Tuesday, June 30, 2015

One Nation Obsessed With Sex

I’m going to start this blog out with full disclosure: I hate music radio talk shows.

I find them inane. The Christian ones bore me and the secular ones either bore or irritate me. Either way, I don’t care about their stupid polls or social media surveys or call-in stories. If I had my preference, DJs wouldn’t be allowed to talk except to introduce new songs now and then.

(Yes, I know I sound like a horrible person.)

But sometimes there’s just nothing else on during my morning commute, so sometimes I suck it up and listen to their blathering anyway. Like this morning.

My one radio station features the Kane Show in the earlier hours, which in turn features this pig nicknamed Intern John. I don’t think he’s capable of opening his mouth without oinking out something obnoxious. More often than not, it’s sexual in nature.

“Princess Jasmine is a freak in the bed because she has a tiger” and “girls with anklets are easy” are just two of the pointless opinions I’ve heard him express.

But the main DJ, Kane, comes across as a much more mature individual. He has a wife and two little girls. He scolds Intern John for going too far and even sticks up for family values at times.

And yet, I realized something this morning… All he ever talks about is sex.

Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex.

Today, the main topic of conversation was whether you’d rather have someone who was crazy hot and equally bad in bed, or really unattractive and equally amazing in bed. (Not surprisingly, the guys all went with Option A and the women all went with Option B.) I also learned that Twitter users are more sexually adventurous than Facebook users. And there were two other factoids about people’s sex lives that were so lame and pointless I promptly forgot them.

I wish I could scrub my brain of the rest of it too.

I can’t though. Not when we’re a culture obsessed with sex. We saturate our advertising, our media outlets, our education system and even our politics with it. We’ve embraced the whole concept of sex selling until we don’t have anything else to offer. We can’t keep people’s attention without talking about sex. In fact, we’re a little fuzzy on what other topics exist.

Broken down to the basics, we worship sex. It’s our idol. And we’ll do anything and everything we can to defend it and our right to it anytime, anywhere.

Which is really pretty pathetic considering we were made for so much more.

We’re settling, and someday we’re going to realize how unhappy we are with that decision.

Monday, June 29, 2015

My Unoriginal Thoughts on the Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling

I go on vacation, and the world erupts in chaos.

Greece is crashing. (This isn’t new, but global markets are freaking out nonetheless.)

Almost 500 people were burned, some to death with others still in intensely critical condition, at a waterpark in Taiwan that may or may not have been hosting a gay pride rally.

And then there’s the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling here in the U.S.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t want to talk about that last one. At all. It is what it is, which is why I’m going to be bold and/or stupid and let Rush Limbaugh do the talking for me. Here’s what he said about the subject on Friday, June 26:

“Now, I think in the case of this gay marriage decision today, the answer to this sadly is not going to be found in politics or policy, because the problems and the truth go way beyond that. I think we're dealing with a culture that is under assault and is deteriorating rapidly. The truth is that all this transcends the Constitution. I think there is a spiritual war going on where truth is no longer truth. There is no objective truth. Everything is relative now, particularly morally. Words have no meaning. Words can be whatever the most forceful group of people want them to mean. Whatever the most intimidating group of people wants a word to mean is what it will mean.

“So the door's open for liberals and oligarchs to do whatever they want to do. And I don't know that politics or legal solutions alone are the remedy for what is happening. To me, a bigger casualty than the healthcare debacle and the socialism aspects of Obamacare is the assault on the Constitution and an even bigger casualty still was on the truth itself. Words no longer mean anything. They're just tools for liberals to accomplish whatever ends they want to accomplish.”

That about sums up my thoughts on the subject, except for one final quote, this time from the Christian song “Help Me Find It” by Sidewalk Prophets:

I don’t know where to go from here
It all used to seem so clear
I’m finding I can’t do this on my own

I don’t know where to go from here
As long as I know that You
[God] are near
I’m done fighting
I’m finally letting go

I will trust in You
You’ve never failed before
I will trust in You

Because really, what else can we do? It’s what we should have been doing all along anyway.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Racist White Man Shoots Up Black Church, Kills Nine

I don’t want to write about the white gunman that shot up a black church down in South Carolina, killing nine people. I’d rather just not blog at all today. But I’ll admit that I would totally write about it if it was a black gunman murdering white churchgoers, so I have no other honorable choice here but to try to express myself on the subject.

For anyone who’s curious, my main point is the same as if the color details had been reversed.

Let me start out by being blunt: This is a tragedy. It’s a stupid, pointless tragedy. And yes, it was racially motivated. The sole survivor of the massacre says the white perp specifically said, “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go” before opening fire.

My first thought after reading that: Sounds a whole lot like something the KKK used to say as an excuse to lynch black men back in the day.

So I’m not saying this wasn’t a vile racist act. The shooter deserves the death penalty for ending nine lives and devastating so many others. There are families and friends who are suffering the loss of their loved ones right now because some white moron generalized all blacks.

But let me stay blunt. Fixating on the racial aspect of this crime as a greater societal issue of white-on-black violence isn’t going to do anyone any good. It’s just going to make it worse.

We focus on race so much these days. The news is filled with stories about white cops killing black men or throwing black teenage girls to the ground or the First Lady talking about how discriminated she’s been all her life because of her skin color.

Yet did you know that most crime is either white-on-white or black-on-black? Rather like shark attacks, interracial violence makes the news BECAUSE IT IS NEWS! It’s not the norm.

And beyond that, how has all of the focus on Trayvon Martin down in Florida (who was killed by a Hispanic, by the way, not a white), of Michael Brown out in Ferguson, Missouri, of Freddie Gray here in Baltimore, Maryland… how has any of that done a single bit of good for race relations? How has blaming all white people and victimizing all black people helped anyone?

From my position down here in Baltimore, all it seems to be doing is hurting more black people. Our murder rate has shot up since all the white-cops-killed-unarmed-black-man nonsense (even though the white cops turned out to be black and white cops, and the unarmed black man turned out to be a career criminal); and it ain’t white people getting gunned down in the streets.

So if we really want to protect black people – or here’s a novel thought: all people! – then how about we try a different approach. Like, I don’t know, promoting individual growth and responsibility instead of group shaming or group victimizing.

You never know. We might be pleasantly surprised at the difference it makes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Congress Gearing Up to Support Big Business With Cheap Foreign Workers

You may have heard about Disney replacing its U.S. workers with foreign replacements and forcing its original employees to train them. And you probably didn’t hear about the more obscure but still fabulously wealthy Southern California Edison (SCE) doing the same thing.

But what I’m absolutely sure you don’t know is that Congress is gearing up to make that selfish practice even more common, favoring big business and pretty much nothing or nobody else.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, “Corporate lobbyists have convinced legislators of both parties that America needs more guest workers in high-tech jobs. Leading the charge in Congress to do their bidding is Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who had introduced legislation to double or triple the number of non-immigrant tech workers who can be hired annually on H-1B visas. But his proposal won't fix the H-1B programs’ flaws, which allow American and foreign workers alike to be exploited and underpaid.”

That last word, “underpaid,” is of course the key in all of this. Due to already existing legal loopholes, big business can pay significantly less to foreign workers they bring in. As The Salt Lake Tribune also reported, “Many of the workers laid off at Disney and SCE earned $100,000 a year or more. Government data indicate the H-1B workers replacing them earn around $60,000.”

That’s a $40,000 discount. Per employee. Per year.

From a business perspective, what’s not to love?

I can fume over big business treating “the little guy” badly all I want. But my capitalist and Constitutional sensibilities say Disney and those other jerks have the right to be anti-American jerks in this regard. So I’m not going to bother with the over-bloated bottom-feeders. Instead, I’ll point out an increasingly obvious yet ignored problem we’re faced with.

Politicians aren’t doing America a single bit of good these days. They haven’t for a while, and there’s no real hope in sight going forward either. It’s because of their delusions of godhood, where they think it’s their job to fix everything.

They see a problem, declare that something needs to be done, get involved, make outrageous promises, pass legislation… and inevitably make things worse. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, they’re in business for big business. For the rich. For the powerful people who have access to them.

They don’t listen to the little people, because they think the little people are stupid. They think we need saviors. And they think they can fill that role in our lives.

I’ll give them this, at least. As this whole foreign workers mess proves, yes, we do need a savior. But we need a savior from them.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

These Days, You Really Can Be Whatever You Want to Be… At Least in Your Head

Good news, people!

Bruce Jenner proved you can be male and yet really female, and now disgraced former NAACP chapter president Rachel Dolezal proves you can be white and yet really black.

Forget reality! Throw away the facts! Let’s embrace psychological neuroses and delusions instead.

Freedom for all! These are the 2000s, baby, and we don’t let little things like truth get in the way.

You wanna fly all on your own? Just say you can, and go jump off that cliff!

In Rachel Dolezal’s specific case, she says she started identifying as black when she was five years old. “I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon, and black curly hair,” she informed TODAY’s Matt Lauer.

Her words inspire me to remember my own childhood identities.

When I was five, I was certain I was going to grow up to be either a princess or a cowgirl. So even though I’ve never so much as ridden a horse or thrown a lasso – and am honestly not even sure if “cowgirl” is even a thing these days – clearly, I missed my calling. Because my five-year-old self was convinced.

I was also certain that my stuffed animals and baby dolls played around on their own when I was asleep, and that I was going to marry Joshua. Or Andy. Or Ryan. You see, those three were all my “boyfriends,” even though we never had any kind of romantic commitment with each other.

You see, at five years old, I didn’t know what I was talking about.

That’s normal at that age. What’s not normal is when grown-ups still try to claim such things.

So basically, what we’re doing societally is convincing people to stay in a mental and emotional state of childhood. To stay immature. To be underdeveloped.

And we wonder why we’re so messed up.

Monday, June 15, 2015

It’s “Very Courageous and Brave” to Attack Police, Says CNN

It’s “very courageous and brave” to open fire on police?

Tell us how you really feel, CNN.

This weekend, a gunman planted pipe bombs outside the Dallas police headquarters before opening fire on the building. Though the assailant, James Boulware, was eventually killed, there was a long-enough stand-off for CNN’s Fredricka Whitfeld to open her mouth and insert her foot on air.

“It was very courageous and brave, if not crazy as well, to open fire on the police headquarters,” she stated.

If you doubt even a CNN host can be that stupid, feel free to watch and listen for yourself right here.

After getting called out – not by her own network, of course – she’s since issued a clarification: “Yesterday, during a segment on the Dallas Police Department attack, I used the words ‘courageous’ and ‘brave’ when discussing the gunman. I misspoke. I in no way believe the gunman was courageous nor brave.”

No? Then why’d you say it? Because I’m not always eloquent when I’m expressing myself, but I don’t think I’ve ever accidentally used those words to describe a criminal actively engaged in extreme illegal behavior like that. Not unless I was being really, really sarcastic. Which she wasn’t.

Whitfield can make all the excuses she wants. But she, her network and the rest of her cronies in the mainstream media have already displayed a dangerous bias against police over the last few years, painting perps as spotless innocents and cops as oppressive brutes out to hurt the little guy.

With that said, I do have to give Whitfield props. Because at least she’s consistent. Black liberal though she is, she’ll apparently support perps of any color who act out against the police.

I mean, Boulware was white.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Global Warming Sinks New York City Four Days Ago!!!!!!!

“It’s June 8th, 2015. One carton of milk is $12.99.”

“Gas reached over $9 a gallon.”

Oh yeah, and New York City is underwater.

That was according to a futuristic presentation put together by special guest Bob Woodruff on ABC News’s Good Morning America recorded on June 8, 2008.

It was supposed to be realistic too. This wasn’t a joke or a screening of the next apocalyptic Hollywood flick. This was the true terrors of global warming unleashed, altering life as we’ve known it forever. This was likely!

So likely, that Chris Cuomo, then host of Good Morning America, expressed apprehension about the looming possibility. “I think we’re familiar with some of these issues,” he said, “but, boy, 2015? That’s seven years from now. Could it really be that bad?”

The answer, of course, is no.

Fast-forward to reality, when the average gallon of milk costs $3.39, gasoline is $2.75, and New York City is definitely still there.

Looks like all that hype and horror was for nothing. Not that Bob Woodruff, ABC in general or Good Morning America in particular will say as much.

Just goes to show you that it’s a joke to call ABC “news,” and global warming isn’t science; it’s one giant, ridiculous hoax right up there with Scientology and Alien Greys. It’s just that ABC and global warming have managed to snow a lot more people.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Obamatrade: Fiction Is Looking Pretty Realistic Right About Now

That book advertised on the side of this page? “The Politician’s Pawn?” It’s fictional, obviously, a novel I just published last month. But it’s kinda scary to see how close to reality it actually is. There’s a lot of stuff coming out over the past few weeks that makes me wonder if I should start advertising it as something else.

Judging by the front cover, it’s fairly easy to tell that it’s a political thriller. I started writing “The Politician’s Pawn” back in 2012 after the last presidential election, when I was royally ticked off with both parties. An expression of my disgust for politicians across the board, it involves a kidnapping scheme to swing a congressional vote on foreign funding to Asia.

At the time, I’ll admit, I thought that particular crime was a little farfetched, but I padded my plot with real-live data about Washingtonian arrogance that I’ve accumulated over the past six years of studying politics and economics. The result is an intense, three-part narrative that shows what it looks like when “the little guys” go up against D.C.

It’s also eerily accurate considering all these reports about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as Obamatrade.

“In a scene all too typical in present day Washington, the culmination of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, along with the push for passage of related legislation such as Trade Promotion Authority (or Fast Track) have set off a lobbying frenzy.”

“While liberal organizations and members of Congress deride the TPP as the biggest boondoggle since NAFTA and President Obama defends it as ‘the most progressive trade treaty ever,’ the influence peddlers who populate K Street see opportunity.

“Policymakers aren’t simply facing a lobbying barrage from the typical slate of domestic interest groups. Foreign governments are running sophisticated operations to influence Congress and gather intelligence in Washington as the negotiations proceed.

This is now ‘par for the course,’ according to Lydia Dennett, an investigator at the Project on Government Oversight [POGO], a nonprofit watchdog. ‘If a certain country wants trade legislation that will be beneficial to them, they can hire an American lobbyist to get them the access the need.’

“Leading the way among TPP nations seeking to sway American policy makers is Japan, which signed up former Democratic Leader 
Tom Daschle’s firm as well as well-connected public relations firm DCI.

In other words, foreign powers are buying former congressmen to sway current congressmen to vote in their favor instead of the American people’s best interest. And you know that, all across the chessboard, there’s significant monetary compensation for those favors rendered.

One part of me rather wishes I could have gone on thinking “The Politician’s Pawn” was just a good read.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

LGBTQ Community Kicks Iggy Azalea out of Pittsburgh Pride for “Homophobic” Past

Gosh! And people talk about Christians being unforgiving and judgmental. Looks like the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community is giving us a run for our money.

It’s now come out (pun intended) that, when she was younger, Australian rapper Iggy Azalea – famous for a growing list of mindlessly catchy pop-tart hits including “Fancy” and “Pretty Girls” – made some comments on social media that can be interpreted as homophobic.

Considering her overall immaturity, I imagine that the comments in question were of the immature variety. But they’re in the past. Fast-forward to this month, when she was scheduled to perform at the Pittsburgh Pride event.

I’m pretty sure that means she’s not afraid of LGBTQ people anymore, if she ever was. I mean, it’d be a weird phobia that allows its sufferers to mingle so freely with the objects of their terror.

As someone who once suffered from a mild form of arachnophobia, I can tell you right now that I would never have agreed to host a concert to thousands of spiders. In fact, I still wouldn’t, and I haven’t been terrified of the creepy crawly things in years.

In other words, it’s clear that Iggy Azalea is trying to move on from previous opinions. Not that Pittsburgh City Council President Bruce Kraus, the city’s first openly gay elected official, is letting her. He openly criticized her after some of her old, deleted tweets somehow leaked to the public; and some groups flat-out cancelled their scheduled appearances at Pittsburgh Pride in protest.

The result? The rapper has officially backed out, saying, “I am a firm believer in equality. Unfortunately in the past as a young person, I used words I should not have. The last thing I want is for something so carelessly said to be interpreted as reflective of my character. I meant no harm and deeply regret ever uttering those words. As an adult I would never use them because I understand they play a detrimental role in the fight for issues that I do truly believe in. I am sorry to anyone I have offended or disappointed & I wish all my fans and friends participating in Pride the best of luck.”

That was a classy exit in my opinion. Yet it’s ridiculous she had to exit in the first place. I mean, hasn’t everyone said something hurtful and regrettable when they were young and stupid? For that matter, how many hurtful and regrettable things do we say when we’re full-fledged adults?

The fact that Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community couldn’t get over itself and acknowledge reality is doubtlessly hypocritical. It’s hypocritical on a personal level, it’s hypocritical on a larger scale, and it hardly paints a friendly face on the group.

How about that whole “Judge not lest you be judged” scripture they’re always throwing in people’s faces, especially Christians? Seriously, where’s the love?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Another Republican Admits She Knows Nothing About the Obamatrade Bill She’s Pushing

Available on Amazon.com
I don’t know much of anything about the so-called Obamatrade bill currently being considered in Congress. Apparently, neither do the lawmakers so focused on passing it, most of them Republicans as it seems.

Democrats seem to be pretty iffy about their fearless leader’s latest efforts at accruing irresponsible amounts of power. Yet Speaker of the House John Boehner is all about it, working with the president, who hasn’t once had the American people’s best interest at heart.

But that’s okay, because I’m sure Boehner knows what he’s doing. After all, We the little People of The United States of America are too dumb to think for ourselves. He, on the other hand, is a politician. They’re blessed with bigger brains – and even bigger egos – than the rest of us. Their brains are so big, in fact, that they can just look at the title of a bill like Obamatrade and instantly know whether it’s worthwhile or not.

So we shouldn’t be bothered by how pro-Obamatrade Republicans haven’t actually read the thing. (I mean, why would they? It’s just their job and only millions of lives will be affected by it.)

Representative Mimi Walters from California, who has been making TV appearances to raise support for the bill, is the latest one to admit that she hasn’t laid eyes on what she’s championing. Representatives Pete Sessions of Texas and Steve Scalise of Louisiana already “came out of the closet” as it were, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Speaker Boehner both refuse to answer the question.

What is wrong with these people!!!

Oh wait. They’re politicians. Which these days means they have way too much power without the necessary humility to wield it responsibly.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ariana Grande Opens Her Sexualized Little Mouth to Take a Stand for Feminism

Here’s a tale of two females, Ariana Grande and me.

This morning, I really wanted to wear a dress to work. I shaved my legs, looked through my closet and put on one of my many options. Then I promptly took it off again.

Why? Because somehow, someway, even though I haven’t put the thing on for a good year at this point, and I know I haven’t gotten any taller, the stupid thing was too short to wear to one’s place of business. For that matter, that entire section of my wardrobe seemed comprised of dresses that were too fancy or too flirtatious.

So I chose a different option even though I didn’t particularly want to. It was the professional, mature and truly feminist thing to do. After all, I’m at work to get work done, not to flirt.

Somewhere on the other end of the spectrum is Ariana Grande, who recently went into a snit and posted the longest Twitter rant ever. Here’s how it started, improper capitalization and all:

“being ‘empowered’….. is not the same as being a ‘b*tch’…

What I meant when I said what I said about not being Sean’s ex is that I am tired of living in a world where women are mostly referred to as a man’s past, present or future PROPERTY / POSSESSION. I… do not. belong. to anyone. but myself. and neither do you.”

Fast-forwarding a bit, she continues with, “I come from a long bloodline of female activists, my aunt Judy was the first Italian american female president of the national press club in Washington DC. I think she would have been proud of me for speaking up about something that has been bothering me personally for so long.”

Grande quotes Gloria Steinem about how men and women are treated differently when society knows they’re having sex, then goes back to throwing her own two cents into the ring. “I know y’all already know this but the double standard and misogyny are still ever present. I can’t wait to live in a world where people are not valued by who they’re dating / married to / attached to, having sex with (or not) / seen with…. But by their value as an individual.”

It goes on from there, but let me stop Ms. Ariana Grande, since I can only take so much mindless hypocrisy at a time. Her current smash hit “One Last Time” says she’s “got nothing here without” some boy, who she incidentally cheated on and is now trying to convince back into bed even though he has a new girlfriend who’s really good to him.

Then there’s her previous song, “Love Me Harder,” where she tells some bad boy that she’ll “take the pleasure… with the pain,” while he describes – rather vividly – what he’s going to do to her if she can just ignore the fact that he’s treated previous women like trash.

And let’s not forget her constant demand for sexual attention, including but not limited to walking around in provocative outfits, writhing around in bed on her music videos, and generally behaving like her greatest asset isn’t even her impressive voice; it’s her legal-but-doesn’t-look-legal appeal to the twisted fantasies of the opposite gender.

In other words, she’s walking one walk and talking the same talk except for moments where she feels personally attacked for doing so. Then she’s all about feminist empowerment instead of widespread sexual attention.

She says she can’t wait for a world where women are treated like they have value other than their fluttering, mascara-coated lashes, their pouty glossed-up lips, their bared cleavage and their legs stretched to full display by high heels… while she coats on the mascara, pouts up her lips and bares all either visually or through her graphic lyrics.

With that kind of public figure portraying women the way she does, sometimes I have to wonder why I don’t just put on that unprofessionally short dress after all. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to make a difference.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Bristol Palin Makes Astounding Comparison Between Josh Duggar and Lena Dunham

I’m not following the whole Josh Duggar molestation scandal. I never showed any interest in the family before when it was all wholesome and sparkly clean, so why should I now that it’s in disgrace?

From headlines, I do know he groped five girls while they were sleeping, including four of his sisters. Which is really pretty darn disturbed. And I think the family is going overboard trying to support him. It’s one thing to forgive someone; it’s another to offer excuses.

With that said, Bristol Palin offered an absolutely excellent commentary on the subject, which just so happened to show up on my Facebook feed.

Her words: “I can’t believe how crazy the media is going over the Duggar family compared to the big fat yawn they gave Lena Dunham when she wrote in her book that she sexually experimented with her sister. I’m sorry to have to do this, but let me remind you:

“In her new book called Not That Kind of Girl – according to Bradford Thomas — she writes about ‘experimenting sexually with her younger sister Grace, whom she says she attempted to persuade to kiss her using ‘anything a sexual predator might do.’ In one particularly unsettling passage, Dunham experimented with her six-year younger sister’s vagina. ‘This was within the spectrum of things I did,’ she writes.’

“It gets worse.

“She also – according to her own book – used her sister, “essentially as a sexual outlet, bribing her to kiss her for prolonged periods and even masturbating while she is in the bed beside her.”

“That makes me want to puke.

“Remember the liberal media outrage?

“Oh that’s right. It didn’t happen. The liberal media darling Dunham was praised for her “honest and witty” book.

“The double standards make me sick. Josh Duggar touched a sleeping girls breast – a terrible thing to go. But now their ENTIRE family is punished and their hit show is canceled? He’s labeled as a pedophile? His family is crucified!

“Liberals in today’s media can do no wrong, while conservatives can do no right.”

What’s there to add? I don’t think much of anything.

Palin said it all quite well.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Report: Rise in Baltimore Murders Has Nothing to Do With Cops’ Indictment

Guess what, Baltimore? Great news! That ridiculously terrifying rise in crime you’ve seen ever since those six cops got indicted for arresting career criminal Freddie Gray and then failing to prevent him from breaking his own spine while in custody?

That’s right. The two sets of circumstances have nothing to do with each other! It was just one giant coincidence.

You see, according to Police Commissioner Batts, “There’s enough narcotics on the streets of Baltimore to keep it intoxicated for a year.” More than 175,000 units of drugs were stolen from over 25 pharmacies during the April 27 riots. (Way to go Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for letting those looters express themselves!) And those thefts are now causing more conflicts between already existent gangs battling over turf.

So go ahead and keep treating cops as criminals and criminals as victims. Clearly, it’s not having any harmful side-effects whatsoever.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I’m Just Going to Say It: Bruce Jenner (a.k.a. Caitlin Jenner) Is Not Brave

Dear Bruce Jenner/Caitlin Jenner and the rest of the world,

It’s not brave to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on cosmetic (read: unnecessary) medical procedures. Not in the common, modern-day definition of the word.

Let me stop you right now before you can call me a bigot, close-minded, hyper-religious or any of the other names being thrown around about anyone who dares to disagree with Jenner’s extravagant transformation. Because I’m not standing on my Christian faith to make this argument. I’m standing on my background as a wordsmith.

You’re using the word “brave” as an exact synonym of “courageous.” You’re saying that what Bruce Jenner/Caitlin Jenner did was defy some force of evil or otherwise put himself at risk for a greater, selfless good.

Which isn’t at all what he did. He spent who-knows-how-much money on himself to drastically change his physical appearance, then sold his time to the media (Vanity Fair, in particular), dressing up and posing in ways that indicate a woman’s greatest asset is her looks.

That’s not brave. That’s not courageous. That’s harmful. It’s playing into stereotypes, and encouraging a selfish attitude that says personal happiness is the end-all be-all in life.

I mean, there are children starving in Jenner’s own country, not to mention elsewhere in the world. There are organizations out there trying to teach young people how to survive and thrive in life, or assisting sexual abuse survivors, or providing college funding for the children of lost military men and women.

He could have donated to any of those causes. But he spent that exorbitant amount of money on himself, whether through his own funds or through his insurance. Either way, the doctors got paid and paid very, very well.

“But… but… but…,” you say. “It was necessary! She was a woman trapped in a man’s body! It was tearing her up inside!”

Ok. Let’s say you’re right there, in which case, let me give you a parallel.

I’m an insomniac. Big time. I’ve been one for the last eight years now, with trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep and all the other kinds of trouble that come with such disorders. Right now, it’s been especially bad to the point where I’m not sleeping much at all. Not when I’m supposed to, anyway. Instead, I’m nodding off at my desk and making major errors in my editing tasks.

Since everything else has failed to remedy my insomnia over the years – from prescription medication to aromatherapy to dieting choices to audio-therapy and everything in between – I could spend money to do a sleep study, which could very well improve my condition and make me a much happier person. That might be the wise choice. It might be the necessary choice.

But it isn’t a brave one. Because I’d be doing it for me and my own health, not some greater good. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

“True Detective” Star Vince Vaughn Proves That Hollywood Isn’t Always Wrong

I don’t normally say anything nice about Hollywood, mainly because there’s normally not anything nice to say.

It’s sexist, bigoted, intolerant, racist, delusional, arrogant and all-around irritating in too many ways. Yet big-name Hollywood actor Vince Vaughn has just proved there are exceptions to every rule, even that one.

To some degree, anyway. He still starred in “The Wedding Crashers,” after all, which put the female anatomy on blatant display for no good reason other than to be irresponsibly lewd.

But Vaughn shows he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to gun rights. In an interview with “British GQ,” the conversation apparently turned to “True Detective” – which he’s now starring in – judging by the following statements he made:

“We have the right to bear arms to resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government. It’s not about duck hunting; it’s about the ability of the individual. It’s the same reason we have freedom of speech. It’s well known that the greatest defense against an intruder is the sound of a gun hammer being pulled back.”

And “Take mass shootings. They’ve only happened in places that don’t allow guns. In all of our schools, it is illegal to have guns on campus, so again and again these guys go and shoot up these f***ing schools because they know there are no guns there.”

And “I support people having a gun in public full stop, not just in your home. Banning guns is like banning forks in an attempt to stop making people fat.”

In other words, people who want to overeat or eat unhealthy foods will do so regardless of what Michelle Obama dictates. And people who want to commit violent crimes with guns will do so despite any bans her husband and his cronies – former, present and future – concoct.

For proof of the latter, just look at Baltimore.

After statements like that from Vince Vaugh, who knows… I might try watching “True Detective.”

Probably not though. It’ll still be Hollywood. Worse yet, it’ll still be HBO, a channel that’s so predictably and consistently sexist, bigoted, intolerant, racist, delusional, arrogant and all-around irritating that it’s actually boring.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Atheists Get Angry Over Photo of Marine Praying With Bride to Be

I’ve never understood atheism. It doesn’t make logical sense to say that the world is as complex as it is by chance. No matter how much we scientifically discover, it just seems to lead to more questions about the universe, our planet, our bodies, the physical world around us, etc., etc., etc.

It’s therefore sheer irrational arrogance to declare that some kind of deity couldn’t possibly exist. I mean, if atheists don’t have anything close to all the technical answers, then how can they declare so staunchly that they have the final one?

Yet they do. Repeatedly. Shoving their opinions down everyone’s throat whenever possible.

I might not agree with religions outside of Christianity, but I can at least intellectually respect many of the people who hold them. Not so much with atheists, who come across as bitterly dogmatic, intent on sucking away everyone’s joy with their angry words and attitudes.

That viral photo of the Marine praying with his wedding-dress-clad bride-to-be is one such example. Scroll past the beautiful story of a couple trying to start their marriage off right, and you’ll inevitably find comments like the ones I saw on Yahoo, such as:

“They saw the camera man and struck a praying pose to tell the world that they are perfect Christians and you should convert into our religion in order to have a good marriage. Pathetic.” – Artemio

“When is the human race going to wake up and realize there is No God.” – Michael

“Odd behavior. These are two crazy people who believe in magic (aka religion). Hope they live well and see no harm. But I’m not inspired by their rituals. I just hope they don’t mess their kids up too much.” – NotRed

I genuinely don’t get those responses to a picture of two people trying to make what’s supposed to be a beautiful relationship work.

I mean, I have Muslim neighbors. The husband dresses “normal;” the wife covers up everything but her face according to her religion. They both seem very nice, so it doesn’t make me angry enough to comment every time I see either of them. In fact, it doesn’t make me angry at all.

They smile and say hi. I smile and say hi. And then we both move on, knowing that we disagree but respecting our individual rights to our own opinions. Maybe because we’re confident enough in our respective beliefs that we don’t feel the need to constantly be on the offensive?

Or maybe because we’re just not jerks.

Admittedly, there are Christians out there, such as the Westboro Baptists, who are loud and obnoxious. There are Muslim extremists like ISIS. There are Budhists who get their noses up in the air because they’re so ethereal. But those attitudes aren’t usually the norm… except when it comes to atheists.

It’s like they have to prove their relevance on their own since there’s no God to do it for them.

Now that I think of it that does sound like an exhausting task. I guess I’d be cranky too if I had that weight on my shoulders.