Thursday, December 19, 2013

11th Commandment- Keep thy mouth shut when you are a commodity

    This here is a prime example of why I need to fight the urge to walk into oncoming traffic almost everyday. It amplifies my personal feeling of incompetence about thriving, nay simply surviving, in this world. As most of those who want to make a greater impact in this world, actually acquire the ever elusive job where you get to make a difference proves harder than, well, becoming famous and having a 24 hour platform where legions of people applaud or boo your every move. Where substance and depth are absent, but the dollars continue to roll in and you get to say whatever you want. Furthermore, you can eschew any sort of personal responsibility for personal statements or views with one flick of the wrist claiming victim because people take everything you say at face value. Truly, being able to turn any sort of criticism into a personal attack story has got to be daunting. But there remains few out there, who are slick enough to turn whole entire causes into the next greatest of the "whoa as me" moment. The woman from the above article has been literally driving me nuts ever since she acquired her great American empire of people who just take it too personally when people disagree with them. This latest fray or fracas or whatever you want to call it, is absolutely prime example.
   Now listen, I watch Duck Dynasty a lot, well I used to. I will not anymore. I cannot get behind what Phil Robertson said, no matter how many rail on those who criticize him. I just do not agree, I never will agree, and it is my right to disagree. The fatal flaw in Her argument (I cannot write Her Name. I feel like it is Beetle Juice, if you say it one too many times she will just show up.) is that just like Mr. Robertson had the right to say what he said, his critics also have the right to publically disagree. That actually is the fundamental definition of the first amendment. It does not say that, one person has the right to say something, but everyone else has to shut-up about it, and just bend over and take it. Because, essentially that is where her argument goes.
     Furthermore, Mr. Roberson is a very public figure, who said something to a very public magazine. I mean, seriously, it was freaking GQ. Can we even be certain, oh I do not know, The National Review would take that answer and squirrel it away somewhere? Probably not, that is the juicy shit that gets attention in 'Merica. It generates media gold, which She has become so skilled at herself. So, while A+E has to scramble to keep advertisers on board, who essentially pay for the show to be on the air, they decided to do what they did as a business decision. Which last I hear, aren't we a free enterprise capitalist country, where our employers can let us go if we become a liability to a brand instead of the asset we were first hired on for. You see, us mortals, and it looks like the Robertson clan is amongst us surprisingly, have to ownership of what we say if it affects the bottom-line. For Her it is this total lack of ownership that puts her in the black. So I can understand her confusion as to what is really going on.
     What really gets me though, and always has, is that it seems wholly acceptable to spout snake oil salesman rhetoric, not done so thoroughly since Huey Long. There is nothing un-American about speaking against something or someone you do not agree with. That is the first the amendment. It is just as ironic as Mr. Robertson's statement, ya know, the one about how he does not judge, but really totally judged a bunch of people in his previous statement. Anyways, what do I know. I just sit in my office everyday, barely making ends meat and I guess I am the idiot here. But for the record, it is not in the spirit of "political correctness" that caused this mess, it is the simple spirit of humanity. I, along with many other Americans, refuse to believe that one, good people can be condemned to hell and secondly, that good people do not have the right to pursue a life of liberty and happiness because it makes some men with beards uncomfortable.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WWJD People

   There is no Santa, no Easter bunny, no tooth fairy, nor fairy godmother. All made up figures whose sole purpose is to give us hope, belief, or faith. But they do not exist, never have really. Not to mention, those who really need hope, faith, a miracle or just a little help are often those who know better than to rely on those figments of our first world imaginations. It is something I have been thinking much about this season for many reasons, one obviously being that I need to do more to help those who need it. Be there for a child that has no one, an elderly person struggling with loneliness, or help a family out in a time of need. I want to do this, and "this" being more than just the obligatory drop off of food at the shelter, or dollar into the salvation army pot, or toy drop off. I want to be present in person, provide for spontaneous needs, and most importantly offer the shoulder in the flesh. It is the least I could do to help make up for the opportunities I have been granted with, which they haven't or lost. To help atone for the shit life has thrown at them, because I have been lucky enough to have it yet thrown my way.
    The impetus for this, blog 'tis the season and as we all know from Love Actually, "at Christmas you tell the truth." Being Christmas and all, I really got to thinking about everything. The lives we lead, our "American" way, the things we do, etc...which in my messed up mind of course started to connect a lot of things for me. I should also mention, I was thinking, driving, and listening to NPR, the second impetus for this post. The subject happened to be Pope Francis and of course discussing the people that he scares the hell out off.
 Aside from making me angry, it really harkened my head back to when I was in high school. Remember those WWJD bracelets that everyone wore? I do, because they annoyed the hell out of me, so did praying by the flagpole. Seriously? I have never been one for "showy" displays of faith, it might by the Catholicism in me, but that never jibed with the whole WWJD stuff. I do not think He went around with flashy bracelets, bragging about what may or may not have happened, or made outright flashy displays of his belief, aside from that whole cross thing. No, he was more like.......well I do not know, I seem to keep going back to Pope Francis. Funny, huh? The big J seems to me like he would have administered his good deeds on those who have not. He would have ministered to the poor, been disgusted with income inequality of today, he would have demanded acceptance of anyone by everyone. He would have acted with compassion and empathy. Thoughtfulness and mindfulness. He would have known what to say and when to say it, also kind of like Pope Francis. I am really digging the man. So then, does that mean Jesus was also Marxist??
   And I ask that question obviously tongue in cheek (though sadly there are some who believe that he probably is) because it is a ridiculous assumption. So, why in all that is holy (pun intended) would people accuse the Pope of being a Marxist? When is that lame little insult going to go away. Man WWJD people come on! So he scared the hell out of the people that really have a lot, and no....if you know me YOU DO NOT HAVE A LOT LETS STOP PRETENDING THAT YOU EVER WILL. See the only reason why this insult even exists other than reason that the people throwing it around have about as much emotional intelligence as a parasite and cannot think of  better insult, especially because it is not freaking the 1950's anymore, is beacuse they also make us all believe that we could be them. It perpetuates their greatest defense, which is us, who aspire to be them. WE CAN'T. I am not talking about the cool millionaire. I am talking about the ones with the UNGODLY sums. What to do they do with their money, aside from build ridiculous fallout shelter/bunkers in the middle of Arkansas? Give it away to politicans and PAC with the explicit intent of favorable legislation that will allow them to collect more and more and more while giving less and less and less. Strategically placing money here and there with the intent of skating by paying the least amount that they can to everyone but themselves is a hell of a lot worse sin in my book than railing against unfettered capitalism that has created the largest income gap since the 1920s. But what do I know, you will just call me a Marxist for saying that.
    So lets try to be a little reasonable and rational in this debate. Get rich or die trying, no one cares, I seriously doubt, save a revolution or something, that someone will actually come and take it away. (Aside from politicians for the greedy little campaigns and promises) All the Pope is saying, all I am saying, is when is enough enough for some people. What level of destruction economically, environmentally, or spiritually is enough. How many more billions do the Koch brothers need, the Walton family, the Russian Oligarchs, the highly corrupt international businessmen and women who earn their millions off the backs of those working in the Bangladeshi factories, those living in the Indian slums. or those who die at the hands of violent men all in the name of power. And we DARE insult someone who is trying to change this? Who is tying to make a difference thousands of times more noble than any dollar will EVER be worth. We call him a name for caring about the people humanity lost interest in long ago.
    I do not want to spend the next year of my life just shaking my head. So, I am getting off my ass and getting there in the flesh. There are a lot of people out there who need help. It does not make them bad, or lazy, or undeserving of our society and all that it can offer. It is time that we start understand, really understanding, that everyone grows up under different circumstances, with different opportunities or lack thereof. It is not black and white, it never has been and it never will be. You want to know why I am going to do this, because it is what Jesus probably did and it is what Pope Francis is doing. It is what Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II, Gandhi, and many more did. If Angelina Jolie can roll up her sleeves and realize it, I think we can too.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The "weight" of it all

     After years of struggling, I am finally becoming comfortable with being okay that I really do not know  much. It is my way forward, from here on out that there really is not much I know for certain. Don't get me wrong I do know some things, just not a lot about other people, what is going to happen in the future, the exact causal relationships of certain effects, etc...but mostly things about other people. The result of this has been kind of a wild ride.
     At first, in trying to come to grips with my "shortcomings" I panicked and blamed it on my family. Was I not given the proper tools in life to cope? What the hell? In truth I felt very short-changed. But, then I realized this truth in grad school...most of everything that comes out of so many peoples' mouth is subjective bullshit and opinion for the most part. That is when things got interesting and comical, but only for a short while, because then I realized that like-minded people feed off each others bullshit. So I started trying to call it out, which you cannot. My next step was to start trying to bullshit also, but I couldn't follow through, mainly because I lack the false or manufactured confidence and partly because I am too lazy to not be real. I just do not want to put forth the effort to gain that air of superiority, needed to maintain a sense of self-entitled wisdom to bestow upon everyone else. I also just cannot do it because through all of it, what has become glaring clear is that the world is way to gray from me to pursue a black and white bullshit crusade.

      By now you are probably like, "What the hell is this diatribe about?" "Seriously you sound like an ass, get to your point." Etc....My point is that most of the time these days, looking at Facebook becomes an exercise of self-control in overcoming my desire to passive-aggressively diss the self appointed know-it-alls. There....I said it, and that was not passive aggressive at all, giant step Shannon. I feel better. The reason this has come up, is that in a time of gratitude, there are so many people out there in general that, God, the only expression that comes to mind is, blah blah blah blah...."I do this", "We do that", "How can people be like x", "What is wrong with y", the ever condescending "Enjoy :)" and last but not least, the "LOOK AT ME" variety. The worst offender these days, the blogs about weight. Every damn day, in and out, Huffington post has a least one posted blog if not more. Yahoo has one, people re-post and re-post (obvs defo of viral) on Facebook and Twitter. People get up-in-arms about them, they agree with them, or like me get annoyed in general at the topic, which never, ever, ever, ever really talks about anything honestly because we are so self-absorbed that we cannot see past our own noses, me included.

    I used to get annoyed and offended by all of the weight/i workout like a bad-ass/real women have curves posts variety of posts. I still do, but in a different way now. I have always been very athletic, so I hated the "real women" have curves bullshit, always have.....a real woman has a vagina and that is pretty much it. In the same breath as someone who is athletic, works-out about the same amount as most of my friend, but looks as if I work out way more (come on I am 6ft, I could use my ever hated #blessed just to really rub it in:) but that was my last post), I realize some people are born with pretty good genes in that department. Then there are those who work out like MAD and think everyone else should do it and "if ya don't it is your fault you look like do, I do not even think about chocolate I am so much better than you because I can do 10 marathons in one day" kind of people who I just feel bad for. Everyone thinks that they are special enough, their experience deeper, their message the truth, that everyone should hear it and be thankful because now, and only now...can we all change our lives and be perfect like them. Either, accept our weight, work to look like so and so, or just be. (I prefer just being with my moderate work-out schedule and copious amounts of wine and sweets with my friends)

   Now  because I have realized that I truly only can understand my life and myself, all I see these blogs or articles as creating a massive population of women who are completely neurotic messes, who are never going be happy "just being." (Don't even get me started on the Mommy Wars bullshit...I do not even have kids because it scares me so much....Lay-off each other already) And no I am not sad for the women, like I said last time, we need to quit it. I am tired of hear about "fat-shaming," "thin-shaming," "thin-privledge," "real-women look like this (insert a picture of someone who looks like not one woman I know, because ironically, a real woman does not look like 1 person in general)." We have serious issues with trying to prove our worth and again not I do not feel bad that we think this anymore. If I am having a great time out or (gasp!) on a beach with a friend, it does not matter what size, shape, color, or form (unless water soluble that could be problem on beach) she happens to be. I am also going get highly annoyed if said friend cannot have a good time, because she is worrying about what other people, she will most likely never see again, think of her. Not to mention, I do have 2 working fists if someone would actually dare say anything, I am not advocating violence but we do not need to be victims to other peoples judgyness, which is another aspect. None of this bullshit is empowering, it is just invalidating other peoples values, feelings, beliefs, at the expense of the author feeling better about themselves.

    And here is the rub about what really pisses me off about all this crap....the only people we are truly hurting in all this are the people we often forget are around us....our KIDS. I work with teenage girls, they are not dumb. They have access to the internet, they see these as well. They see the neurotic tendencies all these women create for themselves. They are obsessed with putting on make-up (hhmmm I wonder why), they feel bad about the way they look more than we do. They make-up a large portion of the vulnerable in our society looking for guidance. They do not get asked to be put in living situations that they find themselves a part of. The do not ask to be our children. We are charged with giving them the confidence they need to succeed in the world. When we are more concerned with spouting our own bullshit, and how we look, we ignore the grayness of the world around us. As a woman, I am going to keep on doing what I am doing, because I like it. I like going to yoga sculpt with one of my most cherished friends, and going out after drinking a bottle of wine and have an amazingly rich dinner out (because that is what our Wednesday's are about, not the work out, not how we look, but how we feel). If that creates a few dimples in my ass then so be it. I am also going to work on encouraging friends to change if they are not comfortable with who they are, and if they are comfortable, then we better have a damn good time in our swimsuits regardless of who is around, because I could give a rats ass what you all look like. I am also going to be a good roll model for the teenage girls I am around. Because someone needs to calm the hell down about weight and do it. See the real issues. I am going to model the confidence I wish so badly to see in them. Because lord knows, they mimic us, neurotic tendencies and all. We owe it to them to share the truths about what we do know, and as long as you are confident and healthy you do not need to project your ideas about weight on anyone else. We can all "just be us" together.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Reflection, Redemption and Self-Acceptance

   Something has been bothering me for a long time and I've been having trouble putting my finger on it. IT literally has been driving me absolutely crazy. Gnawing away at my very soul, to put it melodramatically. However, the closer I get to the revelation of what's been bothering me, the better I feel about everything in life. And this morning, after reading articles about child plastic surgery, (yeah, how sad right?) bullying, and opinion  pieces in general I had a small epiphany that culminated into a clear thought! (I take my small victories where I can get it these days and a clear thought would  be that)
    You see, I try really hard at a lot of things in life, especially when it comes to being a good friend and family member. In taking a step back I realize, it seems I have created this fantastic situation where I am lucky to have so many people who accept me and want me to be a part of their lives despite all of my shortcomings, financially, physically, emotionally, or my wishy-washy nature (special thanks to my husband on that one). Because, in the grand scheme of life, those things do not really matter. I no longer care that I make little money, do not have a "real" career, gained a few pounds since my birthday (whoops) or lack a set direction in life. What matters is that I have people who like and love me despite, we all do and that is a fantastic situation.
     We seem to forget, with Facebook, Instagram, twitter, etc.., that materialistic or shallow pursuits do not matter in our most important relationships to our friends, families, and selves. Today we are in such a rush to show people what we have, what we do, convey how cool we are, that we are not being authentic to ourselves or the people that matter most. Worst of all, we are creating a massive population of neurotic, self-doubting, selfish, and judgmental people. For every missive out there that makes you feel like you are not good enough, I guarantee you probably have just as many well wishes and thoughts from your friends and family. It is unfortunate that this does not get attention or is not always realized and is certainly not pointed  out enough in our celebrity-worshiping, materialistic loving county. Someone succeeding at or trying so hard at something they are crazily passionate about is authentic and deep. That is beautiful, even if failure is a result.
        Nothing in life is ever easy or guaranteed, unless we remain true to humanity. Humanity in a sense that there is always someone out there, who possesses enough empathy and sympathy to truly care about you, even if they are a stranger. Consider yourself a thousand times more lucky if they are familiar. So here is what I can guarantee you:
-If you do not create something so inventive and become the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, your family, friends and strangers you touch in a positive, way will still think you are great.
-If you never look like Doutzen Kroes, Naomi Campbell, Robin Lawley or some other super-model we will all still think your a kick-ass human being.
-If you do not makes as much money as Warren Buffet, or even just your average local millionaire, you would be hard pressed to find someone worth a grain of salt who would think you are an utter failure.
-If you never achieve as much earned fame as Brad Pitt or unearned fame as Kim Karsdashian, you will always still dazzle the people who matter with your charm and wit.  
       This is where the clear thought comes in....the people who are judging you are not the ones that matter, ever. Rather strange or familiar face. After another awesome Wednesday night with one of my most perfect-to-me friends, I realized that neither one of us judges each for our short comings (I mean OH MY GOD I do not think it crosses our mind) and then I extended that to other friends and family. The ones that will truly matter do not judge me and I do not judge them and that is clear. Judging is a mechanism that we have unfortunately developed to cope with our own insecurities about ourselves. It is the outright display of our ideas of success defined by others, importance on materialism, and an inability to find all that is authentic about life. The pictures and brags about things that essentially do not matter on the internet. The obnoxious photos that are meant to convey how large of life so-and-so is living, the "I love my life and job am so #blessed" statements that is meant to reflect a heavenly push in their direction, not yours, so you must not be good enough for God even. It is a downright demoralizing process looking at the web some times. You realize how much you do not have, how short your short-comings really are, how foolish you are to place importance on something many people so clearly do not.
       Well, I am not going to do that anymore. I might not be #blessed (sorry I have to do with the hash-tag bc God it is soooooo obnoxious) with all that is important to someone else, but I am lucky to have what I do have. It might seem ridiculous to a lot of people, but it is nice to be truly comfortable around the people you care most about. You know what else I am not going to do, judge people. Even if they do brag because all that does is perpetuate the cycle of feeling like I am not good enough and if people are bragging then they probably also do not feel like they are good enough. I am tired of not feeling good enough by our society. Furthermore I do not want those who I care most about, or anyone for that matter, to feel like they are not good enough. I want to accept myself for who I am finally now that I realize that there are so many people out there who already do. Whats more is that I want you, whoever actually reads this thing, to feel the same way. Also importantly, I want to apologize on for myself (and our society) if I have ever made you feel like you were not good enough for anything. No one deserves to feel like that, and we need to stop feeling bad by starting to make others feel great for being who they are. Being human.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

OMG! I cannot handle this anymore

Ladies and Gentlemen,

    This post is dedicated to the Supreme Court of the United States of America, our revered yet incompetent Congress, and to the citizens of the US, especially those who continue to fight for our freedom either literally or through civil duty and community involvement, because you deserve better than what is representing our government today-
     This post is a plea. In the last few weeks of insanity I have been drive multiple times to avoid the news, avoid peoples' Facebook posts, and in general to drink copious amounts of "forget everything fluid" also known as wine. Some days, well most days, I have the distinct feeling that we all live in a bizzaro world. Past the point to flabbergastation (yes I just made that up) I would rather be a character in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs than a real life character dealing with the heap of bullshit here on earth in this great country with our great democrazy (it is not longer democratic) government.

     Increasingly these past few years it really has almost seemed like giant meatballs, cheeseburgers, and cupcakes are being hurled at us on a daily basis from some rogue invention. And I really hope I do not have to spell out that allegory (or metaphor, however you want to see it) for you. The fact of the matter remains that it feels more and more like I have less control of my life, my future, my finances, and the direction in which I would like to live my life. This really makes me angry. It really makes me angry because it is a compounding problem. You see I am a really MODERATE person. I mean I am from MN so shaking my head in disgust really passes for passionate behavior in our state. No one speaks for me or any one of my ilk as of late. I am not hollering at rallies, or holding up derogatory, disrespectful signs directed an a opposing political party. I am not clapping, crying, or convulsing in ecstasy at a speech given by a poisoned tongued politician whose only purpose is to insult, denigrate, and in general sharpen their megalomaniacal teeth. And neither is a majority of other Americans.

    Here are what normal American citizens do on a daily basis, SCOTUS and Congress, if you forgot:

We wake-up every morning. We make coffee (paid sales tax on it) and get our kids ready to the school that our property taxes pay for. We shower with our paid public utilities water, dry our hair with the electricity that we buy and get into our cars and go to work. On our way we might stop for gas, price dependent on each individual states gas tax. Then we work all day, of which part of our money earned goes to social security, Medicare, state, and federal taxes, which all pay for you guys. Which is fine, but we pay for you to do your jobs. Having house, car, and student loan payments plus children on top are freaking expensive. So we do what we can to get buy. I am NOT going to apologize on behalf of the American public for NOT being able to afford more to allow you to be elected. You should be a stand up person enough, have a good message, not rely on the "well-funded" machine to get you where you need to be. But, once you get there, we pay for you to do your job. So do your freaking job and listen to us. The squeaky wheel may get the grease but that does not mean they deserve or need enlightened human beings with what passes for a soul you should be able to distinguish this. Apparently you cannot.

      Here are non-normal American citizens do on a daily basis, SCOTUS and Congress, I know you are very familiar with it:


Seriously, if there is one piece of evidence for the justification of campaign contribution limits, these idiots have just presented it (SCOTUS SERIOUSLY?) How come not one of you has asked me for my opinion on it? I would love to sit down with my congressmen, Rep. Paul Ryan and Senator Ron Johnson and have an in-depth conversation about things. See where they are truthfully coming from and have them listen to me. I have a master's degree in history and part of my thesis on political ideology, I think I can hold my own. But because I cannot afford to donate millions of dollars, all of which was catalyzed by business not started by them, but inherited, they get to tell you what they think? Furthermore you actually too the time to seek out this information like some idiot minion. Their opinion and ideas are infinitely more important than the rest of ours because we can only afford to spot you a 20 or 100 here or there? Well you know what F U...all you are, are a bunch of soulless nitwits who could care less about your constituencies', so do us all a favor and stop pretending that you do.

Like I said...This makes me REALLY REALLY angry

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

We are all NUTSO

        It seems that, as of late, I have had a lot of experience with over-zealous crazy people. For example, everyday on my way to work I pass a grade school just off a county highway. The posted speed limit is 45 and there are always cops there. So I religiously go 45mph even in the summer when school is out. I probably drive past this school 6 times a week. Yet everyday there is a man who lives across the street yelling at everyone to slow down with a megaphone, or he is standing in his driveway with a speed gun. At first it made me angry that he was assuming I was speeding. Then I changed my tactic and flashed the number 4 and 5 to demonstrate that I was in fact going 45. This morning he yelled at me to slow down in his megaphone, again. So I just waved. There is no way, even with the evidence put forth, that I can ever convince him that myself and many others are not speeding through the area. He is so convinced of what he is doing that you just cannot tell him otherwise. Same goes for the crazy German lady Ed and I had to "pleasure" of sitting near at the yacht club's bar. Throughout our interaction, it was plain to see that she was a nut job, but Ed and I listened to her rantings smiling, nodding, and not uttering 1 word. (And yes for those who know me....I did NOT utter one word) Even when she randomly started insulting me because of the way I look (I know I have a mild case of Bitchy Resting Face, but come on) and because my hands were cold,  I still did not say anything. You know why? It would not have mattered. You can not have a rational conversation with crazy, much less convince them that there is a possibility they could be mistaken.
         These interactions hurt my feelings, even though I know they should not. I did nothing wrong in either case. These people feel so strongly in whatever notion that they are willing, or unaware, that their actions impact other people adversely or they just do not care. I guess, terrorist are kind of like that too. They do not care who they hurt, kill or maim. They feel so strongly about their mission that they will carry it through to the end. No matter how unreasonable or irrational. It is why we do not negotiate with terrorist. Right? Are we going to free all the prisoners at Guantanamo if terrorist overrun a place and take some hostages? No. It is why terrorist make bad statesman. I mean look at how poorly it went with Hamas and the PLO, competing governing body's with essentially the same end goal. They feel so strongly about their cause, but have such opposing yet strong convictions about getting there. So what the poor Palestinians lack is a strong, united, leadership body. It is funny that we have something in common with the Palestinians huh??
       The definition of statesmanship is as follows;
1:  one versed in the principles or art of government; especially :  one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government or in shaping its policies
2:  a wise, skillful, and respected political leader 
        Wikipedia describes it as, "the practice of a Statesman, usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term. When politicians retire, they are often referred to as elder statesmen. Statesmanship also conveys a quality of leadership that organically brings people together and of eldership, a spirit of caring for others and for the whole." In Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, he believed it consisted of, "A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman."  
           It is by those definitions that I ask if anyone in our governing body, this on the first day of our impotent government, honestly lives by these standards? Do they lead both you and your neighbor from a different political party equally and honestly? In an ideal world, I would demand that you answer these questions organically. But I cannot, because, this is no longer an ideal world. It is a world where we can no longer bite our tongues with the civility practiced by former generations. We allow an inner fury and emotion, either genuine or manufactured, to spew from our comments, expectations, and actions towards others. We are so convinced in our convictions that it no longer matters nor is it no longer visible that we hurt others. It is unfortunate that we believe our civic duty to demand our wants and needs that we have lost sight of what actual civic duty entails. 
          I am disappointed in myself for feeling that they only course of action is disengagement. It is also the point where I realize that we no longer can blame the politicians for their inability to govern or be statesmen. Long gone are the days when rational and insightful debates can take place. Where wit and intellect ruled the day. We have given way to sharp tongued demagogues and megalomaniacs who rue the very basic tenets of logic and civility. We now live and die by the sword that anyone can govern, regardless of their basic maturation and skill level when convened in the greatest of all American institutions....our Congress. It is we who put them there. It we who demand certain behaviors. It is us and it saddens me. I am 100% convinced that most American's want the best for our PEOPLE. We have the same end goals for the most part. The ability of true statesmen is to "organically bring us together" to figure out how we can be the best that we can to move our country forward. So again, I ask, does your statesman/woman lead you and your neighbor together equally and honestly? Do they understand you and your neighbors diverse needs and are they mature and skilled enough to reconcile and make the hard choices demanded  of them? What message are you giving them? It is high time for an introspection of our convictions, because they are much different than our values and morals. A divided government is not what makes America great. That is not democracy and we need to remember that divided we will fall.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Zero Imagination

      Everyday there are articles posted online excoriating any sort of humanities degree that still remains in existence. Articles such as this one, They make me very, very, angry when I read them. I majored in the humanities. I mastered in the humanities. According to the most unimaginative dolts who write these articles, I have a worthless degree with zero job skills. I am not sure of anything that could be further from the truth. There are many reasons why a degree in the humanities are very worthwhile, and I would further venture that the job skills we receive are those gathered outside of the university system, with regards to the obvious engineer, doctor, scientist, etc...Additionally, aside from waxing some bullshit about how great a humanities degree is, lets all be honest with each other and agree that maybe common sense should, can, and does carry us further in this world than a generic business degree.
       If you are going to go to school to be truly trained for a career, then go to a tech school, barring the above referenced majors that make going to a university a necessity. The original curriculum of our fair college system, up until the financial sector took over, placed a heavy emphasis on the humanities. You know why? Of course you do not know why, if everyone knew why I would not have to write this, so I will let you in on a little secret. The majority of the foundation on which we base or have developed our society upon comes from the humanities. Philosophy, religion, law, history, politics, literature, art, and music. For most of human history these tenets have been the pillars of society. The humanities are civilization. I cannot believe for the life of me, that I feel the need to remind everyone of this. The humanities are more than just a superfluous waste of time.
       I would also venture a guess that anyone with a humanities background is a more proficient and comprehensive reader than an architect, computer science or accountant. Would love to give a little shout out to my lawyer friends who are well versed in the art of reading long briefs in a very short amount of time and retaining everything they read. Further more, an asset that I can very much attest to owning due to my background in humanities, anyone who has ever studied history or philosophy has a greater advantage of putting the pieces together to see and understand the whole picture. If that is not an important job skill, than I do not know what is. If you specialize in one thing, and one thing only, then really how far can you see? I have an engineer friend who admitted to me that after he begrudgingly completed his schools humanities requirement, it made him a better engineer and the difference was noticeable among his colleagues in the industry. Also, do I have to get started on logic? There is nothing I love more than watching a lawyer or philosophy lover argue with a business background only person. The ability to relate to the other and by that I mean co-workers, clients, customers, the other ideas, other solutions, in general the ability to think outside of your realm and be comfortable and insightful  in response should be a valuable skill sought out by employers. If that is not convincing, then our working world is damned if we do not place value on these skills.
        Furthermore, if you are going to college without any job skills, your parents have done you a great disservice. I have been working since the age of 14, and playing tons of competitive sports. I have also worked in the business world since I graduated with my bachelors degree. If there is any skill I have lacked in, I either research and correct or open my lips and ask a mentor, employers cannot expect college graduates to know everything and I am sure they don't. Just because some corporate human resources God/Satan on Wall Street deemed an education in the humanities as waste of precious brain power, it should not usher the downfall of an important way of learning how to think and study people. If you would like to believe that, then I am offering you a challenge to prove me wrong. Take just a week and remove all benefits of a humanities education from your surroundings. No movies/TV (performance art), no books/magazines (literature), no art, not one note of music, you cannot discuss politics (philosophy/political science/history) no discussion of monetary policy (philosophy), no discussion of history, all good food gone (the culinary arts), you cannot attend church or discuss religion (religion/philosophy). Those are just few. But let me know how it goes.
        Every skill obtained from degree in the humanities is 100% transferable to a career in the outside world. I appreciate the scientists, technology oriented people, engineers, mechanics, welders, builders, etc...I can see and understand the amazing things they can produce and create. Can you imagine the great things that can be discovered with a little bit of collaboration with someone who knows people? To limit our knowledge, because of lack of imagination, as a society to a few specialized areas then that is world I do not want to be a part of. Without the humanities our civilization looses its inability to grow. I might not be able to build a sky-scrapper or computer app, or fix my car, but I can help those who can envision the growth of their business and relationship with clients. If the business world refuses to seek out and understand the potential of these thought processes, well, I suggest going back to school and studying a little philosophy or literature. It might open your eyes up to a whole new world-

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

On sympathy and Empathy

      When tragedy strikes, or bad things happen and the life you are trying to lead is pulled right out from underneath you, one of the hardest issues to overcome is the simple question of "why". Why do things happen, why the timing, and most poisonous, why me. Some of my dearest friends are asking these very questions right now. These people are kind, generous, hard working, their list of attributes could go on and on. There is nothing harder than having to watch family and friends go through this, aside from the agony of experiencing it yourself. The ever wretched "why me" leads to some of the most self-inflicting emotional and mental wounds that the human mind can imagine. Its inevitable path leads to, "What did I do to deserve this?" "What is wrong with me?" "Why am I a failure and others are not?" I happen to think these are the three most unfair questions anyone ever has to ask themselves. One reason, is because in all likelihood nobody deserves to go through the shitty muck of life. It is something we have to do because we have been put here to navigate our own way. Secondly, it is frustrating because we will never truly understand, "why me?" Maybe we are not supposed to understand, but it does not make that haunting feeling that will follow for life any better.
        Some people surrender and attribute things to God's will. For me, that is too much like a Greek tragedy. How come some ethereal being gets to decide what pain we do and do not endure. It also makes the whole, "What did I do to deserve this" question a whole lot harder to swallow. Especially when you did nothing. Some attribute it to nature or the randomness of the Universe. Equally disturbing when looking at the latter questions. Am I randomly chosen to fail in this or that endeavor? It is truly frustrating to have to justify tragedy, but as enlightened human beings it seems to be in our nature to want to know, "Why me or why us?"
       So what do we do when the people closest to us are smacked with an incomprehensible event that, hopefully only momentarily, shatters their hope, happiness, and confidence? I think the best thing to do is be there, and be present. Listen and give reassurance. Sympathy and empathy are some of human beings greatest and most beautiful of attributes, despite what some say. Life is already hard, what is amazing about humans is the resilience we possess to bounce back, even if it takes awhile. Friends and family of those who are in a moment of suffering can and should lend a hand to help pull each other out of these times. No one will ever be able to answer why, but at least we can lend our sympathy and empathy in times of need.
          Not one person I know will ever "deserve" any of the bad stuff that happens to us throughout our lives. Each and everyone of us must remember that. If it is a person worth knowing and loving, they deserve 100% of us. I think it is important that we all remember that, and when tragedy does happen, we will not know why, but only that our friends and family are their for us always and that it will pass.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Come On Seriously....

          This is only and 100% in response to the idiotic comments made by almost every male on-air "talent" on Fox News the past few days addressing the single statistic that 40% of women now serve as the breadwinners for their families. I am truly and utterly disgusted by their comments and no matter how much they blog about "feminist" and "emo lefties getting their undies in a wad" over their comments....well Mr. Erickson and Mr. Bolling, this is one woman giving you a big gigantic fantastic F U!
         I am not even the breadwinner in my family, not even close by far. But I know a ton of women who make more than their respective partners and guess what guys?? They work just as hard, are just as educated, and deserve to be paid what they are paid. It amazes me that your arguments for this as some sort of travesty is even accepted. Mr Bolling believes, "If you read into that study," he said, "the reason is exactly what we've been talking about right here: the breakdown of the American family." For the love of all logic man.....we are coming out of one the most punishing recessions. Mr. Bolling, when Dad gets laid-off, would you rather them collect welfare so Mom can stay home, do laundry and cook the hamburger helper which is all they could probably afford. Or should she go out and get a job because she can. Why does it so holy offend you that a mother or wife could go out and contribute to the well being of her family, possibly monetarily more so than her husband? Pray tell me how in Gods name this one statistic is contributing to the downfall of American society? And Mr. Erickson,  your male as "dominant role" is far from scientific or even logical. Do you understand what sets humans apart from all other mammals?? Apparently not, since you lack the intelligence to even understand enlightened human beings. There are already enough men in this society who undeservedly walk around like silver back gorillas, we do not need more. As for Mr. Lou Dobbs, what a disppointment you came out to be in this argument.
         The rest of your arguments are so offensive and idiotic they should not even be addressed. The level of incompetence you have shown towards your "profession" these last few days in my opinion warrants some serious demotions. You are undeserving in your position as mouthpieces for anything.  I would also like to thank Greta Van Susteren (never ever thought I would do that but I am) for calling you neanderthals out. Which just shows, people who do believe in different things can actually find a lot of commonalities. I applaud her convictions and standing up for her ability!
          I am so tired of people being able to bully their crappy opinions on to everybody. You cannot pick and chose the data provided for legitimate studies to sustain a status quo that only serves you better and your kind. Why can we not demand more from these people whose views and opinions reach millions! We need to demand more civility from each other. The fact that they are able to sit their on television and equate women's success with the downfall of American society is abhorrent and incorrect. It is their notion of how life should be for everyone that is contributing to the downfall of American society. Why are they still on the air? Get someone who is a little more serious, lets say about life in general, who can actually put into perspective what is important. Someone who live in reality, lets say.

 For once I wholeheartedly agree with Greta Van Susteren...these men have truly lost their mind and for that they need to go-

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Little Justification

           I am really tired of doing everything wrong. I mean EVERYTHING. As a "news" junkie, well..."read anything interesting put in front of my face" junkie, I tend to take quick breaks throughout the day to either read a quick news story, and I also have NPR on as I work, so I hear them as well. This is most definitely contributing to the downward spiral of self-loathing I find myself wandering down even further every day. For instance,today, I just learned that I am such an old-fashioned, feminist wannabe, loser because I failed to take my husbands name when we got married. Regardless of whatever personal reasons (it seemed like a lot of work and I am lazy, plus I already had a functional last name that I rather enjoyed, not to mention the fact that it is just a name) people feel the need to write an article or blog for a news source to publish, via the web, letting me know how wrong I am in that decision. Wrong apparently, because...OMG...sit down....I am not longer part of MEANINGLESS trend! Holy shit, I no longer am doing what everyone else is doing,. If I cared maybe I would hyper ventilate in a paper bag, run to the social security office screaming for help, drink myself into a stupor, or just not give a shit, which is where I am currently at. But, I do not need to be criticized or shamed into doing what everyone else thinks I should be doing. Why do we continue to believe that we have a right to constantly criticize everything that everyone does all the time, regardless of how mundane and unimportant the topic truly is? Now, I know, we (everyone in the world) should not take this personally. If people ultimately feel the need to point out everyone else's flaws, there is usually something else bothering them. Even though they address these feeling like as toddler would, we should just take it in stride, because here is my point, the polite, empathic, and generous thing to do is let if roll off our backs and do not do the same thing to other people hoping this cycle to negative interactions between people ends.

           Our society is just plain mean and I fear it is getting meaner and ruder by the day. People feel entitled to insult each other on Facebook and Twitter, driving, in line, at bars or restaurants (patrons and staff) and in the office. It is a society conducive to criticizing people for the most frivolous reasons to make ourselves feel better or more important. My mother always used to tell my sisters and I when we fought that, "If you can't say something nice then don't say anything at all!" Followed by a forced one minute hug. Twenty years later, she cannot be more right. Why is it so hard for people to just shut their mouths or arrest their fingers at the key board? I am not one who gets off on making other people feel bad, even if it is justified. I just really have a hard time doing it and on the occasion it does happen I literally lose sleep over it. I also am a very pensive person to say the least. Everything I do in life is very intentional and thought out. From what my last name is, my college major, who I vote for, all the way to the products that I buy. Hence, why I and a lot of other people out there take constant insults about decisions we make in life personally. I am proud of my morals and values. I am not exceptionally materialistic. I do not judge people based on what they have or do not have. I like to judge them on who they are.

       Furthermore, everyone has different life experiences and backgrounds. Who are we to invalidate each others feelings, emotions, or beliefs, which is what we do when we constantly harp on the decisions we all have to make on a daily basis. I am proud of what I have done in my life. I do not need some news article telling me that I picked the wrong major in college, fucking up henceforth, the rest of my life and career path. I am proud of my political beliefs. I know what I value and why. I worked hard to write a thesis on political ideology, I do not need someone to tell me via Facebook or Twitter that I am an idiot or shallow because of who I do or do not support politically. I am proud to have amazing friends from all sides of the political spectrum and it is what it is and we all accept each other for who we are. I love my friends for the people they are, their generous hearts, I know how hard they work at life in general, who am I to tell them they are wrong at anything? Additionally, everyone out there works hard and often times crappy jobs or 2 jobs to make it. Regardless of how much they get paid, they are worth far more for what they do or do not value in life, than what their paycheck says. Just because people may choose a smaller house or a simpler life does not mean they have less value as people.

         Life as we know it is hard enough. In anger, or frustration, it is never OK to make people feel like they are less of person because they made a different choice or one you do not like, no matter how big or small. There are so many important issues that need solving, when we spend more time making other people feel like shit than getting our daily issues fixed, we waste time. Making sure that we take the time out of our day to say, "I told you so" or hoping other people fail, is a waste of humanity. Actually blindly believing that your way, idea, or problem, is the best, most important, or only way, is failing to see the joys in everyday life, such as, sharing in experiences with people who are different, learning more from others and the world around you, and just plain being decent. We need to encourage each other to be different and take risks. That is how humanity has gotten to where it is today. How about we enjoy the fruits of our past efforts and focusing on how we can make it even better for everyone that comes after us? I would rather spend my time on this earth learning and trying to understand more, than convincing everyone that I am right and therefore, more important all the time. Regardless of political beliefs, yearly income, or livelihood, everyone can treat others the way they want to be treated. Lift others up instead of clawing them down. Be human-

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In support of....

            In regards to today's upcoming Supreme Court review of California's Proposition 8, I felt like certain issues needed to be put into perspective. On my way to work as I was listening to NPR sum up both sides' arguments, it was impossible for me to accept the main argument of those who support the ban on gay marriage. As a married heterosexual who has zero desire to "create" children, knowing many people who want children but are unable to have them, and working with children in general, bringing them into the argument against gay marriage is perhaps the most absurd logic for myself personally. The whole marriage is what it is today because people have gotten married for pro-creation purposes is offending to all of us who have loving partners, whatever sexual orientation, who might not have children by design or by choice. I married my husband because he is my partner, best friend, and in general, my one person. I want him to be my "in case of emergency." I chose him because I want it to be him when I have to face all of life's trials and tribulation, just like anyone else who chooses a partner. Life sucks a lot of the time and everyone deserves the ability to chose the person they so desire to navigate the good times and the bad.

          Additionally, anyone who works in our educational systems or works with children can plainly see if they have love and support they flourish, period. So, here is where my problem lies. What is to fear from a homosexual relationship when it comes to their kids and our kids? I can't figure it out. Are we scared the Brad and Chad will dress little Johnny in too much pink causing him to, ahem, become gay like Brad and Chad? They have no more ability to "turn" little Johnny gay, than their own parents did in trying to "turn" them straight. Or are they afraid that Susan and Pat will cause little Johnny to become angry and resentful because there was no father figure to teach him how to throw a football? I am sorry, but in my relationship with my husband, I am the one who is more well rounded in sports. I will be the one teaching little Johnny how to throw. If not me, then either one of his 2 grandfathers will do, or 5 uncles and we are not the only one who has brothers and sisters out there.

       But here is the point that is so mind bogglingly frustrating for myself. There are a host of issues that threaten our children for real, everyday that are not getting any attention whatsoever. For example, the general dumbing down and lowering of expectations of our children that is a by product of our own obsessive materialism. We applaud people with money and things regardless of how they got them or achieved success. Some great examples, the salaries of the teenage mothers on "Teen Mom" or the success of shows like "Jersey Shore" or "Buck Wild." (Did the whole possession of heroine, hillbilly heroin, or meth whatever it was surprise us?) We rarely look up to people with real business or academic acumen unless they sell themselves out somehow.

      Furthermore, I am more prone to worry (obsessively so actually) about our endemic drug culture, rampant poverty, and vicious gun violence that many of our children live in everyday. Brad and Chad look a lot better than a strung out mother or father. Susan and Pat's suburban home is probably a little more comfortable than the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago's west side. If you did  not get a chance to listen to the Harper High School feature on "This American Life" I suggest you do so. You would have learned about the school trying to deal with the fact that 29 students or former students were shot in one year.  Or heard the sobering statistic from the Miami-Dade superintendent, "Over the past four and a half years, I have buried or attended viewings for 44 children who have died violent deaths right here in our community."

    With everything that we know going on out there today, I am not only confused but angry that this is the issue many have decided to "fall on their sword" for. I want to protect our children from the real and prominent dangers out there. There are real guns and gangs shooting kids. There are real problems with illegal drugs and prescription drugs. Also, in the years since the recession began in 2008 it is  hard to step away from the problems with poverty in this country. Why do we not fight these social ills with the vigorous fervor that those who oppose gay marriage fight with?  I worry more about the kids who walk to school in the winter with out a proper coat, than I do about the little Johnny in his top of the line North Face gear who has two moms or two dads. These are the real issues. The great thing, is that if a kid has love and support, they can overcome a lot. It does not matter what gender that love comes from, be it a mom and a dad, two dads, or two moms. Every kid deserves security and safety period.