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



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Please note: I have yet to figure out how to allow readers to add their comments, so in the interim please e-mail any comments you have to ICE@ISAAC-LOPEZ.COM please include your first name, your city and state, the title of the blog and entry that you are commenting on, and of course your comment, and I will manually add your comments until I can figure out how to allow readers to add comments on their own.

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

posted Jun 27, 2011, 10:19 PM by Isaac López   [ updated Mar 30, 2013, 11:09 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 basis 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 their primordial sense, but what happens when social norms are introduced? Such as social expectations, identity, desires, and social acceptance. The scenario described above is me deal, in other words a hypothetical description of sexual attraction without confounding factors, but what if a component factor that is not part of a 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 challenge people because due to their disability. They argue that it fits within the same category as the phenotypic attributes described above. They described that a disability can be just as attractive as anything else, I slowly 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 on assistive tool not necessary a part of who I am in my identity. Which begs me to bring the 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 whenever 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? There 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 a little 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.


http://www.ruthmadison.com/devoteeism/

 

-ICE

 

Dodgers vs. Angels

posted Jan 8, 2011, 7:49 PM by Isaac Lopez   [ updated Jan 8, 2011, 7:58 PM ]


May 20, 2008

I went to the angel dodger game on Friday. I have a lot of friends who are dodger fans, but none of them look like the dodger fans that showed up on Friday. They looked like a bunch of raider nation rejects, and for those who are raider 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 angel fans Right in front of an Anaheim police officer, mind you he started the fight and then claimed that the police officer Was a dodger hater, the cop Takes him away in handcuffs to the roar Of the mostly angel crowd. I recommend that if your baseball fans you go to one in these games soon. I've been an angel 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 dodger fans especially when they're drunk. These dodger fans make the raider fans look innocent school girls. I invite anybody who would like to experience A quality beating By a far superior angels team, While the other team actually enjoys the beating, yet could care less About what hit them As long as they have enough Beer, then this is the game for you.



-ICE

What Sports are all About!

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

Great Story, Pass it on!
-Isaac




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




Team's gesture supports grieving opponent





ESPN.com 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 Sep 30, 2012, 9:05 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.



-ICE

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