Look, I'm not the only one who's gotten 12 am and 12 pm mixed up, but at least I didn't act like this. Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon.
One of the stupidest things I've read this week: "Virginity is a social construct rooted in misogyny that shames women with expectations of purity and men with expectations of masculinity." I was going to start drinking shots every time someone uses the word "misogyny" in a context where it doesn't belong, but then I realized that would be suicide. Anyway, this was in response to a guy from high school posting about how he's waiting for marriage, and he's not even LDS, which you could have guessed based on the fact that he went to my high school, so I was very impressed with his courage. Because according to society's logic, the proper solution to "slut-shaming" is virgin-shaming. Just like the proper solution to fat-shaming is skinny-shaming. And the proper solution to black-shaming is white-shaming. Let's face it, society is really stupid.
Well, here's something that I wish I didn't have to share but I do. I'm not bothering to make him anonymous because he's already shared it in a group of 31,000+ people and I don't think I have quite that many people reading my blog, so this is really just me spitting in the ocean and saying I helped. Anyway...
So I don't have 31,000+ readers, but how many people do visit my site? Here are the most recent stats. If these are accurate, my little map at the bottom of the site is tracking only a small fraction of visitors, which is really annoying, but what can you do?
When I recently got into an argument on the internet with a stranger I realized that it had been a long time since I got into a heated argument on the internet with a stranger, and I was disappointed with myself for relapsing. What happened was that I commented on a Salt Lake Tribune article (and we all know the comments sections of most Salt Lake Tribune articles are cesspools), and some jackass who had commented quite some time earlier but obviously had nothing better to do than continue lurking there jumped on it, and I, instead of ignoring him as I should have, stuck around for a bit to express my contempt. I think I have made amply clear on this blog (just last week for example) how little I am bothered by the opinions of morons about me or my religion. Mike is one of those sad little people who has nothing better to do with his life than try to make Mormons angry, and so when I declined to take him seriously he attempted, somewhat pathetically and unconvincingly in my opinion, to project his own anger onto me and pretend he had succeeded.
Anyway, I'm a jerk sometimes, in case you haven't figured that out yet, but the entire reason I'm bringing it up is because that makes me humble and that makes it okay. I struggle because, while I should follow the admonition and example of Jesus to love everybody regardless of what they do, I see no reason why I should feel respect toward people who don't deserve it. I try not to insult people to their faces (and at least in theory, not behind their backs either) but I see no reason why I should abstain from sarcasm when they are saying rude and asinine things. Pretending to respect them would be dishonest, after all, and I highly doubt that Jesus respects everybody either. But He probably doesn't hold contemptuous thoughts toward them or use the phrase "leg-humping obsession" (which I can't help but love because it perfectly encapsulates the mindlessness and contemptability of some people's behavior). I struggle to find a balance and will probably continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I've decided to cut hypocritical Mormons a little more slack, though, since I am one.
P.S. Sometimes I wink at married women online, too.
There's an urban legend in Mormondom that this painting by Del Parson was said by a prophet to be the most accurate depiction. The only truth in this legend is that Del Parson was asked by the Curriculum Committee to go through a few revisions for whatever reason, but the extrapolation is kind of laughable. Why would church leaders be so concerned about the accuracy of this one painting or this one artist and none of the others, or of their own videos for that matter, which over the years haven't even consistently portrayed Jesus with the same hair color? The Jesus of the recent Bible Videos looks nothing like this painting. And why would they never bother to actually tell the membership, “Hey, by the way, this is what Jesus really looks like”? Anyway, I got into another argument about that. Sigh.
Me: The prophet has said that you should date me.
Lindsey Stirling: Oh really. What were his exact words?
Me: If you need a quote then you might want to strengthen your faith in a prophet and him being a revelator of truth and visions of what he sees.
Now time to answer a reader's question! Bracelets, age 22, of Farmington, Utah, asks, “Do you consider yourself more of an optimist or pessimist?” She actually asked via text message, but I'm answering in this public forum because I know everyone else has been wondering this too and just been afraid to ask. Also, I wanted to write more than could reasonably be put in a text message, and also add some comics.
I'm an optimist about my prospects for making a successful career out of writing, because I'm a great writer, and that's just a fact. But still in the back of my mind I recognize that at any time I could suffer a terrible accident and lose the use of my hands. Then I'd have to dictate or learn to type with my feet or something, and then I could become a motivational speaker about overcoming adversity and yadda yadda yadda. Don't get any ideas, God, this is just a hypothetical. But anyway, Bracelets, in general I try not to be an optimist if it means expecting certain events or outcomes that may or may not happen. As you know, misplaced optimism has brought me a lot of grief, notwithstanding how well-founded it seemed at the time. I think one should always at least half-expect the worst plausible outcome (or in the case of dating, something worse and so contrived that it would ruin a work of fiction) because one can avoid a lot of soul-crushing disappointment that way.
That doesn't mean one has to feel negative and depressed all the time. It just means one should avoid getting one's hopes up whenever possible. And maybe this doesn't work for everybody. Maybe there are those who need to always expect success in order to make it happen. But that works for me in Pinball and nowhere else. As you know, I don't even like to trust people if I don't have to because too many have proven to be untrustworthy. I trust you, though, because the Holy Ghost said I could, and who am I to argue with that kind of endorsement? And again, that's because you go against the grain. You're an exception because you're exceptional. In summary, I'm wary of attaching labels to my views because they can lead people to make all kinds of assumptions that may or may not be accurate (the same reason I try to stay away from terms like "conservative", "liberal", or even "moderate"), but my faith in God and Jesus Christ overshadows all the rest so you may consider me an optimist on the whole. And that's what Christmas is all about.
As long as I'm addressing you here, Bracelets, I would like to express my appreciation to you for reading all of my blog posts. More than one week during this past semester, I really didn't feel like writing anything at all, but I did because I knew you would be disappointed if I didn't. So thank you for bringing that additional stress into my life.
Now, here is another song for Star Wars and another song for Christmas. In case you (meaning everyone now and not just Bracelets) couldn't guess, I've had so much Star Wars and Christmas music that I've wanted to share during this brief seasonal window of opportunity, but I've sadly been limited by the weekly posting format. If you don't typically even bother to listen to the music I post, please at least push play on this one and mute the sound, because it's on my own channel. And then go subscribe to my channel.