The Bearded Awesome

TV/Media Commentary and Societal Insights. With a Beard.

Category Archives: Life and Society

So, what’s the deal with gay people, anyway?

After showing this conversation to a few of my friends, I’ve been told that my response might actually be beneficial to publish and share online, for people who a) Want to see how I handled someone hell-bent on believing homosexuality (or any non-straight orientation, I guess) is a choice; or b) Are legitimately interested in what the deal with gay people is, or something.

I normally save this blog for articles and keep personal insights to my Tumblr, but I thought people who enjoyed my very early piece, 4 Reasons I Would Never Choose to be a Gay Guy, might enjoy my response, which is basically a more mature, in-depth evolution of that comedy article.

I also figured, if I devoted the energy to craft such an in-depth response to someone really ignorant and undeserving, it might be worthwhile to share it with people who ARE worth putting that much time and effort into. So this one’s for all of you. Hopefully you’ll be enlightened or entertained.

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3 Ways the “YOLO” Mentality Sucks

We all need ways to help us get through the day, especially when life keeps giving us lemons but our juicer is broken so you can’t even make lemonade. There are billions of crazy fortune cookie sayings that, instead of telling us our fortune, tell us “the sun only rises for those who wish it to” or “consume goat’s blood over the Hellmouth on the hour of the beast.”

Should I be worried?

But cheesy inspirational phrases do have a point—living your life completely safe will definitely make you hate it. Which is why concepts like “Live like you were dying” or “YOLO” (an acronym for “You Only Live Once” that’s actually pronounced phonetically because God hates us) and variations of the like have always had popularity one way or another. “YOLO” in particular, after being popularized by that one guy from Degrassi who’s also a rapper apparently, has exploded with teens and young adults lately. Drake has actually described it as a legitimate “movement” (remember that nothing else important is happening in the world right now) and it’s a popular Twitter hashtag, reason for pranks, and even Zac Efron apparently tattooed the motto on himself, which is again the most important thing happening in the entire world.

NO ZAC! NOT YOUR PRECIOUS BOD!!!

The media can have its field day with Efron and teen pranks, but ultimately you can’t stop people from being fucking stupid. That stuff’s going to happen with or without a dumb motto. The problem, though, is that even for people who don’t consciously say the phrases like jackasses, the “YOLO” concept of “live your life to the fullest” is used copiously by young adults in their 20s—people who are out of school with no idea what to really do next. It’s an age where, yeah, we can be doing random shit. It’s way more likely that the job we’re working or place we’re living or even significant other we’re with won’t be the same in the next 5 or 10 years. And that’s okay, because plenty of people use their 20s as a time for exploration (especially in the current market) so of course you’ll be doing different things. But some people use “YOLO” or less BS phrases like “Carpe Diem” as their foundation, and instead of it being motivation to try new things, it just screws them over, mentally, emotionally and even physically.

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4 Reasons Why Hardcore Fandoms Have Balls of Steel

The whole concept of being a “fan” of something has exploded in the past few years, no doubt thanks to things like the internet, and the internet, as well as the internet.  Being totally in love with and knowing everything about the thing you like no longer makes you a nerd, it’s just kind of accepted.  Movie fans, sports fans, music fans, video game fans—everyone’s on the same level now in terms of societal acceptance of utter devotion, now that it’s so much easier to form a fan community with people all across the globe.

That being said, there’s still a huge chunk of fans that are on a wholly different playing field.  People that become well-known staples within the fanbase—running websites, moderating message boards, crafting loads of fanfiction, fanart and GIFs, organizing campaigns, travelling to conventions, following concerts.  I myself have pretty much gotten out of the habit of being crazy intense with fansites after some bad experiences.  Now, I don’t want it to sound like “I don’t participate in fandom” because I’m a pretentious dick or something.  I mean, I kind of am a pretentious dick, but not about this stuff.  In fact, me not being able to get too fully immersed in some of the most intense fandoms just means I don’t have the balls to be in them, and here’s why.

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5 Irritating After-Effects of Losing Religion

Growing up means things change.  Your experiences shape your perceptions, and eventually you stop seeing things the same way and realize you might not believe in what you used to believe.  Just like you thought Dragonball Z made sense or you could grow up to be a tiger-training astronaut, some people grow up and question whether or not they truly believe in God, and sometimes come to the conclusion that the religious organization they’re part of is wrong.  While there are plenty of complex, tragic tales out there regarding loss of religion, for some of us, it was much simpler: we realized we didn’t believe it, wanted to get out, and want to move on with our lives.  But sometimes, that’s the hardest way to go.

(Please note that, while I’m addressing religion of all types in the general sense, my examples and references will be predominantly related to Christianity, simply because that’s where my personal experiences lie.  ALSO I’M  ‘MURIKAN, AND ‘MURKIA IS CHRISTIAN NATION!)

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5 Ways to Tell You’re Using Social Media Wrong

‘Tis the season for Lent, which means for a little while there might be a surplus of chocolate, soda, and masturbation.  But here in the 21st century, more and more people might be giving up social networking–which, if that’s what you’re giving up in the name of God or The Doctor or whoever, that probably means it qualifies as a big deal.  No doubt you’ve heard the constant debates over how social media is changing our culture for better or worse, though usually people say it’s for the worse.  I’ll take a wild guess and say you, the reader, have a Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, or some other knock-off like that “FriendZone” site the college kids are always talking about.


Oh.

I can’t really argue for the negative effects it has on society–just a quick glance at Twitter will prove that people are really, really stupid.  But there are ways to have these pages to share and connect with people, and even use them quite a lot, without plunging your social life down the toilet and giving in to Skynet.  I’m certainly not saying I’m the absolute perfect social media user myself.  But I don’t feel an overwhelming sense of disillusionment or stress because of it.  I’d like to think I’ve learned enough from my good and bad internet experiences–as well as creepily observing everyone else–to say that I at the very least don’t use it badly (anymore.)

 It was 2006, okay?!

What I’m writing about is based on what a comedian I follow on Tumblr (oh hay social networking) said: “If you think Facebook is annoying, you have annoying friends. If you think Facebook is shallow, you have shallow friends. Whatever you think about Facebook, that is a direct reflection of your friends. OR…you are using Facebook wrong.”  I’d argue this could work as the basis for the internet as a whole–that how you view it is a direct correlation to the environment you’re in and how you use it.  If you think the social networking realm is a shallow, narcissistic, drama-producing life-ruiner machine, read on and see why it probably means you’re doing it wrong.

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4 Dumb Things People Say During Protests

Despite saying there wouldn’t be more original blog content this week, after the widespread internet blackout protesting SOPA/PIPA yesterday didn’t just drive people insane, but also got them to actually pay attention to things, I couldn’t help but write this one.

As Time Magazine reported at the end of last year, protests, and by proxy any campaigns for awareness, have gained fuel and exposure some people claim they haven’t felt since the ’70s.  From Occupy Wall Street in the US, to total revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, people have been getting pissed about shit and want more people to know about it.  Agree with them or not, it’s becoming clear that the array of massive (and effective) protests are more than a fad.


Except this.  This is a fad.

But like everything that has ever happened ever, there are people who disagree and speak out about it.  Considering every protest tends to have people speaking out, this is completely fair.  But just as some people at protests can be really really stupid, much of the opposition (or rather, people who don’t know shit about what’s going on and get annoyed) can also say some equally stupid things.

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5 Startlingly Common Misconceptions about Customer Service

Ever since “The Customer is Always Right” mantra was coined at the beginning of the 20th Century, anyone with a title ending in something like “representative” or “associate” or “assistant” was pretty much doomed.  What began as a nice, simple business model to make sure the customer felt special grew into a horrifying, selfish, hate-filled beast ravaging every restaurant, front desk or cash register in existence.

A horrifying, selfish, hate-filled beast.

Customers uncovered the idea, realized they could get mileage out of it, and turned it into a weapon. Nowadays, it’s the norm to completely blow up on the person handing you your coffee because JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, WHAT KIND OF A COCKSUCKING ASSHOLE FORGETS THE WHIPPED CREAM?!

But come on, those idiot employees have to try really really hard to screw up such simple jobs, right?  So why don’t we explore the true evils hiding behind the front desk.

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4 Reasons Why I Would Never Choose to be a Gay Guy

I’ve been “officially” out of the closet for a little over 9 months now, and while at first I was just kind of “meh” about it all, after getting out of the comfortable college atmosphere and thrown into the world of working 9-5 and still living with my parents (who don’t know I’m gay) I’ve started to make some observations. Nothing profound or monumental, just logical conclusions about where my life is headed.

Let me put this out there–I’m proud to be who I am and all that, and I don’t hold any malice towards what life has handed to me at all.  I also figure that once I settle down and actually do the “man having relationship with man” thing, any semblance of insecurities will continue to die down.  However, there are things that will occasionally pop up in my brain and make me realize “Holy shit, this kind of sucks hard sometimes.”  And thus, regardless of scientific evidence, my belief that homosexuality could not be solely choice comes from the idea that I sure as hell wouldn’t have chosen it.

Before you jump to conclusions about that statement, read on to see my explanations laid out in a way that in-no-way-whatsoever resembles a Cracked.com article that I in-no-way want to write for one day.

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