You all know I have the best blog of any other blogger you have ever heard. It is because I use big and good words. My words are better than anyone else. I went to a good school and my great memory helps me be intelligent. I am one of the most intelligent people you will ever know. My book signing had more people than Stephen King’s. I am a great blogger. Maybe the best in history. It is because I know things and things know me.
Why do people brag? Now those of you who say you are more humble than the rest of us and maybe the most humblest person since Jesus. I have bad news for you, even you brag. We all brag in one form or another. It may be in the form of a humble brag. My children are geniuses. They are so talented. And if we are not careful this can easily be translated you must be special because your children are so special. Or we do the aw shucks humble shuffle. Yea it was no big deal. Anyone else could or would have done it. You say that even when you know that is not necessarily the case, which may be interpreted as: that was easy for me. I can and do much more. So the humble brag masked in humility or praise of someone else becomes our brag.
We brag to receive credit. There are some people who have never developed past the toddler stage. So we feel that if someone does not watch you do it, it did not happen. We are anxious that every move we make on the playground of life is watched and we are given credit for it.
We brag to attract people to us. Here we have not developed past the teenage boy who does stupid stunts to impress the girls. They honestly believe if they smash a coke can on their heads, all the girls will go to the prom with them.
We brag to feel superior. We think if we tear someone else down and then tell of the great things we are capable, of we will move up in the world. And sometimes that works. The cream of the crop does not always rise to the top. So often the person who is constantly reminding you of how good they are rises to the top. This is despite their not being the best choice. But hey, the bosses heard somewhere that they were the best at what they are doing.
We brag to cover our inadequacies. We say to the world what we have accomplished so we can disguise the fact that, we are failing the job for which we currently are responsible. I am a rich man. I went to a good college. We brag in a futile attempt to build our self-esteem. We have magical thinking that if we say we are the best maybe it will make us the best. We have a lack of confidence. So we attempt to disguise this with our braggadocio.
We brag sometimes to feel superior. If I am part of the great white race I proclaim how grand I and my race are compared to others. We bend science and facts to make us look the best. This is so others will let us have our way. This is the core of white supremacist methodology.
Finally, we brag to feel as though we have purpose. We fill the airwaves with our great thoughts and deeds to convince ourselves and others we matter. We have non-purpose-filled lives and we will never be happy until we do something that matters.
And this is our new conundrum: we have a president who is a braggart. He sometimes, like a youth needs people to see everything he does in the hopes that it will make him attractive. And it does not work. He brags sometimes to cover his black hole of need to feel very important. It is as though he never measured up to his father’s demands. He fills the twitter air with ‘big’ words trying to convince the world he has a plan and purpose. And just as his father, who was a member of the KKK, he must proclaim that the alt-right is full of decent people.
I guess the moral of the story is we better get a handle on our own bragging. Or else our brag will be spilling all over ourselves.
We are lost and religion will not be our savior. I used to be convince of the power of religion to change the world. And it does have power to change the world but not necessarily for good. Religion and our society have become materialists. God is dead. God does not affect the day to day lives of even her followers. Certainly there are a few of the practitioners where this is not true but for the vast majority this is true.
We can see this in that we no longer celebrate goodness. Trump is followed because he tells it like it is. Good would not be the adjective people would use about him. He is not pure of heart as evidenced by his licentious ‘locker room talk’ or his having affairs while married. He is not pure of heart as seen by his obvious lust for money, fame, and fortune. He is not a peacemaker as seen by his constant conflicts with anyone at any place.
Yet he spoke at a ‘values conference’ and was allowed the United Nations platform to preach to the world literally. We do not want goodness in charge we want a tough guy. Think about that for a moment. We have developed the thinking of Leo Durocher who once famously said “Nice Guys Finish last”. ‘We only support winners’ Trump once said. Not good people but people who have won fame and power. He would only hire corporate executives and the rich in his Cabinet because they would be the ones to get things done. Purity of motives and heart are not important. Tough negotiators are what we need. We do not need inspiration from a Gandhi but the head of the Mafia, This is not only Trump but all of us if we are truthful are feeling this way these days. We do not care who runs against Trump as long as they can beat him.
Trump’s followers are willing to contort reality. To somehow match their allegiance to Trump they made bizarre claims at the values summit to explain that Trump is good. The two Corinthians man who irregularly attends church has become a devout Christian. All devout Christians show an ignorance of the Bible. His Christianity is on display by his penchant for name calling anyone with whom he disagrees. All devout Christians do this. This is seen in the fact he thinks the White House is a dump and not good enough for him. All devout Christians would turn their nose up at such accommodations. His Christianity is seen in his inability to curb the tongue. All devout Christians do this.
The more the religious follow Trump the more they prove God is dead. The more they celebrate his provocative manners they more they prove God is dead. The anger that is felt on both sides of our political life proves God is Dead. The more we create surreal realities to defend the crassness and abusive nature of others the more we prove God is dead.
God will not be revived in our culture by prayer or saying Merry Christmas but by the celebration of goodness. The kind where the least of these shall be the greatest. The Goodness where the cheek is turned. But hey God is dead give us our authoritarian leaders.
So now it is a matter of freedom of speech if you let racist or homophobic people come to your university. I believe in free speech and my children all regularly tell me their opinions. But when I think they are being offensive to me or someone else in the family I take that privilege away.
What the alt right needs to understand is that as far as I am concerned they are in no way part of the solution. As a white man let me say they are the worse defenders of white rights. Their opinions are gauged to ignite anger or upset feelings not to engage in legitimate debate. So they can talk wherever they can get a platform. But I am under no obligation to provide them a platform. Neither do any television networks have that obligation. Their platforms are Bob Jones University and talk radio. They have no inherent right to speak at Public schools. If someone wants to promote an ideology associated with pedophilia or genocide are we obligated to let them hold forth as if they have a legitimate authority on anything because of some fanciful notion of freedom of speech.
Too often we use our privileges to allow platforms that are harmful to the good of the general public. And yes with my family and groups I work with I have the right to make the judgment if I want to bombard them with nonsense. If I allow a Richard Spencer, a Neo Nazi< to speak at my children’s school I have given him some legitimacy. I much rather legitimize the poor, immigrant, black lives matter and other outcast groups that are seldom given platforms. I only have so much legitimacy to spread around. I should choose carefully who I sponsor.
Besides that the age of the internet allows even bozos like myself to expound on whatever I want. It is up to me to create my huge following. If I cannot? A pox on all of your head but I am not expecting the Christian Broadcasting Network to give me equal time and even my alma mater Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is not obligated. And you know I do not feign surprise or cry about my freedom of speech is being abused when I am not allowed these platforms. It is a pox on them not the constitution. But you might say a conservative or liberal campus group has asked them to come. If the person is more provocateur than educator why give them to opportunity to speak at an educational institution.
I listen almost daily to Talk radio. And believe me I would not provide them any platform to speak. Well what about having all views represented at a debate. No thank-you. A debate is usually won by the person who can hold forth the most forcefully not the one who is necessarily right. In debates a person can bring out some statistic or historical event and lie about the facts. One debate lets them create with their false statistics a narrative that is slanted in their favor. And you know the statistics are wrong but you cannot prove it on the spot. Although with smart phones we are a step closer to that. That is why everyone does not get a seat at the table. Some people are too good of yellers and able to speak without a breath and make up shit faster than others as they go along. This is not a serious debate but an entertainment of personality.
It is not about freedom of speech. It is about encouraging speech that is as Paul of the Bible not Beatles said ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.’ Life is short. Why not spend our time on the good stuff.
You see I listen daily to the other side through talk radio and watch Fox occasionally. They have created a platform for conservative ‘thought’. The racists and homophobes are big boys and girls I do not have to choose to listen to their ramblings as I might my child to help build their self-esteem or do i.