jon stewart, and an obligatory update

I’ve found of late I’ve had a dry spell of writing. And I can’t figure why, because I look at everything going on right now, and the world (both in my small, personal world, and the world at least) is exploding with things to talk about.

For now, I want to talk about Jon Stewart.

Jon and I have a long relationship. I started watching him in college, and didn’t necessarily like what he had to say. I was very much a conservative, and felt like he was way left-of-center. Now that I’ve grown a little older and have been more influenced (and agreed with) more left-leaning ideas, I’d probably consider myself a moderate, maybe leaning left (sorry, dear Grover friends… I feel I’ve let you down). What I have to come to apprecate about Stewart is that he’s honest. I find I get the best news from a comedy show, becuase he’s trying to be entertaining by being funny. The thing with CCN and FoxNews that they try to be entertaining by making the news entertaining.

I, for one, don’t need my news to be entertaining. I need it to be the truth. I don’t need to be scared or made to understand the wrong and injustice in the world.  Honestly, I merely have to walk outside my door down about 6 blocks to recognize the injustices of the world.

I’d like to think Jon Stewart is telling me the truth.  I’d like to think he sees things from multiple directions.  It’s obvious when you watch the show long enough.  The democrats lack any ability to stand on something, the republicians are standing on top of everyone, crushing them in the process.  And somewhere, in the midst of this, there’s an entire bell curve of folks who are trying to make sense of all of it.  I think that demographic figures to be most of Stewart’s audience, myself included.

So thank you, Jon.  For being honest that you’re a comedy show that happens to talk about the news.  The day that the rest of the news media admits to the same will be a fine day, indeed.

Break was wonderful.  I relazed with my family, and got just to the point that they were on my nerves.  That’s when I know it’s home.  It’s not hunky-dory everything’s perfect.  We’re living life and getting along.  It almost felt good to get fussed at for being messy, becuase that means it’s my parents.  I also had a chance to spend time with my grandpa.  It was really the first siginifcant time we’ve spent since he had his surgery.  Ryan and he and I went out and played “horse” around the basketball court.  This was a big deal, because we hadn’t done that since I was in middle school.  When my grandpa would miss, he’d question where he would shoot a few years ago, trying to remember his sweet spot, and would say “I haven’t done this in years.”

I could have taken that as an admission of being out of basketball condition, but I think it’s best to think of it as a welcome affirmation of a fine Anderson tradition.  My heart felt big that night.

There’s other things going on, too, such as reconnecting with old friends, meeting new ones, and continuing to fall in love with God as the life tumbles along.

peace (it took me three times to write peace.  I’m exhausted.)


gcc, 79n, and me

    This weekend I went to Grove City and had a chance to see some of my pals and enjoy not doing my job.  Friends, as much as I approve Sabbath and think it’s important, I think it’s just as important on a Sabbath to get away from the city you work in.  Anyway, without realizing it, I ended up thinking about a bunch of great things, came to a realization about myself… and, ironically, I thought “my, this would make a great blog entry” more than I thought “oh, this is good stuff to know about myself”.

Don’t ever think I don’t think about you, dear blog reader.

Anyway, so driving back up 79, I started thinking about an awkward moment that occurred with some people at the Grove, and thought that some of it stemmed from insecurity.  And I started thinking where the root of insecurity comes from me.  And then it hit me all at once – for me (and I think this could be a maxim for most folks), insecurity comes mostly trying to be someone I’m not.  This seems obviously, really: when I try to be something outside of my character, it results in a lack of comfort, and really, insecurity, because how can one be comfortable with something they’re not?

So, check.  When I’m insecure, I’m trying to be something I’m not.  Then, the next question I asked myself was “well, who are you?”  This was a harder question than I thought at first.  Who am I?  What do I stand for?  We all have our general principles, but how we choose to live those out day-to-day can be in flux.

Impasse.   So, I ask myself “where do you feel most like you?  That ought to give you some sort of an idea of who you are?  Where do you feel most secure in who you are?”  And as I thought, I realized that it was when I’m with my friends and students here at Gannon.  It’s where I feel most like myself.  Sitting with my buddies, drinking coffee, talking about important things, enjoying each other’s company.  I make people laugh.  I make them happy.  I care deeply and don’t judge.  I have fun.  And I don’t try, it just happens.  Life just occurs, and I take it for what it is.  And I genuinely love the people I’m around, with all their faults and issues.  It’s not to say I wasn’t doing it that before I came here, but I do here in much greater amounts.  Like all the time.

This made a lot of sense then, because when I was at GCC, I wasn’t necessarily trying too hard to be that guy, especially in that moment I felt insecure and awkward.  In fact, I felt quite the opposite: self-serving, gunning for what I wanted at the expense of someone else.  It didn’t feel right.  Sure, it was one brief moment, but it meant something to me.  It meant more because at the time, it was the cool thing to do with my buddies.  We’d all joked about the situation and said “oh yeah, go for it”.

Anyway, I came to the final realization that even if it’s unpopular, I have to just be who I am.  You’d think I would know that by this point, but the distance between knowledge and praxis is immense.

So, students and staff here at Gannon, rest assured that you know me in a way that is the most authentic to who I am, which was a process of 23 years of trying to understand what that was.  You reap (hopefully) benefits of me being an idiot, figuring out why, and praying I wouldn’t be that idiot again.  The best part is that I have many more years to figure these things out.  Let me tell you too, it’s the best way to spend the drive up 79 alone.

much peace.

to me you are perfect

From here on out, for my little graphic, I’m going to use drawings. They’re great.

Anyway… I’m copying another blog article, and providing the link. I’d love to hear thoughts. As a Christian, I don’t disagree with some of the accusations, but what does a Christian say without sounding cliche, and engaging in the age-old apologetic logic roundabout? Let me know.

One of the pet hates of most atheists is religious people preaching. Let me clarify a little. I hate it when those stinking bible-bashers can’t help but push their beliefs on to me. Although I have some experience of being Koran (never Tanakh) bashed, the evangelical Christians in the good ol’ US of A are the major problem.

born again

Let me just explain to all those who have been lucky enough to avoid these turkeys. They are all around you:

Consider an innocent atheist, run of the mill Christian or some other normal person is browsing the Internet. He stumbles across a website with some bland newsy name, and decides to read a couple of stories. It is like an alternate Universe! Iraq is going well, apparently. The country is dangerously overflowing with Muslims, illegal immigrants, democrats and Halloween costumes that are becoming “too sexy”. Don’t be fooled! This is one of the conservative, evangelical Christian propaganda “news” websites.

Then you go into a chat room or forum, and they are there as well. Quoting Bible verses, telling you to end your “life of sin”. Then you have Bible-bashers at the door, on TV, on the radio, in the government…

And there are even people with the mission to seek and convert every single person in the world. They just can’t resist. Look at this and this and tell me they don’t make you feel a little disgusted. These people are systematically converting the entire world.

It’s not only that they get on my nerves. It’s that these people are so tied up in their own beliefs that are willing to do morally reprehensible things to force them on anyone they can. Yes, I believe it is morally reprehensible to seek and convert people in developing countries. Obviously these people think they are doing the right thing. But they part of something bigger. A large-scale brainwashing is taking place, deadening the brains of all who are targeted, turning them all into conservative, hate filled Republicans.

cartoon anti-christian

I am not preaching atheism! This is not a hypocritical post.