For the past couple months, I've spent a decent amount of time thinking about the past. For about a week, I started using the internet for social purposes pretty heavily again. I went onto classmates.com and Facebook in an attempt to track down old friends who I haven't spoken to in ages. I even got a couple responses. I just got one now. This has caused me to:
A) Wonder why I'm so concerned with the past.
B) Wonder why I'm so detached now.
C) Wonder why I looked for these specific people.
I think I'm so concerned with the past because even now, years later, I'm still trying to figure out why we did the things we did, acted the way we acted. Why did I go berserk back in high school and forsake nearly all friendship? Why was I so clingy with Ellen? Why did Mira matter so much to me? Why did I try to be so involved in Jimmy/Kristin?
Easiest answer would be, I guess, that I always think I'm right and beyond understanding, and whenever anyone gave a sign that they saw anything in me, I held on for dear life.
Jason is my best friend (Kristine: you're already in another position, don't complain =P). That basically started on a single, emotional storm of a day, when Ellen broke up with me. I was a complete, utter wreck, and for some reason I walked to his house. I still don't really know why. But I did. He (and his family) let me stay there a while, and they've taken good care of me ever since then. Once we got past all the outer BS, we actually got along and understood each other pretty well. It's funny, because I thought he was an ass prior to that. But I still feel like I'm walking around because he patched up my bleeding heart (however hypochondriacally anemic it may have been) and helped save me, and I love him like he gave me a lung.
As I get older, I compare myself to my dad more often. He had been in the Army (during Vietnam). I'm the same rank as he was (though it meant more in his day). Part of why I joined the Army (admitted, it was lower on the list, but it was there) was to get a better idea of who he was, to understand him better. I don't know if I've accomplished that or not. Much of the time, though, I feel that being in the Army has made me more like him. Deployment didn't make me any closer to anyone, it made me feel more isolated. I never heard anything about the Army from him, but a few years after he died, my mom told me a story; that he had been walking near a tree in Vietnam, and an old man threw himself from the tree at my father. He was unarmed, my father was not. I guess Dad never said whether or not he shot the man, but I'm pretty sure he did. I think I've mentioned this before. I do tend to repeat myself.
After my dad died, that left two people that could carry on the family name; me, and my uncle. A few months ago, my uncle died. So, I'm the only one left. When I was a teenager, I remember hating Dad and my sister so violently that I wanted the family name to die out. Thinking that even if I'd married, I'd take her last name, just to get rid of my own. That part didn't happpen, obviously, but still...
By the way, in case I never mentioned it (to anyone other than Kristine), pretty much the reasons why I joined the Army are (in this order):
1) To be able to financially support a family.
2) "The Glorious Burden", by Iced Earth. (Declaration Day, Valley Forge, Gettysburg trilogy.)
3) Solid Snake. (Haha. I know. Shut up.)
4) Understanding my father.
I've become a lot more cynical, too. I tend to think I'm more... correct than pretty much everyone but my friends, and I guess that's my primary criteria for friendship.
Potentially upsetting notes ahead, involving two big no-nos: religion and politics. Let's see if I can remember how to do an LJ-Cut thing properly.
I've never believed in any religion. The more I learned, the more ridiculous I thought it was. I've been growing more and more towards outright hostility towards religion, particularly (of course) organized religion. It is, in my opinion, encouraged insanity. All religion is based on unknowns, and no matter how much good any religion may have done, all that good could just as readily been done without it, and with less harm. The most common response that religious people give, when presented with this idea, isn't even a response. "The (book) tells us...", "God tells us...", etc. It doesn't even address the issue.
(I read the first few chapters [or whatever they're called] of the Bible, and when I got to the chapter where Caine kills Abel, I was very confused as to why God had rejected Caine's offering, but accepted Abel's. There was a sidebar in the book that spoke about Caine's feelings of jealousy, rage, etc. that drove him to kill Abel and showed his faults, and those are basically the same things that three other people said when I asked them about it. But all of that is completely irrelevant to me because it occurs AFTER God rejects Caine's offering. No one had anything useful to say on the matter. It always comes down to "You're not willing to accept/listen/believe", which should show my point, but thus far has failed to register with anyone.)
The reason religion is so bad, is because people who believe in it believe it's important, and they're passionate about it, but it's something that doesn't make sense and holds no innate value. Even if they do the right thing, it's for the wrong reason if it's for a religion. Zealously helping your neighbor is not the same thing as zealously carrying out God's will by helping your neighbor. Passion about something means people will fight for it, and that makes religion a needless catalyst for war. For all the Christian condemnation of the Islamic terrorists, a great many of those Christians aren't too far off. Switch the positions, and the situation would be the same.
I don't know a whole hell of a lot about politics and parties and such, but in general it seems like Democrats advocate equalizing people (Socialist tendencies), and Republicans advocate keeping things the way they are and stable. I consider myself as leaning towards Democrat.
I don't usually talk to anyone about politics. This is partially because my opinions usually aren't too popular, and partially because I don't really consider myself as being knowledgeable enough about the subject to say very much.
I recently read 1984, and I feel like I learned from it. I also watched The Constant Gardener recently, and I learned from that, as well.
SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
The Constant Gardener brings up the fact that new medicines are often tested on uneducated Africans who are basically considered expendable by the developed world. Of course, this idea sounds abhorrent to anyone with half a conscience. The question of whether or not it should continue is very difficult, and I'm not going to get into that.
But of course, no one WANTS people to be experimented on. If there were a better way, I would expect that everyone would be right on board for it (assuming it's also financially sound).
Lately, a whole lot of people have been bitching about Obama being elected. I was talking to one such person recently, and I brought up my view on Democrats/Republicans, and they basically agreed and said there was nothing wrong with wanting to take care of oneself, that we're on top and have to stay there through strengthening of the military (which is a Republican tendency), and that Socialism never worked out for any country. This same person said they were very disturbed by the idea of medical experimentation in Africa.
This made 1984 painfully accurate to me. The caste system, the change-without-change of which people are in which castes, their true desires, double-think, all of it.
I said that voting for someone because they support your personal financial interests and intentionally kept many people in a lower caste than you showed that they were being hypocritical and didn't really care about the Africans being experimented on, because they couldn't even care enough about their own countrymen's well-being to risk losing anything for them, let alone a completely unknown people. They told me to fuck off.