Internet Explorer

I had several dozen other things I wanted to talk about today, but given recent events*, I thought it appropriate to tackle this one.

I use Internet Explorer.  I always have.  I like Google Chrome well enough, but it doesn’t do anything IE doesn’t also do, including crash unexpectedly.  I actively dislike Firefox.  I’ve used Firefox on a variety of computers and it’s never run at anything more than a ponderously slow pace, often at a speed that made me feel like I could get faster processing speeds if I was just yelling ‘10101000100100100010101’ through a Dixie cup on a string.

I’ve been well aware that many people look down on IE users and I generally don’t understand why.  There was a hoax awhile back that IE users were proven to have lower IQs than other browser users and that was kind of funny, especially because of how readily everybody who wasn’t an IE user was to believe it.

I don’t quite know why people dislike Internet Explorer so much.  It’s buggy as all hell, sure, but I’ve never used a browser that wasn’t (including Mac’s own Safari).  I’ve seen IE outperform, and be outperformed by, other browsers but never in such a way that impressed me.  They are all means to an end – exploring the internet – and none of them do it staggeringly better than any of their peers.

To me it comes down to a simple question: why would I bother downloading a product that does the exact same thing as what already came pre-installed on my computer by the people who wrote all the programs I use as well as the operating system I’m using it on?  I’m not an elite computer user.  As a writer, my computer is largely a glorified typewriter and jukebox.  The most demanding website I visit (as far as processing power goes) would probably be Youtube or Facebook; maybe Crunchyroll.  I don’t need a super-elite browser; I just need a browser that works.  And having tried all the common ones, IE worked just as good as any of the others but had the added benefit of being right there when I first turned the computer on.

So Internet Explorer is what I continue to use, and will probably keep using for the foreseeable future.

* – The recent events in question was installing an Adobe update that automatically downloaded Google Chrome. That has had a deleterious effect on my computer and I’ve spent several hours today, performing every computer trick I know, just to remove this one program I never wanted to begin with.

Life sucks and that’s a good thing

Golf celebrity David Feherty once compared Depression to having an immune deficiency for your brain.  And if you’re anything like me – or the 1 in 6 Americans, or the 1 in 50 world-wide – that deals with Depression, you can probably appreciate that description.

Depression isn’t an affliction, it isn’t a mood: it’s a condition.  It’s one with no clear marker, one with no clear symptom, but a very vivid and unrelenting effect.

Many people who don’t understand Depression – including many of its sufferers – is that one aspect that can drive the spiral of affliction is guilt.  Guilt for being depressed.  Guilt for not enjoying such a wonderful life and wonderful world.  It’s a more common observance than you might think.  Dante famously said in The InfernoThere is no greater torment than to recall, in times of misery, times of great happiness“.  That’s the essence of this guilt; to see beauty before you and to be able to do nothing with it.
I had that experience yesterday.  Living in the southeastern United States (in the dubiously great state of North Carolina) and after an unpleasant and snow-lacking winter, I was treated to warm weather and bright sunny skies.  Sadly, I was also treated to a very serious bout of debilitating Depression brought on by (among other personal triggers of mine) sleep-deprivation due to – you guessed it! – Daylight Savings Time.  And the guilt for looking at a beautiful day and realizing that you can’t enjoy it is just devastating.

But to my millions of brothers and sisters out there with Depression – true, blue, real and clinical Depression – I want to remind you that life isn’t just beautiful; life also sucks!!! 🙂

We shouldn’t feel guilty about missing out on a sunny day, because there are so many other problems in the world that we can fixate on to feel bad about.  We shouldn’t feel guilty because we’ve got good health (if we’re fortunate enough too) because healthcare costs are so astronomical, it wouldn’t matter if we did because we couldn’t afford to do anything about them.  Life sucks!  🙂

Why the smiley face?  Because life sucking is critical in reminding ourselves that life isn’t some great and grand party that we’re summarily missing out on because we’re ‘broken’.  Life is a myriad of experiences – some good, some bad, and some bland – and if we remember that, then we can break the cycle of guilt.  We can get away from being depressed about being depressed and just be depressed.  Because if we’re depressed about being depressed, we’re fighting against our depression and ourselves.  But if we can get rid of the guilt, then all we have to deal with is the Depression itself and we become an ally, an aid, in that struggle, not a hindrance.

Depression is an ugly, nefarious affliction, one that doesn’t play by the rules most other illnesses operate with.  And so we, the afflicted and those who look after/over/out for the afflicted, must remember to not get tangled up in our own measures to deal with and address it.

So remember, life sucks, every bit as it is beautiful.  Don’t feel bad because you’re missing out on the beauty because just as there’s always something awful about life, there will always be something beautiful about it too.  And in time, you realize that there’s actually more beauty than suck.  But you aren’t missing out on the beauty because that would suggest there’s a finite amount of it.  There isn’t.  There’s so much beauty in the world, it can never and will never run out.  So don’t feel guilty because you can’t enjoy it right now.  Take care of yourself and get back on your emotional feet.  Enjoy it when you can, not when you feel like you should but can’t.

Enjoying beauty when you can and when you want to adds to the beauty of the world.

So be good to yourself. 🙂