Oh, The Biting Irony of My Hate For Stupidity

I have such.a.hard.time.dealing.with.stupidity. I contemplated leaving that alone, making those words the only ones you read in the entire post, simply to encourage thought and interpretation the way that modernist poets do with their words. But that drives me crazy too. William Carlos Williams, I don't care how much "depends upon your red wheelbarrow," you made a generation of people who don't know how to write think that they can be poets by splotching words together haphazardly. Ahembobdylanahem.

No, I couldn't leave it at that. The single, condemning statement that would draw attention to my cynicism and lack of faith in humanity as a whole would inevitably incur comments about the hypocrisy of my broken up sentence and would therefore nullify the entire process of thought I intended.

I am tired of unfounded arguments on topics about which one is not nearly as familiar as he claims. The rap guru critiquing musical taste. I am tired of people who don't care to put in the effort to make sure they mean "your" when they say "you're" complaining about not being taken seriously. The bizarre illiteracy of the texting generation. I am tired of people legitimizing in any way they possibly can murder, theft, immorality. The rationalization of evil. I am tired of people pretending like the other side of the argument has no truth whatsoever. That all left-wings are Socialists. That all right-wings are Anarchists. That all those in the middle are unstable. I am tired of arbitrary dismissal because of age or social status. Do not lump all 21 year old college-going males in with frat boys at a kegger. Do not assume that just because I am not paying for rushed decisions I have made like you are that I don't possess the wisdom to avoid them.

I am so tired of the irony of my saying all of those things. Because just as easily could somebody out there be talking about how tired they are of 21 year old bloggers thinking they have things figured out.

I don't have things figured out. And what just ripped me up this morning was Proverbs 24: 17-18: "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased and turn away his anger from him." It is not that I necessarily have enemies, per say, but I just take for granted the humanity of every single person on this planet. Here I am with bitterness in my heart against somebody who arbitrarily dismisses me because of my age and their supposition of my inexperience, when what they ACTUALLY are is a person who is probably dealing with the same stuff I am.

The question I have been asking myself: "Who am I?" not in the existential, what-am-I-doing-here way, but the practical "who am I to judge?" By the nature of the words on this site, I am expressing what I believe to be true. If everybody else in the world is doing that too, even if they are empirically, unflinchingly incorrect, who am I to harbor enmity in my heart?

Does this mean that I don't think we can do better? Absolutely not. Max Bemis put it: "You can do better, you can do better, you can be the greatest man in the world." Especially from people who call themselves believers or who attach my Savior's name to their motives or actions should we expect perfection. Which we will never get.

I would love to see a revolution of rational thought sweep the world. People would stop arbitrarily hating each other and fighting each other and they would recognize that there isn't a person on the Earth who isn't as screwed up as they are. Perhaps it should start with me. Or with you.

Maybe what it takes is the recognition of your own faults, which are many, to make you quit the incessant bickering with which you have been accustomed.

If my degradation of others is a product of elevating myself above them even though I am the chief of sinners, just imagine what would happen should I reverse it!

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>I Would Call This "I Guess This Is Growing Up" But You Might Mistake It For Lyrics From A Blink-182 Song.

>So quickly we lose sight of things. It takes no time at all to lose everything you have worked for; it takes no time at all to forget the motivation which burned our hearts with passion what seems like years ago though may be mere minutes, hours, days. Goals turn into dreams, dreams turn into reaches, reaches turn into former flames, the ex-girlfriends of ideas (if you will). Passion falls by the wayside for "getting by."

Appeasing people replaces pleasing people.
Somebody sparking conversation over coffee turns into just something else to blog about.
I watched a video of a man speaking at a conference on how education saps creativity because we have been instilled from the time we could speak with an ingrained sense of hatred for failure, and what he said has begun a similar thought process for me. Learn math or you're a failure. Pass physics or you're a failure. Successfully read and comprehend King Lear by yourself for the final exam or you're a failure. Just about every moment, with the exception of a few breaks here and there, from the time we are 4 to the time we are 22 or 23 is spent chasing a very expensive piece of paper that has BS (read into it what you will) or BA on the top of it and puts us one step closer to getting a job at a desk with an impressive selection of neckties hanging in our closets and a weekly prescription to keep that stress-induced acid reflux at bay. A modern student of English will look at that previous sentence and note that it could be a run on, and not realize that I employ Middle English syntactical devices in my writing when I get on a roll because that's how our language was invented.
We spend all that time and money to become the people we swore as kids we would never become.
Picasso said "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." We take the pens out of the hands of kids when the ink on the paper becomes unintelligible and we arrest people drawing social statements in spray paint on abandoned buildings and we allow music to be degraded to literally the most embarrassing quality in the long history of the art and call it popular. Uniformity is not just encouraged but enforced with art school dress codes and religious dogma and this ridiculous necessity to have a pretty house with a nice table and sleek curtains and vacuumed rugs and a place for everything in our ever-expanding freezers. We even have the phrase "social norm." With this compulsion to be "normal," as it is, clearly, the ultimate aim for anybody wishing to fit into the society, we see the "abnormal" as a problem to be solved. A kid in class won't pay attention to the lecture presented to him and instead doodles on his desk, so we prescribe him Concerta rather than find him an art teacher.
I once had this overflow of ideas and words and expression... this music constantly dancing in my head and through my fingers and onto a page or a track or into the void of space, existing simply to exist... but it is dwindling. I now compile lyrics or make chord charts or request checks or pack up my boss's office when I could be locked in a reverberating room with a guitar and a notepad and a Bible to produce original music for an exponentially expanding church. I scroll past the 7 finished tracks out of 13 for a rather innovative concept album on my way to the music I listen to to focus myself to attempt to learn statistics. Meetings take precedent over motion and I find that the day is not long enough to get the things I need to do done, launching myself into an unflinching struggle to stay on top of things (which I have never been good at in the first place)...
All I can think of is how God created everything in its place for a reason. He gave birds a sense of awareness for the physical principals of drag when flying in a flock. He installed echolocation for bats and dolphins, alike. He created humans to think and to be creative and to exist in His image... which is an image of creativity. Look at your life and tell me that you are not squandering it.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>Epiphanal Spontaneous Outbreaks

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I've been finding myself occupied recently with terrifying thoughts. I don't know how to control these thoughts either, because I feel as though they are crucial to our existence as humans living in an imperfect world, occupying the endless time of an eternal and perfect God. 

These thoughts that I have been thinking are less long, eloquent diatribes in my mind that is gasping for knowledge and Wisdom and, well, answers, but more glimpses of epiphany that is to come. It is as though my processes pause momentarily and for that instant, everything around me appears totally fabricated and completely unnatural. It is surreal, really, and nearly impossible for me to explain. I see the little cars we drive, the work we attend, the politics we argue until we are red in the face, the accumulation of thin green paper that people kill each other for, and they all appear to me as this visceral realization that we do not belong here. This society that we worship and pursue and accept as truth cannot possibly be truth, for it was created by flawed humans. It is kind of like when you stare at a word for an extended period of time, repeating it over and over and it becomes foreign, almost unrecognizable to your mind. The more I think about all of this... stuff that is on earth, the more it blows my mind that it was put here by us. 

With this frame of thinking, every goal and every motive you possess starts to be tossed into question. Everything here has an expiration date, so the notion of putting my trust in local things starts to be absolutely absurd. I suppose what I am trying to comprehend is the idea that I am not of this world any longer, since I have life in Christ. I know that I am not alone in these far-fetched little musings because poets, intellectuals, thinkers all throughout history have struggled to find their place in the same world that I am seeing. It is a horrifying thought for those without purpose, sort of a fast forward to 80 years from now when literally everything they have known is wrong. I glimpsed the sheer terror of this thought, but it was immediately overcome with a peace that came in the form of a whisper in my ear. It was audible, I swear to you, and what I heard (or felt?) was reassurance that I have nothing to worry about. There is nothing wrong with me having these things, because they are all gifts, but as soon as I start putting stock in them, I know that this moment will revisit me and I will be snapped back to the frame of mind I should be dwelling in. 

I know this was really long and disorganized and somewhat of a rambling collection of thoughts, but I am convinced that somebody out there needed to hear it, and needed to be comforted with what are inevitably the same thoughts I am having. If you feel like having a discussion about it, please email me or something just to let me know that you're listening. Or reading. Or disagreeing. 

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.