The internet is a fascinating place. There are creeps and sociopaths to be found, but the people who really pique my curiosity are the ones who go online to find people who are into their obscure area of interest. You know, like tentacle porn enthusiasts or 9/11 Truthers. I try not to be judgmental, although sometimes, the reason so few people like something is because it’s really, really weird. Take furries, for example. No, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with…that, only that it’s kinda weird. And yes, “weird” is a relative term, and what might seem normal to one person might seem freakish and bizarre to another person, but I still think Scientology is stupid. Even by the rather generous standards of organized religion, the origin story here is almost mind-numbingly idiotic. And while most religions have a message of self-affirmation and the pursuit of happiness, Scientology, as far as I can tell, is about giving your whole life over to a shady, power-hungry hierarchy and alienating everyone who tells you your superiors are full of shit. It’s so easy to manipulate people when you tell them that dissent in any form is a sign that they don’t believe in the cause. That’s a story that has repeated throughout history, from Richard Wright’s stint as a Communist to whatever other examples I remember from my English classes.
My blogging has slowed down ever so slightly over the past few months. I used to update at least two or three times a week, and now update about twice. Between my job, my career search, and of course, all this fucking schoolwork, I can’t seem to find as much time to whine about my life here as I used to, because it used to be that the time found me, even when I was borderline homeless and trying really, really hard to adjust to the demands of a new semester. Now, I feel like everything gets backed up in my head over the course of a very busy week, then let out in a rush towards the end. Last night, I had a celebration for my birthday, which occurs roundabout this time of year. I spent Sunday, Monday and Tuesday catching up on schoolwork then, when I got home Wednesday evening, had no choice but to bake the cake. I didn’t get around to eating dinner until, like 9:30. So I guess it’s nice to have something of a social life. Unfortunately, the internet tends to function only as a simulacrum of the real thing.
Any of you who are on Facebook almost certainly saw dozens or even hundreds of your friends changing their profile pictures to a red and white equals sign in solidarity with the marriage equality movement, which had two big cases heard in the Supreme Court this week. Obviously, I care deeply about this issue, but something is bugging me here. Social media is about declaring your individuality in an electronic medium, isn’t it? So am I the only one who sees something just a little bit eerie about not being able to tell his friends’ profiles apart just by glancing at the thumbnails anymore? What good does changing your profile picture to an equals sign actually do? I still remember logging onto FB the day after Proposition 8 passed and seeing that I had received no less than five group invites asking me to stand against the resolution. If your first move upon finding out that discrimination has been made part of your state constitution is to make a Facebook group about it, perhaps you should start stepping a little bit farther out of your comfort zone. Try talking to people who are still on the fence. Don’t just say, “We’ll get there”, think about how we’re actually going to fucking do that, and where we’ll go from there. If you honestly think that legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states will mark the end of homophobia, you are unbelievably naive. Yes, any rational person can see that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality, but what about the people who still aren’t sure if they can support a policy that they do not personally agree with–you know, the ones who say, “I love my gay friends and family, but the Bible condemns homosexuality, and I can’t separate my morals from my politics”? It’s a little bit harder to penetrate that kind of bigotry. It requires a subtler approach.
There is a reason that I grow tired of being surrounded by liberals sometimes, and it’s not because I don’t think conservatives are full of shit, because I do and they are. I especially like mocking libertarians, as libertarianism is something that sounds great in theory, but never works in practice. Look at Ron Paul. Half of what he says is the sort of honest straight talk that neither Republicans nor Democrats seem very motivated to discuss, the other half is bugfuck insane. He cracks me up, that man…oh right, I was talking about the internet. Living in an echo chamber is never healthy. In the midst of building a community for yourself, remember to include at least a few people with some truly out-of-left-field beliefs. Part of the reason that I idolize Christopher Hitchens is that you never could predict what he was going to say next. He changed his mind a lot, even contradicting himself sometimes, but I’ll be goddamned if he was ever boring.
It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of a God who is both omniscient and omnipotent, but can still be fooled and almost overthrown by Satan. The only way I can make sense of it is to think that even though God knows what you’re about to do before you do it, he lets you do it anyway because until he sees it with his own divine eyes, he can’t really believe it. Having belief in God means believing absolutely in a massive paradox, which is why I don’t bother with that. To me, any real godlike being would have to be either bored with their own power, like Doctor Manhattan, or so childish and petty that they have to amuse themself by fucking with mortal creatures, like Q from Star Trek.
That, by the way, is what this post has to do with My Little Pony. That’s all for now.