Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To Like

For a long time now, I've firmly believed that the root of all conflicts comes from liking and not liking things and others' opinions on the matter. While at first, it starts off as mere childish stupidity, it generally leads to discrimination, and even genocide. This may be a far leap, but let me walk you through a lifetime of likes.

For little kids, things are easy and they're friends with everyone because they are just emerging in the world. They don't see differences between people and mostly spend their time happily playing with one another.

But then, as they get older and spend more time away from their friends, they start developing their own interests. New likes come along, and, with that, new hatred towards those likes. How many times did you hear, growing up, something to the effect of "Ewww, you like that [TV show, movie, boy, girl, singer, video game, pastime, sport, etc]. You're stupid!" How many times have you said it yourself? Unless you liked the things everyone else liked (or, more appropriately the things that the kid in "power" liked), you were ostracized. I remember a particularly scarring incident where I confessed to one of my classmates in 7th grade that I bought the new Pokemon Silver game. He was shocked. "You still like Pokemon? What is wrong with you?!" From then on, since I was the new kid, I never offered up anything that I truly liked. Even though I spent much of my free time playing video games with my friends, I never brought up the subject of video games or any thing I actually liked at my school (where I didn't really have any true friends) for fear of criticism. Whenever I went out with anyone from school, I painstakingly kept up a facade of things that they liked just to please them. Looking back, while it made me popular, it was pretty fucking stupid.

Next we get to high school. I could write a fucking book on how any interest you have at all in high school will get trampled under the social order for no reason at all. But there are two particular things in high school that overwhelmingly irked me. First, among boys, the knowledge of what you like with be used to taunt you in the most vile way. "You like that song? You must be a fag!" "You don't like football?! You're a queer." "You homo, I can't believe you watch that show." Any deviation from typically "masculine" interests results in instant branding as a homosexual, whether true or not. And the inevitable reaction of those taunted in such a manner is to do something "so totally not gay" in order to be accepted back in the social graces.

The second, and by far the most idiotic in my opinion, is the high school mentality surrounding music. I've mentioned a couple of times already on how music will label you "cool" or not. Since when (and, more importantly, why) does the type of music you listen to determine what kind of person you are? Growing up, I didn't really listen to music for this exact reason. The only thing I saw music (and I'm talking about popular music. CD's, concerts, the radio, etc.) as was a tool for others to berate and control you.

And the insanity doesn't stop in high school. It continues on into infinity. College may be even worse than high school in this regard. And, the craziest thing, people's musical interests fluctuate in an instant. One song may be deemed "hip" and "cool" one day and "lame" and "over-played" the next. I'd like to say people are smart and rational enough to realize this neanderthalic social institution's hypocrisy, but, sadly, no.

It's then obvious to see how conflicts arise over different ideology. This faction likes this leader while the other faction likes this leader. This race likes this physical feature, therefore this race is less-than. etc.

I honestly could forgive all of it if people just realized what they were doing. Going to a university who's central theme is "social justice" and doing what "right", I've never seen more discrimination due to what one likes. While they'll quickly point out that they don't "judge" others' actions (and doing as such is seen as the lowest thing you can do), they'll just as quickly judge you for your fashion taste, your choice in music, and the way you spend your free time. In my opinion, it is much more appropriate to judge someone based on their actions rather than their likes.

I hope that you can see through the bitterness and actually get to the point I was trying to make. Even though this needed to be said, I don't think I said it very well. Oh well, at least I liked writing it. Just don't judge me for it.

--Till then...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stuck in a Rut

I've finally given into the fact that this is the closest thing I'll ever have to a diary/journal. This place is pretty obscure and probably no one reads this anymore, but I like that fact that if someone wanted to find this and read about it, they could. I guess that's why I don't like writing in a personal notebook anymore. The only thing is, each thing I post here has to fall into some sort of "theme", but oh well, on with the show!!!

So, I have been at my new job as a reservations agent now for almost two months now. Some might see this as an accomplishment, especially in this job market. I just see it as hopelessly depressing (but not in my old, depressed state way. More in a fed up, pathetic way). I look at a lot of the people around me at work. To them, this is it. I've talked to some people who have been with the company for many years, and they're still in the same position as when they started. The pay scales are published for all employees to see, and they are not pretty. Most of these people have a family to support. I have absolutely no clue how they get by. If I had to come back to this job day after day after day, I would honestly go insane. And there in lies my big fear: that I'll be stuck in this job for the rest of my life, unable to find anything better. I've had this fear before, except the setting was Walgreens. That was brought on by similar sad realizations. Seeing people my age, graduating high school, refusing college offers in favor of working in a never-ending shit-hole. What separates myself from them? Everyone has dreams, right? How would you not do everything in your power to make those happen when the alternative is serving crabby assholes for the rest of your life while you live in eternal squalor?

Well, now I feel like if I don't catch a break soon, I'm gonna break. I have two upcoming opportunities. I'm applying to be a flight attendant, which will make me twice as much money as I am now. I also finished writing my essays for the second round of the Foreign Service Officer selection. But both of these possible breaks are somewhat precarious. There might be a snafu with being currently employed by the same company and applying for another job within the company. And as for the Foreign Services, my essays are probably for shit compared to everyone else. I feel that if I can at least make it to the next part, the group interview, I'll be much better at that. But I highly doubt it.

Till then or beyond, I'm working 2nd shift, which I thought I'd love. But instead, I'm just tired all the time instead of just in the mornings. Somebody dig me out.

--Till then...