Embarrassed

Some days I’m embarrassed to be an American.

Trump represents the worst of how some people see Americans: egocentric, stupid, arrogant and crass. How the fuck did we end up with this degenerate?

American has incredible wealth. Yet we can’t figure out how to provide healthcare for every citizen. Drug companies are raising drug prices so fast that people go across the border to Mexico or Canada to get what they need to stay alive for a fraction of the cost.

Religious groups worm they way into local politics and we end up with teachers forced to teach intelligent design and abstinence only sex education. Yet they can’t teach about safe sex practices because these religious zealots think talking about condoms will lead kids having sex. They think chastity vows actually work though.

What is the least religious state? I need to move there. Utah is a beautiful state but enough is enough.

Fleabag

It’s a great show. I’m two episodes into season two.

It’s on Amazon Prime. I haven’t laughed this hard since the BBC version of the Office.

The characters are multidimensional and the dialog is witty and brilliant.

What sets is apart from most comedies is how real the people feel. Their language and mannerisms are familiar.

The show is hilarious and poignant and crass. I love it.

Believing the Best

When you hear a rumor about a friend or colleague, do you assume the best or worst about them?

I believe it’s human nature to believe the worst, but could be swayed to believe the opposite.

Recently a rumor went through my family that placed me in a situation far from the truth. The person who spread the rumor needed me to fit their narrative.

The rumor stung but what hurt the most was the realization that people close to me chose to believe the rumor before speaking to me.

I want to fight the urge to believe the worst next time I hear a rumor about a friend. I will give them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.

Friendships

Are rare, but are one of the best aspects of life, if not the best.

As I age, I value my close friendships more than ever. I also understand they are fragile and require regular attention.

I don’t believe they should be perpetually difficult. If I’m the one instigating 90% of the interactions, something isn’t right. Reciprocation is healthy and keeps a balance to things.

Moving away from friends has been a regular part of my life. Few survive the distance. Those that do may become stronger.

I wish I had more friends. But that’s probably more of a reflection in me than anyone else.

Politics and Religion

Both topics to challenging to discuss, especially with those close to us.

I don’t recall my parents talking about politics with their children or with each other. When I was very young, my father worked at a Junior High School, and sometimes he’d take me into his classroom. One time I remember he turned on a black and white TV to listen to the Watergate hearings as he worked.

Reagan

I assumed my parents were Republicans because they backed Reagan and Bush Sr. And they were Mormon. At an early age, it was made clear to me that Mormons were Republicans. Democrats were dangerous. Nevermind that Nixon was Republican.

It would be many years later while attending the University of Utah that my political views began to lean Democrat. My interest in Mormonism also began to wane as what I was told at church didn’t match up with what I believed or felt inside.

I wonder what path my children will take?

Kim and discuss politics around the home quite often. Religious discussions happen in our home, but not as much as before. If they do, it’s because I bring up the topic. I’m proud that my children are being raised outside of any religion. Young minds are too fertile to taint with religious dogma.

As a parent, I want to allow my children to find their own path. To experiment. To make mistakes. To experience sorrow and joy. I don’t assume my path is the best fit for them.

I’m excited to see what they do with their lives without the pressure of belonging to a certain religion.

I’m Building Something Again

When I joined Facebook back in 2006 or 2007, I thought it was new and exciting to connect with friends I hadn’t seen since high school. And it was exciting for a while.

By the time the 2016 election rolled around, Facebook had become a platform to spout your political views and argue with anyone who didn’t espouse them. Rinse and repeat until Trump took over the white house and I’d had enough.

Goodbye Facebook.

Goodbye Twitter.

Hello, my old blog!

But I’d changed. I wasn’t in the habit of writing longer posts, and I assumed posts shouldn’t be fleeting, short thoughts like I added to Facebook and Twitter over the past decade.

Then I noticed something that Dave Winer, author of Scripting News, was doing. Each day he was adding one or more short posts to his blog. He might add four or most posts a day and yet none of them would add up to more than a paragraph. Was he treating his blog like one might treat adding content to Facebook or Twitter? I dunno, and I didn’t care.

I found myself coming back to his blog a few times a day. If the content was interesting, who the hell cares about the word count? I decided to do the same last week. I’ve only managed to add a post a day, but they are much shorter than what I used to post.

It feels great to get back to my blog. I’m building something again that doesn’t belong to anyone but me. And I don’t feel any pressure to wait till I have that polished thought to post.

Thanks, Dave, for getting me back on track.

The Best Decision I Made in 2018

Leaving the cesspool called Facebook. It’s toxic and bad for the soul.

Then leaving Twitter. It’s nearly as harmful as Facebook.

I left Instagram but returned because my kids and few close friends post pictures that bring me joy.

Leaving Mormonism has helped me leave other groups and communities and platforms that were taking rather than adding to my life.

Who knew leaving a religion would have such a positive trickle-down affect.