Tag Archives: love

Why Donald Trump is the Best President for America

*Author’s Note*
This post originally written the first week of August, 2017. Not sure why it never made it to publish then, but it stays depressingly prescient, almost three years later. Enjoy?

 

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August 8, 2017.

Well, we finally did it.

We finally elected the perfect president — the most accurately American president for his time since George Washington.

Donald J. Trump.

To spin a memorable line from the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy: Donald Trump isn’t the president we need right now, but he is the president we deserve.

The honeymoon phase of the American dream is over, and this is the USA’s true face — the one that most represents us to the world, to ourselves — whether we wish it did or not: a grotesque mask of rotted flesh and matted former hair held together by hideously outdated principals, some good ol’ fashioned white supremacy, and whatever you catch from drinking the water at Mar-a-lago for several decades straight.

In our defense, we really only did what anyone does when nothing goes wrong for them on a long enough timeline: assume it never will. And that our good fortune wasn’t a blessing (to be counted and thankful for), but an attribute of our character — a testament to our own greatness. We have confused good fortune with ~being~ good; but comeuppance-via-hubris is only ever delayed, not defeated; and America’s massive fiscal debt pales in comparison to the karmic deficit we have accumulated.

Let me be clear: Donald Trump is an American icon and a legend, and he represents us better than any legitimately elected official ever could. Trump is a breed of obliviousness so extreme that he would seem unrealistically over-the-top if he were a character on a fictional TV show from the 1970s. He is a racist, misogynistic, homophobic, self-important, uncaring, uncharismatic, idiotic, sexist, egomaniacal, aloof elitist whose only notable qualities stem from having money handed to him at a young age, swindling money from the less fortunate/less intelligent at an older age, and name recognition that — prior to 2015 — was primarily from being an easy punchline or vaguely familiar pop culture reference that people knew, but they didn’t know why they knew (like Silly Putty or Tiktok).

Barack Obama acted how we wished we could act, spoke how we wish we could speak, was confident like we wished we were confident, and was intelligent like we wished we were intelligent. Donald Trump, unfortunately, acts how we actually act, speaks like we actually speak, is confident how we’re actually confident (undeservedly), and is intelligent how we’re actually intelligent (that is to say, not very).

We’ve let ourselves be casually racist, low key intolerant, high key entitled, and major key swept up by easy catchphrases for so many years that we actually conjured into flesh the physical manifestation of all the qualities we wished we didn’t have, but always knew were right there festering below the surface — and we just never took the time to purge from within ourselves. Donald Trump is the Jesus Christ of the Religion of Self, the god of entitlement made manifest, the ego incarnate. If the Holy Trinity is The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost; The Don represents the unholy Trumpity of The Falter, The Dumb, and The Lowly Host.

But forced jokes aside, there is a very real chance that we have put a man into office who might actually get us killed. As a nation. You can picture it, can’t you? Like, it doesn’t seem out of the realm of what *could* go down, right? How horrifying is that? Now to be perfectly honest, I don’t really think that’s gonna happen. Even the craziest of the crazy (and surely the men with their hands on the triggers these days are just that) understand how little a zero-sum game benefits them. But think about how wild, how outlandish it is that the ~possibility~ even exists. That you can imagine a reality where Kim-Jong-Trump wakes up one day and just /decides/ to start a world war. (Or maybe even an apocalypse, just by virtue of how much better we’ve gotten at world warring).

Or maybe we’ll just have three and half really backwards, really oppressive, really tremendously awful years. And if that’s our best case scenario, it will have been too light a punishment for all our previous crimes. We should be so lucky.

However, I think in one form or another, what’s left after the dust clears and the ashes settle (possibly literally) will not be the same stupid tropes of small men who bungled or outright fabricated massive disasters so that their fragile little egos could feel validated, but the hope and kindness and love of those who endured. You could call it a different form of insanity — the Newton’s Third Law of emotional energy — but I truly believe that whether or not it has a name or there is anyone even left to name it, that you will always be able to feel the love of those who knew better, who were better, who did better. And that was always what love had going for it anyway, wasn’t it? That you could leave something bigger and stronger and more unnameable than yourself or your “rightness” behind, and that you didn’t do it because the history books (lol books) would keep track of it or you’d get a commensurate amount of glory for every good deed done, but just that love was its own reward (cliché or not). Because love poured out, was really just making extra room for more love to be received. The worst things in life can last a long time — three and a half years; a lifetime; all of human history, maybe — but the best things in life are infinite. Hope is infinite. Love is infinity. And love can’t be elected, impeached, and isn’t bound by term limits. I think that’s from a first draft of Corinthians 13 that the apostle Paul wrote on his wordpress blog a long time ago. Retweet. YOLO.

Donald Trump is who we are, America. And like anyone who’s ever had a long, cold stare into the mirror after a night of heavy drinking, this is the moment where we — as a community, as a nation — get to decide if who we are is who we’re gonna stay, or if we are going to raise our standards for ourselves, and truly become better. We the people get to choose if The Don is going to continue to be the reflection we see in the mirror in the mornings when our head is pounding and we’re regretting all our past choices, or if he’s just going to be the molted husk that we will have left behind after our metamorphosis into the beautiful creature America has the potential to become.

One outcome or the other, America as we know it ends with Donald Trump. But the real America starts with you. With us. With We. With The People. Let’s build ourselves into something we can be prouder of than a failed reality TV show personality, failed businessman, failed politician, successful sex offender, and failed father figure. Let’s make America great, for the first time.

Play on,
Dustin

 

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How DO You Deal with Sadness?

On the tumblr account I recently created (if you need me I’ll be over here, keeping up with ALL the hottest trends of 2007), someone asked the anonymous question:

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“How do you deal with sadness?”

Most tumblr questions I answer only insofar as they are interesting to me and/or present the opportunity to be funny via amusing myself and occasionally others (and so the circle of narcissism comes full…well, circle (I was in trouble like four words into that one)).

However, the above question struck me as one frequently on the minds of many young folk (and their not-so-young brethren such as myself), and seemed deserving of a slightly more in-depth answer than would befit the norms of that site. I’m fortunate because I’m generally one of the more positive humans I know, and I have primarily positive and uplifting people in my life, so I don’t find myself in this sort of situation very often. But when I do, it’s as potent as any other emotional state.

The answer (like all good answers), isn’t one answer. The answer is three answers. For me, at least. So far. It may be more by the time I’m done writing this thing out.

“How do you deal with sadness?”

Answer number one: I surround myself with the people, things, and activities that bring me joy.
This may seem the most obvious of the three, but the principle is simple: if you’re going to create an environment of sadness/negativity, you are going to have a lot of trouble not being sad. I’m not saying it’s not possible, you’re just creating more work for yourself than is necessary. I know sometimes when I get sad I don’t *feel* like being happy or being taken away from my world of wallowing (not to be confused with World of Wallowing, the less popular online role-playing game I invented), so instead of going right from sobbing to playing on the trampoline, it’s nice to have something in place that will act as a stepping stone, so instead of taking you from “depressed” to “overwhelmingly joyous” maybe it’s something that takes you from “depressed” to “pleasantly apathetic.” For me, it means instead of watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (a movie I absolutely love but does nothing to bolster my mood) — but also not being ready for the laugh-riot that is Anchorman or Dumb & Dumber — I might watch a sports documentary or a Wes Anderson film (sad but not too sad, comedy but not uproariously laugh-driven). The same is true with people; if you’re an introvert and you’re feeling down, you might not want to hit the super hip rager of a party that the popular kids are throwing, but maybe having a couple friends over to drink hot chocolate and watch Netflix (I like movies, if you haven’t gathered that already) would be enough to bolster your spirits. Maybe you’ll think it a bit passé, but I also enjoy reading with some calming but bright background music (classical, jazz, Anderson Cale) as an activity to counteract malaise.

Answer the second: I let God/Jesus do the heavy lifting.
This may not be a very popular or “cool” answer, but truthfully a lot of what gives me comfort when I’m sad or depressed is the hope that comes from relationship with Jesus as Savior. It removes a lot of the pressure that I put on myself or my successes/failures or my environment/circumstances to provide me with happiness and/or a sense of purpose, and lets me rest easy in the hope of Christ. Ultimately, the foundation of my joy comes from the wellspring of eternal love that is God, and all of life’s earthly concerns and sad matters fall into appropriately-lesser perspective by comparison.

Answer three: I don’t.
I don’t want to seem like I’m promoting the idea of wallowing in one’s own sadness, but a myth that is incorrectly perpetuated is that one needs to find a *solution* to sadness at all. The truth of the matter is that in many intense instances (death of a loved one, loss of a career, eviction, etc.), heavy sadness is a very real and very necessary response. And the same is true with lesser sad events as well. Your body is built to respond with sadness as a way to respond and reflect, and I find that meditating through the sad times can be a healthy and effective way to process and learn from sadness. If you broke your leg, you wouldn’t begrudge your body the time it needed to heal & repair, and the same is true for your emotional body as well. So oftentimes when I’m struck with sadness, I’ll let it run its course, spend some time in prayer and reflection, and let it provide the sharp contrast that makes my happiness all the brighter.

So, my anonymous occasionally-sad chum, maybe some of this is helpful to you, maybe it’s not, but either way this is how I process through the sad times, and it works for me. And if none of that helps, there’s always alcohol. Please drink responsibly.

Play on,
Dustin

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…Want more Mind Bullets? New posts go up every Wednesday at noon PST (or as close to that as I feel like), and you can subscribe if you want them delivered right to your inbox! …Or if you’re too impatient to wait that long you can follow me on twitter, instagram, tumblryoutube, (new videos every Monday), and my boring personal website. Whew, that’s a lot of self promotion…even I don’t like me enough to keep up with all that.

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Lamentations

people lament that their brokenness keeps them from finding/being capable of love; that they need to fix themselves or achieve perfection before they can love or be loved. but in reality, that’s nonsense. love is less about filing down your brokenness and imperfections and more about finding the right set of jagged brokenness with which yours most perfectly matches. one precisely square piece in a sea of jigsaw puzzle pieces would be utterly useless and alone. how much better to be a seemingly ridiculously shaped piece that, against all expectations, aligns completely with another, equally ridiculously shaped, broken piece.

stay jagged.

-Dustin

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…Want more Mind Bullets? New posts go up every Wednesday at noon PST (or as close to that as I feel like), and you can subscribe if you want them delivered right to your inbox! …Or if you’re too impatient to wait that long you can follow me on twitter, instagramyoutube (new videos every Monday), and my boring personal website. Whew, that’s a lot of self promotion…even I don’t like me enough to keep up with all that.

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Speaking in Absolutes

Longtime fans (or enemies) of mine will recall a podcast that my brother and I used to make. Due to the limitations of the internet that podcast had to go the way of the buffalo, but I’ve started up a new one for people who like to hear me talk. A lot. I could tell you about what a great waste of time this podcast is, or I could just let you listen to the inaugural episode here:

Listen to the web based version of the Speaking in Absolutes podcast

As soon as I get a solid iTunes link, I’ll post that as well so you subscribing types can subscribe. UPDATE: Subscribe to the podcast right here! I’ll also be doing an accompanying vodcast to go along with it on my youtube channel (link below). Like anything I do, I love getting feedback from all of you about things you love or hate, so don’t hesitate to give me your questions/comments. Party on, Wayne.

UPDATE 2, Here’s the companion video:

Play on,
Dustin

This is my father and I at a pool in Palm Springs, California. It is unrelated to the rest of this post.

Back by popular demand: a picture of me shirtless with my dad, whom I’ll be visiting along with my mom and sister at a resort in Palm Springs this week. So there’s that.

…Want more Mind Bullets? New posts go up every Wednesday at noon PST (or as close to that as I feel like), and you can subscribe if you want them delivered right to your inbox. Or if you’re too impatient to wait that long you can follow me on twitter, instagramyoutube (new videos every Monday), and my boring personal website. Whew, that’s a lot of self promotion…even I don’t like me enough to keep up with all that.

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The Imaginary Goodbye

I have struggled for the better part of a decade with whether or not to post what I’m about to share with you. Not because it’s all that profound or deep or even that interesting. But because it is one of the most intensely personal things I’ve ever experienced, and somehow not putting it out there publicly was a way for me to protect myself and pretend that, to a certain degree, it didn’t really happen. To let some, small, secluded part of my brain live in a happy land where bad things don’t take place. Ultimately, that’s not a fair thing to do to our loved ones, or ourselves. In the light of broad tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombings, or reminders of personal devastations like what would’ve been little Deacon’s recent birthday, it just seems selfish of me to shut out the wonderful memories I have of these people just because I don’t want to accept the unpleasantries along with the rest. So yeah, this isn’t going to be one of my humorous posts. Maybe check back next week.

 

The summer of my senior year of college, I was on a date with a girl (seeing one of the Harry Potter movies, couldn’t tell you which one) who told me that she’d seen a story about my college in the paper (yes, that’s how old I am, people were still getting some of their news from the actual newspaper when I was in college). I asked what the story was, and she told me that someone from my college had passed away unexpectedly. I went to a pretty small school (3,000-ish undergrad enrollment at the time), so I expected that even if we hadn’t been friends, it’d at least be a name I’d recognize.

 

Unfortunately, “recognize” would turn out to be a massive understatement.

 

I don’t need to walk any of you through what mourning the loss of a loved one is like. The sad truth of this broken world is that most — if not all — of us have experienced such a loss.

Brittany was a year younger than me, had transferred in from a different college after her freshman year, and as a result had a significantly smaller circle of friends than the rest of us (which I assume is why I heard about her passing by such happenstance vs. from a mutual friend). In retrospect I would say that we dated for a while, though this was college in the pre-facebook era, so defining the relationship was a lot more ambiguous than it is now. Or maybe (definitely) I was just more of a schmuck then than I am now. Probably a combination of the two. But despite the shifting title of what we were, we’d remained fairly close through it all, and I always kind of had the feeling that Brittany could be the sort of girl I’d end up with (though I wouldn’t have phrased it that way at the time…and indeed her loss may have inadvertently triggered/exacerbated “commitment-phobic Dustin”). Regardless of the context, Brittany was the first close person in my age range that I’d ever lost before, and I wasn’t equipped to handle it very well (though I honestly don’t think that anyone ever is, or ever can be, or ever should be ready for that sort of loss).

A couple months later, I wrote a song about her and I wrote a letter to her parents.

I never sent it.

I don’t know why I didn’t. Maybe it just felt too presumptuous to impose myself and my less-significant grief on her family like that, or maybe (definitely) I was just too afraid to make her loss fully real by acknowledging it.

After all these years, I don’t know if any of that has changed, and I certainly don’t feel any braver than I did that night we walked out on that Harry Potter movie so I could go sit on a park bench and cry. But maybe (definitely) I’ve been selfish long enough, and it’s time to realize that moving on isn’t the same as forgetting about. That letting go isn’t the same as giving up.

With that said, here is the letter. It is unedited from the original draft minus me removing her last name out of respect to her family not necessarily wanting their loss published on the internet, even after this much time has passed.

 

Sept. 25th.

I’m sitting here staring at a blank computer screen, listening to a mix-CD that I made for a girl. A girl named Brittany.

And I am crying.

Not because the songs on the CD are that powerful, or because the memories are that sad, but because I miss your daughter.  We were never best friends, we were never an official “Couple”, we never even hung out as often as we could’ve; but Brittany and I had a strong bond that was somehow indefinable by the world’s terms—something better than the word “friend” could do justice to.

Seeing your daughter made me happy — it’s as simple as that.  Whether it was passing her in a hallway and catching up, sitting in the grass discussing life, or attending a class together just so we could ignore the professor’s lecture and talk to each other — every instance brought a special kind of smile to my face and a unique joy to my day…and my life.  Brittany was prettier than the “popular” girls, kinder than the “nice” girls, and smarter than all of them.  Brittany could’ve been the proverbial queen bee of our college, complete with an army of mindless drones to follow her every command, but she chose to remain true to herself and her beliefs and sacrifice ultimate popularity in exchange for ultimate reality.  She chose to make a difference.  She chose to be better than the world required her to be.  And she chose to be my friend.  The latter of those might be the least important to the world, but it was everything to me.  Sure, lots of people at school know who I am, or know my name or a good story about me, but Brittany knew me.  The real me that most everyone else never took the time to find.  Whenever I saw her name pop up on my cell phone’s caller ID, I didn’t cringe and cancel the call like usual, but rather, I would smile from ear to ear because when Brittany called, I knew that the highlight of my day had arrived and that even if I was having the worst day possible, the next thirty minutes of conversation would be perfect.

Unfortunately, kind words and wonderful memories can’t bring Brittany back or duplicate the sound of her voice, but I wanted you to know that she has always and will always hold a special place in my heart, and that my world has a little more gray in it without Brittany around to brighten it up.  Brittany was a spectacular girl, an extraordinary human being, and genuinely beautiful person — both inside and out.  It will forever sadden my heart to think that ultimately, Brittany’s demise was the result of a disorder that caused her to believe that she could possibly be any more perfect than she already was.  My solace is the knowledge that Brittany walked with God, and that he would never abandon her or exclude her from his love.  I don’t know if that comforts you or lessens your grief as it does mine, but I pray that one day it might.

Someday the tears will stop.  Someday the pain will subside.  Someday the memories will fade.  But the love that friends and family have for Brittany will never dissipate.

It may be clichéd to say that though Brittany’s candle has been extinguished, her light will continue to shine eternally — but it doesn’t make it any less true for your luminous daughter.

The warmth of Brittany’s brightness will always be felt by those who cared for her.

I will miss you, Brittany.  Always.

With the deepest sympathy and love,
Dustin Heveron

 

As I said, I don’t think my letter contains anything revolutionary, it just felt like it was time to give Brittany the respect she deserves and the eulogy I didn’t have the heart to deliver that summer. The Coachella music festival was last weekend, and I always think of her around this time (before she passed we used to discuss the fest a lot — it was much more representative of the underground music scene back then, and we’d made plans to attend the festival that year) so it’s fitting that it coincides with this letter. But the message is a timeless — albeit unoriginal — one: make today count. Whether that means an extra gesture of kindness to those close to you or mustering the courage to start something risky or long overdue, take advantage of today.

We were put on this earth to pursue active love toward one another, don’t wait until your loved ones (or you, yourself) are just memories to start living out your true purpose. One day all men will die, but love lives on. God conquered death not with might, but with love. Love lives on.

 

Much love,
Dustin

 

“For God so loved…”

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