RantFever 4

I pontificate but not in the pejorative sense of the word.

Archive of Rant Fever 3, 2, 1, & Beta

Posts in January 2004

A Classic On Love

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-10 00:00:00
Love. Ahh, love. How sweet. How effervescent. How incomprehensible. I mean, really. Come on! Is this stuff for real? What are we talking about anyway? Love. I laugh out loud. What do you think of that?! Today, while watching a movie at a very late hour, I heard one of the characters (in said movie) actually say that love was just some thing to perpetuate the species. Ha. I laugh again. There is no way I believe that. Love has nothing to do with the perpetuation of any species. As a matter of fact, sometimes I have a difficult time characterizing its overall importance in the realm of human need (you know, within the context of survival). Oops. Did I actually write that? I pray I do not offend. But, seriously, love is illusory. Think about it. When was the last time you were in love? Hold on, first tell me if you are in love right now (slow down, this is assuredly rhetorical -- there is no need to tell me your deepest emotions, I'm just trying to make a point). So, if you are currently in love, please think on how you were before you "fell" in love. If you are not, currently, in love, think of the last time you were in love. If you have *never* been in love, skip this section, because it will mean little to you. Now that we have everything straight in our collective heads, compare the two time periods. When you are not in love, you feel just fine. When you are, you feel like you can't live without it. What the heck is that about? I mean, you show me someone that's in love, and I'll show you someone dependent on love for emotional gratification. That makes no sense. Its like drugs. Crazy, stupid, illicit, highly addictive chemical stimulants that should never enter one's system. That being said, permit me, in a very un-sophistic manner, take the opposing side. I think that love is necessary. Its what separates us from the beasts. Our capacity to care. Its a beautiful thing. Its beautiful only because of how it makes us feel. Thus, it is not an altruistic act. Uh oh, I may have gone pessimistic again. Forgive me, its just a rant. Before I conclude this little spiel, let me just say, without any reasoning or defence, that love, like any and all other emotions, is completely controllable. That's right. I said it. No one really "falls" in love. You choose to be in love or not. In the words of a very good friend of mine, "you have to be completely responsible for your feelings." Wiser words are seldom spoken.

Conservatism vs. Liberalism

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-02 00:00:00
Recently I heard a person comment on the political polarization of America. The commentator argued that the two major political schools of thought are so opposed recently that people are losing friendships over their ideologies. I think that is one of the saddest things I have ever heard. I suppose it is true that Conservative and liberal thought are antipodes, and I suppose that the two tend to always go for each others' throats, politically speaking. But, why in the world do we fight ourselves so ferociously so much. My thought is this: We want to fight, fight, fight, but contention is bad, bad, bad. There is, to me, little point in fighting. In general, little comes of it. Even if you win, do you really win? All I'm saying is that if you destroy a thing but do not destroy the ideology or belief that created the thing, you do not destroy anything. If you tear down a building you will have rubble, and the building will come back again and again until the faith that went into the edification of that building is exhausted as well. So, politically, you 'fight the fights that you can win', or you 'fight the fights that need fighting,' but you never really win. There is always a dichotomy, a clear, demarcating line in the sand dividing the beloved and adored donkey and elephant. I think there is a better way. A way in which everyone wins. I'm thinking of Gandhi and his efforts in South Africa. Now, there was a man who brought about real change! Granted, our situation is not so dire, but some of Gandhi's principles could go a long way to saving some friendships in America. Do we really want to be divided? Why don't we try some comprehension and empathy instead of screaming and violence? Who's right and who's wrong, anyway? Can anyone really say? Perhaps, but it is also true that half of what we believe politically is completely relative. This political relativism is based on perspective. What your point-of-view is determines what you see. For example, if you hold a pebble up to your eye, it can be as big as the world. If, however, you place the pebble on the ground and take a step back, you get a whole different idea of the size of the pebble. Perspective is perception and perception is often reality. But, if you can change your perspective and thus your perception as well, you might find you have more in common with the opposite side than you think. Some of my best friends don't see eye-to-eye with me politically, yet we have cultivated amiability. It is far from impossible and worth the effort, for there is strength in numbers and in numbers we can hold each other up. Perhaps that old American adage is most accurate: "United we stand."

Dating

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
Enough of the serious and on to the very serious. These sections are, well, they are what they are. I say that dating is a game. Period. Now, you can play the game or not -- it's up to you. Perhaps you don't like that I say it's a game. Well, oh well. You see, it's all about what you want from the game. Maybe you are looking for something serious. Maybe all you want is action. It doesn't matter. It's still a game. You win the game when you get what you want.

Slow down. I'm not saying that there has to be a loser or that you lose if you don't get what you want. I am saying that you are out to get what you want. That being said, You "play" to win. You do what you have to do. I am a firm believer that all is fair in love and war. And dating is war. It is a delicate dance, that, when done correctly, can be satisfying to all involved. It can also be devastating. There are no rules, but it is nice if you play nice.

The -M- Word

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
So you know, I am not looking to get married, but did you know that over half of all marriages end in divorce. It wouldn't matter so much, I think, if couples never had children. But when you have a family, a divorce destroys it completely. The effects are felt for generations. You might think it isn't true, but it is. The effects of a divorce are felt for generations. It is bad news. Everyone always applauds the single parent. It is no achievement to be a single parent. Yes, you have to work twice as hard, but nothing can make up for the loss. I don't care what you say. Nothing. On the other hand, when marriage works, there is nothing greater. A marriage is synergetic. "Sure," you say, "he throws all these en vogue 'catch-phrases' at us that don't really mean anything." Well, usually, when corporate big-wigs use the word synergy, it doesn't mean anything. But when I say it, its because I mean it. For those of us who don't understand what I mean, its like this. A single board of wood can hold (for the sake of argument) 100 pounds. If you put two identical boards together, logic dictates that they can hold 200 pounds. However, it is not true. The two boards together can actually hold 500 pounds. The whole is much greater than the parts. Together, their ability is magnified and multiplied. "Synergy" is a great description of a working marriage. My last question is rhetorical and sincere. Marriage is great and all, but how do you know if you've found the right person to marry?

The Whole Point

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
There is only one point to having a relationship. The point to a relationship is sex. That's right, I said it. Sex. That is the reason that men and women get together. (incidentally, that is also the reason for homosexuality, but I am not talking about that right now) Oh, quit screaming at me, I will explain myself. Ultimately, we (that is, you and I) are animals. We are governed by instinct and nature. Darwinian science tells us (and it makes great sense) that, as animals, our prime motive is to perpetuate the species. Thus, we are built with this giant drive to mate. Our urges help us survive because a direct result of our mating is offspring. So, the natural end to all relationships is a family. That is how we are designed. So, if you are not doing it, you are only postponing it. And that's okay, because in addition to being driven sexually we are also driven emotionally. Let's face it. We are emotional creatures. Some of us are more emotional than others, but I digress. Sex maybe great for perpetuating the species, but it is not that great at maintaining relationships. So, the great creator has packaged a lot of emotional baggage along with copulation. Feelings emerge and BAM -- you are trapped forever. Perhaps "trapped" is not the best word. Anyway, thanks to our wonderfully complex selves, society has made loads of rules to govern our relationships. This way we can get so wound up and discombobulated about the nature and reason of our relationships that we forget or confuse the whole point.

Computers

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
Ah yes, computers. I won't take long on this subject. Like everyone else, I think its important to learn all you can about computers. It is true that they are taking over the world. That sort of thinking puts movies like the Matrix in a whole new perspective. Computing, for me, is my medium of choice for creating art. Most people don't think that you can do that. But ya can. I do not do graphic art. I program. It is a different type of art that is esoteric enough to be under-appreciated. Not that I'm looking for recognition. It is just extremely satisfying to me to create something that works through pure reason and logic in some sort of cryptic alphanumeric code representing a binary number system that in turn symbolizes sets of something as simple as "on" and "off." Ah yes, computers.

Art and Film

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
I've always enjoyed looking at art. I am particular about what I like when it comes to painting and sculpture. Among my favorite styles are realism, surrealism, and post-impressionism. I love M C Escher, Salvador Dali, and Vincent Van Gogh. I do not like cubism. At all. It doesn't do it for me. An aspect of art that I really enjoy is art history. It has fascinated me for a long time. Generally, when the word art comes up, I think of painting and sculpture. There are more forms of art, however. Among these forms is one of my passions: film and movies. I consider myself something of a cinephile. If you have never heard this term before, think of it as a movie-buff, only more intense and, shall I say, more sophisticated. I won't look at you in the eye and tell you that I subscribe to the auteur theory. While I certainly do not discount it, I have not yet decided if I will jump on that cinematic bandwagon. I think movies make up a substantial portion of American cultural literacy. I am constantly listing my "all-time" favorite movies. I even refer to some insubstantial top ten list. There is no fixed list and my favorites are constantly changing. Some of the movies that don't move much in my so-called list are the Star Wars (1977) movies, The Princess Bride (1993), Casablanca (1942), and (yes I admit it) such classics as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1991), Back to the Future (1985), and The Breakfast Club (1985). I enjoy a good comedy, romantic comedy, action movie, or film noir. I love movies that make me think or where things represent more than meets the eye such as O Brother, Where Art Thou (1999) or Seven (1997). Generally, I don't like horror, that is, with the exception of the Hitchcock classics. War films don't do it for me per se. But, an epic I like. Animated features are okay. I don't give much credit to actors for the success or quality of a given movie. I think it is all about the director and the cinematographer. They are the ones who make or break the movie. Decent actors are a dime a dozen, but a good director is worth his weight in gold. Stephen Spielberg, Cecil B. De Mille, Quinton Tarantino, Orson Wells, Francis Ford Coppola, Alfred Hitchcock, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese need I say more?

The English Language

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
I think that the primary function of language is to communicate. So as long as you are attempting to communicate with someone and you understand each other, the prime directive of language is satiated. If comprehension is ever lost, so is the point of language. In speech, slang is often used and I appreciate it. Sometimes, usually in a jocular manner, I correct a friend in his verbal grammar. Most people don't like it when I correct them. But I am just "joshing." I do, however, have a few pet peeves when it comes to speaking. For example, I do not like it when people say "conversate" because it is not a word. Generally, they are looking for the word "converse." Please use "converse;" it sounds so much better. Ultimately, I am (I guess) an anally-retentive grammarian. [note: please excuse any and all Freudian allusions] In written English, I will defend correct grammar till the bitter end. I defend it (and in this I am not being anal) because who knows who will read what you write. It could be anyone. Thus, your mannerisms will probably not be understood, effectively defeating the purpose of your words. Correct grammar is useful because it makes certain clarity in the written word. Lastly, I would just like to say that, as far as writing is concerned as a creative process, I take the position of my good friend, Marisol, "Writing is just blood and tears."

An Appreciation of History

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
I credit Mr. John Britt for my appreciation of history. He was my professor in an American Studies course I took at Lee College in Baytown, Texas. I don't think I've ever met someone so passionate about history. And I don't think I'm being precipitous when I say that I think that he knows everything there is to know on the subject. All accurate history is important. I say "accurate" because not all history is correct. I say "important" because it helps to know where you've been in order to get where you're going, and also because it helps to avoid mistakes previously made. There are a few sayings that I subscribe to that I think apropos to this subject: "History is written by the victors," and "Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it."

Math and/or Science

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
There are two statements that I would make about math and science, respectively. Math is beautiful. Science is necessary. I am NOT saying that math is not necessary, nor am I saying that science is not beautiful. The thing I like most about math is its certainty. No matter what, two plus two will always equal four. No matter what happens, four times five is always twenty. I love that one can always get to the correct answer by applying the appropriate procedure. Every time. Location is unimportant. People in India get the same answer I do when we subtract nine from ten or employ the Pythagorean theorem. Indeed, math is beautiful. Everything in the world works according to the laws of nature. Although humanity's understanding of the laws of nature is limited, it still tries to understand them. When traveling in a circle, acceleration is always in the direction of the center of the circle. Two masses are always attracted to each other, gravitationally. When sodium, a poisonous substance, and chlorine, a poisonous gas, are combined chemically, the result is a product that people cannot live without. All of these truths add up to the importance of understanding the world in which we live. It helps us produce, create, and live safely. Science is, indeed, necessary.

Computer Standards

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
Warning: this article is best suited for the technophile. You have been warned.
I have a beef with web browsers in general and Microsoft in particular. The thing is that I know that, as of the day I write this article, you are not reading it using Netscape Navigator. How do I know this, you ask. Well, I'm glad you did. I know this because, as of the day I write this article, my web page does not work on Netscape. I am bothered by the fact that my pages are not visible to as broad an audience as they could be. I work hard on these pages and feel disgruntled at the notion of my work being moot. but this all begs the question, why don't my wepages work in Netscape? The reason is recalcitrance. How is that, you might ask. Well, because Internet Explorer and Netscape have both abandoned the html standard (not completely, but they've strayed), one must use different code to accomplish the same thing. This frustrates me to no end. This is not the only time Microsoft has deviated from accepted standards. Don't get me started on the ansi-c standard. I could scream. In order to put out quality cross-platform code, programmers have to jump through complex loops. We are not circus animals -- performing tricks because Microsoft wants to be "unique!" Blah. Your time draws to a close, Microsoft.

Copyright Infringement

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
I have an idea, and its mine, mine, mine. For an exorbitant fee I will tell it to you. After I tell you my idea you can think about it. You can even refer to it. However, you are not allowed to directly say it to anyone without my prior written consent. If you do say it out loud to someone directly, I will find you and pound you into the ground metaphysically. Then, to add insult to injury, I will take back my idea from your mind using a powerful, industrial-strength suction vacuum cleaner fitted to your ear. --- Wait. What is that look on your face? It seems, oh, how would you say it? Dubious? --- You don't mean to suggest that what I am saying about my intellectual property is ridiculous and downright silly, do you? Well, fortunately it is all a farce. However, what if it were true. What if I were the owner of a large record label and I forbade you from sharing the music that you purchase from me. Or what if you get some music from a friend that you did not pay for!!! Oh, the horror! Oh, the humanity! Here's what I say, if you buy something, then you can do whatever the heck you want with it. After all, you did buy it. People do this all the time with all kinds of stuff. Why, then, be surprised if it happens with so-called "intellectual property?" The very nature of computers is decentralized. The more its nature is fought, the more evident its nature becomes. Maybe one day computers will be tamed, but I doubt it. All we do is slow down the inevitable. Luckily, there is a free market and the free market tends to reward adaptability and ingenuity. Perhaps it is time for some innovative solutions to our burdensome problem of copyright infringement.

Good Music vs. Bad Music

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
I don't like country music, but I don't hate country music. Lets just say that if I run across a country station on the radio I keep running. There is only one exception to my general dislike for that genre of music: "Jambalaya" by Hank Williams, Sr. There is something about that song that really does it for me. When I was a teenager, I hung out with a group of kids that was really into Alternative music. We all had long hair, wore our clothes sloppily, and mumbled things like "country sucks." Yes, I know that my behavior and perspective was sophomoric at best. With the clarity of hindsight, I believe that some of my viewpoints were immaturely developed and not well thought out. I offer no excuse for my adolescent angst and indolent attitude. I was, after all, a teenager. I now do not think there is such a thing as "bad" music. Music is as music does. So whatever floats your boat is good. If country music really tickles your pickle then it is good stuff. If rock 'n roll is you bag, then that works too. Whatever it takes to get you going is effective music. Now that we've established that, everyone please accompany me in a rousing rendition of one of the greatest songs ever sung. "Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and fillet gumbo!" I bet you think I'm kidding.

A Good Conspiracy Can't Be Proven

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
I noticed something today that I'm sure millions of Americans have known for a long time. Actually, I should have noticed a lot sooner for it was quite literally [read li-tra-ly, as the English would pronounce the word] staring me in the face. Now, don't get me wrong, my observation skills have been called into question before. Like the time I didn't notice the tree that Mom had planted in the front yard, or the time I actually placed my hand on the new sofa and didn't realize that there was different furniture in the living room. Perhaps you think that would embarrass me. Well, it does. I am embarrassed and ashamed that I do not notice these things. If I were to make an excuse (and I'm not), I would say something like, "I have long lived by the credo that ya shouldn't sweat the small stuff...and everything is small stuff." But I digress. As I was saying, I noticed something today. Not that what I noticed was some great thing or revelation -- I mean, it's nothing spectacular or insightful. To be truthful, I do not even know exactly why it struck me as interesting...and it did...you know, strike me as interesting. Its kind of funny how sometimes the smallest things can sort of "hit" you at the most inopportune moments. Not that the moment was particularly inopportune. Actually, as I think about it, it's the small things in life that make it interesting. For example, few things can please me more that a strawberry milkshake. That sweet and cold refreshment is like magic and rarely fails to bring a smile to my face. But again, I digress. Where was I? Ah yes, what I noticed. Truthfully, I am not trying to keep you in suspense of what I thought particular. Now I fear that the build up is too great for me to convey my message. Well, perhaps I am being precipitous. So allow me to continue my narrative. I was saying that millions of Americans have known what I noticed only today. I will qualify my last statement by adding the modifier "female" to it. Let me repeat the sentence: "I noticed something today that I'm sure millions of female Americans have known for a long time" (I quote directly). I say female because I don't think that many guys would notice. That is, I can't imagine...well, lets not get into that subject. Lets just say that the vast majority of females that have seen what I saw today noticed immediately. Its taken me years. Now, is that because I am male or because of my underdeveloped sense of my surroundings? Perhaps I have been preconditioned to ignore that sort of thing by society. "Its all just another lie perpetrated by 'the man' to keep a brother down!" Or maybe, my marked propensity for indolence, sloth, and procrastination reared its ugly head while pulling the proverbial wool over my eyes, thus inhibiting my "true self" from shining forth and facilitating my own enlightenment. Ergo, I am my own worst enemy. Or maybe I have yet again strayed from my original intention. All this just to tell you that today I noticed that Mel Gibson has strikingly blue eyes.

Seventeen Magazine

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
I read an article today in a Seventeen magazine about a sixteen-year-old girl from Argentina. Not only was she beautiful, a heavy metal musician, and bilingual, this young lady was apparently an observant and socially-conscious person capable of successfully navigating the mysteries of the human psyche with ease. Thus, intermingled with her comments on playing the guitar and the fun of attending an all-girl, private high school, was the following insight: "I believe that many [young Americans] lose their personality in order to fit in with their environment." What?! Can this be true? Well, to this particular Argentinean, I would have to say that I respectfully disagree. I find the notion of "loosing" one's personality questionable. It seems to suggest that everyone has an innate personality given to them by nature or genetics. I beg to differ. No one's personality is automatically built in from the beginning. Our personalities are developed through conditioning. So I would say that if this girl has a problem with how Americans are, the root is not in social pressures that steal the "true" American self, but rather how we are originates in every moment of our consciousness. We never lost our personality, we were shaped this way by our environment. My real qualm, however, is not with this child (and she is a child -- if you disagree, it's probably because you are her age, sorry, I digress). I just do not understand how a magazine like Seventeen can spew forth the underdeveloped and immature musings of a teenager and pass them off as undisputable truth. Something is wrong with this picture. Given the name of the periodical, I assume (and I know I'm right) that it is directed toward adolescents. Some of the things in that magazine make me blush to read. They are shameful. (<-- for the record, I chuckled when I wrote that last sentence.) Sure the ideas are sensationalistic and attractive to young audiences --hey, everyone wants to make a buck-- but exactly at what point should the magazine be held responsible for what it prints? Hmm?


* If you happen to be Mormon, let me say now that I am perfectly cognizant of our eternal nature, and while I am convinced that it plays an important role in our personality development, I still stand by the idea of behavioral conditioning, and I feel that not only should it not be discounted but it plays a large and undeniable part of human personality development. How 'bout that?

** I'm not ragging on teenagers, merely noting their lack of experience -- its not bad, its just true.

*** FYI, I do not normally read Seventeen magazine. I just happened to stumble upon it. That's all I'll say on the subject.

A Shocking Statement

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
I am about to make a shocking statement. Man, I love music. Okay, its not that shocking a revelation. I can't count how many times I've heard the statement "I love music." So my question is, Who doesn't like music? Everyone that can hear likes music. For some reason music touches us in all the right places and causes some pleasurable sensation whether it be through catharsis or delight. Personally, I enjoy sitting at my computer and turning on some good tunes -- simply letting the rhythmic vibrations overtake my senses and casually lead me into its own ethereal one-dimensional world. Sometimes, I like to create my own singly-faceted sound waves through the miracle of vocal chords. That's right, I sing. To be honest, I ain't no good at it, but I can't stop myself. When I'm in the mood and you're around me, you're gonna hear my cacophonous voice in all its harsh splendor. Man, I love music.

Christianity

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
Among the few things that I know to be undeniably true persists the certainty that God exists. I won't tell you how I know that and that shouldn't matter. Who can tell me I do not know what I know? No one can, because no one is me but me. As it happens, God, for me, is Christian. Slow down. Let me tell you what I mean. I think that God is God is god. If you call him Allah, Zeus, or whatever, he is the same deity. I'm only saying that I am a Christian. I think that Christianity has a bad rap. Some of its history is certainly tainted, however, I have some questions I would like to pose. Questions like, can and should a religion be distinguished from its members? Can and should an organization be held responsible for injustices committed by former members of said organization? And, aren't people people? Am I a hypocrite for not living up to my ideals? I assure you that my values are high and that I do not always live up to them. They are something that I strive for. Who does live up to all of their highest standards? I don't think anyone does. Is that hypocrisy? I don't think so. Real hypocrisy includes an intent to deceive. I'm not trying to shroud anyone's vision. There is no proverbial wool in my waiting and misleading hands -- ready to pull over your head. All I'm saying is that people are people. People are human and so are fallible. It is not fair to judge a religion by the foibles and frailties of its membership. It is much more accurate and fair to judge a religion (or any organization) by its fruits. That being said, I cannot blame the mistakes of a former administration on the current governing body. If a man kills someone, I cannot place the blame on the man's son. It does not make sense. That is why I don't blame white Americans for the slavery that existed in the country's early history. That is why I don't blame the current pope for what happened during the crusades. As a final thought, I want to say that Christianity is not suffering too much, it is still strong and getting stronger. Its "bad rap" exists only in the eyes of a few. The only threat of downfall for Christianity right now lies within its own flock. I hope it never falls and I hope that doesn't scare you.

Christianity in America

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
Some people are easily offended. I am sure that it may be easy to get offended by some Christians, mostly because some Christians are, well, offensive. However, some people are also hypersensitive. These people may be confusing some words. The words they are mixing are "of" and "from." Sounds simple, but that is how it is. Everyday, in public schools across the great state of Texas, there is a minute of silence in which students may do whatever they like -- silently. Some people are upset and offended, claiming that it is an infringement of constitutional rights and law that the state is sponsoring religion. I say not true. Hang in there a sec. and I'll explain. In California, some people were outraged by a statue of the ten commandments. Some people do not like the fact that on every piece of money minted by the United States is printed the phrase "In God We Trust." And some people abhor the idea of the uttered words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance. To me, this is all much ado about nothing. People are opposed to prayer in school, or, more accurately, a moment of silence in school. During that moment of silence, the students can think anything they want. It could be a prayer, but it could also be about what they watched on TV the night before, or, imagine it, their schoolwork! No one tells them what to do with their minute. They do what they like. The state is not sponsoring any religion at all, in any way. The phrases "in god we trust" and "under god" don't really mean anything. It does not mean that the state is sponsoring any particular religion or religion at all. Those phrases don't mean anything. Think about it. And lastly, remember and don't confuse what the constitution actually says: "Congress shall no law make respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" NOT "separation from church and state."

I'm Not Making A Case For Mormonism (and I could)

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
"Religion" is another one of those words that people tend to cower away from. It has so many connotations and implications. It's a heavy word. To humanity's discredit, Religion has often been cited as grounds for violence, cruelty, and abuse. I guess it is safe to say that religion is not "supposed" to be like that. It is, however, supposed to be something uplifting, gratifying, and spiritually fulfilling. I hate the fact that some people misuse ecclesiastical trust from the faithfully religious. I consider myself a very religious individual -- now, hold on a minute, I'm not making a case for Mormonism (and I could), I'm just saying that the topic of religion is important to me. I think that almost all religions are good, or at least have intrinsic redeeming value as institutions of love, faith, and spirit. Religion, for me, is a vehicle to bring people closer to God. That, generally speaking, only makes people better. Sometimes that doesn't happen, but I would say that insofar as people, because of their faith, try to be friendlier, kinder, more giving, virtuous, honest, loyal, true, helpful, clean, brave, and reverent they are better for it and so is everyone else around them. Conversely, anytime that the spirit of honest religion is perverted and negligence and unrighteous dominion results, we are all damaged by it. Hence, I applaud all religious people who are honestly and faithfully striving to achieve their spiritual ideals and thus helping us all be a little bit better.

Who Cares About Politics Anyway?

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
I can't seem to get enough of politics. You might even call me a "political junkie" Okay, stop thinking that I'm a freak. Its not really that bad a thing. I mean, think about it - you can't escape the political because politics is everywhere. Everything is political. From the school you study in to the church you attend to your own home, politics is ubiquitous! Anytime there exists any type of governance, it is political by definition. Therefore-anytime I say "therefore" I know I sound preachy, but so what-Therefore, my brothers and sisters, by extension, all of the issues, problems, dealings, and happenings of all of those governing bodies (i.e. home, school, work, and church, let alone local, state, and national government) fall under the ever-widening, "catch-all" umbrella of -that's right- POLITICS! So, why are people sooooo antsy and sooooo recalcitrant and sooooo troubled and sooooo averse when one brings up that subject? Well, probably because everyone has such strong opinions about how they are governed that a disparity of thought is inevitable. And their opinions -especially in a democratic world- are important. It is obvious (and sometimes painfully so) that people's opinion's are important to themselves, but I would say that people's opinion's of political issues should be important to everyone because everyone has power to change the way the world works. Hmmmm. Isn't that a scary thought? Whether it be by their own vote or by their charismatic convincing of the masses, everyone has power. [For real!, Just ask Henry David Thoreau. He said, "it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever."] So, why be so timid when approaching the politic?

RUSH and Talk Radio

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
I am a sick man. I mean it. For some reason, I can't seem to get enough of talk radio. Sometimes I listen to it all day long. I first got into it years ago when a friend told me about some "interesting political commentator" on an AM radio station. Said his name was Rush Limbaugh. So I tuned in and never tuned out. One of the things I love most about talk radio is the debate. I really enjoy listening to the host defend his ideas to different callers. I also find it extremely informative. But the best part is always in the callers. In that respect, talk radio is one of the only truly interactive medias. I have called in only once. I did not get through. The call screener never let me get that far. I was disappointed, but I kept listening. I remember one time listening to Rush; he gave a list of what he called his thirty-five undeniable truths. That bit struck home with me. It made me question myself as to what I consider to be "undeniable truth" in my life. That is the other reason I like talk radio, it facilitates and inspires thought, and that kind of introspective thinking, however controversial, is the most beneficial. Oh, and it's also kind of nice to have a different type of opinion in the news. Talk radio hosts are not sensationalistic. Their ratings don't come from big stories, but rather good debates and quality analysis. A different perspective refreshes the mind. It's a good kind of sickness. Mega dittos, Rush.

Political Extremism

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
When I was young, my mother told me something that I never forgot. It is an old saying and good advice: "everything in moderation," she said. I've got some ideas about politics. I am about to make some great generalizations and I will probably not back them up, so get ready this may sting a little or it may excite. To the extreme left lies a thing called communism, after that there is the green party, the democrat party, the republican party, the libertarian party, and fascism. The two extremes, to me, are both impossible and similar in application. How odd, that they seem similar. Hmm. Anyway, after that it seems to me that the green party thinks too much with their hearts and the libertarians too much with their heads. I'm not saying it is necessarily bad to belong to either, just that it may be dangerous to concentrate only on the heart and ignore the brain or vice-versa, for neither can the brain think without the heart nor can the heart beat without the brain. They share a symbiotic existence. We should all cultivate what is in us to become both thinking and compassionate. There is a place where they complement each other. After all, too much of a good thing is not so good, and remember what mom says, "everything in moderation."

Grito

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
Recientemente, los gritos de algunos transeúntes enfrente de mi hogar me despertaron de una siesta muy merecida. Sus voces sonaron con suficiente fuerza las palabras "¡Viva México!" que lograron cambiar mi estado de dormido a despierto. Mas tarde, pensé en lo que había sucedido. Tal vez ninguna otra cultura ha afectado la sociedad de los Estados Unidos como la hispana. Y entre el grupo hispano que vive en los EE.UU., los Mexicanos dominan en números. Cualquier estadounidense en la calle sabe con certidumbre lo que quiere decir la frase, "yo quiero Taco Bell." Desafortunadamente, es raro que la persona Estadounidense tome el tiempo para enterarse más profundamente de un conocimiento superficial como el del comercio para el restaurante Taco Bell, cuya comida supuestamente es "Mexicana." De una forma, yo comprendo como piensan estos Estadounidenses, pues yo nací en este país. Y no me ofendo cuando ellos me llaman Mexicano, pues es fácil caer en el error. Mis antepasados son centroamericanos, pero yo divago. A pesar de la poca comprensión que los estadounidenses dan, la verdad es que el país es suyo. Y para sobresalir con un poco de éxito, vamos a tener que trabajar más duro y ser más comprensivos que ellos. Las oportunidades abundan aquí, y yo, por lo menos, espero que los hispanos despierten a todos los gringos y que un día también se podrá oír durante mis siestas muy merecidas las palabras "¡Viva Guatemala!" y "¡Viva Perú!" y "¡Viva los Estados Unidos!" junto al grito de los Mexicanos.

Of Ammendments And Marriage

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2004-01-01 00:00:00
This whole idea of "backdoor legislation" by activist judges is disconcerting at best and down-right frightening at times. The judicial branch's role in our political system is clear: they interpret the law -- they don't make it. Supposedly, we elect law-makers to do that for us. As far as Gay Marriage is concerned, I oppose it as I oppose all homosexual activity. For clarity's sake I also stipulate that I only condemn the act, not homosexuals themselves. Thus, if they choose to live a gay lifestyle, I accept it -- as long as they don't push it onto me. It seems reasonable to me that marriage is primarily for raising and nurturing a family. Out side of adopting, this would prove impossible for a gay couple. Therefore, it seems to me that what homosexual couples are actually looking for is acceptance into society, rather than the "legal benefits of being married. All day long they may scream about "equal rights," but tell me, who gets married for the tax breaks? No one, that's who! But hang on a moment, how do two random gay lovers getting married affect me? Well, they don't. However, what marriage is and what it has meant over the years helps cement the nature of the family. The destruction of the family smacks of communism and would signal the end of all redemption, but I digress. Changing the meaning of marriage sets a volitile precendent. If a gay person can change the definition, what will stop a poligamist? What about a pediphile? Truth is, most gays don't want marriage and think the concept anathema. In the end, it seems as though it's not a large percentage of the population that wants this; it's not even a large percentage of homosexuals. It is a small percentage of activist judges. Lets put our collective foot down and keep judges as interpreters and not makers of law.