Columbus’s Christmas Idol

I am interning at a middle school over break. The school’s choir is currently in a contest. The video below is their submission:

If you are impressed, vote for KIPP Journey Academy, here . There are a bunch of really awesome students who would appreciate it.

Why God is the Opposite of Boobs

I got your interest with that title, didn’t I? It’s true though. And it’s not because I’m trying to gender God or something. Maybe God is a woman and then She would be opposite of Her boobs. That’s all I’m saying.

When we are little (like before-we-can-move-by-ourselves little), we have very little concept of the world. And it is theorized that new-borns believe that the entire world is their mothers’ breasts. That’s all there is to life. Nothing else matters or is important. They, supposedly, are consumed by their little newborn perception of that breast. And that’s all that is going on.

Well, then fast-forward a decade or two, and life seems really really complicated. We deal with careers, school, mortgages, children, spouses, significant others, aging families, funerals, marriages, births, birthdays, war, taxes, depressions, disease, and all the other stuff we think is important. And we think we have grown vastly superior to the baby who cannot comprehend anything other than her mother’s breast.

But the truth is that we still haven’t reached a sophisticated truth. Sure, life isn’t all about boobs. It’s good we learned that. (Maybe some people are still trying to get over that part.) But it’s silly that we think that life is all about all of the various things we surround ourselves with now. Why should ten, twenty, thirty years make all that much different.

It’s funny because we often include God in this list of stuff that life is about. But we would be much closer to understanding what God’s power was if we said something like God is life. We used to believe that boobs were life. That was wrong. God is life probably isn’t all that wrong. God’s kinda the opposite of boobs.

There’s a scene in the movie V for Vendetta when one of the characters is reading a letter from one of the other characters, and the letter-writer says that her grandmother used to tell her that “God was in the rain.” I try to remind myself of that every time I find myself uptown without an umbrella.

Freudian Thoughts

Sigmund Freud

I really dig psychology. I’m taking a Psychology of Personality class this quarter for my psychology minor. And I’m loving it. It’s a two-hour lecture class, and typically these kinds of classes rarely hold my interest, especially when you can typically read all of the information in the textbook, but I am enamored by this course. We are working our way through the history of psych of personality, and so, like all good psychology, we start with Freud.

Freud was a pretty interesting fellow. He wrote a lot of stuff that people took to be really sexual and stuff when it kind of really wasn’t. Also, he didn’t write about women very much because they were a “dark continent” and he “never really understood them.” And for those reasons, Freud is usually written off as a crazy person. It’s sad, though, because while people don’t think Freud was right about everything anymore, he certainly got some stuff right or said some things about the world that are useful.

Freud had this one really interesting theory about child development. Without going into too much detail, Freud thought that we all go through the same stages of development and that during these stages of development we are obsessed with different erogenous zones. Erogenous zones is just a fancy way of saying parts of the body that give us pleasure. So first, we are obsessed with the mouth. And that’s all good, we get food that way and that makes us happy. Then we go into the anal stage, which has to do with potty training, and then the phallic stage, which has to do with discovering our genitals and so on and so forth.

So basically the whole thing goes that when we are in each stage, we don’t really know about the next stage so we think that the happiness and pleasure we are experiencing from our current stage is the greatest of all the happiness and pleasure we will ever experience. And it’s like, obviously there are greater pleasures than being fed. But when a baby is in the oral stage, everything has to do with the mouth. All objects pass through the mouth because when the mouth is your pleasure center, if something doesn’t work with your mouth, it’s no good for you. If we could just tell all babies that there are greater pleasures than mouth pleasures, then we could fix the whole babies choking on things problem.

Us adults exist in the genital stage, where we have supposedly realized that reproduction causes the greatest pleasure. But this whole notion kind of strikes me as odd, as if there is some end point to development – that one day, we wake up and if everything had gone perfectly from birth, we would be perfect adults. That doesn’t seem right to me. I think we kind of go on developing, and I think that’s why sex permeates our culture in a lot of ways. If we believe, like the baby with his mouth, that the end-all be-all of human existence is sex, then of course we are going to put it everywhere and in everything.  I wish someone would tell us that there are greater pleasures than reproductive pleasures.