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User ID: 1903

I have had similar thoughts re the timing of this debate. Why have it so early? It is very unusual and it seems like the only reason I can think of is so that people can point to either candidate in a public forum and say, see, this guy can't cut it and here's the evidence. It doesn't seem like either of them come off well.

A redemption arc? Nah, I don't buy that. To me, Asher was irredeemable because he had no convictions. I mean he was kind of a beta male, right? So insecure, so passive, just willing to roll over for just about anyone if he thought it would get him something or make him look good. I do think he was a bit aware of it and part of him wanted to be a "better person" but he had no clue how. In a way, his fate was sort of the extreme outcome of having no substance, no grounding. His "good deeds" have no impact, he leaves no trace, he's 100% half-hearted. Here I'm thinking of how he immediately takes back the $100 he gave to the kid, or his interactions with Abshir, who really just seems annoyed with him most times and is certainly unimpressed with Asher's feeble attempts to help. He pretended to change smoke alarm batteries, for goodness' sake. He's got all this repressed anger but he can't once take an unpopular stand and stick to his principles because he barely has any.

That finale just had so much in it to process though. Someone else pointed out that Asher's predicament puts him in the same position as the people he's been trying to help, and all the help that's offered to him is completely unhelpful and the opposite of what he actually needs. And he's trying to explain to them but no one's listening and just carrying on with what they think is best. It sounds blindingly obvious in hindsight but I hadn't picked up on that aspect.

Just curious, anyone on this sub been watching The Curse from Nathan Fielder? It's culture-war adjacent, I suppose. Really I was blown away by how meticulous it was - every shot has a purpose. I never have cared much for Nathan Fielder's other work but this was really on a whole different level. It's still very much that cringe, awkward, mockumentary style that I don't generally care for but it's much darker, weirder, more acerbic. It's uncomfortable to watch and I can see why it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. But the whole premise is basically like skewering performative progressivism and it's really a character study of the people at the center of it. Highly meta, because the show knows it's a show about a show. Mostly I just appreciate something that keeps me guessing and where I literally can't predict what the endgame is going to be. I think that's pretty rare.

But those who watched it, was it too "on the nose", not subtle enough? Were you as frustrated as I was by narrative threads that were teased but didn't ultimately lead anywhere? The finale, without giving anything away, doesn't really resolve much. And while the structure of the finale was masterful, I was disappointed that it kept the focus on the main characters and didn't resolve some of those other side plots. But maybe that was the point of a show that was about two incredibly self-involved and performative people.

You hit it right on the head. I am such a control freak and I am sooo bad about things I can't control or understand. Let me analyze it, dissect it, categorize it so I know how to feel about it. Let me find perfect clarity and identify a guaranteed solution. Unfortunately life does not always oblige in that way. But thank you sincerely, I needed that.

TLDR: Anyone had to deal with something chronic, you know you have to live with it but how do you get to the place where it doesn't consume your life? What mental or meditation practices have worked for you?

/rant/ So I've been dealing with a minor health issue. You would laugh and tell me to suck it up, buttercup, if I said what it was. But the thing is, it doesn't feel minor to me right now. I've never had it before and I had a panic attack over the weekend before I could see a doctor, just imagining worst case scenarios of what it could be, because I didn't know. Part of it is how suddenly it came on. I really had no inkling when I went to bed the night before that I'd be dealing with this in the morning and then every day after. Part of it is the suddenness of your body turning against you. You thought you had reached a nice detente and suddenly it rises up and betrays you.

But the frustrating thing, the most frustrating thing is that here is the advice I've been getting: (1) it usually resolves in 3-4 days. (2) Treatment involves lifestyle changes. Call me crazy, but these two things are not compatible. Someone is not being honest. Lifestyle changes are for chronic conditions and can take weeks to show any benefit. Here I am on day 6 with no resolution in sight. I used OTC medications as directed and they did absolutely nothing. I went to urgent care because my primary is booking a month out, urgent care gave me a prescription med. I used that and started bleeding. That seemed like a step back. So now what? Doing the lifestyle changes, I guess.

If you tell me this is just my new normal and I have to live with it, I can get there. If you tell me it will take several weeks to resolve and just be patient, that sucks but I can get there too. It's this in-between part, the part where doctors insist it should be getting better and I must not be doing the lifestyle changes (but of course I am). It's the struggle. It's the expectation, the hope that maybe after A, B, C treatments didn't work, surely Q will. But deep down you know it won't and you wish they would stop dangling false hope.

And not that I'm excited about a surgery, but if there is a surgical resolution to this that can just make it go away, I'd rather just do that and get it over with. But I'm told it's not recommended in my case. So I guess in the meantime I keep doing lifestyle changes, accepting that I'll just randomly start bleeding sometimes, and hope against hope that time takes care of it if nothing else. Anyway I think I just needed to get that out. Thanks for reading.

Do people still follow this thread throughout the week? Anyway, what is the name for this phenomenon that I shall call the Chick-Fil-A Drive Thru phenomenon? Basically it's when people all decide to "beat the rush" and in doing so they cause their own rush. I noticed it happening at Chick-Fil-A, which notoriously has lines around the block. I'd go at 12:00 and it would take a good 20 minutes. OK, I push it back to 11:45. That was better for a bit but then shortly was just as bad. So I push it back to 11:30. Then 11:15. We are far at the early end of what can be called the lunch window, and yet I'm stuck behind 20 or so cars and it's still a 15 minute ordeal. There can't be that many people who all just organically decided 11:15 was a good time for lunch. We must have all had the same collective idea of "beating the rush".

And here's the thing, if I wait and go at, say, 12:30, often I can breeze through fairly easily (YMMV and this isn't 100% guaranteed, but still shocking considering 12:30 is smack-dab in the middle of the prime lunchtime hour). But I don't wait, I go at 11:15 because my idiot brain says, surely if the line is this bad NOW, it must be impossible at 12:30 - even though I've seen evidence that's not always the case.

Spry? I saw his announcement and from the way his voice sounded, you would have thought he was at Death's door. Now some people do just have those kinds of voices but it doesn't inspire me with confidence.

I don't hear much talk about the "towel principle" and I'm curious if it relates to a real phenomenon and how one could use it in their interactions with other people or with oneself.

If you're not familiar, the towel principle is from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide: "More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (Non-hitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have "lost." What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with."

Basically, the principle would be that if you're the sort of person who does or has something that takes a decent amount of effort, people will see that and cut you a break in other areas. Specifically I was thinking about it in relation to housework. I'm a pretty terrible housekeeper - not hoarder or pest-attracting level (much) but I have a lot of trouble getting myself motivated and making a system to stay on top of things. And my ex tweaks me about it often and it stresses me out because I know it's a problem but I wish they would just shut up about it.

Anyway I was looking for a new system and read something about how much someone enjoyed cleaning their baseboards and how it gave them satisfaction. Baseboards. What kind of person cleans their baseboards? Is this really something where people wake up one day and say, yep, it's baseboard day?

Baseboards are far down my list of potential cleaning goals - but maybe they shouldn't be. A place that hasn't been deep cleaned in a while does collect grime and dust everywhere, including baseboards. On the other hand, if someone has clean baseboards, that's probably the sort of person who's on top of their cleaning. I do think there's a perceptual difference between a home that is cluttered AND ALSO has dirty baseboards, versus a home that is cluttered but has clean baseboards. If I clean my baseboards, does that change the character of the house even when I'm behind on other stuff? Do I feel better about myself, because now I'm the sort of person who cleans baseboards so I can take a little pride in that? Will it get my ex off my back a little more because it has the appearance of me putting more effort in?

Anyway, just wondering if you think I'm onto something and if there are other potential applications of the towel principle.

Steelman: Others have brought up the tactile pleasures of physical books. A library isn't just a storehouse for books; it's a hub for curated information. Yes, so much information is available online, but 90% of my searches are garbage and a good chunk of the rest is unsourced or does not attribute its sources, and often badly needed a proofreader. Not to mention all the wingnut conspiracy nonsense that a discerning searcher has to be able to distinguish from a valuable and competent piece of writing. Most of the high quality stuff is locked down under paywalls. You can argue over whether it should be the case, but for now the current state of affairs throws up a lot of obstacles to a seeker of knowledge. "Free and open" internet is the wilderness without a map or guide.

So libraries curate. They manage books that have been through an editing and review process - not that there's not low quality junk but your ratio of low to high quality tends to be better. Because the books are physical, they can't be tampered with after they've been printed like epublishers do - it's a fixed text. Regarding online writing, libraries get subscriptions to get you behind those paywalls and help provide access to high quality online sources. If you're lucky, your library will have a friendly specialist to help you do your research, point you to the right sources, and even give classes on internet literacy and basic computer skills. Many libraries host author talks, social events, STEM programming, ESL classes and support, and I've even seen workshops on things like doing your taxes and preparing a will, financial literacy kind of stuff. And this is all free.

Generally, librarians have an important job as curators of a repository of humanity's knowledge. Now because it's curated, that can have drawbacks because you have to ask who is doing the curating and with what ideological bias. That's a fair question to consider but I do have two rebuttals. Number one, there are practical considerations. Libraries have to make decisions all the time about which books to buy and which books to keep simply because there is a finite space in which to keep them. Sometimes these decisions may be ideologically driven but more often I think it's just a matter of logistics. I believe they also have certain understandings with publishers which influence what new books are even offered or made available to them. Number two, thank god for the internet because when there is a book the local library doesn't carry, for whatever reason, Amazon is only a click away. There are very few books that are truly banned as in, impossible to get anywhere. If they're out of print it might take some searching, but my point is that libraries aren't the only source for books, as you point out, so the amount of handwringing over them not carrying this or that book does seem a bit overblown.

None of this is specific to school libraries, by the way. I just think this is getting a bit long but obviously there are further considerations when presenting material to minors and who decides what's appropriate. That's a very thorny issue IMO but it doesn't seem to be a factor in this case.

I read House of Leaves after seeing it recommended so many times. I cannot recommend it honestly, because I don't think I understood it. However I liked the experience of reading it, because I like solving puzzles and I enjoy books that are interactive which this one definitely is. It rewards the work you put into it and you really have to be alert and pay attention as motifs and words are repeated.

No spoilers but this book has so many layers that you can keep peeling back one after another after another but never get to a core. It's unreliable narrators all the way down nested within each other. The, I guess what you'd call the main narrative, a house with a mysterious pocket dimension, is certainly compelling and creepy. There is a lot of pretentious academic analysis and digressions, which I got the sense the author was poking fun at that sort of thing so I felt free to skim or skip large chunks of that. Whatever its purpose, it did bog down the narrative because it was just everywhere and I would have enjoyed it more without that element.

The most unrealistic element that I keep coming back to - there's a story supposedly written by a blind man praising at great length the visual cinematography of a film that he could not have possibly experienced firsthand. The blindness is only mentioned once or twice but that fact colored my reading of the rest of the book. I don't do drugs but if I did, I feel like a drug trip would feel like this book.

Has anyone had good experience with meditation to help with noise? I feel like I go through phases of whether it bothers me or not. I went through a long period where I could just ignore ambient noise, and then I had a nightmare apartment experience that really got in my head. It's the bass, you know, bass travels so far even if you can't properly hear the song. I'm not in that apartment any more but sometimes I'll still be bothered by ambient noise outside.

The funny thing is that I'm bothered by ambient noise even when there isn't any. Like I swear I'll hear this repetitive bass beat, just on the edge of hearing, and I'll toss and turn, but when I go outside to check it's quiet. I've dreamt about bothersome TV sounds or music so loud that it wakes me up, except there's no real source for it. Sometimes the white noise I use to mask ambient noise seems like it makes it worse because it makes me imagine noise that isn't actually there. I would love to get back to the place where I just ignore it and it doesn't affect my consciousness or my mood at all. Curious if anyone had a suggestion.

I think I have to disagree with your characterization a bit. Progressive Christianity is a big tent, and while there certainly are some that believe as you describe, there are many progressive Christians who are happy to affirm Jesus' divinity and generally claim they are taking the Bible seriously. See for example here and here. There are many who are frustrated with Evangelicalism's entanglement with politics. We've seen the fruit of a dogmatic, fundamentalist approach toward social issues, so we reject rigid dogmatism while still putting our faith in Jesus and seeking the way of discipleship.

It is interesting that progressive churches can't seem to gain traction. A common complaint is that progressive denominations are dying, the congregations are older, and perhaps somewhat hidebound. A young person who walks into that space may not feel comfortable, nor will they be until the churches focus more on ministry outreach and build a solid core of younger folks so that you get critical mass. But I also think in progressive Christian spaces, you find a lot of people who have been hurt by the church and church authorities, they've been told they don't belong or they've been outright bullied or abused. So I think there's a real lack of trust and a reluctance to dive back into that environment.

Just to lay my cards out, my avatars are people like Beth Moore, Russell Moore, Rachel Held Evans, Pete Enns, Tim Keller to some degree, and Phil Vischer. To many on the left we're not progressive enough, while to the fundamentalist side we're falling away by even being willing to consider another perspective.

That whole "He Gets Us" campaign was cringe on so many levels though. Christian marketing so often falls into the "hello, fellow kids" vibe and it's the worst. Not that that's even my biggest problem with it, I just haven't found one single person, left or right, who thinks it was a good idea.

Anyone want to talk about test cases? Rosa Parks' name has come up again to remind us that there is a group of people who didn't know the incident was staged by the NAACP as a way to put segregation on trial. I hope that everyone knows test cases are a thing and I'm a little curious what percentage of the famous judicial cases this would apply to. I guess it tarnishes people's fuzzy feelings about the scrappy individual with pure motives facing off against evil oppression but it doesn't change the facts of the case. Personally I have the impression that the judicial system is skewed against the poor and un-savvy and rewards those who have resources behind them and know how to work the system. So it does seem to the outsider as if everyone could benefit from having an organization behind them to raise attention and mount a strong defense. Rosa Parks may have been one person but her case ended up helping the many not-so-sympathetic individuals who were also victims of the unjust system. So when you hear about a high profile case, does it matter if the person was specifically set up as a test case, and if it matters, why?

The big story in North Carolina this morning is that power went out across Moore County last night and it appears it was due to intentional vandalism at several substations.


Speculation on the North Carolina subreddit is that it was motivated by outrage about a drag show scheduled to be performed in Southern Pines last night.


So yes, nothing is known for sure as of this morning, but let's say they're right, that someone was so focused on making sure the drag show did not happen that they engaged in this intentional vandalism. It's really just an extreme form of no-platforming, isn't it? The same crap college students have been doing for years? The idea is that the featured content or entertainment is so harmful or damaging that it can't be allowed to exist and the community must be protected from it by any means necessary. In both cases I think it's idiotic. If you don't like it, no one's forcing you to go, but just let people do their thing. It's just as wrong to deplatform a drag show as it is to deplatform someone like Joe Rogan or Jordan Peterson.

Hi, I have a couple of thoughts for you on this. Re: #1, yes churches can be very cagey about that stuff. If you read a lot of the doctrines/statements of faith that they publicly post, it's astonishing actually how similar they can be on the surface.

It's no secret that polarization has hit the church as much as anywhere else. Some pastors have gone all-in on one political side or the other, and many, many more pastors try to walk a tightrope so as not to alienate anyone. I've found the only real way to know is to go and visit and see what the vibe is. Or you can at least start by emailing the pastor about questions or issues that are important to you, and see how they respond.

On your other questions, it's hard to answer because it's really such a personal decision and so much depends on the local community. I do think overall, unless you take a hard stance on certain questions, the question of denomination does not matter as much as things like small versus large church, worship style, member engagement (small group Bible study, volunteers), and community outreach/service.

Although, as a Christian who I believe takes the Bible seriously, just make sure it's a place that teaches the Bible above all else. Christian nationalism is not a Biblically defensible stance and neither is prosperity gospel stuff or the pastors who give the hard sell on giving. I'm a deconstructionist and an exvangelical, and if I may warn you to be discerning there - just because it's my home turf and I know the pitfalls. Too many non-denom evangelical churches get a nasty case of tunnel vision. Read stuff that's over 100 years old. Heck, read stuff that wasn't written in our current political moment. With two millennia of tradition and Christian theology and philosophy, it's inexcusable when a church wants to treat tradition as if it's a dirty word, when in fact evangelicals are as beholden to tradition as anyone else, they just don't recognize it.

FWIW, you may have seen this but here's a quiz to help you choose a denomination. https://www.quotev.com/quiz/13157643/What-Christian-Denomination-are-you

Here's a handy chart although this is Protestant only:


Here is an article with probably more information than you wanted to know:


TLDR; visit churches in several denominations. Listen. Meet people. Find one where you feel comfortable, and get plugged in to a regular small group for Bible study or prayer. Commit to volunteering and loving your neighbor. Go to a church service to receive blessing as well as bless others. Go in God's grace.