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amateur profiling

2015/02/28

Me, I’m hella racist. Like HELla racist. I am racist because behaviour is strongly influenced by perspective, which is strongly influenced by upbringing, which is strongly influenced by culture, which has crazy strong ties to geographic regions, which is where people with similar appearances come from. Generally speaking.

And I’m also really, really judgmental. But that doesn’t mean that I think that other people have less value than I do. I assign people upon first impression into boxes because in this day and age, you don’t really have the luxury of the time required to understand everyone who crosses your path.

For example, let’s talk about safety. You are more likely to be caught in a mass shooting on a school campus than you are to be attacked by a wolf near Yellowstone. Unlike with sexual crimes, most victims in a mass shooting aren’t familiar with the perpetrator, so in this case, you can assume that a stranger is more of a threat than someone that you know. There is one. big. fat. catch. It’s hard to know everyone that you will come across in a day when, thanks to technology and transportation, everyone gets shuffled around a lot and the number of individuals who cross your field of vision in a day runs into the thousands range. So almost everyone’s a stranger! What do you do? You’re supposed to watch out for red flags AND TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Your instincts don’t sit around musing about life stories to explain why somebody seems a little different. Your instincts point at a strange individual and say, “This person. Not safe.”

Not every example is this dramatic but it’s actually something that you should be doing every day automatically. You just shouldn’t be flagging people every day because you shouldn’t be running into suspicious people every day. There are a lot of other examples, though. Your first day of work, how do you establish rapport with a set of coworkers who are as different from each other as they are from you? Meeting new people, you decide if you want to diplomatically but most emphatically not exchange numbers with and not add on Facebook… and you also identify people that you sense common ground with and people who not only can extend your network, but can also introduce you to new connections favorably (you probably don’t want to be remembered by people who’re going to identify you as “some whatever person I met somewhere”).

There’s also just random judgmental-ness. I judge people who carry their coffee cups everywhere. (Caffeine. Is a drug. That you are addicted to. And you’re not even trying to quit because it happens to be a socially acceptable habit.) I judged that one white man who was loudly talking on the phone, “Aw, don’t talk dirty to me,” and looking all smug. (Like dude, you are in a public, family-friendly area where kids skateboard with their friends and dogs and shit, nobody wants to hear about your sex life and that’s just gross).

So when anti-racists and/or anti-sexists use inflammatory words, for people who’re like, “Gasp, that’s reverse racism,” or “Don’t say things that will alienate whites/men because you want them to agree with you, not fight with you,” UM, I’m PRETTY sure that they also don’t want to be lied to, or treated like objects to MANIPULATE into joining a certain side. To form a better society, everyone has to be honest with themselves (being in denial can really mess up communication) and each other. I love patient and good and smart people, but I think better of annoying people who butt heads with me than of people who pretend to agree or use a smiling face to insinuate that everyone who disagrees with them is are wrong.

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Oh Wonbin – time to… [Album]

2015/01/05

★★★☆☆

C’mon Girl from C’mon Girl

  • Boring AND autotuned.
  • OWB has a very young voice that sounds really stupid when he’s trying too hard. He’s a hundred years too early and he honestly sounds like a stupid wannabe frat boy or something.
  • They should’ve left this song on the C’mon Girl album (the one with his like 3 songs from Korea). It really, really, really didn’t need to be copied onto Time To… and I’m guessing that it’s Park Heung-jun that was appointed in charge of that decision so somebody go yell at him for me.

Don’t cry

  • Boring.
  • Don’t Cry has potential, but I’m not super impressed. It’s kinda going in an OK-ish direction for OWB but even if I allowed this to be on my hypothetical dream OWB album, it’d be an afterthought filler uptempo.

2go from good for you

  • OH GOD NO WHY STOP
  • YOU ARE NOT CRAYON POP. THEY COULD SELL THIS. YOU CAN’T. WHY MUST YOU HURT ME LIKE THIS.
  • Like this would be really good arranged for Crayon Pop or even for T-ara, I mean really good, but I’m giving a big, fat #NOPE to whoever assigned To Go to OWB. And by arranged, I mean that the song overstays its welcome and would benefit from snipping.

good for you from good for you

  • Hm. Maybe. Even with the cheesy English.
  • Oh good grief, gratuitous English rap.
  • Good For You is another filler track. It’s OK but that’s about it.
  • Runs a bit long, too.

Ready to be my… from good for you

  • Ready To Be My… is giving me a good feeling.
  • YES, yes, FINALLY something halfway decent.
  • It’s a nice balance between happy and ballad. Rock ballad.

Love song from good for you

  • Another song with potential.
  • The tune is a bit different, which isn’t really bad, but I’m not totally feeling it. I don’t want to say that it’s filler on the level of most whatever filler tracks but it’s not a song that I feel strongly about in a good way. Very mixed.
  • I think that I’ve figured out why–Love Song doesn’t go anywhere. It goes in a circle, which isn’t exactly inspiring.

Wherever

  • Wherever sounds like a Lee Jonghyun song. Aand now that the thought has crossed my mind, I can’t unthink it.
  • Lee Jonghyun’s songs usually have more of a sense of direction, though. Like Love Song, Wherever doesn’t do anything.
  • Ooh, I like that little chord progression in the background near the end.

Say goodbye

  • Say Goodbye’s a decent track. Maybe not title track level. I’ll think about it.
  • This sounds like the kind of song that a teenager would loop when he or she’s feeling angsty: the kind of song that you can’t listen to otherwise because it’s more of a feels song than a good song.
  • It has a lot of pretty moments, though. It just doesn’t have that extra umph that it needs to be a really good pop song. OWB sounds good in Say Goodbye so I do wonder what wrong such that he ended up basically a nobody.

to the star from To The Star

  • Ooh, is this going to be a pretty song? (I should’ve guessed from the title).
  • Oh COME ON. The sung melody could use some major improvement. MAJOR IMPROVEMENT. You just ruined a good song, writer.
  • Wait.
  • No, no, it’s not good enough. It keeps teasing me with potential, like the almost good chorus that just misses being actually good and like the pretty hook with boring verses. Who wrote this?
  • Composed by DAICHI and arranged by youwhich. One of those two people has something to answer for.

Midnight Blue from To The Star

  • I like the beat. I’m feeling it.
  • OK, please get going soon.
  • Thank you! Probably not going to be one of my favorite choruses but Midnight Blue’s a decent song so far; it’s paced well and the tune is reasonably melodic.
  • “Decent” is still nowhere near GOOD good, though.

my way from To The Star

  • Another good beat… but with a really bleh melody. WHY MUST YOU HURT ME LIKE THIS
  • My Way is a real head-bobber but it’s a stupid, stupid… boring… song.
  • Random ‘rock spirit’ belt. K.

Always from good for you

  • Sounds like standard FNC fare (slow rock ballad but with percussion going on the double in the background) but I like it. I do.
  • It’s not great, but it’s a solid “decent”.

Ready To Be My…, Midnight Blue, and Always are the big 3 on Time To…, closely followed by Say Goodbye. Other than that, this album is boring and a bit messy to boot.

Tablo is Haru’s dad

2014/11/16

I read an article on Soompi saying that Haru went to one of Epik High’s concerts, so Tablo changed out some of the F bombs in the lyrics. Which I thought was cute, but then I read the comments (“and broke a major rule of engagement”, I guess). Basically, people are commenting that he’s the best father, solely because he changed out an expletive. I mean, they’re not just saying that he’s a good father, which I’m sure he is, but they’re saying a lot of rubbish like how they wish he were their father or whatever and yeah OK.

I like Tablo, honestly, but there’s a huge difference between saying, “Aw, that’s cute,” and basically dishonoring your own parents by saying that this guy whom you don’t even know would be preferable to your own dad. I mean, just take a minute to let that sink in.

You do your dad a great disservice when you say that you wish for someone else. Words are powerful. A rapper like Tablo who has been through what he has gone through would definitely agree with me. You might think that it’s just a comment on the internet, but that shows an attitude towards your parents that statistically speaking, is probably unfair to them. Nobody’s dad is perfect. Some dads really do suck, like maybe they ditched your mom before you were born or they were really disgusting scumbags or something. In that case, you can say, “I wish _ were my dad,” about whoever you want because you have a legitimate reason to look at famous fathers that way. But a lot of us, even people with divorced parents, have dads who make mistakes but still love us and and just trying to figure out what they need to do to help us be happy or successful. And we need to cut them a little slack. Being a good parent is hard, and it is emotionally taxing to the parents who do care about doing the right things. We all try so hard at so many things in a very unforgiving society where people who aren’t good enough are stomped down into the cracks. So even if Tablo makes Haru feel happier than your dad makes you feel, you shouldn’t treat your dad’s love so casually.

And then there’s the other thing about Tablo being the best dad. I know that it’s ‘just’ a hyperbole, but again, words are important. You can say that Ailee is the best idol singer in the Korean music scene because it’s an arguable point. You can set criteria with a points system (for example, sales are quantifiable, vocal range is quantifiable, and an expert panel can mark off technique, execution, et cetera), exclude all singers who are promoting in Korea or not considered an idol, and come up with Ailee as the best.  You can plug in everyone you know into an algorithm based on quality and frequency of interactions and figure out who is objectively your best friend. But who’s objectively the best dad? What makes him the best dad? Is that something that dads should have to think about? See, with singers, it’s a competition. Maybe it’s a friendly competition, but it’s a profession–you have to make money, and there’s a limited amount of money that will be spent regularly on music. To get your cut, you compete against the other person–if you’re an idol, your default is in the red so it’s in your best interest to be the best, increasing your chances of making good sales. With friends, it’s a simple ranking of who’s the closest to you, regardless of their character or personality. With dads, though, you have to compare each dad’s relationship with each kid. Each dad is different, each kid is different. Even if there were some way to quantify the quality of those relationships, the only people who could really tell you what the dad does and doesn’t do well–the kids and the moms–are simultaneously totally unqualified to judge other dads so there’d be no way to standardize it. I realize that I’m taking this case to absurdity but my point is that the term “best dad” is absurd. In answer to my question, it’s impossible to identify a man who is objectively the best dad, because dad qualities are impossible to quantify, and dads should not be exposed to the idea of a best dad.

I guess that I’m just ranting about just another piece of the growing “Whatever” trend.

I am so over Bath and Body Works.

2014/10/25

When I was a kid (“once upon a time”), Bath and Body Works was a mythical land where a girl's friends discovered all the best things to get you for your birthday, be it hand sanitizer or lip balm. Then it got way out of hand. Every single friend, girl or guy-accompanied-by-girl-who-doesn't-actually-know-me-but-is-clearly-an-expert-on-girls, would go to BBW and buy on average three different items to give me for my birthday, every time I attempted to celebrate my birthday. Oh, yeah, because of that, my baby sister came to believe that BBW was the only place to buy good birthday gifts, so she usually wheedled my mom into shopping there for my birthday presents, too. I issued a ban on Bath and Body Works products. It didn't totally work since not everybody read the memo, and others, cough-little-sister-cough, just ignored it.

Even with the ban and me living on BBW to try to use it up, I still have 8 shower gel bottles (4 unopened large bottles, 2 half-used large, 1 mostly-unused smaller aromatherapy bottle, 1 partly-used travel size), 3 fragrance sprays (1 mostly-unused large, 1 large donated to my little sister, and 1 mostly-unused travel size), 1 aromatherapy lotion, 1 hand cream, 4 lip balms (3 mostly-used tubes and 1 little can-like thing), 3 little candles, and 3 – 4 tiny bottles of hand sanitizer. Oh, and a bottle of aromatherapy shampoo. It took me years to use up that first bottle of hand sanitizer (they were much bigger then and much cheaper per ounce). I used up some stuff but I also managed to regift a number of things. That's how ridiculous the BBW craze is.

The thing is, though, they don't even have good stuff.

I don't know about way back when they weren't cycling through new scents like every 3 months, but right now, I can tell you that the lotions leave my skin feeling greasy and nasty rather than soft or whatever and are the reason that I am strongly lotion-averse, that the hand cream gives me a rash, and that the shampoo fries my hair. What's the point of getting a pricey lotion if it's not even actually nice? And it's great that their products aren't tested on animals but if the hand cream has an allergen, it should at least be labeled if it's really impossible to make it hypoallergenic. I don't even know what's wrong with the shampoo but I suspect that it's a combination of harsh, oil-stripping ingredients (maybe the citrus components of a fragrance), the lack of a conditioner to balance the pH, and our friends the phosphates. Barring all else, it can't be that hard to make a phosphate-free version of the shampoo, can it?

The hand sanitizers, shower gels, and candles are not problematic for me—I haven't tried the air fresheners but some people are allergic—but they have different issues. The hand sanitizers (the regular kind? I know that they had a foaming sanitizer phase), which no longer come in bottles bigger than 1 ounce, keep going up in price, and the shower gel has been going up, too.

Also, a lot of the smells are starting to be unidentifiable because of the nondescriptive naming—“Country Chic” is an adorable name that tells me nothing about how it smells and they really should've made it smell earthy, like hay, instead of whatever it actually is—and the smells are no longer on point like before. One of the big draws of BBW when I was younger was that everywhere else, ‘strawberries’ didn't smell like strawberries but at BBW, ‘apples’ smelled exactly the same as apples at the grocery store. At BBW back then, even some improbable fragrance like ‘cotton’ smelled like cotton. Most of the new fragrances smell much too rich, as if the BBW fragrance experts can't smell anything unless it is overdone. If it says cookie or pie or anything like that, it probably smells like a brown sugar overdose. If it says anything else, then it probably doesn't smell memorable at all.

There are people aggressively defending BBW against complaints about spilled air freshener damaging upholstery and allergic reactions. By “aggressively”, I mean that they say things like, “You'd have to be really stupid… BBW is not responsible for your stupidity.” OK first, not all outlets are upright. So a leaking air freshener is a design flaw that probably isn't hard to fix. All you really have to do is design something that you can rotate with a little click whenever you plug it into a sideways outlet. Second, I don't know that much about air fresheners but I wouldn't expect an innocuous, chubby owl-shaped thing to contain substances that will burn through all the things except said container. Third, nobody except people who break out over every little thing expects to develop angry rashes in reaction to a product that is supposed to be designed for their skin. Who in their right mind would get tested for allergies just so that they could buy a $911 product?

I guess the big hint that Bath and Body Works iswas in the fragrance business and NOT the bath and body business should have been the fact that they don't offer choices that a real company would offer. Where other companies label their products things like “For dry skin”, “For oily skin”, “For damaged hair”, “hypoallergenic”, BBW just reissues everything with shea butter.

They're not a BAD company. They're getting there, what with watering down the products and raising prices, but they don't develop bad hand cream for the lulz. They're simply in the fragrance business and instead of trying to find someone to pay them for their fragrances, they package them themselves into bath and body products. They're very good at selling, too. Much to my annoyance. (Good grief, how much shower gel do people think I need?)

It has been a while since I first issued my ban on BBW presents. I just started thinking about it today because I have these nasty hives due to a body wash product—not a BBW product as it's their hand cream that gave me a rash—which reminded me of said hand cream, which reminded me of all the complaints I (and, obviously, other people) have about BBW.

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/retail/bath_body.html

Dream 10

2014/10/11

Dreamed that I dreamed that people came to my house to stay. One was a Chinese man with oddly curly hair. The other was a diminutive Chinese girl. While we were eating, I noticed the girl take a knife and thought, “She seems kind of psycho. Should I be worried?” I don’t remember what happened immediately after but I think I might have made an offhand comment to clock her reaction. Later, I was defensively holding a knife myself (and not really sure exactly how I should be holding it but before I could figure it out), she attacked me. I fought her off and ran away, trying to get someone to call the police. My mom was all confused while I was thinking, “Got no time to explain but I’m super dead if she doesn’t get put away, like, now,” so I got frustrated. I talked to Curly, who somehow believed me and agreed to help tie her up by pretending to cut her hair and then also binding her while putting the poncho-thing on her. I hid and watched him do it, than ran off to try to find someone who knew how to get her into an insane asylum. At some point, I read on my phone about something related to Kokopelli (I don’t actually know a lot about him so that was very random) and I somehow knew that it had to do with her (maybe I was looking something up and that was the result OR maybe it was dream logic, I don’t know)… so apparently, she was possessed or not even human. Yay. I hid in the closet at some point, too. I went to see what happened and she’d given him the slip (maybe killed him, too?), and I investigated and found out that there was another girl who was supposed to have come with them but the other girl had disappeared. Meaning that when she kills somebody, the body just vanishes. We fought again and I managed to pin her, knife and all. I thought that there was a possibility that she was possessed, so I said, “Demon, get out.” She stopped struggling, so I cautiously relaxed… but then she lunged at me so I pinned her again. I don’t know what happened next or if anything happened next. Maybe I woke up into my next dream, maybe somebody took her away.

So. In my next dream, I was in a room telling people at my house about this crazy dream I had. My parents had some family friends over, and they opened the door to introduce 4 kids about the same age and to say that they’d be staying with us. I think one of the kids was a blonde girl with blue eyes and more blue somewhere else or something, and maybe someone else with green eyes, but anyway, they were little kids. I recognized that in my first dream, they’d preceded the crazy events, and screamed. I ran out to tell my dad that he absolutely had to send them away. He exploded, infuriated that I would treat friends this way and said that he would hit me if I kept up my attitude. I said that he could hit me but I would never change my mind (because even if I weren’t too hysterical to explain why, which I was, nobody would have believed my ravings). So he hit me a few times, but I think that someone else explained to him why I was acting the way I was, so he apologized, although he did include a slightly resentful, “If you’d just told me why, I wouldn’t have gotten angry.” And he explained to his friends that he couldn’t take their kids, and I heaved a sigh in relief. And then I woke up.

K-pop stage names

2014/09/28

I recently read a comment on Soompi voicing the opinion that Koreans should use 한글 names, not anglicized names. And I don’t disagree. I don’t totally agree, but anyway, if I were to say that there were a reason to use Korean names, the first is that the English names get pretty cheesy.

The pun that is 2NE1 is something that I would have thought was awesome… in elementary school. And that’s without the whole “new evolution of the 21st century” or whatever the meaning was supposed to be. They should’ve just said, “It’s 2NE1! Like 21! But like To Anyone! Sorry, we just thought the whole numbers and letters code thing was cool. HAHAHAHA but yeah anyway. Hi.” But they didn’t.

Also, don’t even get me started on Nu’est (pronounced new east, “New Established Style and Tempo”) and Nu’est M (M as in marvelous/multiply/mystic), TRAX (Typhoon of the Rose Attack on X-mas), SHINee, EXId (pronounced E X Id), B1A4 (based on blood types), et cetera. Compared to most names, Piggy Dolls was one of the few that were actually decent: “Hi, we’re three overweight women who are giving the finger to all the haters by being proud of our bodies.” (Now they’re gone not around any longer, which I’m honestly disappointed about.)
Then again, some of the Korean names are pretty cheesy, too (Kangta/강타, Girls’ Generation/소녀시대).

The second reason would be to encourage Korean pride in young Koreans. I feel like most K-pop-related things are not actually Korean but copy stuff from the US and try to make it better. For example, K-pop producers make catchy retro-inspired pop… but it’s weird because retro’s not from Korea. Psy was so popular internationally because he put out a music video about Gangnam, a Korean district, and it didn’t feel like he was trying to copy somebody from the US. When you express your own cultural pride, other people enjoy it, too.

An internet-naïve parents’ guide to identifying clickbait articles

2014/09/10

Clickbait websites are the tumors of the internet.

Some of them are benign, and maybe even a little helpful. Let’s be honest, though; you’re not going to use everything from that list of useful websites.

Some of them are malignant and waiting to metastasize, using a really gruesome (and Photoshopped) picture to get you to click. This often exposes your Facebook account or computer or both, posting to your Facebook, sending messages to all of your friends, and sending emails to all of your contacts.

The shared goal of all clickbait headlines is to increase traffic to their websites.

It doesn’t cost you anything but time–well, time is money–but because all they want is traffic, people who get sucked into looking at clickbait articles often don’t realize that they’re wasting a lot of time on empty distractions. Do you want to waste time on empty distractions? Or beyond that, do you want to waste your time as a result of being tricked?

I don’t really worry about savvy 20- or 30-somethings. Most of them know what they’re getting into, and they’ve probably been on clickbait sites enough to recognize when to stop. I do worry about kids but even more, I worry about their parents. After all, how are parents going to tell their kids to cut back on the internet if the parents have themselves been ensnared?

Most parents do not go looking for clickbait. Usually, someone forwards an email, or an old family friend shares something on Facebook. Here is a list of red flags. If you see these words (or photos, I may include one or two), RESIST CLICKING ON THE LINK.

  • # Clickbait articles frequently use headlines like “13 Things that Everyone Does.” It has also become increasingly common to add something like, “and You Won’t Believe #11,” because your natural reaction is curiosity: “What is it that I won’t believe?”
  • ALL CAPS When people yell, it’s usually something important (and sometimes, it’s a ShamWow! commercial). Capitalizing all letters is kind of like yelling except on the internet, most cases are commercials trying to get you to click.
  • He or She or These or This or What Your natural reaction is, again, only curiosity (“Who is ‘He’?”). But you don’t need to know the answer.
  • I or Me or You Good headlines usually don’t address you personally, and definitely not in full sentences. Establishing a fake emotional connection is another easy way to trick people into clicking.
  • Incredible or Never or Shock or Unbelievable If it’s too much of *something* to be true, then reports are probably exaggerated.
  • snopes.com This is a lotus pod. If you see a picture of skin with pods in it like this, IT'S NOT REAL. The real thing is just a plant.

    snopes.com
    This is a lotus pod. If you see a picture of skin with pods in it like this, IT’S NOT REAL. The real thing is just a plant.

    If it looks kind of gross, just keep this in mind:

    ndsu.edu This is what the lotus actually looks like.

    ndsu.edu
    This is what the lotus actually looks like.

Kids on the internet

2014/08/22

This comment on Youtube caught my eye: “OK, I’m 11 and I didn’t understand more than half of that” [edited for punctuation]. Trust an 11 year-old to open up for attack by leaving unnecessary comments on the internet, I thought. This kid needs to be told politely and in no uncertain terms to get the hell off the internet before the trolls show up and eat her (I think that it was a her) alive. So I asked, “If you’re 11, you’re a little young to be using the internet, aren’t you?” Her response was, and this has been slightly edited in the interest of coherence: “No, WTF makes you think that? So now you’re saying that I shouldn’t be using the Internet, I swear that there is something wrong with you, mind your own business, stay out of my life, ’cause I got this.” My gut reaction was, “YOUNG LADY, YOU DO NOT TALK TO YOUR MOTHER LIKE THAT.” Because when people talk back like they would their mother, I pick up on the script.

Anyway, this kid is clearly not mature enough to be allowed on the internet. A lot of 18-and-older-s are just as bad but if they want to say something stupid, they’re old enough to make that decision. Not that I was trying to make any decisions for this particular kid but for the parents, you guys need to be parents. My kid sister mouths off a lot. When she does it out loud, my dad has this thing that he likes to say, “Every time you think that you’re being smart, you’re probably doing something stupid.” When she does it online, I’m the cyber parent so I annoy her with lectures and threaten to block off sites (which I don’t because then at least I can kind of monitor her activities).

Parents and teachers need to stop telling kids how smart they are just because they know their way around smartphones and things. I agree that seniority can be utter bullshit when someone is older but less capable or less clever but kids are way too arrogant these days. My generation has a lot of douche-y people but if you look at today’s elementary school kids or even high school kids, they really think that they’re all that.

But it’s far too late to fix most of the parents and teachers, and principals and vice principals and school counselors. The reality is that arrogant kids don’t believe what you tell them unless they’ve learned it the hard way. Even if you try to raise your own kid right, she’s got her little friends at school influencing her. Not all of us can be Helena Bonham Carter with our 12.75-inch unyielding dragon heartstring and walnut wand, scaring away the kids that we don’t want around ours. So we need workshops for adults who are active on the internet on how to effectively convince obnoxious underage users that they need to mind their own business before they have permission to tell us to mind our own business. How do you teach a kid to think before they type? I guess that this kind of project would require some field research.

Side thoughts: kids are arrogant off the internet as well. I see them dressed to the nines to seem twice their age, either acting bored with everything or trying to mingle with the 20-something-s and 30-something-s, laughing like they get what we’re talking about. My kid sister has the gall to tell me that I don’t have an fashion sense when I in fact do have an eye for what looks both good and appropriate (appropriate for age, occasion, et cetera). I just feel really, really uncomfortable about wearing anything nicer than nice jeans (comfortable without being hideous) and a thinner cotton shirt than usual.

Cain

2014/08/18

You know, I feel kind of sorry for Cain. He just wanted God to like him. He killed Abel because he was jealous for God’s acceptance, but doing that just increased the distance between him and God, who couldn’t let a murderer stay in his presence. Bible study groups and such tend to focus on the fact that he wasn’t good enough because he didn’t have the right attitude, but God was clear about where he stands when he gave Cain his mark. He didn’t want Cain to end up like that but even if everyone else is wrong, God has to be right, and being right means that when Cain chose to be jealous and kill Abel instead of asking for Abel’s advice or help, God had to kick him out.

Cain’s just a fool, and I think that at least I, if nobody else, have similar feelings to Cain. A lot of times, I think that I’m trying properly, but other people think that my attitude isn’t good or that I lack character. They might be right. But it’s frustrating, upsetting, and angering for me when I think that I hauled major effort and someone looks at the results and sees laziness or lack of consideration. Personally, I don’t think that I have an instinct for doing the right thing, and whenever I see someone being considerate, I mentally kick myself (“Why didn’t I see that this needed doing?”) and I’m jealous because that’s the kind of person that I wish I were.

That doesn’t justify Cain displacing his frustration onto Abel. But when we talk about him, we shouldn’t try to distance ourselves from him, by making the lesson about having the right attitude or about not being haters. Abel’s a good person but the story isn’t about him. The lesson should be that we’re just like Cain, or at least I am, and Cain is exactly why y’all need Jesus… … OK but seriously, not killing people doesn’t mean that we’re any better and the purpose of grace is for the sake of people exactly like Cain, people who want to please God but can’t. There, but for the grace of God, go I.

God didn’t sacrifice Jesus for us to be like, “Cain, that horrible, horrible person”—he did that so that if people like Cain turn around and say, “God, I just wanted to be good enough but I screwed up and I’m tired of this whole trying-not-to-screw-up-but-screwing-up-anyway thing,” instead of God saying, “I’m sorry but you’re done for,” God can say, “Way ahead of you.”

Re: 김진수, “Why bad things always happen to good people?”

2014/08/13

Bad things happen to everyone and good things happen to everyone. It’s just more jarring to see bad things happen to good people, or good things happen to bad people, because it contradicts the natural sense of fairness.

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