The AntiAntiChrist

I really can think of no term more degrading to a human being and his fundamental incapacity for grasping philosophical, even scientific, concepts than Atheist. Can you imagine any assertion more narcissitic, more arrogant, more absolutely nonsensical than that of the "knowledge" that something doesn't exist? That something has never existed? That something can't exist? Why they haven't blasted all claims of their own existence for their incessant screamings of their own omniscience I will never understand.  

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Peacocks, AKA The UC Pianist, part II

I suppose that if were somebody critically analyzing a story of my life, they would note the strikingly literary symbolism of the piano in the UC. I have written about it before and firmly believe that it inspires this deep kind of thought that transcends the petty issues of school, much the way the music from its ivory keys wafts above the meaningless conversation of sorority girls and fraternity brothers below it. It incited a train of thoughts that left me with a pen in my hand, shakily scratching out thoughts as they came to me in the little journal that I keep in my backpack, full of half-completed thoughts and rambling sentences and things I am sure I always meant to come back to. What follows is the SparkNotes edition of the thought process I was having. For words cannot do thoughts justice.

I began to trace a trend that turned knots in my stomach, for the drastic implications of it. I was reading, reading, reading, occasionally stopping to listen to the once-in-a-while student enticed enough by the empty instrument to meander up and touch the keys. They would piddle for a moment before launching somewhat absently and self-consciously into whatever melody was occupying their minds. Some players were more skilled than others, but all, despite the level of their piano proficiency, made music, no matter how simple, and nobody who was listening really even stopped to notice. For the moments that somebody was playing it, it filled those gaps in conversation between best friends, lovers, and classmates, alike. It is a simple, somewhat philosophical tool meekly presented to all who care notice.

However, the thing that got me thinking was that none of these players were female. Not one girl played her song on an instrument that, at least until recently, had been regarded by many as a girl's instrument. It made me wonder why, and the scary train of snowballing thought began.

'Perhaps it is some sort of liberal feminism kicking in on a massive scale and making girls not want to play it for that very reason,' I thought. 'The conformity to something stereotypically "female" to satisfy some oppressive and subversive "masculine" influence somehow influencing the expectation of their decisions... In a strange reversal of roles emasculating the male and having "unsexed" (to quote Lady Macbeth) woman scoff at their feeble unconscious attempts to fill the gender gap.'

But I doubted it. I tossed several theories around and discarded them quickly, no matter how sublime a grandiose uprising of "woman" against "man" would seem to an English major constantly in the throes of analysis. What I decided upon was far sadder than what the theories of liberal feminism cast on my heart - because it is far more difficult to counteract.

I have had conversations about parts of this before with Reagan and others, particularly about, for lack of a better term, the "clothing crisis" sweeping the country. About how if women want to stop being treated like objects they need to quit blaming it on the misogynistic male and start dressing like something whose brains are not in their chest. **(Note: My lawyer would like for me to note that I am in no way shoving blame for the treatment of women as objects on the women being treated like objects.)** I looked around me and saw the terrible reality unveiled, like the curtain of Oz pulled back, as to what "woman" had been reduced to (by an equal amount of effort from both parties): a grotesque mix of makeup and show.

This is what boys expect. This is what girls see that boys expect. So that's what we get. No girls went up to play the piano because the ones that were in the UC this morning were less concerned with playing music and more concerned with making eyes at any boy who walked by staring at their chests.

But even more unfortunately, this isn't even about rampant sensuality or sex icons or cleavage, it isn't even limited to girls. This is about the deplorable state of our very identities. Who we are has been lost to a culture consumed with the idea that in order to be validated, you must be "attractive" and you must have sex and you must spend every waking moment in somebody's arms or in somebody's thoughts or else you are a waste of breath. I've never seen an ad that tells you to spend your Friday night reading a book.

And so arrived my train at the station. I was suddenly sullenly aware that this is what people have been reduced to. We are nothing but Peacocks flashing our colors. We are nothing but crickets chiming a mating song as we rub our legs together and wait for somebody to notice. We, boys and girls alike, cake the makeup on to cover up what we are because we're more comfortable being who we think people want than somebody who still secretly thinks that Pokemon is cool. We are the revelers at the masquerade while the Red Death flits unknowingly from room to room, all of us stopping to notice how great a job he did on his costume.

I cannot imagine the toll that such vanity takes on our souls. I cannot see how, as a person, it is possible to develop while you are painting over who you are. It is clear as day to me why we have such a dependency problem - because you can't be alone until you are comfortable with yourself.

There is no makeup strong enough to shield yourself from your own eyes.

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.

>Oh, Rants.

>Before anybody decides to read half of this and then become irate, I figured I should offer a warning to the majority of the people who read this thing and tell them that if they disagree with what I'm saying, I am more than happy to talk about it. You might even change my mind! Also, everything I say I include myself in. When I say "we" I truly mean myself as well. These statements can be pretty broad and all-inclusive, but they all stem from conversations I've had with real people in real situations (at real Waffle Houses) who use the term "Christian" with similar, negative, broad connotations.

I am completely fed up with "Christian" culture. About a month ago while working the desk, somebody walked up to me and handed me some sort of Christian periodical "Fish Magazine" or something of the sort. It was late, I had forgotten my laptop charger at the house and I was searching for things to occupy my time as I waited for the buzz indicating the end of a wash cycle on a load of towels, so I started reading it. Now, I believe that addressing the content of something like this is a moot point, because as it is an independently published work, it has the right to talk about literally anything that it wants to. So, even though the things the publishers chose to include didn't even catch my attention (which is slightly troubling, considering my beliefs fit right in with the people they are trying to reach), I cannot judge them because of what they think is important. I can say the same things about other reaches of our little Christian bubble, be it radio or music or movies or Godtube, because I firmly believe that they are doing things which could be really great. They are trying to provide a balance to the despicable deluge of just... crap that infiltrates every reach of society, so that when people get sick of being exposed to those things they have a positive alternative.

I just wish that Christian media WAS a positive alternative. As I skimmed the front page of Fish, I immediately felt like I was peer-editing a rough draft of a paper for a fellow student who was writing in a field that was out of his area of expertise. Sentences were poorly constructed, spelling and grammar trampled on the floor, stories delivered with the lackluster and droning tone of Thomas Gradgrind from Dickens' Hard Times... I don't care what they're writing about, all I want is a little bit of passion behind it. Show some professionalism, please, because I can't help but think that anything that slaps the "God" label on it to hide an appalling lack of quality is an insult.
I understand that many of these facets of Christian media (film, television, video broadcasting websites, music, print) operate on extremely low budgets, and that is something I can completely relate to as a college kid who tries to be a musician living in a duplex in Hixson, TN. However, what I just don't understand is how some of these people can be ok with themselves tossing out sub-par material and slapping God's name on it to garner a fanbase. In fact, I find it rather insulting.

Call me crazy, but I feel like we should be the ones pushing the boundaries in all of these areas of creativity, rather than giving in to the cookie-cutter formulas presented before us by both our contemporaries and the world around us. The world should look at what we're accomplishing and begin to question how in the world we can be so inspired, that there might actually be something to this God that many preach but few follow... because right now we are embarrassing. Our television broadcasts are shot with shoddy equipment and antiquated techniques, our writers use third grade devices and cheap hooks with punchlines rather than points, our thinkers are dedicated more to not offending people than to speaking the truth. We recently organized an outreach night at a weeklong secular music festival that took place on... faith and family night. Waiters dread the family that prays before their meal because it generally means they will be tipped 10 percent or a gospel tract after a long meal full of demands and disappointments (and it is so unfortunately true). We are known for rallying against Abortion clinics and Homosexual unions rather than loving the people involved. We'll sooner preach at the pregnant 16 year old about the sin in her life than hold her hand and help her cry through the daunting realization that the rest of her life is changed.

The argument I hear over and over is that we are not to be of the world, and I believe that a lot of Christians have done quite the great job at this, for we are definitely separate from the world. But honestly, if I were an "outsider" looking "in," I would see nothing appealing about the way that we live. In the words of the band Norma Jean, "Mediocrity is the killer." I don't know how God could look at His children and see the mediocrity that we have become and smile. We need to realize that before we are not to be "of the world," we must first be in 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.

>Ok so perhaps my logic is flawed, along with a note to readers

>I was floating around the halls of Facebook the other day in the midst of one of these weekly fits of insomnia in hopes that the dull monotony of seeing the same pages over and over would lull my brain into a few hours of rest before rising for a busy day. It.was.so.hot. in my room, despite the fact that the AC had just been turned on after not having touched it hardly at all since Ryan moved out. I lay on top of this concoction of covers draped over my bed, my face still wet from my having doused it with freezing cold tap water, and I figured that the quickest way for me to lose all will to remain awake was this tactic of boring myself to tears. I would force my eyes to want to close.

I am positive that you relate. Jumping straight to the point, I had visited the profiles of literally every one of the people dotting my friends list when some words caught my attention. One person I knew posted a lyric from this old hymn that is just timeless in its beauty. As a brief side note, do not for a second assume that I am one of these reckless youth who despise all things Organ and choir just because I happen to play the electric guitar and I appreciate music some people affectionately call "noise." I am a firm believer that at heart I was born in the wrong generation. People have forgotten how to be eloquent and all traces of civil talk have turned into what I admit is an appalling sort of vernacular. I prefer to read authors who are dead simply because I think that the language is far more powerful than what is published today (not to author's faults... it is simply that there is a diminishing appreciation for things that were once considered beautiful).

That said, I went on to read what some people had commented on this lyric. There was lament on the diminishing use of Organ in church music, and though it had a tinge of personal attack on my church, I could have let it slide in conversation. People are entitled to the things that they love and it is valid for them to be sad to see them leave. I know that if music turned entirely to synthesizers and drum loops I would certainly be sad to see guitar being used less and less, and so I have no problem with this particular person wanting to see it return. What came next, however, made me read it again, just to make sure that I had the entire message. I searched it for sarcasm or irony or tongue-in-cheek, but unfortunately there was none to be found. This is the part that caught me off guard: "So sad that the church is going the way of the world with its music. How can they justify it?"


Excuse me?


I couldn't help myself by chime in, because it was an opportunity too great to let my sarcasm rest. I have an enormous problem with calling music "worldly," because music itself is not a thing of this world. It transcends language and experience in a way that nothing of this earth possibly could. I have heard compositions in foreign tongues and immediately been of one mind with the writer, whereas had he written a book or made a speech all I would see is stagnant ink on a page and all I would hear is a series of repetitive but nonsensical consonants. If try you tell me that music is a worldly thing, I will submit that you know nothing of heaven. I have heard more beautiful sounds coming from two guys with sticks and buckets than I have in any elaborate and glorious building ever constructed by man. I guarantee you that David, the most famous worship leader ever, did not have an organ or a piano, but a harp (which had strings, by the way, and probably sounded a little like a guitar). He was all about joyful noises, drums, clanging cymbals, and even dancing naked, so do not even try to tell me that stoic, stuffy men in suits who mouth words printed on a yellowing page are more holy than a crowd of people literally losing their minds, being enveloped by "noise" so loud and a spirit so overpowering that there is no room for distraction from the focus of the night. I plan on spending the rest of my eternity in a pit of people throbbing, kneeling, bowing, dancing wildly and singing so loudly before the Throne of God that, were I in my earthly body, it would collapse from exhaustion.


I will repeat myself, which I do not do often. If you try to tell me that music is of this world, I will tell you that you know nothing of heaven.


I'm not sure what the point of this one was. I will save this pent-up rant on tradition worshippers for another day when it isn't quite so pretty outside. Perhaps I was just looking for an outlet for this small amount of frustration. But you should tell me what you think about all of this!


On another side note, there has been a significant jump in readers over the past month or so, and I am tired of just writing about these little rabbit trails in my head. I would be more than happy to explore submitted topics or questions or musings that you guys have, whether it be if Left 4 Dead 2 better or worse than the first, who would win in a battle between Chuck Norris and Himself, why Mary Shelley is awesome, why I can't wait to get Xbox live back, etc. I am an open book. You can email me (hjbarber@gmail.com), comment, text me, whatever. I'd like to hear from you! Ok. Go outside. It's far too pretty to be trapped within walls like I am today.

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.

>A Long-Winded and Somewhat Non-Linear Rant

>

I am in the process of developing this little thought process and thought that I would let you readers into the mix. I have accepted the fact that anything and everything said or written will be taken, twisted, perverted, warped, changed, misquoted, interpreted, searched for ulterior motives, chopped up and fed to the dogs that we call American society, but it doesn't really make it any easier to swallow; I am tired of also knowing that there is nothing that I can do about it.

The object of today's little discussion is one that would make what Conservatives heroically refer to as "The Founding Fathers" (to fall to an abhorred cliche) roll over in their graves: the first amendment to the Constitution. This is, for those waiting in their traps to ensnare the cynic inside of me, the sentence that declares that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." This is a statement that was written in excess of 300 years ago, so, like any proper reading of an old text, demands an aspect of understanding of the context surrounding the words. 

Still buzzing from the high of rebellion and the insatiable need for reform, a panel of men assuming leadership positions in the infant country recently dubbed the United States of America felt the need for a few addenda to the newly written Constitution.  Sparing you the boring details, nothing about the words has changed to this day, except for the people for whom it was written. The fledgling nation at the time was in a state of heightened unity, following the split from their mother country, and they were all breathing the fresh air of "freedom," in a time when it was more than a buzzword passed around by Fox News. This amendment was an assurance that the Government would not establish a nationwide religion, would not pass a law stripping you of yours, gave you the right to report whatever you wanted, and said that you could peaceably gather together for whatever reason that they wanted. It demanded a unity between the governing power and the body being governed, the very basis of the Republic that had been created. 

The amendment still stands today, and is one of the major (and, arguably, few) things that separates us from a totalitarian society, thank God (Although it's interesting to note, as Noam Chomsky said, "In the totalitarian society, the leader says 'We're going to war' and everybody marches." Makes you think, huh?). What I don't think these men had in mind when they penned the first amendment, however, was the extremes to which it would be misused 300+ years down the road. It assumed a measure of fairness, of justice, of what was right in the eyes of the people, for it has always been "We the PEOPLE." If they had known that after the Monsanto situation with Bovine Growth Hormone being found in the milk we drink causing the unsettling consequences of it being ingested by humans and Fox News brushing it off that the court would rule, because of this amendment, that the media is allowed to say anything they want, even if it is a lie, it surely would have been reworded, at least. If they knew that because of this amendment, pornography distributors would drop materials off at schools and fight for their rights of "free speech," they surely would have thrown down their fuzzy wigs in disgust. 

In an extremely long winded way, I think I am trying to say that I am sick of all of this "I'm protesting because I'm a free thinker and I have the God-given right to do so" mentality. For goodness sake, stop having your Tea-parties and your Gay rights marches and stop holding up your signs that say "Bush lied, men died" and put Clinton's Blue dress situation away and quit announcing that you save the whales in the uncharted regions of the Pacific and stop being fooled by all of the absolute nonsense that is political divisiveness. It's that time where absolutely nothing that you see on TV or in a movie or read in a book or a magazine or hear on a special news report, no matter how "fair and balanced" they pretend to be, can be accepted at face value, yet we live in a generation where everything is accepted as it comes to us. We have not just the power but a mandate to test everything we see and hear, whether it be from a teacher or from the pulpit, and anything less than that is cheating yourself and making a mockery of the One who gave you, among all of the animals that He created, the power of reason. 

In an age when very little can be trusted, I find it all the more necessary to trust what we know is valid, not speculative or slanted. Throw away your political views, your religious affiliation, your divisive attitudes, and understand that it is completely illogical to believe that those things are the end-all to your existence. What were we created for if not to bring an Eternal God praise and adoration, to the end of time? Surely the mess that this world finds itself in, this competitive capitalist dogma and period of moral sludge, is reason enough to believe that when we try to do things ourselves, we fail. The more we stop believing in God, the closer we inch towards absolute destruction. As soon as you put your trust not above, but in the talking heads on the screen in front of you or in the man behind a podium with the Seal of our country at his back, the true horrors of what we can become unfold. 

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.

>Prose is for Pansies. Or, My Political Views

>listen to the voices
as they lie into your ears
with the soft facade of peaceful sleep,
abating lucid fears

listen to the cadence
of ten thousand pulsing fists
with the liars mixed amongst the sane
and saints with masochists

listen to the rise and swell
of thoughts inside your head
while they toe the line of manic / fixed
hating you instead

listen to the space around
what's left of what was yours
with the shiny words that glimmer from
their numbing, dulling swords

listen to the whisperings
of formless, talking heads
implanting what you think and feel,
not feeling it, instead

I don't know. Maybe I was just bored haha

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.

>The iPad, causes and Bandwagons

>

I figured that if I put "iPad" in the title here, it would do one of two things: provide an example of my topic of discussion today and get hits on google. 

Let me begin by telling you that I honestly think that the iPad is a crappy excuse for one of those new iPod touches that has the exact same layout, functions and stereotype but none of the perks (for now, at least). "oh, but Hamilton, it has Wi-Fi and 3G access!!" Well, it WILL have Wi-Fi and 3G access... in late March and April, respectively. 

It's actually more brilliant than most realize, and for the people who already think it's brilliant because of it's design and function, they will find that it is for different reasons than they think. There is this terribly cliche word that describes people who already posses one of these iPads, and that word is "Bandwagon." It describes men and women in most facets of life, but this recent "innovation" brings the whole concept into a visceral light for those who aren't blinded by its shiny exterior.

I've seen so many people jumping on bandwagons instead of thinking for themselves (I DID go to Lee, you know) that I've become immune to most causes that come out. This may or may not be a bad thing, depending on the nature of the cause, but for the most part I simply can't get on board without feeling at least slightly hypocritical. When I was a junior in high school this wonderful organization  called To Write Love On Her Arms was making its appearance in the US and it was relatively unheard of. I read the story and the mission statement and realized that this was an extremely valid cause, one worthy of my support, so I bought a shirt. I wore this shirt in public places partly because it looked sweet, but mostly because I believed in the cause that it stood for, that is, until I went off after my senior year to Lee. I walked into my first class and immediately was grateful that I hadn't worn that shirt because if I had, there would have only been 3 people not wearing TWLOHA apparel. I came to the disappointing realization, upon striking up conversations about it that it was no longer a cause that was fought for, it was now a trendy divulgence into something that was "cool" rather than something that was beneficial. People wore the crap because they saw that guy from that band or because they knew they could get chicks if they looked sympathetic to emotionally distressed guys and girls...

That began my disdain for causes, not because of the causes themselves, which are most of the time noble and extremely valid, but because of the people that support them. Tom's shoes, TWLOHA, inspiRED, "The Cove" and a myriad of others can be found on a disturbingly typical website http://www.causes.com and are examples of this disturbing generalization of what used to be extraordinary things. 

Perhaps I'm trying to say not to buy this iPad crap simply because it is an apple product and you're trying to look like a hipster, or maybe I'm trying to tell you not to buy it yet so that I can laugh at you when I see you tweet how unfair it is that the new 3G iPad came out and you have to buy it again because you had your iPad on pre-order for 3 months before it came out. I think what I can ultimately say about this message though is that you need to not let the mass opinion sway your decision to do something, however popular or unpopular it is, but rather let your reason, logic, and convictions (from whatever source yours are coming from) be the factors that decide such issues. After all, the last thing we need in this culture of followers is another bleating iSheep. 

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.

>The Zombie Apocalypse

>

I need to preface this with the disclaimer that I realize the likelihood of the events I will describe happening are slim to none. However, like the proverbial "carrot" dangling in front of a horse, I have a deep desire to procure (or experience) the things that I am physically incapable of obtaining (or experiencing). I will explain the points I am about to make, but know that with these surface desires come deeper motivations behind them. 

I cannot wait for the zombie apocalypse. 

There, I said it, as if the world already didn't know by the "support zombies" ribbon I sport on my car or the literal game plan for when it finally goes down I have worked out with my roommates, now you, my reader, know of one of my deepest desires. Perhaps it's that deep down like every man, I crave that fight for your life, and who better to fight than the freakin undead? I'll answer that question for you: HOARDS of the undead. We'll have to board up the windows and fight both flesh-hungry mutants and onsetting cabin fever, as well as cope with the constant struggle to find sustenance so we can wait out the horrendous events that unfold. 

Deeper than these superfluous and carnal reasons for wanting a zombie apocalypse lie three ulterior rationalizations why this particular scenario will HELP mankind, rather than hurt it. The first of these is that it will rid our society of stupid people. In any given end of the world scenario you will be forced to use rational thinking, on-the-fly problem solving, physical stamina and mental determination, and frankly those not dead-set on surviving will be eliminated in a grotesque and brutal manner. Am I saying that I believe natural selection is onto something? Perhaps. Maybe I'm just saying that in the meantime while we are waiting patiently for this glorious day of equalization, we should simply take the warning labels off of everything and let this problem take care of itself.

The second reason, equal in importance as the a fore mentioned, is simply that a bartering and trading society will function far better than whatever the system we have today, which quite literally works BECAUSE of debt. Basically, currency is the only physical representation we can comprehend of something that you exchange for survival. In America today, that thing that we exchange in order to survive is thin paper coated in green magnetic ink that diminishes in its value every second of the day. It is something that will run out (either of quantity or value, either would be equally catastrophic) and thus is an object simply waiting for its turn to be obsolete. When the undead attack from beyond the grave, the thing that we will exchange for survival could be literally any number of things. Homemade weapons? Protection? Anti-Zombie spray? All superfluous things will be thrown out the window and we will carry with us only those things that we need. 

Finally, what we will learn which is perhaps the most important thing we can possibly squeeze out of this terrifying scenario is the true gift we have in each other (and in God, but I feel like I could make that an entirely separate entry). The single most important thing to surviving the zombie apocalypse will be your ability to rely on others instead of ourselves. It will be crucial to have someone to get your back, and equally as crucial to get somebody else's back. There will be no more I-this and Me-that, but rather "we." Without that "we" you become literal zombie fodder. 

While I understand that the zombie apocalypse will not happen, deep down I really really wish it would. I suppose maybe this could be read as some sort of Nazi cleansing experiment but I assure you this is not the case. When we are pitted as men against un-men, we are simply that, men (feminazis, I apologize. "Men" is simply a word that is use to refer to humankind as a whole, as both "men" and "women" have the word "men" in their name. Oh, and feminazis, you'll be the first to go, just saying... anyway I digress). Race will no longer be an issue. Politics will finally die. BMW's will become nests for smelly zombie babies and your mansion will be the last place you want to be, because of the vast number of dark shadows the undead can lurk. Honestly, I see this as an improvement, and the above three reasons might be the very things that prove the zombie apocalypse is exactly what humanity needs. 

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.

>A Spoonful of Cynicism

>All play and no work has made Hamilton a very dull boy. I need a season to get here that involves me wearing something other than sleeves, jeans and socks at all times, because my skin needs to breathe, otherwise the paranoia cannot escape except through that conveniently placed hole in my head called my mind. You know that phenomenon up in Alaska where it's dark for months at a time? I have a feeling that horror movies happen daily up there, not because of some incessant amount of poorly scripted carnage but because without light, the darkness that surrounds the people seeps literally into the pores of their body, as vinegar will dissolve through the shell of an egg to achieve homeostasis.

It's funny, I've begun to notice recently a few truths about mankind (there will be exceptions to each rule, of course, and I am not in any way ruling myself out here but bear with me): We are, each of us, full of ulterior motives. Smiles are (for the most part) forced, as we are afraid to share our thoughts because we deem them either inappropriate or we recognize them for the schemes that they are. When we have something on our minds but we don't want to acknowledge it, instead of saying "yes I have something on my mind but I really don't want to talk about it yet," we say "nothing." Some might call this category "lying," but that might offensive to some.

The next thing I've noticed is that it is literally impossible for everybody to be happy at once. Compromise has become a four-letter word and a worst-case scenario. I'm talking both about the secular world and the Christian world (which may speak to a different problem, but that's a different rant entirely), as division happens in the church as much as anywhere else you could imagine. You cannot please both your friends and family, you cannot excel in school and work, you cannot focus on creation and retention without shifting your focus back and forth, unavoidably neglecting one or the other. It is not a malicious neglect either, but a necessary and absolutely inevitable neglect, and one that will probably be taken personally...

Which leads me to the next point, that man is the center of his own universe. This is the reason that we are incapable of agreeing with each other, because if we were focused on something other than ourselves for ten seconds we'd realize we are smaller than the most minuscule part on a massive technical contraption. I'm trying to take my own advice here, and I realize it's hard, but I also realize that it could be the solution to all of the problems countless causes and support groups are trying to fix. Think about it: if we really were thinking of somebody other than ourselves, we wouldn't need to assemble teams to take food to homeless people on the street, we would spend less time explaining why that guy is wrong and more time inviting him into our home when it's cold outside and loving him despite his opposite beliefs. But getting every person on this earth to think of somebody other than himself is impossible, and so crime rates will rise and murderers will be set free and no amount of money we throw will stop a war, as has been predicted since the beginning of time.

Perhaps I'm just bitter today. Perhaps I've been doing this thing where I can't seem to please anybody because I'm trying to please everybody, for I cannot choose who I should try to make happy and who isn't worth my time. I want EVERYBODY to be worth my time and I want the people I'm not looking at for the second to understand that it is not that I'm looking away from them, I'm looking at somebody else, for there is a huge difference. I only have one set of eyes, and I have a thousand staring, waiting for their turn for that contact. Perhaps I was just overwhelmed for the moment.

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.

>Those Who Can Count and Those Who Can't

>I've decided that there are two categories broad and sweeping enough to fit any human, whether they are aware of the reality of their situation or not. Look into the soul of anybody within eyeshot and you begin to understand precisely what I'm talking about when I shed light on the rather obvious dichotomy presented before us every day of our lives...

The two options are, in layman's terms, the Respecter and the Moocher.

The Respecter does not necessarily like everybody, or even anybody, around him. He doesn't have to have a lot of friends to put himself in this category; it doesn't matter how he dresses or what major he is or where he works or what kind of movie makes him cry, but rather how he approaches human interactions. People don't always understand the true blessing of having Respecters in their lives, but this does not stop him from being who he was made to be in the first place. The Respecter understands (superficially) that what you have is yours, and you have the option of doing what you please with it.

He has probably known what it feels like to have to earn things that you accumulate and therefore approaches interactions with friends and strangers alike with a reserved sense of self-awareness. He gets that you have personal space because he might have issues with that himself; he understands that when people yell when they talk it makes even the most docile of person feel a twinge of hostility running down their cool spine, so he controls the volume of his voice; he knows the feeling of being drowned by a deluge of meaningless words being spewn from one's mouth so he knows that there are times when it is appropriate not to speak. When he asks for a favor, he gives the easier task to the volunteer , while bearing the majority of the load himself, because he knows that effort, as well as time, are things that people prize, and are therefore aspects he must respect. None of these things are a chore for him because it only comes natural. He may not be a people pleaser, but he is a people understander and that makes him a tolerable person to be around.

The Moocher, however, is a completely different story. Unlike the Respecter, he has no concept of the people around him because they all seem superfluous compared to himself, the all-important center of the universe. The Moocher is the one that calls you and instead of greeting you and thanking you for being gracious to pick up the phone yells in your ear "I'm bored, let's do something." Be wary of making Moochers your friends, because they assume that with your friendship comes an open invitation to enter your house, wear your clothes, and eat your food with or without your permission. They will probably do something extreme to get your attention for a while, like undergo a drastic change in dress or undertake a new life-consuming hobby or decide to move on a whim, and then assume that while they were doing the other thing they were doing other than being your shadow you missed them greatly *(but were too scared to call or text or ask somebody where they were, even once)* and will promptly begin back at square one.

The Moocher saps not just money but energy, time, effort, and relationships with people that are not them. Also, if they feel like you are catching onto their game, they will go out of their way to try to feel appreciated, perhaps by saying something like "ok well then I guess I just won't see you for a while" or feigning a momentary crossover into the Respecter category by buying you something innocuous but heartfelt or calling and asking how your day was. Beware of the Moocher's cunning tricks, because they do not make the choice to be a Moocher, they are simply either too lazy or self absorbed to do anything about it.

The Moocher will never recognize his/her position as a Moocher, however. It is for this reason that you must be all the more vigilant in spotting their type and not falling prey to their tactics. The best way to avoiding having all of your life overrun by the likes of the Moocher is simply to live your life as normal when they are around and knowing how to say "no." When they insist on you spending your time on them, tell them that you had other plans. When they insist on you spending your money on them, tell them that you don't have the money to spend right now and when they whine about it, know they'll get over it. Don't leave things laying around you don't want them breaking open. They will understand after a while not having an invitation means they are not invited, and if they wish to receive an invitation they will have to change their ways.

Basically, the point of this whole thing is that we have to learn how to deal with each other. If you recognize yourself as one of these two categories, know that it's not too late to become whichever you see as more appealing, and if reading this makes you think of one or two people in particular, you can understand where they're coming from and start learning how to treat them better. Wow, that was a cheesy ending.

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.