A three-year accomplishment

May 14th, 2009 — 10:27am

Today marks three years since I joined my church!

I sometimes mention this to some people and they either don’t care or just don’t find it terribly significant. For me, however, May 14th is like a birthday.

Three years ago, on a Mother’s Day Sunday, I decided to come to church with my mother because it seemed like the right thing to do; a gift, of sorts, for Mother’s Day. I had already been coming semi-regularly (because Christ always changes you before you realize it) and each Sunday I faced this inner battle when the pastor was inviting us to join the church. Part of it was my stubbornness saying, “No one is going to tell ME what to do.” Yet, another part, sounding far meeker and calmer, simply asked, “Why not?” It would feel like a burn in my stomach each time and the previous Sunday, it seemed like I had to grab hold of one of the chairs to keep from stepping out into the aisle and giving my life to Christ.

On May 14th, 2006, I didn’t have a response to the “Why not?” and so, I stepped out in the aisle and made my way to the front of the church, ready for a change in my life. I remember quite clearly Pastor saying, “I’ve been waiting for you, my sister.” as I approached and, as I sat down in the front row, I tried so hard not to cry. It wasn’t until I really “let go” that the tears started to come, not unlike they are now as I recall this event and, when I looked back into the congregation and saw my mother nearly sobbing over the fact that I had joined the church on my own free will, I really started to cry.

I can’t say that I changed from all my “evil” ways right there and then, but something was different in me from that day forward. Just reading back through the past entries of this blog can show anyone the difference in the person I was before and after May 14, 2006. Before I had joined the church, my friends and I would laugh at how ignorant all religious people were and how silly they all were to give 10% of their money to their churches and spend half their Sundays listening to “some sermon” every week. Before I had joined the church, Sundays were best spent lounging around, doing nothing and recovering from whatever I had poured down my throat the previous night. Before I had joined my church, Lincoln Park, the last time I had actively pursued a church, I left at the end of their service saying, “I don’t think I’m a Christian anymore.” Before I had joined the church, I was a floundering mess with no direction, no drive and, as sanctimonious and almost trite as it might sound, no future.

Like I said, the total change in myself didn’t come overnight. I still slipped up, but I was very aware of my slip-ups and desired to do more with my life instead. What stands out most to me, however, is what happened not even a full week after I had joined. My roommates were throwing a party that upcoming Saturday and, as I had an exam, for which I had not even cracked open a book, I told them that I would just go home to my parents’ house that Saturday so I could study and then get up for church the next morning. I remember quite clearly one of my friends looking at me quizzically and saying, “Well…you can miss one Sunday, can’t you?” Now, the friend who said this to me is not “evil” or someone who was trying to cause my downfall in any way, shape or form. In fact, we are still, in some sense, friends today, but the question she posed seemed simple and obvious. And, I had actually thought about it for a minute and let the words swirl in my head as I struggled with an answer. You can miss once. It’s just once.

The problem was it would not have been “just once.” Just once would have signified that the commitment I desired to make on May 14th meant nothing, that joining the church was no different than saying that I was going to go to the gym every day or put in three hours of studying every night or write more or call my relatives or try to reach out to old friends…when I never did. “Just once” was not just once. It was everything my life had been up to that point and I knew that if I was going to make a commitment to Christ, I did not want to face this particular “just once” on my judgment day. So, I told my friend that I really had to study (which I didn’t really do when I got home) and I didn’t want to be a downer for their party. They had their party and I went to church that Sunday and have felt like I was at least walking towards the path God had lain out for me ever since.

In many ways, May 14th really is like another birthday. I sometimes detest the term “born again” because I had known so many people who were “born again” and were the most mean-spirited, antagonistic and amoral people I had ever witnessed, but sometimes the term is fitting. On May 14th, I was born again in Christ. While I know I will still have struggles and countless slip-ups between now and the time my journey is over, my goal in this life is to never need to be “born again” again. My goal is to just stay on the path and to let May 14th be the only “born again” day I’ll ever need.

1 comment » | Deep Thought, Jesus, On Me

Saved from my own harm

April 26th, 2009 — 8:40am

I experienced an incident yesterday that happened several months earlier in a similar fashion and, once again, found myself…for lack of a better word: pleased to find that Christ had delivered me from myself yet again.

I have a way of getting ahead of myself, allowing my emotions to take control of my tongue (or in this case, my typing fingers) to the point that I can no longer muster the common sense needed to interact with the rest of the world. To put it simply, when I hear or read something I don’t like, I sometimes respond before taking stock of what I’m saying and what the ramifications of saying could be.

Several months ago, I found myself in a situation where I thought I could not handle the people around me and was just about to say something abrupt and simply mean before exiting the scene, but Christ stifled my voice for just long enough for the situation to work out by itself and leave me looking and feeling like the person I’ve always been rather than the mean and embittered person who tries to come out every now and again. Yesterday, I once again was saved from myself.

Sarcasm is my preferred mode of interacting with others; people always seem to remember the witty, sarcastic girl they had met the previous day. While this can have it’s ups and downs, I know I can definitely “dish out” much more than I can take in return. When I allowed a series of witty snips to really get to me, instead of relying on my own sarcastic quips to take away the minor hurt, I prepared to retort with something that was downright arrogant and mean. In other words, I was prepared to be completely unlike myself in a minute of subdued rage over being incapable of bringing a “comeback” soon enough. The amazing thing is, I actually completed my rant and forwarded it for my quarry to see. It was only after the fact, when I didn’t receive an immediate response, that I took the time to re-read what I had written and realized that what I said could have been the very thing that ruined my friendship with this person. But, then God stepped in for me. πŸ™‚

Even though I’d sent my message, it wasn’t read; we sarcastic run in the same circles and my recipient didn’t wait for a response, and so, my mean epithets were never even seen. The words I’d said were harsh and rude and make me feel ashamed, but it’s moments like these that help me realize that I have to work hard to keep that mean, embittered person from taking over my life again.

Christ has always shielded me, to the point of almost spoiling me. He spoils me with the people around me and He spoils me with gifts as well. I just find it rather amusing that God can find a moment out of infinite time to step in and save myself from augmenting or harming the blessings that lie in wait for me.

1 comment » | Jesus, On Me

Oh…this is rich.

February 27th, 2009 — 10:59am

My disgust for China has been mounting over the past few years, culminating to near outrage in August 2008 and has been teetering there ever since. What riles me this morning is China’s obvious mudslinging in a report drafted just two days after we (the US) published a report that stated the obvious: China’s human rights conditions have worsened. However, China feels it appropriate to claim that violent crime is so sweeping in the US that we are terrified every day that we will be murdered on our way to work.

Crime, unfortunately, is a part of civilization and humanity and I find utterly laughable that China of all places would have the gall to publish a report condemning violence in the US when China refuses to make available the same kinds of statistics. Are they honestly going to produce a report saying the US is drowning in its own violence when its own country is even larger and far, FAR more of its citizens (if we even dare call those with no voice in their government and no venue for dissent such) are living under a poverty so great that few others could stomach it? But, take this into consideration, it is not only the US who finds China’s human rights record to be lacking; the UN on whole says the same.

There is an old saying about no ailments afflicting communist nations…because they simply refuse to report them. Who says that the level of crime in China is not equivalent to that of, or even greater than that found in the US? Regardless of a few signs allowed to appear in front of the cameras here or there, China does not allow its people the right or the ability to disagree with the government and it crushes any attempts to do so time and time again. It also sees its people gathering under the name of God to be likened to some kind of treason and Christians suffer in China almost as much as they would in Muslim countries. The government refuses to allow its own people unfettered access to the world’s greatest invention, the Internet, lest its people get some “crazy ideas” about democracy and dissent and it invites other countries to see its “progress,” only to mask the true pain and suffering of its people to paint as rosy a picture as possible for itself, but we are to believe that a country, who only twenty years ago would murder its own people in the streets to keep them from outpouring any discontent, is so devoid of violence that they can condemn the US for its issues with race and violence? Someone other than me has to see this as madness!

Their claims that racism is gripping the US to the point that we are pulled to our knees was the only part of their “he said/she said” that caused me to laugh. Of course we are going to have issues with race in our country. Few others were established in the manner that we were, few others manage the demographics that we do and the few that do resemble the US in establishment and demographics suffer from the same problems. People will find any reason to discriminate each other, just look at the UK where in some places there are simply not enough “different” people around so they poke fun at redheads. Discrimination is a human plight that effects all nations. I will take this moment to drag up Yang Peiyi’s brush-off again and ask if China really thinks that their government’s open preference for “whiter” Chinese over more “yellow” or even brown Chinese is somehow different from general racism in the US.

Previously, I kept my mouth shut when China had the nerve to “instruct” the US to stabilize its economy since they were at least giving the appearance that they were doing something about the companies that had intentionally added melamine to powdered milk (although, the fact that these companies even thought they could get away with outright deception and murder is a slam for China’s improved human rights claim) and also because they were, in some sense, correct; the world economy is dependent on the strength of the United States. If we fall, everyone falls. If we suffer, everyone suffers, so it is our duty as Americans to keep the world from falling into a depression. Now, however, I am convinced China has proved itself incapable of truly becoming the world leader it wants to be and, as I am an American who can do or say what she wants because of the rights guaranteed to me (in writing!), I can see no reason to speak with the proverbial kid gloves when it comes to China. It claims that the US should “stop acting as a human rights guardian,” but enlighten us China: If not us, then who? You?

I cannot say that China has not made any improvements in the last twenty years. They have and I am sure they have experienced more progress than deterioration of their citizens’ rights, but for them to even consider asking the US to look our “human rights issues” instead when the US is, more or less, an open book in regards to history and our current social climate…well, I find that to be a bit rich.

2 comments » | Politics, Rant

25 random things about Dorienne

February 12th, 2009 — 11:18am

In the spirit of doing things because “everyone else is doing it,” and since I have been tagged several times with this, I have created one of these lists:

1.) I am a computer nerd. I love everything about programming and teaching myself new things through trial and error just gets me all a-tingle. I also love the idea that making one mistake can cause the remaining code to implode on itself. It takes the love of striving for perfection to a new level.

2.) I am a grammar nerd, too. There is something about the written word that fascinates me to no end. Watching languages evolve (eg: the use of chatspeak, WTF? OMFG! or lolcat phrases, I can haz new wordz nao! in everyday language) through new technology stimulates me and plays very well with the computer nerd that comprises me.

3.) I love musicians. Anyone who can sing or play any instrument captivates me. There is something about music and it’s ability to cross cultures and withstand time that makes me love those who create it. It is almost like a language of its own…a language I can discover more interesting things about on my computer…

4.) I find half the fun of writing stories in doing hours of research into the most minute of details. For example, in my fanfic novel, Flight, I have Olivia playing the cello because I love musicians, however, I don’t play the cello nor have I ever seen one in real life. The DAYS of research I put on my computer into learning minor cellist lingo gave me more joy than actually writing the two sentences that involved the detail.

5.) I flip flop between a desire to have children or not, often. There are days when I pray that someday I will be a godmother and only a godmother, but then I have these moments when I really, REALLY want two boys and a girl. Or just two boys. Or just one boy. Or maybe just one godson…

6.) I am a Christian, but I often feel more comfortable amongst atheists and agnostics. It is almost as if being surrounded by them reaffirms my faith. I wish I could understand the logic behind it.

7.) I detest things I cannot explain or understand. I think that is why being a Christian, ironically, works best for me. Without Christ’s blessings, I would never be able to have the slightest comprehension of death and would fear it right up until my last breath.

8.) I believe organized religion has done more to corrupt Christ’s work and teachings than any unbeliever ever could or would. I am very much a Christian, so I’m not sure if that makes a whole lot of sense, but it is how I view the church on whole.

9.) The imperfection of my human body disgusts me. I don’t mean it in a sense that my weight is not where I want it to be or I lack any control over my hair outside of braids. I mean it just irritates me that this body has to sleep or the mind just begins to deteriorate. The idea that I have to eat or else I get headaches that tell me, “Yo! Time for food!” or that I have to use the bathroom or take shower (gross, I know.) or, again, sleep, when there are so many other things I could be doing during at the same time is just very frustrating.

10.) The shows I “heart” most are the ones I scrutinize hardest. SVU is the only show I watch on television right now. In fact, this past summer, when SVU was on reruns, I only turned on the television once to see what was happening to the weather as a part of Ike hit Ohio. Since I love SVU as much as I do, it literally pains me when I watch an episode that is boring or just doesn’t make sense. It must be perfect. The acting, the writing, the cinematography; everything MUST be on point or else it is total FAIL.

11.) I admire intelligence before appearance. It took me a while to realize this. I found myself having these teen-like crushes on men who were three times my age with no hair and age spots just because I could see glimpses of how brilliant their minds were.

12.) I carry a chapstick on a “chapstick lanyard” on my keys at all times. That way, there is no chance that I will ever be somewhere and chapstick is not available to me. THAT would surely result in psychoses of epic proportion.

13.) I wake up every morning and tell myself the same thing. “You are the most intelligent and most beautiful person in the world. Now, go show everyone else.”

14.) I’m incapable of maintaining long-lasting relationships. If I haven’t called, e-mailed, texted, PM’d or poked or responded to you in a while, it’s not that I don’t care. It’s just not in my nature to carry on “knowing” people once I no longer see them on a day-to-day basis. Sad, I know, but such is Dorienne.

15.) As tech savvy as I am, I own a VCR. WTF, you say? I no longer have cable, so I if need to tape SVU, I’ll need TAPE SVU. Plus, I’ve acquired about 25 8-hour tapes of nothing but the mothership Law & Order and I need to watch them on something.

16.) @15 – I cried when Jerry Orbach passed away. For a very long time.

17.) I have a set of characters in a series that I have been writing since I was ten years old. I have literally grown up writing these characters. Creepy, no?

18.) There are some days when I forgot how young/old I am. I feel much, much older. Like I am actually about 43 years old instead. It gets kind of depressing when I feel like I’ve passed the 40th birthday milestone, but have accomplished so little in my life.

19.) Since I watched The X-Files religiously from age 10 to age 18, I can honestly say that show shaped me into the person I am today. Explains a lot, doesn’t it? πŸ˜‰

20.) I abhor everything about Micro$oft, which is why I spell it with a dollar sign. They are just crap and, while I use Firefox and had tried using OpenOffice (it just can’t keep up), it still bothers me that I have to use anything made them.

21.) I am currently going through this phase where I am totally “in to” webcomics. Right now I am reading Questionable Content, xkcd, Wasted Talent, Pictures for Sad Children and Jay Naylor’s Better Days. Google them! They are all kinds of awesome.

22.) @17 – I play my sims in The Sims 2 as one large neighborhood that evolves at the same time. I’ve been playing the game for four years and I am still working on the first generation. I’ve “known” some of my sims longer than I’ve known some of my friends.

23.) I don’t like fancy crosses. I have several crosses in my house and I wear one around my neck that I never remove. ALL of them share a common trait in that they are very, very simple. The cross on which Christ died for our sins was rugged, bare and simple in its own right, so crosses that are interlaced with diamonds or are so ornate that they qualify as “bling” just confuse me.

24.) There are currently 487 discs in my Netflix queue. If I have a new disc sent to me every single day for the next year, I will STILL not have watched everything I have queued. It is well worth it, though. Their service is full of win and I like just watching random movies or TV shows on DVD throughout my week.

25.) It took me a week and a half to find 25 random things to say about myself…sigh…

Comments Off on 25 random things about Dorienne | Favorite, On Me

Oh…bama…

February 3rd, 2009 — 5:44pm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7868303.stm

Honestly, I really am an optimist; I just hate being surprised. A part of me hopes and wishes that the Obama Presidency (Man! I just don’t like the sound of that) will turn our country down a brighter path, but less than a month into this the cup looks amazingly half-empty and I can only nod my head and sigh as I think, “I knew this was going to happen.”

As Obama is being heralded as the first “black” president for the US, the stakes are incredibly high. While no presidency (that I know of) has managed to escape drama, strife and broken promises, it normally is not seen so soon after the inauguration. Everything he does reflects on the black community as a whole; whether it a sheds positive or negative light is up to him and the people with whom he chooses to surround himself, but I’m still aggravated that his decisions, his mistakes and even his triumphs reflect on me.

Anyone who believes that racism is over in America since Obama went into office is a nut who either has been spending too much time on change.gov or has been living with their head firmly jammed into the sand for the past fifty years. I admit America has come far as a nation, but not nearly as far as we could be and would be if it were not for people holding up their racism under a guise of “tolerance” and simply “helping” the downtrodden while ensuring that they remain such through government-sponsored, antipodal efforts such as affirmative action and welfare.

I write today, not because I feel that any failure of Obama’s reflects failure upon my dark skin, but simply because we are only a fortnight into this presidency and already we can see Obama’s inexperience and basic ineptitude causing him to choose to surround himself with less than worthwhile persons. Again, at heart, I am an optimist. My hope is that all of this will blow over and America will pull itself out of its self-dug trenches, but…I also hate surprises.

Edit (9:06PM): At least he’s man enough to admit it, but Wow! Even I would not have said it like that.

Comments Off on Oh…bama… | Politics

I can haz pseudo-Interwebs wit in my House Speaker nao?

January 14th, 2009 — 10:53pm

As with many people, I have not been following politics as closely as I had pre-Nov 4, 2008, but every now and again, I run into things that just make me laugh out loud…in utter disgust.

First things first: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7829475.stm

Obama…you baffle me, too. I mean honestly! A liberal politician may walk around stating that he wants what is best for the “average American,” but when he says it from his vehicle that is more suited for the Gaza strip than a DC roadway and probably cost more (considering the absolute necessities like leather and maple interiors) than most “average Americans” will ever see in their lifetimes, the words are simply…blank, lifeless, hollow.

Now, I totally understand the necessity for having something safe tote around the man elected to the nation’s highest office, but must it be a Cadillac on top of the million plus dollars spent on making it drivable even with flat tires?

Nancy Pelosi has made me sick to my stomach for a long time. As a matter of fact, she irritated me even before I realized I was a Moderate and this just makes me dislike her even more. Nothing pisses me off more than to see people stepping into garbage about which they nothing in a wild attempt to maintain “popularity.” It is like choosing a tattoo in a parlour just because it looks cool without realizing that particular image has any cultural significance; in short, it’s just plain ignorant.

Most noteworthy quote of the article:

β€œThe cats are very popular on the Internet, as is Rickrolling, and we thought this would be a way to bring some attention to it,” said Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly.

You people don’t know your audience and, furthermore, you are attempting to meddle into affairs that are so beyond anything the “old-liberal-trying-to-stay-hip” set could possibly understand that you can’t even hear just how stupid you sound.

RickRolling is old news. It became old news when Astely got into the act (Link, and no, it’s not an intended RickRoll) and, as any self-respecting troller of the Interwebs knows, once an Internet meme grows so popular that the people who don’t spend every waking moment of their lives online know about it, it is no longer cool. Pelosi and her crew can’t possible see this and that is why they FAIL. A Pelosi RickRoll = Epic Fail.

Gah! Obama, quit pretending you are the great provider to the people whilest you are ferreted around in an unnecessarily “pimped out” car purchased with the hard-earned dollars of the Americans for whom you claim to be providing. Nancy Pelosi, all your Interwebs are belong to us, so STFU, GTFO and LOL! stop the charade, b/c we kno u liek dont kno nuthin; we all know you’re no different from any other old white woman trying to “understand” a culture that does not include or want her. Stop the madness, people! Stop it now!

Comments Off on I can haz pseudo-Interwebs wit in my House Speaker nao? | Politics, Rant

Obligatory New Year’s post

January 1st, 2009 — 1:09pm

According to this article, making New Year’s resolutions often do more harm than good. What people mostly experience is that they can never live up to the high expectations they set for themselves and become depressed and embittered as the year continues because they fell off this bandwagon or went right back to doing what they had resolved to no longer do. I am quite guilty of making resolutions without having the resolve, willpower, whatever to stick to them and this year I just said, “To heck with it.”

My mother always told me the superstition regarding how one brings in the new year. Essentially, how you bring in the year is how you will live the year. In some regards, this is true. For example, I rang in 2005 drunk, a little depressed and drinking with people I really didn’t like and most of my year was spent drunk, a little depressed and around people I just wanted to punch in the face. On the other hand, I rang in 2006, not wanting to spend another New Year’s in some bar surrounded by people I didn’t like, in the church and ended up joining the church and discovering how awesome God is.

In most cases, though, this idea is all superstition and completely false. Every year since I can remember, I have spent the majority of December 31st cleaning like mad to make sure the house/apartment/townhouse/whatever was as clean as possible to ring in the new year and every year since I can remember, the house/apartment/townhouse/whatever ended up just as dirty throughout the year as it was on December 30th.

This year, rather than say, “Hurray! A new year! Let me make all these resolutions I’ll never stick to and such!” I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing; that is, going for my major goals. The house is a mess right now, but to be honest, cleaning it up on one night was not going to keep it clean all year. I have to be in the mindset to keep it clean daily. I don’t weigh what I want right now, but I’m very healthy and if I keep eating how I should and exercising regularly, my body will adapt. After all, I didn’t put on the weight in a week, so I can’t possibly expect it to come off in a week either. My novel is still not complete, but if I just keep writing something every day my ultimate goal of having a novel published by 9/26/2010 will get accomplished.

I still went to church tonight to ring in my new year, but I also still made sure my daily chapter of the Bible got read and I am still going to do my stomach crunches and light lifting before I go to sleep. There really is no difference between 12/31/08 and 1/1/09; I’m still going to keep doing Dorienne and still strive for my goals. Or, like my pastor often says, I’m going to remember to keep the main thing, the main thing. πŸ˜€

Comments Off on Obligatory New Year’s post | Jesus, On Me

The small things

November 30th, 2008 — 1:58am

Something like this happens nearly every day of my life, but rarely do I step back and really thank God for the small wonders He bestows upon me. Since I’m a bit too thick to remember the proverbial small things, He takes some of them and just expands them in front of my eyes so that I remember that even though I am just an insignificant speck amongst all His creations, he is still watching and listening.

I try very hard to find the something good out of everyone I meet, but of course, there are some people I just don’t like. While I make every attempt to first examine myself to make sure what irks me about them is not something they do and that I also do or worse, is something that I am just projecting onto them unduly. Once all these conditions are met, I chalk said person up to “I just don’t like them,” but again, work diligently to remember that Christ’s teachings are to love all my “brothers” and “sisters” and pray for them even when my “humanity” just doesn’t want to pray for them. That said, I have encountered a number of people through my job that “I just don’t like,” but it is amazingly through these people that God allows me to remember my own faults and issues and also reminds me to thank Him for the small things.

A few months ago, I applied for a new position within my job and was sore to find out that I did not get the position I wanted, only to realize that that same position would have put me in direct contact with one of these few people “I just don’t like.” That little scenario in itself was happy-dance and blog-worthy because it was one of those times when I had said, “Well God. I don’t understand why you didn’t given me what I wanted, but I’m sure this is all a part of your plan.” but the real joy comes from today. When faced with another one of these people that “I just don’t like,” I cried out an arrow prayer of sorts that I didn’t even realize I was making and was provided with not only the peace I was seeking, but also the ability to save face so that I could remain on good terms with someone who I really just want to punch in the face, but don’t because…well, there are lots of reasons, but I know I just shouldn’t.

The point of today’s ramble is simply that God is always listening and knows precisely what I need, and for that, I am thoroughly thankful.

I added this video as one of my YouTube favorites recently because it really makes one consider “insignificance” in a whole new light:

I am incredibly small when compared with everything else in God’s universe…and yet He still saves me from myself and answers my prayers.

…kind of brings this little diddy to mind:

Comments Off on The small things | Jesus

Magritte, la greatness de

November 22nd, 2008 — 4:44am

Not a day of my life goes by where I don’t run at least one Google Search; today is no different. On the 21st, Google ran a dedication of sorts to the artist Rene Magritte and, by doing so, Google have incited a fire for art that I never knew dwelled within me.

This is the image that started it:

Google-Magritte

Google-Magritte

From there, a vast part of the day was spent research Rene Magritte and learning what I didn’t know I already knew…the work of Magritte was the pinnacle of brilliance. I found myself staring at this image for minutes at a time (only minutes as I was at work when this epiphany hit) and it was only upon appreciating it that this one made more sense to me and inspired me to create some art of my own.

In the past, I always imagined myself as some kind of artist, but only regarding literary art; my pen as my paintbrush, my blank “New Document” as my canvass, blah, blah, blah. Somewhere in staring at La Condition Humaine 1935, it occurred to me that I could create a visual artwork of my own. As I have no talent with a paintbrush and my childhood “sculptures” are the things from nightmares (or simply paperweights only a mother could love), I knew that I taking up a canvass or buying some clay to create art was out of the question…but manipulating an image in Photoshop is totally up my alley.

The plan is to create La Condition Humaine 1935 with my Abbey Road poster and my hand instead of a canvass stand. I’ll post the creation once it’s complete.

In taking the images I thought necessary to initiate the creation of La Condition de Beatles’ Fan, I noticed my beloved Darth Tater and began experimenting with light, my camera’s flash and shadows on the wall to take some interesting pictures. I’m not sure if this is really just a passing fancy or ordinary OCD within ADHD, but for now…I think I really like this art “thing.”

Comments Off on Magritte, la greatness de | Deep Thought, On Me, Writing

The people have spoken! Why is no one listening?

November 13th, 2008 — 10:47pm

I must put in my two cents on this matter. I must. Proposition 8 in California.

Proposition 8 in California does not forwardly affect me in any way. My state put this down somewhere around 60/30 back in 2004; Ohio may fall blue every once in a while, but we are not that “progressive.” Regardless of the fact that Prop. 8 does not concern me, I watched the results of it with bated breath, even more so than with the presidential election.

What is key in this issue is that I really don’t know where I stand on it. I know what the Bible says about gays in general, I know what Jesus also says about loving everyone (Matthew 22:36-40) and I remember my past rants about changing the definition of a “union” to help alleviate some of these problems without ever having to touch the (nowadays often symbolic) institution of marriage. I know and remember all of this, but none of it matters at all when it comes to Prop 8. NOT. AT. ALL. The only thing of consequence in Prop 8 is the fact that the will of the people was actively overruled by five individuals who felt they knew better than the majority of the state.

This is not the first time the voters of California have encountered this particular issue on their ballot. Twice before this year, the voters saw this issue on the ballot and twice the voters voted in one direction, specifically against gay marriage. In 2008, five people took the law into their own hands, defying the will of the people and essentially distorting any image that ours is a country of the people, by the people and for the people. This, and this alone, is what destroys me every time I think about Prop 8.

I may not get so heated when I take time to ponder this if the results of the current vote and previous votes had not been so one-sided, but they are and so I am. The people made a decision twice before this, these far-reaching judges overturned the people’s decision and, once more, the people have come to the same conclusion. It was not as if the people were incensed over a narrowly-winning proposition and the judges had to step into the fray to cast that “so-called” deciding ballot to quell the masses on either side. These judges simply made a decision that echoed in the ears of all US citizens only to have the people, by a majority, return their former decision.

The US voting system, in most cases, is very simple; the one who gets the most votes wins. This means that if 50.000019% of the people vote in one way or another, that percentage will win. Is this always the best of measures? It depends on how you look at it, but it is a fact and a necessary cog of democracy. In California, the people came together, cast their ballots and voted against gay marriage, yet several years later, five judges felt they knew better than the majority of the people and took it upon themselves to overturn the will of the people!

Let’s break this down into terms that anyone should be able to understand.

Barack won over McCain in the US presidential election by a 52-48% margin. If we were to apply the same circumstances in California to the general election, five out of nine Supreme Court judges could decide that they know better than the majority and…that’s right, overturn the will of the people and name John McCain as President of the United States, even though the people had spoken. Imagine the Supreme Court doing so, not just after the election, but say, a year or two into Obama’s presidency.

Unbelievable, no? Thankfully, our electoral process does not allow something like that to happen, but no such protection is afforded to people of California. The people voted against same sex marriages and five people, not a caucus of judges, not several sets of judges from various circuits and districts, not a series of congressmen and women directly elected into office and subject to voter scrutiny every few years, FIVE people decided that they know better than the majority and reversed the will of the people. As an American citizen, I am outraged!

This goes well beyond issue itself. I don’t really care how the people voted at this point. What matters here is that the people voted and those judges out-stepped their jurisdiction to overturn the will of the people! I will say it again: five judges overturned the will of the people!!! Where is the ACLU on this one? These judges are trampling the very essence of democracy and there is no one screaming about the real issue! I would be just as outraged over this if the people had voted for gay marriage and five judges decided that the people did not know best and overturned that decision. It makes no difference what the issue is. What matters here is that the will of the people had been disregarded by a select few and if it can happen there over one issue…it can happen in any state over any issue.

Just imagine it: The people have decided on fewer taxes. Bam! Five judges can say the people don’t know what is best for them and reverse the will of the people to allow unwanted taxes fall upon the people. The people have decided that they want harsher sentences for sexual offenders. Bam! Five judges can say the people don’t know what is best for them and reverse the will of the people to let sex offenders off with lighter sentences since the “prisons are already too full.” The people have decided that they want capital punishment, looser gun laws, less government interference in their daily lives, and so on and so forth. Bam! Five judges can say the people don’t know what is best for them and reverse the will of the people to turn our once great nation into a socialist empire headed by a series of “judges” who all know what is best for the people.

Does this sound irrational? Does this sound utterly far fetched? If anyone had told me a year earlier that five judges could overturn a decision decided upon, not by over-zealous politicians, but directly by the people, I too would have called these scenarios far fetched. And, yet…here we are.

(11/25/08)
Edit:
Further investigation into the results of California’s Proposition 8 have unveiled the need for a poignant correction. It was not actually five judges who overturned the people’s decision. The California Supreme Court consists of seven, not nine judges. And, so, it is even worse…On May 15, 2008, four people, not five, overturned a decision made by the majority. The whole thing stinks even stronger with one less person over-stepping the bounds of the judiciary.

1 comment » | Politics, Rant

Back to top