Monday, August 18, 2003

Et Tu Brutus?

Friends. What are they? Gah, there are so many definitions for what a friend is. Someone who you can trust? Someone who will sacrifice for you? Someone who stand by you no matter what? Maybe I hold my friends up to an unreachable standard by expecting all that from them, but who else is there to trust in the world? I mean, without your friends you have no one. Who else is there? Parents? HA!!! Anyone who's read my previous logs know that's NOT an option. Family? They have their agendas too, so they're out! Religion? Well, religious folk aren't usually very understanding in matters such as these. There's nobody out there but your friends.

There's such a long trail of betrayers though. Brutus, who killed Caesar. Judas the Iscariot who sold the life of Our Blessed Lord. Benedict Arnold, who betrayed our founding fathers. How do you know who you can and cannot trust? Well, when push comes to shove whoever stands by your side will probably be able to fill those shoes. Think about it. Brutus killed Caesar when peer pressure was at its highest. Judas gave up Our Lord to the Jews when it looked like the tides were turning. Same thing happened with Benedict Arnold. Its an endless cycle. The Church views its Bishops as successors to the Apostles. Not everyone BUT Judas, Judas is included too. So, the cycle of betrayal continues. Bernard Cardinal Law, Archbishop Mahoney, they all succeeded Judas. The successors to Judas caused the sex scandal. In the same manner the infection of a bad friend spreads quickly to the others. If you see someone who you know will betray you then CUT THEM OFF before that start an inssurection of rumors and gossip against you.

Why have I chosen to write this particular article? I have been betrayed dear readers. Someone who I considered to be one of my really good friends has started a rumor about me being on a date with a guy. Now, don't get me wrong, I have nothing against those of the homosexual/bisexual persuasion but as a straight teenage guy its not something I want to be seen as synonymous with. Not for reasons of hate, just because there are social stigma associated with it. But homosexuality is another article... hmmm... maybe tomorrow's... But there you have it. Betrayal. The wolf in sheep's clothing. Always keep an eye out for the next Brutus, Judas, or Benedict Arnold.
The Moral of the Story: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck... chances are, its a goose.
I shouldn't be up this early...

Its 2:22 AM on Monday morning and I'm exhausted, but I can't get to sleep because of that damn Nightmare on Elm Street movie. So here I am, blogging away my time. Might as well assess something while I'm on here... hmmm... How about horror movies? Sounds good to me! Why do they scare us? I mean, really, how many of you out there actually believe a guy with knives for fingers will kill you in your dreams? I suppose its not as much the fact we think its going to happen, but the concept that it could. When we watch horror films we see average teenagers being attacked by supernatural beings. This sends a message to our subconcious that says "Well, I'll be damned... that COULD THEORETICALLY happen". So whenever you close your eyes you see the face of Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger, and whenever you hear a sound your first thought is "OH MY LORD ITS MICHAEL MEYERS!!!!" You aren't conciously thinking, "He's gonna get me... He's gonna get me..." But your subconcious is just waiting for him to burst through the window behind you. This isn't my most in depth analyzation but gimme a break... its 2:28 AM now... This really wouldn't be complete without a scary story I suppose. Once there was a dog, and his name was Sparky. Sparky was a good companion to his owners and loved them dearly, but he had a dark secret. Every night around 10 PM his owner would lead him into the bathroom in the back of the house and do things to him that frightened and confused sparky. Sure, he licks himself (the dog), but he's not used to another person doing these things. So one day, feeling depressed and frightened, Sparky hung himself from his leash. Sparky's owners were found dead the next night, with doggy biscuits lodged in their throats. Was it the spirit of sparky seeking revenge? Some believe so.
The Moral of the Story: Let sleeping dogs lie.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

The Chicken Pot Pie Box from Hell

I was about to fix myself one of those little chicken pot pies and couldn't help but wonder, why do they put that little tab you're supposed to open it with over the cooking directions? Once you open it, you can't see how to cook it anymore! It makes no sense whatsoever! But that's corporate America for you. Does it ever make sense?
The Moral of the Story: There's always a story, behind a story. Except in this case.
Why Do Parents Do the Things They Do?

Hmmm about 2 hours after my first post another issue comes to mind. Why do parents do the things they do? My mother came onto our computer last night and it was moving slower than normal, and so she deleted all of my music without saying a word to me. Was she trying to prove a point? NO. Was she trying to assert authority? NO. Was she mad at me for something? I DONT KNOW. Why do they do these sorts of thing? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to say the least. They do things they know will hurt their relationship with their child, and most of the time just because they felt like it. When we were fighting about it and I asked why she did it her answer was "Because I felt like it." and when I said a simple apology would make me feel better, her response was "I'm not sorry." So what's the deal? Is it a mass psychosis that causes these things? Some sort of chemical that the body produces once you hit a certain age that just makes you a butthole every once-in-awhile for no apparent reason? UGH! I don't get it. Learn from your own observations guys. Don't treat your kids like that. I mean its everywhere! Married parents gang up on their kids. Divorced parents ignore their kids. Unfaithful parents hate their kids. Oh, every once-in-a-while you'll come across one of those happy-go-lucky "Leave it to Beaver" families, but they are few and far between. If there was dialogue between parents and kids in which BOTH parties listened and one wasn't always thinking the other is a total idiot then we would go far to becoming a great society. As long as parents treat us like crap and as long as we close down dialogue there will be no peace. I say peace, because there is a war waging between parents and their kids. We want independence, they want to beat us down. Why beat us down? Because they don't want to lose us. What they don't realize is that they are driving their kids away. I'm going to boarding school in a few weeks. Most people wonder why. Well, my primary reason is because I want to become a Priest. My secondary reason, on the other hand is almost equal to the primary one. I want to get away from my family. All of them. Its a constant state of hate between just about everyone. Sometimes people hide it, other times they express it loud and clear, but its always there. No one in my family loves one another and if they ever say they do its all part of a strategy to get something from you. Its pretty much that way out in the REAL world too though. No one ever really does something nice for you without an alterior motive. So I get to see what its like out there. The only downside is I have no one in my family I can rely upon to always be there for me. They don't care about anyone but themselves. Even in my decision to join the Priesthood I've gotten support from one person, my mom. She is an exception to the rule. She never really has an alterior motive, but she doesn't treat me like she should. If I ever inconvenience what she wants to do, I get sideswiped. For instance, she was planning to send me to my grandmother's on my last weekend at home so that she could have some guy come over here. She says that wasn't the case, but she also said my dog ran away (she killed it). Our parents lie to us, that's pretty much a given. But like I noted in my previous article, what if we find out its a lie? That irreparably damages the parent/child relationship. I know after the first, oh, 4 or 5 lies I caught my mother in I stopped trusting her. I don't trust her to this day. I am always suspicious that something is going on that I don't know about, because I'm usually right. Sure, they may lie to us for our own good and there's always that quote "Which is better? A lie that draws a smile? or a truth that draws a tear?" but what about when the person finds out its a lie? The trust is gone and the parent is left with nothing. The sad part is, they don't even try to earn it back. They do these things to us, and then try and buy back the truth and the love with movie tickets, video games, vacations. But you know as well as I do that even though those video games make us forget that we don't like the person our parent has turned out to be, in the end, that memory of the lie or the moment when you thought your parent cared more about her boyfriend than you will ALWAYS come back. The only way to get through that is dialogue. Oh, I'm not gonna turn into an afterschool special here and tell you to talk to your parent. This article is criticizing them! They tell us, "TALK TO ME!" then when you do they don't listen. They always have their own private agendas in mind whenever they say something to you. Some of us out there can trust our parents still. Keep in mind, they are few and far between. Oh, and they will try and tell you if you confront them about ANYTHING, "My parents were so much worse than this! They would do this and that and BLAH BLAH BLAH." Well, then, if your parent was SOOOOOOOO much worse than you, why don't you learn from their mistakes and TRY to be a perfect parent? Because, my God, they put zero effort into it. I have never in my life done drugs, smoked, had alcohol, snuck out of the house, gone somewhere without my mom's permission, broken anything, stolen, beaten up anyone, etc... And from what I hear the average teen does most of that in a period of one year. Yet, she still treats me like I couldn't possibly get any worse. I get MAD when she pisses me off, and then the conversation turns to what I did wrong, and how I need to correct it. How about the parent corrects what they did to make us mad? Everything is NOT always our fault, sometimes they do something wrong too. So why not apologize to us? Why not let us help them avoid doing it again? How about you guys talk to us about your problems sometimes? Because we too wonder, "Why are you mad at me all the time?" Oh, and to any parents that may be reading this: We're mad at you all the time because of all the crap you've done to us without as much as an "I didn't mean to" or an "I'm sorry" because you think you're better than us. THAT is why we're always mad at you. So how about you do some changing? How about you spend some quiet time? How about YOU grow up? No matter how much you wish it weren't so, you make mistakes and we realize them.

So what have we learned today boys and girls? There MUST be dialogue between parents and kids. Most of the time, when dialogue fails, its not YOUR fault. Its theirs. They don't listen because the entire time you're talking to them their little agenda is in the back of their head. So there you have it.
The Moral of the Story: Don't beat a dead horse, just in case its only asleep.
Rules: Were They Really Meant to Be Broken?

Everyone does their own thing, and with their own thing comes their own personal set of rules. When everyone has their own personal set of rules, the standard becomes meaningless and POOF! no one has any set-in-stone-truth to rely upon. For a while there were standards that pretty much everyone lived by, and your friends and family always kept you in check. Things were pretty much "orderly' until someone got really pissed off at somebody else. Then, the 60's happened. A group of people emerged who systematically disobeyed all of these rules society had set forth. Ask your parents, this period of time was pretty scary for most people because all of those truths that they had relied upon for their entire lives had been torn away from them by these people. So, we all had to adapt into a state of independence where we had to find our own set of rules and our own set of beliefs. But really, which one is better?

When you have set rules before you, there's no confusion or doubt in your life. You know your purpose. To all you teenagers out there, I think you know what I'm talking about. You wonder all the time what your meaning and purpose is. I know I do. I struggle with it every day of my life from the time I wake up in the morning to the time I go to sleep at night. I long for a set of rules that will show me where to go, what to do, because the confusion of not knowing who I am almost hurts. If these rules were gradually reintroduced into society then perhaps things would be better. Look at the facts. In the 1950's how high was the suicide rate in comparison with today? How high was the crime rate in comparison with today? How high was the divorce rate in comparison with today? Well, you'll hear from some, "Oh, we've just learned more about who we are as a species." Oh really? Animals kill for food, we kill for pleasure. How exactly does that advance us as a species? As teenagers we complain all the time about rules being imposed on us, but truly, wouldn't you rather eliminate the pain of being lost in such a huge, empty, world? Because, truthfully, running around with no structure to your life will get very boring, very fast. Trust me, I know.

And now, what if this era of lawlesness were to continue to grow? What if one day there were no rules? No governments? No laws? No military? Isn't that how some horros movies begin? As teenagers we have these rules forced upon us. We have no choice. And the worst part is, when they are thrust upon us we don't understand them. It becomes to us just some game that adults play with our minds. We get the impression that behind closed doors, at their little gettogethers they laugh their butts off because of how much control they have over us. Well, in some ways this is good, but in some ways, its bad as well. Let's address the two.

Through pressing rules on us without just cause they teach us about how the REAL world works, because face it, very few teenagers have even got a slight gimpse of the REAL world. Out there, you are told to do all of these crazy, messed up thing and you will NEVER get a reason. You're just expected to hop to it. So, in a way that prepares us for that situation. But what if we don't want to mindlessly follow ANYONES rules, even out in the REAL world. Well, you'll find that you will have no choice. The only way to hold fast to your own moral beliefs and survive out there is to find someone who you personally trust will never steer you wrong and just follow them. But isn't that how we're supposed to see our parents? True, that is exactly how we should see our parents and we are forced into that at birth. Its an instict. But one day, you catch your parent doing something you know is wrong, or they lie to you, or they use you. Then that trust is lost. Parents and adults who read this, TAKE HEED. If you lose your child's trust, you may never gain it back. And even teenagers, when you have your kid, never do that to them. It hurts them far too much in the long run. Now, on to the downside...

When we have beliefs, rules, commands, forced on us for no obvious reason and then our parent refuses to tell us why, it confuses us. Parents should be well aware that the objective of adolescence from a biological standpoint is to assert your independence. When we were kids, we didn't need a reason. Now, we ask "Why?" Parents should be treated us like semi-adults at least, because we NEED that independence to be able to ask "Why?" and get an answer. Parents are supposed to be seen as being there to love and care for us, and not just to use us as their work horses and then love us the rest of the time. When parents refuse to answer that question, they seem more like Nazi Commandants than parents. Whenever my mom orders me around like that, I always respond, "Ya wuhl mein Fuhrer". Those of you who didn't sleep during World History should have gotten that.

So there you have it. Rules or no rules? What's my conclusion? Well, I always refer back to this great little biblical verse. (IM BECOMING A PRIEST GIMME A BREAK) "There's a time to every purpose under heaven." There's a time to impose rules on people and there's a time to let them go free, but society should always have those bare minimum morals present to lend everyone a helping hand in deciding who they are, and what they should be doing.
The Moral of the Story: Don't stick pennies in light sockets.

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