Archive for category Personal Musings
Here’s an exciting fact: On Saturday May 7, 2011 I officially graduated from the University of Indianapolis with a BA in Communication (nothing cum laude.) Per usual, the graduation ceremony was filled with an electric anticipation and a general sense of relief. I even lucked out and got a spot in the first two rows, just by taking one extra Spanish class. (Let that be a pro-tip to you up-and-coming learners who may be reading this: take what you’re good at and lots of it, you may end up with a BA and a first class seat at graduation.) The excitement is compounded when you consider we were part of the University’s largest graduating class ever, including over 940+ recipients.
The only disappointment: Our commencement speaker was someone I had NEVER heard of…ever. The Reverend Dr. Kent Millard- I came to find out via the program- was a graduate of Boston University’s seminary and was a local United Methodist minister. After receiving the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree- graciously granted by the University of Indianapolis- Dr. Millard proceeded to address the graduating student body with a speech entitled “Passion+Vision=Transformation.” In the allegorical address, he related to us a winded story about his efforts with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama, where he helped the Civil Rights movement advocate for voting rights for black citizens in the south.
Admittedly, I was not interested in this speech. The story itself was labored, and Dr. Millard was a bit too stentorian for my taste. He even relayed a story to us that he himself admitted had nothing to do with the topic. All I wanted to do was graduate, not listen to how someone had mistaken him for Rudy Giuliani on a plane. I apologize Dr. Millard, I’m sure your services are enthralling on Sunday mornings, but I wasn’t feeling this at all.
After a surprisingly quick distribution of diplomas- marked by back-flips, animal calls, and an explosive audience- I regrouped with my family to get ready to go have lunch. I was very fortunate to be able to share the day with my father-who is currently working in the United Arab Emirates- my mother and sister, who live in Wisconsin, and my paternal grandparents who drove up from southern Indiana. We all scattered to our vehicles and headed towards Greenwood to enjoy some City Barbeque. I got paired up with my step-grandfather (whom I refer to as Papaw) and we set off.
Hello everyone! I want to start by wishing you all a happy Mother’s Day, and I hope you’re getting to enjoy it with your loved ones. I’m currently enjoying the festivities with my beloved mother and grandmothers, so I won’t write much today. I just want to make a brief commentary on the history and transformation of Mother’s Day from unifying, somber national holiday to commercialized kitsch.
Alright, I’m going to come out and say it now, in an attempt to preface this post. For those of you whom I don’t have the pleasure of knowing well in person, there is something crucial you should know about me before reading this: I’m not a terribly religious guy. Shocked? Didn’t think so. The middle-class son of a pro-feminist, ordained southern Baptist mother, and a left-winged, federally employed, neo-liberal father, I didn’t have much choice in the matter.
Of course- as is typical of all preacher’s kids- I was at church on Sunday every week, earlier than everyone else, and stayed later to help clean up. I’ve seen the dirtier, grittier, hands-on side of organized religion, and let me be the first to tell you, it isn’t pretty. There are a multitude of antiquated, invisible power structures in play, all working against one another, pushing and pulling and contorting the inherent sanctity of religious faith. In most cases, religious organizations and groups- churches most especially- only serve as an auxiliary component of our heightened political and human bureaucracy, rather than as proponents of individual spiritualism and growth.
It is my solemn belief that all people should have for themselves a system of spiritual guidelines and rules, personalized to meet their needs and provide for them a better standard of life. Most of the world’s major religions offer such systems of beliefs in the altruistic effort to make us all a little more holy. Unfortunately, organized religion tends so often to stray from this path, instead offering its followers and blind believers a series of ultimatums, suppressive traditions, and narrow minded perspectives in an effort to subdue them.
Let me preface with this:
Now, let’s take a quick survey–
Did this video bring to mind fear and worry for our troops?
How about the Cold War?
Did you disregard the “liberal media” in favor of a formal presidential announcement?
(from a man you probably don’t believe is American.)
Or did you, perhaps, react like the thousands of Americans on Twitter and in our nation’s capital who decided to celebrate (and in many cases inebriate) over the death of our most hated enemy?
Chances are you’ve been lead to this post via your favorite social media outlet, and it is to you I bring up these points for discussion. There is no doubt that the Twitter Revolution scooped all the major news outlets and the White House press itself. The power of our generation is apparent…and foreboding.