Saturday, April 4, 2015

In Defense of My Entertainment Choices

It's no secret that I wear my tastes in entertainment on my sleeve.  For most of you, the fact that I liked some entertainment-related entity--it could be anything from Star Wars to Lizzie McGuire--was probably one of the first, if not the first, thing you found out about me.  It's also all over my Facebook page; even most of my weekly memes are dedicated to some form of entertainment, such as "TUNESday" and "Movie Magic Monday".  Whatever the case, it's become my trademark, and I'm actually okay with that; I could be known for something much worse.  When I was in Boy Scouting, I knew a guy who was pretty much seen as a target; the other guys did nothing but hurl insults at him, only because he was a complete jerk to everyone when he first became part of the troop.  I don't want to be known for something negative; that's why, if Disney Channel is what I'm known for...fine with me.

Still, some people have a problem with my entertainment choices.  They may not come right out and say it, but, the signs are there; why else would people continually unfriend me or brush me off when I try and talk to them? Certain folks have even gone as far as questioning my sexuality because I'd rather watch the Mouse network instead of the big game.  I'm going to address those people and others, and I'm going to be unflinchingly honest.  You may see yourself or other people you know in what I'm saying, but, as I'll explain later, someone needs to take such people to task.

First off: Just because I don't do the "normal" guy thing does not make me "gay" or "a girl."  Homosexuality is a complicated issue, so, I'll say as little as I have to in order to get my point across: If you look up "homosexual" in the dictionary, you're not going to find a definition that says, "A guy who watches the Disney Channel," or "Someone who does not do the same things others of the same age and gender do".  I've always liked the female kind, even when others my age didn't; most elementary school boys find the fairer sex disgusting, but, I had celebrity crushes even back then.  True, they were much older than me, but they were still female.  Too many times, we tend to stereotype people based on common characteristics, such as race or gender: "All men love sports." I'll admit that many guys do, but, I have known quite a few who were only slight fans, if they were fans at all.  Even some were more into sports that aren't exactly the most popular on our shores, such as soccer or MMA.  I mentioned before that I'm just not a "rough-and-tumble" kind of guy; it's kind of an ingrained thing, as I was never too keen on participating in even non-competitive sporting activities from a young age.  My family members and others tried to get me into everything from softball to swimming to roller skating, and I just had zero interest; all I wanted was to go back inside and--you guessed it--consume entertainment.  Oh, and, by the way: Making such remarks is middle school behavior, so, unless you're in the seventh grade--well, even if you are--you're not doing yourself any favors by what you're saying.

Second off: If someone else thinks less of me because of my hobbies...that's on them.  I used to look down on sports fans; I considered anyone who enjoyed sports to be a fanatic.  That's not really true, though; yes, some people take their love of their favorite team to extremes, but not everyone does.  Once I realized that, I felt like an idiot for thinking such things; I can't lump all sports fans into one group.  It was the same way with dogs; in 2002, I was positively livid because my mother had brought home a canine companion for me.  I had said a thousand times before that I didn't want a dog; why didn't she listen? By the time I even began to realize how wrong I was, that dog was long gone; still, it was incorrect for me to lump all members of the canine kind together, and our dog couldn't help what species he was.  While I doubt anyone is lumping me together with others--because no one seems to do what I do; more on that later--they still seem to think less of me, not only because of my entertainment choices, but because of my other hobbies, such as bargain hunting; people my age, especially guys, just don't do that, they say.  I'd say that you shouldn't judge others; instead of thinking less of me just because of what I like to do, why can't you take the time to find out why I like it? Maybe you might learn to like it as well!

Third off: I already know that people my age supposedly don't do what I do...and I don't really care.  I've had people reprimand me for being the "only one" who does what I do, or tell me, "Look at what the other young adults are doing!" First off, there's no way you can know what every coeval person--whether in the world, the country, or even just among the people you know--are doing 100% of the time.  You might think none of your friends watch the Disney Channel, but, some of them very well might and just never talk about it; not everyone wears their favorite entertainment on their sleeve like I do.  I was surprised to hear a few months ago that some of my friends did just that; if you'd asked me prior to then if they did, I'd have said no.  Second off, if you truly knew me, you'd know that I've never cared about such things.  If I was worried about doing what everyone else was doing, my hobbies and entertainment diet would be completely different.  You may not like that, but, that's on you.

In conclusion: You may be wondering why I feel the need to say what I've said here; do such people even need to be addressed? Actually, they do, because their judgmental or otherwise unkind behavior is also sinful.  Some of you may be quick to tell me "Do not judge" or "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," but, I counter with a direct command from God:
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.  Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself." (Ezekiel 3:17-21, NIV)
Jesus told people, "Unless you repent, you will likewise perish." It seems like everyone else is afraid to reprimand others for doing wrong, in fear of offending or losing them as friends; if I don't say these things...who will?

1 comment:

Arwen Sodan said...

I think the best way for me to go about this is to address each point.

Point one:
I alway have found stereotypes to be absurd. Like fathers who won't let their sons play Barbies with their sisters. It has nothing to do with what sexuality you are. YES, stereotypes do exist because those things may tend to be enjoyed more frequently by whoever is being stereotyped, BUT those are things that are temporary and are only stereotypes because of our culture. I have friends that are homoseual, and the range of what they find enjoyable is just as vast as with people who are hetrosexual. You and I may not agree on issues related to this, but I can assure you, gay or straight, stereotypes are archaic. What you enjoy has nothing to do with who you are going to, or want to, have sex with or have a sexual attraction too. I think the millennial generation will actually help decrease stereotypes, as the millennials I know are very non-judgmental. Because, in all honesty, we can only control what WE believe and not others.(On a side note, with the access to information we have, people can learn about all beliefs and religions and find which religion or belief system the Creator speaks most clearly to them through.)

Point Two:
Mostly all I have to say in regards to that is that I completely agree. What brings happiness to someone(like owning a puppy) may not bring that same happiness to us. In the Declaration of Independence it says "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". It is every human beings God given right to happiness, and each person has a unique idea of what brings them happiness.

Point Three:
What is normal to be doing at your age? I never really understood that statement. And honestly, who wants to be an adult anyway. Adults are lame. :P People who worry about what other people do in their free time have to much time on their hands.

Lastly:
I have been posting on forums since I was around 12(now I will be 25 in June *scream in fear*) and I have always stood up for someone being made fun of or picked on. The internet is a great place to hide from others while viciously attacking them, and bullies are a dime a dozen on the internet. Those type of people are cowards and you can find solace in knowing that Karma always finds a way. Anyone who sees someone being attacked online for no reason and does nothing about it is just as guilty. Don't get me wrong, it is important to know the entire situation, but when injustice is happening it is our responsibility to stand up when other won't.

Communication is a difficult art, and while I consider myself quite good at it(you looking at a qualified middle school mediator :P) it is something that can only be learned from being around and/or communicating with people. Sometimes communication is about asking the right questions, and not forming an opinion until you know the whole situation.