I don't understand

Some days I start with an idea or theme for my daily essay. Some days I have several different possible topics, but none of the topics individually is worth an entire 1,000 words. Today seems to be one of those days for a journal entry that rabbles through several different topics. However, since it isn’t yet written, I don’t know for sure. Here goes:

I’m trying to remember the doctor’s exact words. I can remember his name. I know who the attending nurse was and she is still our friend all these years later. But I don’t remember which one of them said it, or exactly what words were said. I think it might have been the nurse who said, “You have a beautiful baby boy.” Those moments are a bit of a blur in my memory for some reason. We had been up all night without sleep. It was shortly after noon on a Sunday. It was the first, though not the last, time one of our children had caused me to miss a Sunday service, and since we were serving two churches at the time, I had missed two services and was just an hour away from missing the third. I was not worried about that. Our first child had arrived and, according to the plans we had made, would be named Isaac. We had narrowed the choice down to two names, one for a boy and another for a girl. We did not know the gender until a medical attendant viewed the anatomy as he was delivered and cleaned up. It was before prenatal care included multiple ultrasound procedures and in-utero pictures that could be sent over cell phones. I am sure we would have been as joyous had the child been a girl. We certainly were 2 1/2 years later when our daughter came to our family.

There was no gender reveal party. We had several baby outfits that were neutral colors and could be worn by either gender. I had bought a box of Baby Ruth candy bars to hand out to all my friends in celebration of the birth. I didn’t smoke and couldn’t justify spending money on cigars, which were the tradition. The fact that we knew in advance that the child would not be named Ruth didn’t deter me one bit. Babe Ruth was a man, so the candy bar could be used regardless of the gender of the child.

The idea of announcing the gender of our child with a party and an explosion never entered my mind. I had never heard of a gender reveal party. It is a good thing. It spared me a brush with death, or at least getting sued.

A father-t0-be from New York state has died after a device he was building for his child’s gender reveal party exploded, according to a story on the BBC website. The blast killed Christopher Pekny and landed his brother in the hospital with injuries.

A man from Michigan was killed earlier this month after he was struck by shrapnel from a home made cannon fired during a baby shower. Gender reveal parties have been blamed for wildfires in Arizona in 2017 and last September in California.

No persons were injured and no fires resulted from the revelations of the genders of either of our children. The same is true of all of our grandchildren, though we were informed of gender before their births.

I have subscribed to one channel on Twitch. I don’t know much about social media. I do watch videos on YouTube from time to time, but I didn’t even know that Twitch existed until my sister got me hooked on watching my nephew, her son, on his channel on Twitch. I have to admit that it is entertaining to watch him. What he does is play video games in front of a green screen so what you see is him in the bottom corner of a video game. He makes comments on the game and responds to comments written by viewers as he plays the game. He interacts with his wife and pets as he plays the game. He makes jokes as he plays the game. I’m not really into video games. I played Pong on a computer a few times. Our son had a game system when he was a teen and I played Mario Kart several times, though I never got very good at it.

Just like I don’t understand gender reveal parties and why pyrotechnics are required, I don’t understand how someone can pursue playing video games as a career. Somehow, the thousands of followers who watch my nephew play games and enjoy his banter and tune in night after night generate money for the channel. There is ad revenue and a way for people to give money to the channel. I really don’t know how all of it works. I haven’t gotten beyond my free membership and the occasional typed comment to let my nephew know I’m watching. But he earns money from the process and has continued to increase his investments in computers and equipment to make the channel more interesting.

If you take my nephew’s vocation and the one from which I just retired and put them together what you get is Reverend Simon Archer, a Church of England Vicar who, in addition to live streaming services, streams video games on social media. He invites people to watch and plays some games that are way more violent than the ones my nephew plays. While the vicar plays, he chats with viewers about all sorts of different subjects including faith and offering support for those who have problems. He says he was called by God to create the virtual church of chat. I have absolutely no idea how you can offer spiritual advice while running a game controller with a “trigger” that causes a video image of a person to “shoot” other video images and show bullets flying and people dying.

There are plenty of things about the world today that I simply don’t understand. The silly thing is that I don’t even have any desire to solve those mysteries.

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