In a turn of events that I would classify as “Strictly Xtopher”, here’s my morning mash up.
I sat down to watch the X-Files from last night…ok, it was lunch time. Myrtle decided to be insane and freak out about 2:00 AM, so I was awake listening to her scamper around skidding on the rug and chasing wine corks around like they were top offenders from the Feline’s Most Wanted list until about 6:00.
No, I have no idea where she got random wine corks.
Thank god the ongoing construction on my block took a break today from it’s normal jack hammering and pile driving routine, so I had gotten up about 11:30 after finally getting a few zzzs.
I’d also just paid a visit to The Salad Tosser for a $12 salad that I was too lazy to make myself at home. But, hey, I had to run out and get some Diet Coke, anyway, so I just stopped on the way home.
Total First World Problems.
As I was wandering through those errands in a caffeine deficient haze, I had also been chatting with a guy from Scruff that had messaged me last night about the time I was trying to turn in. He distracted me with a peculiar familiarity that he blamed simply on Portland being a small town. It’s like he cheekily quoted me back to me, but it’s hardly like I was the first to make that observation so I am attributing that to coincidence. Yet, he still indicated he knew me, even though we had never met.
A coy gay guy…how novel.
Also, Scruff in bed…makes for bad sleep habits, I know. But I am still blaming Myrtle’s freaking out on my somnambulism this morning. And a lack of coffee since The Silver Fox – my main supplier – is off visiting his granddaughter this week.
Anyway, as I was chatting with him, two other guys chimed into my chat thread. They weren’t kidding when they said “When it rains, it pours”. Three guys wanting my attention at once? Don’t worry, I’m sure I will never meet any of them face to face.
Asocial Media won’t let me down.
Case in point, one of them I had chatted with in October. What happened? Nothing. Not to be too overwhelmingly pessimistic, but the third one is completely new to my virtual acquaintance…but I only know what his arm looks like, it seems he’s “discreet”. Code for “flakey and unaccountable” is how I translate that, but I did eventually shut him down – to write this so I hope you are flattered, my kind reader – with a “no face pic and name, no more chat”. We’ll see what happens.
But that didn’t happen until after I told him that I was watching X-Files and he shared that he had gotten a X-Files Tee Shirt in his Lootcrate – courtesy of his mother – this month. He asked if I was liking the episode, and I honestly replied that I didn’t really care for the subject matter of the episode, as it centered on a terrorist attack. Right before my brain registered the potential ethnicity of the arm I had been chatting with for the last hour or so.
Well, potentially awkward…
But that conversation and the content of the episode I was watching reminded me of this blog entry that I had begun a draft of right after the Paris bombings a few months back.
The note I had made about it was simply:
19 y/o bomber compared to 35 y/o American “students”…
Admittedly, I am not well versed enough in either Politics or Religion to qualify my thoughts on the matter as significant – seriously, I don’t think my thoughts on this topic run nearly deep enough to have ever contemplated any legitimate Op-Ed on the tragedy of Paris or any like it – but, here we are. What enabled me to pull the trigger on embarrassing myself with an entry on this topic?
The title to the post says it all.
I may not have any legitimate right to share thoughts on what happens in Politics or Religion on a global scale – my prior incarnation of this blog contained a piece about the 2008 Elections called Three-Fifths a President, as if you need any proof to back up my attempt to disqualify my right to participate in this conversation. However, Asocial Media and Sci-Fi TV? I can decidedly claim a not-so-tenuous expertise in both, and here I was…chatting with a maybe Middle Eastern guy and watching an episode of the X-Files that was about terrorists.
Quite a life I have carved out for myself.
Maybe the terrorists have already won? I wonder if this blog post will earn me a NSA flag.
While the show went one direction, my mind and musings went another. Wow. Musings was probably a poorly selected word. Need caffeine. Anywho…I let my mind wander back to the thought that I had about who the most junior member of that bombing-slash-firing-squad was and how at 19 he could commit his life to something. Just his life! Forfeit for a belief.
I’m weighing the appropriateness of inserting an Ursula the Sea Witch meme or picture here. It won’t cost much…just your LIFE!
In our country and our culture we have 35 year old students. Fifteen years ago, those students were called professional students because they were generally all pursuing their Masters Degree or completing some other advanced curriculum or another. In a fit of typical American de-evolution, now the bulk of the people in their 30s that I meet who are in college are finishing their Bachelors…at best.
We’ve gone from Professional Students to Avoiding a Profession-al Students. Then again, I am in Portland, where young people come to retire. In spite of that geographic recusal, I’m going to say that I saw the same thing in Seattle and suspect it is not Portland specific weirdness.
Yet Muslims can raise someone who could decide to sacrifice his life before he could legally drink in our country. Or a year after he or she could take his or her right to vote in America for granted.
Yes, I know we have young people who enter our Armed Services at that same age. I would challenge that argument with the reward that each yields. Someone entering our Armed Services knows they may see battle and face sacrificing their life or taking the life of another. Most, I suspect enter more for a sense of cents versus a desire to serve.
A paycheck can be a powerful motivator in our culture.
As can a recruiter…in any culture.
Which is where the X-Files writers took their argument. Not that they were making an argument…just that these are the deep thoughts that their episode ended on: The power of words or the power of suggestion.
Faced with a decision that invariably must be seen to end with one’s death, young Muslims commit. That is some amazing sense of self-sacrifice for a cause…a cause sold to them by a man. About a god. And, sure…seventy-something virgins in the afterlife, but who really believes that? Amazingly, these guys do, at least to some degree. The tool that works for these recruiters can’t be simple persuasion or suggestion, can it?
Our guys? Yeah, their sense of service maybe comes from that immediate reward of a paycheck, or even the deferred reward of a GI College Bill, but it isn’t a decision whose logical end is the decision-maker’s death. Unless they happen to be on active duty when a Republican takes office or maybe the Zombie Apocalypse hits.
Boy, someone binge-watched Z Nation, can you tell?
But our young, when faced with this decision at the hands of a Military Recruiter aren’t manipulated with glory for their god and family, or virgins in the afterlife or even the prospect of taking out infidels with their ultimate sacrifice…they are faced with the potential for several years of employment, maybe even a career with a pension as a reward. Shorter term, maybe they get out with a skill that has dubious real-world applications. They could even become some of those 30-somethings pursuing their BS college degree.
Reader’s Choice on what I meant by BS.
That’s a realistic trade off. Sacrifice in exchange for an opportunity to participate in what you serve to defend versus “I bet this vest would really make your eyes *pop*”.
Told ya I wasn’t qualified to make any serious comments about global politics or world religions. I guess I should just leave it to Chris Carter’s writing team.