Icky feelings in your tum-tum do not dictate what’s right

A few weeks ago a young feller was recalling an interweb exchange he had, in which he floored someone with a story that was meant to provide an airtight case for moral ambiguity. I don’t really remember the details of the story, but it was something to do with a man with cancer (or who had a kid with cancer?) deciding to rob a bank because he would either 1) get the money or 2) be killed and his kid would get his life insurance money. Something like that. The young feller told me, victory shining in his eyes, “So who’s wrong- the man, or the police officers who shot him?”

I can’t stand stories like this. They’re meant to guilt you out of condemning the bad action. “Wow,” we’re supposed to exclaim, “I never considered that people who do bad things may have a personal history that made them think they had no choice in the matter! Or that they could do bad for good reasons!” The Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie taps into this too. The movie gives you the context to the Joker’s background, which is so disturbing and sad that you almost cheer for him as he *SPOILER* murders all those meanies who bullied him.

But the thing is – you can understand the reasons behind someone’s evil actions.. or feel sorry for them… or see how the people they are murdering or stealing from or otherwise victimizing are also evil themselves… but that still doesn’t make their actions good or right.* Violence is violence, evil is evil, bad is bad. Other violence, other evil, and other bad doesn’t necessarily cancel it out. Even if you feel sympathetic towards them.

In the same vein – I wrote a blog post a while back begging women to not post public pictures of their bosoms while breastfeeding. I provided multiple excellent examples to demonstrate my point. Some of those examples were a little crude. They weren’t crude for crude’s sake- I used them to demonstrate points like “privacy doesn’t equal shame.” A few of my readers expressed dismay and disgust that I made those comparisons, saying things like, “Making that comparison is just.. ew.” Like a disgust reaction from them was enough to negate my entire argument. Poppycock! I’m not trying to be a jerk, seriously. But just because a comparison is upsetting, gross, weird, or triggering doesn’t mean the comparison doesn’t hold true.

tummyache
This cannot be your moral guidepost!

The point is, my fellas** and fellos, that sometimes what is right and true is upsetting, and sometimes what is wrong won’t be upsetting. I don’t like many truths, like Kesha removing the ‘$’ from her name. I’m not super bothered by other wrongs, like when a woman murders her cheating husband. Our degree of tum tum hurt, upsettedness, or anger is not an argument against.. anything. Our tummies are not our Truthometer. Just because some jerk blogger is using intentionally provocative examples to drive their point home does not mean they’re wrong.

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*I’m talking on the level of personal morality not a nation or political system. I think the United States taking out Osama Bin Laden was justifiable and right.

**I just realized what a feminine sounding word “fellas” is, even though it traditionally refers to menfolk. From now on, I demand that men be “fellos” and women be “fellas” for the sake of continuity and parallelism in the English language!

 

 

Interwebz Slang Guide

Ladies and gents, and those who refuse to categorize themselves in bigendered terms —

I recently had to explain to someone — only ~3 years my senior! — the definition of dtr. I was embarrassed for them that they had no idea what I was talking about. Then I polled my Instagram followers, and I was again alarmed that as many as 30% of my peers admitted their ignorance of what dtr stood for.. dtr, y’all! If people on INSTAGRAM — the hippest of the hip, the youthest of the youths! — haven’t heard of dtr, my heart quakes for Facebook users, especially those born prior to 1983.

dtr_poll
smh

Because I’m kindhearted and like to educate the unhip masses, I decided to throw together a quick and dirty reference sheet for those of you who wander the world in blind, sad ignorance of the meaning 84% of acronyms, terms, abbreviations, etc. that youths are using to communicate.

Stay lit!!! – Dr. Galloswag

Here ya gooooooo* —

Acronymsies

4L – for life (e.g. #glutes4L after leg day is proclaiming your undying commitment to a tight tush!) 

my b – my bad

bc – because

brb – be right back

btw / btdubs – by the way

dth – down to hike? ( 😉 )

dtr – define the relationship

ftr – for the record

ftw – for the win

idk – I don’t know

ily – I love you

ikr – I know right

lmk – let me know

omw – on my way

smh – shaking my head

wyd – what you doing

Terms

basic – mainstream ; unoriginal

extra – too much ; trying too hard ; dramatic

Gucci – cool, chill (in a sentence: “I’m so sorry!” “It’s Gucci”

lit – awesome, cool

woke – being aware, usually in context of social justice issues

yeet – exerting effort

Abbreviationz

awks – awkward

cas / caj – casual

cra cra – crazy

deets – details

fo sho – for sure

ru ru – rude

per uje – per usual

thx – thanks

totes / totes mcgoats – totally

Super Chrish 

chrish – Christian

ptl – Praise the Lord

tgbtg – to God be the glory

…. Also note that adding unnecessary “os” and “ies” and “z”s is another way to stay wit it. For example: this blog posties is donezos, pplz!

Younguns — please feel free to message me with suggestions!

Olduns — please feel free to print and laminate to keep by your rolodex when you are talking to your offspring on the telephone! 😉

— Editorial Notes —

*I omitted some of the more raunchy slang terms that I know, bc Galloblog is safe for the WHOLE famz! Look ’em up on urban dictionary!

Signal to Noise

There are Christians, both throughout history and currently in countries like North Korea, who have been imprisoned or even killed their faith… even when they had very limited access to the bible — and sometimes almost no formal preaching. I remember hearing a story once about Christians (in China, I think?) who kept the faith through extreme persecution by passing around a shred of the gospel of John.
Yet here I am – feeling the need to almost constantly listen to sermons and worship songs, or read my bible and Tim Keller books, just to maintain a bare minimum affection for God. Why is it so difficult for me to believe when I have unprecedented access to the best sermons, Christian music of any genre, and theological books that have tackled some of the most difficult questions of life and my faith? And it’s not even like I have some tragic life to push through. Yes, I have disappointments and failures and mini-heartbreaks here and there – but all together, I have an absurdly blessed and easy life.

So what’s the deal — are these Christians inherently more passionate than spoiled little millennials such as myself?
Not to minimize the great faith of Christians who are persecuted or martyred, or make excuses for little ol’ me, but I wonder if – despite having an overall lower access to truth – something that helps set Christians in history (or Christians in other countries) apart from Christians like me is an enhanced signal (truth) to noise (deceptions, distortions, distractions).

Yes, I have an unprecedented opportunity to research and study the word of God, and connect with Christians all over the world. But I also have an unprecedented opportunity to binge on tv shows, drown in information from podcasts,  and be torched with opinions from wagging tongues all over the world. Noise, noise, noise.

Set in this context, the truth signal – although drastically increased – is still struggling to just blip above the noise threshold – which has also drastically increased. Technology has simply turned up the volume for everything – background noise and signal alike.

Well, lucky for me/us, signal to noise is a ratio. Which means I have more than one way to change the overall value. I can work on the ol’ denominator and make strides to reduce the noise. Go on “unplugged” walks without my phone, turn off the radio when I’m driving, set aside time to meditate and pray each day. Or, I can work on the ol’ numerator, and increase the noise. Listen to Ben Stuart podcasts during my commute, seek out mentors who speak nothing but hard yet joyous truths to me, commit myself to Christian community and actually *studying* God’s words. Or a radical third option would be to do both – reduce noise and increase signal! ⚡️⚡️⚡️

Technology isn’t inherently good or evil, and it’s here to stay. Yes, we can try to embrace the way of the Amish and reject it completely because it has the potential to bring harm into our lives. Or we can think of it as a tool that we can  harness for good, and discipline ourselves to avoid the drawbacks.

May we all do all that we can to keep the flame burning in our crazy, ridiculous, often-wicked-oriented hearts 🙂

 

Claire-voyant Speaks: The future of the interwebs

stock-photo-finger-about-to-press-future-button-with-blue-light-over-black-and-grey-background-concept-image-362297912

In 57 years when the Galloswag is a zesty, swoll old maid, we’ll look back on these tumultuous times and refer to them as the Wild Wild West of the Interwebs. Right now, anyone can post almost anything willy nilly with very little repercussions. Enjoy the exhilarating freedom while you can, my bold babushkas.

fortune-telling-1989579_640

I consider myself to be a bit of a Claire-voyant,* and I see interwepolicing in our future. I betcha the Authorities will set up sites to be more like physical property – some public spaces that pretty much anyone is welcome to wander into, as long as they follow basic rules of conduct. BUT sites with certain types of info will require clearance – or recommendations, maybe – that is based on who you are, your conduct on other sites, your reasons for wanting  &/or using the info, and perhaps where you live (e.g. Israel sites may not let Pakistan have access to any of their sites).

I can also see us being restricted to a narrow range of acceptable topics to discuss on social media. Because, you know, triggering, micro-aggressions, image-vomiting of engagements, weddings, and babies, etc. will be psyche-shattering for the milleniascamps.** Instead of Google’s demure suggestions (e.g. “Did you mean ‘Ted Nugent‘?” when you type in “Ted Nugget”), there will be a hyper-aggressive system that liberally auto-corrects our posts (e.g. “You meant to say ‘Thank you for sharing. I respect your opinion.’” when you type “Fudge*** you!”).

technology-2025795_640

My last rando prophetessing: I think social media will be increasingly nosy. Already, my phone will say stuff like “You’re at Times Square, a popular place to post pictures. Want to add one of your own?” In the future it will be like “You haven’t tagged Jo-Jo on any meme posts in a while. Are the two of you still friends?” SPOILER: No! Jo-Jo is dead to me!!!!”

So.. hmm. If I began this post with a clear point, it has been lost. Thus is the life of a Gallosage. I will sacrifice coherence on the altar of brilliant creativity!

But wait! I must say- don’t resign yourself to this invasive interwepolicing. Creeper Ags in Minority Report said it best-

 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*teehee

** aka children of millenials.

***Mama sez not to swear.

 

The 6 Rules of Textiquette

img_20170123_211704
^an ideal text exchange (see #6)

As much as it grieves me, probably 90% of my communication with humans* is done over texting. (Everyone knows that phone calls are only for official biz, your ‘rents, and bae.) This exposure has given me astounding insights into the art, science, law, and public health of texting. In fact, very recently a PhD declared me to be a texting expert. Altruistically, I have chosen to share Galloswag’s Rules of Textiquette so that you can reach your full texting potential.

1) Respond in a timely manner to text messages that are clearly not ending the conversation.

It’s easier to say what actually IS appropriate to not respond to.

OK.

Lol.

Goodnight.

Thanks!

🙂

…You get the idea. If this is too ambiguous for you, I have also been trying to implement the old telegraph system where we just say “STOP” when we’re done. (e.g. OKAY SEE YOU THEN STOP)

2) One should not conversate with themselves.

On the flip side- especially if it’s during a work day –  it’s a bit over-the-top to send someone upward of 3 text messages when they haven’t responded to your first. There have been times I’ve checked my phone and have 7 texts from the same person who has been chatting to themselves for the past 3 hrs on my data plan. I’m like, “Um, sorry to interrupt.. would you like me to leave?” Calm it down, Texty Tammy!

3) Do not send pictures of yourself unless it is for humor or please-tell-me-I-look-awesome-before-I-go-on-this-date purposes (and even then, do so sparingly).

I won’t waste time diving into the psychology of selfies and their pervasive use in social media – indeed, yours truly has been guilty of selfie-ing. But showcasing your on-fleek brows for Instagram is different than sending it to one person. This is especially a no-no if you don’t know the person overly well. I get wildly uncomfortable if ppl send me a pic of themselves for no reason. I think “ehhh do they want a pic of me? Why? I look terrible today, but sending an old pic seems inauthentic. Do I say ‘looking good?’ ‘thanks’ ‘:)’??? Is this a gateway pic to nudies?!?!?!” It’s very stressful. Don’t do it.

4) Use the ‘scroll up’ feature.

This is an exciting texting feature that many don’t know about. You can actually access your old texts by scrolling up! So before you text your friend, “what time again?” just use that powerful right thumb and check 3 texts back and you have your answer! 👍

5) Process more than one idea at a time.

An old urban legend that’s been circling around since the early 21 century is that if someone texts you several questions, you have to choose one- and only one- to respond to. I’m here to break the chains of your texlavery – you can actually respond to each and every question that was asked of you! If you are confused about how many answers you should give, here’s a quick #texthack: Count the number of question marks. The number of answers in your response text should equal that number!

6) Use emojis and punctuation.

Listen, smiley’s and punctuation aren’t just for 14 yr old girls ans 74 yr old men, respectively. Text tone is so confusing you know, because we can’t convey tone of voice. Fun fact: in the English language we have these adorbs little symbols that help our writing come to life! Yeah?? See, I bet you could tell I was being sarcastic right then. Magical. 😉 But they’re so important. If I say “Great, see you then!” And you say, “okay,” I imagine you saying that in a deadpan voice with a dull look in your eyes. If you say “okay!” I imagine us jump-fiving through our phones. If you say “okay ;)” I think “Awww snap! They are totes into me.” Truly, it makes all the difference.

If you apply yourself, you can incorporate all of this invaluable textiquette into your texting life. Send me proof of your reformation, and I will send you a signed copy of my newest book that transcribed all of my most successful texting convos. Finally, in the words of the great Dr. Galloswag herself, “Text safe. Text right. Text true. Don’t be ru-ru.”

 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*As opposed to my plant communication. Plants talk, y’all. I watched an entire documentary on this. True story.