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Do we need faith?

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.
-Khalil Gibran

Notice that I did not say “do we need religion?” before you get your panties all wadded up; but I might touch on that too. So before you go any further let me explain something about faith.

Many words have tons of meanings that can be defined and interpreted differently. Take for example a color, while it is something that can be defined and classified it is a lot more than that. Blue can be your favorite t-shirt, team, car. Words carry a lot of meaning and faith, like the word love is one of the heavy ones.

How necessary is faith though? Do we need it in our lives? Is it an innate thing or something we learn?

I respect and often times admire people of faith. Some of the happiest people are those with strong faith. Then there are those that make me want to give up on faith as an idea, see “Tim Tebow” sport antics and wanting to push his agenda for Christianity and God helping him score 316 touchdowns!

Our society is losing the sense of honor and heroes. We call lots of people’s heroes, but who do we really follow or put our faith into?

Celebrity culture is yet another form of worship that some even find a mental disease associated with compulsive behavior. Yet you look at the definition for it and in some ways believing in a Kardashian (no I am not looking up if that is the correct spelling) seems no different than believing in Jesus. Same infatuation with a fabricated thing.

Yet I love Christianity in so many ways, I still feel comforted by praying “our father.”

Faith helps people get through life. It gives them energy to keep going, it gives them that sense of companionship when we feel all alone. Some would not be able to get up every day without it. So is there something wrong with those that don’t have it all?

Do we always need someone or something to worship? is it just part of the human makeup?

This topic does have more questions than answer I am afraid. One of the most important lessons I have come across in life is that to really learn you have to question. If you have faith in something, it is ok to question it… if you don’t it might not be that strong after all.

What to stream today?

We did away with cable when we moved to Chicago, and we really have not missed it all that much. Except for a sport event that might be missed here and there (we always have the option to go to see Football games at my Mom’s place) we get pretty much everything via streaming. I figured it would be a good new feature to balance things out to also post about what we are watching or find interesting.

This weekend we streamed 2 movies, and I guess now I know why I did not pay full ticket price to see them at the theaters.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (**)

While this movie was entertaining, it really seemed to be missing something. It was like eating a pie that had flavor, but with mushy crust.

The acting was great. There was really nobody that was too annoying and what was supposed to be dramatic was, what was supposed to be funny also was. The CGI monkeys were mostly believable and did not interrupt the flow of the move for me. Neither did the action. Every character was compelling in some way.

It is a lot to ask for a CGI monkey to be the centerpiece of the movie, but Cesar delivered. He did not seem to want to be a bad monkey, but he was… oh wait, he is not a monkey, he is a chimp! I can already hear the cries all over the ape loving blog-sphere.

It is a little on the violent side to watch with small children, so I would not call it a family movie. It does have potential though, it does make you wonder if there are more ape movies that can be made. I would probably watch another one, but not holding my breath.

I would rent it, but I don’t think I would ever watch it again.


Moneyball (***)

Ah, Brad Pitt. While the dude is still married to a girl I had a crush on when I watched hackers, everything past Billy Bob is damaged goods, I cannot hold that against him. He is a good actor and I seriously did not see him, I saw a very crazy GM trying to run a baseball team with no money to spend. I could relate with a dude trying to accomplish the impossible with no resources… I do work in IT.

The acting was not bad, the baseball seemed like the average movie representation. The movie was more about the man than the game.

While it is kind of a “feel good” movie, it does not make you feel very good. It has flashes of awesome when it tries to make you look at the love for the game, but it reminded me that football seems to be more America’s sport now than baseball.

This one is a kid friendly movie, but maybe nostalgia makes me want to share the older movies from the 80s rather than this one.

I rank it a little better than apes because I think I like baseball better than CGI apes. Overall they are both cheap rentals that should waste a couple of hours of your day.

So what have you been streaming lately?

Audience

Most of my blog career I have not written for an audience. The blog has been personal and more of a brain dump than a cohesive piece of work. It goes all over the place, but this year I am trying to spark ideas, both inside of my head and others using quotes.

I tend to ramble a lot, I tend to write on run on sentences, I am no Hemingway by any stretch of the imagination but I think that he was right when he thought the audience should be smart enough to figure stuff out.

That is how I view my audience. If I use guilt, or emotion to make you feel something when I write it… I want people to say, whatever, I don’t feel that way… or I really don’t care… or that is not for me. Even if they never comment on what I write, most of the time what I want to do is to have people consider that thought for even just a second. I don’t want to change minds, I just want to kind of record and share a little of what mine goes to when I read a quote, react to an event or watch a movie.

I have started to use twitter again @logtar and some of my recent posts could have been simple tweets.

Understanding – I think people don’t really understand situations until they or someone close to them experience them.

Why the American dream is a lie that only Americans believe – The middle class in America is dying or already dead.

But I wanted to go further than that, not just create conversation around the topic but write what my mind came up with. Passion is just one of the things that drives me, and even though I am an engineer by trait and work a lot with computers I am still driven by emotions… a lot, for some of my friends maybe too much.

I can understand pure logic, and trying to achieve Logos (in the sense that true persuasion is more likely to be achieved by pure logic means) is one of my personal goals. Planting an idea on the ground of emotion only works for so long, people eventually wake up and realize that emotions while real can change. Hopefully most logic arguments don’t change. Now that is a discussion for another day.

I value my audience, and I also value and think all humans are capable of anything they put their mind to. I don’t think that what I write goes over peoples heads (it might end up confusing, wrong and very convoluted but I never think it will not be understood.) I list two editors here because when I write something that I think might only make sense to me, I check with them… and they help steer me a bit.

I am having a lot of fun exploring this new way direction I am taking here. I hope you guys are too.

Understanding

“What I hear, I forget;
What I see, I remember;
What I do, I understand.” -Confucius. 451 BC

Ask anyone that has been a motorcycle rider about what the experience is like and you will get the same response; you cannot really explain it, you have to experience it.

There are a lot of things in life that are very hard to explain and don’t make sense until you actually experience them. Part of it is that you can hear or read about something, but until you are actually in the situation you cannot really wrap your arms around it.

I have friends that are completely against gay marriage, and therefore against a same sex couple being able to adopt children. I don’t understand why the institution of marriage is a members only club for the heterosexual folks, but I find the situation very sad. It seems that nobody understands what is like to be told what you can and cannot do until it happens to you or someone you love.

I am not sure if it is because I have the experience of being an immigrant or because I have had true friends that are in the LGBT community (and some of them have adopted kids.) but I find it hard to believe that anyone would oppose another human being in any of those issues. Sexual orientation is not something you chose like what shoes you wear in the morning. It is no different than your liking being told sweet things while making love or liking dirty talk. It’s private, it’s what you do with your significant other, it has nothing to do with anyone outside of your bedroom.

I joke around with one of my friends about the BDSM world all the time because everyone that has not experienced that world to some degree thinks that is full of “freaks.” What most people don’t realize is that those freaks might be your dentist, your lawyer or the dude fixing your computer. What they do in their private life is their business… however, it does not make them any more freaks than your secret trips to the fridge at midnight when you think nobody is watching.

I am not saying that you need to go see a dominatrix to understand the world, but that judging others or even excluding them from the rights they should have is a very narrow view of the world.

Stigma is a powerful thing and makes people feel really threatened. I play video games online and I have met several people that simply refuse to let their family and friends know that they play them. I understand that the professional world might still have some negative views about online gaming, but now that everyone is playing Angry Birds maybe the stigma will start to disappear.

Don’t wait until one of your kids or someone close to you is discriminated against to change your world view. Be open minded about everything and find the root of your “moral” stances; don’t be afraid to challenge them or change them. If they are based only in fear or what someone else says, re-evaluate them.

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