Sober Lies

Normally I try to keep the pacing light-hearted in this blog. After all, Vicky and I are walking into our newly married lives together with our heads held high and our pockets overflowing-ish.

Today I want to make a break from character and address a very real and very pressing reality that every Christian in the West needs to hear.

There are many lies out there, and the most convincing lies are chock-full of bold truths. To create a lie that people will believe you need to make it look as close to truth as possible.

For funsies, Vicky and I decided to Google “What is the meaning of life?” One of the first results was from a group called the World Transformation Movement.

The group is a particularly irrelevant group that came out of Australia in the 60’s and 70’s with the goal of bringing about a rather vague message of “bettering humanity through vague stuff” as shown below:

The WORLD TRANSFORMATION MOVEMENT (WTM) is a global, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to transforming the individual, the human race and thus our world through bringing psychologically relieving biological understanding to the underlying problem in all human affairs of the human condition.

The basic gist of their message is “people are inherently good, but they do bad things because they are victims of the human condition, which is inherently good but doesn’t know it”. It doesn’t take an expert logician to note that there’s a slightly circular logic to it. If you do choose to read their documentation about it, good luck trying to follow the string of thought:

With an appreciation now of what the human condition is, we can explain and thus understand what happened to Saul [from the Bible]. The human condition is a terrifyingly confronting subject and, to cope with that terror, all that the upset human race has been able to do is live in denial of it, try to block out the whole issue of the imperfection in our lives. We attacked, denied and attempted to prove wrong any exposing criticism of our corrupted state. This response relieved our condition but there was, of course, a significant downsidea loathsome life of extreme anger, alienation and egocentricity.

It should be worth noting that there are other very, very astute speakers with a truly inspirational verbiage that have come before this:

From the bright light of dawn, from the ray of sun which has risen after a long absence, from its horizon, from the lids of the eyes which were wounded by heavy tears for people, dear for all of us, who can no more be seen, but who can become visible with the new sun, and from the horizon which God has ordained to be vast, with a new birth and life in whose skies exist green birds and a strong newborn which God has decided to be faithful to its nation, from all this your glorious Revolution and march, a new [nation], was born.

If that sounds familiar, that’s the eloquence of our most famous President of the 21st century, Saddam Hussein.

What I mean is this: Throughout thousands of years the conviction grew up and prevailed, not so much in the [nation’s] mind as in the minds of the contemporary world, that bloodshed and the extermination of those hitherto in power–together with the destruction of public and private institutions and property–were essential characteristics of every true revolution. Mankind in general has grown accustomed to accept revolutions with all these consequences somehow or other as if they were legal happenings. I do not mean that people endorse all this tumultuous destruction of life and property; but they certainly accept it as the necessary accompaniment of events which, because of this very reason, are called revolutions.

That is from our old pal across the sea, the world-famous Party member Adolf Hitler.

One common component of all of these is that there is a profound elegance to the speech. In fact, when I was reading the Hitler speech, I was trepidated in awe at how brilliantly put-together the chain of reasoning and speaking was.

The reality is that this beauty has a signature appearance to it that is unmistakable once you get conditioned to seeing it.

If you are a Christian, then you believe in Satan. I’m not a Bible scholar, but it’s pretty clear he has it out for us. If you take his famed deceptiveness at face value, it’s obvious that he is a master wordsmith.

Also, if you believe Revelation to be a prophetic book of the Bible (and I’m curious about why you wouldn’t) then it only logically stands that Satan has a plan for world domination. Technically, to believe the Bible in its entirety is to be a conspiracy theorist.

The purpose of this message is not to freak you out. There are tons of sites that will go on ad nauseum about how the Bible prophecy of so-and-so was attempted in 2005 with the such-and-such group, and they nearly won, and they’re still out there, like in 2008, etc. etc. etc.

Those people only have a portion of the story. The reality is that this realization of God’s plan coming to fruition through the supposed triumph of evil is a cause for celebration! Even in the darkest and most grim times that will come, we can rely on the Creator of Friggin’ Everything Ever to protect us and prepare our souls for our eternal home!

If you’re a Christian, this planet is your temporary residence. You’re supposed to be in it, but you’re just passing through.

With that mentality in mind, here are a few details to watch for when you see future deceptions that are part of Satan’s creative endeavors:

1. Pay attention to the “one world” talk

This viewpoint is gaining traction, especially among climate-change-ologists (people who believe humanity is Earth’s tumor) and futurists (people who make technology their Jesus).

Though it is a comforting idea to be unified in one world without borders or national distinctions, that lie is fundamentally contradictory to Scripture. Wars and rumors of wars will happen up until the end of days. It is our inherent sin nature that divides us, and the only true unity historically that will ever and has ever happened is under a deity, so take your pick.

2. Watch for florid verbiage

If someone isn’t delivering the truth straight to you in the beginning of the message, they have to massage your feelings first. This happens in infomercials all the time, but many people don’t realize that it’s the politician’s playbook. Dramatic pauses to let the words sink in between phrases aren’t uncommon, and it usually will break up the phrases so much that half the audience forgets the start of a sentence by the time it gets to the end!

Fanciful words are nice, but make sure you understand what they’re saying before you start cheering.

3. Watch out for transhumanism

We have some pretty advanced technology these days! You can hook up electrodes to your brain and control a computer, they have artificial limbs that move like real ones, and they’re working on replacing almost every organ with a fake one.

Once we start talking about brain/head transplants (which incidentally could bring beheading back into vogue), implants to create permanent augmented reality, and “evolving to the next level” with some sort of technology, you know you have arrived…at the end times. Walk with caution. It’s very possible the Mark of the Beast could rewire a person’s neurology!

4. Get ready to be the “bad guy”

If you’re a practicing Christian, you will have to come to an ultimatum soon enough. You will be told that you are holding up progress and working against what science, nature, history, popular opinion, the law and your friends know to be right. You’ll be the villain for choosing Christ over the world, and the world will hate you for that unwillingness to adapt.

 

The times are coming, and the clock is ticking. There’s probably something you should be doing, isn’t there?

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Relaxing, The Most Stressful Way Possible

The last time you heard from us, we had just had our wedding. Since then, we’ve had close to nothing significant happening to us.

This isn’t to say that the whole time was boring, though! Usually the most quiet seasons are the most emotionally taxing. This is because our psyche realizes that there’s emotional room to go clean out our emotional closet, but then our emotional closet gets full from emotional snacking on Feelios and goes to the emotional bathroom.

Life Tip: Having a mental dump is like a brain fart, but it thinks much harder.

Since I’m no stranger to awkward loneliness that forces self-reflection, the PWSD after the wedding hasn’t hit me as hard. The same can’t exactly be said of my Wubsy Lubsy Vicky Poopers.

Pro Tip: Getting married doesn’t mean any of the squishy relationship crap stops; it means it’s a life commitment now.

One of her most intense realizations has come with the bold statement her parents made. Of the 100+ people who showed up to our wedding, apparently her dad was too busy playing video games and her mom was too busy being self-righteously bitter to attend it. Even though one of Curly Num Nums’ biggest strengths is her ability to see things very reasonably, it doesn’t remove the emotional intensity of having to deal with the loss.

Coping Tip: Some of us have stupid parents, and the God-given desire to be valued and loved by them needs to be refocused on more positive things, like self-analysis and needlepoint.

In the midst of all of this mental bumfuzzling, she made a very bold decision: she is not going to pursue art at this time. With all of the stress that it seems to elicit, the worst thing she can do right now is to add more stress with a massive commitment to a money-making scheme that compounds the chances of feeling like a failure.

Happiness Tip: Do more with less, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the Rome-bricklayer wasn’t also working on roofs.

Right now, there is a small truckload of miscellaneous actionables that the two of us have to sort through:

  • Sort through my crap, get rid of old stuff I have, scan in documents and stuff
  • Sort through her crap, figure out what she has, get rid of worthless crap
  • Take the most valuable crap that doesn’t fit into our current abode and package it nicely to take out later for furnishing crap in a new place
  • Sort through digital crap to get rid of crap that isn’t organized or grouped with other crap
  • Get into a routine about crap involving food and cleaning a shared home
  • Doing other crap that life asks for and won’t take “no” for an answer

Productivity Tip: Getting crap done is easy; simply make a list of things you did and check them all off. It’s the getting crap done that you want done that gets tricky.

As you may know by now (and you will know in a few seconds) I have my own personal magnum opus of a project I’m slowly working on called the Philosopher Accountant. I came to realize something with Honey Bunny Buckles with my latest series: How To Be Personally Successful.

What I discovered is that the true wisdom and information in life is really easy to understand. I mean, like, stupid easy. So stinking easy that a semi-brain-damaged twelve-year-old  would be able to get it! (well, more brain-damaged than normal)

The information is never hard to figure out for the basic components of living. What is hard is the accepting of it. Living an honest and open life of integrity and goodness with everyone is extremely easy to understand, especially if you have the advantage of being a Christian. The only impediment in understanding it is tied to our own emotional hangups that refuse to accept the bluntly obvious things that we have to slog through in that understanding of truth.

Life Tip: We all make life needlessly hard on ourselves, and we all tend to make it worse by wanting everyone else to feel sorry for our misery.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that you have a bad habit of running over people with your car that you don’t like. Obviously the answer to that is simple: stop hitting people with your car and atone for the injury. However, your drive-thru addiction will mean you’ll want to do something else that allows you to keep on running people over, like finding a really complicated moral justification. Maybe you’ll find a job at a demolition derby or find serial killers to run over. The complexity of the action didn’t change, but anyone who asks you about it will get a very long and confusing explanation.

Family Tip: If you ever happen to have a mom who makes justifications about everything, turn it into a game! Points for getting them to stutter, bonus points for making them contradict themselves, bonus round when other families join in.

Truth is a bitter pill, and that’s why we need to ingest it with the candy of jokes, the peanut butter of stories and the bacon of conciseness.

The way this connects to my Sniffly Pickle Dripper is that she grew up with a constant denial of the truth, and she took the results of that voluntary brain handicap a bit too seriously. This has been years in the making, but my Sweetsie Super Woman has been able to undo it in only months!

Happy Tip: Learning to relax is probably the hardest thing to do when you have glaring self-esteem problems and are constantly anxious, but it’s definitely a learned skill and absolutely worth the cost of learning it.

Altogether, when I get to those points that she makes me feel like beefing up my rap sheet with aggravated assault or self-inflicted manslaughter, I go back and remember that things are really not too bad. I have a beautiful Wubbly Nuffers who only has a fraction of the problems I do, and nothing in this world matters to me more than her.

Sanity Tip: Nobody’s fully sane. We all have horrifying thoughts. If you don’t, then you’re insane and in denial.

My old philosophy teacher, Chris Biffle, had an amazing theory about love. His theory was that we all contain a black hole inside of us. While falling in love with someone, you will discover that bad part of that person. No matter how much you try, it’s unfixable and unavoidable. This black hole is so core to a person that literally every problem they have stems from that issue.

The key to loving when you discover the black hole is to observe the good sides of that person that come from that same black hole:

  • Someone who can’t budget their way through a single day will also be very generous
  • A constantly scattered focus also means observing things other people don’t notice
  • Having no ability to think ahead also means having a natural ability to live in the moment
  • No ability to filter out thoughts being said also means being genuinely honest
  • Being mortally afraid of the slightest changes also means a very high sensitivity to anything changing
  • Inability to exercise self-control means an ability to focus intensely on something

Humanity Tip: Everyone else sucks, but that’s okay because you suck too.

Wed Behind The Hears

Only half a week later and I was finally able to blurb out a blog!

Not much happened in between now and last week. We just had one wedding and about 80-100 people over at my parents’ house.

Understatement aside, and contrary to what you may imagine, it was actually a very laid-back event.

Life Tip: Have fun at your wedding, since nobody cares about it nearly as much as you!

We had 6 party pizzas, 2 4-foot subs, a giant nacho bar, and a few other things that my addled and quite confused memory evades me about us having had.

Mixed into that proliferation of snacks, Vicky and I got tuxedo and bridal gown t-shirts that we wore during most of the party outside of the proper ceremony.

Friends Tip: The value of a party is exclusively tied to the people who are AT the party.

Though there were a handful of people that we probably wouldn’t have invited had we had the chance for a do-over, the place was overrun with awesome people. Most of the people who don’t like things like “fun” and “happiness” were naturally weeded out from attending due to a few deciding factors:

  • We had a rather unconventional invite system via EventBrite, which is great for parties and conventions, but a bit atypical for weddings
  • We specified in the actual event invites that it would be casual to semi-casual, turning off everyone who was there for the formal pomp and circumstance of it
  • Our wedding registry was really just a big list of silly things we didn’t need, since we’ve been living together as a married couple for a few months now

Party Tip: Don’t bring alcohol to a party if you like your ceiling to be puke-free and you appreciate the placement of your back yard’s plants.

One thing that surprised us was the folks who didn’t come to the wedding! Among them, most notably, were the guy we’re renting a room from and Vicky’s parents. The former was probably deterred by the non-Coors-inundated environment, and the latter was probably turned off by their proposed theory that I’m the Antichrist.

Pro Tip: If someone thinks you’re the Antichrist, statistically speaking they’re probably wrong.

We got a ton of help from some pretty unexpected sources. One of the least expected was my aunt, who came in with a myriad of ideas and an unprecedented level of ambition.

Before I continue, let me explain what kind of person my aunt is. She is the type of person that will force a good thing upon you. Imagine scraping your knee, and then getting offered a glass of juice by her. After you awaken from your drug-induced sleep, you find yourself tied up in a bed with a cute heart-patterned bandaid covering your scrape. Next to you you’ll find a lunch made with love with a note saying that you can’t go anywhere. If you don’t hit the call button so that you can eat lunch and instead free yourself to eat, you’ll get yelled and and drugged again with cookies. This dormant codependent intimation is in all of the females on my mom’s side of the family.

Life Tip: When you’re raised by a crazy person, par for the course is crazy.

My aunt sacrificed a ton of time and energy, and I had to make sure I briefed Vicky with proper intel to keep her most vital standards from being marauded.

Family Tip: The best mind games are the ones that nobody can see from the outside.

I do love my family, though I think I only have enough love for my mom’s side of the family to do the Christlike thing and not kill them all.

Christian Tip: Killing is sometimes justified in the Bible.

In reality, though, it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as we envisioned it to become! We all had a great time, even in decorating and preparing the event. From what we’ve heard, most weddings give the bride a few gray hairs and give the groom a few reasons to buy guns, but for us we are now happily out of a somewhat stressful place in our life.

Happiness Tip: High expectations will lead to low satisfaction.

And now, finally, after our wedding is done and over with, we are moving on in life. I’ve started going to Toastmasters to learn how to communicate more betterer, and Vicky is sifting through a rather large photo archival project tied to the wedding. I’m working on the Philosopher Accountant with a newfound goal as well as trying to get more certification in my career, and she’s going to start Muse of Moments, LLC rather soon.

Life Tip: Weddings are over-rated, and the easier and cheaper you make it the happier you’ll be.