Category Archives: Thought Catalog

9 Text Messages That Need To Stop Right Now

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Shutterstock

The Amber Alert

It looks something like this:

Them: Hey, what are you up to?
You:
Not much, hanging out right now, what about you?
Them:
… [GONE AF]

Why people initiate conversations, then vanish is beyond explanation. When you suddenly disappear, not only might people worry about your well-being, but when they find out you’re still alive, they’re just disappointed in your poor etiquette.

The Single Word Salutation

“Hey.” “Hi.” “Sup?” “Yo.”

You wouldn’t throw a party and only get plastic cups, expecting guests to bring literally everything else, right? So maybe contribute more than a single syllable to the conversation.

The Unnecessary Group Text

Unless you’re planning a surprise party, or cracking jokes about someone who’s in the same room, group texts should be avoided. Nobody wants steady streams of vibrations & alerts filling up their phone for a pointless conversation that they were involuntarily sucked into.

The 12-Hour+ Response Time

You know how much life happens in 12 hours? That’s half a day. That’s 24 episodes of Family Guy (with commercials). That’s enough time to individually bake 36 DiGiorno pizzas. That’s 720 minutes. The earth has completed half of a rotation, and you can’t send a text back? After 12 hours, all texts become null and void, there’s no need to even bother responding.

The Do It Yourself, Dummy

“Call me,” they’ll say. How absurd is that? Why not just call yourself? That’s like someone handwriting you a letter telling you to send them an email.

The Selective Response

Only replying to specific parts of a text is a bogus move. A conversation isn’t some kind of appetizer sampler you can pick and choose from. I mean, you can, but you’re insufferable for doing it. You’re the person who eats all of the chicken fingers and fries, but leaves behind jalapeño poppers.

The K

What is anyone supposed to do with a “K” text. This feels like the equivalent of you speaking and someone putting a finger over your lips mid-sentence, aggressively shushing you. There’s no way a “K” text is not the end of the conversation.

The Build Up To Let Down

If you text “Guess what,” you better have some extravagant revelations coming. You better be saying you’re currently eating nachos with Kanye West, or you just won $100,000,000, because nothings worse than a subpar ending. It typically winds up being something like, “Guess what… I just found my Chapstick that I lost the other day. Remember when I couldn’t find it? Well, yeah, case closed!”

The One That’s Only Happening Because They Need Something

A lot of people don’t even like asking their best friends for favors, let alone people they seldom interact with. If someone’s comfortable asking you to help them move heavy furniture, without even asking how you’ve been for the past six months, you should be comfortable blowing off their request. TC mark



10 Wild Anti-Drug Commercials That Had To Be Made By People On Drugs

10 Wild Anti-Drug Commercials That Had To Be Made By People On Drugs

Creepy Snake Commercial

This dude goes from human to demonic snake within a matter of moments, which is equal parts creepy and confusing. I can appreciate the “deal in poison” wordplay, but what’s up with the “cheat on your homeboys” thing? What does that even mean, 1980s?

Meth!

Is this an anti-drug or pro-cleaning commercial? It actually features a catchy song, and it feels like a talented musician with a yearning for some meth cooked up the hit.

Dorks

“DRUG DEALERS ARE DORKS, DON’T EVEN TALK TO THEM.” – Donatello, keeping it real as heck. This ad’s creator probably wasn’t on drugs, but it’s such gold that it’s worthy of being a part of any anti-drug commercial compilation.

HEY MIKE

HEY MIKE TOO LATE you already did drugs, that’s why you’re reliving the same 3 second loop over and over again. You’ll come down from that high soon, and realize that your Sam-I-Am persistent friend actually already got you on the green eggs and ham.

Dawg

Talking dogs aren’t a thing that people who aren’t on drugs come up with. This smug talking dog thinks he can just hop on the chair, condescendingly bash his friend and then casually see himself out? Real cool, Cujo.

YOU DAD!

Never have tables turned so quickly. Priceless.

Anti Cocaine

+1 for super eerie brief seconds of singing at the end.

No Pizza If You Do Drugs

WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT, PENNY? The principle’s office OR jail? There’s a big difference between those two things. I appreciate the point about no TV or pizza though – because priorities.

SCARY FACE + CREEPY SINGING

The question is how eerie is too eerie? The answer is this eerie.

UM.

Dang, 1980s anti-drug ads, you scary. The problem here is that you can’t show people horrifying commercials like this or they become impervious to fear, and nothing they could possibly see on drugs is as disturbing as this ad. TC mark



Here Are The Most Hilarious 2015 State Of The Union Tweets

THEY WERE RIGHT THE WORLD IS SECRETLY RUN BY LIZARD PEOPLE RT @marathonpacks Boehner's tongue https://t.co/649KXg47Nq

— be shrill, my heart (@theshrillest) January 21, 2015

when ur boy drops a fire line in the middle of his state of the union address pic.twitter.com/tU90vtgf34

— BRANDON WARDELL (@BRANDONWARDELL) January 21, 2015

that ‘campaign’ joke was solid, but kind of a letdown when you read the original line #SOTU pic.twitter.com/nOdQWKA2oG

— Dan Abramson (@danabramson) January 21, 2015

"I KNOW CUZ I WON BOTH OF EM" *FLEX BOMB*

— The Kid Mero (@THEKIDMERO) January 21, 2015

OMG! RT @iSmashFizzle: Mad-Eye Moody with the least effective polyjuice potion in all the Wizarding world. pic.twitter.com/9yHsKPnJsV

— #JusticeForMikeBrown (@mminthecity) January 21, 2015

"if you gram your own tweet, i will throw you in the hudson river" – Obama

— Rembert Browne (@rembert) January 21, 2015

No one can smile with their eyes like Joe Biden

— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) January 21, 2015

THE HUG. Obama + RBG. Via Getty. pic.twitter.com/i5HkW7aLOa

— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) January 21, 2015

ICYMI the #SOTU pic.twitter.com/sylVPyxpsv

— Alex Covington (@AlexNoelleCov) January 21, 2015

"I have no more campaigns to run. I know, because I won both of them." pic.twitter.com/HwdpDZ5tVi

— Also Connor (@alsoconnor) January 21, 2015

"I know because I won both of them" pic.twitter.com/lnNDgO8RDh

— Jason Gallagher (@jga41agher) January 21, 2015

CRINE. “@swalks: This is how my mom is watching The State of the Union #noBoehner pic.twitter.com/4FZ11ftDqq

— shakarra.com (@ShakarraPR) January 21, 2015

When Obama said "I know, cause I won both of them" pic.twitter.com/vOco0JpQtl

— George Thotstanza (@etfp) January 21, 2015

RT @jamrockstar: Here are the @pantone colors for Speaker Boehner's face. #sotu pic.twitter.com/EtsCtosx0T

— Jared Spool (@jmspool) January 21, 2015

"Coachella will go back to one weekend, b/c come on son" – Obama

— Rembert Browne (@rembert) January 21, 2015

MEGHAN: DAD THIS IS MY BOYFRIEND RAHMEEK DAD: pic.twitter.com/j28ILymAdI

— The Kid Mero (@THEKIDMERO) January 21, 2015

this was by far the most bisexual speech in american politics to date #sotu

— millennial slacker (@sadmillennium) January 21, 2015

Obama wink.gif pic.twitter.com/VruDO3g7Vr

— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 21, 2015

And now for the Republican response. #SOTU pic.twitter.com/6XZuglXFp0

— Anti_Intellect (@Anti_Intellect) January 21, 2015



13 Joe Biden Wisdoms That Will Help You Lead Your Best Life

BarackObama.com
BarackObama.com

1. Practice confidence

2. Do what you feel is right

3. Get your shit together (imagine Joe is your Dad and he’s not mad, he’s disappointed)

4. Realize your responsibility in an interconnected world

5. Be more Kanye

6. Stay clean and rad and powerful

7. Pepper your vocabulary with spicy gems

8. Be kind of a dick, but in a fun way

9. Don’t take yourself too seriously, even when everyone else is low key miserable

10. Throw necessary shade

11. No seriously, be a dick

12. Be cheesy, like as cheesy as humanly possible

13. In general: recognize realness, smile a lot, and laugh at all the clown-ass Paul Ryan dicks of this world while you fist bump into the (metaphorical, or literal? call me?) presidential office of your dreams



17 Joe Biden Wisdoms That Will Help You Lead Your Best Life

BarackObama.com
BarackObama.com

1. Practice confidence

2. Do what you feel is right

3. Get your shit together (imagine Joe is your Dad and he’s not mad, he’s disappointed)

4. Realize your responsibility in an interconnected world

5. Be more Kanye

6. Stay clean and rad and powerful

7. Pepper your vocabulary with spicy gems

8. Be kind of a dick, but in a fun way

9. Don’t take yourself too seriously, even when everyone else is low key miserable

10. Throw necessary shade

11. No seriously, be a dick

12. Be cheesy, like as cheesy as humanly possible

13. In general: recognize realness, smile a lot, and laugh at all the clown-ass Paul Ryan dicks of this world while you fist bump into the (metaphorical, or literal? call me?) presidential office of your dreams

http://i.giphy.com/V3qZTyf9v1cOI.gif TC mark



The Girls Who Become Stories

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Shutterstock

There are so many of us. We breathe silently, drifting through folded-down pages. We go unnoticed most of the time, and yet we are always there, hiding in the furthest corner of your mind. 

We are united in the way we exist in past tense.

We are mentioned at cocktail parties, linked with sharp adjectives that paint ugly pictures: Crazy. Cold. Heartless. We are the best punchlines and the greatest of dares.

Myths are born this way — you forget how the story ends, so you decide to write your own final chapter. You remember the details wrong, and so we are revised. You skip paragraphs, leaving out the most important pieces. You edit conveniently. We become caricatures of ourselves, forever misrepresented as villains. Your false memories are written in the darkest shade of ink, impossible to change.

It didn’t begin like this. In another life, we were real – we were three-dimensional and alive, immersed in your world. You saw us across from coffee shop tables, knew the sound of our laugh, could spot our hair underneath knit caps from the other side of the room. We were yours, we existed in technicolor. But stories don’t always end the way we want them to, and sometimes colors fade into empty puffs of white and grey. You struggle to swallow the last sentence, so you erase it completely, replacing it with something more satisfying. Something you can stomach.

Then, we become the girls who are used as scapegoats. We serve as excuses when excuses are needed; we continue to be the reason why things don’t work out. History repeats itself, and we are easiest to condemn. It is simpler to point fingers at the past than it is to deal with the reality of the present.  We’ve become invisible, and so we cannot rise to our own defense. We are helpless against theories that masquerade as truth.

We are the girls who become the stories that you tell over and over. You tell them because they’re cinematic. They’re fascinating. Our ears ring continuously, burning with awareness of your narration.

And so, we become immortal; we live on forever through your anecdotes. We are resurrected every time our stories are told, transforming into characters that are universal and timeless. As long as you continue to speak our names, we are eternally bound to continue our haunting, solidifying the ending you prefer. This way, you will always have us to blame. This way, you never have to face the actual truth. TC mark 



Don’t Let Him Break Your Heart

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Shutterstock

You’ll meet him in on the most unexpected night. The kind of night where you take as little time as possible to get ready. You’ll wear your favorite simple dress, your go-to dress, for the nights you just don’t want to fuss over anything. With light makeup and barely brushed hair, you’ll hurriedly set out for the night, running late as always.

You’ll walk into the bar where your friends are, your eyes nervously darting around. Why is it always so nerve-wrecking coming into a place by yourself? You’ll waste no time sending your friends that “Here” text so you don’t look like you’re on your own. You’ll decide to do a lap around the place when they don’t text you back right away. You’ll see a boy, a man, who notices you. And you notice him too; you’re too afraid to smile. You’ve seen him before. But this time you share a moment, if only for a few seconds. Suddenly you see your friends. And just like that, the moment passes.

But you both know it was a moment.

No sooner than you sit down, you run to the bathroom but not because you need it but to check yourself in the mirror. You’ll curse at yourself for not taking more time to get ready. You’ll practice your smile in the mirror. You’ll leave the restroom and there he is, talking to one of your friends.

He’ll introduce himself and say that he thinks you’ve met; you’ll agree. But something about tonight is different. Something about you and him being there so unexpectedly, fills you with great expectations all of a sudden. You stay out late, you talk, you listen, you dance, you laugh. And just like that, you like him. You know you’re not supposed to like anyone that quickly but you like him anyway. And you kiss him and he kisses you over and over again. You say good night.

But you can’t sleep.

For you liking someone is both hard and easy. Easy because you don’t believe in checklists or sweating the small stuff or letting the details get in the way. You believe in the person and that’s why it’s also hard. You know that the person should be rare and spectacular. You know that it either is or it isn’t. There is no in between.

You like him and you know it, and when you do, none of the rules matter. You call him, you text him, you want to see him. He has taken a firm place in your thoughts. You find him interesting and captivating and possibly someone you can care for; someone who can teach you things, and that you can have fun with, and that you can share the scary details of your life with, that few people know. And you want to know all his secrets too. You barely know him but you want all these things with him.

Falling for someone is beautiful.

But you see him less than you want; you talk about seeing each other more than you actually do. When you’re together, it’s great, and when you’re not, you wonder. Days go by, then weeks, then months, and as they do, the space of uncertainty between the two of you grows. You know you still want him but does he like you as much as you like him? Does he even still like you at all?

Maybe somewhere deep inside you, you know the answers to these difficult questions, maybe you’re overthinking it. Maybe it’s time to walk away from something that was never meant to be or was never even real. Maybe he was not supposed to be different after all. Maybe he’s not what you thought he would be, and the two of you will just never be what you could be. Maybe you don’t need him like you think you need him. The maybe’s are endless. But know that you are stronger for taking a chance; for leaping, for trying to give someone you heart. Know that any and all pain you feel is temporary. Know that your heart is still in tact.

Let go of him and don’t let him break your heart…anymore. TC mark


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I Grew Up With A Psychic Ability, It Was Okay Until Something Terrible Happened To My Mom

Flickr, Merve illeux
Flickr, Merve illeux

Things are not always what they seem, and people are not always who they appear to be.

The first time I can remember it happening, I was in kindergarten. Back to the days of Velcro strap shoes, back to the days of snack times and care free, mindless classwork; back to Mrs. Longwood. Never can I forget her face when I close my eyes, the long, red hair with those big green doe eyes that can just melt a heart. She left an impression that we could never forget even if we tried.

Mrs. Longwood was young, on the side of 25 young and probably fresh out of her teaching degree, though I wouldn’t have suspected until I was much older. She was also freshly married by the looks of it and still briskly moving through the honeymoon stage, sometimes adding a collection of new lovey-dovey photos to her desk featuring her and a tan, tall, muscular husband that she never spoke of during class time. She had a love and appreciation for what she did and you could tell the kids just shone in her eyes, like we had become a part of her.

Halfway through my kindergarten school year, we were laughing and squealing as we told jokes during snack-time and that same tan, tall, and muscular man arrived in the doorway with a small bouquet of flowers. Mrs. Longwood rose to her feet and strode across the front of the classroom, blushing a bit but grinning with her teeth showing. A beautiful smile. Many of the children were being boisterous and focusing on their friends and snacks but I watched every movement.

There was a strange, red glow coming from her husband. I had to blink twice to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.

After the incident with the bouquet of flowers, Mr. Longwood hadn’t snuck into the classroom for months and our teacher’s once-peppy grin slid off of her face until it was completely replaced with a sad frown. The kindergarten teacher we had grown to love was coming into class a few moments late, frazzled, completely undone with less fun things planned and less jokes to share with the class. It was easy to see that our lovely teacher was going through something truly horrible and beneficial to her sudden unhappiness. Within a few weeks, she was showing up to class with her hair out of its usual ponytail and the bruises under her hairline were visible when she would lean forward to help a child in class. Her long sleeved shirts would sometimes hike up along the edges to reveal more bruises and the awful story they told as I aged and realized what had happened to my teacher.

One day Mrs. Longwood came into class and the red glow about her was tantalizing. In one day she had gone from dull, lifeless, pale, and almost sickly to a vibrant red that filled the room with light – but nobody aside from me noticed.

Our kindergarten teacher didn’t show up to school the next day, or the day after that – and pretty soon, we were assigned a new kindergarten teacher. In a few years, I found out the truth. Mrs. Longwood had killed her abusive husband on her last day teaching us, and taken off to another country where her whereabouts were unknown.


I didn’t necessarily understand the powers of the red glow until I was ten years old, in fourth grade, and our father fell victim to the bottle. My little sister Sydney was merely five years old and didn’t quite understand the sudden trauma to our parent’s relationship. Even I had trouble understanding, as it seemed things were going swimmingly and then BAM! Overnight, everything fell to pieces.

Our father started staying out late nights after his work in construction and I’d hear my mother mindlessly pacing downstairs until he made it home past midnight, according to my bedside alarm clock. When he got home, most of the time harsh whispers would be exchanged and I’d make out the occasional, “What would your kids think if they knew what was going on with you?” with the backlash in return: “I don’t give a fuck, Martine, I need someplace to get away.”

After a few weeks of this and barely seeing my father, the one who used to plant kisses on our foreheads before bed and lull us to sleep with a good bedtime story, I noticed the red glow. It was faint at first but it grew in size until our father was drowning in it. Things gradually declined until he was banging through cupboards when he came home, and making my mother scream with his harsh slaps to her face.

Then one day, I looked out the window and I watched the red glow, what was left of my father, hop inside his old, beat up BMW and pull out of the driveway. I watched the red glow back out of the driveway and pull all the way down the road, never looking back. And then the red glow disappeared and it never returned.


When I turned sixteen, life was well torn-apart and the remains of what was left over were sitting around me like burnt ruins. The best thing to come into my life, OUR lives at this time, was my mother’s new boyfriend, Derrick. He was the turn-around of all things in our lives that had led to failure and let us down. A shining star in a burning building, somebody sent to save our lives.

My mother’s relationship with her new boyfriend extended past the realm of “things are getting serious” and in less than a year, wedding arrangements were being made and my little life as a teenager was full of joy as I realized I would be getting an amazing father and my mother would forever be happy. But as time progressed, my mother was seemingly becoming more nervous and rushing to perfect things in a way that didn’t seem normal to me.

“Mom?” I asked one day as I pushed open her bedroom door. “You seem extremely stressed. I want to be able to help you…”

As I flicked on the light to demolish the dim one already lighting up a small section of her bedroom, I noticed the red glow. But instead of it overtaking my mother’s small frame, it was settled upon her stomach area. She glanced up at me and she lied straight to my face, I knew, as she told me that everything was fine and it was just wedding stress.

Two weeks later she told me that she and Derrick were three months pregnant already and expecting a new child.

As unsurprised as I was, I attempted to act the part. Not only that, but I was super excited for my parent and one new parent-to-join. I had some mixed, strange feelings about things but as I watched my mother’s stomach swell, I realized I had to shake them aside and deal with it in my own way. I felt like it was my mind’s way of telling me that I had adjustment issues to conquer in my own life and not let it affect what I had with my loved ones. But there was that lingering feeling that something was just off….and as her stomach swelled, the red glow grew larger and larger.

When my mother was six months pregnant, she woke up one morning to a near-empty house as Derrick had already left for work and I was the only one there on a Saturday morning. She was screaming bloody murder and as I rushed to her side to assist her, she grabbed ahold of my shirt’s throat and pulled me close to her. The words fell out of her mouth like spit and sent a rush through my heart: “The baby is coming, and it’s coming NOW.”

I offered to call 9-1-1 and clutched the phone in my hand ready to go, but my mother shook her head and said they would take too long, and that this was urgent…my head swam as she screamed at me in a way I had never imagined her to do, and told me that I would have to help her deliver the baby and that she could do this; that she’s done it before.

As she pushed, I grabbed her hand and held on tight, hoping for the best. I tried dialing Derrick but received no answer as my mother screamed in the background, “Just HELP ME!!” in a manner that both shattered my ears and made my blood run cold. She sounded as if the life had escaped her.

And then with her last push, I heard the tear.

Her skin was splitting open in the stomach area.

The baby’s eyes shot open with a fury as its hands escaped the womb and swung wildly, searching for its way out of my mother’s body and into my arms. I backed myself up into the corner as my mother’s last breath and horrid screams escaped from her lips and she collapsed into the puddle of blood left behind.

The glow escaped her body and the baby emerged as it fell out onto the floor with a sickening, “Plop!”


I know they always tell you that evil doesn’t exist, and nobody can be born that way – only made that way. But as Derrick rushed through the door and saw me backed into the corner, stricken and rocking back and forth as I watched the baby curl up to my mother and attempt to nurse for the first time, his face revealed exactly how he felt about his new son.

“Do you see it?” he asked me as he grabbed the largest kitchen knife possible in his hands.

“Do..D-do I see what?” I questioned, catching my breath for the first time in minutes.

“The glow…that red glow.”

“Yeah, I see it…” I responded, my voice trailing off into oblivion.

He steadied the knife in his hands and I closed my eyes. I couldn’t watch. TC mark

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There’s A Monster Under Your Bed

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.24.32 PM
Caterina Appia

A recent episode of Doctor Who suggested that there’s a very real reason why we’re all afraid of the dark – that there might actually be something under our beds. This something has evolved to be the ideal “hider.” It exists alongside us, it affects our world. The Doctor suggests that this is the reason why we sometimes talk to ourselves when we’re alone – because on an instinctual level we know that there’s something there, something listening.

This is a perfect example of a myth that’s telling us the truth. There is a monster that’s under your bed. And it’s something hidden and scary and dangerous. But of course you know I’m not talking about your actual bed. I’m talking about your mind.

Underneath your thoughts and feelings and hopes and fears is something that lurks. If you’ve suffered from serious emotional trauma, or from addiction, or have spent some time investigating your own issues, you might have some idea of what I’m talking about. You might not think of it as a monster – it might be a place like a dark room or a black hole where you’ll lose yourself – either way, it’s something dark and scary and powerful.

If none of this makes sense to you, then you’re one of the lucky ones who has never had to face the pain that’s deep, deep down inside you. In some ways that’s a good thing, if pain is something you have to avoid, but in others it can be harmful because that monster might be controlling you without you knowing it.

This monster is the embodiment of your true fears. The ones that lie underneath those superficial ones you deal with regularly, like a fear of getting hurt or commitment or letting go or taking risks, or your propensity for violence. The actual monster sits deeper. It’s the devil, not the demons. It might be that you’re unlovable or not special or that you’ll be abandoned or that the black hole of insanity will consume you.

If you’ve spied the devil or sat in that black hole, I’m here to tell you: you’re not imagining it. This thing/place has been represented in stories since the beginning of story-telling, all over the world. It’s a dragon, it’s Medusa, it’s Dracula, it’s a werewolf or Satan or Hell or Cthulhu.

The bad news is, you’re not going to be able to defeat it or get rid of it – as the myths tell us, its power is too great for us mortals. That’s why we rejoice about stories where the hero beats the overwhelming bad guy – it gives us hope. It’s also why the stories are fictional.

The good news is, you don’t have to defeat this monster or collapse a black hole: though it seems the most alien, this is the part of you that’s most human. It’s as scary as hell, but without it, you simply wouldn’t be a person. This monster exists, I think, in virtue of the levels of consciousness we have evolved – a necessary consequence of our minds. In other words, it’s pointless to try and get rid of it, so you can save that energy.

The other good news is that your mind is designed specifically to make sure you never fully confront that monster in the open. To do this, your mind will convince you it doesn’t exist, it’ll make you have a drink to anesthetise your awareness of it – it’ll employ any number of things so that you avoid facing its terrible power.

Usually, those who are close to this darkness find more and more inventive ways to avoid it. This is denial. This is addiction. This is the parts of your life you feel like you can’t control or patterns you keep repeating and hate yourself for repeating. Why do you keep doing it and still hate yourself? Because there’s a part of you that knows this pattern is not a true part of you, it’s just the way you avoid confronting the darkness.

So then, if you have a part of you, a shadow that could consume you, a darkness whose power’s unfathomable, what can you do to make sure it doesn’t (continue to) take over your life without you realising?

Funnily enough, I heard the answer the other day on the radio. Rhianna sang, “I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed; get along with the voices inside of my head.” This is very basic way of saying that you’re willing to engage with the monster. So while we might understand this intellectually, actually sharing a space with this monster is necessarily scary. And not in a theoretical way. In an ‘I’m-losing-my-mind’ way where you will sweat or cry or panic or run away. Don’t be ashamed of these things; the monster is real.

And so we need to take it slowly; it’s a lifetime of discovery. In mythology when a person is facing a great enemy, what happens? They accept the challenge is real. They train. They find a guide/mentor. They suffer/sacrifice. They might fail at first. Andif the person wins, we discover the enemy is never a completely malicious being. Darth Vader. Agent Smith. Dracula. Voldemort. In fact, the reason monsters are scary is because they represent the parts of us we want to turn away from: the monsters under your bed.

So the next time you find yourself doing things you regret, you hate – recognize that a very personal fear is behind it. Even if you don’t know what you’re afraid of, acknowledge that the monster is real. Then keep at it. Find a guide. Explore middle earth or space or the ocean: the undiscovered wilderness of your thoughts and feelings. And if you ever spy that monster or feel it lurking close, remember that you can’t kill it, but maybe one day you might get to know it so well that fear of it doesn’t control your life. TC mark



Atheist And Gym Bro Hamilton Nolan Thinks Churches Should Also Be Mosques Because Diversity

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via Flickr – Colin Chen

Last week Duke University was forced to renege on its promise to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer from atop the university’s Christian chapel when Duke alumni and various North Carolinians strongly protested. Some, predictably, voiced their protests in a disgusting manner. Others did not.

Instead, the call to prayer was played over a small speaker from the chapel’s steps on the 16th as Muslims and many non-Muslim supporters, who will probably be present in fewer numbers this and every Friday after, observed the event. Muslim worshippers were then free to worship in a room in the chapel building as they have been for a while now but not in the actual Christian sanctuary which is reserved for Christian religious services and not the religious services of other religions.

There are currently seven mosques and Islamic centers in Raleigh-Durham. One of them is the Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center which is over 50 years old and currently in the middle of a fundraiser to build a new center. It also happens to be on the periphery of Duke’s sprawling campus, a 3 minute drive from the edge of Duke’s property, .9 miles away. It is very close. This is, of course, not to say that Muslims should not have a place to worship of their very own on campus. If they’d like to then they absolutely should. I for one think that would be great and I imagine campus Muslims and non-Muslims would agree.

There’s something important about having your own space to worship in which brings me to Atheist and Gym Bro Hamilton Nolan who, last Friday, wrote an angry and nonsensical diatribe against Duke University’s decision not to move toward a co-worship model at the university’s historical chapel. It seems that almost no one but people who don’t use the chapel for worship felt co-worship was appropriate. Let’s go through some of his more concrete points together because I think they are commonly adhered to among those that call themselves Progressives but who are, in reality, globalists who adhere to a corporately manufactured idea of what integration should look like. Full disclosure, I have a nearly abandoned blog known as The American Progressive because I generally consider myself to be politically progressive in the vein of Teddy Roosevelt.

1. Unity, to Hamilton, means lack of difference. It also means hating Southerners.

If you take Duke at its word, it is a school now committed to canceling or erasing anything that does not have the effect of “unifying” its campus, which is populated in large part by upper class Southern bros and bro-ettes.

Duke was founded by Wesleyan Methodists in 1838. It is a private school and is, like any good school, secular in the way it approaches teaching. It’s not a “Christian school.” The ties are there though and the chapel specifically is completely Christian. Here’s a schedule of their services. There is not one non-Christian event on the schedule for the month of January, or February, or March. The reason for that is because Duke Chapel is a church. Even though it’s a pseudo spiritual center for the school in some amorphous way it’s still a church first.

Hamilton believes that, in order for Duke to be a unifier, churches must move towards becoming mosques which would have the added effect of making them less like churches. People need to become less like they want to be and more like something not many people seem to want to be, neither Christian nor Muslim nor Jew, as in heaven.

2. Hamilton lives down the street from a mosque, possibly has a Black friend too.

I live down the street from a mosque that broadcasts the call to prayer daily. You barely even notice it. It’s not a big deal, guys. It’s certainly no worse than having to endure the sight of Easter hats.

Note that the daily call to prayer comes from a mosque and not a church. Also note that Hamilton neither attends daily prayer at this mosque nor does he got to a church. He barely even notices it, it’s just cultural background to him and it’s “not a big deal.”

Well, I guess some Christians love those Easter hats and that’s their prerogative no matter how ridiculous I think they look. It’s also a church’s prerogative not to play the Muslim call to prayer from their bell tower.

Hamilton’s anecdotal experience about what is and isn’t a big deal doesn’t matter. He’s not invested in either faith but he knows what both faiths should do, apparently. He has strong opinions on things that do not effect him or his freedoms much like those persons screaming outside abortion clinics.

3. Specific religious spaces at private institutions are racist and cowardly. Believing otherwise is ignorant.

What have we learned from all of this? An honest reading of the facts of this case tell us that: 1) Duke University does not support Christianity and Islam equally; 2) Muslim students at Duke University should feel discriminated against not only by the religious idiots who populate North Carolina, but also by their own University. They should feel discriminated against because they are discriminated against; and most importantly, 3) Duke University will cower and fold in face of intense vitriol and hatred. Hatred and vitriol work. Duke University will not stand up for marginalized groups. Duke University will cower in fear of damage to itself and its own reputation, and will give in to the most ignorant elements of its own community before it will stand up and do something that might require the tiniest bit of backbone or belief in the principles that it so cheaply espouses on paper.

That last bit is my favorite, “so cheaply espouses on paper.” You can just see his jowls flinging spittle everywhere, the people sitting around him slowly moving away.

Duke University’s values are such that they are a historically Methodist school that accepts every kind of person from all over the world. They have a chapel on campus which is a church. It remains a church. Allowing a church to continue to exist on a private, historically Methodist campus is, to Hamilton, discrimination. Apparently the history of Duke’s affiliation with the Methodist church has been a secret, the chapel has been covered over and the Christian services it has conducted since 1932 have only now been revealed.

This was all apparently hidden from non-Christian students prior to applying to the school and being accepted for classes.

Note that Duke has a Jewish Center on campus. For some reason there are no Jews demanding the Chapel become a Jewish center and there are no Christians demanding the Jewish center become a church. It’s completely uncanny.

This is what is called co-existence with difference. It’s a mainstay of liberal ideology. Hamilton rejects it.

4. All Southerners are racists

Anything else, if you think about it—anything that threatens the settled beliefs of Southern racists—could pose a danger of not “unifying” the student body, which now seems to be against Duke’s code of conduct.

Many Southerners are racists. Many people are racists. Hamilton Nolan lives in New York CIty. New York City is many things, it is also racist. In fact, it is the only city in the country where discrimination of minorities by law enforcement has recently been a matter of public policy via stop and frisk.

It is a city where the population will keep you from building an Islamic community center on private property because of bigotry and fear.

It’s also a place where you can get murdered by police on the streets for having sold loose cigarettes in the past.

It’s a troubled city but Southerners, Southerners are terrible like the bogeymen of old.

5. A lot of people agree with Hamilton

Many people are atheists or agnostics and do not like religion. Specifically, they do not like Christianity. They have read books about religion and Christianity and don’t see any reason why the call to prayer being played from the top of an operating Christian chapel might be offensive or worrisome. They think this because they do not care about religion and think that religious people should also not care about religion. They also may not go to Duke University and so they have no trouble telling others what they ought to do. They have read about religion and therefore understand all religions. They understand them better than the religious do.

There is this person who has had the enlightened realization that private institutions cost money.

“I think it was money,” said Matthew Wiseman, a graduate student in religious studies who stood near the chapel entrance along with throngs of other students. “There were donors who threatened to stop supporting the university.”

Indeed, these donors, these shadowy monied figures, are likely Christians. They are not simply donors. They are the people who allow the school to continue to exist. They are the people whose dollars enable the school do what it does, to provide an environment where a religious studies major who may not even be religious can have a fine staff under which to learn. But no, these persons believe it must be about money. It cannot be from a deeply held belief because beliefs they deem to be incorrect cannot be deeply held and are therefore invalid.

This is a borderline fundamentalist way to think. It is a way of thinking that knows best and that wants to tell groups of people what to do. It is stupefying that atheists or agnostics, many of whom think very little of religion and religious people, would care so much about whether or not the call to prayer is sung or played from the top of Duke Chapel. It’s almost as if this has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with sticking it to Christians who they may have animosity for as a group. That would be hypocritical and bigoted but Gawker is no stranger to hypocritical bigotry.

These non-religious people who are very concerned about Duke Chapel may have theories about what to do with this animosity they have and many of these theories may involve banning things or getting rid of things or not allowing things. This is all in the name of unification of course because people can only be unified by changing them from who they are into people they are not and may never wish to be.

But none of the above should come as a surprise. These are the same “progressives” that think tax policies are the primary ill crushing the middle class and the country when it’s actually outsourcing of labor to third world countries that has hollowed out the working class. Still they talk of equitable taxation and labor standards when all the money jobs have been shipped across the ocean. They are wise in their Clinton corporatism and have faith in a U.S. consumerism based on Asian brutality and neo-slavery. At one time they would have been called bourgeois.

This, all of it, is called irony. It is not called Progressivism. TC mark