Random thoughts…

BEST EBOLA JOKE EVAR!

BEST EBOLA JOKE EVAR!

Just some random notions…

…I go out of my way in airports while on layovers to find military personnel and buy them lunch/dinner. I try to do it every chance I get.

I thought about it and Interstellar is probably one of the more interesting films I’ve seen, nothing compared to Urth of the New Sun and other awesome literature, but it was one of those cerebral movies that let you believe a little and be moved emotionally. The sad thing is that it is going to get picked apart scientifically so much that everyone will forget all the important messages given throughout the film about our own humanity…

Online communities are just like friends you never see…except that often large portions of the people are incapable of actually being friends outside the scope of their online roles in the community…and thus have no real relationships. I feel kind of special in that many of my friends online are friends in reality as well and we plan vacations and visits with each other. Not many people get to experience this with the people they meet online…well at least not outside scary 4Chan people magically appearing in your life…that wouldnt be so cool…but then i digress. I love my friends.

Big meeting tomorrow too…cant for get that. If things work out how I think they may be…my company might ding a couple times. If you dont get it…please dont bother.

It’s now Veteran’s Day. This is their day. I honestly have far too many friends and family to call them all out, but I am truly grateful for their service. To all of you, thank you for your service.

Time for bed…maybe another post soon when I am angry enough to write something motivating ;)

-T



Why Read A Banned Book This Week?

m4s0n501

banned_books_weekThe answer here is simple. Because somebody, somewhere, is afraid of it. Because somebody, somewhere, is threatened by it. Because somebody, somewhere, wants you to be ignorant of it. It sounds aggressive when I describe it like that, doesn’t it? I hope so. One of my greatest fears is that I’ll be caught in a position that doesn’t afford me the option to learn and grow from an experience…and books are huge part of this.

Strangely enough though, for the first time, I’m taking a closer look at books that have been banned from schools and libraries in order to understand why exactly we would ever ban books.

What I am quickly finding is that the banned books are more often than not incredibly important and some were even required reading when I was in school. These were the books that provoked us and forced us to weigh in on ourselves morally…and somehow managed to become scapegoats for religious/political agendas. Of course this makes me want to read them even more. Go figure.

Having been a direct target of this kind of censorship, I have always reached instantly for those books that people find offensive so much that they burn them or ban them. What is in there that people fear so much that they would try to restrict and/or destroy it? Even with my proclivities, I don’t even find religious ideologies so repugnant that I would want them banned. I simply feel that it’s too important to have that knowledge available to us, with very little exception. I’ll argue this point even unto the science-fiction critics that complain about accuracy and pseudo-science. Imagination and experience are simply too important for us to narrow the scope of our available content.

I know where this argument takes us though, and I want to point out that I am certainly not saying we should have literature teaching people how to intentionally endanger or hurt one another, but books teaching us why people would want to do this would be incredibly important in my opinion. It seems to me that far too many people have taken it upon themselves to declare war on things they’ve only heard about, rather than relying on their own experience…something our government’s foreign and diplomatic policy could stand to consider as we continue to forcibly alienate more and more countries that are culturally incompatible with us. It’s not good enough that these cultures are oceans away, we must instead keep them so politically and personally hated that our perception of options isn’t to live and let live, but to suppress and eradicate. I simply find the situation strikingly similar to how people get themselves so stirred up over whether or not people have access to a book.

Is my allusion such a stretch?

I’ll try it on a different way. Despite a very crazy, abusive, and oppressive childhood…I managed to grow up into an extraordinarily moral individual. I owe so much of this to a list of books I couldn’t even begin to list out, but I will say this: many of them are on that banned book list. Some were actually required reading in school. I didn’t develop my values from reading only what I was told to…I learned from a whole world of philosophers and teachers, some religious and some not-so-much. I sometimes saw wisdom from despicable and evil people, and sometimes read how incredibly virtuous people could single-handedly sacrifice thousands in political posturing. The crazy, the scary, the imaginative…far too many of them incredibly insightful…restricted at libraries because someone ELSE didn’t like the contents. I learned a very strong sense of self, of right, of wrong, and how easily people deliberately convince themselves something morally horrible is acceptable in the name of a higher power that expressly forbids the act.

It pains me to think that maybe if people read more, they would have less time to convince themselves to act in such extremes, and have more time for the insight and inspiration that inevitably arrives from reading a good book…even one that might offend them.

Links to many of the banned books are below. Enjoy!

-Tony

www.ala.org

www.banned-books.org.uk

www.buzzfeed.com

www.huffingtonpost.com

www.time.com



Tony’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Hi guys, I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to get called out for the ice bucket challenge, but it happened yesterday! An old friend (Joel) called me out. Lou Gehrig’s disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is is a progressive degenerative nerve disease that wreaks havoc on those who suffer from it. ALS is something we can all do something about, even if it’s something as silly as dumping a bucket of ice water on our heads.

I will be calling out Aaron from @MOTORPHILIA, Michael from @Thinkmodo, and my good buddy Tyler.

Please donate and dump a bucket of ice on your head for good measure!

http://www.alsa.org/donate/

Thanks go out to Kevin and Ashton for helping cool me off with 5 gallons of ice water…