On following others:
School is following others. Culture instills following others. Corporations, countries, and organizations require following others. Following others is not for the individual. It’s for the safety of the herd.
On freedom and the individual:
I need the freedom to express. I need the freedom to explore. I need the freedom to create. These are only taught by the world’s best teachers. Learn to learn from yourself or risk living someone else’s version of your life.
This song is hilarious.
- It’s a German heavy metal cover of the U.S. Bubblegum Pop band that wrote “The Ballroom Blitz.”
- The original song, “Fox on the Run“, tells the story of a man chasing after an attractive woman. The German heavy metal cover, “Fuchs Geh Voran“, describes an actual fox-hunt, like those that happened in Jane Austin’s day.
- The original song is by Sweet, a shortened form of “The Sweetshop”, a place where children receive candy. The German Heavy Metal Band named themselves “Scorpions,” one of the world’s top 5 creepiest animals. And they didn’t choose “The Scorpions,” with a “The” to indicate they’re a band, not actual scorpions. Nor did they choose the singular form, “Scorpion”. No, they wanted fans to imagine multiple creepy crawlies each time their band name is mentioned.
- Heavy metal, fox hunting, and the German language are a great combo. An excerpt of the lyrics: (For full effect, imagine it sung in German, backed by heavy metal music. And if you don’t know German, simply imagine in a heavy German accent.)
Hey, you beautiful animal,
I come and help you,
you are in danger.
Hey, you all just want your fur,
and whoever sells it fast,
yes that’s unfortunately true.
Wir müßen den Fuchs häuten!
The humor has concluded. You may now laugh.
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There’s a Jewish summer camp for adults. That sounds so fun. I get a scholarship because I volunteer with a Jewish youth group. The scholarship required an application. One question asked about my favorite Jewish teaching. This is what I wrote:
As a child in Hebrew school, I was the troublemaker. The kid who wouldn’t sit still, whose desk was separated from others by a distance just longer than his arms. Only on one day did I stop making trouble:
I had been scooting around the classroom on my belly when my teacher scratched the side of his nose, our signal for “You’re goofing off, Julian. Stop it.” I ignored it. He signaled for a second time. I ignored it again, because “What’s he gonna do?” Then, he began the story of The Golden Calf. I stopped scooting. I knew this one was going to matter the moment he began. See, The Golden Calf is about worship. It’s about how easy it is to make things sacred. It goes something like this:
“Once upon a time God gave Laws. The first one was “I’m God and that’s it.” Then, Moses, God’s go-between leaves his people alone for TEN MINUTES and they make this statue of a cow, made out of gold. And they were dancing and praying, saying it was their God. Moses got pissed and smashed it.”
Now, why does this matter? What can you learn?
- You’re going to worship. A man locked in prison worships the sunrise he sees through the bars. Deprived of all your senses, you’ll still worship. Consciously choose what you worship, because you’ll act like it’s all that matters.
- Physical objects are easily broken, so don’t make them into Gods. This one sounds obvious, but actually drove human history for a while. Did you know one reason Jews were successful was that they didn’t have physical Gods? If your God was a lump of wood or a rock or a statue, invaders could storm in, steal it, and subjugate your people easily… because they literally have your God! But the Jewish God wasn’t represented in idols. Also probably a good analogy for life: if you worship material goods (or money, say), you’ll be crushed whenever they’re broken. Worship ideals, however, like Honesty, Truth, Love, or Honor, and you’ll be much more resolute.
- It’s easy to build Gods, even accidentally. A friend gifted me an obsidian stone a few months ago. I jokingly began referring to it as “Birdbrain, creator of the universe.” After a while, I noticed I started treating the rock with more respect. I began keeping it safe. Watch out for what you worship, because it’s easy to worship the wrong things. In this case, a stone. Stones are easy to stop worshipping. Hedonism? Codependence? Those are tough worships to drop.