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#thisonesforyou

May 18, 2012 Leave a comment

As you can see at first glance, this episode clearly could qualify as an #HTFTS. It is not. This is a guest episode. Who is it written by? You. The #hashheads have this one. What is your topic? #Hashtagfairytales…or whatever the hell you want (#excusemyfrench). Friends, I want you to tell me what to do now? As I’ve always said, I write to entertain you, I want to know what you want, but moreso I want to know what’s on your mind.

So, in the comment section tell me: #whatnext? Should I go fiction? Theology? Sports Entertainment? YouTube? Should I just focus on the already existing Cut Down Podcast (posted every Friday [#shamelessplug] available on iTunes)? What should I do? The internet is your oyster! Or just type “Wuss up.” Tell me what you’re thinking. This is an opinion piece…only the opinion isn’t mine. Because to all my readers, #thisonesforyou!

(I want you entertained. What do you want to see? And what do you want to talk about?)

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#in_dependence

February 10, 2012 Leave a comment

(It’s my favorite time of the month where I shut up and you all get to read a REAL writer. That’s right, it’s #GuestPost time! Today’s comes from a loyal #hashhead called Emilio Bustos. You gotta see this…)

As I’ve continued to grow I’ve come to a realization: #independence is not what we think it is. My perusing around the interwebs and even the tube (and for you young folks, that’s that #retro thing called television…not YouTube) have called out a certain persona, theme, motto for independence: “I am what I want to be and what I want to do.” (Note: There is probably some more grandiose way of saying that, or even something to add to it, but I’ll stick with that for now.) So, why do I care? It boils down to pride and the status of being called independent. I will do what I want when I want if I want. I am my own master.

You may have an idea of where this is going and if you do, good, we’re on the same page, probably struggling through the issue of independence. And now for my daily dose of fun questions I ask of myself; what is independence? What makes me independent? Who am I independent of?

Well, as I ramble and blab on I hope you ask yourself the same questions. I am the product of a living couple who decided to get married and 3 years later have their first child, me. As any kid, I grew up, learned from my parents, depended on them, got in trouble, rebelled in my own way, learned my way didn’t work, and well, love my parents. I am currently 24 years old with no immediate plans of marriage or moving out. I don’t believe it to be my rite of passage just yet; I have so much to learn from both of my parents that I can’t see myself leaving the nest yet. Immature? I don’t think so, I think it displays the sense of maturity and relation I hope I have with God. He is in utter and complete control, I am dependent on Him.

So, why write this? There seems to be, as previously stated, a desire to be your own man (or woman if you’re not into that whole “Y Chromosome” thing). You want to do your own thing and not be accountable to anyone for your actions. This lifestyle, in my eyes, leads to nothing but chaos. And yes, I know #Joker would say, “The little thing about chaos…it’s fair.” But life in chaos is not life at all. Identity is not found in doing your own thing but in becoming subject to depending on another. It shows the best qualities in a person: humility, love, service, and so on. A seeking of being your own and doing your own without regard to others is simply pride. Pride ain’t no good… #yup.

The need to be your own is most realized when you are dependent on another (#dependonthat). It gives you a point of reference as to who you are and what you are doing. Now, who do you depend on to give you your identity? I put that trust in Christ, yeah, this may be the most preachy #HTFT so far, but I say, oh well… “speak what is in your heart” said the creator of said medium of thought and writing, and I believe I’ve done so.

I may have asked a lot more question that I answered… Good… maybe you can answer some and get back to me with a response. Well, closing my thoughts I point to the book of Joel, Chapter 2, verse 11… pretty much… one finds identity, purpose and meaning in being dependent of God. Dependence on Him is not cowardly or what have you… it produces might, valor, bravery. Paul says it best when he states: I can do what I want, but it ain’t all good for me… You have the freedom to be your own, but not always good for you. Live subject to God my friends.

In ending, my independence is not found in doing what I want or when I want to but having the self control to not do what I want when I want. I find my independence and freedom are best seen when I am in submission to, yes you guessed it, God and His will. Do I have the freedom to do as I please? Sure. Will I do as I please? Nope. My subjection to the sovereignty of God rests on His providence and good will… whatever He has for me is the better than what I could produce for myself. I find my independence: #in_dependence.

(JCH: This guy is the real deal huh? Emilio, how do you be so cool?)

Find out here:

Videos produced by Twelfth Wind (Emilio and the crew)- Arbol de Vida IDD

Find him on Tumblr- Emil

Follow him on the Twitters- @ebustos

#HTFTS- To the left, to the left…

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

(Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the very first #HTFTSGuest written by #hashhead and Herald De Paris Deputy Managing Editor Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez a.k.a. Dr. AC!)

 I was watching the #FiestaBowl on New Years, featuring Stanford and some other school that is not Cal. Great game in the beginning, but then our lights went out until the last few minutes of the game. When the lights came back on the field goal kicker, a Stanford red shirt freshman—which does not necessarily mean that he is a communist…unless he was from Cal—missed a field goal that could have won it by hooking it to the left (#anotherpoliticalreference). Big Luck and his Cardinal crew came back strong in overtime to give the kicker another chance to win it and cement his place in the history books. Well he did, and he didn’t; he missed…again, by hooking it left…again.

I know exactly how the young man feels, I sold a major screenplay once, but at the last minute the lead actor turned down the part. I was out 50 Large and my screenwriting career hooked not to the left, rather into the abyss; abject disappointment led me into other less Glam careers. I fear this young man is going to wrestle with this failure all of his life. This can strengthen him; this could ruin him; in either case this could cost him dates, or get him a reality show and he too could become a #celebutard. Looking on the bright side, it is better to fail at #Stanford than succeed in community college.

(JCH: Good call AC, and I agree: Better to build the Titanic and watch it sink than stick to designing rowboats!)

For more from Dr. AC, check out the Op Ed Page of www.heralddeparis.com

#saymyname

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

(It’s time for another Guest post by an original #hashhead! A very smart former schoolmate of mine, plus, she’s a woman! Give a warm #HTFT welcome to Elba Ruth M.)

“Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something.”                                                  

 – J. Butler                               

                 When did December become a giant migraine? As a kid, I always remember being so excited for December: school was coming to an imminent end and I was about to catch my parents sneak in presents from the mall (as I kept my fingers crossed in hopes they’d walk in with a KB Toy Store bag. Are they still even around? #recession) and pretend not to see them. And now what does December look like? A headache attempting to navigate presents that I still feel ethically okay with buying (which becomes more and more difficult every year), final papers, busier work schedule, etc… As with every end to every year, I’ve found myself doing a solid amount of reflecting over what a hectic year this has been, and asking the overarching, life-altering questions about the year. What has it looked like? Where has G-d shown up? Is it time to get my car’s oil changed? All very pressing questions.

                 One of the more prominent things I noticed as I climbed up the proverbial ladder of higher academia, this year was my realization as to how much I was not only loving the scholarly theological work I was doing, but I was becoming inextricably intertwined within it. Soon enough, a B- on a paper was not just a (hopefully) objective criticism of a research paper; it became a litmus test to my intelligence, preparedness, and ultimately my very person. I worked away happily for months researching, reading, and learning (okay, sometimes crying) in order to present my best work possible to the awaiting professor. It was difficult, but it was a joy. So how did I wind up crying for hours after receiving a “B-“ on my Augustine paper this summer? How did my soul become so weighed because of a letter grade? I could barely process the encouraging comments left by my professor because all I saw was a “B-.” The “A” was not there. I had expected it and I had failed.

                 Failure is a funny thing. I have never been good at it and I never know what to do with myself when confronted with it (you know, other than the aforementioned crying and reaching for the covers to hide underneath for just about an hour past #forever). Though I didn’t realize it at the time, what had occurred was that I was so wrapped up in finding validation through my school work that I had completely forgotten who I was besides that.

                 As a matter of fact, I am not a theologian. I am not an academic. I am not a student. I am not my job. I am not what pays my rent. I am a part of these things sure, but that is neither where I begin nor where I end. What I actually am is a human person that is loved by G-d and by the people I have been blessed to be called to. It is within this identity, knowing that I am a whole member of the Kingdom of G-d; within this identity that I live. We are invested in the real, true, and good work of exposing the already present (and arriving) Kingdom in our neighborhood. #nowandnotyet

                 It is these people that get to remind me of who I am when I forget—the people of the Kingdom. And I forget all the time. I forget that I am loved unconditionally, that I can fail and it’ll be more than fine (wasn’t there a #Switchfoot song about this?), and that mostly – I’m part of a much bigger work – often a work that I am wholly unaware of. As my friend @justinmcroberts said the other night, “There is a responsibility that comes with knowing who you are.” And sometimes we need that reminder from the people that know us the best and love us the most (mostly because they can weave through your #BS—and #ohmygoodness there is so much of it—and get to what really needs to be talked about).

                 I honestly don’t know how people survive without a strong family and church community around them. I am quite often completely confused as to what’s going on in my life (To apply for a doctorate program or not? What is G-d calling me to do? What should I have for lunch?). If it wasn’t for those friends at my church, (appropriately called #Shelter) I would probably live in a mountain somewhere attempting to hunt food with my bare hands (not too much of an exaggeration; but who am I kidding? I’d die within 2 hours) in order to get away from the “cruel, cruel world.” My people have kept me grounded more times than I could count. Whether it be one of my weekly existential crises or broken heart, I look back to who I have been told I am and walk freely within that identity (or… attempt to.)

                   So often, we throw ourselves out there in hopes of being told who we are: beautiful, unique, artistic, talented, intelligent, revolutionary, etc… and often we are crushed because we give perfect strangers (professors, cute guy/girl at the coffee shop, etc…) the incredible honor of informing us of our identity—we give them the incredible privilege of telling us our name. People shape us whether we know it or not. However, how transformative would it be to have an intentional community that we can go to for the TRUTH of who we are? I believe this is the heart of #discipleship. Jesus called his disciples by name, often giving them a whole new name, thus completely altering their identity, how they saw themselves, and the effect they had on the world around them. What if we found our identity in the same way and were named by the One whose name we can’t quite pin down.

                 People walk differently; see differently, once they really know who they are. The insecurities somehow fall away. All of those things that were so world shattering for so long (the bad grade, the lost job) are all of a sudden not so world shattering. You find that nothing much can touch you because you’re grounded in an unshakable truth that you don’t quite grasp, but maybe don’t need to fathom anyway (ironically, often this kind of truth often destabilizes everything else. However, that’s a blog post for another day). But when you find yourself in this place of truth, you look at the world knowing that their misguided labels of who you are don’t matter anymore; you’ve told your people to #saymyname and it is this identity that ultimately shapes your life.

                 As the holiday season ramps up and the end of the year 2011 reflections begin, may we resist defining ourselves by our culturally constructed societal role/paycheck and begin to ask the question, “What kind of person am I, who do I want to be, and how do I get to that place?” And with much guidance from the Spirit and wiser people, we hopefully begin to deconstruct and reconstruct who we want to be over and over and over again.

For more from Elba Ruth M. check out her weblog: Grace, Peace, and Other Thoughts and/or follow her on the Twitters @elbadactle

(JCH: #JiminyJillickers! I’m starting to like these Guest posts more and more! Plus we needed a woman’s touch around here!)

#gracias

November 11, 2011 3 comments

(Alright #hashheads, we’re taking a break from the #illallowit series to hear from a man amongst men and an original #hashhead. It’s #GuestPost time and today we get to hear from S. M. Acedo of Iglesia Vida Life Church. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!)

So it’s been about two months of Christmas commercials, and we’re not even halfway through November.  It seems like every year we get more and more restless for Christmas to come.  This is getting out of control (excuse me while I turn down Mariah)!

I saw this drawing the other day on #thefacebook (#vintage):

 

and it made me realize: I’m all about Christmas but I haven’t really gotten excited about Thanksgiving. Why is it that Christmas always turns into this great anticipation but Thanksgiving always gets stuffed (#thatjusthappened) away in the vault of obscure holidays, right next to President’s Day and Grandparents Day? (which, by the way, it fell on 9/11 this year; you should seriously give them a call soon—your grandparents that is, not the president, you can’t do things like that anymore…because of 9/11. #fullcircle). Here are four reasons that Thanksgiving gets the short end of the candy cane?

#nogifts

The first obvious answer to why Thanksgiving gets #sandwiched (#thisisfun) between Halloween and Christmas is because of our beautiful capitalism. Other than Safeway, or your favorite grocery store (have you noticed Walgreens is the new Super Wal-Mart? #awesome), people aren’t running to the store to grab treats. The rest of the 1%ers are excited to sell us their wonderful 4G wonderlands for the Christmas season. You get candy on Halloween, chocolate eggs in baskets on Easter, gelt for Hanukkah, and gifts for Christmas, but only a meal on Thanksgiving. 

#getyourelbowsoffthetable

Everyone knows of a fun Christmas party, but when was the last time you heard of a memorable Thanksgiving festivity? You can’t even get excited about dressing up. Instead of a nice Christmas suit and dress, it’s usually a moderate cardigan or your beige Dockers. Thanksgiving is the original #lessismore. Yeah, it is the day we eat the most, especially if you’re a Pentecostal and you think that tobacco use is a sin (scroll down for context #thankyouforsmoking), but once your belt is loosened, there really isn’t much else to do for the rest of the night, other than sleep.  Thank you #tryptophan. This is the holiday you have to behave and make your mom happy, even though you don’t like her stuffing (#sorrymom), and we all become the perfect 1950’s American family. #normanrockwell #shoutout

#bettermarketing

Someone please call Donald Draper #madmen. Christmas has Santa, and Sweet Baby Jesus. Valentine’s Day has a cute stalker in a diaper, better known as Cupid, and Easter has the cute Bunny and The Resurrected Christ (#preachit), but Thanksgiving?  Have you seen a live Turkey? I would run!  Doesn’t matter how you try to draw it and make it cute, a turkey is still scarier than Halloween’s Jack (see image above). I’m glad no one listened to Benjamin Franklin when he suggested making that our national bird and symbol (stick to posing for the hundred dollar bill and #goflyakite). We all remember drawing an outline of our hand and coloring in the fingers as feathers, but it still looks like something that would be worshiped at Tom Cruise’s church.  Thanksgiving must have been late to the mascot-choosing meeting, right before Stanford had to choose a Tree.  Oh, and where’s the “It’s beginning to smell like Thanksgiving” Boyz II Men Album? Seriously, it would work.

#genocide

Where do I even begin? Just go listen to NPR for the rest of the month; you’re bound to find a good interview from a scholar who read a book about a guy who knew a guy that made the diseased blankets. What a downer. Who wants genocide as opposed to wise men? You keep your diseased blankets and I’ll have the swaddling clothes.

But is all this so bad (minus the diseased blankets of course)?

Cue the Full House piano music as Danny, Uncle Jesse, and Joey walk in to the girls’ bedroom to finish another memorable episode. #TGIF #wherearetheynow #truelifeofachildactor #saynotodrugs

I mean sure, even holidays like the 4th of July have fireworks, but we need to learn to pause and instead of making it about all the glitz, it’s about one simple word: #gracias (thank you is two words so it’s not as simple).  All the previously mentioned holidays are about receiving a gift, lover, or a Savior (even though Jesus is all of the above #comeonpreacher!) but Thanksgiving is about giving (#redundant?).  Not about the commercialism, not about the event, not even about the meal; it’s about sitting together with family and friends and pausing to say “thank you” to each other and to the Omnipotent One (#religioussentivity). 

We live in a time where sitting together as a family to eat a meal rarely happens, and it probably will happen less now that #MW3 is out! This past year has been tough for many families, but there is always something to give thanks for. #KimKardashian is giving thanks for the NBA lockout now that her 72 day marriage special was canceled; #occupywallstreet folks are thankful for warm urine during the winter months; and Greece—even with their failing economy—is still thankful for their delicious yogurt and #TinaFey.  #attitudeofgratitude

It seems as if Christmas is all about what we get, if it fits, if it works, and did He really grow up to die for me? Thanksgiving however is all about what we give each other, not just a meal, but a thankful heart. That takes more out of us than #BlackFriday takes out of our wallets. That takes more maturity and stillness in the busy world of 4G and takeovers.

What are you thankful for this November? How will you make this Thanksgiving more special than any other holiday?  Go around the table, read some Scripture together, turn off the phone (after reading the most recent episode of #Hashtagfairytales of course) and be thankful for your #Vida/Life; #blackfriday and the #JustinBieber (thankful he’s not a father) Christmas special can wait!

(JCH: A laugh AND some conviction; hopefully he’s not expecting an offering, I’m saving up for Christmas.)

#inthenude

October 14, 2011 17 comments

(Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the very first #Hashtagfairytales Guest Post! This is the thing I was so excited about. Today’s Guest Post was written by Sick Boy McCoy of Bad Blood Bandits. Enjoy [that’s an order].)

Alright people don’t panic. It’s true, this post of #Hashtagfairytales is not written by the one and only what-his-nuts-that-publishes-this-blog but that doesn’t mean it’s not a #Hashtagfairytales approved articles so sit your happy little a$$ down and read the damn article.

Jacob C. Howard approves this message

Before I begin let me first apologize to all soon to be blind people and children.

So if ya know me (and by “me” I’m referring to Sick Boy McCoy over at Bad Blood Bandits) you’ve probably heard me say the phrase #ihaveatheory which is somewhat related to “Sick Boy’s Unifying Theory of Life” (#explicitwarning*) however mine are not always related to the great Sean Connery (#greatestbondever)

Let me begin this theory by posing a question: why the bloody hell do we WANT to see people naked?  For those of you who have seen naked people I’m sure you can agree that humans are not attractive people with their clothes off (and for those of you that haven’t, how do you live without a mirror?). I mean most of us aren’t attractive even with our clothes on. So what gives? Take any well-known, moderately attractive celebrity like a Kardashian; type only their name in a search engine and let it provide popular searches including that name. I bet you everything in my bank account that one of them is “nude”, “naked” “hot” or “sex tape.”

I wouldn’t have any bets. And if I lost, congratulations, you now have enough to buy a soda pop; #maybe (of course it doesn’t hurt if your celebrity has a pimp for a mother, severe daddy issues, and an affinity for marginal celebrities with huge…egos).

Why is that? Why do we want to see anyone naked? I mean, besides that primal urge, for whatever reason to see some normally hidden anatomy there’s really not a whole lot of incentive. Think about that for a second: it takes something as strong as the urge to reproduce for us to bring it upon ourselves to stomach the sight of another human being #aunaturál

So, if you havent heard, #ihaveatheory and my theory is this: the reason we want to see our significant other in their #birthdaysuit is because then we see them for who they really are: ugly. Nakedness is not pretty people. We are ugly. That’s why we put clothes on. There’s a reason Adam and Eve clothed themselves when they finally figured out their wedding tackle was showin.

#pause

I can just hear all the dedicated Oprah fans out there saying “I AM beautiful! Inside and out!!!

Naw kid, ya ain’t.

The only semblance of beauty we have is what we reflect of Christ. Anything other than that is a ghost; that something you can barely remember that’s on the tip of your tongue and you go your whole day trying to remember it. We pretend to be beautiful but we get caught up so much in the pretense that it actually becomes attractive for us to see the genuine article.

(#commercialbreak)

At this point, I’d like to give a #shoutout to my girl Flannery O’Connor who has made this post possible. All yous mugs need to go out and read “The Enduring Chill”…

…after the blog is over.

(#backtoyourscheduledprogramming)

So I may contradict myself here but the point I’m trying to make is that nakedness isn’t about beauty right away. It takes a couple steps to get there. To be #inthenude is about honesty, pure honesty, and to be honest is to unashamedly present the truth in all its glory and inglory. I’ve heard it said that “Art is about beauty and therefore it is about truth” (Francis Ford Coppola ) and it goes the other way: nakedness is about truth and therefore it is beautiful.

(Sick Boy Note: I still didn’t say YOU were beautiful, I said NAKEDNESS is beautiful. If you want a self-esteem boost go help an old lady cross the street)

(JCH: Wow, I didn’t know there’d be nudity! Next thing you know there’ll be comic book characters running around here)