I Feel the Winter

I’d really like to go to Italy some time. Ancient Rome is possibly one of my favorite subjects in history, and the terrain is exactly what I go for – hilly, lush, diverse. It’s really the only European country (with the Scandanavians – Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway – as the exceptions) that interests me. Not that I would want to live there, but some day, when I’m rich and famous, I could go for it.

I’m really enjoying The Catcher in the Rye. I didn’t like it at first, because it was just the monologue of an angsty teenager. As I’ve read on, however, I realize there’s a lot in Holden that’s extremely easy to relate to, but there’s a complexity to the character that makes it hard to interpret. I had this really interesting discussion with a girl in my English class (as the rest of the class sort of sat there and said nothing) about whether or not Holden is, at heart, untrue to himself and just a coward, or whether he’s really emotional/opinionated but unable to express himself in a way that others understand, and is thus forced to comply with the social norms to function. I argued for the latter.

The real point is, this is really the first book I’ve come across in the high school curriculum that approaches any level of intellectual complexity. Maybe I was just encouraged more by the fact that another person exists that even has the desire to discuss this kind of stuff in detail. I don’t mean to say that we actually bothered to continue talking about it after our 45 minutes of class ended; Lord knows that will never happen. Only politics and religion could pull enough interest out of any given acquaintence to permit prolonged discussion.

Things have been very surreal. I’ve been watching people around me grow up – I’ve been carefully marking the point at which the line between us and Joe “sixpack” Smith on TV is blurred. I don’t doubt my own maturity, but it is strange to watch everything around me continue to grow, but in a very, very demoralizing sense, not change. To illustrate what I mean, look at American histroy. We’re discussing the “growth” of industry in the late 19th century in US History, the same “ideas” of the time are inescapably true today. We are owned by “the man”, the corporations, “the system”, as it were (this is so cliche). I understand why this is, and why this will never change, despite what illusions we may create. The knowledge that humanity is no different than it was at any point in time is very demoralizing, especially in the sense that I will not live to see “better days”. Days with less blatant acts of sexism, racism, homophobia, or whatever discrimination of your choice, I will probably see. It will simply be traded off for another culturally acceptable evil that, in time, will morph from the norm to teh ev0l.

Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do, are doomed to watch as it is repeated by those who do not know it.

I could end the post here for dramatic effect, but I feel like noting the fact that nobody will comment on this post – whenever I make these type of posts, the numbers are very low, possibly because nobody can find anything funny to say to break the mood of the post, or because nobody feels like debating whatever I’ve said. Please, though, I do enjoy discussion. Write thoughts, if nothing else.

Justice, the Product of Perspective (O.o)

An arguable statement, but at least partially true in a non-religious context. My recent days have been overly sober, not as spontaneous or as wantonly enjoyable as I normally keep them. Jonothan’s time here has been a reality check for me – recently, I’d begun reducing life to simple equations, which, if worked, Einstein would have found them already. Jonothan told me how the big things right now are really actually small – no matter how mature or how smart you handle matters or approach them. A quick glance at my past and those of my friends has proven his point. I’ve been struggling with this in how I treat these seemingly big matters – should I treat them with any less delicacy or ferocity? My postulate: no. They’re big matters now because there are no matters bigger than those I’m facing – you take things in proportion.

With this in mind, I was blown away when Rachel called Jonothan on his cell, and he picked up. When he was done with a short conversation with her, I asked him why he picked up. His reply: “We’re adults.”. You have no idea how much that scares me – I’m afraid to pick up the phone when my lawn mowing customers are calling to get me to mow their lawn one more time. I guess this is where that proportion thing comes in.

What do you do, though, when something out of proportion enters in the fray? Amanda told me about a friend of hers, who’s being abused, but nothing can be done because he’s about to turn 18, and his parents are habitual liars. It’s times like that I wonder “where’s the justice? no, really, where’d it go?”. When all I can do is pray for him, I’m reminded that God does have a plan here, and that plan may not include me saving the day. A frustrating concept, to be sure.

Saturday night Daniel came over and we watched the rest of Fullmetal, talked, etc.. Sunday was normal, Benjamin came over, we played around in GIMP (I made a few that I found particularly cool – 1, 2, and 3). Today, I stayed home sick (I do have that flu, you kn0w). I woke up to Jonothan handing me a plate of bacon and an egg + cheese + english muffin thing (they’d call them egg McMuffin’s at McDonald’s, but I dunno what they’re actually called).

Beyond that, my musical tastes have been expanded a little bit – I’ve grown keen on two bands recently. Aireline and Muse (I doubt anyone’s heard of the former, but Paul’s heard of Muse, so maybe someone else has heard of it). In any case, I still like the techno, I just like some other stuff too. *cough*