Reddit Update

A smallish update. Not even worthy of being called a rant. Not really long enough to register as anything other than a statement.

While I like to browse Reddit for the funny and often times strange things I learn, the more time I spend on the site the more depressing I find the way its user base seems to homogenized to one set of ideas. You can basically go anywhere and find examples of them blasting fat people for being disgusting and irresponsible and all of these other things. I’ve seen countless discussions about black culture carried out in disrespectful ways (blacks are ugly, black people with strange names deserve not to get jobs because their parents dared to name them that, a topless black woman is somehow “National Geographic” where as a topless woman who is white is fine), and there are a load of other opinions which seem to be all too prevalent on a site that claims to be so open minded and all about higher thought.

I don’t think that the solution is to leave the site, but it is important not to drink the Kool-Aid. On most of the examples I’ve given that’s easy, but there’s a lot of hivemind bullshit on the site and it’s best not to buy into any of it.

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Can We Finally Go Ahead and Admit That the Oscars Are the Award Show Equivalent of a Circle Jerk

Thesis statement in title.

With this year’s list of nominations it seems like everyone is talking about the snubs. I don’t mean Selma, by all accounts the movie was mediocre at best and only got what it did because of the subject matter. What I’m talking about is Gone Girl  and the Lego Movie. When the latter came out it was all I heard about and all I heard was praise. People even liked the people who they hadn’t wanted to see in the movie.

In the case of Gone Girl the face that it doesn’t even appear on the list for best adaptation should tell us something. I think the main problem with the Oscars is the things they like and the things they seem to think are important. It shouldn’t matter if you like Clint Eastwood. It shouldn’t matter if someone said something off color in the press. It shouldn’t matter if some other, unrelated element of the movie was unlikable if the category its being judged for is on point.

There’s a lot of politics in award shows and this seems to be the mother-load of them all when it comes to letting that get in the way of wins. I’ve never been big on Oscars, but I’m not going to watch this shit now.

No Right Answer

Politics at this point seems to be little more than an attempt to score points in a war, rather than a means to achieving actual goals. Criticism was aimed at the American President for not going overseas to what was basically a photo op in France. Never mind that we’ve stood by the French in basically every major war that they’ve needed us in for recent history or that we’re going to stand by them now. This is somehow our fault. The fact that terrorists attacked one of the world’s oldest cities and that we weren’t there to take pictures in the aftermath.

The thing that really bothers me about all of this is that if the President had gone one of two things would have happened—this would have been treated as a non-issue or something not worth his time or it would have erupted into a debate about how the President postures himself and shows up to take photos and look popular. We’ve been with this guy for seven years and it’s like he can’t win.

Gas prices are down, unemployment’s down, the world looks at us a lot better than they did when we were starting wars in any country where we saw too many guys with facial hair and turbans and yet some of the stuff that has happened on Obama’s watch has damaged the country. The release of the terror report, despite the fact that it needed to be done, didn’t make us look any better. The Snowden stuff a few years ago was similar, although the Snowden thing, I still maintain, can’t be blamed on the White House and shouldn’t have been allowed to happen. It crippled out intelligence agencies and the trust that we place in them, but now we’re looking at corpses in France, a dead police officer who was doing their job bravely and more criticism being leveled at the fall out from the Iraq War that has become the Arab Spring.

I don’t hate France. I don’t think they’re not our ally or that we don’t need to stand by them, I just think there’s more important things to worry about than photo ops and I think that if he had gone, people who are so critical of him now would have agreed with me. Twenty-four hour news channels have got a knack for inventing crisis. They’ve made it their work to turn everything into a scandal. The IRS thing a few years ago where despite all the whining by GOP related entities, more Democratic ones were flagged. The whole Benghazi thing, which anyone with half of a brain knew was nothing. The handling of Super Storm Sandy, which was a storm—we don’t have a weather machine.

I’m ranting now when I should be wrapping this up, but we’ve only got a year of this president left really and when that’s over I don’t know what’s going to happen to the next President. Maybe this is how we end where we just fall into an endless cycle of our leaders being unable to make changes or be respected—or maybe we end up in a position to realize that we can’t do that and we pick up after this and somewhere down the line in ten or twenty years there’s a reform of thought and education so that people understand what’s actually happening around them and don’t just bounce from crisis to crisis.

I doubt it though.

Ideas on Page

Writing is a frightening thing. An overrated thing that your friends and family will not understand takes a lot more hard work than they think. To be the next Faulkner, or Rowling or C. S. Lewis you’re going to need more than just a bottle of liquor and an idea. Most of the would be writers are failing out there because of the simple fact that they never put ideas on the page.

No one will ever read the story you don’t write.

Part of my time is spent doubting myself and my ability. I know I’m decent, but decent doesn’t get you far in most other things. Decent shouldn’t ever be enough.

These last few weeks have been getting back into that routine and doing something with these ideas that I was keeping to myself. This isn’t to sound pompous, but I know there’s a collection of snippets in there that would create the story that people want to read. I know this because somewhere in there is a story that I would want to read and no matter what anyone tells us, we’re not all that unique.

So I made a promise to put ideas on the page, because the ideas you don’t will never make it out.