People Are Fucking Stupid.

If you read one of my previous posts, you know that I rejoined Facebook. I have kept it simple and only a few people are on my friends list (I think I broke into the 30’s); however I have joined a few groups for my home town. One of which is a grievance page.

Now a little history before we begin.

My home town was formed in 1846. In 1920 it had a whopping 150 residence. Now it is a “massive” 8.8 sq miles and has approximately 9,600 residents.  As of the last census, the racial makeup of the city was 95.90% White, 0.22% African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.41% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.20% of the population.

So, basically a rural town with a bunch of white people and a Wal-Mart

Now to the point.

While I was browsing the Facebook page for ” Grievances, bitches, moans, and complaints” I came across this post:

Redkneck_Jackass

Now, when I see shit like this, I usually just shake my head and go on with my day, but this hit me a bit differently.  While reading the comments I noticed that no one spoke up against this. Not a single person. Most of them gave “likes” and kudos in the comments. Some even gave tips where they could drive to “piss more people off”. People also encouraged one member to fly her flag outside instead of living in fear of retaliation.  I couldn’t believe the obliviousness of these people. The pure disconcern for other people and the sense of fucking entitlement. It was this that made me angry, not the flags.

If a person wants to fly these flags because they have the political ideology of a state’s rights being over the rights of a centralized government’s rights and this is how they express this, then great! Good for them! Its when the only reason that this is done is to “piss of[f] liberals” and cause further animosity between races that I find the point of this ridiculous. This guy went out and probably spent $30 – $60 for the flags, and $80 – $100 for the mounts and poles, just to piss people off and make his truck nothing more than a dick-wagon. The fact that someone would spend this much money and energy just to be an asshole astounds me.

Then again, this is Texas.

So, good for you cunt-servative flag guy! Way to use your time and money wisely. You show your support for a form of government that completely failed in its meager 4 years of existence. You support not only slavery, but overwhelming inflation, bread riots and complete economic ruin. Because that’s where the Confederacy was heading (actually it was already there during the last 2 years of the civil war) and (as most historians have found) even if it would have won the war, the Confederacy would have economically collapsed in just a few years and would have probably been taken over by  The US, Mexico or a European country. But hey, it’s your right to express your love for a fallen way of government and the degradation of an entire race of humans; however it is my right to not like it at all.

Like I have said before, you have the right to say whatever you want, but that doesn’t mean that people are going to like it.

Personally, I hope your truck confederate dick-wagon catches on fire.

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Condiment Jokes and a Full House.

So, how about a little ketchup?

See what I did there?

Anyway…

So, in late December, we had a friend of ours move in. He is trying to reboot his life and we couldn’t stand the idea of him spending WAY too much money to rent a recliner and live under the Orwellian rules of his mother, so he lives here now.  So far, it’s been kind of fun having him live here. I say “kind of” because of this:

Me: Moderate Progressive Atheist.

Him: Somewhat Progressive Conservative Christian.

(I know! I smell sitcom in the making as well.)

We have had a few heated discussions and we have now come to the point where it isn’t a good idea to talk politics or religion, for the sake of the household. Normally, I would welcome such debate; however, usually when I have a discussion like this the other person goes home when it is all said and done, but in this case we live together. So, I have come to the realization that he is going to think his way and I am going to think my way and we just work to find common ground. We’ve been friends for decades, so it isn’t that hard. I like having him around, not for debate purposes, but for general conversation and company.

Also, we got a new dog!

She is a Russell Terrier/ Standard Poodle mix and is adorable. Her name was Popcorn; however she is now Bella (for Bellatrix LeStrange); however she is so not living up to her namesake. We named her that because of the Nerd Tradition of our dog’s naming scheme. We have a Marvel Character, A Doctor Who/Firefly Character, and now a Harry Potter Character (Our oldest came pre-named, but she shares a name with a Disney character). This dog is perpetually happy. She wags her tail like a paint mixer and with such force her entire body wags. She is so full of energy and so goofy, it was one of the best decisions that I have made so far this year.

We are also having a kid. ..

 

 

 

 

 

…come live with us this summer. Our housemate’s kid is coming to stay for the summer. She and her brother stayed for Spring Break and she loved staying with us. So, she is bunking in with us come early/mid June. She’s a great kid, too! She keeps a better house than 3 adults and that’s without prompting or a promise of a reward! I was astounded to see a 15 year old kid take out garbage and clean up a kitchen simply because it “needed to be done”.  Of course, I told her parents this and they were astounded that she cleans our house, but not theirs.  I still say she’s a good egg.

All in all, things are on an upswing from last year (*knock on wood) and hopefully will continue to get better here at the home-front.  I am planning on keeping up with this blog/journal more and hopefully there won’t be any more gaps between posts. The only thing that would keep me from doing so is if I land a job. So, if there is a gap, hopefully it’s because I am working and that is taking up my time.

Because ,unfortunately,  I don’t get paid to write a blog about my life’s adventures.

Or lack thereof.

 

Positive Change While Watching the Snow Fall.

If you read my ramblings, then you know I live in a secret lair in North Texas. As I type this out, I am watching the snow dust the ground in fluffy white splendor. We don’t see snow that often and when we do: All hell breaks loose. People make a mad dash to the store for bread, milk and eggs. People still drive like it’s a dry road despite the cold wet white stuff all over the place. The entire state literally panics and shuts down (Except for EMS and TxDOT).

But, I am digressing.

I am here in my central-heated home typing this out because I have good news! I have a 2nd interview with an awesome company doing  help-desk work in their IT department, but remotely (AKA: From Home). I did have 2 final interviews set up; however one was cancelled due to some corporate policy that they cannot hire past employees. I honestly think that it’s bullshit since they ask you on the application if you have previously worked for them and it’s the most current previous  job on my resume, yet I still got a phone interview and a live interview. It was mentioned in my live interview that this was a thing (the phone one was too see if I was still batshit crazy, which I am); however I was told ,since I went part-time at the end, that the issue of re-hiring wasn’t a problem, because the policy was mainly  regarding salary. Oh well, honestly they were my fall back anyway.

No loss, really.

So, 2017 is looking OK so far and hopefully I will be in a job that allows me to work from home, doing the nerdy shit that I like.

**knocks on wood**

A Swift Kick in the Balls.

I cannot recall hating a year so fucking much as 2016. 2016 has been nothing more than a year of loss. I have come to an understanding that my being almost 40 means that my heros are going to be dead soon; however I didn’t expect so many at one time. Today, however, is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Today we lost our princess: Carrie Fisher.

I am in tears, literal tears, as I type this out. We have lost 50 celebrities from music icons to statesmen this year. That’s almost one per week this year and 2016 still has a few days left. I cannot believe that one of my biggest heros is gone.

It sucks.

Not only was she Princess Leia, and later General Leia, she was a huge advocate for mental health issues. When I was first diagnosed as bipolar, I watched a documentary called “The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive” by Stephen Fry. I was shocked to see her in it. I felt a calm come over me when I found out that “Princess Leia” was bipolar as well. Carrie Fisher became more of my hero that day because I knew that if she could live with being bipolar, then I could too.

I will miss her terribly, despite I am just a fan that she never met. She meant the world to me.

So long, Princess.

 

 

Regarding: 2017

With Xmas behind us and NYE in sight, I keep reading articles and such regarding what 2017 will bring. With all of the celebrity deaths that have happened this year and major events that shocked the world, like the Brexit and Trump winning the election, people seem to have a “it can’t get any worse” attitude. I don’t see it that way. I see it getting “worse” because we will see the fruition of all of these bad decisions coming to light; however it is through pressure that change is made.

Sure, pressure sucks ass, but it leads to change.

I see the next year as a year of learning. I see liberals learning to be a bit more conservative and conservatives learning to be more liberal. I see the political landscape of the US changing, because Trump is going to be a learning opportunity for a lot of people (myself included). I see change in this next year and a lot of it; however not all change is good. I feel that some things will change for the worse and some will change for the better. I know that’s a broad statement; however I am not psychic.

I am not Nostradamus for fuck’s sake.

I think that people are going to lose things, mainly ideologies that they thought were sacred and have to re-think a lot of things. I see this next year as both a “dark-age” and a “renaissance”  all wrapped up in one. Meaning I think that some changes are going to be stifled and some changes are going to flourish. I think people are going to wake-up this coming year and start to think about things differently.

I see the new political climate changing things as well. I see it destroying progress while creating new progress in other areas. I see people fighting to make progress in areas that the new administrations isn’t and I see somethings progressing forward despite being denied or spoken against. I see a change in American democracy and politics in general.

I see conflict and I see change.

However, these are not necessarily bad things. I actually have a sense of hope for 2017. I think things will be hard on us, but we will see better days ahead. Believe it or not this is optimism you are reading, not my normal pessimistic musings. I think we are in for massive changes this coming year, and it may be a few changes for the better.

Or the world is going to end; however I doubt it.

Bad Words.

So, let’s talk about Political Correctness and mainly how it is absurd.

 

Still reading? OK, good.

 

I think people have blurred the line between “Being PC” and being a decent human being. I believe that we as a people have to get back to the point of “being decent” instead of being politically correct.

I hear people say this phrase all the time:

“You can’t say that!”

And, frankly, yes I can. I believe that a person can say whatever they want; however that doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to applaud whatever comes out of your mouth. I believe that we need to focus on what we say. We need to weigh our words. To quote my mother: “Think before you speak”; however people should do this out of their own free will and not some form of social dogma, then the world would be a better place.

Who am I to say this? I am someone who (usually) thinks before they speak. I also keep two quotes in my mind at all times:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

– Evelyn Beatrice Hall

“No one has the right not to be offended. Just because you’re offended, it doesn’t mean you’re in the right.”

–  Ricky Gervais

If everyone just thought about what they were about to say before they said it, we wouldn’t have the issue of “Political Correctness”. We would just have people thinking, and showing genuine concern about what they say. We would also probably have a lot more silence.

But wait! Aren’t you a liberal/progressive/democrat? 

Well, yes to 2 of those things. I am liberal/progressive when it comes to most social issues and I feel that humanity should be open to new ideas and we should be moving to improve our society rather than stagnate in tradition. We need to constantly be reforming the way we act and think towards ourselves, each other and the world around us. If we just keep doing “the same old shit” then we will stop growing as a race (by race I mean humanity) and we will eventually die off. I do not consider myself a democrat, however. I don’t really see eye to eye with any political party. So, two out of 3 aint bad.

One point to note is that the term “politically correct” is actually a Communist term.

According to the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Kremlin advisers were the first to widely use the term. They did so without a trace of irony. Calling someone “politically correct” in Soviet Russia meant they toed the party line.

Now days it just means that we should not use words because of their effect on people or it’s a pejorative term that means policies or ideas are excessive. The term was used in the 90s as a pejorative term that basically meant censorship and today it is a label that conservatives like to use as a pejorative against liberals and liberal policies as an excuse to say things that are offensive. So, again it’s a blurred line of manners vs. political correctness.

And being politically correct, or promoting political correctness,  is just that: censorship.

An article by NPR had a good explanation of why “being PC” is just the wrong way to think about things.

The danger inherent in attempting to speak in a “politically correct” manner, is that in an effort to avoid offending the most sensitive members of our society or audience, we ban the use of perfectly good, accurate descriptive phrases for fear of running afoul of a small group of people with a political agenda. Hence the phrase “politically correct.”
At its worst, political correctness can be a form of Orwellian newspeak in which non-pejorative descriptions that accurately convey clear unambiguous thoughts are demonized, and banned in favor of bland replacements. A “war-lord” becomes a “faction leader.” Words are drained of their meanings.

– NPR newscaster Jamie McIntyre

So, we should be ANTI-Politically Correct then! Right?

Nope.

People that are Anti-PC (generally conservatives) find that being Anti-PC means you can say whatever hate-fueled garbage comes out of your mouth and people have to like it because of free-speech and it isn’t PC, so it’s cool if they say it (Again, manners vs. political correctness); however, like I said in the beginning: “…a person can say whatever they want; however that doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to applaud whatever comes out of your mouth”. If you go around saying hateful & hurtful things, someone is eventually going to to tell you to shut the fuck up. Either in a polite respectful way, or with a punch to the face. So, go ahead and be “anti-PC” just don’t be anti-manners and expect everyone to like it.

So, what do we do?

Think before you speak, weigh your words and have some empathy; however don’t just say and think things because they are (or aren’t) politically correct. I am not PC, but I believe in things like LGBTQ+ rights, the disuse of fossil fuels, (actual) science being taught to our children in public schools, feminism, and equality. Not because it’s politically correct, but because they are good ideas. They progress us as a species and add to our general wellbeing.

Also, because I am not an asshole…Well, that big of one anyway.

I believe that a person can say or think whatever they want. That is a right that we all (should) have and no one should be able to force a way of thought or morality on you. It is my hope that one day we will all use empathy and understanding to choose our words, thoughts and actions because it is the right thing to do and not the politically correct thing to do.

I’m not going to hold my breath, however.

 

 

 

Let’s Get This Out of the Way.

Now that I am done with being depressed and anxiety ridden, let’s talk about Trump and this election outcome.

Grab a snack and soda, this may take a minute.

First, let me be clear, I didn’t vote for the guy. My initial support was with Bernie Sanders but the DNC decided to anoint a different candidate for the primary. I did flirt with voting 3rd party but decided to choose the more logical choice of backing the candidate that had a shot at actually winning (Sorry, but until 50% or more decides to become a Libertarian or a Green; they just aren’t going to win).

Now, the biggest issue with him winning is “what now?”. The Republican Party platform is filled with horrible ideas and policies that they are wanting to make into law. The NY Times has called it “The Most Extreme Republican Platform in Memory” because it includes such things as:

making no exceptions for rape or women’s health in cases of abortion

requiring the Bible to be taught in public high schools

selling coal as a “clean” energy source

demanding a return of federal lands to the states

insisting that legislators use religion as a guide in lawmaking

appointing “family values” judges

barring female soldiers from combat

rejecting the need for stronger gun controls

The platform also wants to gut Medicare. Instead of having Medicare done at the federal level, each state will receive a “block grant” and the State’s will decide on what to do with Medicare. And the entire platform is heavily Anti-LGBTQ and was even called so their own party’s LGBTQ community, The Log Cabin Republicans. Of course there are promises of walls and deportations as well. The platform also wants to make Christianity the official US Religion and English the official language, along with a few other shitty Tea-Party wish list items.

This platform and the election along with the appointment of a known “white nationalist” as an advisor and a evangelical zealot as the VP has spurned not only protests across the country (Even some here in the “deep red” state of Texas) but a rise in hate crimes not seen since the day after 9/11. To prove my point, the KKK has planned a “Trump Victory Parade”.  Now on top of all of this, you have his VP that is so radicalized by his faith that he caused a major HIV outbreak in his home state when he was the governor. He let this happen due to his “moral stance” on needle exchange programs. When he quit funding and took those programs away, the use of opioids and heroin didn’t stop as he thought they would, but the sharing of dirty needles started. It wasn’t until the caseload reached outbreak proportions and that there was so much pressure from local and national agencies (including members of his own party) that he “prayed about it” and let the program continue in affected areas. On top of this he has been quoted as saying:

“Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

Now, Pence has never come out and said “I support Gay Conversion Therapy” but that is pretty much what he just defined in the quote above.  Remember, Mike Pence is the same governor that signed the 2015 Religious Freedom Act into law for the state of Indiana that started the whole “Religious Liberties” debate across the nation and almost cost Indiana thousands of jobs and millions in revenue due to boycotts and relocation threats from companies and groups like Angie’s List and The NBA. That same year, the following month actually,  a bill was passed that gave protections to LGBTQ  “customers, employees and tenants” but the original bill still stands as law in Indiana.

So, the separation of Church and State is a little foggy with VP Pence.

We also have another election that was fucked up due to our voting system. The Electoral College is outdated and needs to be abolished. It’s overdue and the system isn’t needed anymore due to the increased population and expansion across the country and also the fact we have forms of  communication that our forefathers never dreamed of. These advances in technology and social evolution have made the Electoral College irrelevant.  Even Trump says that the popular vote should prevail in his recent 60 Minutes interview when asked about the Electoral System:

“I would rather see it where you went with simple votes,” he said. “You know, you got 100 million votes, someone else gets 90 million votes…”

– President-Elect Donald J. Trump

[NOTE: To be fair, he later tried to CYA and add that he “respected the current system”, since it won him the presidency and all.]

But let’s talk about election influence.

The Trump campaign had/has ties to the Russian Government. It was found that Trump has a “secret server” of his own that was in communication with a Russian business called “Alfa Bank”. The server was shut down when investigated and then re-activated under a different server name a short time after it was found.  Now this has been “unproven”, but is still a bit sketchy since it is known that Trump has done business in Russia and has business ties to them; however, server or not, when a Russian Diplomat states that his government has been in contact with the Trump campaign, that should be a huge red flag (no pun intended), but the Russian Foreign Ministry cleared things up (or performed CYA) and stated that they:

 “…had been referring to American politicians and supporters of Mr. Trump, not members of his campaign staff.”

The FBI stated that they found no evidence of “hacking” or any “financial connections” between Russia and Trump.

Speaking of the FBI. Let’s talk about their influence on this campaign.

Director James Comey needs to be fired, at the very least. His action violated FBI Protocol and The Hatch Act. The “new evidence” found was nothing more than CC & BCC emails from the original investigation that was concluded. That should have been investigated thoroughly before making any form of an announcement. The FBI doesn’t have to give Congress updates regarding ongoing investigations. He used his position to influence this election and this was found to have seriously impacted the Clinton campaign. Don’t get me wrong, she made the mistake of setting up a private email server all for the reason of not carrying two phones and basically being lazy. This was a bad judgment call on her part. I didn’t see it as a “crisis” or anything, but it did call into question her work ethic; however I will take a person that finds ways to work smarter that maybe a bit sketchy that someone that drags a radicalized theist into one of the most powerful offices in the US and spouts off nothing but hate and ignorance on Twitter every 5 seconds any day of the week.

But now we come back to my original question: “What Now?”.

Now we let the guy try to be president. We hope that he goes with what he said in 1998 ( Not the Republicans are dumb thing, he apparently never said that) but that he was liberal on social issues. If that’s true; then when something that he doesn’t agree with comes across his desk, he should veto it.

We progressives/liberals/democrats (or whatever we are) also have to organize. We have midterm elections in 2 years. That means we have to get out and vote. We have to talk (constructively) about politics in with people that don’t agree with us. We have to find commonality with “the other side” and try to spread reason.

“But I got out and voted!”

Yeah, a little over half of us did; however the other 45% of us stayed at home and even some of the 55% that did vote jerked-off their vote and did some form of write-in or voted for a political party that no one has even heard of (and no, I am not talking about The Green or Libertarian parties); however it is up to the Electoral College to actually elect the president and not us. So, we ALL need to get organized and go vote this midterm. Why the midterm? Because enough seats for both the House and the Senate come up for grabs and we can get those put in more progressive hands. We can get more Democrats (and if you want to try to get a few Greens or Libertarians that’s fine too) in the Senate and the House that can affect policy and legislation.

For the most part, I say we see what the GOP can do and when (or if) they fail miserably then I think everyone will have learned their lesson. Right now, they have no Democrats to blame as opposition. They control the whole show.  So the what now is plan to vote in mass for the midterms and hope for the best.

Right now, I am now going to sit back and watch  “America Become Great Again”; because that’s really all I can do at this point.

 

 

(And if you didn’t vote at all, then you don’t get to say shit. STFU)

 

Unequal. 

From time to time I go to the largest time wasting site on the Internet: Youtube.

I have a few Youtubers that I follow and some channels that I subscribe to. A lot of the time I will find a video that is attached or suggested by the algorithms that are conjured up by the wizards at Google and find myself deep into a rabbit hole that I had no intention of going down. While in this wonderful land of HD video eye candy, I come across a video that an intelligent person posted, and makes a comment that I disagree with; however I can also see their point (to an extent).  But, much like the community that this Youtuber is a member of, I also do not like being labeled and lumped into one broad category.

One of the topics this person discussed is the fact that followers from other channels will mob other Youtubers and sink their ratings. This person stated that these people call themselves “Attack Helicopters”. So, to be safe, I am not mentioning names or posting links.

The subject of this video is “Anti-Feminists”. During the video this person and their co-host state that most (if not all) anti-feminist videos that they see are Atheist channels and more or less allude that atheists are anti-feminist. They go on about because atheists claim to be intelligent and logical, we are all anti-feminist because they have seen multiple videos from other Youtubers that cross their “Social Justice Threshold”.

Hang on a minute.

I am an atheist and I am about to use some logic. If you have seen multiple Youtube videos from atheists that disagree with your social justice views, this does not make them anti-feminist; however let’s say that these atheist Youtubers were professing anti-feminist views. So the idea that some atheists are anti-feminist means all atheists are anti-feminist is not logical. At the same time, I know that there are a lot of atheists out there that are on Youtube that are complete assholes. They try to live strictly by logic and that is no way to function as a human. Here’s why:

A strictly logic based man is sitting and watching TV. His wife comes in the room and asks him to go to the store. She tells him to buy a loaf of bread and if they have eggs; then get a dozen. About 30 minutes later the man returns home with 12 loaves of bread.

His wife asks: Why did you buy so much bread!

He answers: Because they had eggs.

To function rationally we have to have critical thinking.

Critical Thinking
noun
1. the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.

Other than this one issue, the video that I am referring to was on point about a great deal of things. I believe that some people do not and will not address issues that are “too social justicey” and I believe that we do have a society that has cultivated a toxic Outrage Culture that gets offended over stupid shit and it goes both ways. The “Left” will get offended over something and SJWs will hop on it just like the “Right” will get offended over something and the “Fundamentalists” will go apeshit over it and then they will get mad at each other for getting mad at the thing that they are mad about. A lot of times I hear people talk about Free Speech but then get mad when they find out that it doesn’t only apply to them.

“You’ve got to be allowed to say things that [potentially] everyone might find offensive, I think offense is the collateral damage of freedom of speech. But just because you are offended doesn’t mean you’re right.”

Ricky Gervais

I can say that I was somewhat offended by the labeling of atheists as anti-feminists. Simply because I consider myself a feminist. I believe that a woman is equal to a man and that there is no such thing as “women’s work” or a “man’s job”. I know that there is wage gap and that women in the workplace are not equal. I worked in IT for years and the few women that we had in that field had to be smarter, faster, and 20x more adept at their job than I did, or they had to be on par with the male techs and be hot. IF they did one or both of those two things, they maybe made as much money or maybe even got a promotion. I believe that if you are as qualified, and perform as well as your male co-worker; then you need to earn dollar for dollar and promotions need to be based on merit and not your dick. I believe that a woman should have full say over what she wants done with her body. Whether I agree with abortion, whether you agree with abortion doesn’t matter. It’s not either of our bodies, so it shouldn’t be our decision. Whether you agree with the sex industry, again, it’s not our body. We don’t get a say in the matter. It’s that simple. I believe rape is a detestable thing. Some people say that we have a “Rape Culture” and I can’t argue with that. When I see college frat kids getting short sentences for rape, or grown men that rape children getting only a few years in prison. When we ask questions like “what was she wearing?” or “Did she lead you on?” this leads me to believe that we do view rape as a minor offence. When a kid with a computer violates a network, they get a minimum sentence of 35 years for computer hacking, but a kid with a boner violates an unwilling female and rapes her, they get 3-10 years and are usually out in half of that time, I think that something is fucked up with that.  I believe that LGBT+ rights are a major issue and that is another issue of inequality in our society. The feminist movement until recently (Thirdwave Feminism) really didn’t include LGBT+ rights or women of color in its agenda. As a husband to a beautiful black woman, I want equality for her. As an awesome uncle to 4 strong and beautiful girls,  I want equality for my nieces. I also want them to be/feel safe and have the right to make any choice that they feel is right for them. 

I am an atheist, and I am a feminist, and I have a “social justice threshold” where I find things to be too “social justicey”.  So, sorry Youtuber whose videos I actually enjoy, but I think that you are being over general in the statement that most atheist are anti-feminist. Especially, since your topic was Social Justice. While feminism is a Social Justice topic, Social Justice does not equal feminism. So, the definition of the label of “anti-feminist” is incorrect. Honestly, I just believe that a lot of atheists may just disagree with your social ideologies and this is prompting a reaction.

But, again, that may just be that atheist logic of mine kicking in.

 

The Golden Path to Finding My Enlightenment. 

I have returned to a concept that I had abandoned due to my whole “I need empathy” thing. Which I did; however I think that I may had gone a bit far with it. I will say that in my quest for empathy I did find a better understanding of emotions, which was a great enlightenment. 

But,  I lost somethings along the way. 

I lost my cynical view of the world. I lost my misanthropic outlook on people. At the time I thought this was a good thing and that I had become a better person. I thought that I had grown. What happened was is that I made myself vulnerable. I let my guard down and I took one to the jaw. 

But,  this is still growth. 

Now, I have to learn how to blend all of these things. To be emotionally aware, empathetic, and cynical/misanthropic all in a healthy balance. Its going to be challenging, but I feel like I will be a better person after its all said and done. 

Hopefully this time I won’t have to buy any books. 

A Faulty Concept

Funny preface to this post: I sat down this morning to type this up and I had to stop because my AC was leaking water in a closet in my office geek lair and all over the floor. Called my HVAC Guy and he came over to check it out. The issue was that I apparently didn’t understand the effects of gravity on the movement of fluid in a hollow cylindrical tube. When I last changed the filter, I didn’t place the drain pipe back at a downward angle so that the condensation from the coils could drain. He just slanted the pipe back, smiled, and told me to have a good day.

Before all of that happened, I was watching a documentary called “The Mask You Live In“. It covers the concept of masculinity and how it can be damaging to young boys and the men that they become later in life. I kind of talked about this in a previous post and my experience with it.  It involves the concept of masculinity as far as how we teach our boys to suppress emotions. We tell boys “don’t you cry” or “men don’t cry” and it wasn’t until  I was in my mid 30s that I saw how this had damaged me as a person.

Now, let me start this off by saying that I know that I give Tumblr a lot of shit; however that is because Tumblr tends to take a concept like this and go to the farthest extreme with it. In this case, I actually owe some Tumblr users a thank you because without their rational and educational posts I would never have even thought that this was an issue and by “this” I mean the tradition that we raise our boys, if not our children in general. Another thanks to Tumblr (sort of) is that the thought of gender being a created concept had been planted; however no one on Tumblr actually ever really explained it in a way that I understood. A point that is made in this film is that, generally speaking, kids are biologically the same. You give them choices and they will make similar choices 90% of the time no matter what sex the child is, but that 10%, or 5% on each side of the spectrum, is where we get the concept of gender.

This concept is created by traditionalism, commercialism, and media. All of these create the social norm for gender. Tradition says that men are to be strong, fast, muscular, good at sports, sexualy active ( if not overly sexualy active) and they conquor/dominate. If you are not this; then you are not a man and you will never please your parents. Tradition says that a woman is to be pretty, fit, good at domestic duties, a nurturer,empathetic, not sexualy active (or at least don’t let anyone know that you are),but flirtacious and submissive. If you are not this; then you will not attract a good husband, and you will displease you parents. Commercialism supports this by advertising to these points from everything from kids toys to laptops. Media also helps with the creation of gender by the music, film and literature of the time. While traditions may be changing all over the globe, it’s still a change in progress.

Our traditions are moving away from the heteronormativity that mainly was focused by religion; however now we have new concepts that are still flawed. These concepts (again, I have talked about this in the past) like “Alpha” types and those are usually assigned to a gender (Alpha Male, Alpha Female) and even still when we look at the definitions ( of which there are many) you see these old traditions still deeply entrenched in them. You see words like “enterprising” , “Assertive”, “Superior”, “seeking all avenues of fulfillment, including the sexual”, dominant, physically fit, rarely get emotional and these were taken from sites that gave traits of both “Alpha” Males & Females. So, in our great step forward we have learned that masculinity is not a gender, but a trait; however it is a trait that we still are fucking up six ways to sunday. You also apparently cannot be “Alpha” and be feminine. Every trait that is generally described as feminine, is used to describe the “Beta” type. So, again, having empathy, emotions, being sensitive, nurturing, sexually submissive/inactive is all seen as weaker.  So really, we haven’t changed anything, we just allowed females to become masculine and men to become feminine and we still ridicule them for “switching teams” (no matter what that person’s orientation is) because it is still entrenched in our brains that boys do Y and girls do X.

My problem with this is that kids don’t need this shit. If little Billy is crying; then go find out why he is crying. Why is he sad? Let him talk about it. If little Jenny wants to take karate and play with robots, let her. So what if all of the other girls have dolls and are playing with a giant fake plastic oven that comes with fake pans and food? So what if Bill likes art and doesn’t want to play football?  Let Jenny have Optimus Prime and become a black belt! Let Billy talk it out and draw unicorns fighting dragons! Because if you don’t, later in life, your holidays will be awkward and your kids will be in therapy.

Trust me on that one.

Because I know if that I had heard a lot less of “if you don’t stop crying; then I will give you something to cry about!” and was allowed to express my feelings and emotions then I may not be in a few places that I am now. I know that if I had kids, I wouldn’t be pigeonholing them into these gender roles and stereotypes that come along with their sex. I would be letting them make their own choices, and guiding them as they went along. Last time I checked that’s what parents did.

Or so I have heard.