Why I hate YA novels…but still read them.

Okay, this isn’t the most serious topic, but sometimes you just gotta blow off steam.

I don’t know if the people who read this blog are really the type to read Young Adult or Teen novels, but some of you watch anime, and that’s kind of the same crowd, so…

When I was younger, I didn’t really read these books, I actually hardly read any teen novels till I was already almost an adult. My mother wouldn’t have let me, to be honest.

I barely got to read Christian Romance novels. And those were mostly horrid.

I couldn’t even tell you the first teen novel I read now, that’s how little it stuck with me, they are more my sister’s thing anyway.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the genre, it’s usually some type of romance, coupled wither with fantasy, action, or horror like plots, but they are more vanilla than the adult counterparts…but usually still pretty bad.

For whatever reasons, Twilight made vampires and werewolves a popular part of teen fiction, and so are witches, and fantasy things.

Or you have your typical high school story about popularity and being yourself.

A lot of YA novels are set around adult characters, but they still act like teenagers.

And most romance stories, even for older women, follow the exact same tropes as teen novels…but with more sex.

The whole hting disgusts me.

The only ones I generally read are fantasy ones that sound interesting plot wise until you actually read them, and it’s just more tropes and angst.

When I was still a teenager, I got a good look at how teens write because I joined this online forum called the Young Writer’s Workshop.

The stories I read there were total garbage for the most part, a few might have had potential.

What I found disappointing was that they were all exactly the same. I could understand bad writing from inexperienced writers, if it was in every genre, and had some diversity…but all the books had the same style, themes, and ideas in them.

I was shocked. My own writing had never resembled anything like this at all, even at its worst. I had more originally when I was 8 than these stories usually had.

And I’m not saying that just to brag. My early attempts at writing were not good, but I was at least trying to come up with my own story.

I’m aware that these young author probably did come up with the ideas themselves, they just executed them in the same way.

And I think I know why, most of what teens read now is either fan fiction, romance , or teen novels. They don’t read classics, or philosophy, or non fiction.

I grew up reading all of that, I was homeschooled. I knew C. S. Lewis’s writing better than I knew J. K. Rollings. And that’s not even a teen novel.

I have attempted to write some of these tee story plots in the past, I find them kind of interesting as a premise. A lot of the ideas have potential, if you don’t take them too seriously.

A lot of stories, for example, try to use fairy tale races to explore racial problems in our own world. The Hunger Games famously tried to reflect back our society’s superficial obsession with entertainment, no matter how morally bankrupt it is.

But the Hunger Games annoyed fans most when it became the most like a teen novel, and focused on a love triangle and teen drama when it could have focused on the more important elements.

There’s this assumption in teen or YA fiction that teenagers are not going to care about a story unless there’s some drama in it. That they are incapable of higher thought,, and higher aspirations, we just want to date and dress up and play games, and maybe save the world on the side.

A lot of teens buy into this.

When I was 12-13, my mom was encouraging me to read books like “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris, and “A Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens” by Shannon Brookes. Books that told me that the teen years are a time to prepare for bigger things. That I could still take them seriously.

That had me trying to start my own ministry and teach people while I was still in high-school.

I didn’t succeed, but I learned a lot form trying and failing. I learned how hard it is to inspire people, and how hard it is to make them believe in something. And that coordination is difficult, and so is organizing something.

I also learned that people rarely take teenagers seriously when they say they want to do something serious.

I’m now in my 20s, and still getting disrespected by older people for being young. My generation is not looked highly upon…but then when are young people ever looked highly upon by older people? You’ll find accounts of older people knocking the younger generation in every part of history books.

I like what the Bible says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,” I live by that.

Anyway, to get back to my point, books aimed at people my age or a little younger, are really, really insulting.

To be fair, a lot of teens I knew in high-school were just about as basic as these books made them out to be, a lot were angry too. And would get mad at me if I said that things should be different.

I think I wasn’t that good at delivery back then, I was young and immature too. And while I’m not old enough yet to have all the perception of old age, I’m old enough to know better than I used to. I can now present myself much more clearly and politely.

However, I don’t think my lack of social grace was the real problem back then, teens don’t really notice that as much as adults do. You have to be old enough to expect to be treated with some amount of respect, before you get offended over it (think about that for a second.)

I think it was just I was raised a different way. And they couldn’t understand me, and I couldn’t understand the pressures of their lives. Now that I’ve been to college and gotten a taste of it…I frankly still don’t see the appeal, but I do understand the social pressure to blend in more. People are vicious when you don’t agree with them, and the younger they are the less they have empathy about it.

I’m so glad I was homeschooled, to be honest. I see what my public schooled cousins go through and I’m relieved I didn’t have to deal with it till I was an adult.

But even with those problems, the stories we feed kids are not helping anything.

I mean if all we give them to think about are superficial, light stories, that is all they will think about.

You know while I’ve been fasting this month, I’ve been thinking about all the ways we distract ourselves in the West.

What makes us different from other parts of the world–though not completely different– is how many ways we can distract ourselves.

We all can afford it, subscriptions, splurges, junk food. all of it. Even the poorest people in our society still have phones, often enough. And TV.

Despite what critics of our country like to say, we don’t really have it so much better than everyone else. I mean, as a whole we do, but within that framework, a lot of us don’t have easy lives. For personal as well as community reasons. You don’t have to be poor to suffer, and wealth doesn’t get your happiness. Just makes you run out of excuses for being unhappy faster.

Teens in the West don’t have easy lives, but they do have over-saturated ones. Over saturated with corruption, propaganda and lust, and vanity.

Every prosperous nation has turned into a corrupted one, in history. People get cocky whey they don’t have to live day by day to survive.

I know that I’m a part of all this, but at least I’m aware of it.

And the books we write, and read, and make movies out of, they feed this.

Our entertainment quality is plunging every year. “Representation” has replaced original, deep plots and the message of personal fulfillment has replaced any other message of meaning in life.

There are a few gems here and there that defy this, but they are getting fewer all the time. When I find them I want to re-watch and reread them over and over.

One thing I thought while I was viewing the 90s X-Men show was just how different they wrote heroes back then. It’s only been about 30 years since the first season dropped.

In 30 years, most of these characters would have just been angsty, morally grey individuals. Who would all question if what they were dong was worth it, and be mildly or heavily depressed. Even the live action movies veered more that way, and most of them weren’t made that much later than the show, until the reboots, which are somehow less depressing than the old ones, but also less well acted, so…

( I still like them better, but I like happy stuff.)

Watching that show was like going back in time, I can just barely remember from when I was a kid, shows and movies that used to try to make character real. They had emotions that weren’t all angst and sadness and anger and doubt. They had diversity of worldview’s, and unlike now, they could explain why they did.

I’ve written before about the lack of strong ideology in movies now, how good characters can’t defend goodness as well as evil characters defend evil.

I may be nuts, but I think it’s deliberate, it happens too often to not be on purpose. I think that Hollywood wants us to see goodness and hope as emotional, weak position that people hold just because they refuse to give up. And all of us root for because we prefer it to the alternative.

But the evil position is what really makes sense, and has factual evidence to back it up, and we just prefer no to face reality.

Movies and anime tell you that you don’t want reality, you want entertainment. You want sexualized content, and fluffy feelings, and drama. You don’t want something real.

You’re weird, in fact, if you don’t like that.

Funny, all the Youtubers I watch express disgust with this very aspect of media when they review movies and shows. They yearn for meaning. Even the ones who make fun of it the most.

Even Nux Taku, a rather famous anime YouTuber who likes hentai, openly, will get into the deeper themes of something, even when, in my opinion, they aren’t really there.

We like to find meaning.

Hollywood knows how to get people to watch things that are garbage just because it checks the right boxes for them, and book novelists know how to get teens and young adults to read their material by luring them in with superficial appeal.

But I for one get tried of the lack of depth. What’s the point of this stuff?

I know, someone is going to say “But it’s just for fun, to relax.”

And, I get it. I want that sometimes too, just a dumb movie or book to read.

That’s okay once in a whle.

But I’m talking about all the time, like, kids who never read anything else, or watch anythig else.

I was surprised entering highschool not only by what people did watch or read, but what they didn’t.

I had a huge library of books and movies I liked that no one else had ever heard of except other homeschoolers. And I was flabbergasted. Why would you only read one kind of thing?

But that’s how it was. The brainwashing worked.

I don’t think it worlds completely though. Some people still want depth, and if introduced to better things, will learn to like them. I have hope.

My concern is those people are fewer and fewer the more saturated we are in the bad stuff. We don’t foster that trait in people, it makes them harder to please, and for such a commercialized culture, we need people to be convinced to buy things, not think about them.

Because of how I was raised, I actually avoid products I see advertised. I have an aversion to commercials and ads, they make me not want to buy something. I prefer to read reviews by real people. The few times I’ve broken that streak, I didn’t like the result.

I won’t say it’s wrong to listen to ads, a few are probably true, I’m saying it’s unwise to be so pliable.

Once you learn how to see when people are buying and selling you something, you become a lot harder to fool.

I think I got off topic.

But all this is really on topic. Teen novels are just a product of what I’m describing. Buying and selling a lifestyle and moral standard to teens that is so much less than what they are capable of.

Teens have shaped history many times, most important historical figures started what they did in their teens. There are exceptions, but it’s not the rule.

We are capable of high thought, and high achievements…and yet we soak up this superficiality, like as sponge, and we thing that’s what we re.

It makes me sad.

I take every chance I get to introduce people younger than me, or my age, to deeper ideas. Sometimes I think I’m getting somewhere, other times I think I’m not.

But we have to try, adults. It’s a worse sin not to try, than to try and fail. Some of them are bound to get it, they are still human.

That one thing to remember too, teens and young adults may be exposed to a lot of crap, and dumbed down by society, but they are still human beings. Humans can change, grow, and adapt, that’s what makes us human.

You can be brought down to the level of a slug, but the same person can be elevated to a prince or princess. Our state of mind is not set in stone at any point in our lives.

Some people may just be dumb, but I think most of us are just untrained. I’ve seen little glimpses of depth even in the people I thought were mostly shallow in my social circles.

I think it’s getting people to believe that about themselves that’s the trick, and to care about it. WE all want meaning, deep down, but most of us hide from that desire and pretend it’s not there.

I’m not writing this to put down teens or young people, by any means, I still am a young person. I just know I’ve been blessed to have the chance to see all this at an early age. I started this blog for that exact reason, to inspire younger people to look for depth and truth in whatever areas we can.

You see embracing that is the key to wisdom in life. A wise person learns from everything around them, whatever is available, they can even learn form total trash, if they try. A foolish person avoids learning as much as they can. And they accomplish very little in life.

I know I am fighting an uphill battle, that people often don’t really want to be wise…but this is what I’ve got. This is what I do. I pray it resonates with someone out there.

Maybe that’s why I keep reading these books, I’m looking for signs of hope. That other people are trying, and looking, and succeeding.

One author I could recommend is Megan Morrison. She’s modern, but I have found all her books to have depth that shocks me, considering what I usually see in that genre. They hold up. The best one is “Grounded” which is just a better version of Tangled, if you ask me. (I like Tangled too, but this book is so full of imagination and depth that a short movie just can’t capture.)

I guess all this sounds a bit sentimental, but I don’t know, why do any of us teach or inspire if not to try to raise people up to a higher level? It’s frustrating, but the most rewarding when you succeed.

They say being an artist is hard, but being a teacher has to be the hardest job in the world just about for high risks and low rewards. Along with being a pastor, probably.

So in summary:

  1. I hate these books because they are shallow
  2. I read them to find hidden gems
  3. I think we need to expect more of young people
  4. I think we need to expect more of ourselves

I guess that wraps it up, until next time, stay honest–Natasha

Lyrics
Well I was young
Well I was young and naive
Because I was told
Because I was told, so I believed
I was told there’s only one road that leads me home
And the truth was a cave, on the mountain side
And I’d seek it out ’til the day I die
I was bound
I was bound and determined
To be the child
To be the child that you wanted
And I was blind to every sign that you left for me to find
And the truth became a tool, that I held in my hand
And I wielded it but did not understand
I was tired of giving more than you gave to me
And I desired a truth I wouldn’t have to seek
But in the silence I heard you calling out to me

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A gamble–analysis of Gambit’s character in X-Men

Someone actually requested I write this, that’s a first.

And I’m happy to oblige.

Like I said in my post about Rogue, check it out here if you haven’t: When you know you’ll hurt people who love you…, I hadn’t heard of Gambit before watching this show.

At first I didn’t think I’d like him, I’ve seen the flirty, player boy character one too many times on shows and movies to really be into it anymore.

But as with the other characters, this show surprised me by making him seem real, and likable, and he’s actually my second favorite male character.

I’d have to rank the characters as:

Rogue

Wolverine

Gambit

Storm

Beast

And of course, Nightcrawler holds a special place in my heart as the two time side character. It’s impressive how characters that show up only twice in the whole show were still iconic to fans, that’s some good writing.

Suck it Avatar. We don’t need to make them almost die to be relevant.

(Kidding, I like Avatar too, guys. I just don’t like Jet…)

Anyway, so about Gambit.

Full disclose, I’ve never read any X-men comics, I honestly probably won’t just because there’s so many comics, I wouldn’t know where to start to get the really good versions of them and I can’t spend that kind of money hunting through it all. Spiderman was my peak comic book experience. Nothing else has really felt as cool since.

So I have only the show’s limited focus on Gambit to go by.

But the show does a good job with the other characters, so I’m going to assume he’s depicted pretty accurately and analyze him.

I was asked specifically to talk about his hang ups.

Now that be a tricky question, no?

Forgive my poor Cajun accent in writing.

The fact is, like many characters, Gambit is not much for talking about his issues. I think he thinks he’s the strong, silent type.

I actually like that it’s not exactly true, and his idea of himself is probably not actually his character.

Gambit turned out to have a surprisingly soft, compassionate side, even from episode one where he takes it upon himself to protect Jubilee after only just meeting her. He can be a bit too flirty and rude at times to Logan and the others, but he’s always there when they need him.

Ironically, Logan complains about Gambit’s attitude, but acts the same way, must be one of those like forces repel things.

The show doesn’t hint at any thing between Gambit and Rogue until the episode “The Cure” where Logan drops the bomb that Rogue kind of likes him.

Could have fooled me up till then…the show kind of just threw ships at us, but luckily, they were usually likable…usually *cough, JeanxScott is the worst ship *cough.

Well, naturally, Gambit takes that as an invitation to start flirting with Rogue every single scene they’re in together.

Of course she finds it annoying, but secretly charming, because he’s not afraid of her.

I mean, sure, she wants to slap him in that over-confident face sometimes, but, it’s refreshing.

And of course, it leaves us more mature audience members asking ourselves “But why isn’t he afraid?”

It’s not even that Gambit is impervious to the dangers of Rogue’s power, he gets zapped one episode and is kind of mad about it, but it doesn’t stop him from hitting on her afterward.

Oddly enough, he seems to drop the whole issue of being able to touch her at all, and just keeps pushing for a relationship of some sort.

I don’t know if this was stupid or genius on the show’s part, sticking the flirty ladie’s man with the untouchable woman, and saying “hey, this is a great idea!”

My sister says they are kind of a thing in the comics too…I’d say the same irony is there.

I think that some of the appeal to Gambit, might very well be the danger. He seems like that type of guy. Other girls are too easy for him to get, Rogue’s a challenge, both with her power, and with her constant rebuttal, but not quite refusal.

And some men like a challenge, right?

(Wish I could find one)

I think I said this before, but how funny is it that his name is Gambit, and it’s a gambit to try to be close to someone like Rogue.

She’s got a lot of baggage, even if her power wasn’t an issue.

They do get one kiss one time when her power has been neutralized by some device, (it doesn’t last), and Gambit says he loves her, something he never told anyone before, according to him.

This is an interesting detail.

In his backstory episode, some blond b-word claims that Gambit has been with a lot of women

(To which we all say “we know!”)

But “loves only her”…which is not true, but okay, they were engaged once…given that Gambit left her at the alter and ran away, I guess it wasn’t that real.

Maybe he did lover her in a way, but in his words, they were both young, and he was scared.

Well, he sure stepped it up, huh? Went form crazy blond woman to country girl who’s not able to touch people…don’t know if that’s brave or delusional.

I do ship it, for the record, but I mean, anyone ever wonder how in real life this stuff would work?

Gambit at least seems to think that whatever he’s got with Rogue is special.

Rogue however, doesn’t really seem to trust his words. As she continually rebuffs any attempt to get closer to her. She’s willing to sort of date at a distance, but not to commit.

You’d think Gambit would be the one who could commit, but honestly, he seems pretty devoted, all things considered, she’s the one who can’t settle down with the idea.

Gambit lets Rogue have her space, because being a stalker wasn’t cool in the 90s, I take it. But he’s still persistent.

So the question for all of us is, how serious is this guy?

That’ the question about Gambit at all times though. No one in the X-Men really seems to trust his intentions. They all turn on him as soon as Bishop accuse him of assassinating someone. Though Gambit clearly had no plans to do so, and was framed. But the others seem to feel their suspicion was justified, even so, since he never tells them anything about himself.

I mean, if my life history was being part of a gang war/cult that worshiped some forest goddess and paid a weird tithe to her, and almost married the opposition gang’s nut job…I might hesitate to explain that to the X-Men, too.

Though Storm would probably get it, she was worshiped once. Actually, she says she knows Gambit the best, maybe that’s the reason. She feels normal to him.

Rogue stands up for Gambit, but is not especially confident in him.

Gambit is kind of hurt by this, but doesn’t seem to hold it against her so much as he just accepts no one will trust him and he’s on his own.

Actually, Gambit believes in no one and nothing, and doesn’t trust people, as Logan says, or Scott, I forget who was being the biggest prick in that episode.

In the episode with Nightcrawler (which is by far one of the best in the series, I unbiasedly think), Gambit professes that there’s no God and nothing out there for anyone.

I find that funny since he used to pay tribute to a goddess, but then again, maybe he thinks God is indifferent because of that weirdness. That spirit kept them warring against each other, and hurting each other, maybe they’re better off on their own, in his mind.

It’s kind of sad really. Gambit has been burned by his family, as his brother betrayed him and jumped him into the gang. His ex was nuts and tried to off his friends and his brother, and their deity was kind of vindictive…

And then the X-men are suspicious of him too.

Maybe his perspective that he’s a loner makes sense.

So why does he pursue Rogue? Is it because he knows it won’t happen, so he’s essentially alone still?

My theory is that at first, yeah, that probably was it. It was exciting, and there was low emotional risk in his mind because of her “issues” with being close to someone.

I’m trying to think of a PG way to say that they can’t have sex…and I can’t, because I know everyone is thinking it even if I don’t say it.

It is kind of a roadblock though, what is marriage without sex right? And romance for most people has to involve it at some point.

However…

I think Gambit actually fell for Rogue for real along the way.

She is pretty easy to love, even as a fan. I mean, she’s sweet, feisty, and caring, what’s not to like about Rogue. Her crippling insecurity is her biggest problem, but it is understandable, and she’s not what I’d called Toxic over it. Just confused and scared and sad.

I’m surprised Gambit was the only one, honestly, but I guess the show thought Jean was the one who’d have multiple men after her…because she’s got the personality of your average pick me girl in a Wattpad fic…or nay other rom-com…

Go figure.

Actually, it is harder to write a triangle around a girl who’s actually got a personality, because it’s easier to see who’d be a bad match for her, people won’t get behind a ship so easily if the chemistry is in questions. Look at Avatar. The only thing fans complain about is how that show did ships. (For good reason, not a single one has chemistry except possibly Sokka’s.)

Gambit probably just flirted with Rogue at first because, well, that’s what he does. But sometimes you pretend something long enough, you do it for real. Rogue is just easy to like…and then before he knew it, it was real.

That’s my guess as to why he didn’t get bored of it.

I mean think about it, she’s fun to tease, but any man who didn’t really like her would get tired of teasing a girl who he’s never going to be able to get in the you-know-whats of.

But no, it just goes on forever, apparently.

And one has to wonder what point Gambit sees in it, honestly.

I’m not sure he really thinks that hard about it, actually. He seems like a guy who acts more on impulse most of the time, and habit. I get the feeling that in his mind, he likes who he likes, and it don’t matter really what the obstacle or realistic expectations of it are.

But there are moments where he shows a bit more real emotion about Rogue, that indicate he’s not just kidding.

He’s quick to worry about her, quick to notice if anything is bothering her, and quick to get jealous.

Jealous of what, really, what can she do? She can’t cheat on him.

But he seems actually jealous of her affections and attention.

I think it’s interesting.

Rogue raises all kinds of issues about our own insecurity, if we pay attention to her character. And that’s cool, I really like that.

But Gambit raises the question of what really is and isn’t love. What are we really in a relationship for?

You know, the Bible doesn’t give sex as the first reason to institute marriage. That sounds kind of wrong, actually.

I mean, who gets married just so they can have sex.

I really hope no one reading this answered that in the affirmative…

Sure, sex is nice, and important…but it’d be a stupid thing to base your relationship off of.

Honestly, I think it’s great being a virgin and just not having the whole sexual compatibility thing on the table, I get to focus on what really matters, not just hormones.

I’m sure none of us believe Gambit is in that exact position.

But who knows, maybe he’s had enough of superficial relationships, and is realizing they just don’t make you happy, they aren’t real, they don’t satisfy.

Rogue is too much of a challenge to have it not be real, if your’e going to keep pursuing her. Maybe that’s the appeal.

Maybe he likes the idea that someone has his back. It’s rare to find any friends as devoted as the X-men, and Rogue in particular never would abandon a friend. Sometimes to her own detriment, but there it is.

We all like to feel special, Gambit may also find it flattering to be preferred by someone who has no reason to impress anyone. I mean, I can’t lie, it would make me feel pretty special too.

To be honest, I think what makes the ship so interesting is simply that’s it’s not that easy to figure out.

I think that it’s more real, because there’s probably so many factors that could go into it.

The thrill seeking aspect of it is balanced out by there also being a trust aspect.

One line Gambit does say to Rogue that’s interesting is early on when she reminds him, none too politely, that she put someone in a coma the last time she kissed them:

“Maybe it’s worth it, no?” He says, with a very punch-able face, I have to say.

I can’t really blame Rogue for going off in a huff after that.

Still, if you unpack it, isn’t that the question?

Rogue has no self worth whatsoever when it comes to love. She believes she’s not worth anything, no risk, nothing.

I have to wonder, even if she lost her power, would she accept herself? I think she’d still push people away. She’d find some new reason.

I did the same thing. Without my father around to bully me, I found other ways to look down on myself.

Gambit seems like the last person to take love seriously out of the team, but maybe, just maybe, he’s kind of hit on something.

Maybe it is worth it.

He might be cocky, arrogant at times, and often stubborn…but, love isn’t really about being perfect.

It’s not always the most innocent people who actually understand love the best, sometimes if you’re too nice, you can’t accept other people have flaws, and you don’t know how to love them.

Church people know this struggle.

But on the other hand, if you’ve hit the branches on the tree of poor life decisions…then maybe you’re a little easier on people.

I think the show raises the same question to the fans as Rogue has.

Can we really trust Gambit? Is he for real? Or is it just some joke.

Rogue seems convinced she’ll wake up from it one day, and will look foolish for ever trusting it.

Sure she likes him, but she doesn’t want to love him, because she gets hurt then.

But it also hurts to be strung along. Gambit is not one to complain, but…

Come on, it would bother anyone.

It’s sort of like Rogue is saying that just love is not good enough, she won’t be satisfied without the touch aspect being resolved. Though she claims to be okay wither herself, we all know it’s not true.

Like I said in her post, how important is touch to a romantic relationship?

After I wrote it, I was reminded of the stories I know about people who are paraplegic, some all over their body, and who are still married.

People who have cerebral palsy, or some other disease, often can’t move normally.

There was that famous guy who had no legs and no arms, but got married and had a kid.

I’ve heard that Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife weren’t able to be intimate after a point because of his disease, and Eleanor said that there was still love even without that.

Hormone driven fans are often obsessed with sex and kissing and touching in shipping. Rogues’ a real challenge, most people probably just prefer to fix her problem, in fan fiction, and not deal with it.

I think that her problem is probably fixable, based on the show’s logistics.

But I think that’s not really the point.

Rogue is not going to get love just because she can be touched. If someone can’t love you without that, they don’t really love you. That’s the hard truth.

Sure, they might like you and want to get with you, but that’s not love.

In our over-sexualized, lonely culture, it’s hard to imagine any love without sex.

Or some form of touch.

Anime kind of has this stigma both about kissing and being intimate until the relationship is further along, and also about even using the words “love” and showing care for someone.

We’re left starved both emotionally and physically from watching it. I think that’s why fans rush to the perverted side of it so quickly.

Where you have no emotional connection, the sexual seems like an appealing substitute…but it’s empty too.

Love is not about sex, and it’s not about giddy feelings. That’s a nice part of it, sure.

But I kind of like that with Gambit and Rogue, it really can’t be about that. Even if, someday, her problem was resolved, it still couldn’t have been about that.

If Gambit showed hesitancy, we’d all have to hate him, even if we understood it. Not many men, or women, would want a part of that.

And it is sad…but, as I said, real life couples have to forego physical intimacy sometimes.

It’s almost a crime in people’s eyes now to suggest that maybe, just maybe, it’d be okay not to have that.

I mean, if you met the love of your life, they suited your personality, they were loyal, caring, and funny…but they just couldn’t have sex…or touch you…would you abandon them?

I remember story I heard on reddit of a guy who married a woman who was asexual…that is, she could have sex, but didn’t enjoy it the way other people do.

He said it was almost a deal-breaker, but he was glad he stuck with her. They had a great relationship, and she’s a loving wife…that aspect is just not as prevalent, but he’s learned to live with it. She has to make sacrifices too.

I’m not saying I’d choose it on purpose, but you know, maybe it’s is worth it.

It would be weird to want that, upfront, but it’s not weird to accept it, if you love them.

I’m not sure I can say for sure if Gambit is deep enough to think that out, but he does hint at it.

The guy who does’t trust anyone is still willing to gamble with love.

I feel like he’d be the most shocked if it ever worked out.

In the end, Gambit and Rogue are too similar. They are drawn to each other because they both think no one will love them.

What keeps them hooked is that the other person never quite ruins it. They rebuff, and argue, but they stick together, and drop hints, and there’s something deeper there.

It’s not really the tease of romance so much as it’s the draw of being loved itself that has these two caught.

It’s like “what if they did love me?”

It seems like a 10 to 1 chance against it, that it would end well.

But Gambit is willing to roll those dice, because really, what does he have to lose? The X-men only get a few chances in life for some things, you’d better take them.

Rogue maybe doesn’t see it that clearly, but she’s still pulled in by it.

They are also opposites, Gambit is willing to risk it all because he sets little value in his own safety, Rogue is not wiling to risk anything because she exaggerates the importance of her own danger to others, and thinks she’s worse than other people.

Sticking them together was a crazy idea because they repel with their hangups, but they also attract.

And, it’s a gamble, really, trying to see how it would end.

I tend to always think erring on the side of love is better. If we don’t have love, our lives are empty anyway. Love is risk, but it’s more of risk not to have it.

But some people don’t feel that way.

I think the show itself couldn’t commit for that reason, and I don’t know if the comics ever did.

Superhero fiction tends to be afraid of committed love, something about it seems alien to superheroes, their lives are dual, masked in deception, usually.

The X-Men were always an oddity in Marvel, because they didn’t hide their identities, and live regular lives managing their powers. I don’t think there’s a DC parallel to it.

The X-Men could have relationships because they acted more human. Superman needs no one, Batman refuses to need anyone, and many others just have too many issues and bad luck.

X-men can have diversity in how tragic their stories are and how hopeless they seem, so you can root for them with more hope.

But in the end, it’s still a superhero show.

The main thing is how we’d answer the question ourselves.

What part of love do we value the most? Why do we want companionship?

How we answer that is what makes for a good foundation for romance.

Less of a buzz maybe, if you pick true companionship, but it lasts longer. And it helps more.

And with that thought, I think I’ll end this, until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

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When you know you’ll hurt people who love you…

Hello peeps,

I was going to post sooner and I got sidetracked by getting the new Covid variant.

Frist time I got one, and I get the one with mild cold symptoms, go figure.

I felt worse honestly for not eating a few days afterward than I did while I had a fever, the fatigue and aches were the worst of it.

But I’m recovered now.

Anyway, to fill up my time while I’m fasting certain things, and taking a break from anime, my sisters and I have been binging the old X-Men animated show.

If you’ve never seen it, you should watch it, it’s really good. It’s on Amazon Prime.

It was a different time, man.

It’s not a perfect show, but it’s so much better than the movies. And the dialogue is refreshingly not boring for an old show. Superhero shows can be disappointing in the long run because they just don’t ever go anywhere.

X- Men does suffer from that, but the continuity is good for the most part, the characters get well flushed out, and I like at least some of them. I can’t stand Scott…there is no version of Cyclops I’ve ever liked, old movies, new movies, or this how. Jean always bored me too. Though the Dark Phoenix movie was better than people gave it credit for, acting-wise anyway.

But anyway, this isn’t a review of the show.

As always, the shipping caught my eye. It’s not the best I’ve seen, the older shows usually are very non-committal about shipping, you were lucky if they even kissed.

This show handles it way better than most of its genre, so I got interested, even thought they don’t put a lot of effort into chemistry.

But what they do well is show people’s hang ups about getting into relationships.

The one they spend the most time on, with that, is Rogue x Gambit.

Being only a fan of the X-Men movies until now, and a distant fan at that, not die hard, I had not idea who Gambit even was, and Rogue was always just kind of a sad, scared little girl.

Well, I don’t know what those directors were thinking. Rogue’s character on tis show is the best part of it, along with Wolverine.

Gambit wasn’t as funny, in my opinion, at first, but he grew on me, and mellowed over the course of the show too, like Wolverine.

Anyway, the ship is not the best ship I’ve ever seen, but compared to the level I expected on an old 80s cartoon, it far surpassed it.

I mean, the shows of my generation were Kim Possilbe, the Animated Justice League, and old Spiderman and Batman and Superman. And while I liked all of those, and they have a few good ships in them, most of them don’t commit.

Gambit and Rogue, so far at least, don’t either. But no other show outside Justice League (once) really bothered to explore why, but this show does, and I think it’s interesting.

The romance is old fashioned for our time now, but Rogues’s character is well done, and her hang ups ring pretty true even today with what a lot of people express, so I thought it was worth using as an example.

Man, back then, characters could be interested in each other without shacking up, and it was just normal. Maybe not on every show, but one like this, made for kids, it was.

And unlike anime, which is so sexually repressed, yet bloated at the same time that they will devote multiple shots to grotesque fan service in every season yet act gun shy of having two healthy, normal characters kiss–these old American shows aren’t afraid to show kissing, and other physical forms of affection, without crossing over into the sexual.

I think it was more balance back then. Because they had standards to uphold they didn’t do stripping and naked women, and men showing their abs all the time, but because of that, they had no inherent shame implied if they kissed. They knew what we, the audience, would expect.

The pervy side of comics is a more recent evolution from the old stuff. There’s always been some pervs who would enjoy comic books (or any illustrated book) for the wrong reason, but the old art wasn’t that oversexualized, I’ve seen it. the new stuff is so gross. Ugly too, in my opinion.

Anime may not be ugly, but it has the same disproportionate, overdone factor to it, sorry, to sorry.

So it’s been nice to watch a romance that doesn’t shove fan service in my face. And is mature enough to at least acknowledge the problems.

Rogue’s obvious problem, if you know her power set and story, is that she can’t touch anyone.

There’s a few loopholes to this that the show ignores, like most superhero shows do. Such as the myriad of appearance of mutation blocking technology, which had the X-men chosen to keep any of it, Rogue could have used to manage her power when necessary.

So while the problem would easily be resolved if the rules of superhero shows didn’t dictate the heroes can’t be pragmatic (because there goes the drama then, right?) it isn’t so prevalent that her struggle doesn’t seem real.

Rogue does not wallow in angsty self pity, which I really appreciate. Anime emos get old after a while, they’re okay in moderation, but after a while you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. We get it, you’re sad…get a life.

Instead the writer made Rogue a strong person, who more takes a wry sense of humor about her inhibitions, though at some moments she shows how deeply it bothers her. It’s far more realistic, most of us don’t go through life pitying ourselves every minute of the day, and acting sad all the time, we take that wry point of view about our problems.

I think it’s healthier to do that than to purposefully be depressed. Enough sadness in life without dwelling on even more of it on purpose.

But it may be a better option still to try to heal.

The show does stop short of that. I think maybe they just didn’t know how to write it.

Rogue and Gambit’s ship actually serves to show Rogues’ issues more, which is how I think a ship should be used if it’s gong to be reoccurring, nothing like a romance to drive your true nature out.

The interesting ting about Rogue, and what makes her so much like us, is that she yearns for normal things, enjoys normal things, and want the kind of love she sees other people have–but she believes she can never have it.

So far it’s not been said, though i think it might be eventually, but her logic, we see, has to be no man is ever gong to commit to a girl he can’t touch. It’s just not gonna happen.

I find that intriguing.

I mean, the cynical person in me does kind of want to agree.

This is a world where we value sex above all else often enough in relationships. At least we do now. People will ship characters in fiction and in real life just because they want to see them have sex.

I do enjoy a good kiss scene myself in fiction.

And sex is a good thing, between married people. I’m 100% for that. I actually hate stories where married couples never have sex, for some stupid, contrived reason, to create drama. It’s a necessary part of marriage, if both people are capable of having sex, and don’t have sexual traumatic that might prevent them from engaging in it with ease. It’s selfish to deny your partner sex because you don’t feel like it, I think. We don’t not cook because we don’t feel like it, someone has to cook, even if you buy food. But that’s another story.

However, the idea that sex is the most important thing about marriage has been disputed.

Many couples, for health reasons, can’t have sex for many years of their marriage. Age can be one reason. But they can still feel fulfilled. It’s probably like eating sweets, sure you’d like to, but if you can’t, that’s not the end of your life. You can live without it.

Personally, I’m a 23 year old virgin. I’d like to have sex at some point in my life, I believe it’s a God given gift. BUT, I would, at least now, prefer a man who’d be the right emotional match for me more.

I mean, if you gave me the choice, great sex for the rest of my life, or, being with someone who would day in and day out try their hardest to make me happy, and would let me make them happy…someone I could always turn to, who would not lie to me, and who would make the best of whatever situation we fell into…I think I could abstain from sex for that. I hear the older you get, the less sex seems like it’s so important. C. S. Lewis said that he’d choose affection and loyalty over sexual excitement, now that he was older.

I might be young but I’m not stupid, guys. Trust is more important. Sex is icing on the cake of love, not the main ingredient.

Of course, Rogue can’t even hold hands or kiss. She can embrace a bit with gloves and clothes on, but not as much as she wants to.

I imagine, if the show were allowed to discuss this, she’d probably verbalize the thought that it’s just not fair to ask any man to put up with that kind of restriction.

What’s funny is that, for all her longing, she is the one who shoves Gambit away in their quasi, flirtatious relationship. Gambit never seems bothered by her mutant power, and is very outgoing about how he flirts, he even is the one to say “I love you” first–and so far, the only one.

Rogue is very insecure.

Funny how she’s confident most of the time, but anytime he’s open about it, she pushes him away, sometime literally. And walks away herself, and acts irritated.

But also gets jealous and begs for attention.

None of it is to the extent where she’s Toxic, I can’t imagine Rogue being toxic, she’s too sweet, but she’s so clearly at war with herself, and it’s shown really well.

The heartbreaking thing to think about is that Rogue is really just a dramatization of a very real feeling many of us have.

Rogue was rejected by her Daddy, as she tells us, and then abused by her surrogate mother, in a way, mystique.

After such experiences, it makes sense she has trust issues. But really, she has self worth issues.

It’s all too familiar to me.

I’m taken back to my emotional abusive household as a kid.

Both my parents, though more my father, would use me being upset as a reason to act like I was attacking them.

I loved my parents, even in my most angsty years, and I don’t recall ever saying I hated them, or saying anything particularly cruel, though I maybe have just forgotten. But I always knew words had power, that’s what they taught me.

The message my father gave me, sometimes to my face, was that he had enough stress in his life without dealing with me also.

This led to me feeling like I was just a bad reminder to him of this gaping issues, which was our relationship. A relationship he sabotaged himself from the time I was born, and all through my formative years. Then he destroyed it openly when I was a teenager. Always it was he who would reject, he who would say the most hurtful things, he who would judge me.

If I fought back, or tried to complain, I was told I was the problem, and it wasn’t my place to correct him. Then he would tell us to correct him, and that we were right, and the next time we did, it was the same thing, it wasn’t our place. He’d even threaten me if I tried.

I learned to just keep my mouth shut, and when I learned that, he began picking fights with me on purpose. He couldn’t go more than a few days without some toxic outburst, I think he was addicted to it, personally.

All this lined up with what I learned about abusive behavior once he was gone.

But what it stamped on me, perhaps permanently, is that the people closest to you are the ones you will hurt the most.

I knew I had hurt my parents even if it was mostly their own fault, and I knew I hurt my sisters too, the people who I later came to rely on more for support.

And the fact is, if you love someone, you will still hurt them, because you are a flawed, imperfect human.

I’ve said things to friends, not thinking how they sounded, and meaning it to be funny that hurt them badly, and I never knew till later. Some people realized that and brushed it off, others never forget.

I’ve found that people from emotionally abusive homes often share this belief that I have, which is that when you love someone, you hurt them.

Oddly, I don’t find that attitude in accounts by people with happy families, who kept their trust.

People who rebel against their good parents may come to think that way, but that’s not everyone.

And those of us who’ve been let down the most by people we love, believe it the most.

To us, love is associated with pain.

A lot of us abused kids don’t want to give up on love, we know we’re meant to love, so we accept the pain of it, but we have a harder time accepting that we will cause people pain.

In our minds, since the love we were shown was conditional, and we took on the brunt of forgiving the other person, but never get their forgiveness in return, then every wound we cause is far worse than the ones they give us.

You see, we normally don’t struggle with our half of it. They hurt us, we shake it off, we don’t think it’s that important.

But we hurt them at all, and we feel horrible. We feel unworthy of love, and we think it’d be better if we just stayed away from them–but we know that will hurt too, and we feel stuck.

Rogue is such a perfect type of this kind of person. I think it’s fitting she was written to have abusive parental figures.

Though the show frames it as being about her mutation, it could have been about anything. That was the genius of the X-men, they used mutation as a metaphor for anything that makes people seem a little different.

And Rogue is like if that attitude was to take physical form in your body. If the fact that you can’t get close to someone without hurting them sometimes was made a trait in your DNA.

Because, in a way, it is.

Since the fall of man, we humans have turned on each other.

We make such a big deal out of racism and bigotry now, like it’s the worst sin of all, but, if you’re not hurting someone one way, you’d just do it another way. Racism can be less giant int he long run than many other human evils, depends on the kind of racism.

I just think it’s like we expect perfection out of humans. Looking down on each other for stupid reason has been a part of us for millennium, it’s not any one group of people’s exclusive fault, we just hate each other, because we fear each other.

We fear what’s different, because we know we’re not prepared for it. We cannot understand, so we don’t try. That’s what we think.

If it doesn’t lead to racism, it leads to something else, like the fear of intimacy.

When we damaged people hit this flaw in ourselves, it’s easy to get depressed.

It has depressed me many times to realize I can’t get away from not being perfect.

As a Christian, I am promised that one day I will be perfect as Christ it perfect.

But Jesus was still hurt by people, probably more than anyone else ever has been, because he truly was innocent. but no doubt his followers took his honesty the wrong way at times, and were hurt. Jesus must have known people will be hurt, even if you are in the right. Sometimes that hurts worse than being wrong. You ever had your parents say they hate punishing you?

My dad used to say that, I wish it extended to his abuse. He never liked to spank us much when we deserved it, but would be forceful over minor, stupid stuff that wasn’t even bad. I never understood that.

I doubt it would make Rogue feel better to hear that it’s not her fault. She’s in our position, she can’t help it, and she knows it, and that’s what hurts. We’re most ashamed of what we can’t help, as C. S. Lewis observed.

She’s kind of like Shigaraki from MHA, in a way. Though he can control his quirk now, he seems to shy away form touching people because, subconsciously, he remembers what happened when he did and lost control.

Rogue hasn’t killed anyone, but she’s hurt them pretty badly.

There’s a lot of characters like that in superhero fiction, I think it’s because people play out their insecurities in superhero writing. It’s when we most want to portray ourselves as heroes that we find ourselves seeing weaknesses and reasons why we can’t be. We tend to project that onto some characters, and then project our fantasy of a savoir onto others. Hence MHA has Deku and All Might, and the X- Men have professor X.

But the X-Men is a bit more honest about it than MHA, they know that Prof X can’t really fix these problems.

While there may be a solution, people often accept their circumstances. Don’t I know that feeling?

I’ve never been able to fully accept suffering as normal, but I have been tempted. Who hasn’t?

Like Rogue, and so many other victims, I yearn for more, but when I get it, I push it away.

I’m at least catching onto to this habit, and learning to stop doing it, but Rogue probably hasn’t noticed it, because like so many real people, she has no one around her to reflect it back at her. Al lot of us never realize this on our own, that’s they therapy can be beneficial. If it’s good therapy.

When we feel like we’re wrong, deeply, something inside us is, it’s hard to open up.

And what’s sad is that some of us, like Rogue, do have people around us who accept us.

Gambit never shows any fear of Rogue, as I said. And pushes more for the relationship than she does, but Rogue seldom acknowledges it. She’s scared, he’s not.

Gambit of course has to be well aware of the reasons, she’s quite vocal about it.

But while he says he doesn’t care, Rogue isn’t willing to risk it, even if he is.

And of course, realistically, Gambit knows that there’s only so far they could go. How could they ever have kids?

Metaphorically, one could see it as one realizing that all human intimacy is never going to be enough to satisfy us. Not fully.

Of course, we Christians say that’s because we need God. When you have God, you can let man be man.

Rogue does actually express the wish to know more about God on the old show, because you could do that back then and not get cancelled by social media, but the show didn’t take it farther than that.

I wonder if she would find peace in believing that God loves her, and is the One person she can’t hurt.

That was one thought that kept me sane in some of my more self hating moments, knowing I can’t hurt God. Sometimes I want to, it’s horrible, but I want to take out my anger on someone, and I know He will not hurt me, not like my dad would. It’s a sad truth.

God usually doesn’t answer when I do that, and then I feel alone, but I’ve started to realize it is me who’s pulling away, not him.

So yeah, Rogue’s actions hit home in that way too.

I know that God values me, I just don’t accept it when I should. I find it hard to believe.

I think Rogue reflects the way victims feel that even if others are willing to be hurt by them, they don’t deserve that kind of grace.

It’s hard to hear, but it’s not like Rogue is the only one with this problem. Scott can never look anyone in the eyes without glasses on, Beast is…a beast. There are other mutants who can hurt people easily with their powers. Rogue can at least cover hers up.

And she sees no issues without other people getting their happiness, but can’t see it for herself.

I think she believes Gambit would never commit anyway, though he seems more than wiling to do so, though he can also be a bit of a flirt, but then so can she…the real issue both of them have is they won’t be honest about what they want.

Many victims just don’t know. I don’t know what I want, often.

I know it a little better now. Other than I don’t want someone like my dad, I have begun to learn what positive traits I want.

But we can swing the other way and look for perfection. We are drawn to the familiar, but repulsed by it when it lets us down.

I think I am at least not drawn to my dad’s cruelty anymore.

I may always like banter, as a permanent mark of growing up with him, but banter doesn’t have to be cruel.

I recently had an annoying time with a guy at my school who liked to say snide things to me, not sure he really knew they were snide, I could never tell if he was rude on purpose, or just stupid, but either way, it reminded me to much of how my dad would mock me.

This guy was hot, not gonna lie, but I couldn’t be attracted to his personality enough for that to be a plus. It’s like gilding a bitter pill, really.

I don’t hate this guy, I don’t even think he’s the worse sort of person, but he’s not my type. Maybe some women could put up with him, I don’t know I they should, I think it’s up to them, but for me, it’s not a good idea to get close to someone like that. I’m already on the defensive, and I barely know him, that’s never a good sign.

But victim flock to it, to people who put them on the defensive, because we think that’s showing interest.

And perpetrators flock to people like that because they think that’s the kind of person who will support them.

But the trouble is, even if you take steps to become better, you could still miss what’s right in front of you.

To go back to Rogue and Gambit’s example, let’s look at it more seriously.

So, Rogue is right, it would never be easy or simple for her to be with someone. And Gambit might need to acknowledge that a bit more.

I mean, if the love each other, they may still never be together, just because she thinks it’s not fair.

The question is, is that a valid reason?

I’ve read of people deciding not to marry because of health reasons, just because it wouldn’t be possible for them to have children. In Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist, there’s a woman who won’t marry a man because she has a stain on her ancestry and doesn’t want to drag him down with her, it’s no fault of her own, but she feels like it would be irresponsible.

Heck, even goofy movies like Mad Monster Party hold out the idea that you can refuse to marry someone because you think you’re no good for them.

And many people in real life self foil because they think they are the wrong person emotionally for someone else. And they feel selfish if they do get involved with someone.

I hope one day I will stop feeling guilty for asking for help. And for people making sacrifices for me. I wish I didn’t have to ask. But I have to tell myself now that it’s okay for me to have my needs met. Not to the exclusive of everyone else’s, but that it won’t hurt them if I do. And even if someone does get hurt, it can be mended.

The magic thing about love is that it makes pain seem unimportant compared to the love.

There are difficulties to any relationship. Some people decide to be together despite that, because they figure the love is more important. That was the story of many interracial couples, and still is, interracial marriage is still looked down on even in America…and it’s not always the white side of it, either. I heard a comedian who was black talking about how black men asked her why she married a white guy. Couldn’t a black brother lover her better?

I can’t even begin to explain how disgusting that is, and yet it’s seen as normal to have that reaction.

But there are difficulties, we can’t pretend there aren’t.

While it’s minimal now, there were health risks in the past when interracial couples had children, the blood type could be a problem.

So in that case, a situation like Rogue’s becomes a reality. A mother can hurt her own child by having different blood from them. They can fix it now, but back when they couldn’t, it was a gamble.

I thought it was poetic they made Gambit the other half of this ship. What is love but a gambit? Even if you marry someone who you know is good and honorable, you risk them hurting you by accident, even physically, accidents happen. Things you don’t expect happen. There are other problems that arise.

One of you can get sick, or die. There is always risk.

But the way couples have answered this since Eden, has always been the same.

It’s better to have love, while you can, and to cherish it, then to live without it. Love is worth the risk. Love is, or nothing is.

And it seems to me that’s how God meant it to be. He chose to create us, knowing full well we’d break His heart a million times a year with our problems, but He is Love. He cannot be anything else, and to Him, Love is what matters, pain is not what He’s afraid of. God is never afraid, that’s His advantage over us.

But what God values form us, is that even though we are human, and cannot help feeling fear, we still choose to love. Our faith is precious to Him because we can do it in spite of being imperfect, something He could not do, as God, except through becoming a man.

That’s why I still want to marry, and have children.

I’ve seen it go wrong, I know how much it hurts. It has hurt me more than anything else in my life.

I can think my parents for many of my emotional problems, and health problems too. That hurts.

And I know I will likely repeat at least some of their mistakes until I learn better.

But, I still want love. Because I think Love matters more than pain. I am afraid to love, of course, it’s a risk. But I still want to try. God help me to do it right.

Some have said that if love doesn’t hurt, it’s not real.

I don’t think love has to hurt all the time, but if it doesn’t sometimes, I think you’re delusional, even God suffers for love. It’s normal.

It’s not easy but it’s normal.

And I pray I find a man who shares my view of it. They are rare, but there’s a few out there. Heck, I don’t want a perfect man, that would be freaky, I just want one who shares my idea of love.

It’s easier to find a perfectionist than a real Lover in the old sense of the word, but one has to try.

I doubt the X-Men show ever went that far, but it’s interesting that the set up at least was there. If people would just be honest with themselves and each other about what they are willing to risk.

Well, this ran long, I do get on a roll about love.

Until Next time, stay honest–Natasha.

Finding the Ideal Man using Justice League

After my very serious last post, I thought I’d do something fun.

I was telling my sister the other day how I could use the Justice League Animated show to pick out what I did and didn’t want in a man, and then I thought I could so turn this into a blog post.

So let’s dive in:

What is the show’s philosophy about what makes a good man?

The early season of Justice League, with just the original 7 members, is the best one, I think. The writers also tackled more hard topics back then.

Before I get into the individual characters, I think it’d be helpful to look at how the writers defined good men.

You’ll never hear those words specifically used, but it was funnily enough, usually episodes that centered around Wonder Woman, the feminist icon, that examined what makes men good. (In hindsight, that was low key savage as heck.)

In The Savage Times, when Wonder Woman meets Steve Trevor, she’s impressed that someone without powers and special abilities is willing to risk his life in battle. Later, in the episode Fury, she acknowledges Batman to have the same heroic qualities. (I mean, and he’s Batman, so there’s that.)

Other than these episodes, the show mostly doesn’t make a distinction between genders, but displays courage, honor, honesty, and loyalty as the traits the heroes should have. As well as Compassion and naturally, Justice.

Breaking Down the Characters:

While I love the show and still watch it from time to time, even though I’ve seen most of it 10 times over, over time I have changed how I feel about the characters.

If you do watch the show, I’m probably going to insult at least some of your favorites, but hey, I don’t care if you like these characters. I understand why people do, I just don’t personally anymore. Too much negative experience with some.

I won’t bother with the female characters, since A, I’m a woman. And B. I don’t know if I’d pick either of them as a great example of womanhood, but I do think both of them change over the show more than the male characters do, so at least they can grow. That being said, this post is more about what I look for in a man.

I will freely admit, I am biased towards my favorite, the Flash, but he wasn’t always my fave, and I don’t usually let my biases influence whether I approve other characters or not, I just don’t enjoy them, but if I’m criticizing, it’s because I thought it out.

Let’s start with Superman, the big guy:

In all fairness, Superman is probably not on my hate list, but he’s not on my top 3. I usually just feel neatural about him.

Over time I’ve started to think that’s because Superman purposefully lives his life in a way that keeps people neutral.

Now, when I say a superhero is not what I’d look for in a man, I’m not actually saying I think they’re a bad person. Plenty of good people are just not ready for, or suited to, romantic relationships.

A romantic relationship, as even Jesus said, requires a lot more growth, maturity, and self sacrifice than any other form of relationship does, from us. We’re naked to each other, both literally and emotionally, in romance, and that’s not something everyone is ready for.

Which is my chief complaint against Superman. He’s a great guy as a friend, son, and mentor…

But with Lois, both in the comics and the show…not so much.

The comic version of him, at least early on, was way worse, I admit. I remember one issue where he literally tells Lois “Maybe I will marry you….someday.”

And…it’s like…played off as a joke…

But I’m thinning “So you play with her feelings, toy with her, get jealous if she flirts with anyone else (which happened multiple times in other issues) but you won’t put a ring on it and she’s just supposed to be okay with being treated like a convenience?”

I’d put it down to it being the 50s and 60s, but…to be honest, marriage expectations were higher back then, and a young man not proposing to a girl after so many years of dating was kind of seen as irresponsible and weak…so yeah.

Superman just doesn’t want to trust anyone with his identiy, usually.

But…I mean…you know, worst case scenario, everyone finds out you’re Clark Kent…just form a new false identity, you’re superman, are you really worried about someone killing you?

And if you can’t trsut the girl…why are you dating her at all?

It’s not about logic with Superman, it’s about fear.

On the show they do a better job of showing this, they depict how he’s afraid of his powers sometimes, especially since Darkseid used him against earth.

Superman does become more arrogant later on in the show, probably in a suppressed desperation not to ever lose control of a situation again.

Lois, being the sassy queen that she is on that show (best version of her) is never afraid to call him out on his BS.

But…I don’t recall a single time he ever listened to her. He brushes her off, dismisses her concerns, and honestly, at times I think he kind of acts superior.

Lois has good points every time, but for all Superman pays attentin she might as well be the airhead she is in the comics.

Though on this show she saves his life two or three times, so you’d think he’d be alittle more grateful and respectful.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I don’t actually think he even thanks her once for doing that. So…yeah.

Again, I don’t hate Superman, but I think Lois could do better. Take the glam off of him being Superman, and he’s a guy with a lot of insecurities, which is fine, but not if they control him.

We all have our fears and hang ups, but not all of us let that make us into people who won’t listen or trust people who prove themselves to us time and again.

And while Superman has had issues with people setting him up, they are always his enemies, none of his friends have ever betrayed him, so I wonder what his possibly excuse for being so wary is. People who’ve been abused often can’t help but mistrusts others at first until we do therapy and growth, but Superman’s past is pretty healthy all things considered.

Not that he still can’t have trust issues, but what’s his reason for not addressing them?

He lets no one get close enough to call him out on it.

And it’s not just Lois, other league members like Batman, Flash, and Green Arrow all confront him and he ignores all of them, and it takes blowing up a deserted base of government workers to make him see a problem with his actions.

All things that might be forgivable, but don’t bode well for any relationship he’d ever be in. If he can’t listen, then forget it. You’d never resolve any issues.

Men who can’t admit faults scare the crap out of me. So do women, for that matter.

That said, if you like Superman, that’s cool, he’s a fun character in many ways, but, I’d never date him.

J’onn J’onzz:

Not much to say about our friendly neighborhood Martian Manhunter, because he’s not featured a whole lot in episodes that deal with relationships.

But we do know he’s lonely often, and tends to go by the book about interpersonal issues as well as public ones.

He actually does have a relationship later on in the show, and it seems to be going well. I could believe that.

Though he can be stoic, J’onn is caring, compassionate, and not overly stubborn about his own faults that I can tell.

I feel like characters who don’t look human are often written to have less human flaws in fiction, maybe it’s just me, but just about the only flaw J’onn has is he doesn’t always do the right, or human thing, in favor of doing the “smart” thing.

While you can argue that maybe that’s not bad, it is easy to slip into ignoring a lot of people’s needs if you carry that logic too far.

But J’onn laughs it off fairly easily when he is proven wrong, so it’s not too serious of a flaw. He also can be quit salty when the other members do things hypocritically, which is fun.

While J’onn is not my type, because I like a man with more of a sense of humor, irony, and friendliness, I would approve him for dating to the right person. He’s got the necessary humility and doesn’t seem too hostile to critiques or conflict resolution…plus he could read your mind, so that’s bound to make communication easier right there…a little unfair, actually.

Green Lantern:

I’m about to piss some people off.

Sorry, not sorry.

Green Lantern is my least favorite Justice League member, period. even out of the wider cast.

Actually when I returned to the show after years of not watching it, it surprised me how little I liked him. I used to think he was fine when I was a young teen, young teens are honestly the worst judges of character in the world. Children and older adults are much more perceptive.

GL can be funny, but that’s about it.

In my humble opinion, he’s an ungrateful ass to his friends, and arrogant to them also.

He thinks it’s my way or the high way all the time.

Even more concerning to me was that his ship with Hawk Girl gets off to a pretty rocky start.

Hawk Girl is actually pretty cool to him at first, I thought. She helps bail him out when he gets framed for blowing up a planet, and tells him “that’s what friends are for.”

I don’t really see any issues with how she treats him from that point on to the War World, or whatever. But there Green Lantern snaps at her about her attitude.

She’s quiet understandable pissed off by this, and bothered.

Green Lantern apologizes later, by saying he was “too hard on her.”

But I don’t find that very satisfactory.

I mean, was it your place to call her out on that? Did you have a close enough relationship for that? And what exactly did she do anyway?

To me it’s more like he was wildly out of line, and should know better.

My problems with GL continued though, aside form Hawk Girl, I think he treats the Flash pretty disrespectfully–because he can, the Flash won’t retaliate– and is often lacking in compassion to the people they’re helping, even thought the other members say they should help them.

He’s ungrateful when they help him.

And in the episode where they’re all fighting and trying to do team building, he takes a very militant approach to solving issues that are much more personal and emotional.

Still GL in the early show was a bit more bearable, there were some funny moments.

But the later showed killed the character for me.

For one thing…he’s dating Vixen

And he can’t even do that properly, he’s negligent to her and acts annoyed when she wants to go out on a date.

But what peaked it for me was when he told Sheyara about them having a son in the future. Only to add that he didn’t want to break up with Vixen and be controlled by it.

And I thought…” then why did you tell her? She never had to know, Jackass!”

Thenhe gets pissy when she dates someone else…wow…due, just…wow..

This is not healthy behavior.

And so monumentally unfair to Shayera. She’s been through enough, losing it all, you need to tell her that even if the future declares it, you won’t just choose her.

How does that make a woman feel?

Horrible, I guranntee it. Her guilt wasn’t bad enough.

There’s no real point to telling her that anyway, it’s not like it can influence your decisions if she knows or not, unless you were hoping to convince her not to date anyone else, in which case…frick you man.

The amount of insensitivity in this, it’s not how you should treat anyone, let alone someone you claim to love.

Some could say I have too high standards.

Well, I guess it is true that the people closest to us hurt us the worst…but is it too much to ask that there be a traditional reason for a decision? Not just him weirdly wanting to clear the air?

After that I kind of thought Sheyara should just dump his rear end for good and find some one who actually treats her right, the show never does resolve this conflict anyway, that I recall.

It says a lot when Vixen, her rival, treats her with more respect and consideration than her actual love interest does.

So it’s a hard pass on GL for me.

I also think he’s judgmental, which I hate.

Batman:

Well, Bats is my second favorite male in the league, mostly because he’s funny, though not usually on purpose.

His main ship is with Wonder Woman on the show, and while…it’s not perfect, they have a much better rapport than Superman and Lois, or GL and Hawk Girl.

You never catch either of them dunking on the other for stupid reasons. Batman is actually the first to believe Wonder Woman is a capable hero, and she tends to see a side to him that other people don’t.

He’s also the first person she asks for help when she has an emergency, and he delivers.

Their trust in each other is affirmed several times throughout the show, and batman even finds her more belligerent temper to be funny or endearing at times, instead of off putting.

So the signs are good that Batman can handle a challenge, especially one that would scare most people off.

Wonder Woman is also the only non-spoiled rich, crazy, or kleptomaniac ship for him I know of, which I thought was a plus. She’s weird enough to satisfy his need for not liking ordinary people, but she’s sane. And a good person. Hurrah!

Suck it Catwoman.

But anyway, as far as Batman goes, he does have trust issues.

He trusts Diana though, as he’s quite open about, and his issues don’t really revolve around her, but more of the idea of getting close to someone in general.

I’m pretty sure she’s the only woman he ever admitted that too.

Of course, it’s all total BS, since he used to cozy up to Catwoman with zero regard for that.

Also it kind of feels like the writers shoehorned his problem with it in, since he has none in earlier episodes.

But assuming it’s legit and not BS, then I think his problem is really that Diana is the type of person he could actually be happy with, and that’s what scares him. He’s afraid to risk it, and disrupt his life.

And of course, where would they live anyway? Imagine Diana going out of Wayne Mansion, right?

But you can work around that. For crying out loud, he’s a billionaire, move? Have a private house, like, get creative man.

They’re just excuses.

But I’d hold out more hope for Batman to be able to grow up a little, despite what the authors ultimately did in Batman Beyond (because he’s not allowed to be happy, you know, ruins the edgy aspect), because he’s at least aware he has a problem. He also treats Diana way better than the other men treat their girls. At bottom, Batman is actually a pretty affectionate, compassionate guy, who hides it behind being scary. Which is shown both on his own series, as well as Justice League.

He also is pretty cool to the Flash and doesn’t berate him like the other often do, and shows up for his big event.

Batman also has the ability to appreciate qualities in others that he himself lacks.

It’s a 50-50 chance on whether he’d chose to overcome his issues, but if he did, I’m convinced he’d make one of the best partners out of the bunch.

Not maybe my type per sec, but I could at least see myself being friends with him, so that’s a start.

Biggest flaw is that he doesn’t take people saying no to him well. And tends to ignore criticism. I think he gets better about it–and to be fair, Diana’s about the only one who gets away with teasing him about it and not getting the Batglare, so I ship the heck out of it to this day.

Fight me, it was the best relationship on the show.

The Flash:

I saved the best for last.

I never crush on fictional characters, but I think the Flash has become my one exception to this rule.

What can I say? He’s just so good.

I don’t get too wound up about it, it’s just that every episode he’s in, he somehow fails to do anything to tick me off, and manages to be the best part of the league.

Now I know, he may not be everyone’s flavor, I’m not like a Jonas Brothers fan girl, okay?

But I evaluate.

One of my favorite things about the Flash is that, unlike the others, he’s not too polished, he’s not perfect, and unlike most of them, he doesn’t hide it.

He can be a bit reckless, thought not stupid, as he’s accused of being. And he does flirt too much in the first season.

But, he was the youngest member, and probably only in his early 20s when they started.

And I’ve met real life 27-30 year olds who act worse than him, so, age isn’t everything.

Plus, he grows out of it by the later season, so I think we can overlook.

I think after how I was raised by someone who’d put on a fake spiritual face at church and around people he wanted to impress, but torment the life out of anyone who was actually at his mercy, I’m just over people who act like they have this uber high standard, but are jerks to people close to them.

(Looking at you GL)

Flash on the other hand, goofs off on the job, which is hilarious, but is easily the most compassionate to people on a private basis.

He plays peacemaker between Wonder Woman and Hawk Girl (unsuccessfully, but he tried).

He’s willing to risk his life to help GL get out of a death sentence.

And my two personal favorite moments, are when he actually talks the Humanite into helping him bring Christmas Cheer to the kids at an orphanage, and talks his enemy the Trickster into surrendering just by being nice to him.

Flash also is said to help people with trivial tasks like household chores. And volunteers his time to lift the spirits of kids at an orphanage.

Something I never catch anyone else doing in this league, except maybe Batman as Bruce Wayne.

But Flash is a stand up guy both in and out of costume, both with people it will help him with, and people it won’t.

He’s also not afraid to call out the other league members if they cross a line, he even managed to stop Wonder Woman from straight up murdering a guy for killing Superman…which is taking you life into you hands right there.

On top of that, he’s funny.

I might swoon, to be honest…

Okay, okay, maybe this is not everyone’s type, but I guess personally, I don’t see what more you could ask for without exceeding human limitations.

Flash has his bad moments, but is the first to apologize usually, and the first to forgive, like when the league splits up briefly and then gets back together. He’s insecure sometimes, but tends to brush it off quickly.

He does nice things for the league even off the job, like getting them coffee, or blankets, another thing I don’t see the others doing usually.

He’s down to earth, and despite bragging a lot, actually has the smallest ego in my opinion, it’s mostly just for show.

He’s humble enough to brush off the other’s snide comments at him, though I find GL’s especial to be a little too cutting to be friendly.

And he forgives Hawk Girls the fastest and treats her the same even after her betrayal.

All in all, the only things against him are being too flirty, and sometimes too quick to speak and unable to reads the room.

I find those to be pretty minor flaws. Nothing to dump someone over. Just put him with a girl who’s good at that and he’ll be fine.

Sorry for gushing, but I get on a roll about Flash, I think he’s underrated sorely by fans.

Basically, the Flash could handle a relationship with a woman, because he checks all the boxes for his other relationships that would make you a good bf of husband.

Though as a fiend, he could get away with less effort, he chooses not to. He makes everyone around him feel special, and he’d do that for his SO if he one. Most men tend to treat women how they would treat their friends, after a certain point. So if he’s nice to his friends, he will be to you too.

At least my dad was a jerk to his friends as well as us, so I’ve seen it work the other way. And I’ve observed the same rule in my guy friends.

But fair warning fellows, that’s not true of women. Women will treat men differently than they do each other, anti-male brainwashing is rampant in this culture.

I’d suggest finding a woman who either is fed up with that crap, or who is able to learn, and if you explain it to her that it’s a double standard, and she listened, then there’s a good chance she’ll learn better.

I mean, men do frustrate me often, I admit. I’ve yet to find one at all like the Flash. It was a different time, you know, when men were taught to be somewhat confident. But I know there’s some out there still.

Flash might be a little too good, but in all fairness, it’s not like we see all there is to these characters. You can’t depict all of the quirks of a human being in fiction.

But you can look for the red and green flags.

Most of the members flash too many red flags for me to support shipping them, and I would look for it in a boyfriend.

But in my opinion, humiilty, compassion, honesty, and a snese of humor are the most importnat personailty triaits while and unwavering moral code is the most important foundation.

Beyond that, hobbies, tastes, and looks are really all a matter of taste and not that important anyway.

I actually think dating someone just because you have the same hobby is one of the stupidest ideas in the world. 10 years form now chance are one or both of you won’t be into that hobby anymore, and if you have no character compatibly, what will you do?

That said, that wraps up my analysis.

So did I convince you? Or do you think I overlooked some details?

Do you have any fictional examples of an ideal man or woman?

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha

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Questions for the People changing the world

I took a few weeks off since my last posts did not do so well, so this time I thought I’d talk about a different subject.

I also have a new laptop, so that’s exciting, nice to have keys that don’t stick..

I’ve been watching some tik toks, as I mentioned in my last post, and been frustrated with how people respond to these issues, but let’s talk about that term for a second.

You ever notice how everything is an issue now?

In the past century, we started using language like this, but they called it “problems” “dilemmas” “Crisis” “matters” and so on.

Now we call it “issues,” “injustice” “Inequality” and so on.

Before the modern and post Modern era, people usually just called it “doing good” and “doing evil.”

Being fair, and being unfair.

I mean, the difference matters. We don’t just call things right and wrong anymore, we call them “issues.”

Issues can be problems without being good or bad, really. What’s an issue for one person is a selling point for another.

Abortion is an “issue” but it has two sides. People don’t call it a moral question anymore.

It’s not really a question, anyway.

Language matters.

Back wehn C. S. Lewis was writing, as well as his peers, in the 1900s, they noticed that things were shifting away from the acknowledgment of truth. Things were not “good or bad” “true or false” anymore, they were “honorable” “brave” “intellectual” and all that other crap.

Not that those qualities are not real, but how can a theory be brave or honorable? It’s a theory. A thought process. Either it is true, so it’s useful, or it’s false, so it’s useless.

Now, as I study this stuff, I’ve noticed that Lewis was, as usual, 100% right about that. But what many people do not realize is that Millennials and Gen Z are now living in the aftermath of it.

A lot of people in their 40s or 50s, or older, imagine that the debate we’re having in society is still about right and wrong, but the truth is, it left off being about that a long time ago.

And if those people would ever bother actually talking to a young person seriously about what they believe, they’d see that for themselves.

I realized it when I began trying to teach and discuss things with my younger cousins, (Gen Z) and people at my college (Millennials). I can’t begin from the premise that something is right or wrong, and win the argument.

My cousins will be more concerned with what is socially acceptable, what is tolerant, and what is inclusive. If I say that it’s “wrong” they may admit it, but feel it is still their civilian duty to support people making their own choices, even if they are bad ones.

And you’ll find that thinking all over movies and shows now.

I mean, I’m sure Hollywood would like us to support them making their own choices, even if they are bad ones, so they can keep making porn, exploiting child actors, and doing drugs without suffering the consequences for it the rest of us do… I mean sure, let’s pay them millions of dollars a year to make their own choices.

I wish I got paid to do that.

But I digress.

So yeah, “right or wrong” no longer cuts it.

The operation to remove men’s chests, as Lewis put it, was largely successful. People’s heads are disconnected from the rest of them, and once they were, everything became about what sounds good, and what seems tolerant.

If you ask a kid or young adult now to give you a concrete reoans, outside of social norms, to support any of the SJW causes out there, they will not have one. I’ve tried, believe me, but you see, having a good reason no longer matters.

You are either in this crowd, or you aren’t.

The same with the tribalism that is retaking this culture. Nevermind if the tribes of the ethnic groups we are supporting, even did good things. They could have slaughtered each other, kidnapped children and women and raped them, or eaten people, and we’re still supposed to be proud of it and not call it out.

I thought progress was being able to admit your ancestors made mistakes, and try to correct them, not to say they were right in their own way.

Oh right, if you’re white you have to admit they made mistake, but every other race except Jews and Europeans can take pride in their culture.

I’m not even 100% white, but I don’t really care, I think that my European heritage is still cool. And my non European heritage is also cool. Not all of it, but no one’s history is pure at all times. That’s not really the point.

Man, the next time someone blames white people for slavery, I’d just like to ask what they think the fist modern culture to put laws in place to abolish slavery was…because here’s a hint, it was not a black or Asian or native American culture.

Leaving that where it is, let’s move on.

While I can give an opinion on these issues, it’s not really the point of what I’m saying. The point is, this is what we distract ourselves with these days.

Because we made it impossible for people to believe in absolute truth, they had to find a substitute cause to live for, and Tribalism, of all sorts, is the only one bigger than themselves.

So here we are, America is divided, and other nations are getting more and more divided also. It’s not that this problem is exclusive to America. But I do see it up close and personal here.

I really wonder, at times, how people in my generation, and the ones above and below it, can be so clueless.

No one else seems to realize that all this is by and large, a massive waste of our time.

Let’s assume we achieve Social Equality…whatever that is.

Everyone has the exact same rights. And it’s not the pseudo Equality that really means oppressing White people and men, but actual Equality, which says we’ll all be treated fairly.

Then what?

we’ve made perfect society–allegedly, assuming an Equal Society is perfect, and doesn’t have the same inherent flaws every other man made system will have.

(One obvious one being that no one can be special or unique anymore, so we are all replaceable)

Now we’re can ll live in harmony, right?

How long do you expect that to last?

And when is enough enough for reformers? Progressives? What is the cut off point? When can we stop fighting with each other? When will you be satisfied?

Assuming you ever get there, human reforms last, on average, less than 50 years in their pure state, usually a shorter time than that, before things get twisted by corrupt people who manipulate the system.

I’d give in one decade at most before it all goes to pot, and that’s being generous.

And once that happens, what will you do? Your old methods will not work, they will only strengthen the problem. The corruptors will know how to twist it to their advantage. Will you have any new ideas? Any sources to turn to?

I notice that a lot of people who care about Social Justice now, they want to force all of us to conform to their standards. For now, that’s what they think is best.

But the kicker is, if you force someone else to do what you want, someday, you will be forced to do what you don’t want. You get what you give, karma’s a real B— as they say.

If you lie, you’ll be lied to. If you steal, you’ll be stolen from. If you kill, someone will kill you. And if you enslave someone else to your whims, you will eventually be enslaved to someone else’s.

Or do you really think the people who agree with you will stay in power forever?

What I’m asking any potential progressive reading this is to be honest. Do you think Progressivism is going to last?

If the answer is, realistically, it won’t, because nothing does, then I ask you next:

What will you do when it passes? When the control swings back to people who are not Conservative, but are something else entirely. If you destroy people’s right to choose now, by removing the laws, and protections that allow people you don’t like to defy your ideas–then when they come for you, when you’re the minority again, when you’re the outdated philosophy, and there’re no laws in place to protect you from just being shot for it, is it going to be worth it to you?

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”– Martin Niemöller 

You stuck to your guns at the cost of taking away all of ours, and when we are unable to defend your rights, or our own, because you sacrifice us on your alter of Progress, will you blame us still? Or will you realize it was your choice.

You see, it’s all just a little too unrealistic to me.

Even if the Left gets what they want, and they probably will, for a while. It won’t last.

Tyrants always put on the social justice thing like a hat, and they take it off as soon as it suits them.

Chairman Mao marketed himself as China’s deliverer from oppression of landlords (read: Capitalists), then once everything bought it (or didn’t buy it, as they were broke), he stripped the nation of all it’s wealth, on the grounds that it was wrong to own capital.

Think someone taking away your computer, car, fancy equipment, streaming services, all of it. Leaving you only the devices that will stream propaganda into your home.

And people bought it, but Mao was just another dictator abusing his people, and when it all came out, they were devastated. And morally bankrupt.

What I do not understand about my generation, is that even if you tel them this, they think it doesn’t matter. If you explain to the Liberals what happens if you follow their methods, they do not care. To them, their goals are all important. Even if they burn down society to achieve them. In fact, they applaud that sentiment.

If you destroy the system that gave you a choice, then what will stop someone else from destroying you?

The rioting of this and last year is all great if it’s for a cause you like–what about when it’s for a cause you don’t?

And it weill be, sooner or later.

I know it’s not apruap opion, at least on socoal mediea, to say all this, but it sem to me no one really askes thse wuiet nayore.

I mean, Conservatives aren’t helping ourselves a whole lot with our approach. We just tell them they are wrong, and everything wrong with this country.

Even if that were true, that’s not going to change anything. I’ve gotten farther asking people the real questions. Asking them what’s behind what they think.

People are honestly surprised when I do.

I’m not an expert on every political issue, and I don’t really think I need to be. People my age mostly aren’t, I don’t knew to know the facts about it all to explain the holes in their logic, I just need to know enough to know there are holes.

And in my own, no doubt.

I’m perfectly aware that Capitalism, and Conservatism are not perfect. I know the are not upheld in ideal ways.

But my real problem with the Left is that, they thing they are perfect. They think there are no flaws in their own side.

It’s not just the left, a lot of people on the Right are the same.

And we can just argue and argue until we destroy ourselves, and that will happen, no doubt, sooner or later.

So, in the meantime, what can we do?

The pride and arrogance of the world, is not rally surprising I suppose. It’s always like this.

I think God warned us not to put our stock in worldly ideas because He knows that the world changes every half century or so. New fads come in, new empires rise, and if we build our lives around the one we lived in, we’ll suffer the most when it changes.

The first Christians knew that, and they were too busy being persecuted to really have much room for worldliness in a lot of place,s but they were still warned about it.

So what do we do?

I’ve found it more helpful to my mental state, as well as my life in general, to read theology and Spiritual writings, rather than political ones.

My generation almost doesn’t know the names of the great Moralists and Theologians of the past anymore. We don’t think it matters.

But if you want my two cents, that’s where our Salvation is.

Our Salvation is in God, naturally, but it’s the older writers who had the better understanding of Him, by and large.

There’s a few modern writers who have a clue, mostly because they read the old ones.

I’m not saying we can’t know God, but the trouble is, thanks to our culture, the Desire to know God is much smaller than it used to be.

Even in the Church, we’re drowned out by the buzz of Social Justice.

Thank goodness, not everywhere.

If I were any of you, I’d be paying more attention to the stuff that’s coming out of countries where Christians are persecuted a lot more than here. They”ll be the most clear sighted, because if you might die for it, you’re going to be pretty sure God is real, and Jesus is His Son.

We in the West should remember that we don’t own Christianity. And that it is the obligation of the Church globally to support each other. What our brothers and sisters in the East and Middle East and South understand about God would change us. While we are supposed to offer them our help and protection as much as we can. God set it up that way, but we mostly forget about it.

I’m not against chilling with the internet when you need a break, but we need to find other ways to relax too.

Get our minds off the immediate flow of ideas that is this culture, and on to idea that took years to develop by a lot wiser people than us.

It’s biblical you know, to pay attention to the wisdom of the past.

We’re taught to despise the past now, but they had their good ideas. And remember, some day someone will mock you the same way you mock them. It’s the change of times. Always.

Personally, I just hope I live to see it, myself. It seems cathartic to me. But then again, there’s no guarantee the future will be less frustrating. Which is why focus on God is the most sensible thing to do.

A lot of people are depressed because they focus on how evil other people are.

Newflash: Mankind has been evil since the Fall. It’s not new. You think it’s bad now, read the story of Lot sometime.

Or any of the Prophetic books of he bible.

Or a history of the Roman Empire…

The old sages told us to focus on Heaven, on God, on the hereafter, because they knew the world changed too fast, and yet, it never changes at all. Idealists and Reformers always end up disappointed in the end if they don’t learn to accept that truth.

And we never accomplish our full goals as humans, we really don’t know what we want. We can do our best.

It seems I always end with the same thought.

But there is really no other answer. If I didn’t have God, I really thing I’d be crazy by now. I’m one of those people who’s prone to take all this stuff really seriously, and only my Faith gave me a sense of humor about it enough to put down the weight of the world, and accept that I can’t singlehandedly control things.

I suggest the attitude to anyone getting overwhelmed by all this.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha

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A Narcissistic Culture

I’m back!

Sorry for the absence.

I do have a lot of subjects to write about right now.

I tend to avoid politics on this blog unless something catches my attention, but I’m always thinking about culture.

Something I’ve been thinking about it lately is how in Church, we often go with the flow. We address issues that the world thinks are important, but we neglect the ones they don’t think about.

Not that it’s wrong to address things the world thinks about, I think we have to, in a way.

But also, looking at The Gospels, I find it odd that Jesus didn’t spend all that much time talking about what the world thought was important.

Under Roman Occupation, he didn’t talk much about the Romans. He addressed it from time to time as people asked him, but His long sermons are not about that.

He didn’t talk about te libeiton of the Jews from Romans, but from sin.

And looking around nowadays, I wonder if he’d be any different.

It’s so easy to get distracted by what’s gong on around us.

Things about race, gender, and nationality, it’s all anyone wants to talk about now.

And people are demanding respect and taking pride in these things.

Even christians, too many Christians.

My church, which is one of the better ones I think, still has a little group of LGBT people who attend. I don’t care if they attend, but their attitude about it makes me wonder if they come only because the church does not call out the world on that not being biblical.

I was talking to my cousin and his friend about the Bible’s stance on homosexuality, and why it’s consider wrong, just an open conversion, no hate, and explain it well,

And they didn’t really disagree with my points, or that I don’t like how kids are encouraged to vote on sexual topics they do not really understand yet.

But they admitted that they are afraid to express and negative views of it because the have friends or family who subscribes to it all, and are going to be livid if they disagree.

I acknowledged it’s hard in this culture to think for yourself…it’s always is hard in any culture to go against the flow.

But I told them as a Christian, I can’ just ignore it. I can’t blend in. It’s not allowed.

And that’s how I see it.

Sure, it’d be easier to walk around my liberal campus wearing some pro LGBTQ badge, and deck out my car and say that God loves gay people (which He does, but people use that phrase to mean something totally different, that God loves their lifestyle, and that is just no biblical), and play that game.

People claim it’s so hard to support the community. Are you kidding me? It’s so flipping easy. It’s easier to do that than to have an original thought, that’s for sure.

Instant approval, instant clicks, people commending you for sticking up for it. As well as BLM, and Feminism, and everything else.

Sheesh, to get approval just for saying words, whether you ever act on it or not, is so stupid.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1)

I find it disgusting to cater to this. I’d like to get the clicks, view, and likes that the people who do this get, but I’m not willing to bend myself in order to get it. There’s more important things than likes out there, people.

Someday no doubt that’s going to get me cancelled if I’m every popular enough for anyone to care what I think…but oh well, they cancelled all the Apostles too…to the extreme.

It’s getting extreme here too. People are attacking churches more and more. What’s funny is the church’es stance isn’t even that strongly put in the West, but they attack us anyway.

Sheesh.

Islam is actually harsher on homosexuality than Christian is, but I never hear of the LGBTQ community attacking mosques…you know, because Muslims actually might fight back…at least, I assume that’s the reason.

Yeah, so brave. Attack the people who won’t retaliate. But that’s always the way isn’t it.

I’m not here to hate on gay people, I’m just trying to be honest about it all.

And it’s not just gay people, it’s all groups now.

I don’t voice my opinions too loudly at my college because I’m pretty sure I’d lose my grades over it, so I mostly only discuss it out of class. And starting a fight in the middle of a lecture does seem rude.

But I don’t cater to it either.

And it’s all good to preach and teach about how we need to love ourselves and respect ourselves, and not be too harsh…

But when is it time to talk about going against the flow? When do we talk about what no one wants to hear?

Cause I can tell you, the problem with our culture isn’t really all the Pride stuff, that’s just a symptom.

It’s how prideful we are in our personal lives, self seeking, comfort seeking.

We do give lipservice to this in church, but we don’t actually enforce it. We don’t ask people to do more than they feel like doing. We don’t reward people for being strong in their convictions. Instead we think they are too worked up.

Even I think that.

Of course, it is true sometimes. But I’ve gotten reprimanded for protesting that a Youth Leader played songs that talked about sex and making out with the same gender on the way home from a mission trip…yeah….

Am I really the problem in this scenario?

Her excuse? “This is what those kids listen to.”

My thoughts? “This is what you listen to. What’s your point? It was still wrong.”

I can’t tell people what to listen to at home, but on a public trip? With the church?

That was yeas ago now, I don’t think i would happen with our current youth leaders, but that it happened at all was boring, because I knew it wasn’t just this one person, I’ve met so many people like his.

I’ve always gotten a rep for being more vigilant about this stuff, and I’ve had people tell me they were sorry for no having a better attitude about it, but they have never acted like my friends.

And, I’m not a super conservative person. I mean, I watch anime, I read fan fiction, and I listen to songs with cuss words in them…now.

And I don’t like that part, but I decided that I’m not going to be able to avoid cuss words in life, and it doesn’t make the whole song bad if the song is about a good thing, and they use saltier language. But I don’t listen to songs about sex, drugs, and hooking up. I want the message to be good.

I won’t throw out Evanescence because of a few swears, but I won’t listen to “shape of you” just because it has no swearing, sine it’s just about hooking up for a night. You get my point?

And I can’t force that standard on anyone, but I do have it for a reason, and I don’t have an issue telling people that.

This is not even the biggest problem, but my thought is that people would not give up anything they happen to like in the world, even if it was the right thing to do. God may tell me to stop listening to and reading and watching his fault I have prayed about it, and I am careful, though I do need to reevaluate somethings from time to time.

But I do think about it, I don’t get the feeling other people often do, I’ve talked to a few who mentioned it, but don’t mention every dropping something because of it.

I’m trying to be less judgmental than I used to be.

Like when it comes to smut, I believe it’s wrong to read it, but I dont think someone is horrible if they are tempted to. I’m not immune to this stuff either, I have hormones, I’m not dead.

But I have to seriously think about what I want my idea of sex and love to be when I do get married. Do I want to think it’s all about the body? Or do I want it to be about what’s inside, the soul, the mind, the heart?

And I’ll admit, sex can be more than just a physical experience, the Bible is clear about that, but I think smut (porn, you now) kind of makes that worse, not better. People with a porn addiction usually admit that real life sex gets less satisfying if you’ve fed yourself this fake image of it.

Porn and smut are all about making something so flawless it’s no longer real.

And in real life, emotional moment can be awkward even at their most heartfelt, people are damaged, and that gets in the way.

And our bodies are not flawless, even a model has blemishes somewhere.

And we have hygiene and weight issues at different times, or we can get sick. Women have periods, you get my drift? No one is sexy all the time.

If you grow up expecting that, then you aren’t going to be disappointed by sex, because you’ll expect it to be like everything else in life, a thing you do that improve with time, but is not perfect.

But if you grow with the porn version of this, you think sex is somehow unlike other human experiences, it can be flawless.

In the end it sets you up for less, not more pleasure. And that is one reason the Church has never endorsed it.

People think the church discourages sex, and while some churches do, the faith itself doesn’t.

In fact, it encourages it. A lot. Sex with responsibility.

And on that note, I don’t see how recreational sex is a great foundation for a really mature relationship. You treat sex cavalierly, and it’s the only thing that makes marriage different from other relationships. So what make it special to be married then? Might as well just be friends with benefits.

And that about all marriage amounts to now with a lot of couples. I think they are puzzled as to why it’s so unfulfilling.

I’m not saying it never woks out, some people just know how to make it work, but the thing is, marriage used to be something people were expected to figure out, whether it came naturally to them or not, and not it’s seen as a matter of finding the right match to perfectly balance you out.

I think you should date with that in mind, but if you end up marrying someone who doesn’t suit you perfectly, that’ s no reason to throw it out. If you’re not married to a psycho or a pig, you can probably find a way to work stuff out. People just don’t want to be inconvenienced.

And I say that because I’ve had the same experience in friendship. People cannot handle the smallest bit of friction and they bail as soon as conflict happens. I’ve had that happen to me so many times. Because, I’m replaceable, in a world of shallow friendships, and online friendships, if someone annoys you or disagrees with you, why not just dump them?

And if I’m not replaceable, you would never know, because you didn’t get that close to me.

I get it though, I’ve felt the pain for being ditched so many times because I don’t view people that way, and it stings to lose them. I’m working on being okay with that.

But therapy wasn’t the most helpful here because the attitude in therapy is that people are not worth your time if they piss you off.

And that’s kind of a shallow way to look at it.

Someone may piss me off because I have a problem, not them. Or we both do.

Maybe people are worth keeping around.

But you won’t hear that idea anymore in mainstream culture.

It’s not wonder we’re all dying of loneliness, we’re okay with supporting people as long as they are needy, lost lambs, with a victim mentality.

But if someone has a really different perspective, and is just hard to deal with, ditch them.

Perhaps I am annoyed because it doesn’t end well for me, and okay, that’s a fair point.

But I also don’t shut people out of my life just for disagreeing with me, so….

The double standard annoys me, if I was to do that as a Christian I’d be judgmental. But if they are just not “comfortable” round me, that’s their right, they don’t need to get over it.

I have gotten more attention from people when I was upset in front of them, and treated more nicely, than when I’m just my regular, more confident self.

I don’t mind if they comfort me, I just wonder why it goes away after that. I kind of learned the hard way that sympathy doesn’t equal a real bond.

(Something Naruto really needed to learn in Shippunden.)

This is why I think we really have too much attention on ourselves now.

We are narcissistic.

I can be too, but I am aware of it and trying to get better. The point is, the culture encourages me to be self centered, and often the church does too.

We have to be aware of these influences, if we’re going to be better, and set apart.

Or we’ll be like ships on the ocean, “infants tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.” (Ephesians 4:14)

Doctrine could just mean any popular teaching now.

I think a good question to ask ourselves right now is: How far am I wiling to go to have self-actualization (or whatever you call it)

Am I?…

Willing to sacrifice the happiness of other people?

Willing to cut people out of my life who do not agree with my plan and decision making

Willing to promote it with violence, anger, and verbal attacks?

Willing to make others suffer if it gets me what I “need”

Willing to enforce laws about these things.

Willing to teach others to do the same, and support them even if their lifestyle is no good in other ways.

Willing to listen only to people who support me in this, and never fact check what they are saying.

If you answered yes to any of the above about anything, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, etc.

Then you are elevating that thing not only to your primary focus, (and that thing is yourself, in some form or another)

Also going to an extremist extent that many Believers would not even go to. I question sources within my religion, and I don’t condone violence done in the name of Jesus. My faith has checks and balances.

But the faith of Self Identity has no checks and balances, because you (Or I) are/am the final word on everything.

But if we all are, then none of us are, you see how that works?

Anyway, most people won’t admit that they are worshiping themselves?

How can I be a narcissist? I’m too smart for that. I’m too self aware. All my complaints are valid, all my actions are justified, all I want is reasonable, all I am is perfect. So I can not be a narcissistic.

And the scary thing is that sound like the lyrics to a popular song or a TED Talk.

Ugh.

Well, anyway, the first step is admitting you have a problem. literally. To stop being a narcissist, you have t admit you’re a narcissist, that’s when you begin to stop being one.

That said, I think I’ll end this for now. more posts coming soon.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha

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