Brain Droppings

A friend recently asked why I haven’t posted a new blog article in the last few weeks.

I replied that I’ve been incredibly busy, which is the truth, but not the whole truth.

The fruits of our labor and my most recent distraction…
The last week my wife and I have spent tearing up the floors in our kitchen and dining room, putting me, and her I suspect, in a special sort of misery (typing is a challenge…).

That accounts for the last week, but the weeks previous? I could have banged something out but choose to avoid doing so. My avoidance issues can only be pegged to my ADHD (Hey look! A clown!).

I hate to admit it, but I sometimes go through periods of information overload – so many things going on that I’d love to comment on, or write about, be critical of, etc.; however, I can’t devote the energy to make my commentary either coherent, or worthwhile to read (let alone write).

Neil deGrasse Tyson once gave a 90 minute plus key note speech that he called “Brain Droppings.” Despite his characterization of strewn, random thoughts, he pulled together many disparate issues that he devotes his mind to, to deliver in the end, a concise critique of the trajectory this country is heading when we willfully abandon science and discovery.

While I cannot pretend to compare to the brilliance of Dr. Tyson, I have a certain affinity for the label of “Brain Droppings.” Random, disparate thoughts floating around my head I am unable to wrap my mind around in a way that makes sense.

So here’s an attempt to obliterate some of the clutter – any one of these topics might have been worth actually writing on had I the ability to focus…

1. War on Women – Real or not? Can’t really tell. Half of America claims this is a myth (of course this is the half that’s waging it), while the other half claims it’s happening. I do have a thought: If Republicans are serious about shedding the image of misogynistic, racist, pricks, they should consider not acting like it.

2. Obama is a politician. He’s reviled by about half of America and the other half spends half their time defending him from his “critics” while spending the other half of their time being disappointed in his “leadership.” People think I’m pro-Obama, which makes me laugh. I’m just scared sh*tless of the other guy, and the people that want to elect him. Obama is the safer choice – which is saying something isn’t it? (let that sink in real deep).  

3. Politics. I used to think there was hope for this country. I was a fan of bipartisan solutions – call it being a centrist. I even devoted my blog to the ideal of centrist solutions. No longer. A center in America no longer exists (as far as I can tell). I used to believe that ‘the fringe’ on the left and right of the political spectrum was occupied by a loud minority from each party and that the rest of America, the vast majority, occupied the center. Middle Americans were being unrepresented in this political circus. I’ve come to the realization that my previous calculation was completely off. The majority of Americans are firmly entrenched in their political ideologies, regardless of how stupid they are. Middle America, if it exists, is simply apathetic (or numb) to the political kabuki dance that is the election cycle. Maybe I’m in mourning right now for our country, unable to shake the malaise…

4. The National Debt. I’ve written several articles on the debt, spending and taxes.  It worries me, it worries several of my friends.  I don’t possess a Nobel award in Economics, so I find it puzzling that someone that does thinks the answer to the country’s economic problems is to increase government spending

5. Children and associated worries…

We have two adult children graduating from college this month. Neither has a real clue what they are going to do for employment following graduation.

Our middle son plays football at a Division 1 university. He’s entering his senior year next season. Having watched the NFL draft this last month, we have high hopes that he will have a shot to go through the “process” of being drafted and playing in the NFL – which is what he aspires to do. We’ll see how this experience develops. In light of the suicide of Junior Seau, you have an appreciation of just how fleeting a professional football career is and how much life is left to live afterward.

The youngest boy is finishing his junior year of high school next month. As smart as he is, he may be going to community college for a year or two in order to develop much needed maturity.

6. Religion.

The other “half” of my blog. I was told by a friend that my posts on religion were “boring her.” As I have mentioned, many times, I have many religious friends and I try to couch what I have to say about religion and Christianity in a way so as not to offend people.

I’ve also stated, many times, that I am not anti-religion; although, I abhor positions people take on issues from gay marriage to health care reform attributing their stance to that of Jesus or their church.

My decision to write on atheism was two-fold. First and foremost, to let people know that atheists are people too. We exist, we’re your friends, neighbors, and family – and we are not bad people. In fact, we’re the same people you thought you liked before you knew that we didn’t believe in an omnipotent guy in the sky. Secondly, I wanted to lend my voice, my activism to ensuring the separation of church and state. That religion is so pervasive in politics today, it made the linkage impossible to ignore.

Brain droppings. Can’t escape the idea. Dr. Tyson delivered this address at event called The Amazing Meeting 6 held in Las Vegas in February 2008. The Amazing Meeting is an annual event that is geared toward skeptics and atheists. If you watch the full video, it is quite clear that Dr. Tyson, who I consider the smartest person in ANY room, is not an adherent to the idea of a god. In fact, he has often stated that he subscribes to Einstein’s position:

“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

So it came as a surprise to many in the atheist community (had to use that term even though the idea of a “community” of atheists is akin to saying something along the lines of: “many in the feline community…”) expressed their disappointment that Dr. Tyson recently released a video distancing himself from atheism, instead embracing the label “agnostic” to describe his religious views.

What Dr. Tyson’s motivations for doing so are his and his alone. Some may conclude that his affiliation with the Fox Network may have influenced his decision. Many feel as though they were abandoned (if you read the comments associated with the video).

It is fair to note that what people believe or do not believe is a personal decision, as is how they wish to characterize their belief and how they with share it with others.

Personally, I find it strange when people are critical of others for their faith or their lack thereof and how they choose to express it…

Brain droppings…

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