Random Firings of Neurons

The rest of your life is going to be spent getting back up after life has knocked you down again. You might as well just get used to it.

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Location: Round Rock, Texas, United States

Sunday, July 25, 2004

On giving and recieving gifts

I hate presents. I hate recieving them, and I hate finding the right one to give. I have such different priorities than almost everyone I know (or am related to), that I can almost garauntee that any gift that has me in the procurement chain will be inappropriate for the recipient.

Take my favorite thing in the whole world, for instance. Books. I love books. I would rather turn a page than scroll down any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. I have a Bible concordance on CD for my computer, and I have misplaced it, and I haven't missed it in the least. Why? Because I would rather use the limited concordance in my KJV Bible than the one on my computer. It just seems more "right".

Now, for a book lover like myself, one would assume that books would be the perfect present for me on any occasion, right? Well, one would be half-right. I love books, but I hate getting them from other people. Because they almost ALWAYS get me a book, or books, that I have no interest in reading, or will hate just because of the subject matter. This is because I have very picky tastes when it comes to my reading material, and will not waste my rather limited time reading crap, or crap I know is just flat out wrong. I don't need to read what the "other side" is thinking, because I've been on the "other side". I don't need to read them in their own words to know they are idiots. I was an idiot when I was on their side, and I have seen no evidence to show me they aren't still idiots now.

What set me off on presents, and books as presents in particular? My birthday is in a couple of days, and my mother sent me two books as a present. Now, my mother and I haven't spoken to each other in just under a year, so I know my mother is sending me these two books as a way of communicating to me what she is thinking. But, she did so with two books she thought would hold my interest with the subject matter, while being just far enough away from my stances so as to try and show me where she was coming from. Her attempt failed miserably.

If she wanted me to see how much she had changed regarding her stances on religion, sending me a book on how a Roman Catholic priest, who felt the only sin was selfishness, changed a man's life would NOT be the way to do it. I don't like Roman Catholicism. I especially don't like the belief that "sin" is a metaphorical concept, and that the Bible isn't the final word on what is and isn't a sin. So, I have no interest in finding out how much this book changed her life, because I don't neccessarily see that it was a change for the better, if it was a change at all.

The other book she sent was almost as bad. Sending me a book on Marines will ALWAYS pique my interest, right up until I find out that the book is from an imbedded reporter from Iraqi Freedom who wants to show how a Recon platoon turned into ruthless killers during the first months of the war. It would come as no surprise to find out that Marines (and all combat arms personnel) are SUPPOSED to be ruthless killers during combat. Being ruthless drastically improves one's chances for survival in combat. He who hesitates is dead. Do I feel bad that civilians were killed? You bet your sweet bippy I do. Will I lose any sleep over it? Nope. Not one second. The reason is simple. If civilians don't want to get killed in a war-zone, DON'T LIVE IN A WAR ZONE!

A couple of years of inconvenience is a small price to pay for those couple of years spent on this side of the dirt. It may sound heartless and cruel, but this country has benefitted IMMENSELY from foreign civilians who wanted to get away from the war-torn hellhole they lived in, so moved here. When I was growing up, the low-income area I lived in had a huge number of Hmong, or Montangard, refugees. Were they living in near-squalor? Sure. Were their lives uncomfortable? You bet. Were they alive? Yes. Many of those refugees I grew up with are now store owners, city council members, and property owners in my hometown. They wouldn't have been able to accomplish those thing if they hadn't left everything they owned to flee Viet Nam. If they could do it, why can't other civilians do it?

So, I hate getting books as presents. They are never books I want to read, simply because the gift giver either doesn't know my tastes well enough to get me the right ones, or has an agenda to fufill with the gifts. Which makes the agenda-books not worth much as gifts, right?

Semper Fidelis: Always Faithful, to God, Corps and Country