I really wish my grandma would learn how to blog. One of the many reasons it’s sad that people die is that all their knowledge, stories, and life experience go with them. If she could blog, not only could I keep in touch, but I would be able to immortalize her memories, even if everything we both own were to spontaneously combust.
Teaching her to blog would SEEM like a simple task, but there are things you must know about my grandma. First, she’s 96, so of there are certain allowances that come with that age. Second, although we all love her dearly, my grandma is a total pain in the ass. It’s strange because communication with her is something that she and everyone else in the family desperately want, but yet, she seems to not be willing to make it happen. Grandma lives in Michigan and we live in Georgia, so we don’t have many options. Grandma has about a 90% hearing loss, so it’s nearly impossible to talk to her on the phone. We understand it’s not her fault, but we literally have to SCREAM on the phone or in order for her to hear us, and even then she often can’t. She knows she can’t hear unless we scream, but when we do, she tells us, “Don’t yell at me!” This is especially fun when she visits, and I take her somewhere public like the mall and I have to literally shout at her, then everyone around gives me dirty looks for yellin’ at a sweet, little, old lady.
As we know, technology can aide us with such communication problems. My parents bought a special hearing impaired phone that has voice recognition and shows the conversation on a small screen. Several friends and relatives have visited to verify that it works properly and to show her exactly how to use it. So, she talks, you reply, SHE DOESN’T READ THE SCREEN, then she says, “WHAT?! I can’t hear what you’re saying!!”
Of course, I understand it’s completely unnatural when you’ve used a regular telephone for 90 something years; it’s odd to say something and then have to read a response, and it takes some getting used to. We remind her constantly, “Read the screen.” She doesn’t. She is just one of those people that refuses to learn new things making the voice recognition phone just one of the many failed experiments.
Grandma’s had a major hearing loss my entire life and naturally, it’s gotten progressively worse. When I was about seven and learned about sign language in school, I told the family we should ALL learn it so we could talk to grandma. Her reply?
“Oh, honey, I’m to old to learn!” The woman’s been “too old to learn” ANYTHING as long as I’ve been alive!!
Then, before most people had email, and fax machines were the big thing, we tried to get her a fax machine so that we could at least communicate more immediately than we can through the mail. Nope, she was “too old to learn” that too.
We’ve offered to buy her a computer and teach her to use it, but she won’t. Again, “Oh, I’m too old to learn!” WHY?! Somehow, she wants to learn, but yet refuses to. Once in a while she gets curious, which we encourage, hoping she’ll learn. We TRY to show her how to use a computer, but she inhibits the learning process by insisting that you tell her exactly what the internet is, WHERE it is, exactly how it works, exactly how an email gets from us to her, why an email address “looks so weird.” When she asks these things, she doesn’t want what seems like a simple answer.
“How does email work?”
You’d think, “You log in here, write your letter here, then hit ‘SEND,'” would be just the answer she’s looking for.
No, no, she wants you to explain the exact process of electronic data transfer. I mean like, engineer type explanations that most human beings don’t know. So, when we tell her, “We don’t know exactly, but watch, it’s really easy to send an email,” she throws her arms in the air and claims, “Well, if I don’t know how it works, I can’t use it.”
BULLSHIT! YOU DON’T HAVE A FUKKIN CLUE HOW AN ENGINE WORKS BUT YOU DRIVE A CAR!! Somehow, it’s much better to refuse to communicate with the few people on this planet that give a shit about you than to use a device that’s too complicated for said people to explain inner workings of.
Another friend recommended blogging for her by just talking to her and writing or recording down what she says. It IS a great idea, but in her patented, pain-in-the-ass-grandma way, she refuses. She doesn’t directly say no, but she just won’t make it happen. Again, what seems like a simple task becomes complicated! We’ve tried SO many times to get her to tell us about her life so we can write or record them. Whenever we do, all she can think of is some awful story about somebody who died, and NOBODY she’s ever known has ever just died. Oh no, it’s always a slow, strange, painful death.
“You remember Ronnie? He was friends with Sylvia who used to come to church with Ethel and Francine (all the while you’re thinking, “Who the fuck are all these people?”). Well, he got hit by a train. He survived, but it cut his body in half. He was going to drag himself home, but since the entire left half of his body was still on the railroad tracks, he couldn’t drag, so he beat himself to death with his own severed arm. And did you hear about Francine? Well, she got such bad cancer in her asshole, they were going to sew it shut. During the operation, they didn’t give her enough anesthesia and an escaped tiger from the zoo ran in and ate her from the bottom up.”
I long to hear, “You remember Georgie? Well, he passed away in his sleep.”
Sometimes, if we’re lucky, she’ll indulge us with a joyful tale of her youth and how horrible it was because she grew up in the Depression and nobody could afford to be happy for 30 seconds. AND WE KNOW IT’S NOT TRUE! You know how we know? At exactly the wrong time, when you’re in no position to write it down or record it, when you’re driving, eating, or taking a shit, a fascinating story or insight will pop into her head. Of course, you can remember the story vaguely, so you think to yourself, “Well, later I’ll grab a notebook and ask her to tell the story again.”
So, you do just that, “Grandma, tell me about that time grandpa took you dancing at the Grande Ballroom.”
“Oh, we never did that. It was the Depression. Nobody had any money. We never had any fun and then everybody died.”
We’ve tried something similar in written form. My sister started letter notebook. The idea is that you would write her a letter in the notebook and she’d reply in the notebook and we’d mail the whole book back and forth. Think of it as a really slow instant message. Sis thought of it because it seems like no matter what you write to grandma, you get the same letter back. You write to her:
We all miss you very much and we wish you could visit. I got a new job, but it’s hard work, I can’t imagine how you did it! What was it like grandpa went off to the war and you started working?
This is what you will get back:
Well, the weather in Michigan has been bad lately. You remember Gertrude that lives down the hall? She died slowly and horribly. I didn’t play pinocle with my friends this Wednesday. Miss you a bushel and a peck!
Somehow we thought the notebook would help the situation, but grandma always knows the best way NOT to do something that makes sense. Grandma kept sending the notebook back, empty, then a few days later, a separate letter would arrive. Sometimes, she sent a separate letter along with the notebook. A few times she sent random blank notebooks along with the original notebook! She tries your patience so hard, I swear, she could make Jesus jump out the window!
I know, I sound like a terrible person, and we’re all lucky that at 96, she can even hold a pen, remember her own name , and understand what a notebook is, but it’s frustrating beyond belief that you know you CAN communicate with someone you love that you know misses you, that you know is lonely, that you know has decades of fascinating stories, knowledge, and perspective, but yet refuses to improve the situation. So, I try to accept this with the realization that whenever she gets a letter from me, even if she doesn’t answer my questions, tell me anything interesting, or only tells me how shitty the weather was and who croaked this week, getting a letter from me and writing one back puts a smile on her face and gives her the chance to feel a connection with me for a while, and that’s worth all the aforementioned screaming, embarrassment, disbelief, and frustration.
Ok, Godless men, it’s time to grow a dick and admit you want it sucked. For those that don’t know about the whole Rebecca Watson kerfuffle, I encourage you to google the matter and find out for yourself. Long story short, a woman who writes for skepchick.org was ASKED to come to atheist and skeptic groups and events to explain to men why there aren’t “enough women” in the movement…and then something involving an elevator.
So, she goes to these events and explains her ideas and of course, she is wrong. She isn’t actually wrong, but the men keep telling her she is (well, not really telling so much as kicking and screaming) because they don’t really want the truth because they actually don’t care. It seems mind boggling. Why would you ask a WOMAN what MEN MIGHT NEED TO CHANGE in order to attract MORE WOMEN only to shoot her down, insult her, tell her she’s an idiot, and vehemently refuse to take the advice she gives?
The real fuel behind this firestorm is quite simple. Atheist and skeptic men feel they’re not getting their dicks sucked enough. There, I said it. No one else wants to say it or admit it, but there it is all pink and flaccid. I guess men are used to better odds? They’re used to more even ratios of males to females, hell, they’re sometimes used to having MORE females than males in their other environments? Yet, with atheism and skepticism, there “aren’t enough” females, therefore not enough dick sucking. Of course, most people realize that they can’t come out and say, “Damn, I really want to get my dick sucked and since I’m seen as a nerd or outcast in every other environment, I was hoping I’d meet other nerd chicks who would then suck my dick. Alas….”
So, Rebecca, my heart is with you and I think you know this by now, but it seems men have no interest in changing their behavior to make the environment more welcoming and suitable to females. They really don’t have any intention of having women as VALUABLE members of the movement (unless eye candy counts as “valuable”…but you know, women don’t exactly have any eye candy either, but we don’t corner Brad Pitt and ask him how to get more hot dudes to get involved then tell him he’s stupid for what he says)….they just want somewhere to shoot their pent up wads. Since they can’t, they have to ejaculate anger all over Rebecca’s face, or the face of anyone else who DARES EVEN ATTEMPT to tell them that they might have to modify things if they do want more women to show up (I’ve been a victim of it too, though on a much, much smaller scale…I mean, after all, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL RICHARD DAWKINS didn’t take time out of his busy schedule to shoot a wad in my face).
And you know what, sex is a great thing!! I’m not going to say sex is bad or that men shouldn’t want sex or shouldn’t want their dicks sucked, but there’s no such thing as a free blow job, ok? You fans of biology should know already that, as a general rule, rarely in the animal kingdom does the male who doesn’t try AT ALL end up attracting a female…and yet, somehow, self proclaimed, scientifically-minded dudes can’t seem to apply this to themselves. Women like fucking too. Didja ever think some of *US* came to similar events wanting our twats licked? And that’s not necessarily bad, but somehow we don’t find anyone whose dick we’d like to suck or whom we’d like to lick our twats because we actually do have standards! I gotta be honest, nothing is gonna dry out a woman’s pussy quite like a man who acts like a controlling, angry, contrary slob, ok? And maybe nothing kills a boner like a woman who gives an opinion she was asked for, but then don’t ask.
New results require new methods. If you all want to continue to sit around and beat your chests, fine, I won’t take that away from you, but don’t expect any women to join in and kneel down!
Our society is wounded and people’s willingness to pour salt is so great that the flood of salt has completely covered the wound to the point where most people don’t even realize the wound exists. In recent years, we’ve seen a been a growing backlash toward women, namely increased attacks on our reproductive freedoms, a decrease in our income levels, and a growing acceptance of the idea that we are responsible for what our attackers do to us.
The wound of discrimination is deep, but people’s salty, indifferent attitudes have not only covered it up, but have solidified it as an ought. How can we even start to stitch the wound if we can’t even acknowledge it’s there? Worse, how can we cover it with salt when we don’t even know the full composition of the salt we’re pouring and how it’s damaging the wound we won’t acknowledge?
One of the many scary things about the backlash against women is that people you think shouldn’t support it, namely atheists and skeptics who love to blame religion as the source of patriarchy and female oppression, are some of the biggest apologists for it. There is this terrifying, science-based “support” people want to give it. With NO OTHER form of discrimination do people so quickly turn to “biology,” and, “evolution,” and, “hard wiring.” You don’t see many people saying, “Well, there’s not much to be done about racism. White people are hard wired to hate black people and it’s been a necessary part of our biological and social evolution.” Yet, these kinds of arguments are thrown at female oppression ALL THE TIME as if they are totally sane and logical.
It’s the perfect example of the is-ought problem. While we can’t throw out data just because we don’t like what it says, we can distinguish an is from an ought. It COULD be (I don’t know because I’m not a scientist and I don’t have any hard data) that, yes, men are wired to see women as property. If so, that would be an is. The irresponsibility of the “scientific” mindset comes in when we accept this is and ignore the ought, “Well, that’s just the science. Nothing to be done….”
Other folks like to take a less scientific approach and say, “Well, it used to be worse. It’s gotten better, and while it’s still not good, it’s just a sign of the times! You have to be patient. It’s unfortunate, but that’s how it is! Nothing to be done….” Similarly, not only is it refusing to establish an ought, it’s implying implying a terrifying is. Women should have some sort of bizarre gratitude that, hey, you know, more women used to get raped and NOBODY cared or was prosecuted because nobody even thought of it as a problem. Don’t you know how lucky you are to be an American? Look at how women are treated under the Taliban. I mean, just think how much better you have it. Also, more rapists are using condoms now, so you might still get raped, but at least your chances of getting AIDS and knocked up and forced to have a child you don’t want and can’t support are way less!
A smaller number of cowards hide behind “free speech.” While I am, always have been, and always will be a gigantic proponent of free speech, again, when it comes to sexism, free speech is an acceptable defense and cul-de-sac of the is and it embarrassingly and obviously neglects the ought. Yes, bigots and sexists do have the exact same rights to free speech as anyone else and I would die before I would take that away from them, but then so do you. Why are YOU suddenly silent? The answer to bad speech is more speech, and we know that, so when it comes to any other form of hate speech, we have reactionary speech. If someone says, “nigger,” or “raghead,” or, “faggot,” on TV, the public shows its outrage to the point where careers are ruined (which I also don’t support, but that’s another argument for another time). Yet, you can spread all the hate you want about women and people cower behind free speech and say, “Well, he has the same freedom as I do to speak. It is what it is. Nothing to be done…” No, apparently he has MORE freedom to speak and much bigger balls than you because he puts his cock out there and inserts it into your face and the only time you open your mouth is to swallow his ejaculation of hate. You don’t open it to bite back, or even to say no.
There are two disastrously damaging consequences of these irresponsible attitudes. By using any of them, we are normalizing and perpetuating female discrimination, thus allowing the is to be the ought. To call it “science,” even if it is hard data, to call it, “a sign of the times,” even if it’s still awful, to call it, “free speech,” even if it is a right, is to say that it’s somehow an acceptable inevitability, like gravity, and that there is no need or ability to establish an ought, or, in this case, an ought not. People with deeply seeded sexism love to fall back on these arguments to try to cover their own naked insensibility because they think, because they seem easy and acceptable cloaks behind which to hide.
Worse than hiding from a problem is refusing to fix that problem. These attitudes allow not only give folks a good hiding place, they allow people to absolve themselves of responsibility for the results of shame and cowardice. Men who know that there IS a huge problem with social attitudes toward women adopt these attitudes so they don’t have to look in the mirror and tell themselves, “I am a good man, therefore, tt is my responsibility to make this situation better, to talk to other people, to teach what it means to be a good man and to support other men in this process.” Rather, they stop at, “I am a good man,” and the quickly turn to, “but…biology…evolution…sign of the times…free speech…could be worse…nothing to be done.”
This is an example of how the evil of indifference supersedes the evil of ill intent. The very men who should and could be a part of this movement to end discrimination against women aren’t, and it brings me to the core of why I despise religion, pseudo-science, conspiracy theories and even sometimes REAL science. They’re all scapegoats, cloaks, closets, security blankets and they all remove the ought by replacing it with an is. God has a plan, so I don’t have to do anything, the corporations are out to get me, so I can’t help myself, the science says women are property, so I can’t argue. Now, pass me the chips, Tosh.0 is on.
Acknowledge the wound, stop pouring the salt, and start the stitching because we’re never going to heal as a society if we don’t realize how injured we are.
Ok, straight people, it’s TIME! Time to stand up, and take responsibility for our own laziness and how it has caused others to suffer. The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community needs non-bigoted straight people to fight for LGBT rights. We are the key to their freedom and equality. Men have fought for women’s rights. Whites have fought for blacks’ rights, and straights need to fight for LGBT rights. Not only is it the right thing for us to do, it’s an extremely important thing for us to do.
We don’t really know what percentage of Americans are LGBT, but it’s definitely a minority and the more generous estimates have put it around 10%. Yet quantity shouldn’t dictate quality. If there were only four people, one lesbian, one gay, one bisexual, and one transgendered, those four people should be granted the exact same rights as the rest of us. Yet, we don’t grant it to them and it’s not because we’re hateful, it’s because we’re lazy. We don’t think it directly effects us, so we ignore it until it does or until something so awful that we can’t look at ourselves happens. Then, at that moment, we care, we feel guilty, outraged even, but then we can’t stand it, so we absolve ourselves of responsibility by going on Youtube and watch kitties run through beer boxes until we forget what lazy, irresponsible shits we all are. Then another trans kid commits suicide because she can’t see a future for herself, lather, rinse, repeat.
So, straight folks, go on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, any social media you can think of and tell everyone you can that you support LGBT folks and their equality, tell all of your friends and family, scream it from the rooftops. Make videos on Youtube and tell everyone that you support LGBT rights and why. Make a video on itgetsbetter.org and save a life. You all have congress people. Write to them. You all have school boards, write to them too. Write a friggin’ lame-ass blog like I do! That’s the least you can do! If the seeds of your ideas touch ONE person out there, you’ve done something. The more you do it, the higher the chances of touching several lives, so do it as much as you can! Actually, stop reading this right now and go do one of the aforementioned things!
For any LGBT folks reading, don’t get the wrong idea. I don’t mean that straight people are better or superior, but the majority needs to know it’s wrong before the minority can be emancipated. Unfortunately, the WRONG straight people are the squeakiest wheels and are getting ALL the oil. The WRONG ones also seem to be the ones with the most political power. It’s up to the RIGHT straight people to out number, out speak, out vote, and out express them until everyone gets it through their heads that those people don’t represent the majority of us. Plus, the wrong ones are more likely to listen to other straight people because they fear they’ll burst into flames if they look you in the eye. On second thought, you should talk to them as much as you can too…maybe they really WILL burst into flames and free us all!!
Sorry to disappoint those of you actually looking for some kind of musing or fetish writing about poop. Rather, it’s about the increasing lack of sense I see in modern parents.
If you are a parent, then I must inform you, and I speak on behalf of THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE when I say this,
NOBODY IN THE UNIVERSE WANTS TO SEE PICTURES OF YOUR KID ON THE TOILET!
Yes, that’s correct, NOBODY, not the grandparents, not your best friend, not other parents, and certainly not all your Facebook friends, particularly the ones you’ve met once and just added to FB because OMG WE MET THIS ONE TIME, WE HAVE TO BE FB FRIENDS, or the ones you’re only friends with because you really needed someone to water your FarmVille crops at some point in time.
No, I don’t care that your friends left “amused” comments. They aren’t amused. The only amusement they find is in how retarded you are for posting pictures of your child on the toilet. It’s called being polite to someone despite their lack of social graces. It’s a modern version of a friend begrudgingly acting as if they care about whatever it is you shouldn’t be sharing.
We live in an online-exhibitionist society. 20 years ago, rather than posting your child’s excretory endeavors online, you would have taken photos of them and gotten them developed at one of those old timey photo labs I hear grandpas talk about. Then, you would have found some other ridiculous way to force people to pretend to care and enjoy that which is social torture. You would have carried any and every photo of your child in your purse or wallet. You would have looked for completely inopportune times to remove these photos from your purse or wallet. Lastly, you would have grabbed your friends by the hair and slapped them across the face with said photos as you comment about how ADORABLE and FUNNY and OMG LOOK AT THIIIIS OOOOOONE. You would have been completely oblivious to the fact that at least 99% of the people you slapped across the face with kid photos (none of whom ASKED to look at pictures of your doofy children) were falsely smiling, all the while secretly wishing they had carried a gun so they could not so accidentally shoot themselves in the foot, thus giving them an excuse to make a graceful departure from the horror.
I say this not because I’m mean, or “a child-hating bitch,” but as a friend, as someone who wants to help you keep your friends and not replace all your friends with other people who are just as lame and socially retarded as you:
EVERYONE HATES A PERSON LIKE THAT.
There, I said it so the rest of your friends don’t have to.
I’m glad you’re enjoying parenthood. I really am. Too many parents go ahead and have children either without thinking about it or without enjoying it and both the children and the parents end up suffering and later just spread the cycle of suffering to the rest of us. So, I am sincerely happy for you that you want this experience. I’m also genuinely happy for you that you no longer have to change diapers. I understand that you like to share things that give you joy,
…very few people, living or dead, in this universe or any other, want to see ANY pictures of your kids, let alone pictures of your kids taking a shit or a piss.
You know what? These two things give me unimaginable joy:
…and yet, I don’t go around “sharing” that joy with everyone at every possible opportunity…but perhaps I should, if for no other reason than to teach people like you a lesson.
If you value your friendships with people, please, PLEASE don’t show anyone pictures of your child taking a shit….EVER! In fact, in person, don’t show people pictures of your child unless they’ve asked. If the pics are hanging on the walls, on your desk, posted on your Facebook, fine, people who care will go look. Otherwise, you’re being extremely rude. No one has told you this because no one else wants to be seen as rude for admitting the truth, but the truth is, as the late, great George Carlin once said, “Nobody cares about your children, okay? That’s why they’re YOUR children. So YOU can care about them and we don’t have to bother.”
I’m for OPEN immigration, not illegal immigration because people shouldn’t have to be illegal.
Remember that one time that Kansas Republican law maker Peter DeGraaf said that women should “prepare for rape” much in the same way that he has a spare tire, just in case? Well, sure right you are, Mr. DeGraaf!
Allow me to introduce, “Rape-aXe.” This product is an anti-rape female condom that can be worn inside a woman’s vagina and is fully equipped has a set of barbs inside that penetrate the perpetrator’s penis and must be surgically removed if activated. This product is not available in the United States (though I’m sure there’s a black market for it somewhere). It was created for women who live in areas where rape is obscenely common, namely South Africa.
Sadly, upon seeing this device, my first thought was not, “HAHA! That’ll teach ‘em!” My first thought was an explosion of excuses, regulations, and legislation that would be placed on the device and its procurement, still thrusting the burden of rape on its victims. My thoughts were based on current policies and attitudes toward reproductive rights. It would only be available through prescription. A woman would have to be 18 to purchase one, or get her parents’ permission if she’s not 18. A woman would have to prove she’s in a dangerous situation where rape is likely to occur to get a prescription for one. A pharmacist could refuse to give one to a woman if it’s against his beliefs. What about those EVIL women who just want revenge or to cause pain to some poor, unsuspecting schmuck (never mind that during consensual sex, you’d likely notice this thing in a woman’s vagina before stampeding to penetration; brings a strong case to going to third base)?
It’s amazing the arguments people can come up with to continue to hold women responsible for men’s irresponsible and downright disgusting behavior. It’s also a marvel at how emotional arguments about outliers and highly improbable but statistically possible cases are suddenly defensible when men are the ones about to suffer. All those creative ideas aside, the one that really stuck a barb in my cooch was the idea of insurance. Insurance shouldn’t pay for abortion if it’s simply a choice for a woman who simply doesn’t want a child, right? What about a rapist who simply doesn’t want a mutilated cock? I would bet all the money in the universe, all the tea in China, and all the fast food in America that if this item were widely available in the United States, removal would be covered by insurance. Sadly, I doubt there’s a soul on this planet that would argue with me.
If you honestly think this device would “do more harm than good,” or that “insurance SHOULD cover its removal just in case of those evil women who just want to get back at a guy,” and yet you don’t think abortion in any and every case SHOULD be covered by insurance, then you need sit down, look in the mirror, and figure out why you’re such a goddamn, woman-hating idiot. I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it a million times again, if men could get pregnant, you could get an abortion at McDonald’s.
AND BY THE WAAAAAAAY, if you’re one of these folks that goes around saying, “Well, abortion should ONLY be okay if the woman has been raped,” then consider an estimated 60% of sexual assault cases go unreported and rape convictions have a success rate of less than 20% (yes, that means 88% of rapists get away with it). Plus, the US abandoned the idea of a “fair and speedy trial” at least a century ago, so you explain to me how in a period of less than six months a woman is expected to press charges, successfully prove in court rape occurred and get a conviction, then successfully prove the paternity of the father, because, how do we know she isn’t just a total slut who went home and fucked her boyfriend right after she got raped? By the way, did I mention that paternity tests cannot be done until three months into a pregnancy, technically giving mom a whopping 3 months to do all this AND do some deep soul searching to decide if she wants to keep the baby of her attacker? By the time all of this happens, the kid’s already in kindergarten.
But yes, if Rape-aXe becomes available in the US, I’m sure insurance wouldn’t cover its purchase, but would cover removal, because after all, “We do need to plan ahead,” for certain things, right, Mr. DrGraaf?
Isn’t it partially amazing but partially terrifying how the definition of the word “freedom” changes depending on who is defining it?
As a libertarian, for me personal freedom really is king. Some libertarians care more about the financial aspect, and I do sincerely care about that because I believe those things go hand in hand, but to me, the most important thing on this planet is for an individual to own her or his own body. The body that you have is the ONLY thing that is yours. You think you own property? PFFT! Guess again. You only own something as long as the government decides you’re allowed to own it. If you own property, but your city or state or county or even country decides that a road really, REALLY, DESPERATELY NEEDS TO BE BUILT where your property is, then you can kiss it goodbye. If you’re lucky, they might give you a little money for it, but you’re still going to be forced out. If you want to google specific cases of this, go ahead. That’s not really the purpose of this post.
Anyway, all that aside, to me, that is the definition of freedom. Owning yourself. Yet other people have opposite and (to me) insane ideas about freedom.
I recall a few years back when I was working for a super crappy, awful company that sold all natural pet food and care supplies. I worked in the store completely alone and most of my customers came back again and again, so I often had pseudo-relationships with them. One day one of the not-so-regulars came in, and I’m not even sure how he found this soap box to stand on, but he started calmly complaining about freedom in this country being diminished. At first I was with him as he said things like, “The government just keeps taking and taking all these little things and we let them get away with it because we don’t resist in the ways we should, and the reason we don’t resist is because we’re all terrified of being seen as terrorists.”
“Right on,” I replied. Yes, I really did say, “Right on.”
As it was a few years ago, I can’t remember the exact words he uttered, but I can recall my emotional reaction to what he said and how we were in a straight line, side by side, both disappointed with our dissolving freedoms, both ready for a REAL change (it was before Obama was elected, but I knew then he was a house of cards because they all are), both ready to just punch the nearest perfidious politician in the privates!
I mean, any time you’re letting a man marry another man….
Then, like when final Christmas present, the one you were hoping for all year long, the box that is the exact shape and size of all your material hopes and dreams, turns out to be a sweater from grandma, my heart just collapsed with unspeakable disappointment.
Really? THAT is the thing that’s keeping us from being free (again, it’s adorable what people say when they think they’re in common company; how did he know I wasn’t a lesbian)? I always thought marriage should be a given…though I don’t think government has any business presiding over marriage in the first place, since it does, it should be willing to do it for any and every consenting adult human (sorry, Peter Singer, I don’t think bestial marriage is kosher, even if it doesn’t technically hurt the sheep). I didn’t think he was a bad man, a bigot, or an otherwise awful human being, but I really was disappointed to see what I thought was a somewhat kindred spirit fall off the path.
So, since I hated that company anyway and figured I wouldn’t likely get fired because it would mean the cheap motherfucker I worked for would have to pay unemployment, I decided why not go ahead and disagree?
“I support gay marriage. I don’t see how it inhibits anyone’s freedom. I think two adults in love should be free to do whatever they want. It doesn’t hurt me in any way.”
He looked at me with a rather mysterious face, that at the time I couldn’t pinpoint.
“It trickles down though,” he said rather hesitantly, picking up his bag of dog food and preparing to exit the store.
“Well, I suppose we’ll just have to agree to disagree,” I said.
“Yeaaaaaah…” he replied, in a way that said, “Well, you’re totally wrong, but now isn’t the time nor place,” wished me a nice day, and left.
It wasn’t until much later that I had a strange epiphany the moment I finally defined that mysterious face my customer had made. It was that same face of crappy Christmas sweater disappointment that I had when he mentioned being against gay marriage. At that moment, I had a new respect for opposite passion. I still don’t agree with him. I still believe he is 100% wrong in every way, but something in me definitely changed at that exact moment.
I had a similar moment when Ted Kennedy died. I was watching the news and some reporter said that socialized medicine for the U.S. was Ted Kennedy’s life’s goal; I felt that same, distinct flutter in my chest. This was a good man, a good person, a person who was literally working his ass off, who literally gave most of his life in pursuit of making America a better place in his eyes. Yet, he was doing it for something I’m against. I thought to myself, “How beautifully tragic that what is one man’s passion to create is what is another man’s passion to destroy.”
It’s so easy to look at bad people and uphold them as justification for your opinions. I can easily look at Fred Phelps and say, “This is why we need a secular society.” It’s much harder when GOOD people’s thoughts and actions are complete opposites of yours. This is why I get so hurt when people insult each other (and me) as people over political things. I have a certain soft spot for caring crusaders. I like to pretend I’m one at times, but really I don’t accomplish much with my life. Still, there is something admirable about a person who is willing to non-violently fight every day for what they believe, even if it isn’t what I believe, or even if it’s just bat shit crazy. To them, I’m bat shit crazy.
An accumulation of similar moments has led me to the conclusion that all Americans agree that we ALL want to be free. We just can’t agree on what the hell that means!
Before I begin, I’d like to share a disclaimer about my feelings on Fox News so that I won’t be accused of bias toward or against it. To make that clear, I do not now, never have, nor will I ever CARE about Fox News. I don’t think it’s legit, nor do I think it’s a scourge on human consciousness. I don’t care about any 24 hour news network because I know it’s all lies, yellow journalism, and pandering for ratings. Short and simple, it’s all show biz and if you haven’t actualized this by now, then Fox News is the LEAST of your problems. So be it Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and whatever that weird English Russian news network is, I DO NOT care. However, as per usual, I find amusement and people’s self-inflicted indignation.
All that said, I really wish liberals would just pull their panties out of their ass cracks when it comes to Fox News. You were the ones who INSISTED it was a fake news channel to the point where President Obama officially declared that it’s not a news network and yet, you continue your outrage at its blatant show boating, lies, and inconsistencies. Well, guess what?
It’s your fault that Fox News exists and that it sucks.
There, I said it.
If you would just LET the conservatives have their own stupid news network, let them think, say, and promote what they want whether you like it or not, let them have some say in REGULAR media (yes, I do believe in the liberal bias, so pick up your stones now), then a need for Fox News would never have emerged. Yet, it did emerge….
OH NO NOT A CONSERVATIVE BIAS! THAT’S JUST NOT ALLOWED!!!! Did you ever stop to think that if you are a liberal and the news continues to tell you things that you agree with, that the media might have a liberal bias? Is it so shocking that other people who think differently from you like to be told what they want to hear as well? Yet, I suppose they shouldn’t be allowed because they don’t think like you and are therefore wrong and not worthy of existing, let alone having their own TV channel….AND IT’S NOT EVEN A GOOD CHANNEL! It’s not like they usurped HBO or anything.
To make matters worse, once it began to solidify, had you not vehemently refused to yank your panties from the crack of your ass, Fox News could have been allowed to call itself a real news network and would have kept SOME small semblance of responsibility to tell the truth, or some small version of it. Now that you have pushed your panties so far up your ass that you can taste how clean they are, thereby pushing Obama to make this decree that he has no business making, Fox is not only here to stay, but it has exactly NO NEED TO BE RESPONSIBLE.
Hey, the White House says we’re not real news…so now we can REALLY let the bullshit fly. It’s NOT NEWS anymore! It’s JUST entertainment. So now, we literally can do whatever we want because it’s officially NOT NEWS!
I can’t be the only one who saw this coming the second Obama declared Fox News as bullshit news. I also can’t be the only one who thought this was wrong. Why does the White House, or any government agency, get to magically tell us when and where “real” news occurs? And yet, liberals had a field day with it, not knowing they were willingly digging their own graves.
This gets to the fundamental problem I have with self-identified liberals. I could go into a novel about the problems I have with conservatives, but that’s for another time and place. The fundamental problem is that liberals constantly preach tolerance, open mindedness, and diversity UNLESS you don’t think exactly like them. Then they get all pissy. Yeah, conservatives get pissy when you don’t think exactly like them, but they never claimed to be tolerant and open minded and diverse.
More and more, I seem to see self-identified liberals believing that they are the upper crust of society and anyone else is just a poor fool that has yet to receive their political enlightenment. Well, to quote Mr. Garrison of South Park, “Just because you’re on TV doesn’t mean you know crap about the government.”
I will admit, as a libertarian and artist at heart, I do spend a LOT more time with self-identified liberals than I do self-identified conservatives, so similarly hateful things are likely done, but of all the conservatives I’ve ever met in my life, which is a decent amount considering I live in GA, I have never once heard one say that CNN, Bill Maher, or the entire state of California should be destroyed because it’s dangerous to society. Yet, countless times, liberals have said these things about Fox, Glenn Beck, and Texas within five minutes of meeting me (I’d also like to note how adorable it is what people say when they assume they’re in common company).
Frighteningly, it seems conservatives are the ones that are more interested in preserving free speech and press. If that doesn’t scare you as a liberal, then you seriously need to reevaluate your life. In the United States of America, you don’t get to shut somebody up just because you don’t like what they say, which includes everything from, “This is a Christian nation,” to, “DEATH TO AMERICA!” to, “I get nervous when I see a Muslim on an airplane,” to, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
I can’t believe I have to repeat this like so many wiser folks have said before, but free speech/press doesn’t ONLY protect the speech/press you like. If you want America to stay free, then you better scream at the top of your lungs to defend even the speech and press you hate to keep it that way!
I really am baffled to see atheists, who have no faith in God, have strange amounts of faith in government. To me, they’re both complete illusions and the only real difference is that one is more expensive than the other. The similarities between the two are striking. Here is a short list similarities between God and government (for the purpose of this list, “it” shall be substituted for “God” and/or “the government”):
People go to war over what they believe about it.
People believe its publications are absolute, but they’re very contradictory, misleading, and can be interpreted a variety of ways.
People fight over the way its publications are interpreted.
People cherry pick and choose what they like about it.
People believe if they give it a certain percent of their income, it will help them, indeed help the world.
People believe it will save us all!
People think it has a plan.
People sometimes say it helps those who help themselves.
People don’t actually understand at all how it works, so they say it works in mysterious ways.
People know it loves them and takes care of them, but if they don’t obey it, it will punish them severely.
People think it listens to them.
People like to give it credit for their own hard work
People get angry at it because it seems to reward people who are known criminals, but lets people who are honest and hard working suffer and go hungry.
People get angry with it and blame it for the bad things in life, but conveniently rediscover faith in it when they get good things in life.
Lastly, I refuse to believe it has any power over me as a human being.
JUST STOP! Stop buying the illusions! YOU are it. YOU are the alpha and the omega. YOU are the master of your destiny. NOBODY, not God, not Jesus, not Allah, not Uncle Sam, not even your own mother, can help you or will help you more than you can help yourself. IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU!