Going into Thanksgiving

For most of us Thanksgiving Day is a time for joy as we spend time with our families. A time that we express gratitude and joy as we laugh, eat, drink, …… and maybe even dance. This is absolutely wonderful. But this is only half of what it’s all about. This is the “Thanks” part of “Thanksgiving”.

There are some of us that find Thanksgiving to be a very stressful, or depressing time of year. There are some of us that don’t have families, homes, or means to get a get a decent meal. There are some of us that have broken homes. When Thanksgiving Season comes around, for these people it, only serves to remind them of what others have that they do not. It only serves to remind them how alone, how lonely they are.

Let’s remember this, going into the holiday season (not just Thanksgiving), and maybe give a little of ourselves, our time, to those not as fortunate as we are. Beyond basic kindness and courtesy, let’s extend a helping hand and offer care to those who need it. This is the “giving” part. Because we are ALL brothers and sisters. We are all one family in the end.

Extend your table.

The internal effects of labeling ourselves.

Labels Labels Labels, humans are so obsessed with labels. We need to label everything. And why not, it saves us the trouble of having to communicate and make a real effort to understand ideas. labels are convenient, I get it. Labels are great “shorthand” in a world where we don’t have time.

Example:  A political candidate can go on and on for 30 minutes about his/her beliefs and goal in great detail. OR, they can just say “I am far left Democrat” and you get their entire set of beliefs/goals all at once. Convenient because who wants to spend the time to listen for a half an hour.

We have labels for all complex systems:

Faith: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Scientology, Pagan, Agnostic, etc.

Political: Republican, Democrat, Right, Left, Far Right, Far Left, Conservative, Liberal, Libertarian, etc. Heck there is even the label “Independent” who don’t want to be labeled. …… but then THIS label has built in it’s own expectations too.

Gender and Sexual Orientation: LBGTQ

I can get into the many ways labeling can be harmful externally, but here I wish to discuss why it is so harmful internally (external effects are discussed in a previous post “Labels”). Unfortunately we as a society have labels too close to the foundation of our societal infrastructure that we almost instinctively use them within ourselves for some sense of purpose and validation. We conform to them at the risk of our own character though. And this is encouraged externally.

I can’t tell you how many people I have seen alter their own belief system to continue to fit in the box, in the label that they are comfortable with.

Example: I have seen a woman who proclaimed herself a die hard Liberal show signs of that she was in favor of the 2nd Amendment in casual conversation, but when she started to realize this in herself, IMMEDIATELY switched her beliefs just so she could still fit in the Liberal Box. She refuses to ever consider voting for a Republican candidate even if she has not heard the policies of either the Democrat or Republican candidate. This is a problem ….. and it’s strait up ignorant.

Too many people refuse to accept that they CAN have a belief system all their own that doesn’t completely fall into some pre-defined label or box. The truth is, naturally, ALL of our beliefs ARE vastly different. We choose to throw ourselves under these labels for security, and simplicity reasons. People want to belong to a group. They do this at great internal risk though; they risk losing their own unique identity. Their own detailed beliefs. They have chosen an established label that best fits their system of beliefs, and then altered their remaining beliefs that don’t conform, to fit into that label. After that “Congratulations, you are now one of us. MWAHAHAHAHA” (sinister cult leader).

We have all kinds of names and labels that stifle us as human beings. A couple such labels I was contemplating recently are “intelligent” and “genius”. Everybody would love to be considered “intelligent.” Internally this is a useless label however, as it sets an arbitrary expectation. And while mental energy is used to consider meeting that expectation, that mental energy could be used to move us foreword, to grow, instead. Worrying about whether or not we are “intelligent” serves only to either inflate or deflate our EGO. Both of which will not serve us at all. It’s a waste of mental energy. This is the reason why people who are extremely intelligent don’t abide by such a labeling as “genius”. These people are too focused on growth to have an ego in the first place. To them such labels only serve to segregate them.

This stands true for ALL labeling though. It’s an external social construct that we have taken internally, and as a result has hindered our ability to communicate, to understand, and to let our true selves shine through.

We would do well to lose the mental clutter of labels, and instead follow our beliefs and passions unhindered by them.

Halloween is here again.

Yes, it’s my favorite time of year again. Those of you that have been following me a long time know that I HALT everything when Halloween month comes around so I can take the time to celebrate the things that go bump in the night. In years past I have opened up my online Halloween radio station, but due to another project I am working on I won’t be doing that this year. I also need a new host for that radio station, as the previous one has new policies that are not favorable. 

This has not spoiled my fun in the least though. And it by no means should spoil yours either.

But I have decided to put together a playlist of “Foppy’s Top Halloween Songs Ever”. This is a list of songs carefully chosen because they perfectly reflect the spirit of Halloween as I see it. Some of them are Halloween Dance Party songs. Some are Halloween creepy songs. Some are just comical. Some are hardcore Ghoulish. Some are movie themes. But ALL of them capture the spirit of Halloween in one form or another (in my opinion anyway). I should also mention that this is very much an adult playlist. In no particular order the list goes as follows:

  1. I Want Candy (Bow Wow Wow)
  2. Black Celebration (Depeche Mode)
  3. Pet Semetary (The Ramones)
  4. Stranger Things Theme
  5. Sympathy for the Devil (Rolling Stones)
  6. Welcome to My Nightmare (Alice Cooper)
  7. Monster Mash (Boris Carlof)
  8. The Time Warp (Rock Horror Picture Show)
  9. Haunted House (Elvira)
  10. Zombie Stomp (Elvira)
  11. Nightmare on Elm street Theme
  12. Tales From the Crypt Theme
  13. Beetlejuice Theme
  14. Cry Little Sister (Sisters of Mercy) (Lost Boys Theme)
  15. Dead Mans Party (Oingo Boingo) (Best party song ever)
  16. Living Dead Girl (Rob Zombie)
  17. Heads Will Roll (Yeah Yeah Yeah’s)
  18. What the Hell Have I (Alice in Chains)
  19. Dragula (Rob Zombie)
  20. Don’t Fear the Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult)
  21. Ghost Town (The Specials)
  22. This is Halloween (The Citizens of Halloween) (Nightmare Before Christmas Theme)
  23. A Nightmare on My Street (DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince)
  24. Somebody’s Watching Me (Rockwell)
  25. Spooky Sexy (Phoebe Carter)
  26. Psycho Killer (The Talking Heads)
  27. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
  28. People Are Strange (The Doors)
  29. Thriller (Michael Jackson)
  30. Feed My Frankenstein (Alice Cooper)
  31. Halloween Theme (John Carpenter)
  32. Halloween (The Misfits)
  33. Halloween (Siouxsie & the Banshees)
  34. Every Day is Halloween (Ministry)

I am always on the lookout for more Halloween-esqu songs to add to my list. if you have any recommendations, please comment below. Either way, if you are as enthusiastic about Halloween as I am, I encourage you to put together this playlist for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.