Thursday, August 2, 2012
What came first, the chicken or my opinion?
Before I left home this morning I wrote my Daddy a note telling him where I was going as he was asleep. And I signed it. He thinks it’s funny that I sign it because there is no one else in the house. I think it’s funny that he gets mad when food is eaten and it wasn’t me who ate it and he swears it wasn’t him. As if Lulu is dexterous enough to forage for, say, a leftover quesadilla that someone ate but apparently didn’t even like, when confronted and ultimately admitted to eating it and then felt no guilt about it even though it was on the other person’s assigned food shelf and the act violated all manner of agreements both understood and unwritten. But I’m not one to hold grudges.
I always try to keep him informed of my whereabouts so he won’t get confused about whether or not I’ve forgotten him or am purposefully avoiding spending time with him. He sometimes laments that he feels as if he lives alone. I would love to feel that feeling again, even if for just one day. Although, truthfully, I do like having him here with me. I didn’t really expect to and at first second-guessed myself but we are having a pretty good time most of the time. Of course, I am an absolute dream to live with. I am relaxed and easy-going. I am not persnickety about my space or belongings. And I am amenable to the point of being a pushover in all matters. As long as we’re going down that road, I can also fly, walk through walls and read minds.
Anyone who has actually met me knows the afore-mentioned personality traits are not true, but since I am the only one involved in my family that is writing a blog, my opinion should count as his too, right? Someone has to capture the real me before my biographers start interviewing people in my life and begin piecing together the truth. Truth has no place on the internet, as you well know.
Never has this seemed truer than when I perused the comments on my YouTube video recently. In 2008 I was in a leadership training program called Leadership VA. The VA stands for (Dept. of) Veterans Affairs, not the state of Virginia. In this program, we had to write and deliver a 5 –minute speech on any topic. I chose “Leadership and Life Lessons I Learned Playing Football against My Will in Junior High”. You can search “Dustin Thompson VA” to see it. I was a full 220 pounds heavier and swathed in a lime green polo shirt. You can see me from outer space; prepare yourself.
But that’s not the point. The point is someone who watched it (550,000 and counting) has asserted that I am a failed stand-up comic with the stage name of Tub O’ Lard and that I recently got into the “Leadership Racket”. I don’t know whether to be offended or proud or at least invested enough to remember my password and add my own comment refuting his.
While there is a 91% “like” rate, this one guy thought I was unfunny enough to make up something or there is someone who looks and sounds like me who was an unfunny comic. Now, I may have a physical doppelganger, but a vocal twin would be a new experience. I have a distinctly odd voice. Anyone who’s ever heard me talk can attest to that. It’s a weird Southern, nasal, fast-talking sort of a voice. As if Mr. Garrett from South Park and Scarlett O’Hara had a baby whose speech teacher was the Family Guy. Yet somehow they pay me to make speeches. Thank goodness I’m funny, right?
And that was the part that hurt a little. I would like to think if I were a stand-up comic I would at least be ‘Chuckle Hut’ funny, for pity’s sake. Since I don’t curse (in print) and don’t talk about nasty stuff, I probably wouldn’t make it these days but I like to think that I am, at the very least, funny during a toast at a wedding. I guess I now know what celebrities feel, on a very, very basic level. Of course, many of them invite scrutiny. Anyone who has left home under-garment-less or wearing police tape as a brassiere are begging for comment, but “normal” celebrities like Helen Mirren and Larry Hagman shouldn’t be open to scrutiny just because they are marginally famous. And I’m not even marginally famous. I’m not famous at all. If I were I’d have more money, right? There are people at work who have asked me every week for over a year if I’m there to perform an inspection. Apparently a three piece suit looks bureaucratic. Who knew?
At the very least, if he was going to malign my character, he should have bought my book. The link is in the video description. Speaking of, those of you who read this who haven’t bought a copy, shame on you. If I get one more one (1) figure royalty check (yes, you read that correctly), I may…well, I don’t really have a plan. Let’s just say you owe it to yourself to enjoy the wonder that is me in print. If that’s not enough of a reason, then my Daddy needs more sardines and Vienna Sausages. Well, not need so much as want. Come to think of it, if I’m poor then I can justify not buying gross things like that. On second thought, don’t buy my book. You’re actually improving the air quality just south of San Francisco. All the heathen thank you.
Getting back to my point, when did it become okay to absolutely make things up about people and post them online? Where is the integrity of the public, he asked, ruefully laughing to himself. I think it’s just ridiculous, no make that, depressing what passes for manners and even discourse these days. Over the past few weeks, I have seen much more information and opinions about people’s sexual politics than is warranted outside of marriage, y'all. No one should feel surprised that the CEO Chik-Fil-A supports what he calls the Biblical model for marriage. And that’s his right. He doesn’t open on Sundays and that is his right. This is America, isn’t it? He is entitled to his opinion and if he wants to deny me Chik'n minis on Sunday mornings, he can, although it's just rude. It doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree. It simply matters that it is his opinion and he can have it if he wants to.
I have had a lot of people ask me my opinion on gay marriage and I am wisely staying out of that whole argument because it shouldn’t be an argument. It should be a discussion instead of a name-calling, lockstep, for or against shouting match. Why do I have to agree with everything you say or be your enemy? Am I not allowed to have my own opinion? I don’t even always agree with everything I say; why on earth do you expect me to agree with everything you say.
While I am not a Biblical scholar, I did compete in Bible Drill and have been going to church since long before I came out of my Mother’s womb during the second of her three virgin births, as we have previously discussed. I know what the Bible says. I also know what many Biblical scholars and theologians have said about what is consider law and what is considered Jewish customs at that time in history. And if these people, who have spent their entire careers studying the Bible, can’t agree on the interpretation of the intended nuance of a word, then how the heck do you expect any of the yahoos who are butchering the English language in a sound bite on a cable news show at this very minute, to make sense of what Jesus did or did not say. I don’t even know for certain, said the man who tries to pretend he isn’t an intellectual snob.
Who cares who somebody parties with/dates/marries/lusts after, etc. I surely don’t care who Bo Jimmy Jack, She’quan’de or Kieran have decided to join together lest many men put assunder, if we're going to bring up traditional marriage/divorce statistics, Mr. Gingrich. As long as they don’t consummate their love in front of me or within earshot, I let them be. I don’t want you to be interested in what I do in my house because I can assure you I have far too many other things to worry about than what you are doing in yours. Lord knows, managing my Daddy is a full time job. And managing your life should be. Maybe if you spent more time worrying about your own stuff you wouldn’t have an unhappy spouse and/or horrifyingly rude and disrespectful children who ran into me with their cart because you left them to their own devices at the Safeway while you drank your mocha chino at the Starbucks stand chatting with your equally offensively dressed “friend” of indeterminate gender. Again, I’m speaking in vague generalities.
What we should be paying attention to is the state of our nation and the crooks that seem to be intent on running our country into the ground. We can’t be bothered to pay attention to or fight back against the politicians who are spending us into becoming the largest colonial outpost of mainland China and reducing our educational system to not even a memory of what it was, but, boy howdy, we will take up arms to support a chicken franchise that “took a stand” for “American values”. And you know what this accomplished in the end? All you did was make people who already planned to eat there because it’s convenient take three times as long to get their food, made them late getting back to work and cost taxpayers (of whom many, but certainly not all, of you are) a ton of money in lost productivity. And nobody bothered to bring me a sandwich. Selfish.
I don’t normally get off on a political tangent, but I have had enough of this mess clogging up Facebook. I want to see important things like whose kids won what sporting event, how many weird foods my friends have eaten and the eleventy-hundred hourly postings from my friend Stacy O’Quinn Kidd. Hey girl!
And by the way, just so you’ll understand, if Jesus were living amongst us today, he wouldn’t be the gleaming-toothed, overly styled televangelist preaching a life of monetary success for a few minutes of prayer each week. He would also not be a white guy; there is no enclave of white Europeans in Damascus despite the paintings that you and I grew up seeing at church. He would be the Middle Eastern man who makes you nervous when you’re in line at Starbucks, especially the Starbucks at the airport. And he’d be hanging around with all those that some segment of society deem “less than”, like gays (who I mostly like; drag queens are a bit much at times) or politicians (who I sometimes like; pundits are a bit much at times) or people who ride Segways and think they’re cool (who I never like and want to push over all the time). Why? Because He loves, say it with me, everybody.
And for all the people who have just been offended by this portrait of Jesus and who just inhaled very sharply and are now trying to calm themselves before they unleash the fury of what they feel is righteous anger, calm down, for pity’s sake. You shouldn’t even care what my opinion might be.
But I would like to point out if, during the course of your life and based on your actions and the outward expressions of your heart, you have to constantly remind people that you are in fact a Christian, odds are you aren’t acting like one. Said one sinner to another.