Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Archive for January, 2016

Sunday musings 1/17/16

Sunday musings…

1) Bowie. The Starman goes home. A saddened planet listens anew.

2) Rickman. Alan Rickman, actor famous for his roles in “Die Hard” and the “Harry Potter” series, also died recently. Tough week to be a 69 year-old English male artist. The WSJ described him as an actor who “spoke with a twinkle in his throat.”

Thinking I’ll check out “Galaxy Quest” and maybe “Truly Madly Deeply” when I finish listening to Bowie.

3) Frazz. In today’s comics, after being asked “how’s it going?”

Right between ‘don’t get your hopes up’ and ‘be careful what you wish for.’

You know, for the next time you don’t think “fine” will cut it as an answer.

4) For sale. What’s up with everyone in CrossFit out to sell something to everyone else? Seriously, it seems like I can’t go an hour without somebody with a “name” in the CrossFit world offering to sell me something. Making this particularly annoying is the fact that most of this is information or insight that once upon a time was freely offered in exchange for, well, in exchange for pretty much nothing but the collective goodwill and wellbeing of the CrossFitter on the receiving end.

It makes me sad to note that so many of the folks all about selling are what can only be described as CrossFit OG’s. These are people who’ve been around long enough to not only remember those old days but to have lived that part of CrossFit’s history. Not only that, but many of these same people were stalwarts on the Message Board, available to any and all with advice on stuff like programming and nutrition. For Free.

Good thing I get a big, fat percentage of what you all pay for the info here on CrossFit.com. Hmmm…I’m probably overpaid, too.

5) Enlightened. There’s been quite a bit of sadness around Clan bingo these last several months. My Dad left us in October; we’ve learned that another family member will leave us in the near future. Stage of life stuff for sure, but also a soul-sucking odyssey, however inevitable and unavoidable. It’s been hard to find peace, hard to find a way to be OK with this part of the journey. “Why” seems inescapable. The search for meaning, for some sense of enlightenment is ever present for me, especially now.

A couple of my friends, people who care about me, have worries about the darkness I see in so many of the answers. One in particular with whom I’ve shared the coordinates of my soul’s travels engaged me about the meaning of the “here” and eventually the “there”, wherever my Dad and his Mom might be now that they are no longer here. It helped, so I will share it as best I can.

We are all, in some way, seekers of that “why”. The search for enlightenment can be seen as film study, if you will. Some see only the movie, that which is projected in front of them as they march through life. For them, that’s all there is, and if there is any contemplation it is only on what lies directly in front of them. Others, perhaps nothing more than curious, turn around and see a projector. In that moment the depth of understanding is just a tiny bit greater.

The knowledge that a projector exists is still rather concrete and not at all satisfying to someone on the journey toward something that we might call enlightenment. It’s something that might not necessarily explain why it is that we come to these places and these times of struggle. This is someone who will turn and walk back to the projector, disassemble it and discover the film. Here…here certainly is where the answer must lie. Think scientist or explorer. Many of the answers are to be found here, for sure. Most will find answers that suffice.

This is where I found myself stranded. The kinds of answers found here were no longer enough, and because of this the skies over my journey had become ever darker, roiled by ceaseless storms. It was here that my friend broke through and found something that was enough to help, at least enough. You see the images on the wall, turn around and discover the projector, then to look inside and find the film. Now, he said, now is the time to look for the light. Always look for the light.

Never, never, ever stop looking for the light.

I’ll see you next week…


#IDon’tCare: A Cranky Old Dude Examines Micro-Issues

Micro-aggressions and micro-insults have created a world awash in micro-constituencies that demand macro attention. That is, the micro-constituencies demand that you pay attention to them. Each one has a public presence that approximates the visibility of a 2016 presidential candidate’s public exposure. They’re everywhere, and they are deeply offended to begin with, and then borderline apoplectic if you don’t pay attention to them. It’s all so tedious, so very tiresome. It’s as if you are not even given the option not to care.

That’s a problem, because by and large, I really don’t. Care, that is.

It doesn’t really matter what the issue is, really. What’s got me in high dungeon today was a huge article on the tragic experiences of “non-Moms”. That’s the name of their group. Non-Moms. Not that it’s tragic that they are not Moms mind you. Oh no, not that at all. Heck, we are probably wired to be uber sympathetic to non-Moms who desperately wish to be Moms. Nope, this group is browned off that folks’ first reaction is sympathetic, and they are demanding that you not only stop doing that, but that you listen to them air how your sympathy is wrecking the great life they have because they’ve chosen not to be a Mom. More than that, it is their inalienable right to have you forced to hear their beef. There’s a website and a Twitter feed and a PR agent placing articles on this most terrible thing being foisted on this unfortunate, micro-oppressed group.

I. Don’t. Care.

The spoken demand is that you pay attention to something you’ve neither caused nor have the ability to fix. Listen, please don’t think I really have a problem with this particular group or their particular issue. I’m not really meaning to pick on them because of their beef; it could have been literally dozens of examples shoved in my face as I read the morning papers. That’s the point, the shoving in my face part. Why do I even have to know these things exist if I am not guilty of even the contemplation of the heinous micro-aggressions at issue? The only thing I’m guilty of is not caring.

There are some real, certifiable big issue things going on in our world today. Things that are so substantial and so real that every one of us candy-ass First Worlders need to think about them. Like, you know, the shortage of feather-friendly sunblock for all those penguins at risk for global-warming associated skin cancer. It’s just getting harder and harder to plow through the barrage of noise coming from aggrievements that even 10 years ago would not have risen to the level of dinner table discussion among loved ones. “Oh honey, I’m so sorry that your hairdresser was complaining about how her daughter wasn’t pregnant again. Pass the Ranch, please.”

It’s time to assert the right not to care. I have no idea where to draw the line of societal magnitude necessary to care about any particular issue, but I have an idea that I can figure it out for myself. The alternative is total capitulation to the whole micro-issue demand thing. Maybe that’s the ticket. Maybe I’m actually going about this entirely wrong, acting like a cranky old man out of touch with the importance of having everyone know how tough someone else has it. Perhaps it’s time I get in line. Maybe it’s time to demand my slice of your attention, to join the legion of the offended.

Coming soon to FB, Twitter, Instagram, and every MSM outlet there is: #IDon’tCare. Don’t even THINK about not paying attention to us.


So Over “So”

In my mind how I imagine pundits and talking heads of all ages speaking the famous Sound of Music lyrics: “So, a needle pulling thread…”

Lake Superior State has published its 41st annual list of forbidden words. Words that have been abused, misused, or simply overused to a breaking point. Number 1 on this year’s list? “So”.

Yup. “So” is the new “um”, “uh”, or “like”, as annoyingly overused as any of these, but all the more obnoxious because it is especially favored by the young talking heads of the consultative and pundit class. Seriously, whether I agree of disagree with an “expert’s” opinion I can hardly listen to NPR, CNN, FOX, or even the NFL Today. Every sentence begins with “so”. It’s as if there’s a clause in each speaker’s  contract mandating that you do so.

See what I did there? That’s part of what makes it all so frustrating (see, I did it again). “So” is a perfectly good word, one that has so many legitimate uses it’s nothing short of criminal that it has been captured and held hostage by an undisciplined intelligentsia and their associated wannabes. Just as you don’t hear truly gifted speakers pepper their spoken thoughts with “uhh” and “um”(I never found this particular POTUS to be all that impressive as a speaker because of this), so, too, should we be spared an assault by this more pretentious verbal tic.

Here’s a resolution (see what I DIDN’T do there): I am giving an instant downgrade to the value of whatever is begin spoken by whoever whenever and wherever if he or she insists on beginning the majority of sentences or new thought threads with “so”. Even more so (Huh? Huh?), I’m thinking that it’s perfectly appropriate to simply tune out or turn off anything and anyone who does that. They all tend to be uber-plugged in to screens and tech and such, and if I did I’d probably have a ton more time to do stuff like read a book, pet Abby the wonder dog, or get on the floor and build a wooden block castle with little Landon, my grandson.

Do, ray, me, fa…la, tee, dah. So there.

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