This is a really good talk. But it’s also Jordan Peterson, so that’s no surprise.
When I ignore what I’m told, and “nerd out”, I’m much happier, and my work is better. I hope I can retain this confidence to “choose my words carefully”, and be “overly descriptive”, because it actually makes me happy. With that being said, here’s the topic that I wish to discuss using said hope.
I can’t stand action movies because of their improbability, especially considering the sheer number of action movies out there.
I get that art is a “heightened” sense of reality, but come on now…
The “explosions” are so saturated in film that I am uninterested in them. “Oh, would you look at that. Yet another explosion. How original.” I suppose I’m an idiot, because I’m superficially talking about explosions in movies instead of stories in movies. But I’m not much of a “movie” person (I guess because of all of the EXPLOSIONS).
It’s the same thing with shootings in movies. Most of the bullets miss. I already know this “going in”. I can’t suspend my disbelief enough to care about the “inherent danger” of those in the bullets’ path.
I feel the same way (most of the time) with “good guys” and “bad guys”. I expect the good guys to win. I can’t believe that the bad guy is any real danger because I’m certain he’s going to lose. I prefer the “bad guy” to win at the end because it is an unexpected suckerpunch. It’s kind of like watching a sporting event where the “underdog” loses. Most people want to see the underdog “win”. But in movies, the “underdog” is the villain. I can’t believe that a hero in a movie is an “underdog” (even if the script tries to describe him as such) because I’m sure that he’s going to win. The villain is the underdog in movies, in my mind. I usually want the villain to win. I want the unexpected, and I want to be excited and a little depressed at the end. I don’t want the telegraphed “happy ending”. There’s exceptions to this rule (usually when the movie is about a historical war), but this is generally the case for me. Movies (particularly “action” movies) are mundane to me. I need some twists that I can’t see coming. I want very little predictability (unless it makes me laugh). I think I should do some in-depth movie reviews to try to illustrate what I like and dislike about specific films I have seen to make this easier.
I’ve always been one to care more about why and how movies were made than “enjoying” movies in the typical way most people do. There, of course, have been many exceptions to this. But generally, I have always been more interested in why there was so much money involved in movies, and why and how the movies were made, as I have already said.
Almost every time I watch a movie, I try to predict what will happen. Sitting there, “waiting” for it to unfold when I already know what is going to happen is so excruciatingly boring. Why would I watch it if I know what is going to happen? It’s like a scientific experiment that has been done forever: sure, when you first have a theory, you need to test it experimentally. But expecting me to “shut up” and “just watch it” is expecting way too fucking much from me. The formula is played out, even if the details vary. I need to experience something else. I recall being younger, watching a movie in school (I forget which one), and I said “Such and such is going to happen.” I was bored to tears, and I kept doing this. Someone finally said “I know, but shut up.” This person was intently watching. Why watch if you know exactly what is going to happen? I never understood it: especially something “serious”. Romance is disgusting (of course). Action movies are boring. Comedies are good, historical movies are good. Drama is a mixed bag. Most of the time, it falls flat on its face to me. A movie like “Jack” starring Robin Williams is an example of a drama done really fucking well. I cried when I first saw it as a teenager. It wasn’t cliché (it seemed very original to me, but I’m no expert). It was incredibly moving. So many dramas seem to be of the romantic variety, so perhaps that’s why I have such a problem with them. It is also just so fucking easy to become melodramatic. It is hard to create a compelling drama. And it is hard to get me to suspend my disbelief (especially with drama).
But I do enjoy the “horror” genre of movies. The more extreme, the better. Why do I get tired of explosions, but not blood? I don’t know the exact statistics, but is murder less “probabilistic” than explosions “in the real world”? Why do I care more for blood than explosions?
I should specify that I’m still not an avid “movie watcher”. I don’t gorge myself with horror films. I’m not really a “movie guy”. But when I do watch a movie, I want it to either be a comedy or a horror film. (Or a Batman film. I’ll have to leave him for another piece).
So why do I love blood in movies so much more than explosions?
I guess it’s because I enjoy purposeful, evil darkness more so than accidental explosions (even if the explosions are purposeful. I want to see some fake blood where the tone is more “dark” than “exciting”. To me, “dark” is “exciting”. “Exciting” is “boring”. It has become cliché).
Couldn’t it be said that murder is also cliché and boring? How many stabs and slashes can you watch? Once again, I repeat, I’m not a big “movie guy”, but murder films are more refreshing to me (believe it or not) than “The good guys always win and the horror doesn’t even look that bad” films. A guy robbed a bank. Who cares? Why should I be invested? Does he have a hostage? How bad does he treat the hostage? A “bad guy” is selling drugs. Who cares? I want his reason for being bad to be almost incomprehensible. Why does he kill? He just does. Or something traumatizing happened to him. I don’t want it to make any sense. Money makes too much sense to me. If a villain is going to be a villain because of money, he needs to be a really fucking brutal villain for me to care. (Color is also a big deal to me. I want everything to look dark and dirty: not bright and flashy).
If people are racing in a movie, and there’s an explosion (or a chase scene leading to the same thing), the “accident” doesn’t feel real to me because I know it was scripted. There’s just a certain tone that movies have to have for me to like them. A guy walking away from an explosion in slow-motion while rock music plays makes me want to blow my brains out. It is possible that I found the character compelling before that moment, in which case, his previous circumstances may make his “badassery” interesting. But I hate explosions for their own sake. I just, more often than not, can’t find explosions compelling. It depends on the characters and the tone of the film, but most of the time, it feels like explosions are the reasons why movies are created. “People are gonna pay to watch shit blow up. Nothing else matters, but let’s have some really fucking fast cars in there as well. We need to have something to happen in between the explosions, and people expect to see a movie that’s at least an hour and a half, so let’s make it happen!” I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I get the sense that so many movies revolve around explosions, and I find that quite lazy. Once again, I’m probably wrong, because I don’t watch a lot of movies, but that’s just my impression of them. There probably needs to be some parody involved if I’m going to care about explosions. Or, ironically enough, some drama surrounding them. Not action. I’m fucking tired of “action”.
When I first saw the movie “Atomic Twister” as a young teen, I was hooked. The idea of a tornado hitting a nuclear power plant was fucking terrifying to me. That was, really, all I needed: the fact that it could be real, and be really devastating. And it was original: sure, there’s the movie “Twister”. But this was “Atomic Twister” (lol). Yes, I was younger, and I know this affected my perception of the movie. But it wasn’t “Cars drive real fast – anti-hero – drugs are involved – bang-bang shoot ’em up” movie. Most of those make me want to fucking vomit.
However, when you have a very sadistic killer, I feel like the writer of the script is trying to understand these killers on the deepest level possible (besides going out and killing someone in real life), and that attempt to connect humanely with something so inhumane is appealing to me. “Why does he kill?” “No one knows.” That is a compelling story to me.
When you can move past the fear (at least the nearly-religious fear of being so afraid of it that you ignore it and try to get away from it as much as possible, including not attempting to empathize with it in any way to humanize it), it becomes a deep, heartfelt, gut-wrenching journey between trying to relate to those so despicable. It is, in my opinion, one of the most humane things one can do. If you can try to understand a serial killer, even if you are trying to empathize with someone who has no empathy (which may or may not be possible: topic for another time), to me, that’s as empathetic as you can get. It may or may not be possible, and I certainly wouldn’t say that you should go out and kill people to know what it feels like, but all the same, I think that, at least for me, and through art, connecting to that type of human is exciting. Conflict is extremely important when it comes to art and storytelling, and there is no greater conflict (in my opinion) than extreme life and death; peace and suffering; humanity and complete evil in human form (which, it could be argued, isn’t even human AT ALL. A very interesting discussion).
All I can think of, when real tragedies happen, is sadness. And I try to move on from them quickly, and I don’t try to waste my time trying to understand it, because I don’t think that I could.
But through art, I believe that one can empathize, ponder, and try to relate to these (as they are called) “monsters” in that way that is less angry at their actions (which is understandable), and turn that into tragedy, in trying to understand why they did it, and, perhaps, forgive them for it. It’s a great philosophical topic to think about: empathizing with the unempathetic. It’s too complicated for me to analyze it here, but there’s a deep part of me that wishes to understand human-created horror (I don’t think I’m any different from anyone else in that regard), and I think that the type of art that I create is my way of doing that. I don’t know for a fact if this is correct, but it certainly feels that way…
Also, I think another reason (a potentially BIG reason) that I am “obsessed” with “offensive“, “violent” art has to do with the fear of being one myself, which, no doubt, was greatly influenced by religious preachings of wariness, lest we sin every possible sin, and become a murdering, incestuous, raping, homosexual thief…
I, also, feel the same way about choreographed fighting as I do explosions. I get that to people that enjoy these types of movies, they are some of the more “exciting” parts of these movies. But choreographed fighting (usually) bores me. No one takes a good, solid hit for the first five minutes of fighting (both sides block every blow, or the strikes just completely whiff), and then either the good guy or bad guy gets hurt. They stop, look at their wound. If it’s the bad guy, he gets more angry than he was before, and the good guy can barely defend himself from it. If it is the good guy, the movie makes you think he’s going to lose. But, by some miracle (either from a compromised structure due to earlier in the film, or another character, or whatever), the good guy wins. I know it sounds like I’m always against good guys winning. (Most of the time, I am). But I want the good guy to be compelling to me. Most of the time, this just isn’t the case. I’m rarely invested in the story, because I’m not a “movie” guy. “Dur, then why are you writing about movies, huh?”
I also want to bring up one more aspect of acting in general: dialogue. Maybe I’m being overly-critical here, but the way dialogue is delivered today drives me mad. Cop shows on television are fucking terrible for it. Detective walks in, almost power-walking, throws a folder down on the counter of the “main guy in charge” talking in this low “serious” voice. A question is asked. The dialogue is delivered in the same monotone voice. Guy asks another question. Detective asks a question back in a higher tone. Lead guy answers with a “Well blah blah blah blah.” I can’t fucking take it. I can’t fucking sit through that shit. (The only exception to this was “House”. It was a “detective” show, but it wasn’t a “cop” show. House was a very interesting character. The formula worked for that show. It was like they combined a detective show with a hospital show. It was quite original, and very well done). I have problems with dialogue in action movies, too. They just don’t sell me. I’m not buying into them. Once again, admittedly, I’m not a “movie” guy. But it’s not like a movie or a show can’t capture me. Most of them just don’t, though. The formula is played out. The tones of dialogue are so predictable (as is almost everything else about the movies) that I can’t bring myself to watch them. But, they sell well.
I enjoy movies that are a little weird. A movie like “Teeth”, for instance. A vagina with teeth. Fucking beautiful. Hilarious. Now that is original. It’s got comedy and horror: two of my favorite things.
“Rubber”. A fucking tire that blows shit up. It’s so dumb, and that’s why I love it so much. It’s so “absurd”: “out there”. I find that refreshing. I don’t need to find it believable, or emotional. Give me dumb, but give me original. I think that’s what I enjoy the most about movies.
“Human Centipede”. Need I say more? A fucking hilarious horror movie. My only problem with the movie was the main villain, believe it or not. I enjoyed what he did, but I didn’t enjoy his personality. He came across as a little cheesy to me. I guess I wanted him to come across a little more like Jason, or Jigsaw.
One of my favorite movies of all time (and I’m not joking): “The Descent”. I know that is going to sound weird to pretty much everyone. “I can tell you really haven’t seen a lot of movies, Cody.” The whole setting in that movie was wonderful to me. There’s a real terror involved: what if you do get fucking lost in this cave? What if you can’t get out? I found it very compelling. The bullshit at the end was funny and cheesy, but I was emotionally invested before that.
I want my movies to be a little bit weird. A little bit “off-kilter”. Once again, I’d like to write some movie and show reviews. Some reviews of movies I watched a long time ago. Same with television shows. I’d like to even do the same thing with some books, eventually.
I’m not going to claim that any of my reviews are “objective” in any way, and, of course, you have the right to disagree with everything I say about any review. I’m not claiming that “I’m right and you’re wrong”: I’m just writing my opinions.
If the process of growing up has taught me anything, it is that individuals must live their own lives, with their own feelings, and experience the world in their own ways, make their own mistakes, and pursue their own passions.
I was introduced to the concept of “evil” at a very young age. It was introduced to me through religious conservatism, as well as through television news. Both were saturated with incessant talk of evil things that people were doing all around the world. When my religion taught me that I was evil, when I watched “the news”, I equated my evil with their evil. I equated myself to the murderers on the television, even though I hadn’t killed anyone. If we’re all lost as sinners, then who cares about comparisons?
Just thinking about evil is exhausting. There is no way to create a perfect man. How do we “measure” ourselves as good? Or, better yet, is there value in measuring how “good” we are?
In the past, I would’ve said “Yes”. I measured my good (as well as the good of the whole world) to see who among us, including myself, was going to Heaven. But I never knew what that amount of good needed to get into Heaven was. But I measured away anyway, completely dissatisfied, as the only result I came up with was that “None of us are good enough.”
Well, my religious beliefs have changed over time. And so have my ideas about “good”. But evil still bugs me. I still notice it everywhere. I seem to notice it all of the time. I don’t think it is really possible to ignore it. Throughout the day, I think everyone will, at least one time throughout that day, say “Damn. That isn’t right.” Evil is simply too prevalent to ignore. Sure, when we’re playing with our kids, or reading a book, we aren’t thinking about someone getting raped or murdered in the world. But surely it’s happening. There will be no “end” to it until we die.
Since none of us are sure when we are going to die, and surely we don’t want to think about death constantly, what do we have to look forward to? Why does “looking forward” matter? What do we have but to “look forward”? We look forward as well as looking back. We pleasantly reminisce about the past, while being thankful for getting passed the negative times. We dread the future, while looking forward to what we believe we will enjoy about it. There’s no “constant settling point” with regards to the past and the future (besides the fact that we are alive in the present). There’s no “perspective” that ultimately takes precedent. The past, the present, and the future engage all of our minds. But there’s something special to be said about “moving on”. To hoping. And to just being thankful. You can’t be thankful for anything when your whole life is spent anxiously lamenting and condemning the lack of perfection in the present. Sadly, even this can be taken over by anxiety. There’s nothing that anxiety can’t ruin. It’s a shame.
I should state that, once again, I’m not against lamentation completely. Of course, I’m not completely (there’s that word again) against anxiety. Both serve important functions. But there’s a difference between compassionately bringing up a serious subject that needs attention, and being an asshole about it that no one wants to listen to (being an asshole, I should know this). The latter ultimately boils down to a fear of the lack of “perfection”. I think, ultimately, the motivation comes into play, as well as the “soundness” of one’s argument when one brings up an issue. Is it objectively an issue? That should be argued. After that, why are you bringing up the issue? That should be discussed as well. After those are discussed, it can then be determined whether or not the issue being put on the table is worth “tackling”. Even with this, there will, ultimately, be breakdowns in communication, as ends will conflict with ends, means will conflict with means, etc.
My solution to this is: do what you want. If you want to argue, then argue. If you don’t, then don’t. One can try to bring to the attention of others as many wrongdoings as one can. My measurement is “However many one wants to”. Does it bring you some sense of joy to bring a problem to light? Do you receive something from it psychologically? If so, bring it up. But if you do not gain anything from it, I think the whole situation is fruitless. The nurse that tends to others as a “duty” without getting any pleasure from caring for others is missing the point of her helping others. Of course, they are being helped. That’s important. But the issue is: why wouldn’t that bring one joy? That is the even deeper issue at hand. If one is compassionate, wouldn’t helping others out bring that person joy? (Personal Happiness as a Virtue).
I’m not being stabbed right now. That’s a good thing. I focus on doing things in the present. And that’s what we all do. We all go through our day, working our jobs, reading books, doing a whole range of actions without thinking of the people getting violently attacked throughout the world.
Many would see this as a bad thing. Many people spend their whole lives pointing out these wrongs. Indeed, I would have to say I’m included among these “Hey, this is bad” pointer-outers. Should it not be the case that each and every single one of us should point out each and every single wrongdoing that we are aware of constantly? Wouldn’t this be a good thing?
In the first place, most “moral” ideas never take into account man’s limited nature. Man has to sleep. Poop. I’m not going to be able to help a man getting stabbed while I’m asleep. Nor when I’m pooping. What if the murder is happening hundreds, if not thousands of miles away? What if I have to poop? Not only that, but even if I didn’t have to poop, am I really to fly all the way around the world, only to risk my own life to save someone else? I’d certainly find it noble if someone decided to do that themselves. But should I do it for the “overall good”?
I have reasons for not flying to Africa to help out, for example, someone getting murdered, or for not flying anywhere to help out anyone suffering any kind of injustice. Why? Well, I don’t want to spend the money on a plane ticket. Nor drive to the airport. Figure out where I’m going to stay once I got to wherever I was going. Not to mention, I’d, more than likely, be putting myself in danger. What if I, for example, get kidnapped? Who will help me? My point is that when it comes to “good” and “action”, there has to be some other way to think about it besides the “perfection” attitude: that everyone must spend all of their time and energy to combating every injustice in the world all at once until every justice is eliminated. That is impossible. But, more importantly, I don’t want to do it.
This, of course, does not mean that I am completely against helping out people in need. I, personally, am not going to go out of my way to search for people in need (I commend those that do), but if I see someone get hit by a car, I’d, of course, have no problem with dialing 911. It isn’t that I’m against any person receiving help at all, but I am against an attitude of “moral perfection”. Words like “perfect”, “complete”, etc., really can’t be applied to humans; especially when “good” is involved (this, of course, does not mean that punishment should never happen).
I learned a long time ago that nobody is perfect (I don’t think I learned it in a particularly healthy way). But I was asked “WWJD (What would Jesus do?)” I was taught that I should live a “Godly” life. I spent much of my life being worried over “doing enough.” But enough is enough.
There comes a point when we have to accept our own limitations. I certainly don’t ever think we should say “Welp, that man raped that lady and stole her purse. Oh well. What are ya gonna do.” In an immediate circumstance, when one becomes aware of a wrong, it is certainly commendable to try to “right” the wrong. And there’s various different ways to go about trying to “right a wrong”. But the key to this and what I mentioned earlier is anxiety. Anxiety relating to “perfection”. Of course, it is perfectly natural to feel anxious if one witnesses an attack. But why do you feel anxious? You feel anxious for your own safety, anxious about the health of the one attacked, anxious about the safety of anyone else that may happen to run into the attacker, etc. Anxiety isn’t the problem, but why are we anxious, and what are we anxious about?
“Moralistically”, “good” must be done because one is unsettled by the lack of perfection or perfect good. Any philosophical axiom based on “perfection” must be rejected. We are not God. We don’t have the strength of Superman, the speed of The Flash, etc. Perfection is a destructive goal. It becomes counter-productive. The purpose of doing good is that…well, it is just good. It spreads good will throughout humanity. Compassion is natural and genuine. But the idea of “perfection” waters down “compassion”. Imagine you are a nurse. There are one-hundred seriously injured people under your care, all wailing out in immense pain. “Good perfection”, besides being the case in one definition that no one would ever suffer anything negative ever, would require you to be able to at least completely alleviate the pain of all one-hundred patients instantaneously. This simply isn’t possible. The “ultimate good” would be that no one ever experience pain. The “perfectly good” action would be helping everyone at the same time. But these are, quite obviously, impossible. Striving towards an impossible goal is pointless. Life is not about “the struggle”. “The struggle” just exists: we don’t have to manufacture it. In fact, our whole lives are spent alleviating “the struggle”. If “the struggle” is such a noble idea, why do we all spend so much time trying to relieve ourselves from it? We naturally hate our human condition. Conservatives exacerbate this problem by perverting the human condition, and telling us that we must enjoy it: that God is “testing our faith”, and that we should “be thankful for it”. That our suffering gives us credit that we later redeem to God when we die to get into Heaven. (In addition, according to these same conservatives, there’s a billion little things that will take away this “credit”. I think the fact that we all naturally hate “the human condition” says a lot about these perverted conservatives). Liberals exacerbate the problem of the human condition by striving for perfection to pursue the good. They equate compassion with perfection: if we don’t spend every hour of every day fighting poverty, rape, and racism, then we aren’t doing enough good. And, once again, “enough” is only a complete elimination of poverty, rape, and racism.
The problem, once again, is one of “perfection”, or “the perfect good”. “Perfection”, “completeness”, etc., are words that should not be part of one’s ethical vocabulary. One can never be “completely good”, or “perfect”. “Good”, “helpful” action should never be based on perfection, but should rather be accepted as they are: as “good”, and as “helpful”. One man being saved from starvation is good, even if there are countless others that are, at the same time, not being saved from starvation. We must not lose sight of “the good” simply because we can never achieve “perfection”.
Of course, it is true that, in the Christian belief, perfection is required to be saved from eternal damnation. But it is also true that, in the Christian belief, Christ died as a forgiveness of sins as this perfect requirement. That is Christianity. Christianity is “Perfection is required. Welp, here you go. With love.” That’s it. That’s the “extent” of the “perfection”. A nurse can’t alleviate the severe pain of one-hundred patients simultaneously. I suppose God could. But what if He doesn’t? What is the nurse to do? Should she sit around “believing” that she can simultaneously alleviate the pain of all at once? Or should she focus on each patient, one at a time, doing what she can with compassion?
The thing “to do” is what you want. Eat what you want, read what you want, do what you want. If you want to do evil (besides the fact that you’d do it whether or not you had my approval, or anyone else’s), people are going to want to bring you to justice. I think that is the ultimate point of all of this. Expecting everyone to be a sheriff, an executioner, etc., is impossible nonsense. It is an impossible “moral” goal. Someone will want to bring murderers to justice. Someone will want to be a nurse. The key word is “want”. People’s wants will find a way to meet people’s needs; whether people “want” to get paid, or “need” medical care, things find a way to get done. Never perfectly, nor completely, but they happen enough to be significant enough to garner well-deserved positive attention.
This diversity of values truly is a testament to how peaceful coexistence can happen at all. We’ll go back and forth, arguing over how to increase “the good” and decrease “the bad”, but a perfect, complete elimination of “the bad” will never work.
True compassion does not need an anxious duty to ignite action.
“Perfect love casts out fear.”
If Christ has forgiven a variety of sinners of all different kinds of sins, I have to believe that murder and rape are included in these sins that are forgiven. That’s a really deep statement. I don’t recall a provision where murder, or rape, or any sin was deemed “unforgivable”. Perhaps I’m missing one. I seem to recall something about “unbelief” being the only “unforgivable” sin. But the thought of murderers and rapists being in Heaven is quite a profound statement. Statements like that help one truly grasp the nature of God’s forgiveness through Christ.
Some may see that as weakness on the part of the Lord, but let’s not forget about Hell. Of course, there will be those that will be punished. But that suffering would affect us all if we went there, regardless of what our sins were. “How do you think we’d feel if we were murdered? Or if one of our loved ones were?” Believe me, I completely understand your point. But hear me out. According to the Bible, all deserve eternal suffering, whether or not one ever murders. That’s quite interesting, isn’t it? Surely a murderer deserves Hell more than, say, an atheist, correct? But aren’t both classified as “sins” according to the Bible? That’s interesting. Does Hell have “layers”, such as in “Dante’s Inferno”? I haven’t read enough on the Bible to develop an opinion regarding how Hell is structured. I’m sure someone could send me verses to enlighten me on that fact.
Does the fact that we all justly deserve Hell make our suffering more “manageable” to us if we were to go there? Surely it’s “Hell” for a reason. Surely “Hell” means something. It means eternal suffering, correct? Well, regardless of one’s sins, I have to feel some sympathy for anyone that ends up in Hell. I don’t see how one could truly not feel sympathy for that person. According to my clearly amateurish understanding of Hell, it’s too horrific for there to not be sympathy felt. It truly shows the tragedy of evil. We all end up losing because of it.
I think it shows that we all share a common humanity as well. It shows empathy: we all deserve Hell, but none of us want to go there. I think that truly says something about humanity and love, even if some of us do murder. Clearly, murder should be dealt with. On Earth, it makes sense that murderers should be stopped when they murder, whether through imprisonment or death. An eye for an eye, afterall, is the ultimate sign of “justice“. It’s much harder to truly condemn someone to Hell in your mind when you realize that everyone justly deserves it. It makes you realize that God has forgiven you, and that even the perpetuators of the worst crimes imaginable can receive sympathy. They do deserve to come to justice, but there’s certainly a tragic element involved from multiple standpoints. The most obvious (and deserving) tragic elements are the people upon whom the crimes are committed. Then, it follows that their loved ones deserve sympathy (and even the loved ones of the criminal). But it is, understandably so, much harder to proclaim that the criminals deserve sympathy. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be overwhelmed with a desire to kill an innocent person, but I realize that people like that exist. It makes me sad. I just feel sad about the whole situation. It is hard for me to be angry at the murderer. I completely understand the justified anger that people feel, but I myself feel more sad than angry.
It would make more sense if, say, only murderers went to Hell. That would make the concept of “Hell” an easier pill to swallow. But even if Hell was occupied only by murderers, I’d still feel sad, and feel sympathy. I’d still ask “Why do they feel compelled to murder?” If one truly grows up in a violent household, it makes sense to lament at the entire situation (but, of course, not excuse the murder. It should still be dealt with). But if one grows up “normally”, but still murders, there is still a sympathy that I’d feel for the murderer. It’s the tragic “Why?” that we all have any time a situation like this occurs.
However, according to the Bible, it isn’t the case that Hell is occupied solely by murderers. It is hard to accept the scope of things that makes one a sinner in the eyes of God. Why should I be punished for Adam and Eve’s doing? I, admittedly, don’t understand the scope of God’s justice. It may be hard for people to understand why I’m saying this, but I can accept that God is, in fact, just. I don’t know how to convince anyone with “evidence”, and I’m not going to. Ridicule me as a “crazy conservative” if you must. Ultimately, I think the debate between “believers” and “non-believers” is pointless. I think “live and let live” is a much better alternative. The fact that Hell is not composed solely of murderers makes me question a lot of my views regarding ethics, justice, and forgiveness. I certainly think there is a place for justice and a place for forgiveness. It is not up to me to tell someone when they should be enraged or when they should forgive, but this is merely my perspective on the topic. I’m clearly not a “divine authority”. It’s just interesting. I’m not quite sure why I’m so sympathetic. I just always have been. It’s just who I am.
As I said, I just thought this was interesting. I’m not passing any judgment: just bringing up a point. One that I have not noticed brought up, is all.
This, of course, says a lot about religious conservatives, but that’s a topic for another time (and yes, I understand that even they can be forgiven. I used to be one of them).
I will conclude by saying, of course, murderers should not be free to murder. But the point is that God is infinite in His existence. His way of dealing with things such as murder transcends what we, as humans, are able to do. I think that is extraordinarily profound. And I thought this all worth mentioning, as evidenced by the fact that I wrote this.
I decided to write this article on a day when, no surprise, I was bored. To remedy this problem, I decided to drive to McDonald’s: my deadly way of typically dealing with boredom (not only is eating when you are bored deadly; but eating at McDonald’s? Premature death, here I come). I debated it briefly, as I know how unhealthy McDonald’s food is. And I had already eaten there the day prior. But, after a few minutes, I decided to, anyway, and left the house full of guilt.
On my way home, I contemplated my boredom. I remembered that, throughout most of my teenage years, I experienced extreme boredom, with little stimuli to remedy it. Boredom led me to start writing again after many years, back in 2012. But there are some complicated things that arose in me on that way home from McDonald’s, and I’m going to attempt to write them all out here.
After I remembered how bored I used to be, I thought of all of the different things that I am able to do today. Particularly, I enjoy writing, making Youtube videos, and writing jokes. That’s what I enjoy doing, and I dream of making money at all of these someday. But then I realized that, for some reason, I get bogged down with these things. Not bored, but just…unmotivated. Why is it that I’m not working on what I like to do? And the answer was the amount of work involved.
I come up with ideas, but rarely complete them. Coming up with a good idea is the easy part, but I’m always so unmotivated to complete them. And I don’t know why. It’s some kind of commitment issue. I realize that at the rate at which I come up with ideas, to complete them all, and as well as I would like to, would require a fulltime, life commitment to these projects. And I have always been terrified of spending too much time on one thing to the detriment of doing other things. I feel like that was taught to me at some point (and conservatism prevented me from dedicating my time to anything other than God, and that’s probably a huge part of it as well). But I’m in a constant state of boredom, and, typically, I have to rely on myself to get myself out if it. I am a consumer of the works of others, but no one can entertain me like me.
I already wrote an article about my laziness, but my laziness causes a conflict with my boredom. I said in that piece that I typically create things when I’m at my most bored. And I’ve stated that a main reason for my creativity is to entertain myself. But, I believe I’ve said before, something is missing. My work ethic and time commitment to my projects is lacking. Part of this is I like relaxing, having fun, and consuming the works of others (as long as they entertain me). But sometimes, the well runs dry, and I need to do something for myself. But I’m lazy about my work. My ideas require a lot of skills that I currently don’t have, and that’s what is most frustrating about this. I work on the simple things, which are fine. But the really good stuff is the stuff you put more work into. But that would require me knowing how to use my software editing program more than I do, which means I need to learn it, and it aggravates me to have to learn certain things that I don’t already know. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it pisses me off to be stupid, so I remain in ignorance to somehow pout? I don’t know. All I know is that I’m too lazy to learn how to do it to the level that I need to create what I want to create. But I think there’s something more to it as well.
I think a great deal of it goes back to my own personal history with religious conservatism. For some reason, I have always seen working towards a goal as something to be avoided. I think it has to do with being taught that I should focus more on Heavenly rewards, and not Earthly ones. I think I have trained myself, over the years, to hate “Earthly” rewards. And if working is what gets you those Earthly rewards, then I don’t need to work. It sounds stupid now, but I really believe that I have trained myself to do this over the years. And when I finally realized that I needed a job so that I could have money so that I could have a car, etc., I started studying economics to give myself a perspective about money that wasn’t the religious one that I had developed prior. Although I’m naturally a lazy person, religious conservatism taught me to hate working for goals (unless those goals were religiously-oriented). But now, I have so many different things that I want to do, and I need to find a way to get over this pious hump.
I realize to many people, all of this “religious conservatism” talk is gobbledy-gook. And, for your sake, that’s probably a good thing. You don’t want to be able to intimately relate to my words about religious conservatism, because all they do is stunt you, and make you feel like shit. So you aren’t fucking missing out on anything. Consider yourself blessed.
So I have this bias against completing goals. Like I said, if the goal wasn’t “God-oriented”, then it was sinful, worldly, and should be hated and condemned. I don’t believe that today, but the problem is that emotionally, I’m still stuck back in those old days. It’s similar to knowing that McDonald’s will kill me, but eating it anyway. And hating myself for it afterward. Something has to click for me to stop eating at McDonald’s. Maybe it’s a heart attack. Maybe it’s actually learning about how the body works, and ignoring my religious history with the body and medicine, which, for some stupid reason, was me repeating stupid phrases about God in an echo chamber within my head instead of intently paying attention to the body, how it works, and how to take care of it when I first learned about these things as a child. Seriously, anything “worldly” I ignored. I know that’s fucking stupid. And I know not everyone can relate to that. But fucking welcome to religious conservatism; welcome to the fear of God.
So now, I sit. Full of ideas. Videos that make me laugh, things to write. But I don’t fucking do them. Because it involves sitting and thinking; starting, elaborating, and completing. The biggest hurdle I have, in my opinion, is the religious conservative hurdle. Once again, I know not everyone can understand this. But the idea of putting so much time, energy, and passion into a project triggers my old “that’s a sin” reflex, and I have to train myself to stop doing that. Because nothing is getting done. It’s so fucking stupid. And disastrous. And I hate the conservatives that put those thoughts into my head. (Hell: maybe they were my own brand-spanking new shit ideas. I don’t know). But I have got to find a way to dedicate more time and energy into my works. I’ve got to find a way to organize all of this shit, ignore the previous religious fear, and dedicate all of the time that I want to into my works. It will typically occur when I am the most bored, but I’m tired of only skimming the surface with my work. I know I have the potential to create more work at a faster pace, and create more meaningful work. Better work. I know it’s in me. And it’s going to take a lot of work to get it out of me. But I fucking want it. And I need to find my own, healthy perspective about my work, so that I have goals in mind, and can work towards them. This is going to take some time, as unraveling prior shitty thoughts is always hard (I think of poor people raised in an Islamic world, and realize that they have, perhaps, a harder time than anyone unraveling the shit taught to them, as they are taught violence to a degree unlike anyone else in the world: absolutely senseless, deplorable violence). But I want to dedicate my life to writing, and comedy. I really do. Of course, 10 years from now, I could change my mind. But right now, all I want to do is write, and make myself laugh. That’s it. And I’m fucking tired of not doing it.
As I have always said, I need more practice sitting, thinking, organizing, and I need to find a way to dedicate myself to all of this full time, so I can get it all done, and so I can stop being so fucking bored and miserable all of the time, because this is the shit that makes me happy.
I don’t have anything to add about getting paid for all of this garbage at the moment. Although, I think there is a part of me that gets discouraged that my work is not as popular as is my goal to make it (only for financial purposes), and that prevents me from working as fast or as hard. But that’s a topic for another piece.
I’ve got a whole life of work ahead of me, and I need to figure out how to actually fucking do it……
This is a pretty fucked up poem.
violence from the hands of sensual fingertips.
from a dark force originating from some mysterious source.
only for a moment, while the victim screams in vain.
another misread signal where infatuation creates despise.
to be so damn delusional can only be described as “Hell”.
what kind of fate awaits her, only the serial killer knows.
the serial killer sees them as his ultimate prize.
they look upon him; their repulsion makes him want to kill.
he has to murder quickly; he doesn’t want to be too late.
set of baby blues shifts his heart to kill and plunder.
living a lonesome life, where the carcasses are a-plenty.
it makes the reader fear if the violence is within you.
only when the life of the serial killer is done.
I realize this is a very odd question for me to ask (most of them are), but it’s nonetheless a question that I feel like asking at the moment.
Actually, it’s a question that I have asked myself ever since I was a child.
I was raised a Free Will Baptist. I know that many people who share that religious experience had more negative experiences than mine, but many of mine were detrimental to my health nonetheless. But, despite that religious upbringing, I was still a naturally compassionate person. I didn’t need religion to tell me to be compassionate. Which is what confused me when I was first introduced to the concept.
You see, like I said, I was naturally a compassionate person when I was a child. I really cared about others. I especially cared for those that I felt were “disadvantaged” compared to me. And this is still painfully true today (I’m just more outspoken than I used to be). But when I became introduced to religion, I began to ask myself “Why am I not a murderer? Why am I not a thief?”
This is important because like I said, I was compassionate. I didn’t have a desire to murder or steal. But yet, I began to worry over them. Isn’t it odd to worry about doing what you don’t do and don’t want to do? Well, ladies and gentlemen, that is religion.
I became consumed with evil. It occupied my mind. I thought, day and night, about “horrible” people. The miscreants of society. The unforgivable. My compassionate nature kicked in, and I asked myself “Why am I not as bad as them?”
Religion introduced me to the horrors of the world (that and news). They showed me how bad man can be (and religion told me that I was the one who was bad). They gave me an image of the world that the world was a dark, unforgiving place, where monsters ruled, and the only salvation was asking Jesus into your heart.
A little later on, some other circumstances solidified my negative outlook on life. And the only thing that restored my sanity was comedy. My negative outlook and sense of humor are still who I am today, and I don’t think that will ever change (for better or for worse). But I developed a deep sympathy for those who were lost: those who murdered. My heart went out to them deeply. I couldn’t understand it. I didn’t want to hate them, because everyone was hating them. I wanted to understand, and I just couldn’t. So I just felt sad. I just felt helpless. I couldn’t help anyone. I wanted to help the murderer, but everyone else wanted justice. I can’t say that they are wrong. But I’ve often felt in a minority about this subject.
To this day, I still wonder about blessings and curses; peaceful people and violent people; healthy people and unhealthy people. The inequality is really hard to bear. Sure, people make choices. But why do some choose violence? It’s the question that will bug us all for all eternity, no doubt.
But, why am I not violent? Why don’t I desire to kill? I think this question comes from a “Christ-like” attitude: taking on the sins of others upon myself. Making myself relate to someone who is in desperate need of help. Trying to empathize with the lost, and sympathize with them because that’s what I want to do. I want to love, and help. But sometimes, you lose. You have to cut your losses. And that fact slapped me across the face harder than a domestic abuser.
So around this time, as I said, my natural empathy mixed with shitty religion for a terrible concoction. Fear was introduced in my life, and so was depression (but depression was caused by other factors as well). The religion took over my empathy, and left me with fear. Just the constant fear that at any moment, I would be cast into Hell. God damn that fear… I can probably say that’s the one thing that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I may say “I hope you get cancer”, or “burn in Hell”, but I don’t think I could ever spitefully say “I hope you fear going to Hell”…(I shudder at those that feel like they are saying that “compassionately”…)
Religion fucked up my life. And I’m still fixing it. I still struggle with accepting sexual feelings, and just having a good life-perspective in general. So much of religion is about hating people (at least the way I received the message): hate the sinner, hate the sin, condemn, condemn condemn. And you don’t learn a goddamn thing when you do it. I’m so fucking ignorant because of that attitude, and I am depressed because of it. I am not as smart as I could’ve been, and I can only lament. My sexual pleasure was reduced because of religion. A large percentage of my childhood was spent in fear because of religion. My perspectives regarding women, and relationships, and romance…all fucked up because of religion. And my heart can only lament…
I am confident that this will continue to change, however. It’s just a matter of having it unravel one little step at a time, which I’m eternally grateful for.
I can only hope that God will continue to grace me with positive feelings, and help me experience this life the way He originally intended. I hope to separate my mind away from the old religion, and experience sexual feelings, romance, and a world perspective, that was originally intended.
I still will have many hurdles along the way, many of which I can’t even think of at the moment, but I’m confident that God will continue to send me along this good path.
Now if only He can send me a good woman, some good pussy, and the desire to keep her along for the ride with me, I think I’ll be set…