I always say that there are about a billion different things I could talk about in each post and one of the reasons I update so infrequently (trying to get back to at least two posts and a podcast a week… trying… and failing still) is that I hardly ever finish a complete thought. Call it “Writer’s ADD” if you will (by now, I hope you guys know that I don’t mean stuff like that as offensive). It dawned on me this morning, as I was in bed doing my best at keeping a diligent journal (this time, COMPUTERIZED) that I should just DO a Writer’s ADD post… and then I thought that would be a bad idea so I’m going to give you a two-in one post… yes, it’ll have pictures and gifs and memes to break up the TL;DR of it.
First things first: UI Memes Page on Facebook.
I have wanted to post about this since it got taken down the first time, since before the whole Daily Iowan v. KRUI spat that is currently going on (and that I find to be mana from heaven). For those who have not seen similar pages popping up on facebook, there was a fan page for University of Iowa students that allowed users to post their favorite internet memes that pertained to the University… or if you’re me, it allowed you to MAKE memes.
Those who are avid followers and those who maybe just casually stumble upon this blog after google image searching for: “Justin Plasket Gay” (yes, you do exist, WordPress shows you the search terms that lead people to your blog… and no, you won’t find any Weiner-esque pictures of me on the interwebs. Sorry.) know that I LOVE me the memes.
Those who know me or follow this blog for more than searching for nudie pictures of me ALSO know that I’m a highly opinionated person who uses comedy as a double edged sword to make us all a bit less comfortable with ourselves (regardless of who or what we are) and as a look in a mirror darkly for all of us (myself included… hence the “us”). Put those two together and you better believe homeboy was ALL over that meme page.
Now, yes, I understand that people get offended easily and that stereotyping is bad. I also understand that jabbing fun at people in this manner is actually HELPFUL to both the jabber and the jabb-uh… jabb-ie? I read a fantastic article on the difference between British humour and American humor (believe it or not, it’s more than just the “u”) written by Ricky Gervais. If you want, here’s the link: http://ideas.time.com/2011/11/09/the-difference-between-american-and-british-humour/
Basically, he states that American humor is a lot more vanilla. It is more situationally based than it is directed at other people. The Brits use a more directed sense of humor to “take the piss out of” each other (deflate the ego), whether friend or foe. We’re all human and sometimes, taking a couple pot shots at one another in an atmosphere of understanding is a bit… therapeutic. In the case of the UI Meme’s page, it was EXACTLY that. Yes, some of the jokes/memes got a bit… “off color” and addressed issues that some believe should not be made into jokes or said things about certain people who got offended. My whole stance on the issue is… well… Here, Hulk, explain:
We use comedy and jokes and laughter as a way of dealing with difficult issues and situations. American culture has a tendency to over compensate and coddle when what we really need is a thicker skin about a great many things. I’m not advocating for a removal of certain social boundaries and certainly, there needs to be an element of good taste that governs all of us BUT… When I see a post or meme about how all the White kids complain about their course load because they can’t go out every night, I laugh… It’s not true of all of us but it’s FUNNY. When I see a post about the President of our beloved University being essentially Enron embodied in human form, I laugh my ass off… and when I see a meme about the ROCK our university blew a metric shit load of money on while we’re still um… not really moving to repair any buildings damaged by the floods from 4 years ago… I think to myself: “Damn straight.”
Needless to say, I was disappointed when the Meme’s page was shut down. I do think the SUPER personal attacks some made constituted “cyberbullying” but we’re adults, not high schoolers. There ARE lines one shouldn’t cross but when it’s simply “You called so and so a bitch or inferred she slept around…” I don’t know… maybe it’s just me but I always had the mindframe of, “if someone says shit about you, throw it right back.” Not everyone is like that and certainly, the lines of HateSpeach are clearly defined and SHOULD NOT BE CROSSED… and maybe that’s not the place for personal attacks but don’t pretend like it doesn’t go on in the first place. The Golden Rule says to treat others how you want to be treated. It’s a two way street though. What I saw on that page HARDLY constituted any serious issue (statements backed by malicious intent) . It was more an outlet for students to both voice their opinions AND procrastinate. If it did anything, it simply showed everyone that we all have our things that we do or say that are not “PC.” Oh… and that we all have “High Opinions” of certain decisions made by the U of Iowa.
There are a great many things I am actually fairly decent at. One is writing, another is talking. What I am not good at is being PATIENT. In nerd terms, I want to skip from toaster straight to Six.
It’s just the way I’ve always been. Like so many of our generation, I dive into situations and scenarios far too early and just expect that the issues I skip over will sort themselves out later or not matter. Wellllllllll… recently, one of the hardest things I’ve had to do is just to sit back and be patient. Let go of the ropes and just drift along. If you’re me, that’s… well if you’re me, it better fucking be worth it to slow down. This time, though, it is.
See, maybe we all need to slow down and realize that what we thought was a raging rapids is actually a lazy river. What has truly astounded me, however, is not the internal patience that I fail at having, but the external patience I’ve been shown. I’ve said it a lot but there are certain people in my life whom I cannot believe the level of patience and care they have shown me. They’ve let me be a basketcase, let me vent, and even let me rush into a situation full-speed before finding that perfect moment to bring me back and show me what I’ve missed. What I realized is that I missed a whole hell of a lot.
I’m a control-freak through and through and I’m not the best when it comes to having blind Faith and yet… I can’t escape the feeling that Faith is an important part of humanity. It is a quality that has existed since the dawn of human consciousness and has survived evolution after evolution. It is what allows us to look beyond what we do not know and anticipate what might be. It is also what keeps us going when everything falls through. Society didn’t suddenly collapse when the atom was split or when the first lightbulb was illuminated. Faith provides the intrepidity (… fun story, I wrote this post with the intent of using that word because I like it… this entire post for one word… :D) that we need to carry on.
I fail so hard at being patient and have such a difficult time trusting what I cannot seem to touch or grab hold of and yet, there are those who gently take my hand, who hug me, and who let me know that it is OK to let go and drift for a while. For that, I am thankful and for that… well…
See ya, Space Cowboy