The Man in The Mirror: Isaac's Reflections about Himself, The World, and The Universe

"The accumulation of knowledge means nothing if one lacks the ability to apply it in everyday life."

-Isaac López

"If you don't listen, you don't learn. If you don't learn, you don't understand. If you don't understand, you assume. If you assume, you lie. If you lie, then why listen?"
-Isaac López

"In society, pretending to be someone that others want to you to be in order to be accepted is a lot easier than being yourself. I personally prefer the social challenge of the latter, I don't need to be accepted by people that are too ignorant to understand that their acceptance is not part of my social equation."

-Isaac López

The Rejuvenation of Ram Vitality

posted Apr 13, 2020, 8:48 PM by Isaac López   [ updated Apr 22, 2020, 8:37 PM ]

Humans perceive the world in a very unique way. We use color to distinguish and identify all the intricacies of the world around us. The use of color can often lead to a distinct identity of an individual, location, person, object or idea. It is this identity that describes who we are and what we are all about. The recent phenomenon of the Corona virus has led us as a society to change the way we perceive these colors, and what they mean to us have created an entirely new definition.

I am a big sports fan, and the lack of sports due to the Corona virus has changed my routine, and my ability to relax and enjoy life. However, it has also given me the time to reflect in ways that I always thought possible but never bothered exploring.

I am lifelong San Francisco 49ers fan, and although this is true the Corona virus has allowed me to explore other events in the world of sports. Recently the Los Angeles Rams changed their color scheme and logo to better fit their restoration to Los Angeles. They changed their logo entirely and for the most part went back to their classic color scheme of Royal Blue and Sunshine Yellow restoring their identity as the Los Angeles Rams. I love the fact that the Rams decided to break completely free from the Saint Louis colors just as they had broken completely free from the colors of Los Angeles.

Saint Louis Color Scheme on the Left, Retro Los Angeles Color Scheme on the Right.

Although, I agree with the changes in the color scheme I really dislike the logo. The changes in the logo create the divide between the culture, history, identity and legacy of the team pre the Saint Louis relocation and post the move back to Los Angeles. It’s this divide that their logo creates that I believe fractures their legacy as a team, and prohibits fans from uniting behind the team. In contrast to the connection between the colors there’s nothing similar in the new logo that bridges back to the old.

I find myself inadvertently supporting the Rams even though I am a 49ers fan. For 21 years the city of Los Angeles was without a team. They were without a representative to the NFL - no banner, no flag, no identity to call their own. It was this hiatus in the NFL that made fans like me recognize the necessity for a team in Los Angeles and this is precisely why the restoration of the colors of the Los Angeles Rams is so important.

It is my sincere hope that the Rams along with the NFL reconsider the changes to the logo to in some way repair the fracture that now exists. Ultimately, it’s the perception of these colors and identity that hopefully can reconcile the strange world that we live in at this moment and gives us back a sense of normality because color is after all the way we perceive the world, the way we create our culture and identity.


Devotee-ism: Attraction to Diversity, or an Attraction to Inability?

posted Jun 27, 2011, 10:19 PM by Isaac López   [ updated Apr 13, 2020, 9:28 PM ]

Love, what is love? Can it be described as a chemical reaction in the brain? Is it a contractual agreement between two parties to create an association with each other that is mutually beneficial? Or is it simply a deep connection that one shares with another due to romantic reasons? Whatever the reason may be, it would be very difficult to argue that the emotion of love arises without or in the absence of an initial sexual attraction to the other member of the prospective couple.


There are several categories and criteria that one may use as the basis for a sexual attraction, perhaps for a heterosexual male criteria may be large eyes, a beautiful smile, nice hair, a round firm buttocks, a big firm chest, an hourglass figure, a well proportioned waist hip ratio and so on. The aforementioned criteria may signal to the male on the most basic primordial level that the female in question is fertile and able to bear his young. On the other hand, for a heterosexual female the criteria may be the same in some areas but very different in others such as muscular builds, well defined abdominal muscles, well-developed pictorials, biceps, triceps, and the like; signaling to the female than male's ability to be a provider and to his ability to provide a sense of security for the female.


This schema may work well in the primordial sense, but what happens when social norms are introduced? Such as social expectations, identity, desires, and social acceptance. The scenario described above is Ideal, in other words a hypothetical description of sexual attraction without confounding factors, but what if an unanticipated factor that is not part of the deal such as a disability is introduced into the mix? What then? How will the laws of attraction change? Or do they?


Devotee-ism is a phenomenon that claims to bridge the disparity between sexual attraction and disability. People who identify themselves as devotees claim to principally be attracted to physically challenge people  due to their disability. They argue that it fits within the same category as the phenotypic attributes described above. They describe that a disability can be just as attractive as anything else, by being attracted to physically challenged people they reason that in some way they give the physically challenged some sort of sexual equality that the rest of society tends to shy away from.


For those of you that don't know, I am physically challenged myself, it's something that I rarely talk about simply because I don't see it as a part of who I am. Yes, it is a part of me but it's not a defining factor in my identity. I do agree that physically challenged people are just like any other human beings; we are sexual beings and we are often not seen as such. However, I question the argument that devotees give me back the humanity that is stripped away by the rest of society.


By focusing on my physical condition or lack thereof as the initial reason for their attraction devotees in fact strip us of the equality they so desperately want to give, I use a wheelchair, but first and foremost, I am a man, in some weird irony of poetic justice I want to be objectified, I want to be objectified for the same reasons as anyone else. I want to be attractive to a female because I have a nice buttocks, a beautiful smile, a sense a humor, and things of that nature; not because of the fact that I use a wheelchair, for me the wheelchair is just an assistive tool, not necessary a part of who I am in my identity. Which begs me to question, are devotees attracted to physical diversity that the physically challenged bring to the table, or are they attracted to the inability of the physically challenged? They are attracted to the specific condition or disability whatever that may be, if that is the initial attraction and they do indeed want to create a connection with that person, why then bring the disability to the forefront? They seem to be focusing our perceived inequality rather than focusing on the person who just happens to be physically challenged. To me, that is counterintuitive; why try to isolate and separate something that in most cases for people with physical challenges we try to integrate seamlessly into our lives? Devotees say they want the world to see us as the same as anyone else, why then do they insist on focusing on the very thing that is perceived to be different?


I have been using a wheelchair since birth so for me, my condition is something that I do try to integrate in every aspect of my life, but I purposely choose not to focus on it because I don't want to be viewed as the other, to think that someone is sexually attracted to me simply because I am perceived to be the other, is unsettling.

I hope to further explore the issue of devotee-ism and possibly incorporate it into my own research on dehumanization, disability and society. I can already tell that this particular entry is the first incarnation and things would change as soon as I researched the subject more. But for now, I just I would share my thoughts and get some feedback on what people think about this fascinating subject. Below is a description of devotee-ism is, from this perspective of a devotee. I don't want to misinterpret their ideas, so I am sharing their ideas in tandem with my ideas. I urge you to draw your own conclusions.




Dodgers vs. Angels

posted Jan 8, 2011, 7:49 PM by Isaac Lopez   [ updated Apr 15, 2020, 5:56 PM ]


May 20, 2008

I went to the Angels/Dodgers game on Friday. I have a lot of friends who are Dodgers fans, but none of them look like the Dodgers fans that showed up on Friday. They looked like a bunch of Raiders’ nation rejects, and for those who are Raiders’ fans you know that the Raiders hardly reject anybody but these guys and girls we're pretty special looking. One of them decided that he would get in their fight with five Angels fans right in front of an Anaheim police officer, mind you he started the fight and then claimed that the police officer was a Dodgers hater, the cop takes him away in handcuffs to the roar of the mostly Angels crowd. I recommend that if your baseball fans you go to one in these games soon. I've been an Angels fan for twenty years and I must say this was the most exciting baseball game I have ever been to. The A's fans are rowdy but they don't compare to Dodgers fans especially when they're drunk. These Dodgers fans make the Raiders’ fans look innocent school girls. I invite anybody who would like to experience a quality beating by a far superior team, while the other team actually enjoys the beating, yet could care less about what hit them as long as they have enough beer, this is the game for you.


What Sports are all About!

posted Dec 20, 2010, 8:23 PM by Isaac Lopez

Great Story, Pass it on!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Updated: February 18, 2:49 PM ET

Team's gesture supports grieving opponent news services

Two missed free throws, ordinarily the cause of a coach's
headache, became the symbol of sportsmanship in a Milwaukee boys'
basketball game earlier this month.

Milwaukee Madison senior Johntell Franklin, who lost his mother,
Carlitha, to cancer on Saturday, Feb. 7, decided he wanted to play in
that night's game against DeKalb (Ill.) High School after previously
indicating he would sit out.

He arrived at the gym in the second quarter, but Franklin's
name was not in the scorebook because his coach, Aaron Womack Jr.,
didn't expect him to be there.

Rules dictated Womack would have to be assessed a technical, but he was
prepared to put Franklin in the game anyway. DeKalb coach Dave Rohlman
and his players knew of the situation, and told the referees they did
not want the call.


The referees had no choice. But Rohlman did.

"I gathered my kids and said, 'Who wants to take these free throws?'"
Rohlman said, recounting the game to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"Darius McNeal put up his hand. I said, 'You realize you're going to
miss, right?' He nodded his head."

McNeal, a senior point guard, went to the line. The Milwaukee Madison
players stayed by their bench, waiting for the free throws. Instead of
seeing the ball go through the net, they saw the ball on the court,
rolling over the end line.

"I turned around and saw the ref pick up the ball and hand it back to
the player," Womack said in the Journal Sentinel. "And then [McNeal]
did the same thing again."

Said Rohlman: "Darius set up for a regular free throw, but he only shot
it two or three feet in front of him. It bounced once or twice and just
rolled past the basket."

"I did it for the guy who lost his mom," McNeal told the newspaper. "It was the right thing to do."

Womack, overwhelmed by DeKalb's gesture, wrote a letter to the DeKalb Daily Chronicle, which had first reported the story.

"As a principal, school, school district staff, and community you
should all feel immense pride for the remarkable job that the coaching
staff is doing in not only coaching these young men, but teaching them
how to be leaders," Womack wrote.

DeKalb had traveled more than two hours for the game, and waited
another two as Womack rushed from the hospital, where he had been with
Franklin, to the school to gather his team.

"We were sympathetic to the circumstances and the events," Rohlman said
in the Journal Sentinel. "We even told Coach Womack that it'd be OK to
call off the game, but he said we had driven 2½ hours to get here and
the kids wanted to play. So we said, 'Spend some time with your team
and come out when you're ready.'"

The two schools had met twice previously, and this one ended with a
Madison victory, but as in the other games, they also shared a pizza
dinner, "four kids to a pizza, two Madison kids and two DeKalb kids,"
Womack told the Journal Sentinel.

"That letter became a big deal in DeKalb," Rohlman said in the paper.
"We got lots of positive calls and e-mails because of it. Even though
we lost the game, it was a true life lesson, and it's not one our kids
are going to forget anytime soon."

Womack, in his letter to the DeKalb Daily Chronicle, added this at the
end: "I'd like to recognize Darius who stepped up to miss the shot on
purpose. He could have been selfish and cared only for his own stats [I
hope Coach Rohlman doesn't make him run for missing the free throws]."

Why... so... serious?

posted Aug 22, 2010, 7:57 PM by Isaac Lopez   [ updated Apr 14, 2020, 11:08 PM by Isaac López ]

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 5:04 PM

I went to go see The Dark Knight on Saturday. For those of you that have not seen it I highly recommend it. The Jokers performance is definitely Academy award caliber, who would have thought that this movie would get me thinking about my research. The character questions social norms that we find acceptable. The line that got me thinking was:

their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other."

Tomas Hobbes in his book Leviathan, postulates a condition which he calls the state of nature. In this state, each person would have a right, or license, to everything in the world. This inevitably leads to conflict, a "war of all against all", and thus lives that are "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" (xiii).

To escape this state of war, men in the state of nature cede to a social contract. According to Hobbes, society is a population beneath a sovereign authority to whom all individuals in that society cede their natural rights for the sake of protection.

Are we civilized only because society expects us to be? Is a human's natural state brutish and nasty? Have we learned to be polite and kind only because if we are not, there will be someone or some institution that will correct undesirable behavior? Take a second to think about it, it may sound ridiculous at first, but there may be some truth to this perception.

Social norms have given humans a very particular way of looking at the world; anything that falls short is an exception of the rule, a stigma, a freak of nature, and any other word or phrase that one may choose to describe it. How many people do you think expect to live their life outside the norm? Most people don't picture spending the rest of their life with someone who is not considered "normal" in the traditional sense. Someone who lives with autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, or some other condition? How many people in this world picture the family home with their white picket fence and their children, with a wheelchair ramp leading to the front door?

 The new social concept of universal design is starting to break with this way of thinking. Is universal design the product a societal change forced upon us by the recognition that a change is needed in social norms? If somehow societal mechanisms were to collapse would humanity resort to social Darwinism? Is humanity controlled by social regulation? Would we even consider assisting the less fortunate if society as we know it didn't exist? Would I as a person who may not fit the established norm completely, have the right to speak my mind? When it's a matter of survival would we hold on to the human qualities that we claim makes us different from animals? Is our instinct for self preservation stronger than our ability to be civilized? If the answer is yes, then how can we claim to be human? Are we truly civilized? When the chips are on the table, does our humanity go out the window? These are very intriguing questions that I would love to hear people's thoughts on, especially those who I haven't heard from in a while. I'm just curious to know what people think.


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