New Novella Teaser

What would it be like if you could not die?  If you lived so long you no longer remembered where you came from?  For reasons unknown you need the life force of others.  You’ve tried to resist it since indulging creates unwanted attention, but eventually it becomes impossible to resist and you give in.  You don’t know why you are this way, if you need the life force of others to survive, but what’s certain is that you’ve come to accept that you cannot resist it any longer.  You begin to see people’s lives as fleeting and without objective value.  The only morality you adhere to is convenience and not drawing attention to yourself.  You’ve grown bored and indifferent toward everything around you save for the quiet little space you carved out.  This is the life of Darion, find out what happens when his world is shaken by someone unexpected.

Upcoming novella coming soon!

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False Wisdom

I’m certain that everyone has met someone who believes he/she is wiser than that person actually is.  In my experience, it is typically certain individuals who are older, but are too arrogant to see beyond themselves to have any real insight.  These individuals are not significantly older, but just enough to make them abundantly self-assured.

How many times have you come across someone who tries to offer constructive criticism, but you find it difficult to take him seriously because he has no clue what he’s talking about?  Yet, these sorts of people have extreme confidence in themselves and what they say, but in my experience rarely take constructive advice themselves.

Some folks who try to be wiser than they are go out of their way to critique and intellectualize things to the point of ad nauseum.  If you share a post on social media and they are right there to find minute cracks in the meme you posted.  At a family gathering that same person might be there to offer her “insight” during casual conversation which only makes her look more ignorant than insightful.

I enjoy a good debate as much as anyone, but some people like this come across as living for the debate.  For them debating is life.  I believe there is a time and a place to debate.  For these people that isn’t the case, debating is fair game at any moment.

Upon thinking of a certain individuals, I have known or know that fit this description, I came to the conclusion that true wisdom eludes them due to their arrogance.  Arrogance isn’t always easily detectable in ourselves.  There are those though who seem to believe they have most of the answers if not all, (though they won’t admit that) and are too blinded by that to obtain any real wisdom.  Thus, unless they are capable of change (which requires discontentment) wisdom will continue to elude them.

What are we to do with people like this?  At the time of writing this I’m in my final month of my 20s and I have decided what sort of people I want to have in my life.  I know I have written extensively on friendships and the important of friendships and investing in them, and I stand by that 100% yet not all people deserve complete commitment to.  Love yes, deep friendship-level commitment?  No.  Sometimes it’s best to love someone from afar then entangle your life with unnecessary drama and toxicity.  I’ve decided to try to be kind and respectful to all, but be more selective as to who I bring close to my life.  Maybe that’s what we should all do with those who spout false wisdom regularly, making comments online and in life about what everyone else around them is doing.  Perhaps, telling these people the truth is what is needed too.  If you have told these people the truth about their advice, maybe it’s simply time to move on from them.  Loving people is a must, but it should be a privilege to allow someone close to you.

Do You Want More?

It’s been awhile since I did a creepypasta YouTube video.  I’m not sure if it is something I want to do moving forward or not since I’ve decided to put more focus on this blog.  Here is one of my videos.  If you want more content or have any thoughts please share them.

On Bullying

Bullying has gotten much more attention in recent years finally.  It is a topic I feel passionately about since ten years of my life was spent being bullied.  It isn’t something I talk about much, not because I’m afraid to or because I see myself as a victim, but I simply prefer to read about how others overcame their bullying situations.  Being bullied leaves permanent scars and changes a person for most if not all his/her life.  It is something that can unfortunately happen to anyone at any time.  The victim doesn’t have to be disabled, a minority, obese, or gay.  It happens for irrational reasons because it is an irrational response to perceived differences.

When you have been bullied, your self-worth and self-esteem hit the floor.  Everyone around you will say that you shouldn’t put stock in what other people say about you.  Your value isn’t in what people tell you.  That doesn’t matter, when you hear things like “you’re ugly” or “you’ll never get married” day in and day out in varying ways and often times laced with obscenities, anyone would believe it after a while.  There was a time when I thought I would be alone forever, girls never gave me a chance and I imagined I looked like a cave troll to the opposite sex.  When you are instructed to work in a group for Math class and the girls assigned to be your partners exclaim loudly and exaggeratedly “eeeww!” It’s something that leaves a mark.

I know that many people who struggle with obesity are bullied.  I acknowledge that, and it is no better than what I went through.  It is especially stupid to bully an obese person for working out or to claim to diagnose the root cause without knowing the person.  I had the opposite problem.  Larger people would relentlessly remind me of how scrawny I am.  Due to my thin frame people assume that I’m weak and can say/do whatever they please to me.  The retort I often heard was “what are you going to do about it?  I have a four-year-old (insert relative) that’s stronger than you!”  I’m going to be frank.  Due to this being my experience throughout my life, I’m not the one to complain about “thin privilege” to.  Again, I know that obese people suffer horribly sometimes, and that other people are cruel to them.  I do not diminish that, but I’m simply stating that I certainly wasn’t the “privileged” group while in elementary, middle school, high school, or college.  Even at a Christian college my thin frame was pointed out and mocked at an annoyingly frequent rate.  It’s as if people assume that I didn’t know I’m thin, no one’s told me, or I have never looked in a mirror before.

Why am I talking about bullying on a writing blog?  The same reason I talk about cultural issues.  It is something that’s important and can hit anyone anytime.  Sometimes I feel like there is this misconception that victims of bullying are only those who are “different” which isn’t the case.  Certainly, those who are handicapped, or a minority of some sort are more easily targeted, but they aren’t the only ones.  You also don’t have to be gay to have gay slurs thrown at you on a daily basis or have your last name warped into a gay slur.  Bullying isn’t just for kids, especially with he advent of the internet.  It is now easier than ever for people to target others with cruelty.

Don’t Just Know What YOU Believe

Knowing what we believe and why is essential.  Our worldviews are the lenses through which we see everything.  Some people don’t even fully understand what they believe, but many more do not understand the root behind other belief systems.  Typically, ignorance is the universal explanation, but that is something that may be true for some cases but not all and it is a horribly simplistic answer as to why someone would think differently than you.

Many times, you may come across blogs or social media posts when people discuss the other side whether it be political, religious, or ideological in an almost cartoonish way.  One example would be that religious people only believe what they do because they were brainwashed as children.  Well, I supposed that may be true in some instances, but what about irreligious folks who come to faith later on in life?  What if they never set foot in a church or place of worship before their conversion?  The point is that broad, simplistic explanations are rarely accurate and shows ignorance not on the part of the one who thinks differently but the one who projects such cartoonish explanations on outside groups.

I’m not saying everything is true or that there is no truth.  I have my views, and I hold them dear and I encourage everyone to do the same.  However, we can hold our viewpoints close while still understanding the other side.  Knowing why someone else came to their conclusions creates better understanding and empathy.  Avoiding cartoonish generalizations also gives you more credibility when conversing with others who hold different viewpoints.  You may not agree with them, after all not all worldviews are valid, but the people holding them are and if you want to convince someone of something different, there must be understanding.  We have all been guilty of this at some point, but that doesn’t mean we have to keep doing it.  Let us understand one another so that we may have productive dialogue.

I theorize that people hold cartoonish views of different beliefs because it is comfortable.  It’s easy to be assured in what you believe if you think everyone else are idiots.  This isn’t something that is just applicable to religion or politics, look at vegans and non-vegans in a discussion sometime.  Both sides often talk past and mock one another.

Meaningful Entertainment

When many people think of the word “entertainment” they wouldn’t associate it with depth.  It is something fun in which people turn their brains off for a while.  Some things certainly fill that role, but a story isn’t just about being fun and mindless, it should be ultimately about teaching using the subtleties of fiction.  Just because a story isn’t based on real things or has elements which are irrational doesn’t mean it is completely mindless.

In the wake of Stan Lee’s death there has been discussions about comic book movies.  Some view them as stupid and mindless, others passionately defend them.  Painting all these movies with the brush of “stupid” is well rather small minded.  Yes, these films use pseudoscience and characters that cannot possibly exist.  However, that’s the nature of fiction…obviously… In case my tone is misunderstood, I’m not personally offended by this point of view, after all having different tastes in entertainment is a good thing.  I find football boring, yet most people enjoy it.  My point is that if something looks stupid to you on the surface that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have meaning.

It’s not about comic book movies, they are just easy examples, speculative fiction as a whole often gets this rap from outsiders.  Stories, especially ones that live on for a long time such as comic books and classic novels do so because they (typically) have meaning.  There are underlying themes that the average person can relate to.  This is something I ask my readers to think about.

How Would You React?

Your marriage is going great.  At least you think it is.  You and your husband go out on dates, share an honest relationship with each other, and do little things everyday to make the other person happy.  That is until one day your husband pulls away and starts acting strangely.  At first, he is more closed off than normal, but then it snowballs into arguments.  On top of this he is having blackouts and waking up in strange spots.  You catch him muttering to himself, sometimes laughing like a maniac.  What is going on with him?  What would you do? Read Crystal Moon and find out what Mary does and the unexpected truths she discovers.

Political Bullying

Something fiction does an excellent job of is showing the dangers of self-righteousness.  I’ve spoken about how portrayals of religion in fantasy in particular lack nuance and often makes believers into radicals.  However, concerning the radicals themselves, fantasy and science fiction do an excellent job of warning us of self-righteousness.  From what I’ve seen it is often those who are least aware of their own short-comings who are the most sanctimonious.

Recently I came across this story about a boy who was bullied because of his last name being Trump.  How many of those kids doing the bullying did so because they had moral objections to the current president of the United States?   Now before anyone says it, I acknowledge these are kids.  How many adults do the same thing though?  I can’t honestly say that either political side has respect for the opposite belief system in the adult world either.  Since the election in 2016 there has been bullying on both sides from so-called adults.  The perpetrators justify their actions by saying they are standing up against evil.  They disagree with a politician and see that as a license to treat the other side as badly as they perceive they are treated.

Have we gotten so blind as a culture that we cannot see bullying anymore?  Let’s take Trump as an example.  No matter what his behavior is, it doesn’t justify you treating someone who voted for him like trash.  What moral high ground is there for you then?  You have none.  The same goes for Republicans too who bullied Hillary and Bernie supporters.  Don’t think I’m just harping on the Left because there are no innocent sides in this issue, Trump just happens to be the easiest example since there is such a visceral hatred for him.  I’m not saying I don’t understand why people would be upset with things he has said or at his supporters.  The truth is both Democrats and Republicans have vastly different ideologies and approaches to things and their base tend to have vastly different beliefs.  Therefore, it is understandable that the other side would be upset, angry even.  However, this bullying of those who voted differently is no different than the story I linked above.  You cannot claim moral superiority when you hate people who think different than you and chose not to forgive them.  Sure, you can choose that route, but hatred and grudges only hurt you not the people it is aimed at.

In fantasy we see what happens when those who zealously follow a religion, politics isn’t really any different.  For some politics is their religion and they will live or die by their ideology.  We cannot base our happiness, or our character choices based on who is in office.  Dislike the person voted in all you want.  Believe what you believe, even do it passionately, but do not let that dehumanize the other side.  That statement still stands even if the other side doesn’t treat you with dignity.

Digging Up the Past

One universal truth of humanity is that we are all guilty of doing things we aren’t proud of.  No one is an exception.  Everyone, especially during the teenage years, did stupid or even mean things.  If not to your peers than to your parents.  Does the ubiquity of these experiences justify them?  No, of course not.  However, it is an experience that we can all relate to, and hopefully we learn from our mistakes, even if it’s a slow struggle.  In recent times, digging up people’s past blog posts, tweets, or Facebook posts from years in the past is becoming more common.  Why is that?

From politicians to celebrities to people who find success, no one is safe from the smear-campaigns of “you tweeted something offensive six years ago.”  Look, that tweet might have been bad, but come on?  In order for something like that to come to light after all these years you would have to search for it, and if people are searching for it then what kind of people are they?  Again, I don’t doubt that some of this content that is dragged up from the past might be bad or offensive, but can’t people change and grow?  If it’s over a year old, we should probably just let the post be.  I’ve changed and grew a lot over the last few years and I would guess most people have.  What I believed in 2011 isn’t the same as today in some areas.

The point is that those same pearl-clutching people who gasp at an offensive blog post from the late 90’s are undoubtedly just as guilty as saying something mean or offensive themselves.  Two wrongs don’t make a right and indeed there are times when we should call out what someone is saying, especially if he/she is influential.  Things brought up from the recesses of the internet though is just being petty, and frankly isn’t relevant anymore unless the person in question still reflects the same questionable beliefs.

We need to stop being petty and using what people said years ago against them, because who knows the same thing may happen to us one day.  The internet never forgets and no one is immune, no matter how much self-righteousness a person exudes.

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