Soon enough…

I can hear the beats of the drum. I can hear the footsteps. I can hear Tragedy making its way toward me. Who will it be? How long until it happens? I can’t say.

I’ve lived my life without going through major trauma. Three of my four grand parents are dead, but I never knew any of them. A cousin of mine passed away about 3 years ago in a car accident, but I didn’t know him that well either. I have yet to have the strength of my will tested. I have yet to have everything shaken up. I have yet to be thrust in the true cold reality of adulthood.

What will it be? Will 0ne of my friends end up in a serious car accident? The chances are high. I know a lot of people.  One of them is bound to end up in one. I’ve had friends who have had Fate take things away from them or put through horrible ordeals. The worst pain I’ve gone through is having my wisdom teeth removed and having the medication not work at all. That’s nothing.  There’s people out there that have their own children die in front of them. That’s true pain. That’s tragedy

Death is coming, but who will it be? Who will it swallow up that I know first? Will they die of a heart attack? Maybe it’ll be an accident.

If everything goes right and everyone I know makes it to a healthy old age, I still have to endure the future deaths of my parents.  I have to weather the storm of losing two people who have been with from the beginning. Will I be able to endure? I’ll see how strong my will really is.

Who knows what tragedies await me and you in the future? It’s sad to think of what could happen to us in the end.  As we move from the blissful ignorance of youth and we slowly realize the world could gobble us up any day. What pain will the next day? When is the next time I’ll see my true strength?

You can’t let this creeping Tragedy bother you however. You’ve got to keep on going with your everyday life. Because if you worry and fret about it all the time, you’re already dead.

Your acquaintances.

The people you know, but they either have yet or never will reach that precious friendship status.

I love encountering these people. For a while they will say “hi”.  But as time moves on, they just stop. Perhaps they found a better acquaintance to say hi to. Your little social exchange just isn’t needed anymore.

A high end acquaintance might even stop and ask you how your day was. They’ll reference some past event that you and them shared but then they move on.

Some of them could have been your friend, if you just pushed a bit more. You could have invited them to come hang out with you.  Then you could have a new friend that you have nothing in common with. But at least you’d have another guaranteed hello in your pocket. Maybe a wave if you’re lucky. You’d definitely have a new Facebook friend that’s for sure.

Think of your acquaintances. The people who are okay. The people you wouldn’t want to hang out with but you might be forced to if your buddy brings him along.

What stops these people from meeting the criteria of friend? Is it because you have nothing in common with them? Is it because you don’t spend time with them? Is it because you like them where they are?

I like watching these people in my life pass me by. I know their names. I might even know their birthdays.  I never forget a face.  I see all my classmates walking around this campus. I wonder at times if this is how its supposed to be. People in your lives that you know but don’t interact with at all besides a half-hearted hello to keep up your appearance as a social person. Or so you can use them to get you a job someday. Network with them.

Sometimes I lay in my bed and wonder about all the people I’ve met in my life. I wonder if I missed out by not reaching deeper with some of them. I sometimes wonder if maybe some of them could have been better friends than the ones I have.

I wonder about these people who in the end don’t matter at all in my life now and possibly never will.

The mysterious side of God

It has recently come to my attention that there’s parts of a deity that you know and parts that we cannot comprehend.

A part of an absolutely powerful being that mankind can never comprehend because we are limited in our perceptions.

If you think about a being like, it really makes it seem as though, you don’t matter at all. When I heard this mentioned in a class of mine, I thought of that scene in Indiana Jones where the Nazis have their faces melted off. They opened the chest to something they shouldn’t have. I also thought of the phrase, “God works in mysterious ways.”

It’s a very interesting concept to me. You can’t directly talk about that. You can only mention it by being vague because no words in our language are possible of describing it. It’s something that mankind just cannot touch in a way.

But some people put their faith in it. They put their faith in something that they can never fully comprehend. They have to hope it has their best interests at heart. This mysterious being.

For the religions that have this incomprehensible god, I wonder why they feel so safe putting their fates in the hands of a something they can never comprehend.

It seems almost careless.

Respect.

The word of the day is Respect. Wikipedia defines respect as  both a positive feeling of esteem for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion).

Yesterday was  September 11th.

I do not share the sentiment regarding 9/11 as other people do. I’m not a very Pro-America guy. I rarely identify as an American.

I made a status saying stating Finally the shameless pandering of America was over. And one friend (Ex-friend now) took what I said personally. He’s in the army so he’s a pretty Pro-America fellow.

He responded to my status and said every day should be Pro-America. And he said I should respect them. And I said No I don’t. I can tell that he was offended as he blocked me

I’ve realized a long time ago, I don’t respect the vast majority of things. I don’t give a positive feeling of esteem to people who died in horrific tragedies. I don’t give a positive esteem to the things people expect you to give. I talk to my parents like they are my equals these days. Some call that a lack of respect.

But I don’t show disdain for the people of 9/11. I’m neutral on the event. It’s fairly polarizing. Here we have innocent people who were slaughtered. But this sort of thing happens all across the world. People die and it’s a part of what happens.I understand the need to mourn, but the pro-america sentiment can get excessive and seem ignorant. The word respect is just so very icky. I don’t like using it or having to answer questions involving it.

He wanted me to show more respect. I can understand that. He wanted me to show positive feelings instead of neutral about America. I just can’t do that. It’s just not how I feel. I can’t respect a nation. There’s too many things wrong in America for me to say I respect it. I don’t hate America. I just look at it from an observer’s view. I try to be objective about the things that I can be.

I harbor no bad feelings to him now. If he doesn’t like what I have to say he can block me. That’s within his power.

I know many people would say that I should spare people’s feelings and not write that sort of stuff. But I don’t write to have people like me, respect me, or do anything other than read it. I saw so many pro America statuses. That was how those people felt. So I wrote a neutral status that criticized them. That was how I felt. I don’t regret making that status or offending that guy. He was still my friend when I criticized religion, drug abuse, and other things.

I’ve always been uneasy about saying I don’t respect many things. it sounds really bad when you say you don’t respect a country. I bet there are people who are pretty pissed I’m neutral about so many things.

Though in general, I respect my friends. That’s how I decide if someone is really my friend. Do they deserve my respect?

 

What if a future employer saw the stuff you did online?

Do you want your future employers seeing everything that you have done ever online? Most likely not. This does happen however. There are companies dedicated to finding out information about people using social networking. You should be afraid. You should be very afraid.

Can you really trust Facebook’s privacy settings to protect you? Can you really stop someone from seeing something you don’t want them to online?

It just takes one glitch in the system. One hack and all your information is free for everyone to see. You could be being watched right now by one of these companies hired to investigate people. They could be looking at your old myspace account you forgot about with the pictures of you punching out your cat. Or they could look up your old livejournal where you talked about how you weren’t a big fan of people from Turkey. If you’re trying to get a job as a Turkish veterinarian, those could be nails in your coffin!

What can you do about this?

You could up your Facebook privacy settings all the way up and hope to God, Allah, Zeus, and Xenu that they are never broken. You could panic and search for everything you’ve done in the past decade online. You could try and delete every last trace. There’s still no telling if anyone saved any of that or if it was archived on another site.

Or you could just not care like I do. While it would dishearten me if I didn’t get a job because somebody read this blog, I’m not going to go crazy about it. I’d rather have all those things online then go around deleting past things that I have done. It’s much more fun to be able to talk openly about tipocrites and tell stories than it would be to create a workfriendly blog.

I really hope some company is watching what I do online. They’d get to read all the silliness I’ve done over the years. They’d at least get a chuckle before denying my application. And that’s what I’m all about giving out smiles.

Cynical Smiles.

Dislike.

Those of you who have Facebooks have seen the options you have when it comes to someone’s status.

Comment, Like, or Hide It.

But you can’t just click Dislike.

You can’t dislike anything on Facebook. As a man who dislikes many things, I’m not a big fan of this. I’ve seen so many inane statuses, that deserve my hate. I want to know what stuff that I do on Facebook that people don’t like. I’d love to make a status and see that people disliked it. I think it would be pretty fun to be able to openly show your disdain for something your friend posted.

Facebook is just so positive that it sickens me. Leaving a comment about how something is dumb just doesn’t have the same effect as quickly looking over at it. Why can’t you show the negative side of things?

There is a clamour for it. There’s plenty of add-ons and pages dedicated to getting a dislike button on Facebook. Why wouldn’t they just make it? It’s not like it would cause people to leave.

I’ve recently realized why Facebook will never get a dislike button. And it comes down to money. Think about it. If you’re a company, do you want people knowing how many other people don’t like their product. Five thousand likes is better than 5,000 likes and 5,000 dislikes.

A dislike button isn’t good for business. People can make pages about how they dislike something and ask people to like it but those will never get much attention. Most people wouldn’t look for pages about disliking a product. They’re forced to like a product and then write on the wall about how they don’t like it. They add to the number of likes that a product has and they’re post can be buried or even deleted later on.

Opposition is dying out. Commenting just doesn’t have the same power as the like button. When you scroll down the page and see something has more than 10 comments, you might not click it. But you will know how many people liked it. It’s just a quick number. It’s information put in your brain.

There’s no benefit to the average Facebooker when it comes to the lack of a dislike button.  It only benefits Facebook’s Ad Revenue.

I hope one day when Mark Zuckerberg has made enough money that he decides to add a dislike button for cynics like me.

I think you can tell just as much about a person from what they dislike as what they like.

 

Chronicle Number One Conclusion.

Continued from.
https://kotenks.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/chronicle-number-one-pt-2/

Alcohol is everywhere. From the ads during the Super Bowl to bus stop signs, you see it anywhere you go. The commercials can come on during any television program. When I was a kid, I wanted my dad to get me Mike’s Hard Lemonade just because I saw it on TV. I didn’t realize what exactly it was. But I wanted it.

At college, alcohol discussion was everywhere. Oh what do you drink? Where’s the party at? Can you believe they ran out of alcohol? These were the conversations I heard daily as I walked around the dormitory those first few weeks. Parties were seen as these big social events. You had to go to them or you were doing something different.

“Oh You’re staying in tonight? That’s cool man.” “Yeah, we’re just chilling tonight.”

Before I can tell you my state of mind when my floor-mates came back from the party, you have to understand my experiences with alcohol before college.

I remember when I was younger, that my parents would hold these Christmas parties. So many of my parents’ friends would come over. They’d dress in traditional Ghanian clothing. They’d say a prayer before eating. And then they’d go on to drinking.

I remember my dad, a man that I had looked up to, would behave so differently after drinking. My father is a stern man. He rarely laughs at home. He is all business. I hated it at times but it was who he was. He had my and my brother’s best interests at hands. My father never drank excessively. But when he drank I could tell he was a different. He would begin cracking jokes and being generally laid back.

My parents’ friends would always come around and tell me it was up to me to be responsible for tonight. Tonight I was going to be the adult. The first time, I didn’t understand why they said that. But as I watched the adults drink. I knew something wasn’t right. Like I said before my father was a stern man. This guy cracking jokes and tripping around was not my father. He was an imposter in my father’s clothes. He made a mockery of what I thought my father was to me.

It was no different at college. The friends that I had didn’t come back from their parties. Their bodies came back but it was if they were controlled by someone else. I watched as they stumbled around the dorms not wanting to be seen by campus police. As a good friend of mine walked towards me and I could tell that this was not right. When they awoke the next day with some unable to remember what they had done, I just shook my head.

I told you before that we’re taught to be tolerant of everyone. I doubt that you would tolerate a racist or a homophobes opinion though. I doubt you would tolerate a murderer speaking about how it was actually the victim’s fault. I doubt you can tolerate a man who beats his wife. Maybe you can. In someone’s view of life, you would either be a fool or a saint.

I learned at college that I cannot be tolerant of alcohol. Just the mention of it puts me in a bad mood. I try my best to not hate people because of it. I hate alcohol, but not my friends who drink it.

The thing I hate most about alcohol is that I feel like nobody ever speaks against it. Smokers are told day in and day out that they need to quit. They will get a hole in their neck. They will get cancer. They will die. Drinkers are told “Drink Responsibly” which is the dumbest phrase I’ve ever heard. As far as I’m concerned, a responsible person never drinks alcohol excessively.

Some people ask me why I don’t just drink in moderation. Because then I’d be a part of the problem. There’s nothing alcohol can give me.

Another thing I learned in college is that people have real confidence issues. I’m not going to say specific names, but it really seems like they won’t approach people unless they’ve had something to drink. I knew this one girl who would only talk to me if she had drank. I just don’t get it.

I realized I couldn’t identify with my floor-mates as much as I would have liked too. I didn’t like parties. I didn’t like drugs. I didn’t like alcohol. And I wasn’t interested in women who were drunk.

I’d try my best to just fit in but every time they’d talk about going to parties, I shook my head. One guy never shut up.

Then I saw this one guy wearing a shirt. “Have Heart. Straight Edge.”

I remember thinking to myself. “Straight Edge. That’s what I am!” But I was suspicious. It seemed too good to be true.

I felt like I was alone as I waded through the mud and slock that was college interaction at times. I had seen him go out to parties. I was certain it was some kind of ironic joke.

Then I talked to the guy. As I realized what he was, it opened my eyes to what straight edge could be. He introduced me to the hardcore and punk music. I had only listened to Minor Threat  which I loved. Have Heart is close to being the best sound that has ever reached my ear.

After the first few weeks, he stopped going to parties. I was actually quite somewhat impressed of how alcohol didn’t bother him at all. I thought that maybe I should strive to be the same. Maybe I could be happier at college.

But I slowly realized what was good for him just wasn’t good for me. I was confused though. I wasn’t posi edge like he was. But I wasn’t exactly hardline. I didn’t want to beat people and carve Xs into their backs. I had hate but it wasn’t that strong.

One day when I was really bothering him, he called me Hate Edge. I remember looking it up and smiling. I finally realized just what I was.

There’s more stories about my freshman year of college, but I’ll end this chronicle on this note.

When it comes to alcohol, I don’t want to be around it.

Do I wish my friends didn’t drink? You’re damn right. I wish everybody was straight edge.  With complete honesty, that is my perfect world.  I want it so badly sometimes. But standing in my way is years and years of tradition and marketing. But I will not quit. If I convince one person not to drink for even one night, I’m one step closer.

As much as I see this world as being unjust, violent, generally an awful place, it doesn’t depress me. It gives me motivation. I want to see a better world. And I’ll have it someday.