the knowledge bowl: a young sociologist, a man in fear of coming out, music destroying a marriage and Pat Robertson puts on the gloves.

Posted on July 13, 2013



“what I know, I know. What I don’t know, I don’t know, but…I will find out.” – Unknown

thethinkera monthly digest of answers to questions from around the blogosphere, via thepublicblogger.  responses are based in academia, life experience, learned via an ongoing pursuit of knowledge. and through trial & error from the school of hard knocks.

non-judgmental, all-inclusive, meaningful and perhaps wise…but that will be up to you.

The Knowledge Bowl – July 2013 edition

a young sociologist, a man in fear of coming out, music destroying a marriage and Pat Robertson puts on the gloves.

Dear thepublicblogger: I am a new graduate, receiving my degree only two weeks ago. I majored in Sociology, which I love, My problem is I am feeling completely lost. My friends with engineering and computer science degrees already have jobs lined up. But I have no idea where to start. Not many jobs I have found that actually are advertising for a Sociologist. I read in a bio about you, that you are were a Sociology major. Can you offer any advice?
– Lost

Dear Lost: Consider yourself found. Sociology is a banner major that develops skills, insights and tolerance that will serve you well, regardless of your career path, and especially if that career path is marketing in the non-profit sector (which means securing funds). What may feel under appreciated as an undergraduate, becomes helpful in the creative approach to life, work and art. I am a proud Organizational Studies/Sociology B.A. holder and while I never felt actually lost, i did feel like I was just getting a catch-all degree. Not true. Sociology is life. Which we will live until we are through.

Search for jobs or a career path that is of interest to you and pursue. Every job, every time you volunteered, all of the positions you held in student organizations were part of your growing and learning process. Your resume should include all work performed, but highlight the skills, positions and experiences that are pertinent to each individual position you apply. Most importantly, congratulations on receiving your degree and hold your head up high. Take pride in your choice and accomplishment, and define who you are and want to be, allowing no one else to define it for you. Good luck.

Dear thepublicblogger: I’m going to a party tonight, and I am utterly terrified. I don’t drink. I don’t talk to people. I’m going to try and make an effort to be more social. I have a social anxiety that I’m trying to get over and every time I think about the party I want to scream. I read your article on coping with being bipolar, and that has helped me when I am alone, but doesn’t pertain to situations like this. Any suggestions?
– I wanna dance with somebody

Dear I wanna dance with somebody: First, stop stressing. Parties are meant to be a good time. You shouldn’t ‘try to have fun’ but look forward to it. Second, drinking is an issue only if everyone else is drunk. Drinking and being drunk are too different things. Drinking is social for many. There is no intent to get hammered, just to basically have something in hand. If you are going to a toga party, I suggest skipping (unless you are the designated driver, in which, case, bring your cell phone and download plenty of games). If you dance, stay near or on the dance floor. If you see a friend, say hi and perhaps request they introduce you around. Parties are generally full of people in grand moods, looking to escape and dance the night away. Relax, participate, enjoy and be safe. If you aren’t having any fun, there are NO rules on staying.

Dear thepublicblogger: As the title says I have decided to come out, but I don’t know who to tell. I want to take this slow, but as I said I am just worried that this is going to blow up in my face. I come from a Christian family who I honestly don’t know their stance on it, I know that I want to do this, I just don’t know any one that I can talk to about it. But I have read many of your articles and they have a common theme of inclusiveness and no throwing stones, which is why I ask you.
– I’m coming out, but I don’t necessarily think the world should know.

Dear I’m coming out: ‘Coming out’ has very different meanings. Celebrities ‘come out’ to keep from being outed in a tabloid. Or maybe they are tired of going on talk shows and lying about who they are seeing. But their very public coming out is specific to their very public lives. >> Some people ‘come out’ on an ‘as-needed’ bases. This doesn’t mean they are ashamed of who they are, it simply means that being gay doesn’t define them. So draw a straight line (no pun intended), put the two examples I have given on opposite ends and figure out where you are. I would suggest you start with your closest family member. Why? because (1) they probably already know & (2) they will love you anyway. Once you have that support behind you, then your comfort level will rise. >> Since you are at a Junior College, sit in on a few Gay & Lesbian Club meetings. Make some new friends in the community. But don’t feel like it has to be all or none (I’m not speaking about sex or sexuality). Just be you. Be friends with the people that you trust & respect and that trust & respect you. Engage in activities that you are interested in, just live your life naturally. >> As far as your parents, I do not know them and therefore am hesitant to offer advice. But I will say, ‘whether a parent believes that homosexuality is a sin or sign of moral decay, is their belief and opinion, which they are entitled to. But most parents’ with an unconditional love and support of their children, will do all they can to maintain a strong and healthy bond. Most parents…..not all.

From HuffPost Pat Robertson’s Facebook ‘Vomit’ Option for Gay Couples and
a Reader’s response to the article ‘Pat, Hell awaits you. I look forward to your admittance to eternity’.

My comment in response to both the article and the Reader’s response  was  submitted @ the HuffPost. It is being included in this forum for 3 specific and isolated reasons. i. Its ultimate point relates to the ongoing series, The Religious Right, specifically, Book I Belief. *Note:  Book I had been written and published prior to this article’s publication. ii. It  relates to the digest question from  I’m Coming Out. and iii. 11 hours after being submitted, it had not been published. A HuffPost Message states ‘ ‘due to sensitive nature of post, the comment may take longer to publish’/ The delay delivers the opportunity to first publish my response here.

Comment: One of my favorite words in the English language is ‘irony’. Unfortunately, conversations rarely align that allow me to put it to good use, in the sentence where it works best: ‘I wonder if they see the irony in what they said’. This post, however, gives rise to three such opportunities.  I wonder if Pat Robertson sees the irony in his word choice, intended to be divisive and sanctimonious, while being delivered from a pulpit, erected to serve all of humankind. By a lesser, but no less significant degree, I wonder if the commenter sees the irony of their words, when they chose ‘ the fight fire with fire’ technique of response “Pat. Hell awaits you.”

Neither offers value to a person who is at a crossroads with aspects of their belief. Mr. Robertson’s statement appears out of sync with his title, position and diminishing clout. But remember, his condemnation of Haiti arrived even before they buried their dead. So why so surprised and why take offense. He told you long ago who he was, so when are you going to believe it.   A Messenger’s faith would be unwavered, and the delivery of the message would maintain its dignity and civility. With the scale  tipped toward acceptance and equal rights, why, Mr. Commenter, revert to  defense, and hurl back a judgement-type statement, which now give his words, unwarranted life. And just like that, the spotlight moves from celebrating a court victory and plunges the debate, backwards into an ugly, verbal fight.  I do not seek spiritual healing from Pat Robertson, nor does, to my knowledge, anyone I know. I do not accept his fire and brimstone style of ‘teaching,’ but I acknowledge his right to believe it. Just as I acknowledge a person’s right to marry who they love. – thepublicblogger

Dear thepublicblogger: My husband and I agree on most subjects, the  disagreement over music is becoming too much. I enjoy the peace and quiet, while he can listen to music 24 hours a day. I wouldn’t have such a problem with it if he preferred a more soothing sound. But he chooses music heavy in profanity, full of degrading lyrics, which I think can affect how he treats me. He of course thinks I’m being ridiculous. Music doesn’t have the power to control. We both read your work and you can’t miss how much music is a part of your thoughts. So we both agreed to see what you think.
– divided by sound

Dear divided by sound: Linkin Park is one of my two favorite groups (the other being Loose Ends). One day, while hanging out with a friend, I was playing Linkin Park and singing along with the words, but paying no attention to the lyrics’ meaning, until my buddy said “How can you listen to them, they are so depressing”. Linkin Park fuses rock and rap to beautiful perfection. The intense screaming of the lead singer, hard beat of the overpowering pass, and the smooth groove of the rap artists did not appear to lend itself to any emotion, let alone, depression. However, true enough. 100% of their songs are about drug abuse, depression, suicide and loneliness. They are still of my favorite groups, but I can now only listen to them when my head is in a good place. Music is a powerful source and can seep deep inside our subliminal minds. So while your husband’s point of not being able to control, is true in a literal sense, it has no merit in the general sense. It is used to fire up the masses in sports arenas, it energizes the body during workouts, and serves to locate inner peace during yoga and massage therapy. Many late night convenience stores will blare classical music out front. Why? Just like it was proven pink in prisons is a calming color, well, classical music is a calming sound. So if I have been allowed to break the tie, the final score is 2-1, you win.

Questions,  send an email to:

All inquiries will receive a response, but not all will appear in the digest. Anonymous questions are accepted, but no response given if questions are malicious in nature or for the purposes of gossip. Positive enrichment, career-oriented advise, another opinion or a trusted source.

Posted in: academia, editorial