Monday, June 25, 2012

Why Squirrels Are Better Than People

I haven’t been blogging lately. I’d love to say it’s because I’m so busy, but that’s not entirely true. Yes, I’m busy. But I’m also in a bit of a writing slump – known as “hell” in some writing circles. As a recovering Catholic, I am still plagued with pointless flutters of guilt from time to time, so I decided that I should write SOMETHING for my blog, even if it was off-topic.

It was at that point that I realized that this blog doesn’t have a topic, so I thought I’d talk about that a bit.

I do not have ADD, ADHD, or any other string of letters, but I do have a deep-seated love of the random. When I have what my colleagues in the publishing house call a “squirrel moment,” it isn’t because I’m easily distracted. It’s because there are so many wonderful random ideas and thoughts and nuggets of inspiration out there, and I just can’t stand to ignore them when they pass by. A phantom of an idea can become a whole story arc before you know what hit you. If you see an elephant walking down Main Street, you can turn back to what you were doing, or you can stop for a moment and have the experience. That moment then becomes a story you can share with your friends. If you never allow yourself to be distracted – if your attention never wavers from the task at hand – how many stories will you have to share? How many experiences will you have missed? Before you know it, you’ll be old and crotchety and won’t have any stories to tell or memories to cherish. That would suck.

So that’s why I’m not going to turn this into an educational blog on the art of writing. There are a ton of people out there much better equipped than me to do that. I’ll stick with the rambling randomness. It works for me.

Anyway… people are annoying. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. My nearest and dearest often observe that I have never really been a big fan of the human race as a species in general. I would like to explain why that is.

Humans have opposable thumbs, are self-aware, can dream, can create art and music, and place value in things beyond the basic necessities of life. We sing and dance; we dream of worlds far different from our own and bring them to life for others to enjoy; we have a concept of eternity and the universe. My cats are pretty awesome, but I doubt they’re going to contemplate anything more complex than their food-and-nap routine any time soon.

We are so fortunate – we can experience our lives in a way no other species can. And this is why people make me so stone-cold crazy.

Why are we arguing about religion? I’ve heard people laugh about how Doctor Who always seems to encounter aliens in London, England. Obviously, that is because it is a British television show. Little British children might continue to hide behind their sofas because of an alien invasion happening in Boise, Idaho, but people tend to relate more readily to stories surrounding what they know – their home turf. It’s now been well-established that the earth is a microscopic speck in the staggering scope of the universe. Assuming that the “one true God” only came to our speck and only delivered the “one true faith” to a select number of people living on that speck is sort of like believing that romantic comedies predominantly take place in New York City because only people who live there have embarrassing dating experiences. In other words, that’s just silly.

Why are we arguing about marriage equality? We’re specks on a speck. Our galaxy is a speck. Are we really prepared to persecute an entire group of people who just want to spend their lives together based upon something a bunch of old dudes wrote? A) The Bible was written by men. B) Those men were attempting to interpret the Word of God – they weren’t taking dictation. C) Men often get things wrong. D) Moses didn’t stop for directions, either.

Why do we worry so much about our outward image? I live in Ohio. If I see one more suburban kid trying to look “gangsta,” I may choke. My husband is from Santa Ana, California. If we had the means, I’d rent a big bus and start shipping these little wanna-be-bads down there. We could leave them on a street corner at 1:00 a.m. and see how gangsta they really are. And don’t even get me started on the ladies I tend to refer to as “hoochies.” Don’t tell me you’re looking for a man to love and respect you when you’re dressed like you charge by the hour. And trust me – heterosexual men know you have breasts, even if you don’t shove them in their faces. I see all sorts of people throughout the day, and I always wonder what they’re trying to prove. Be yourself, not an image you picked out from a catalog. If you learned to embrace your true self, then you wouldn’t have to depend on other people to discover your worth – you’d already know it.

We build houses that are many times larger than what we need. We buy cars that could seat ten but never do. We happily destroy our planet and its natural resources because heaven forbid that we be inconvenienced. We even elect politicians that we KNOW are crooked, materialistic, egomaniacal asshats because they promise to protect our completely destructive and irresponsible way of life.

Humans have created opera, sculpture, and film. People like Michelangelo, Mozart, and Shakespeare showed the incredible beauty that humans are capable of creating. Even the advances in medical science are astounding – when people take their knowledge and build it, reaching out for more answers in response to a need in the world, it is an amazing thing to witness.

But then we also developed guns, bombs, and poison gasses. We took the words of wise men and turned them into religions, but then used those religions as a vehicle for hatred.

I don’t know who invented Lycra and polyester, but anyone involved even peripherally should hang their heads in shame.

The moral of the story is (yes, I do have a point) that I dislike people because of the choices they make. They put having a fancy car before helping to feed the poor. They use their imagination to find new ways to kill rather than new ways to communicate. They constantly devalue themselves and others, and they are determined to continue to be ignorant. As I said to my friend yesterday, the mom in me wants to sit them all down and give them a stern talking to before sending them to their rooms to think about what they’ve done. But since no one would listen to me even if I did, my only consolation is that I can still retreat to a world of my own imagining, in which people learn to overcome the fears that hold them back from being truly great.

Ooh, look! Squirrel!