Monday, September 27, 2010

A Call for Originality

Dania says that I should write about my "life and experiences...and so on." Unfortunately, in order to write about those things, I need to have them. I don't. So while that idea of Dania's doesn't work so hot, she just happened to later inspire me with her Facebook status. For those of you who didn't see it, I'll put it here:

Look at your status. Now back to mine. Now back to yours. Now back to mine. Sadly, yours isn't mine. But if you stopped posting about other things & made this your status, yours could be like mine. Look down. Back up. Where are you? You're on Facebook, reading the status your status could be like! Anything is possible when your Facebook status looks like this one.

Now, many of you are probably laughing at this. I will admit that as statuses go, it actually is very good, far better than anything I have ever come up with. However, as good as it is, it really isn't original humor. You see, ever since the recent Old Spice commercials, I have been noticing an increasing trend of people personalizing someone else's line and making it their own. I love the Old Spice guy (if you haven't, you should check out his video responses). His stuff is very funny and very effective as an advertising campaign. What I don't love is the rampant sayings that have cropped up that go something along the lines of "Look at your X. Now look at mine. Now back at your X. Now back to mine. Sadly, your X isn't like mine. But if you stopped doing Y and started doing Z, yours could be like mine." etc. Please, people, let's be original. Ripping off someone's thing, especially when it is as popular as the Old Spice commercial, just isn't as funny as something you yourself do. Even if your idea isn't as funny as someone else's, having it be your own makes it funny. And trust me, if you are reading this blog, you can be a funny person.

This doesn't relate only to humor, however. There is the larger societal problem with using famous quotes. Honestly, I get why society has the rule. People we quote were respected. They have legitimacy; legitimacy that we often lack. We use what they said because it strengthens what we say. But why can't we come up with our own sayings? Why are our thoughts any less valid because we aren't yet famous? As much as I love Mark Twain, I shouldn't have to use his sayings. I should be an independent thinker and come up with my own things. I do understand that Mark Twain has a certain amount of legitimacy that I will probably never achieve. He is accepted as a master. But he didn't achieve that by quoting Jonathan Swift. He came up with his own material. So I ask that as we like and love quotes from others, we also take into account our own intelligence and come up with our own thoughts.

Friday, September 24, 2010


You know, it's really hard to motivate myself to post on this. As before stated, I didn't really want to become one of the many bloggers. Consequently, I haven't publicized this blog, so no one knows about it. The problem is that I just don't feel like writing these for no purpose except to make Dania happy, and I have no evidence others have looked at it. I wonder what Dania would say/do if I just stopped posting. Would she even notice? If she did notice, would she care? Probably. She would not be happy about it. Therefore, I continue to post. I agreed to do it, and I don't like breaking my word especially on something as inconsequential as this.

I have no inspiration at all for what to write about. Whatever I think of will be boring to you, and the last thing I want to do is bore my readership. This may come out to be an actual rave this time, where I really have nothing to say whatsoever, but I just get going and hit many different subjects. You will notice that my sentence structure has degraded. That is another aspect of a rave. It is opposed to a rant, which consists of one actual idea that I actually want to convey and the random tangents off that topic but still has a central theme, unlike a rave, in which I just kind of type whatever comes to the mind right as it happens. Very little editing is done on a rave. But that's OK. And doesn't it bother you when people talk without actually having anything to say? It sure bothers me. Yes, I am aware this ironic. I'm hoping that maybe Dania will let me off the hook, so I'll just be completely random and stupid and hopefully she will eventually beg me to stop posting. Isn't it interesting that so far every post has contained Dania's name at least once? It's her fault that you are reading this at all, and I just don't want you to forget that, so I'll keep reminding you periodically. And there is a periodicals section in the HBLL and it has a great view. I've yet to go into the library to study. I don't know why people can't just study in their rooms. OK, never mind, that's a lie. Some people, I can understand needing to study in the library because their roommates don't provide a study-conducive environment. And that's probably enough for now.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Dania says I have to post on this regularly. I could interpret that to mean "on a fixed schedule" instead of "often", but that would be a deliberate misinterpretation. I may decide to do it like most webcomics and update three times a week (MWF). I may decide once a week is enough to satisfy Dania's need for the sarcastic genius of David Sorensen. I may decide to stop posting on this at all, especially if the topics of my posts are as uncontroversial as Steph Tidwell. You see, Steph Tidwell is a very likable person. There are very few, if any, people on the planet who would argue that Steph is not a good person. For that reason, discussing her is unproductive for me. I like to say things that spark debate. I like to look at things from a different perspective and try to open the minds of others a little bit to see a bigger picture. In some ways, I play devil's advocate (which is fitting because I was his TA). Too often when we all agree on something, we experience the effect psychologists have termed group polarization: when everyone has the same opinion and they discuss the topic, the opinions become even more polarized. I try to keep group polarization down. So sorry, Steph, but you may not get that blog post about you (unless you count this one).

Yes, argument is what I like to foster. Not petty bickering, but actual, informative, constructive argument. Argument makes people decide what their own views of a situation are. Argument helps people to see outside the box of their own thinking and into a much larger world. For being such a helpful tool, argument really is looked down upon by the world. We are too often pacifists. We are afraid to offend others, so we don't readily voice our opinions. This has always seemed silly to me. We don't change our opinion because we don't want to be offensive; we just don't clearly state it. If we aren't afraid to have the opinion, we shouldn't be afraid to speak out in defense of it. Contention may be of the devil, but healthy argument does not involve contention. It involves rhetorical tools to try to show opponents that you are right, and them doing the same to you, but it doesn't mean there is a contentious spirit about it. So speak your mind. Stand up for what you think. Show the world that your viewpoint matters too. And it does because you are a person just as much as anyone, so what you think counts just as much as anyone. We all see the world different, and if we were a little more willing to share that instead of submit to a group mindset, we would all benefit.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's a rant. It doesn't have to be completely coherent

To those of you who, for whatever reason, are currently reading this: I am sorry. I didn't mean to become one of those people who created a blog. I just don't think anyone cares what I have to say, and if they do, they probably have already heard it. However, I have been wanting an outlet for some of my thoughts, and when Dania Frandsen requested (that's right, she didn't just ask, she requested, almost commanded, really) I get a blog, I figured it would work as well as anything.

As the name suggests, this will consist of my rants and raves, which are many in number, and occasionally I may discuss something of actual value. I will not be taking the time to make this look pretty. I don't care if it is aesthetically pleasing. I don't care if the topics are offensive to you. I'm not doing this to make friends. I am doing this because a girl asked me too. Yes, even I, the great David Sorensen, am not as iron-willed as I'd like to be when faced with a female. To all those of you who tried to get me to go to Junior Prom: take note. You bombarded me, but hardly ever was it simply a girl asking me to ask someone to prom. Your arguments consisted mainly of logical appeals, with some very weak emotional appeals thrown in here and there. But you hardly ever considered your ethos. I probably wouldn't have been swayed had  some girl come up to me and simply asked me to ask to prom, but it's worth thinking about. You see, you made the faulty assumption that I am a rational being. I am not rational. No human being on the face of the planet is. We all do things for irrational reasons. But it is that very irrationality that makes us human. It is an irrational being that jumps on a grenade to save a buddy's life. It is an irrational being that falls in love and prizes someone else's happiness more than their own. As much as I strive for rationality in my own behaviors, I recognize that without irrationality life is pointless. If we were rational beings, we would not need to think, because the rational thing to do is apparent and obvious. But we are not rational, so we do think, and thinking gives purpose to life.