Analogy of the day: Welcome to Night Vale

From Episode 4 of Welcome to Night Vale:

After the sentient lightning bolt struck him and gave him the strength of two jeeps and the intelligence of a heavily concussed René Descartes…

Both unexpected and brilliant. 

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Zen Stories To Tell Your Neighbor

Zen Stores to Tell Your Neighbor: One of the many things that shaped me into the bleeding heart,  curious and loving Pantheist I am today.

I was probably 12 or 13 years old when my mom showed me one of the Zen stories, and I loved it so much I read the rest as quickly as I could. Once or twice a year, I go back and read them all over again, and every I visit I end up seeing something new.

I especially love the reader comments at the end of each story. Some are deeply thoughtful, others are totally clueless or even sarcastic, but each one brings a new angle, and its a lot of fun to see the different interpretations. These anonymous, forgotten readers helped a young kid like me understand a little bit about what it all meant. Thank you, faceless dozens!

My personal favorite has always been Useless Life. The others are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but Useless Life has always stuck with me.

There are so few survivors from “the old days” of the Internet, and most of them are blogs, now sporting clever designs and coordinating color schemes. I’m not saying they’ve forgotten their roots (indeed, many of them were trailblazers back then and don’t get nearly enough respect) but they’ve certainly updated with the times. Zen Stories is what it was when I first found it, and likely will be the same until the sad day its finally pulled offline forever. I find some comfort in that.

The Internet of today, series of tubes that it is, is constantly shifting, evolving and moving forward. It is flashy, dazzling and still blazing trails. Zen Stories is static, basic and simple. It is, after over 15 years, still there when I need it, quietly waiting. It is Zen, all the way, and I hope it brings as much pleasure to others as it has brought to me.

Self-Love

Happy Love Your Body Day! *

Loving your body doesn’t mean you have to love every minute you’re in your skin – we all have bad days, big zits, water weight or a regrettable hair coloring decisions to contend with. Now and again, we all look like a hot mess on a wet day and there’s nothing we can do about it, no matter what your mother or the commercials say. Entire industries are built on the idea that you’re not enough – not thin enough, muscled enough, manly enough, feminine enough, good enough – for the faceless Them. It’s enough to depress even the most esteemed of individuals.

I had another twelve paragraphs of rambling personal actedotes and encouraging words, but then I stumbled across this:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, ladies – just because the Miss Universe competition uses these characteristics doesn’t mean we all do. Someone out there loves you, you can be sure of it. [via]

Truer words are rarely spoken, especially on the Internet. Hey, I feel better already.

Perspective is important. In the words of Mary Schmidt: “You are not as fat as you imagine.” But remember, loving yourself entirely is just as, if not more, important than just loving your body. There is so much more to who we are beyond how we look. When others think or speak of you, the size of your heart and the way you treat others will weigh more heavily on their opinions than the size of your ass or the way you walk.

Need some guidance?

See also: The Society Pages: Love Your Body Day

Be free.

* Okay, Love Your Body Day was actually yesterday but I left my post draft on another computer, so here we are. Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to say Happy Birthday, Snoop Dogg! Snoop’s always been a big proponent of being yourself, living confidently and learning from your mistakes.

Baby girl wanna be grown
She got a Facebook page and a cell phone
Her daddy getting money her momma on the go
She moving too fast but she really don’t know
Life is a trip lil mama don’t drink that
They telling you it’s cool baby don’t take that
Cause if you do ain’t no telling
You’s a good girl why you fighting and rebelling
If you keep that up you gonna end up spread
Misled better yet sick in the head
So stop trying to be like them and be yourself
Stop look and see yourself

Women be misrepresented

Just last night I read a Cracked article about obnoxious and stereotypical traits given to nearly all women in Hollywood productions. This morning I woke up to a similar story in the New Yorker. Who knew the go-to guide for the cultured and sophisticated would be so in sync with your average college-aged stoners’ favorite website?

We’re really not that different, you and I. Got a light?