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#whysoserious

June 24, 2011 5 comments

#Hashtagfairytales has readers from different generations! There are #hashheads born in the 90’s, and readers born in the 70’s; readers born in the 80’s, and readers born in the 50’s; #hashheads are inter-generational! This is something I am very proud of and I wouldn’t change it! However my esteemed colleague Sickboy McCoy (of Bad Blood Bandits) brought something to my attention: Last week in the #fathersdaywinning post, I pulled a few punches; I immediately agreed!

Why? Why did I refrain from being tougher on Beiber? Granted, Justin is a nice young lady, and I respect her music, but I could have been tougher in my list. Why didn’t I take the God-given “Weiner jokes” to the #HNL (hole nother level)? Why do kids like Apple Jacks when they don’t taste like Apple? (#90skids) I know why! I know the answer to all of these questions (except of course the last): I was afraid to offend someone. Maybe I would have, but why? I have a harmless little blog, and besides, what’s a Weiner joke here and there between friends? There is a deeper question that comes up isn’t there?  Cine Veliz founding member and Casting Director Victor Agustin came to the conclusion that people are getting so sensitive, but why? Victor, in accordance with what I told you when we discussed this, I’m gonna try and tackle the question. My friends I ask you #whysoserious?

For most of my childhood I remember that political correctness was not a concern at all. Stereotypes and biases ran rampant everywhere. I mean look at the Power Rangers, the “Black Ranger” was a black dude and the “Yellow Ranger” was an Asian chick…also, chick was an acceptable way to refer to a young lady. The “damsel in distress” was not oppressive to women as far as I was concerned, and even if all black (not African-American) people said “Whatchu talkin’ bout Willis?” at least once in a TV series in the 90’s I was OK!

But once I hit Middle school, people started getting all paranoid! Tinky winky from Teletubbies can’t carry around a purse? Seriously? Why? If that bootleg muppet carries a manbag will it turn your infant into a homosexual? Seriously? And things haven’t gotten any better since then have they? Apparently there are all kinds of people who think that the Jersey Shore cast makes Italian Americans look bad. Seriously? Even if Snookie were more articulate, or ever sober, or a normal color (i.e. not orange) I personally wouldn’t look up to her; how could I, she’s like 4 foot 2 ¾ inches! But either way, there’s no reason to be so sensitive.

I was always the runt of the litter growing up, I was the shortest and youngest in my class; I had/have really crooked teeth, and I run like an asthmatic five-year old little girl! There have always been plenty reasons to make fun of Jacob C. Howard! But my grandmother is a wise lady; she has always had this “je ne sais pa” about her—we today would call it #swagger—that made her walk taller than any man I have ever seen.  I’ve always looked up to her even though now—well into her 80’s—she is running neck and neck with Snookie height-wise. When I would come home feeling dejected and down because of the things people said about me, my grandmother would look at me and in her Freestone County Texan drawl she would just say, “Well, are they right? ARE you slower than a snail?” I would invariably survey what I knew about myself and what I knew of snails and would reply, “Well, no.” She would then say, “Well then don’t worry about it.”

I feel that people are so sensitive for two reasons. The first reason I think people are so sensitive is that they feel entitled. Now don’t get me wrong, I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions and their own feelings, but their entitlement ought to not affect my entitlement or anyone else’s. I am not one for blatant rudeness or even (God forbid) racism, but if I want to make a joke about Mormons and their magic underwear, no one should ask me to apologize, and I should not be labeled intolerant. “Insensitive” comments got Gilbert Gottfried fired from Aflac; Roger Ebert’s “too soon” tweet got his Facebook page deleted (and subsequently restored). Friends, haven’t we taken this far enough? Allow others to be themselves, they may showcase their insensitivity or even ignorance, but they have that right. If it does no harm other than making a person or group look really bad, leave it alone. Just let it go; do what Snookie can’t do when she is within 12 miles of a bar, and show personal inhibition by allowing others to do and say what they like. In the words of the dance instructor/poet C-Smoove “You just do you, and Im’ma do me.”

The second reason, I think, is the biting element of truth that is embedded within sometimes harsh statements. The truth hurts, and some people just can’t take it! We as a society would rather have our black and white answers instead of dealing with the grey areas and facing a bit of truth. A few weeks ago, I stated that “#hashheads love freely and laugh often.” This applies to laughing AT ourselves too. People ought to be able to accept their own foibles and laugh at themselves; somebody might find those foibles loveable. I figure it this way, somebody is going to laugh at you, why not do it yourself? Find the truth and the humor and laugh at it; find the truth and correction and fix it; find the truth and quirk and embrace it!

(Kardashians you got off easy this time, Snookie welcome to #hashtagfairytales)

#fathersdaywinning

June 17, 2011 3 comments

Alright my friends, as you all know, Sunday, June 19th is Fathers day and that special man will be requesting a few small things from you: your love, respect, and most importantly, extravagant gifts. Now, I am no father—and I didn’t need Maury to prove that—but I thought I’d help you out with a few “no-no’s” for this Fathers Day.

A popular thing to do is compare good old Pa to a great man who has accomplished a great many things. What father wouldn’t want to be compared to famous #hashheads like Clint Eastwood, Johnny Cash, Dirk Nowitzki, or Marty McFly?! But there are a few guys you don’t want to include in your ode to dear old dad. This week on #Hashtagfairytales are the Top Ten men not to compare your father to:

10. Newt Gingrich: Not only is he a former success, everyone who matters left him; it’ll make dad paranoid.

9. Jack Kevorkian: I know his jokes may be so bad you feel like you want to keel over, but it’s just not nice.

8. Harold Camping: Dad may have made some bad “judgment calls,” but there’s a better way to tell him.

7. John Edwards: Even if your father HAS misappropriated campaign funds, and broken federal laws, who hasn’t? Let it slide for once guys.

6. Rosie O’Donnell: I am told she is not a man, but just to be safe, I thought I would include him on the list.

5. Arnold Schwarzenegger: I am sure no dad wants to be compared to Arnold, even Arnold as a dad hopes not to be compared to that guy!

4. Justin Beiber: Now, I am a member of #TeamBeiber, but I’m sure your dad isn’t going for that prepubescent look or feel. Sorry #Beliebers!

3. Charlie Sheen: Your dad will be happy on Sunday, he’ll be #fathersdaywinning, but be sure not to push him over the edge and make him talk about #tigerblood, #vaticanassassin, #foolsandtrolls, #changeyourbrain, #fightwithwarlock, #adonisDNA, #topgunradical, #gnarlygnarlingtons…not a good look!

2. Anthony Weiner: You don’t want to compare dad to this former New York Congressman; no one wants to come up short in a Weiner comparison test!

1. Lebron James: Maybe dad’s not a clutch player either, but if he married your mom, at least he has a ring!

(Let’s hear from the #hashheads: Who are some men you think would be a good or bad comparison?)

#lovewinsbreh

June 10, 2011 4 comments

“Farewell Rob Bell. http://dsr.gd/fZqmd8

This is how thousands of people were introduced to the latest written work of Pastor @realrobbell of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI called, Love Wins. That quote was a tweet by Evangelical preacher @JohnPiper and the link is to a blog post by Justin Taylor entitled, “Rob Bell: Universalist.” What can be understood from Pipers tweet is that given the ideas embraced by Bell (which were presumed to be universalist), he can’t be part of the figurative evangelical circle anymore.

(Now I am sure that my true #hashheads could tell that this one was a bit deeper based solely on the mention of “evangelical” but we’re gonna try to have some fun with it too!)

This has been quite the little controversy in the evangelical world and as a young man who was raised in the conservative Holiness Pentecostal tradition I feel like I can chime in a bit on the topic. The full title of the book is Love Wins: A book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of every person who ever lived. This is what most of the controversy was based upon. Oh and by the way, all of the judgment calls were made before the book even hit shelves. That’s right; apparently #dontjudgeabookbyitscover only applies if the cover is agreeable. Most of those who cast judgment on the book did so before its release, and based their conclusions on the title and a short NOOMA style video Bell released.

Now call me old-fashioned, but I thought I would save my two cents until I had actually read the book, I finished it back in April, but I thought given the level of hoopla and hubbub about the book, #Hashtagfairytales would be a good place to discuss it (sorry for using technical terms like “hoopla and hubbub” it’s this darn Communication background); and so, I give you a few thoughts:

#whatthehellRobBell- This thought is included for two reasons, the first: I wanted to say “What the hell,” the second: many condemned this book believing that the subtitle (A book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of every person who ever lived) and the general tone suggest that there is no hell and everyone goes to heaven. Having read the book there is nothing that says that there is no hell. Bell discusses both heaven and hell before delving into any thoughts that could be confused for universalist and he affirms both heaven and hell as very real very true realities.

The only caveat here is that while he affirms them, he condemns the thought of them as simple future destinations for all of us. Heaven and hell are both very real now and later; it is as my New Testament professor would always tell us of Jesus’ teachings, “There is this feeling of ‘now and not yet!’” That is to say of heaven that IT is not what we ought to be concerned with (#HaroldCamping), but there are elements of this world that are both heavenly and important. Heaven—my friends—is not the “blessed hope,” Christ is. Getting to heaven ought not be our “escape plan,” but showing the living Christ our daily routine. Are we to say to this world, “So long and thanks for all the fish?” No, We are to work in this world to continue the work of He who sent us.

As for hell, can we truly say that there is nothing hellish about this life? Conservatively and traditionally speaking the term “Prince of the air” has referred to “ha-Satan” (Hebrew for “the adversary;” Traditionally called Satan [Bible Nerd shout out to Marquito]), and if we have said that there are both good and evil spiritual forces at work in this world then we must say that there are hellish elements about our world. That is not to say that heaven and hell do not exist, but it is to say that they are not so much places as they are realities about this life and the world to come. They transcend our physical earth and there’s no need to think of them as destinations.

#Letstalkabout…- One much softer accusation that has been cast in the direction of Rob Bell (preceding this discussion)is that he is not really “edgy” but he’s a sensationalist; what he says is nothing “out there,” he just says it in a catchy way, but at heart he is saying the same old stuff. Sure man, I’ll allow that. I would agree, Rob Bell is truly concerned about orthodoxy, and an orthodox Christian can’t also be Universalist. This book has less to do with ruffling feathers, shaking cages, pulling tails, and other strange but violent animal-related analogies, and more to do with starting the discussion. Love Wins is not an answer book, it is a book challenging its reader—regardless of their own convictions—to really look at the traditional views of heaven and hell. Let us challenge our preconceived notions and enter the discussion that’s been going on for thousands of years.

#Lovewinsbreh- I think one of the biggest problems with this book came in the misperception of the concept of Love Wins. The perception says that there is a wrestling ring (Step into my analogy won’t you?) and at the end of the match—because Love wins—Love has it’s arm raised high as the winner and on the opposite side of the ring is the loser, Justice. The perception was that the book would be Universalist and bad because love wins and justice loses. The thought was everyone goes to heaven because love wins and justice loses. Let me say though that this is not a correct analogy at all and it is certainly not one that Rob Bell has painted. Love and Justice are tag team partners; they are the tag team Champions. If Love wins, justice wins too. Bell paints a picture, not of a God who loves in spite of justice, but of a God that loves in, through, and because of His justice.

#justdoit- What then shall we say to these things? What is the conclusion of the matter? What can I take from the book? Well friends, I can tell you what I took; whether this was the point of the book or not, only Pastor Bell can say, but here is what I took. Every human being on the face of the earth, be they Catholic, Methodist, Mormon, Pentecostal, Baptist, boy, girl, Jewish, Muslim, Swedish, Hindu, Buddhist, or even—take a deep breath—atheists have value. Every last one of us has worth. We are worth something because God loves us; we are all loved by the God who created the heavens and the earth, and His love wins. Since we know that there is a love that wins somewhere off in the distance and in the future, we ought to pull that love into the now, and make it both now and not yet.

We need to make that love a part of who we are today. If and since we believe that God is in very essence love and He loves everyone, then we need to love everyone; escape, seclusion, and hate is not what God is about, He is about love. We don’t just kick people out of our little clubs and help circles because they don’t agree with us. Should I refuse to be kind, respect, or love a Muslim? Certainly not! I know that Love wins somewhere beyond space and time and it is my honor to love whenever I get the chance right here, right now!

#boomshakalaka

(btw, #hashheads love freely and laugh often)

#backtobasics

June 3, 2011 5 comments

I don’t know if any of you #hashheads noticed but there have been moments in the last few posts that were a little deep! I mean I’ve gotten all introspective, and then I start getting into financial talk, and I think for a minute there—if I’m not mistaken—I even went on a bit about pain. Now don’t get me wrong, #Hashtagfairytales is indeed about that fine middle ground between the serious and absurd; the deep and the funny; the grave and the joyful, and I want to keep it that way, but this time, I want to take that to a different level.

I used to do this thing on the Twitters, where I would sum up the month in one tweet. I stopped doing that, and I don’t know why; I enjoyed it and I had a real knack for it. If there were a mojo for 140 character summaries of the month, I would’ve been the Austin Powers of it; if there were an Olympics for it, I’d have been the pre-Kardashian Bruce Jenner; if there were a Super Bowl for it, well, that’d be a little ridiculous wouldn’t it?  But here I am with a larger platform; I can sum up the month in one blog post, and so I will. But wait, there’s more: I’ll be back at it on the Twitters too! That’s right friends, I am going #backtobasics!

Once a month on the ol’ weblog, I’ll highlight three of the top subjects of the month, and then include the #TweetoftheMonth. Mind you all, I draw on a few top topics, so don’t expect to see a monthly summary tweet containing your nephew’s piano recital, even if he did play “Fur Elise.” But enough introducing it, here we go!

May 2011:

“Ohh Yeaaaah”- In May we said goodbye to Randy Poffo better known as Macho Man Randy Savage. This guy was one of the most flamboyant superstars that has ever graced the squared-circle, and he knew how to entertain an audience. Whether as a face or a heel (that’s good and bad guy respectively for all the marks who aren’t exactly hip to the kayfabe lingo), Macho man was a true well-rounded entertainer; he was royalty of the ring, a master of the mic, and king of the costume! Mach paved the way for peeps like The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, and he will be missed. Cheers to the man who made millions #snapintoaSlimJim, the one and only “Macho Man” Randy Savage!

Gov. Horndog- Now we go from one macho man to another; Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife of over two and a half decades Maria Shriver have separated. Aww geez, now who of us has hope? If an actor/politician/known-womanizer can’t make his relationship work who can? The biggest break in the story was word that he fathered a child with his maid. Seriously Arnold? A child with your maid? Couldn’t you have just given her a normal work perk, like a Christmas bonus, or a week of no Arnold-underwear? Also, this is a bit backwards; a Kennedy is cheated on? That’s like Lord Zedd beating the Power Rangers (#throwback) or a Kardashian doing something that takes skill; it’s just bass ackwards!  The story is weird and pretty gross (the child he fathered by the mistress was born with a week difference from Schwarzenegger’s child through Shriver), but here we are. But we can’t judge to quickly, maybe he almost got a part in that upcoming film “Horrible Bosses” and the last 14 years was just research.

You still here?- Speaking of judgment, Judgment day was about two weeks ago, and doggone it if I didn’t feel anything. Family Radio co-founder and President Harold Camping predicted the rapture was to happen on 5.21.11. I don’t wanna call the game too soon, but I think this was a false alarm. Camping predicted raptures to take place 5.21.88 and 9.7.94, so I gotta hand it to him, maybe he just figured, third time’s a charm, but to the dismay of some followers, and to his own chagrin, this was a #judgmentdayfail. He is giving himself another shot though, he has updated his claim stating that Judgment day was extended to 10.21.11, and I think I have the perfect tagline for the Billboard:

“Judgment Day is October 21, 2011: For real this time”

To borrow a phrase from my grandmother, “That Harold Camping has got a one-track mind and it’s going the wrong way!” I get it Camping, Jesus is coming back, we all need to be ready for his return. Sure, let’s focus on that! Love your neighbor? Naw. Help the widows and orphans? Psh. Pray for your leaders? No thanks. Care for the Earth God has given us? Don’t think so. We’ll just study numerology—or as I like to call it, eeny-meeny-miny-moe—to figure out which one day we ought to focus on instead of focusing on living like Christ every day. Great plan.

#TweetoftheMonth:

“May 2011: RIP Macho Man; Hello #hashtagfairytales; Schwarzenegger split; false Judgement day; @donmilleris gets engaged!

 #backtobasics

(Man, two Kardashian insults in one post? I was bangin’ on all cylinders…like a Kardashian!)

(Make that three)