REVIEW: Craig Groeschel: “the Christian atheist. Believing in God but living as if he doesn’t exist.”

About a month ago, I stumbled on some nuanced language regarding ex-evangelicals. The main term I read about was “Jesuism” which is valuing the person of Jesus Christ, his teachings and disciplines, but not recognizing a certain supernaturalism or spirituality, per se. It’s an updated version of deism.

It made me think of one of my best friends, who clearly holds onto the religion handed to him by tradition (like I did for as long as I could), but some of the organized bits of religion as well as the current zeitgeist of Christianity upholding men and women who love guns, immorality and Donald Trump more than than the teachings of Christ.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Craig Groeschel: “the Christian atheist. Believing in God but living as if he doesn’t exist.””

YouTube as an opiate

I saw this Sarah Silverman video a while back. It came up in conversation recently and I went out and found it to post here.

I honestly find the story a little suspect, but the sentiment is valuable. The caller explains that people are often not aware of how their Facebook algorithms suck them into a radicalized world of single topic consumption. It’s addictive, because the user is surrounded by like-mindedness. And if one isn’t careful, he/she gets sucked in and finds it harder and harder to get out.

The caller explains that his mother moved from centrist views to right-wing conspiracies over the course of a few years and he wondered what was up. He was astonished to look at his mother’s Facebook feed which featured not one dissenting voice to his mother’s newfound addiction to right-wing information. So he carefully – over time – hid people with extreme views and unhid people with moderate views. After a few months, his mother returned to centrist thinking and he felt that anecdotally we could all learn from the way Facebook pressure cooks its users into an addictive echo chamber of info.

I personally hide anyone who expresses any form of political views, right or left. I only follow people who talk about themselves, what they are up to, or what movies they’re watching. Politics are out. It makes for a much more gratifying experience. At least for me.

Recently, I was talking to a friend about parents who have become addicted to YouTube. It would seem that all social media is addictive, but this one in particular is poignant for our elderly friends and parents who are used to consuming TV and can find any number of ways to enter an echo chamber of gratification-fulfilling talking heads.

In the last decade, cutting the cord from cable seemed like a good idea. Views from MSNBC and Fox News started taking tolls on its viewers and it’s better just to leave those channels off. But then newcomers entered the market. OAN and Newsmax. There are new options popping up. It’s become so easy to produce videos that look legit. And they are proving to be addictive and isolationist to viewers.

I recently was involved in a car crash argument with a couple of conservatives and the blanket statements they were making about political divides were so black and white that Tina and I were astonished. I almost didn’t survive it.

But what got me the most upset is that the discussion turned to issues that none of us had any business attempting to solve. Rampant gun violence? None of us own a gun. Fatherless families. None of us have any professional experience working to solve that issue. Drugs. Underage pregnancies. We are so far removed from all of these issues and yet these conservatives insisted that he try and approach them in discussion.

It’s fucking stupid.

Why are we concentrating our valuable time trying to solve world issues that we cannot even begin to fathom their solutions? And yet there we were, cornered by these questions of what we think the answer to gun violence is in America. The answer is: I fucking don’t know. What should we do about any of the issues?

What a useless exercise in futility.

In the meantime, I’m reading books about educating yourself. About exploring self betterment. But does anyone give a shit about that? Nope. they care about everyone else’s problems that we CANNOT begin to understand. Because we don’t know what shoes they’re wearing let alone what size, color or kind.

We’re watching the show Dopesick on Hulu, and it’s astonishing to see the way they show how addictive opioids are and the dastardly ways that the pharmaceutical industry got rich of addiction. But the virility of information, of memetic information, of mental viruses are just as harmful, just as addictive, and just as miserably hard to rehabilitate. It’s just as mentally deceptive.

I have done dry Januarys and I know people doing it now. We should all do well to do dry social media months. But if the person doing a dry January cannot wait until February 1, how is it going to be if they attempt a social media dry Jan?

The paths to addiction are many. The rehabilitations are few.

The cycle is unending and dismally getting worse.

Feed your birds. Say, “Seeds”

We’ve been in NC since just before the new year. When we first got here, I read a few books and occupied my time relaxing. Twenty twenty one was a hard year of work, and it felt good to spread out in our vacation home and just chill.

I’ve been trying to spark my creative fire a bit. I recently set up a camera and strobes by our bird feeder to grab some photos. Enjoy these two I created.

Heartbreaking stories of Covid infections

This Sorry Antivaxxer post is a heartbreaker. The infected is a 48-year old guy named Brandon Notz, a military RN with a strong distaste and distrust of information surrounding the virus, government and the healthcare industry.

While the anti-vaccination perspective is not new, one nuance to this story is Brandon’s wife and her epic social media posts detailing what Brandon (and others) are going through in the hospital/ICU/Emergency wards.

Read the post for yourself (or listen). Brandon’s wife Wendy included a short blip about a young 12 year old girl admitted to the ICU on a vent whose parents cannot see her, because of Covid protocols and they’re devastated.

Wendy talks about how Brandon’s lost parts of his lungs. That should he ever recover from being tethered to a vent, the battle to full recovery will take years. She details her experience with clarity and we would all do well to at least give her a listen.

I heard a story the other day about a guy my parents knew who died of Covid. How he had a deathbed pro-vaccination conversion, but it was too late.

But people are still awarded their “freedom” to listen to differing opinions, because it’s ‘murica.

Contemplating Twenty Twenty Two

May Twenty Twenty Two bring success, health, happiness and joy. 

With those superlatives there will surely be a peppery mix of ennui, lethargy and mundanity. Maybe even disappointment, challenge and obstacle. 

Sour notes can sometimes engage the senses in a way that ruminations of romantic ideologies cannot. 

I heard Twenty Twenty Two needs you to pursue it with all hands on deck. With gusto and enthusiasm. With a sense of spontaneity and caprice. 

Together, unified, harmonious, creative and free. Go, navigate Twenty Twenty Two. I hope we spend time with each other in some way, as often as possible, this year. 


***About the image below the fold***

Continue reading “Contemplating Twenty Twenty Two”

“The Magas are revolting”

I’ve seen some pretty ugly MAGAs, but it’s a little disturbing to call them revolting.

Oh wait, they’re referring to this dude’s protest and burning of a MAGA hat.

Phew. Okay. Carry on.

A snowflake falls in the woods and nobody heard it

I surf Twitter a little each day. It’s a time suck. A bit entertaining. I don’t engage that much. But once in a while I’ll post or respond to someone.

What I read there is a train wreck. A future anthropologist reading over the division in the world and in this country in 100 years might be appalled. There’s a lot of nuts in all forms on that platform, including this one [points at self]

I was reading a thread about Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account getting banned by Twitter. For the internet’s existence, one thing has been certain: platforms that give voice to anyone have the right to take that voice away. You can’t walk into someone else’s house and start shouting that they are all idiots. I mean, you could. But it would get you kicked out and maybe a black eye.

“Censorship” for violating terms of service is par for the course. It’s not that MTG is silent. There are a zillion places she can be heard, including TV, her platform in congress, rumble, Facebook, a street corner, YouTube, etc. There are endless opportunities. She could launch her own server and transmit all kinds of thoughts and feelings. It’s not censorship if there are a gazillion other places to voice one’s idiocy.

I was struck by one man’s argument that this banning violated MTG’s free speech. The man goes by the name Socrates George Kazolias. Or maybe he went by that name.

I engaged him, partly because I took a look at his profile and he’s a fellow francophone. So I thought that was cool. What resulted was him telling me that I was wrong. And me telling him he was wrong. It was fun.

I checked twitter today to see if he had responded to my last response and our conversation thread had disappeared. I dug around a little and he blogged subsequently that he’s quit Twitter in protest of their position of censorship.

For what it’s worth, I take full responsibility for cracking that nut. 🤪

One of my final points to him was that he was “objectively” wrong about Twitter censoring MTG. That MTG was spreading dangerous ideas that can hurt people infected with Covid19 or who might become infected. And you know what that snowflake Socrates George Costanza Kazolias did?

He shuttered his account!

That’ll teach ’em!

Imagine. Being so pompous that anyone would care that his voice in the cacophony of shit voices on Twitter would give a shit about his protest.

On his Facebook, he said that they are a public forum with a “monopoly”. As if they are the ONLY platform on earth to voice “opinion.” Yawn to the stretch to the sleepy time snooze fest.

Well George, I care! Keep fighting the good fight. When you find out that Facebook and Instagram are complicit, quit them too. That’ll show ’em!

I just don’t get it. How does a person, who’s popularity was already in the toilet, think his blip in the universe will be noticed? His Facebook is a abandoned wasteland. So is his instagram. Looking at his profile picture, I’ve seen him on FranceInfo news. He seems like an otherwise swell guy.

I’m guessing he’ll be back at some point. Ready at the helm to bemoan violations of terms of service. What a hill to die on.


After all my bluster above, I actually read Georgie’s blog post about why he quit, which includes a story about how he landed in Twitter prison in the past by recommending someone be hung by his balls and then insists that he was being sarcastic.

George blames algorithms and robots for their inability to comprehend sarcasm. If a human read that someone should be hung by their balls, clearly they would know he wasn’t being serious. People haven’t been hung by their balls in centuries. Come on, man!

Hilarious. The robots are in control! They can’t decipher nuance!

Poor George. Deplatformed and no where to go but another huge platform. Ugh.