Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why Trying To Convert People Is Stupid

The other day I met a dogmatic, close-minded individual who wouldn't shut up about his belief system and how the world would be better if everyone believed what he believed.

The weird part as, he was an atheist.

There are plenty of religious assholes out there, but when you're talking about 'religious assholes' I don't think the 'religious' part is the problem.

I've never understood why religious people OR atheists would feel the need to convert anybody. If what you're saying is true, what difference does it make whether or not other people believe you? I believe in gravity, but I don't feel the need to prove it's real to anybody. I figure gravity speaks pretty clearly for itself.

The other reason I don't like people trying to push their spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) on other is...well, most of our beliefs sound kind of stupid when you say them out loud.

I know mine do.

Whenever anyone asks me to explain Buddhism to them I always front-load it with the rational stuff, but the weirdness still sneaks out.

PERSON: So what is Buddhism?

DAN: Well, you know it's a way of looking at the world and trying to reduce the suffering you cause for yourself and others through meditation, compassion, and a moral life.

PERSON: Okay, so how do you do that?

DAN: Well...we meditate. And we try to live a good life. And, you know, be compassionate.


DAN: Well, because in doing so we reduce the amount of suffering for ourselves and others and free ourselves from the negative karmic consequences that we *cough*accumulatedinpastlivesaswetravelthroughthesixrealmsincludingtheHelloftheHungryGhosts*cough*

PERSON: What was that last part again?

DAN: Well, you know, consequences...freedom from suffering....

PERSON: No, explain the part about the six realms again. And I believe I distinctly heard the words 'Hell of the Hungry Ghosts.'

DAN: Well, it's kind of-sort of metaphorical. And...look the Tibetans came up with that part, okay? They're not even real Buddhists. It's more like Himalayan Voodoo Buddhism.

PERSON: So what IS real Buddhism?

DAN: Can we go back to calling atheists stupid? That was way more fun.

I would make a terrible evangelist.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Review of My Short Story

Well, kind of.

Interestingly, the scene the reviewer refers to is my favorite scene in the whole story even though it has nothing to do with the plot.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Dan vs. Dan's Brain

The last time I hooked up with a woman something interesting happened. The moment she made it clear she liked me, Dan’s Brain piped up.

DAN‘S BRAIN: She thinks she likes you but really she doesn‘t. She’s just lonely. This will never work out.

Now that isn’t so interesting by itself. Except that I remembered something. The last time I found myself hooking up with a woman, the moment she proved beyond a doubt she liked me, I had this thought:

DAN‘S BRAIN: She thinks she likes you but really she doesn‘t. She‘s just looking for a reason to justify breaking up with her long-distance boyfriend. This will never work out.

And the woman before that, after she had made an impressive sacrifice on my behalf:

DAN‘S BRAIN: She thinks she likes you but really she doesn‘t. She just doesn’t want to hurt you. This will never work out.

And the woman before that:

DAN‘S BRAIN: She thinks she likes you but really she doesn‘t. She’s looking for someone to rescue her. This will never work out.

Which brought us to this conversation between me and my Brain.

DAN: So just to recap: I have never hooked up with a woman who actually liked me. They all just THOUGHT they did. And every time they did something to show they liked me, that proved the DIDN’T like me.

DAN‘S BRAIN: Exactly. Aren‘t you glad I was there for you?

(DAN stares daggers at DAN’S BRAIN)

DAN’S BRAIN : Would you believe I did it because I love you?

(DAN’S BRAIN edges for the door)

DAN’S BRAIN: Come on, man. We still got each other, right? Lobes before hoes.

DAN (chasing his brain around the apartment with a rolling pin): Lying, conspiracy-theory motherfucker, I‘ll kill you! I could have been MAWWIED!!!!

EVERYONE READING: Does Dan even OWN a rolling pin?