Sunday, April 05, 2015
The Awesome Blog, Or What's Making Me Happy
I used to pay close attention to politics, the news and what was happening in the world today. I felt this was important. One needed to have a good grasp on current events so that one could make the world a better place. Or something.
Every now and again you might come across a bumper sticker or t-shirt or some random comment on a website that says something like this:
"If you aren't angry you aren't paying attention."
Thing is, that's really the truth. At the time I was paying a lot of attention and I was very angry. Politicians pissed me off. Republicans pissed me off. Religious nuts pissed me off. Various websites, commentators, bloggers and random Facebook posters pissed me off.
I'd find myself getting into these long, furiously angry and utterly pointless arguments on social media. They were wrong, I was right and I'd be damned if I wasn't going to let them know about it. This never actually changed anything. I wasn't making the world a better place. I wasn't changing anyone's mind. All I was doing is making myself more angry.
I'd stew about these things all day. Writing arguments in my mind - forming logical mountains that no one would be able to assail and topple. Righting their wrongs, justifying my own self-righteousness. I'd get home, I'd make my post and there would be counter arguments, names called, blood boiled. Then I'd be up half the night reforming arguments and becoming more and more angry.
About a year ago I knew it had to stop. I was angry all the time. I'd even lost friends. Seriously, one of my dearest friend and I had stopped talking to each other because we'd had one too many arguments over politics. I decided it wasn't worth it. Whatever value paying attention had, it wasn't worth losing friends and sleep over.
So I gave it up. I stopped watching the news. Stopped listening to NPR. Stopped reading political blogs. I went through my social media feeds and whenever someone talked about politics I hid them or unfriended them.
To fill that political hole I've found things that make me happy. Music, movies, books, arts and culture now consume my life. Beautiful things. Lovely things. Happy things. My life is so much better for it. I try (and admittedly I'm not always successful as politics and the like still have a tendency to find their way to my eyes and brain and distract) to focus on the good and the wonderful, to filter my life with passions and let all the negative things slip away.
I'm not here to say that politics and current events aren't important. I'm not trying to say that you shouldn't be invested in those things. I'm just hear to praise the other things, the things that bring me joy. I started this particular blog a long time ago. It died many years ago. I picked up other blogs and have done other things. I decided to start it back up because I wanted a venue to talk about the things that are making me happy every day. If I keep up regular postings I may find a new blog, but for now this will be my home.
I will hopefully talk about The Pop Culture Happy Hour more in depth at some other time. But for now I'll just say its one of my very favorite podcasts. At the close of each show they go around the room stating whats making them happy at that given moments. Its a chance for the hosts of the show to recommend various books, movies, shows, songs, etc that they are digging right then and there. I love that. I've found lots of interesting stuff through them and now have a note on my phone dedicated to that segment where I can jot down stuff they recommend that sounds interesting.
In a great many ways that's what I want this blog to be - my place to talk about whats making me happy. Often it will be some piece of pop culture. A film, book, album, or whatever that's got me excited on any given day. There will probably be more personal things to like silly things my daughter says or a nice patch of weather, but ultimately I just want to make this a place to bring a little positivity into the blogosphere.
I hope you enjoy.