Saturday, December 4, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Hobbes, Locke, And Kant
In the following dialogue you will observe the actions of three characters: Hugo, Lucy, and Kris. Each of the three represent the idea of *human nature expressed by the philosopher whose shares their first initial. Pay close attention to their actions and observe how they interact.
*Hugo is a human in name only.
2:13 AM. A cozy little home in suburban Provo. Hugo is climbing out of the front window with a very full knapsack hung over his shoulder. He quietly shuts the window behind him and tiptoes across the lawn.
Hugo: That was some haul! I love Provo! Not much cash, but there's always plenty of food storage. Good thing APX hasn't completely taken over the neighborhood yet.
Just then, Lucy walks by. She looks over at Hugo suspiciously.
Lucy: um... what are you doing over there?
Hugo jumps, nearly dropping his knapsack.
Hugo: Oh! Well... I'm doing what Hugo does best!
Lucy: And that would be...?
Hugo: Well duh! Preserving my life! Fulfilling my self-interests!
Lucy: By stealing food storage? Don't you think that's a little ridiculous?
Hugo: I don't understand... you're weird.
Lucy: Well, what about God?
Lucy: God. You know, the ultimate enforcer? The Punisher? G-O-D. God!
Hugo: Sorry, I'm not reading you.
Lucy: Well, aren't you afraid of getting punished?
Hugo looks around, then back to Lucy.
Hugo: Well who's gonna stop me? You?
Lucy laughs nervously.
Lucy: Ha! I'll let God take care of that.
Hugo shrugs... He looks back up at Lucy, and stares. A creepy smile.
Hugo: I like you. You're mine now.
Lucy: Wha... what?! Look, I'm all about self-interest, but if you do that you're gonna be in big trouble.
Hugo: Why are you out here anyway? It's 2:00 AM!
Lucy: I had a nightmare, which wasn't very pleasurable, so I decided it would be in my best interest to take a walk. I figure that's what God wanted me to do. Besides, I've never been up at this hour before, and I wanted to see if it really existed. Now I know that 2:00 AM is real, because I experienced it for myself.
Hugo: Well, better for me. I'm going to take advantage of you now.
Hugo approaches Lucy, who screams and tries to run. Suddenly, a shot is fired and Hugo falls to the ground, dead. Lucy gasps and turns around. Kris walks slowly over to her, smoke floating up from the end of her pistol.
Lucy: … um... thanks
Kris: Anytime. I'd never shoot a man, but he forfeit his humanity.
Lucy: um... what?
Kris(rolling her eyes): Categorical imperative! Hello! It's what makes us humans! Rational thinking?
Lucy: That's funny, I thought acting in our own self-interest is rational.
Kris(under her breath): ...dog.
Lucy: What was that?
Lucy: So... how can I repay you? Want to get some frozen yogurt?
Kris: Hmm... let me think... can I will frozen yogurt upon the whole world?
Lucy: Yeah, it's delicious.
Kris: Okay. Let's go.
Kris and Lucy walk down the street toward the yogurt shop. A bat flying by sees the two ladies, gets distracted, and flies into a pole. He spirals down to the ground and stops moving.
Lucy: Did you see that?! That bat just ran into the pole!
Kris: You don't know that.
Lucy(taken aback): Uh, yeah I do. I just saw it. Hello?
Kris: No, you can't really know what happened. You just saw a phenomenon that our universal category of mediation allowed us to see.
Lucy: … um... I saw the bat hit the pole. Really. That's the way it is.
The two continue walking in silence. They enter the yogurt shop. The screen fades to black. A disembodied voice chuckles in the background...
Voice: Ha ha ha! Doesn't she know that categories of mediation are contingent on culture?
TO BE CONTINUED...?
Monday, September 20, 2010
and froze in terror!
I gasped, and jerked my eyes away from the figure staring at me from outside the window.
Then, summoning all my courage, I turned back to examine the figure more closely...
And you know what? It was my own reflection.
Heaven help me.
I must be a wreck.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Bring on the old years! ha ha
Getting old is what we do
Our joints get stiff
Our bones get brittle
Our brains get full and then they get empty
Our families grow, or do they shrink?
Our clothes get worn and out of style
But getting old is what we do
So I will do it
Will you do it too?
But let's do it together
'Cause it's totally hip.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
knowing what you need when you need it
fulfilling those needs
not doing things you don't need that you might do out of peer pressure
recognizing and helping to fulfill the needs of others
but if those needs are in conflict with your own?
putting others' needs before your own
but what about necessary competition, like work placement?
are there some needs that cannot be compromised?
"i will do anything for you save...?"
then what are those needs/values?
Monday, June 14, 2010
On every man
there is a hand
a hand that can
change the world
or walk a dog
or wash a pan
Be a man
use your hand
wash a pan
for all the girls
And don't forget
to wash your hands
before you hold
your girlie's hand
for if you wash
your hands and pans
you may become
her biggest fan.
(and mine too)
Friday, May 21, 2010
In every piece of stinky trash
Discarded histories lie within.
Symbols of triumphs, memories of failures,
Regrets, hopes and things that had-been.
A scribbled note has a story to tell:
This grocery list was essential in preparing a meal
Who was the guest? How was the food?
At the end of the night, how did it feel?
The best journal keepers are those we despise
The pack-rats that save everything and take up our space.
Their lives are knots of stinky memories
And in their rotting mounds of compost, everything has a place.
Memories are garbage.
Memories are precious.
We learn from memories
And memories bury us.
Friday, April 9, 2010
The first was filmed at the "Grand Canyon" of Monte Cristo, UT
The second was at the top of Wasatch Mountain State Park, UT (above Midway and Heber)
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I have Mak to thank for that. Before she left, she happily gave me most of what was left in her pantry. There was a lot of food, some appealing and some not. Despite her generosity, I didn't plan on ever using the "lower-quality quick meals," and for three months they were pretty much ignored. All I can say is that I've been humbled. It may not be the tastiest or healthiest stuff, but when you're head could explode at any moment, you'll take pretty much anything.
...with that said though, I have to add that I can't wait to get back to making real food again.
That night we stayed up in the mission home. I say that because we only slept for about an hour. Elder Torgeson, Harmon and I played Phase 10, talked about good ol' times, and snuck downstairs and ate President England's beloved blueberry swirl ice cream. We left a thank-you note in the carton.
President England loves ice cream.
What a great finish to two years of serving under his guidance. :) One year later I saw President England again. I asked him about the ice cream and the note, and with a smile he told me that he had not forgotten. It was some of the best ice cream I've ever had. President always had good judgment (and his wife too, for that matter).
Friday, March 19, 2010
Last night I went to the Vampire Weekend concert in SLC. The performance was great and the energy was high. The venue was packed with happy concert-goers from all walks of life. There were the prepubescent high school kids, the drunken adults, the poverty-stricken college kids that spent their week's food money on admission, the cautious parents escorting their underage children, and so on. Now, I'll be the first to admit that when a band I like starts to play, I don't hold back. I'm a terrible dancer, but I dance like I know what I'm doing and I try to spread the bug. My guilt lies in bumping into people that don't want anything to do with it.
So there I am, dancing and singing and having a good time, when a tall white man taps me on the shoulder. "Are you gay?!" he spits out vehemently, his eyes bearing down on me from his great height. A little taken back, I reply, "No, are you?" Either purposely or for not having heard me, he ignores my question and says, "then STOP THAT." Probably I bumped into him on accident while moving to the music. I couldn't have been the only one, however, because later I looked back and saw him there, standing like a stiff lighthouse in a kinetic sea of bodies. I would have felt more sorry if I hadn't been one of hundreds of dancing fools. It was a general admission concert after all, and we were fairly close to the stage.
Fast forward one day. I'm at the career fair at school looking for possible marketing internships. Amidst all the colorful business shirts and suits I see a tall white man in a black t-shirt. I couldn't believe it! It was the man from the night before! A dozen possible scenarios ran through my head. I could waltz on up to him and say something like, "Hey... fancy seeing you here!" Or, "Hey! Vampire Weekend! Yeah!"
That dark little spot deep inside wanted to confront him so badly. I wanted to embarrass him the same way he tried to embarrass me. I wanted him to feel like an idiot for the sake of my own amusement and the amusement of my friends. I wanted to... but I couldn't. The truth was, I didn't really want to offend anyone. Yeah, it was the perfect opportunity, but if I had, what would that say about my own character? In the end, I didn't have the courage or desire to act the way my devil wanted to. I left the career fair with hypothetical memories and a clear conscience.
But man, that would have been so perfect. Poetic justice. Something right out of a Hollywood script.
I recognize the possibility (albeit remote) that that same man find this blog and read what I've said about him. To him I say, "I like your taste in music." Maybe next time my dancing will be better and you won't think to question my sexual preference based on what you see. Maybe you will also dance next time and you'll understand that straight men can dance too. Maybe next time someone is offended, we can be a little more kind.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
For the next hour or so I read through past journal entries, remembering poignant memories and wide-ranging emotions. As I read I was impressed with the many good people that have come into my life during the past few years and I felt a strong desire for their welfare. I saw how many good things have happened to me, and I realized how great is my need for gratitude.
Satisfied with the outcome, I ended the session with a prayer and got ready to head home. I put on my seatbelt, turned the key.... and nothing happened.
I tried again. Nothing.
I looked out the windshield and saw what I should have seen an hour before: two fading lights coming from the front of my car, sucking all the life out of my battery. My battery was dead, and I was alone on the mountain. "Well, God," I said, "You've sure got a sense of humor." Fortunately for me I wasn't far from home, and my wonderful roommate came to rescue me. I'm just glad that I have a cell phone.
I love it when mishaps like this happen in times like this. Life should be funny, and not too serious.
When my roommate arrived with a friend, they asked me where the girl was. "She ran away," I replied. In reality, I probably could have seen her 'home' from up there.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Where do I start?
Most of my friends and family are well aware of the difficult and emotional events of my life during the last few months, and to them I offer my sincere gratitude. Without their support and friendship, I would be in a pretty pathetic place right now.
At the end of 2009 I said goodbye to my best friend as she left to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Without going into too many details, I'll just say that independent of any personal wishes or dreams, she and I both knew that this is what she needed to do. Learning to accept that was the first challenge. Learning to live with it is the next.
In some ways the darkness of separation has brought new light to what once was. I have learned for myself, for example, that more than anything, the most valuable dimension of that relationship was the true and selfless friendship that she offered me. Her patience with me and dedication toward our joint happiness was a gift more valuable than I had ever realized. Priceless is the friend with whom you can share everything. Invaluable is the friend who, after knowing all your faults and flaws, chooses to stand by you.
With that said, I recognize that there are still many invaluable friends in my life that have stayed with me and have been a strength to me during this challenging transition. In them is hope, not just for me, but for all who suffer. There are people in far more dire and poignant circumstances than I, many of whom face threats that challenge their very physical survival. Still, no matter the tragedy, healing begins with the kindness and friendship of others. In Haiti or in our own homes, persons are lifted as far as they have a friend who is willing to reach out.