Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ignorance...bliss? Or Bitch?

Ignorance…bliss? Or Bitch?

What happens when we label someone? Does it help define them…does it make them easier to understand? Does identifying them and stereotyping them help us appreciate others as people, or does it just lessen us, and those we define or those who define others and themselves? When looking at this issue there are, like all issues, to vastly different takes on the same “cup of tea.” Here is how I look at it-

As I have said earlier in my blog, I believe that of all the problems and causes for regret in the world, Ignorance is the worst. When thinking of Ignorance, the term “Ignorance is bliss” often comes to mind. This phrase is true in the most simple of aspects, but in reality what may start as bliss, and may shine like a summer’s day, can go from bliss, to bitch. In my own life this has been realized many, many times. So…throughout this blog post I will use an analogy:

You are on a cliff, it isn’t very high and is jutting over a deep but serene river…flowing lazily along as if rolling over in a gentle slumber. It is wonderfully warm outside and you are really content with how great the sun feels on your skin…but you really want to jump in the water because you can see it is calm and inviting, giggling you realize how clean the water looks and how much it resembles your bath tub. You have never been in the river but…what’s the worst that could happen? So you jump…and one of two things might happen

First- Like the wall of an igloo, the river is bitingly cold and hard as ice. Moments after you enter the water, all you can coherently think is…Breath.

Second-Like a blanket fresh from the dryer, the river enfolds you in its welcoming, if a bit wet, depths.

Now as to how this analogy helps explain the philosophy of labeling. Often in our lives we make judgments, most of these almost instantly, without even really thinking. These judgments affect our lives and can, and should, constantly shift. Just because we have a bad hair day doesn’t mean we need to be self conscious for the rest of our lives, we should live in the moment, but understanding the moment may make…well…the moment, a whole hell of a lot better. Now, even though there only seemed like one choice: Jump or don’t jump, there were many other options that could have been taken so as to avoid the first scenario or to insure the second. For example: if it has to do with the human race or the Earth there has to be an “I-phone app.” for the situation. Sure, I don’t have it, but a random rivers guide that would tell you the depth, average temperature, and likelihood of any dangers or water tension has to be out there somewhere. Not only that, you could test the water, call a friend or family member who knows how to deal with it, or if you are desperate enough…use BING.COM!!!!! (Familiar Jingle) The first…DECISION ENGINE! *GASP.* Outside of the sarcasm likely oozing from your computer screen, I am hoping the point is being made clear. Though Ignorance can be bliss it can also hurt like no other. Often it is not only physically. In my own life, this has been painfully illustrated many a time.

When I first moved from my sheltered life in Utah to Florida, some years back, I remember defining Florida in one word…hell. (And I NEVER swore…before that…I know (!) big day for me *smirk.*) After I started to experiment and “open up” to Florida, I found that the beach called to me like a siren’s song, that Cuban food is DELICIOUS, that dandelion’s weren’t the only type of “weed”(…only second hand…smoke (?)…in my case), that black people are amazing dancers, as well as great people (not just Gangsters), and sadly, but eventually necessarily, what true evil is. True evil isn’t saying naughty words like the sheltered Idahoans I live near and work with seem to think. It is watching from the chain link fence of you middle school, and seeing someone get shot down in cold blood, his “woman” get up and scream only to have her cry answered with a bullet and the criminals run away…Maybe that’s why as funny as I am…I have never fit in, in Idaho… My ignorance was shattered and people here don’t like to have their obviously delusional fantasies of a human race crushed. At the end of my time in Florida I had a million words to describe it but in this case one word could describe it, that being home.

As you may have realized I am not a person given over to pity parties or hissy fits and obviously loath labels I will explain the last part.

Since I was a very young kid, I have always been much slimmer than my older brothers…(who annoy me to distraction)…and my parents, being the typical middle class type that they are, (aka the frugal kind) decided a hand-me-down policy was just “The cat’s meow.” (Which they still say…is it still the 50’s? if so I must have missed something and me typing on a computer is obviously a hallucination…) The problem was, as explained earlier, they were so much bigger than me and none of the clothes ever fit properly. In the same was as 1 shirt doesn’t fit all, neither does 1 label. I refuse to be defined as MOHO, or as gay, or as white, because that is a god-awful phrase and 2 words, and in no way can those sum me up. As far as MOHO is concerned…yes I have a religious MO background but I am, if you have glanced at my blog, far from Mormon. As far as gay goes, yes I am a homosexual but I don’t fit almost any of the stereotypes, besides dressing well, liking to dance, being a terrific actor ;- ) , and chick flicks I don’t share many stereotypical traits. As far as effeminate goes…I like fishing, nature, biking, cooking (not sure if that is a gay thing yet…haha), all sports (besides football…sorry too stupid in my opinion…), and I am super competitive…in everything…And about white…sure you haven’t seen me but you will eventually if you read up on this blog for 3 months when I am “Allowed” to come out…but White is a silly way to describe me…I have hips like Shakira, and lips that are red but the size of black lips (sorry to stereotype to any black readers…but damn you all seem to have HUGE lips…haha no offence meant, and I happen to share that trait.)I am a go-getter, beyond blunt, a hopeless romantic who just wants a manly man, who happens to be gay, to carry me away into a New York loft, or San Fran., loves soccer, makes great food, a neat freak!, an avid bird collector (only 1 at the moment: (. a huge cuddler, and a person. That is why; when someone calls me gay I don’t get angry because I am ashamed that I am gay, I am just so infuriated that someone thinks that they can adequately define me in one word.

In many situations you will be seemingly forced to choose between looking at a jolly old man with a child on his lap and seeing Santa (!)…or seeing a child molester (…) because in all likely-hood one of the two could adequately sum up one characteristic of that old man…I offer a different solution to difining that person as just Santa or just a child molester. Pick which one you will, Santa, or child molester but realize that they are so much more than just a label, that they may be Santa but may be dieting and pissed as hell that they have to give little Timmy-two-teeth an I-Phone with super special river apps(!) But that he is not just Santa. Also remember like I seem to, the third or fourth time I have met someone that first impressions are almost always wrong.

Returning to the analogy of the river, I, knowing the person I am, would jump in the water no matter what. But also on the flip-side would strongly recommend testing the water. If you know the risks you are not in ignorance and though you might be sacrificing the bliss you will also avoid the bitch.



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