Sunday, May 18, 2014

Conversations in a Bus: Proselytism on Seat Number Four

I am not scared of the idea of hell, because I've lived one for first 27 years of my life. As many times lately, I've been taking the bus, it can open quite a few eyes to travel in the mass transportation system and look what people are doing, as well listen to.

There is a fine line between finding a system of faith that can compliment an ideology, and being harassed by almost everyone that is obsessed on proselytizing their faith; because at the end, faith is just a mere business for the pastor. Look at Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyer, they don't live the humbleness they profess but their sects they have to.

As I went in the bus, being stubborn and quick to react, I rarely accept anything from strangers, but yesterday I saw something it got my attention. The little pamphlet that is on the left side of the entry.

As I walked by, the person who offered the pamphlet was an African American guy, he was sitting alone on the fourth seat. He was sporting a red polo with white stripes, and he had an impeccable haircut, but he was in complete silent. I couldn't avoid taking the flyer because that way, it would let me to study him from the distance and eventually to took a few videos about the different people he tried to approach.

Nobody after me really accepted the little piece of paper, but then I have a morbid fascination on studying people as I mentioned previously. Is an old habit since my days of journalism that I still keep; the guy had several pamphlets as well several buses routes. I would believe in the ecclesiastical term, he was a missionary, or at least a volunteer with nothing better to do on his day off in order to fulfill his quota of "saved souls."

After a few last tries, the guy stop not far away from my house at Anderson Rd, and I assumed he took bus seven to go south to Hillsborough Avenue, in order to go to his church. Later we are going to examine the science of "saving" and how the different sects approach the people through this form of privacy and personal invasion.

As you can see the video is upside down, I apologize but I do not have any video editors at the moment and I don't feel to invest some effort to upload it on a laptop that is essentially dying. As you see in the video, a woman with red hair goes in, and walks behind, she eventually pass the guy I mentioned earlier and she says no. She sat behind him, and he tried several times to keep talking to her. Because, it is "important" to save people from something much of them don't believe on the same semiotic message as the sender of the message.

It brings me to the next question, and if any of my friends read me, I hope an answer "Why is so important to spread your message.? While in the process you can offend someone who is happy with the way they are." Why the obsession to live in close such proximity, almost and not to say a fanatical level of a book that is extremely outdated by this millennium.? As well, claiming that every single church, spawn from one obscure one, that almost was "cloned" with Photoshop from another one, to say that the church is the true church and then ridicule any other faith.?

Is almost childish, because Christianity as is today, with all those church that say that are the true church of God are just a mere offspring of Catholicism, and even so Catholicism itself has some obscure origin on a letter written by Ignatius of Antioch around on AD 107, and yet all this comes from a separatist Jew that was competing with other "Messiahs" in order to find his place on the convulsed times of the Roman Empire, and even so it wasn't until the year 313, through the Edict of Thessalonica that made the Catholic Christianity the official religion of the Empire. Yet, we could be adoring Mithra or any other Gods if it wasn't for the Romans; and, we are not going to go with the Greeks because they turned everything more confusing due the poor translation they made of the old papyrus.

Free thinking and free speech are two components that don't go well with religion; because, if the followers start questioning, they are committing the ultimate sin, questioning the authority; but, what really gets my attention around the pamphlet it is the way that is divided. As many charismatic sects, Neo Pentecostals and sects that were on the Second Awakening; they made their effort to reach the people who have doubts with their own life, or youth at risk.

The way that we see how some religious sect approach individuals, though spreading the good news, are in the hands of the Jehovah's Witnesses, the invention is relative new, as they tried to summarize their tenements in a simple way to spark the curiosity of the people and bring them in, into their religion.

Mass media itself played an important role, as in the 1900's revivals, preachers used radios and prints in order to bring people to their congregation, as of today they use Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter, and it proves that is good for the business as they can capitalize their web success through add-on and add-words to bring some extra but substantial revenue.

The little handbook could be itemized as the only way to salvation is to reject yourself, where you have to reject your life and accept you are sinner and the teachings of the preacher can save you. Free will it is the ultimate sin to whoever dares to reject any form of authority, not only religious, but towards the establishment order.

West Gate Baptist Church
And to the man who gave me the pamphlet on the bus, he was from the West Gate Baptist Church; but, this is not the first time I've had encounters where my privacy feels violated, not only by the West Gate Baptist Church but also by several others. Not only at the bus, but at the place I am working in right now.

It can be annoying when freedom of religion is contradicted within himself and let the freedom of expression be diminished. We are on the point that we are living more on a theocracy (at least in the South), and it's been given to the point that is OK to proselytize instead of supporting civil rights. Who knows knows,? but a ride in the bus, you can always learn something about people and how the interact with their surroundings.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Why Equality Should Finally Be Recognized in Florida
Beyond marriage, this is an issue of human dignity that shouldn't be placed in the middle of a debate that has religious overtones. All men are created equal, yet the Constitution seems a document that was made to be adjusted to the some people, and not everyone that wants to improve their community.

It's not difficult to feel as you are a second class citizen everywhere, even if some jurisdiction of Florida had created laws to favor the LGTBQ population; but it shouldn't be laws to favor, there should be laws to show that are citizens are equal, not only here in Florida (hypothetically speaking) but everywhere.

The problem started when we became more oriented towards a theocracy, I am not attacking religion but America is not a Christian nation we are far away to be an homogenize society, as we are plural and not even on the Constitution of the United States says anything towards more support a national religion or any sect.

I guess we can blame the Red Scare of the 1950's as well the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that shocked different two different set of generations, due the proselytistic efforts of the different religious sect that found their way to place themselves not only in the masses imageries but as well into the secular world by inserting In God We trust everywhere.

But what God.? There are different interpretation of the concept and at the humanity is just humanity playing with divinity, only to find several excuses to discriminate whoever doesn't believe into what they believe or what the world should be.

Florida itself has an imagery towards the LGTBQ culture that goes as a tourist destination from inspiration in the audio-visual media, such as A Florida Enchantment one of the first films in modern history that represents (not in a realistic way) the concepts of bisexuality as well transgenderism into the American mainstream culture; up to Le Cage Aux Folles from 1996 where has been one of the first films that play on a more positive light same sex oriented relationship, as they can be functional and experience a set of similar problems.

The list can go and go, even from the sociohistory point of view towards how the Pride Parades tend to boost business and how the different gay villages which do the insertion of creative people, they can improve the local economies as well the neighborhoods. Miami Beach, Ybor City, Thornton Park just to name a few around.

Ybor is one unique case on how the insertion of a more diverse community, essentially has placed the location back on the map, little by little; as many people on the Central Florida region will remember that neighborhood had a decline after World War 2 and in between the beginning of the Cold War; but thanks to two factors which are the urban renewal program on the 1960's and a slow but steady influx of artists and bohemians started the revitalization of the area in the 1980's.

Now in the second decade of the second millennium, the recovery of the area as well the adjacent neighborhoods had started to recover the spaces as well.

There is no reason to debate, but a lot of reasons to finally say yes that humanity is not black and white but a multicultural rainbow. At the end we are just humans, and there shouldn't even be a list on why something positive for us should be given, is an innate right since we are a born. We are all created equal, but yet equality seems to be favored for a few self described righteous individuals who in a mix of faith and hate, they think the world is theirs.

Equality should recognized because we all want the best for our families, for our friends, for ourselves and for our communities, the same communities that we work towards everyday. Prejudice will be always be there, is a part of human race but also compassion and happiness; and beyond any divine reasons we are all made of flesh and bones, we are not Gods themselves, we are just humans and justify hate through something holy we are just showing the prejudice aspect that we justify as if the word of  a God of hate.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Why Video Games Should Be Considered A Form of Artistic Expression
It is not so odd to think about video games as a form of art. Through the different genres, the consumers as well the avid players, can see the different process where gaming is more than a repetitive process as there are a combination between beautiful graphics and a compelling story line.

The evolution of the gaming industry has been quite slow; not many people realize that video games (at least when it first got sketched and patented was on 1947) appeared with the idea as a missile game created by Thomas Toliver Goldsmith Jr. a physicist professor of Furman University; albeit the idea was never placed on a commercial environment. To think that the idea has been for more that half of a century is quite remarkable; but in terms of contemporary history, the first modern game came in the hands of Bill Pitts and Hugh Tucks who developed the first coin operated game at the Stanford University laboratories in 1971, the game was known as Galaxy Game and that is how the revolution of the Arcade came into the market.

Pong, became eventually the catalyst that placed the first generation of home consoles into the popular mainstream, and the list eventually grew placing other titles such as Pac-Man, Missile Command, Galaxian, Frogger among others.

As years passed, then it came to the point of finding validation, but why to seek approval from a higher source of information,? specially from a community that had created their own niches over the decades of production.

The answer could be in a bittersweet position, due political and social issues. As many forms of art, it does require the approval of communities to gain some validity; it is shallow to express it but it is one truth, as to gain consensus, the work needs the opinion of the masses.

The problem relies as any form of art, between vulgarity and what art could be itself. There is a debacle of video games, indeed as a form of art, because the problematics goes on a social scale as well towards medical issues. It can be a long debate itself, but appreciating the beauty of some games such as Braid and FEZ as other indie games, gives a different perspective to the players as well general consumers; that games can show beauty on a aesthetic level, and even keep entertain without resourcing to extreme violence or just plain commercialism.

Braid is one good example on how the impressionism works perfectly in the environment, it gives to the game itself a colorful palette that is almost distinctiveness to the game. But, the beauty, the art of the game itself, is not necessarily applied to the graphics as so is with Braid or any other game.

The art lays on the storytelling, much as it was a movie, and as the seventh art, games do deserve a level of recognition for the compelling story telling, as well they show the form of expression of the developers.

Yet, the community seems to try to find a central mainstream figure in order to get approval; there is really no need to find approval from anyone that doesn't come from the community itself, but yet it's relevant to try to find support from the mainstream in order to get the approval from the masses to find that form of artistic expression that at the end is just an affirmation.

Then we have another perspective, and goes from the fandom of the video games, where in an artistic perspective they took also video games into a new level, as it never done before, towards the use of pop culture. It is silly to think, how can pop culture with an emphasis on video games can be turned into something beautiful as well beyond the mundane. Reaffirming that video games are art. The answer is indeed simple, is just a simple form of expression where the fans express what they enjoy the most as well giving a different perspective to the products of the video games.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Practical Use for Businesses who Accept BitCoin in Tampa Bay

Flame Stone Grill by: Carloseatsworld
As I was reading in the Tampa Tribune, on the 5/04/2014 edition. It made think about the different faces of creating, and the uses that a not centralized system could bring to the economics, being local or international.

In Oldsmar (a Tampa district) a well known restaurant in the area named Flamestone Grill; whose owner Nick Pappas, a technology enthusiast, decided to implement the technology into the business. To understand bit-coin, the user have to know that is an unregulated peer to peer, where no single entity controls the flow of cash with the exception of the users themselves.

After Nick investigated on 2013, he bought an unit for US$20, and the value as of 2014 goes around US$500. But, probably the trend is still new America, because according to the Tampa Tribune the number of customers who had paid with Bitcoin had been two, whose transaction were two US$50 in gift cards.

"If the customer wants to pay that way, why not make life easier for them.?" He said; the problem is not to make life easier for the customers, but to put the right decisions to generate revenue without creating a risk for the business. Yet, there is a side aspect on why business are attracted to Bitcoin users; and, the reason it can be used instead of credit or debit and it has no fees (which is one side, the banks and financial institutions get their interests from) but because the lack of security on the new system, many companies are hesitant into placing it on use. Which makes me think, why not to use cash instead,? is still less problematic than digital money.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Syntax of North Korea and Airstrip One

On a micro-scale based on mere observations as well reading the blatantly mis-information of the Rodong Sinmun, is almost as seeing an aspect of the Ministry of Love taken to life, where they instill love of the supreme leader, of the Big Brother into the peoples' mind. The speech has to make sense, the magnitude of the mental domination goes beyond generations, and the control is so great that history is re-written in order to keep the Ill-Un as heroes or Gods of the people.

The theocratic idea itself, it is not that weird to appear in the real world, as political leaders can overthrow the organized system in order to position themselves, almost on the borderline of a Messianic level. Political religion could be the best phrase to describe the theocratic concept organized in salvation to a group of family, or individual that is in the power. Much as it happens on Venezuela with the imagery of the late Hugo Chavez, who achieved in less time that the Ill-Un dynasty in three generations.

Historical revisionism has been a major player, as well crimes against the free think; is almost a crime to think different or otherwise you are sent to the reeducation camps or the room 101 in order to learn love the country as well the leader. The Ministry of Truth is probably one of the fictional examples that can be brought to the real world, in the situation of the Rodong Sinmum, the official newspaper of the party.

Rodong Sinmum  is a clear example on how the media can lose their voice and become a mere instrument of the party, it can happen anywhere, where the official source of communication can be used to justify and glorify the claims the party are making, even if they are just mere bullshit toward the progress of the country. Such as saying Fruit Trees on Thousands of Hectares but there is no direct information, to as who this program is going to be benefit for; where are going to be planted, jobs and what benefits the investment is going to have in the areas.

How to keep re-writing history.? How the lies keep getting perpetuated. The scenarios are not different between the countries. As in Korea, and in the Americas there are people dedicated just to modify or to avoid teaching them to new generations; yet, on a circumstantial level they vary according to the socio-political examples.

While in North Korea they are in the need to keep the cult of personality alive, and as that many citizens don't have access to Internet, they can't compare the truth that is sold by the government to the truth, to the different perspectives. That little but big point, is also happening on the educational system on North America, where national studies are being ignored in order to avoid offending people or avoiding a lawsuit, such as schools aren't studying on a critical level the ineptitude of the Republican Party since the fall of the Berlin Wall (i.e. The government of George Bush and how they perpetuated the war in Irak for economical interests) or how the congress and and the Obama administration aren't that different from their predecessors in order to keep the war going.

Not many people can say it out-loud, as re-indoctrination is inevitable to whoever dares to defy the status quo.  The Goldsteins and the Big Brothers keep the world order according to their own interests.

Yet, whoever dares to say, that this is just a way to keep the messianic imagery open and that there is nothing that is going to happen, that person is going to be executed. Much as it happened to Winston, where is death became on his persona after taken by O'Brien. That idea is not strange even in America, as the government itself has perpetrated some extreme racist stereotypes towards foreigners, and who ever dares to question that Freedom is not Free can be deprived of their liberty.

Maybe, the world has turned into a Ninety Eighty Four; as at least here in America we cannot question that "2+2=5". Far away from North Korea, Americans had found their own Ministries where they take the liberties away, as there is no need for people who can question that these war has become eternal, almost on a modern concept 60 years. The Cold War and World War 2 placed several Emmanuel Goldstein's on this side of the world as well quite a lot of Big Brothers.

The Big Brothers at least in North America, can be seen as the Bush and Clinton families, that had perpetuated the theocratic approach on what side of the coin to vote.? What is a vote.? What is a vote that at the end has no value because the coins have the same face. It is a sad reality, where the world is playing the same scenarios over and over, only with different puppets.

At the end war is just a business, and to who controls the power will have the adoration. How the Il-Jongs had perpetuated their power on such extreme.? With no fear of being overthrown; the answer is simple, mere manipulation through fear, cutting every single possible tie with the outside world and forfeiting technology that will allow people to wake up from their dream like state, as they need to be seen as godly image, but at the end even the gods fall.So as one day, when the theocratic cult that Kim Jong-un is surrounded by, breaks, it will be the beginning of a new era.