Tag Archives: rant

The Benefits of Escapism

Sometimes, the world really sucks. It’s beginning to feel like every time we start to heal and move on from one tragedy or disaster, another strikes. Last week I was dealing with flooding in our area, and the persistent threat of tornadoes, but all of that faded into the background with what happened in Orlando.

This is by no means a post rehashing the news, or remarking on the politics now surrounding it. I’m in dire need of a break from it all, just as I’m sure you all are, no matter your personal affiliations. It’s times like these that I really do marvel at the beauty of literature, music, and films to take one’s mind off of things. This is when I’m most in need of all guilty pleasures, no matter how small. Red wine and some cookie dough ice cream while watching Netflix? Yep, I’m there.

One of my personal favorite guilty pleasures is historical romance novels. For a bit of light reading full of lush clothing and descriptive language, it can be interesting enough to keep my attention and absorb me so that I forget the awfulness of the world around me. Plus, it has the benefit of being comfortingly predictable; as a reader, you know exactly where the story is heading. Love will triumph and the hero and heroine will ride off into the sunset together. It’s incredibly reassuring and serves its purpose wonderfully: escapism.

Everyone has their own form of escapism. Literature is a fantastic one, because you can honestly imagine yourself in the shoes of a heroine and lose yourself in a new world that you create in your mind. Geek culture is full of ways to indulge in escapism. Science fiction and fantasy novels can be brilliant, richly detailed escapism. The multitude of geek-central television shows we currently have, whether presently airing or available on Netflix (Firefly, anyone?) are a fantastic source of comfort right now. Plus with all of the great movies coming out this year, there has to be one or another that you can check out in the weeks to come.

Editor: There we go. Firefly, Good, and Evil, all in one image.

Editor: There we go. Firefly, Good, and Evil, all in one image.

I’ve talked before about how I use the phrase “popcorn movie” as a positive phrase because there is something so deliciously wonderful about being able to absorb myself in a film for two hours, whether or not the movie is full of substance. Popcorn movies are perfect for times like these, when all we really want is to munch some popcorn in a dark theatre and “ooo” and “ahhh” over some really cool graphics and Good vs. Evil stories. Especially because popcorn movies, like historical romance novels, give us the sense that good/love can and will win.

So I say make sure to indulge in some escapism this weekend, in whatever awesomely geeky way you want. And then Monday, pick yourself back up and face the world and do your best to emulate the heroes in the fandom you indulged in and try to make sure that good will win, even in our presently sucky world. Whether by speaking out against hate, donating time, money, or blood, writing to your lawmakers or voting, or even reaching out to your friends and family and letting them know you love them. Use your geeky escapism to bolster your spirits and refresh yourself so that you can help tackle the problems we all face.

I Need to Stop Reading Comments

So, this is not about reading the comments on blogs that I know or trust or the comments on my own articles, but I have a terrible habit about delving into the comments of controversial articles. Recently, it has been reading the comments on the measles outbreaks. The biggest problem is that it just infuriates me to no end. I do not comment back because I know it is pointless and stupid, but even reading some of the comments makes me weep for the future of humanity. At the same time it is the same reason that people slow down for an accident you are at least a little bit curious at how bad it gets. At the same time that can often just get depressing because most anonymous online forums can get pretty bad and that is not even looking at sites that seem to specifically speak to these issues. So to follow are some reasons I need to stop reading comments. Continue reading

5 Things I Would Like to See in Future Elections

We are coming up on the final countdown to Election Day and for those states with National seats on the line we have been seeing the never-ending barrage of commercials. It just makes me remember the aspects of our political campaigning and elections that just does not seem to make sense. This is not just about the never ending advertising that seems take over every single commercial, but it is the general process of voting as well. There is one part that people should want to vote and should take the effort to vote. At the same time it would be nice if it was not such a contentious or annoying process. Every year David and I get into a discussion about the election process and all the things that we wish could be different. Here are five things I would like to see for the advancement of elections.

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Technology for Better or Worse

Recently I have watched a couple of different videos that have discussed the goods and evils of technology. It has been something probably pretty well discussed in a variety of areas, but I think is always good to remember. I think some of it breaks down to whether you control technology or you let technology control you. If you let technology control you then it is dictating how you live your life, which means that you might be missing out on life in some ways. At the same time technology does amazing and wonderful things now a days. We can talk to people half way across the world like its nothing. The ability to connect and work more efficiently has meant that we can accomplish so much more. It is when we sacrifice are real life connections for those efficiencies that we start to run into problems.

I want to share with you two of the videos that I watched this week. One is from Q Ideas and it is from a faith based organization, but even if you do not have a belief I think it speaks to the potential problems of technology. The talk is called Numb Generations. The other video is a trailer for an amazing documentary called Cyber Seniors. It is a documentary that looks at a bunch of seniors who get taught to use a computer for the first time by some high school students. It looks so cute as you see the teens help these seniors connect with family, explore YouTube. It is exciting to see the possibilities that learning technology presents for these seniors. Continue reading

To Link or Not to Link

There are often times where we want to comment on an article, video, comment, etc, but we do not want to give more value to the creator. This is where we will often find comments discussing an issue followed by, but I don’t want to link to it because I don’t want to give them more views. It is an interesting struggle when discussing posts that we might find reprehensible, racist, misogynistic, sexist, etc. I want to emphasize this is not just information that we disagree with, but media that takes an idea beyond the line that most would consider reasonable. The best example would be an comments that you read by trolls, but even those are not necessarily as bad.

The problem with linking to these ideas is the question of do we just give them more views and potentially give value to their voice by spreading it. At the same time by not linking to it, how do we allow others to understand what we are discussing if we do not link to it.  Continue reading