04/26/06 06:48 - 49ºF - ID#21045
Category: quarter life crisis
03/02/06 12:23 - 23ºF - ID#21044
On Being Excited
Not that I'm a gloomy individual, my disposition is actually quite agreeable. I've just had so many wonderful experiences in my life that I think my bar is set a bit high these days. So here is a very abbrevriated list of my most exciting moments in recent memory. Not in any order.
The day I decided to go back to college
The the first time I caught a wave (surfing)
The day I graduated Marine Corps Bootcamp (Very distant memory)
The day I started my own business
Any time I've gotten on a plane to go somewhere new
The day I wrote my first piano composition
The day I played it for my best friend
The Day I got out of the Marines
The Day I got my scholarship for graduate school
02/28/06 05:06 - 24ºF - ID#21043
02/24/06 10:24 - 26ºF - ID#21042
So here it is, once upon a time I was an infantryman reservist, a college student and generally oblivious to anything outside of my little social bubble. My most heated political debate would probably have come from my admiration of Bill Clinton's ability to dodge congressional questions like a prize fighter ducking punches, but beyond Slick Willy getting a little head in the oval office my understanding of national politics was abysmal and knowledge of the global landscape non-existent. Then some fundamentalist wackos decided to fly a plane into a building and all of a sudden things mattered. It just so happens that when every time the phone rings your heart stops because you think its going to be "The Call" the one that sends you to war, you start taking stock in the what and the why, the who and the where. It is unfortunate that I had to have something to lose before I realized how much I could gain by becoming a more global citizen. Six years ago I was an American, probably a patriot and definitely the norm, educated but uniformed, accepting of the biased media and not truly understanding what it means to be a part of a society that extends far beyond our borders. Today I am still an American I believe in globalism over patriotism, I believe getting educated is not a thing you do, but a way you live your life, I abhor the media and am very grateful for the Internet and its ability to disseminate information at the speed of light in spite of corporate conglomerates and there attempts to control what you think. The first part of this last statement is what would seem to be the most easily defined, I am an American. I think it needs to be clarified.
I am an American, I live in a bubble inside of which there are people who believe that for some reason their bubble was born of superior soap. We are a land of Fundamentalists. We criticize Islam for berthing such extreme ideological perspectives but we fail to recognize our own. If you are not sure what I am talking about here feel free to watch Fox News for an hour, or even worse, tolerate Bill Orielly, or Pat Robertson for a few hours.
I am an American, Therefore there is a good chance that I have aligned myself with one political party. How is it that we have millions of citizens and only two prevailing political ideologies. Our citizens vote with tunnel vision. I have money and the republicans want me to keep it, or I am broke and the Democrats are setting up a hand out, or maybe you love god and you are dumb enough to believe a politician and his religion are anything more than a direct path to your vote.
I am an American, This means that I am a minority in graduate school. I am the minority in an American Graduate school. How can we think ourselves so superior to the rest of the world when our students can't pass basic skills tests. Most Americans know barely enough math to balance a checkbook and don't get me started on the inefficiencies of our public school system as I could write a book about my feelings there.
I am an American. Therefore I probably believe that any place on the earth that does not adhere to a strict democratic system of governance, must be bad and therefore we should bomb them all to hell and force them to have elections.
I am an American. Certainly I must think that any country from whence a 9-11 bomber came, must be bad. I allow the media to reinforce this perception by constantly reminding me who was from Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates. Because of course my memory is too short to remember things like the Oklahoma City Bombing. I live 25 Miles from Star Point where Timothy McVeigh was born and as an American it must apparently be my God forsaken duty to shun the entire community and not let any kids thay I may have play with the children of Star Point parents.
I am an American. Therefore I think that Africa is a country and the Middle East consists of Iraq and Iran. I have no idea what Israel has to do with anything and I couldn't tell you where India is for all the curry powder in the world.
I am an American. Therefore there is better than 50% chance that If I voted at all, I voted for George Bush and thanks to me, a village in Texas is missing its idiot. Chances are I voted based on religious principle, I fear science because it encroaches on said principle and I relate to a president who couldn't string four words together eloquently if the words were spool, thread, cloth and pin.
I am an American. So I probably drive an SUV because "I just don't feel safe in a small car" or I compensating for something else that is small. I complain about rising gas prices but am so appalled at the idea of tiny fuel efficient vehicles that companies don't even sell them here. I've never seen one of these @ .
I am an American so I believe that every war that was ever fought in the history of the planet was fought so that I can have the freedoms I have today. Apparently political sociological, religious and economic overtones are really just a front for this fight and I am safer at night because we have really large bombs on the wings of really fast planes built by bloated defense contracts in the name of my safety and some heavily lobbied corporations profit margin.
I am an American, but I am also an Earthling. Yes I do live in a great country, but I take it for granted and forget that this great country is part of a wonderful Earth .
Don't get me wrong. America is a great idea. The land of the free, home of the brave etc.. The problem is people. We are inherently flawed. We flow like water down the path of least resistance, and in a land with so much opportunity resistance is easily avoided. We may very well be seeing the adverse effects of our own success.
I am an American. Therefore I have the freedoms that allow me to think critically of this country. I don't have to worry about state sponsored censorship of my google search results ( at least not yet anyways ) and therefore it is possible that someone else will find this blog and read these words. Now before you go thinking I've gone and contradicted myself, realize that as an American I am in a position to make a difference in the world. I have resources available to me that go beyond that of the leaders of some entire countries. I have an obligation to be critical of my politicians and the people who elect them. I must not believe that I live in the a perfect society and I understand that we bring much of our problems upon ourselves by over consuming and under producing.
Some day when I look back at my life and wonder where all the time went, I hope I will not judge the quality of my life by the things I have consumed and those as of yet un consumed things that I will have willed to my family, but by the extent of my understanding of the world and appreciation for the things that I have been afforded because I am an American and a Human Being.
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