Thursday, August 21, 2008

What is the age of innocence?

What if you could travel back to that moment in time before you saw the negative side of life, before you learned that bad things sometimes come into our lives, or even before you learned about the concept of death?
I think that most of us have layers of innocence, and as we grow older and experience more, these layers get stripped away. Each person's life is different; at the end, some are left with a few layers, some are stripped bare, and then there are those who seem impermeable to life's tragedies, those who appear unaffected or are perhaps unaware. You may call these people oblivious, you may call them lucky.
When we are young, we may have grandparents, pets, or neighbors who pass away. For most of us, this is our first encounter with death; this is the first time we experience a loss.
As we become teens, we develop a sense of invincibility; we can do whatever we want, we will never die, and nothing can hurt us (at least not physically, though our egos are quite easily bruised).
As we enter young adulthood, we have perhaps become slightly less invincible and slightly more human, but are ready to take on life nonetheless. We have things to prove and goals to achieve. We may have suffered mildly, maybe a broken heart or two, but perhaps having experienced these small tragedies has actually given us a false sense of wisdom.
As we attempt to conquer the world, we begin to face new challenges, such as work, dealing bosses and co-workers, fitting in, paying bills and having real relationships, we often find that life is not how we imagined it would be. It's harder. It does not look like the scenes we painted in our minds several years before. Maybe we begin to see that life, can at times, be cruel.
And another layer falls away.
As I ponder these things, I am reminded of the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. In high school, I had to read this book. I remember my English teacher saying that Holden was trying to recapture his innocence, or was at least mourning the loss of it. At my young age, I did not understand exactly what she meant; how could I?
Lately, I have been thinking about censorship and what protecting the young really means (my thoughts were actually prompted by another blog I have recently begun to read).
Do we seek to preserve the innocence of our children (or children in general, i.e. the younger generation) in a futile attempt to recapture something which is impossible, that is, our own lost sense of innocence and naivety?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Is this necessary?

I was in the drug store tonight, when I happened upon this ridiculous display. What you may or may not be able to tell from the picture is that this is a full aisle of Christmas ornaments, Hallmark keepsakes, or whatever you want to call them. The fact is that this store has set aside an entire aisle for the display of Christmas ornaments - in August.
Lately, I have been thinking about the myths/lies that authorities peddle to us and that parents sometimes peddle to their children. Some of these myths are thought to be good for us - white lies told for our benefit or to protect us. In keeping with the holiday theme (in spite of the fact that they are still over four months away), I would like to explore the story of Santa Claus, and how people feel about the legend today. Are parents still passing this story down to their children, or has St. Nick become passe? If so, why do parents still propagate this myth, when it will only result in confusion, disappointment, and betrayal later on when they must tell their children that they lied?
When I was a kid, what first tipped me off was the fact that we did not have a chimney in our house; then everything else began to fall into place. I reasoned it out in my head, trying to convince myself that he was real, but in the end, logic won out. What was most difficult was that I did not know how to break it to my parents that I knew Santa was not real, so I pretended for a couple more years!
What were your beliefs regarding Santa Claus when you were young? How did you find out the truth and how did you feel? When you have children (or if you already have children), what will you tell them?

Friday, August 15, 2008

The return of Scripter...

Hello, I have been busy moving across the country for the past several weeks, so for the one and a half or so people who actually read this blog or navigate to it by accident (in any case, it counts!), I am back. I have actually moved to the San Francisco area (the fulfillment of a dream for some time), and have started another blog to chronicle my adventures here. It is called SF Bay Expressions, and contains photos of various things - landscapes, happenings, cultural events, etc. - which I am encountering as I explore the area.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Could billions spent on Olympics be put to better use?

What if all of the money spent on the Olympics went toward buying food for the hungry and poor? Or what if it was spent on better education?

What other uses could Olympic funds be put toward?

References (articles that discuss Olympic spending): GOP Spat Began with Olympics; McCain Backs Olympic Bid, but Watch Spending