Posts Tagged ‘truth’

After my first two weeks as a freshman English teacher (I was brand new to teaching and my students were brand new to high school), I witnessed a disturbing trend by my students.  Homework, tests, quizzes and projects, as it turned out, were gay.  Any time my students wanted to share their complete disdain for any type of work, they would immediately proclaim or mumble, “this is gay.”

I took offense to the statement and not because I had a special place in my heart for gay rights.  I have a special place in my heart for the rights of people and when young kids on the precipice of adulthood used gay as the term to describe something displeasing or unfavorable, the visceral reaction I had to students surprised me.  “Find another way of saying you don’t like something, people!  If you want to be viewed as adults, it is time to start acting like educated adults.”

After a few weeks of working on the abolition of “that’s gay” in my classroom, the turning point came once I put it into perspective.  I only had a few black students but in one particular class, I used race to put “that’s gay” into perspective.  I remember asking my students, “would you say, “that’s black,” if you didn’t like something?”  Immediately the lone black student in my class turned his head quickly and violently around the room to see if anyone would agree to that particular usage.  All of the students avoided eye contact and either looked down at their desks or as if they had never heard the question.

Thankfully or coincidentally, the quick lesson worked and when students would use the term in class, they would often correct themselves and even ask for a pardon from the universe as they would say, “sorry, I meant to say…”

Ignorant speech and views starts when we are all pretty ignorant to the world around us.  Kids, especially, are rooting through this world trying to understand how life works and where and how they fit in.  Hell, a great many adults are still searching for themselves; I know I am.  All of this is anecdotal  and germane to one incredible experience that came to full fruition this past Saturday.

A friend of mine a few months back came to me, after finding out that I was ordained and could perform wedding ceremonies, and asked if I would officiate her wedding.  Her fiancee is a wonderful person too.  Together, they exude the kind of love and passion for each other that so many people pine for in their lives.  The way they look at each other and how in a crowded room, you can see them searching for each other in order to just share a smile.  They are sentimental, emotional, dedicated people that love each other in a profoundly inspiring way.  Oh, right, I almost forgot, they’re gay.10624776_879633068251_279711591266471520_n

Regretfully, when I was twelve years old, my friends and I would prank call a gay bar where I lived.  We would ask, “Is Phil there?  Phil MyButtUp!”  Things that, even though I was only twelve, still bother me that I ever existed in a place where that seemed comical.  Luckily, I had the kind of relationship with my Mom where I would tell her about all of the things I did: good, bad, sensitive, insensitive, and even outright ignorant.

In one of her many sage like moments, my Mom turned to me and asked, “would you want to be something where people would be ignorant towards you?  Would you choose to be something where others would make fun of you, act differently towards you, or discriminate you?”  She looked at me and immediately I understood her point.  “No, I wouldn’t,” I replied. “Then think about what you think is funny and then really think if it is funny or you’re trying to be funny at someone else’s expense.”  Damn, I thought.  Moms always have a way of putting things into perspective.

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to act as the officiant in my first wedding ever.  I did not lament over what I was going to say, though I did fret over the words because I wanted my friends, Sarah and Katie, to have a ceremony that they would never forget.  Standing before her friends and family, I felt that lump begin to swell in my throat.  I was far from nervous; I was moved.

10685485_10100698714348029_3080044461057064068_nWhen Katie and Sarah finally made their way to where I was standing, I could see their eyes filled with palpable passion, love, and of course, tears.  They could finally do the one thing that this country, a country that prides itself on individual freedoms and liberties, fought so long and hard to keep from happening.  Passion beat policy and over a hundred people bore witness to the power of love and resilience.  As a heterosexual male, I do not and cannot imagine what it would be like to be told I could not love someone because others had an issue with whom I directed my affection and adoration.

We all play a part in how effective love and kindness can be in this world.  Ultimately, there’s a lesson to be learned in how we treat those that do not follow the scripts that we follow in life.  Homophobia is not bred through one particular sect of thought.  Its genesis is in ignorance begetting ignorance.  It manifests when the company a person keeps continues to drive home a point of intolerance and the inability to differentiate between their life and someone else’s life.  When people decide that love provides not only a safe place for individuals to lay their hearts but a place where people can simply be themselves, we take steps in battling the provincial thoughts of those that appear to need more love in their life.

I will never change anyone’s views by saying what I believe.  I will change minds by living out my views.  Sarah and Katie asked me to be part of a moment that, as I said to those in attendance, could not be justified by any words that I spoke that day.  We needed only look at Sarah and Katie together and to witness the truth in what we believe.  While I often wish the world would stop long enough to admire each moment as unique and authentic, it may play a little part in what made Saturday so magical.  Outside of the Autumn oasis that Sarah and Katie created for their family and friends, was a world waiting to remind us of the long road so many people must travel.

However, tucked away in the Germantown section of Philadelphia are fifty five acres of endless memories.  We need only return there in our thoughts to have all of our senses brought back to life and to remind us of what perfect looks and feels like.  I will never forget my two friends; surrounded by bales of hay, loving family and friends, and an infinite supply of hope and victory to fuel us for a lifetime.  I may never change someone’s mind by what I’ve said or written, but if I lead through my experiences in life, September 20th, 2014 marks the day when I witnessed hope evolve into reality!

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Comedian Chris Smith provides teaser for DVD release….

There are cheats, liars, embellishers, cons, BS’ers, smooth talkers, pathological nutbags, and straight up wastes of oxygen and flesh that roam this Earth.  It is a tremendously hard pill to swallow and I look forward to the optimists that try to show me the good in the world.  I know there is good in the world.  I know it because I am surrounded by individuals that try to develop the depth of character and soul that so many individuals in this world lack.  I love meeting new and interesting people; I just have a much shorter attention span for the aforementioned that want to brow beat you with their awesomeness!

As a comedian, I have realized that I hate comedians.  The persona on stage may be fantastic; however, it is the miserable curmudgeons and sensitive pricks that they turn to off stage that makes them wholly intolerable.  Comedians are sad, despondent, self-hating, bullshitters that in the midst of their self deprecating style of humor will let you know every single tidbit of information that makes them awesome.  If you are not a comedian, you are probably wondering what I mean by all of this.  Let’s put this into perspective…

You go to invest in a bank and instead of having to deal with one individual from the bank, all of the bank workers descend upon you and they are all telling you how great they are at managing money.  Sadly, you realize you’re at a TD Bank and you realize that if they were any good, they would be at an investment firm, not a place with a drive through teller.  Comedians, regardless of where they are performing, will always let you know how awesome they are.

I am awesome.  If I didn’t believe I was awesome, I would be ineffective on the stage.  However, I also recognize the awesomeness and douchiness of others.  At the New Orleans Comedy Festival, I realized the ratio of douche to cool comics was sadly at a 10:1 ratio.  I know that sounds bad and I’m sure a few of them will read this and will wonder, “Did he think I was a douche?”  Probably, yes!  It’s not that I am intolerant of differing personalities; it is that I have grown unaffected by the self righteous ass-clowns that are as entertaining as a knock-knock joke!

There are those that forget that they are not always on stage.  I understand that we are in the business of making people laugh, but I also am in the business of being myself.  That is when you accept yourself for who you are.  Are there changes to be made?  Absolutely, and if you believe that you don’t have changes to make then you really should just check out and make way for someone else in this world.  Harsh?  No, it’s called truth and some people don’t like the truth because the old cliche is true…the truth hurts.

When individuals want to impress another with their possessions, we easily cast them off as they are nothing more than sad little turdfarmers trying to cultivate enough turds to look and sound impressive.  In High School, a classmate drove a Lexus.  Now, I would have shown an incredible amount of respect for this person if he bought the car on his own.  Sadly, his Daddy bought for him.  Then we blur the lines of jealousy and wonder, do I really not like this person because of what he has and I am jealous of his possessions, or is his character so flawed that we all recognize that persons level of pomposity and  would  rather eat razor blades than listen to one more ski trip story?  This is usually the super-model girlfriend having guy but she’s from Sweden type person.  He rationalizes that it is better that he does not have any photos of her because she is so beautiful, that when photos of her are taken, all that can be seen is a blinding white light that will burn your retinas.  Pathological by design, pathetic by nature.

Men are not the only ones that are guilty of perpetrating a false sense of identity into the world.  After an hour of morning grooming, there are women in this world that so falsely advertise who they are that when the make up comes off, the outfit is removed, the shoes are kicked off, all you are left with is a rolled out piece of silly putty that possesses the ability to speak.  The battle of the sexes need not be a battle, but when a woman comes prepared to fight with six inch heels and scores of Bobbi Brown make-up, she quickly becomes a cunning adversary.  You think you are ready to duke it out with a woman that looks like Giselle, but by the end she looks like a gazelle.

Fake people make up a tremendous part of the population.  I do not fault the individual for bending the truth and fixing the imperfections.  However, when a person recognizes that they have patched up quite a few holes in the proverbial tire that is who they are, there is no reason to perpetuate the myth any further.  When individuals pick on others to make themselves feel better, we call them bullies.  When people pick on themselves to make others feel better, we call them comedians.  When a person fraudulently puts out into this world a persona that is not truly who they are, we just resort to calling them people.  That is the sad reality of internal integrity; we accept things for face value.

If face value was how we operated this world, there would not be huge discrepancies between what people make.  If we did things according to face value, an individual could go see a movie and after that movie walk up to roll call and say, I want half of my money back because that movie was half way decent.  Imagine those individuals coming out of the theater after Waterworld.  “Excuse me, I’d like all of my money back and while you’re at it, throw me another twenty dollars for enduring that flaccid piece of whale spunk.”  Face value would crumble our economy.

If face value were real, lawyers would be obsolete.  “Your honor, this person side swiped my car, there was $5,000 in damage, I was out of work for six months, which is the equivalent of $25,000, and my wife and I argued for six months because we were broke, I would say that’s another $100,000.”  The judge would take it into consideration, the insurance company would write the check right there, and everyone would just go home.  Instead, there are scheming individuals that find ways to up the ante so they can up their take home.  If it is what it is, then it should come out exactly what it is.

If face value were real, teachers and policemen would be millionaires, and rich, ass-hats like Bill Gates and the Facebook kid would make enough to get by.  There is a price on what we value in this country and if it means bigger, better, and faster, then we are all for it.  Those with little to no internal integrity would continue to develop products that we want and do not need and eventually, we would all recognize humility is far more valuable than Hummers, love is infinitely more priceless than Gucci, your child’s baseball coach is paramount to learning life lessons while Coach is merely the product that your child covets.

“If it’s change you seek, start from within.  Once you’re comfortable with who you’ve become, start over and recognize perfection is a pursuit, not an end result.”

OLD WHITE PEOPLE:  I’m not old.  I am white.  If I wanted to see old people argue, I would watch them argue over a thirty cent coupon at the supermarket.  It is mind boggling that individuals actually sit and watch these debates and discuss why they enjoy Romney over Gingrich or vice versa.  It is akin to two people arguing over which is worse; date rape or forced sodomy.  Does it matter?  We all get F’d in the end! (That was an unintentional pun!)

SUPPORTERS IN THE AUDIENCE:  I can rattle off a dozen things that I would rather do than sit and listen to pompous blowhards espouse trite arguments over why the other candidates are not the right choice.  (These are in no particular order)  1)  Get kicked in the wedding tackle.  2)  Watch a Lady Gaga video.  3) Sit through a marathon of “iCarly” with my daughters.  4)  Chew broken glass.  5)  Build a website.  6)  Read “War and Peace” in Russian. 7) Hang out at a Manga Convention. 8) Watch any Pauly Shore movie.  9) Have a conversation with a “Jersey Shore” aficionado. 10) Complete a jigsaw puzzle 11) Stare longingly into Sheppard Smith’s wizened face. 12)  Watch a documentary on Christianity and find out it’s the replay of a Bronco’s game.  I am all for showing support to a candidate; just do us all a favor and shut up.  If we wanted to hear from you, then we’d wait for you to become a millionaire, lie openly, twist facts, and pine for the days that you could essentially argue on the behalf of bigotry and then shrug your shoulders over your blatantly racist comments.

MODERATORS:  Anyone that can sit and take a debate seriously is seriously defunct.  How does one sell their soul and still find the energy to ask questions that are loaded, biased, and completely irrelevant to the issues that our country contends with everyday.

INVENTING TERMS:  I consider myself a well read individual.  I know that there are those that walk this Earth that would absolutely shred me in arguments over certain topics.  The people on Jeopardy that know answers about 16th century Parisian artists would clearly demolish me in an argument about 16th century Parisian artists.  However, not since George Bush (feels like eons ago), has a candidate made up words or used already established words that do not coexist.  “The problem with this candidate is that he is a Right-Wing, Independent, Tea Partying, liberal, neo-conservative.”  I feel like I’m in the movie Scanners.

SELECTIVE HEARING:  How is it that these ass clowns will stand at a podium, hear an attack, and then answer in a way that does not even cover the topic.  “Mr. Gingrich here is an adulterer.  If his wife couldn’t trust him, how can the country?”   Gingrich will turn his head slightly, look back at the claimant and say, “Regardless of my voting history, this man is a xenophobic know-nothing.  Maybe the rest of this country is okay with baby killers, but I believe abortion is wrong.”

We will look at the television screen or computer monitor, scratch our heads, and debate whether to eat an entire bottle of Tylenol.

IOWA?  REALLY?:  No disrespect to this corn producing state, but I’m not sure if I believe the state of Iowa should play an integral part in the primary process.  Don’t get me wrong, I still think New Hampshire should go by the name Old Vermont, but it seems to me that states that actually have cities where a four story building is an apartment, not a financial institution. (No disrespect to Iowans; I am sure your state is moderately tolerable.)

THE LIBERAL MEDIA:  I love when I hear the term “Liberal Media!”  As if CNN or ABC gets Frank Caliendo to do voice over work so they can play back video but the audio is changed.  Really?  I think the problem is there are so many news sources out there that the only way to get real news is to be there when it happens.  Remember when the liberal media got millions of Jews to starve themselves, stand behind makeshift “concentration” camps and pose for photos?  Yeah, I don’t remember that either.  Perhaps the reality is the media should just replay everything from start to finish and the commentator should respond the same way most Americans do when they watch these cavalcades of self indulgence.

PUNDITS:  You’ve been around Washington long enough to know the ins and outs of politics.  Fine, we get it, you know a bunch of people and your opinion sucks just as much as every other opinion.  Walk through a dairy farm and you’re bound to step in cow dung.  Hang around Washington long enough and eventually the truth is a suggestion, not an obligation.

MOOT POINTS: I know it is harsh and this is obviously my opinion, but I really don’t care what a candidate’s voting record on abortion is.  People have fought to have Roe v. Wade overturned for decades now.  What is more important to you?  (Answer honestly!)  A woman’s right to decide the fate of HER unborn child or an economically sound plan for helping to rebound our economy?  If you answered “abortion,” then chances are your parents made the wrong decision.  Sorry, it’s just how I see it!

LESSER OF TWO EVILS:  Finally, the thing that bothers me the most are those that make the claim, “I guess my decision is really based on deciding which candidate is the lesser of two evils.”  REALLY?  That even remotely makes sense to you?  Your decision is predicated on deciding which candidate will screw you less?  The debates are merely stomping grounds of yesteryear.  The ghosts of candidates past rear their ugly heads and the recycling of politics leads us down a spiral of degenerative acceptance; the utilization of blissful ignorance and blithe dopiness.

America is a nation of rich history; some of which should make every individual beat their chest and holler from the rafters.  Of course, there is a tremendous amount of history that should force individuals to drop their heads shamefully.  Regardless of the history, if we don’t learn from its story, then we are merely looking to repeat the same mistakes of the past.  Do not watch the debates with the hope that suddenly a refreshing candidate that answers questions directly and takes ownership for his indiscretions and screw ups will fall from the sky.  Like the old joke goes (only tweaked a pinch), what do you call a thousand politicians jumping out of a plane with no parachutes?  A GOOD START!