I to say that anything is true? Who am I to be so certain about these kinds of things? I know I’m driven by logic and I know that others aren’t, so why do I have to be such a dick about dethroning their values?
I just want so badly to proactively and progressively be.
And in the end, your indifference will kill me.
My favorite film is ‘There Will Be Blood’ because I’ve never seen so much of myself in any character before. This character is called Daniel Plainview and he is everything of my dark, cynical soul:
In any case, keep on loving.