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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Religious fervor

soapbox.jpgWe are quickly becoming a nation of zealots. Or have we already become one? It seems everywhere I turn, people approach life/things/philosophies as if there is only one right answer and those who disagree are often dismissed contemptuously. No, I’m not just talking politics and religion…that’s a given, but even the most banal aspects of life have become victims of mindless zealotry.

What scares me most is that people, Americans at least, for whatever reason, seem to thrive on this. Take gaming for instance. A while back I was doing some research on the Xbox 360 and visited some gaming sites…you would be amazed at how much energy the “kids” who post on these sites spend insulting each other for choosing a different gaming platform than the one they chose. It’s phenomenal, actually. It’s like the partisanship of our political system has leached into the soil, poisoned our water system, and infected the way we see life. We don’t seem to know how to talk to each other anymore – instead, we make choices and defend these choices blindly by denigrating the choices and differing opinions of others.

There are those of us who appear immune to this, for sure, just as there are those people who manage to escape the flu or regularly have unsafe sex and manage to avoid getting an STD. But those are the exceptions and not the rule, and I fear, if they keep up the risky behavior, in time, they’ll fall victim too. Seriously, I fear for our future. We can’t continue, taking sides on everything we do without suffering some far reaching consequences. I don’t think it bodes well, on any level, for the continuance of the species.

Ah, I know I’m ranting, but I think if we can’t even respect each other’s choice of game system for instance, how can we expect to deal with the bigger stuff? And right now, more than ever, we need to come together. Is it too late?

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This is me and one of my two cats. His name is Cougar, and he’s an F1 Chausie. A chausie is a new breed of cat under development. Chausies are the result of a cross between a domestic cat (in Cougar’s case, a Bengal) and a jungle cat (Felis Chaus). Cougar’s mom is 8 pounds and his father is a 30-pound jungle cat. He’s about 16 pounds, super intelligent, spirited, and toilet trained. A writer without a cat (or two) is not to be trusted.