Wednesday, October 7, 2009
"Believe" is a strange word. If you use it one way it means to know something with absolute certainty. Usually religious people use it this way, but on the flip side, it can be used to express uncertainty, as in responding with "I believe so." When you're talking about someone else, for some reason the word sounds like certainty, as in "He believes the world is round." It sounds the same as "He thinks the world is round." When someone says, "I believe the world is round" it sounds less certain, probably because they could more quickly say, "the world is round," and exhibit their certainty if they were certain.
To believe anything is an act of faith, some might say. It seems belief is held up as a virtue. Belief somehow makes miracles possible according to pop generic spirituality. I would say, true belief might make you see more things as though they were miracles if you chose to put complete trust in some concept.
Something else kind of funny is when there is an issue at hand where the truth of a matter could go either way and its one of those weighty important issues at the top of society's values list the word "believe" is joined by the word "in," rendering it less certain. But when somebody says they "believe in" something it's usually when they really claim to hold tight to some cherished idea. "I believe in a woman's right to chose." This is a less certain statement than "I believe my horoscope." I'm not talking about the validity of what is being believed here. I'm only talking about the way an individual talks about it.
So yeah. How often does a word have two definitions which are the complete opposite of each other? Not too often. I'm gonna try to think of some examples. Ok. So, I thought for a little while and examples elude me, but I did think of how people say "I'm up" to do something, and they also say "I'm down" for doing something. This is a similar kind of thing where two words that mean essentially the same thing when their literal meanings are opposite. I bet I can think of a few more of those. Give me a sec. Ok. "That's hot." "that's cool." There's a good example. There's probably a bunch more but I'm done writing for now. I'll see ya next time.
Monday, October 5, 2009
I'm a guy, and usually pick-up lines are something guys (dumb guys) use on girls, but I thought of a clever pick-up line that would definitely work on me. This is really dumb, by the way. She would say, "Are you in a hurry?" and then I say, "No. Why?" and she goes, "Because you're dashing." Haha. That's pretty funny, huh?
Isn't standup comedy awesome!? I think it is. What is this art form all about really? Well, its an individual getting on stage and entertaining people with their thoughts about different things. It is seen as successful if there is laughter taking place. What does this laughter indicate. It indicates that the given comedians observation rings true to those people. Maybe there are exceptions to this. You might say that's just where the humor comes from with observational comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and stuff. What about comedians that play a type of character, like Andrew Dice Clay? People laugh at this sort of comedy when the comedian says something is such a way that shows an ignorant mentality that they've seen before. The comedians job is to finesse the comment so that the foolishness is apparent. This is kind of the opposite of what Seinfeld is known for. But now it must be said that Jerry might do something that's very Dice Clay and Dice Clay might do something very Seinfeld, but with either type of comedian the point is still to give the audience their perspective on reality. Now, what about somebody like Rodney Dangerfield, who's jokes go something like this. I went to the Doctor and he told me I was sick. I said I want a second opinion, and he told me "your ugly." Where's the humor here come from? Well the word "ugly" is one part of it. Its funny because its something we all relate to. None of us want to be ugly. Nobody wants to have to tell someone their ugly. Its a very mean thing, and why can't everybody be beautiful? Also there's the matter in the joke of the surprise because we expect second opinion to be taken to be taken a certain way. The doc misunderstands it and BAM...the punchline. This type of comedy is still talking about how one person sees reality. We don't wanna believe that we're sick. We don't want to be ugly, but this is put before us in a way where the obsurdity of the misunderstanding (another part of human experience) and the comedians self depreciation make us laugh because we see the truth the comedian shows and we cope with it.
The point I'd like to get at somehow, is that standup comedy is to our culture what preaching is to Christian culture. Its more honest though. It admits its fallibility. But, you know what, its not just standup, actually. Its all humor. I think humor
is how we talk about the truth, and laughter might be, sort of, how we verify it. Just think about it. If you make a comment among friends in everyday discussion and it gets you in trouble, and maybe it just jumped off your tongue before you thought it all the way through, its because you revealed something about how you see the world that differs sharply with how the offended person sees the world. Now, of course there are misunderstandings, but I'm saying that if you can't smooth things over by clarifying and stuff then that must be the issue.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
what is God? God is the furthest point on the end of a line who's other endpoint is whatever is the very smallest thing. God is by my definition, simply the very biggest bestest thing. So, if it turns out that mankind is the very biggest bestest thing then, that's what god is and that's what we're referring to whenever we've said, "god." But I just want to say that "God" is who I worship. The issue usually isn't "God" as much as the idea of believing all these specific facts about the nature of God. And rather than just trusting God. These things, these questions had to be answered in ways that ended up coincidentally giving some individuals a power they hadn't had before. In our culture you have to believe all the story's you've heard about God or you are seen as his enemy. But my mentality is like this: God is some great being who for whatever reason doesn't speak in an obvious way at all to humanity. This is one thing that I can say with certainty from my experience and my observation of other people. But then, there's all these different story's circulating in his absence. He did this and this and the other thing. He said that we have to do this or we'll burn in hell. He said he loves us more than we know. So many stories but no real proof and a whole lot of contradiction. But my allegience is to God. Whoever or whatever or however that is. Why isn't this sufficient?
It reminds me of the story of the guy was walking down the street and a man comes up and says, sir you are in grave danger, surrender your whole life to me or you'll be tortured forever.