Perpetual Adolescence

Something strange to notice these days, is how much time young adults spend trying to remain in their adolescence. A record number of young adults or choosing to remain living at home with their parents, or living with roommates into their thirties. While some of these people have good jobs and contribute at home; not their home, but their parents home, many of them eke out an existence working at a Starbucks or similar coffee shop, or in a music store. They tend to have useless degrees as well, such as sociology, associates level psychology, or the dreaded gender studies. These are expensive courses that put people in terrible that while not preparing them financially to pay that debt back.

These are the people you see protesting all the time. They join groups like Antifa and travel around the country, unwashed and angry. They’ve got the time for it, because they’re not working an actual job. They tend to be very aggressive toward those that promote the STEM fields in school, and try to surround themselves with people much younger than them, more impressionable. 

Psychologist and cultural critic Jordan Peterson calls this a Peter Pan existence. This title makes sense. Peter didn’t want to grow up, and despised anyone who did. Captain Hook was the specter of adulthood, with the crocodile constantly chasing him, ticking, ticking, constantly ticking. A literal form of mortality. Time had already gotten a taste for him, and wanted the remainder.

Isn’t that just how it is though? We spend every day heading toward the end, inevitable and inexorable. We don’t get a choice in it, and yet, among the generation known as millennials, there is an idea that you can remain young until you suddenly wither and die. 

These are people for whom, when they reach their thirties and finally have to open themselves up to reality, things are going to be much harder because of the years they have wasted thinking that they are the ones that know better. These are people who are going to be bitter, angry, frustrated that their reward for trying to change the course of the country will be laboring until their final day.

Those of you who are reading this and have escaped that fate, good for you. Those of you who are reading this, however, and are still paying money into a course that’s only going to teach you how to divide people up into groups, get out before it’s too late. You deserve better, and so do the people around you.

There’s nothing that says personal responsibility better than piloting your life in a direction that’s not going to hurt yourself or those around you.

An Evening in Downtown Phoenix.

I was at the Trump rally in Phoenix last night. I ended up getting there quite late, roughly 7 o’clock. The last few people who were going to get into the convention center were entering. The sidewalks were crowded, with protesters on one side of the street and Trump supporters on the other. The streets themselves were relatively clear, thanks to the phoenix police. Knowing that there was no chance of getting in, I wandered the streets and enjoy the sights and sounds of the throng on both sides of the street. 

Amid cries of “Fuck Trump!”, which has become the standard battle cry for the erudite leftists when they find they have no actual argument, there were a group of BLM members that were playing a rap song on a boombox that also featured the term “fuck Trump”. A highly imaginative group on that side of the street. 

Meanwhile, on the conservative side of the street, there were discussions going on as to what was being said by Donald Trump inside of the building, as many people were streaming it on their phones while they stood on the sidewalk. 

There was one guy wearing a white wife beater that was admonishing the conservatives by naming downtrodden communities like Harlem and Compton. Y’all wouldn’t understand, he said. Y’all don’t know, he said. How little this man does now. I grew up in a place like that. Unlike him, however, I didn’t sit around for decades feeling sorry for myself. I decided that my lot in life was not the hand I was dealt. I, therefore, did not sympathize with this man. 

I saw police on horses wearing riot gear, and police on the ground wearing the same. It was far too hot outside for what they were wearing. And yet, it was necessary, due to the situation that could pop off at any moment. When Trump’s address ended, The attendees, obviously conservatives and Trump supporters, filed past the protesters, with mere feet of space and a thin line of police tape separating the two groups. 

I was prepared for a fight at one point, as a man who had his little girl with him who couldn’t possibly have been above ten years old, was harassed and shouted at by the protesters with a level of profanity that a girl that young should not have to listen to. Her father was obviously perturbed and offended, as he flipped the bird at the group. Two protesters broke off from the rest and began to follow him and his daughter. I followed as well, prepared to put them both on the ground if they attacked the man and his daughter. Eventually they backed off and went back to their group, to resume shouting at the passing conservatives. 

While I wandered, I made sure to listen to the conversations going on. Something that struck me was how everyone on the liberal side of the street seems to be looking for a solution to their problems that didn’t involve actually solving them. They wanted somebody to point the finger at, someone to blame. Not themselves, though. Clearly, nobody can be responsible for their own life and decisions. They were born poor, and raised by single mothers. They can’t possibly have any responsibility in this world.

There were a small group of BLM members that were trying to blame Whitey for every problem they ever had, but they mainly kept to themselves.

There was one point during which a very large and muscular man wearing a trump shirt passed by. The protesters became conspicuously quiet at that moment. They who are so keen on violence to spread their word, but only toward those who are unlikely to hit back. It was very telling. 

Among the people wandering around observing was a man who was dressed in furs and wearing a spirit hood. He appeared to be a centrist, and was trying to let both sides know that they were wrong in opposing each other.

Anyways, once all of the attendees left, and the only people remaining where the conservatives and protesters of various ilk on opposite sides of the street, the police deployed teargas to disburse the crowds. I don’t blame them one bit. I’m sure that thousands of people on either side of the street did not have work to get to in the morning, and would’ve gladly stayed there all night carousing, arguing, and fighting. In that heat, in the clothing they had to wear, with dehydration weighing on them, I fully understand why the police did what they did. I also fully support it. They had families to get home to. They were tired, and had beds they wanted to collapse into. 

In short, the evening was relatively uneventful, compared to what was expected. Phoenix showed that it, as a collective, has a little more class than some of the other cities we’ve seen. I’m proud to live here, and look forward to seeing other cities live up to what I saw last night.

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Charlottesville’s Web: A Primer for the Uninitiated.

In this week that follows the events in Charlottesville, I see things happening that are not good for us; as individuals, or as a country. Blame is being thrown around like a quarter-billion person game of hot potato, except we’re all holding the ball when the timer goes off.

Who’s To Blame?

There is blame toward the white supremacists who started the rally there, and rightly so. In this melting pot of a country, racism has no place. Despite the fact that they obtained a legal permit and were there legally, they were doing something that ultimately hurts the well-being of the country. I do appreciate, though, that they showed their faces, though as to whether that was bravery or stupidity and ignorance, the jury is still out. Being pro-white is not, in itself, a bad thing. It’s not racist. Being anti-any other color, however, is unacceptable. It is racist. Many of these white supremacists have ancestry that contains races they claim to be against. I guess they’re just starting from their current generation.

Opposite these neanderthals were Antifa, a relatively new group that dedicates itself to eradicating fascism. What they don’t do, however, is stop being fascists themselves. It’s as though they read Saul Alinsky and used his writings as instructions, rather than a warning against further acts of fascism. Antifa contains members of all races, but leaves the respectable ones at home. You won’t find Martin Luther King Jr in this bunch, though Malcolm X makes quite a few appearances. They cover their faces and wear hoods in an attempt to not be identified. I’d equate them with the KKK, but even in their hoods, the KKK is still dumb enough to tell you their names.

Antifa have made huge strides over the past couple of years in eradicating free speech. They do this through acts of mob violence toward anyone who doesn’t fully agree with them, and through destruction of property. Anyone remember Bike Lock Guy? He was a college professor who donned a mask and split a man’s head open with a bike lock, then ran away like a coward. Now, he must have had a good reason, right? No, he just saw someone who supported Trump and started swinging. There have been many more violent acts committed by Antifa, but so far, their masks have allowed them to remain anonymous in those instances.

As yet, Antifa has received no blame by the media for the violence that went on in Charlottesville.

A third group was represented, though at this time, nobody seems to know whether they were actually there, or just Antifa members carrying their cry. Shouts of “Black Lives Matter” could be heard during the counterprotest.

Black Lives Matter is a group I will gladly lump in with the KKK. They have fought hard for apartheid, even going so far as to gain ‘black only’ spaces at various college campuses, and even taking over Evergreen college, to varying degrees. Bernie Sanders was shouted down by them, even though he supported them, simply because his skin is white. White allies of BLM have found themselves attacked and ousted because they aren’t black. The founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, Yusra Khogali believes that white people are genetic defects and need to be wiped out. BLM is a hate group, and is racist, and should be treated just like the KKK.

Aside from that, we have Donald Trump himself. A man who has spent many decades making strides in racial inclusivity, is now labeled a racist, because that’s the word the left uses when they don’t have an argument. He didn’t say anything about Charlottesville for two days following the riots. Anyone can see that he should likely have already been denouncing all sides of the riot before the crowds had even cleared. Instead, he waited, and then delivered a middling response. A smart person knows he’s simply not up to this task. Most people, however, decided that anything short of him going to Charlottesville and shooting a KKK member himself was racist.

Finally, we have the general populace. Celebrities have come out denouncing the KKK, which they should. Some, though, denounced white people specifically. Jennifer Lawrence has come out saying that people need to identify all members of the KKK rally. Just what we need. A bunch of basement-dwelling, blue-balled neckbeard white knights vying for J-Law’s attentions by pointing to anyone they saw at the rally. This can’t possibly go wrong. Oh wait, it already did.

Let’s Point Fingers

It looks like everyone is looking for someone else to blame. The KKK wants to blame those nasty scary black people who are black because of their sins, not because their homelands required melanin in their skin. BLM wants to blame those pasty demonic white people who were invented by Yakub as something for black people to fight against. Antifa wants to blame anyone who isn’t them. Everyone wants to blame Trump.

It looks a whole lot like people trying to blame anyone but themselves. Everyone in the KKK and BLM needs to realize that they, as individuals, decided to be racists and join groups based on persecuting another race. Children aren’t born racist. My (white)kids know that black people are dark because of melanin, and are otherwise the same as white people.

Antifa members need to look at themselves and realize that they have become a militia, and that it is their fault that their protests turn ugly. Meeting words with violence is never okay, and labeling someone as a bigot(often falsely) doesn’t immediately give you the moral high ground.

The Best We Can Be

We, as Americans, need to look to ourselves as the example. Don’t be like Trump. Don’t be like the KKK. Don’t be like BLM. Don’t be like Antifa. Be decent. Be kind. Care for your fellow man. Take the blame when you screw up, realize it’s okay and doesn’t define you, and try to do better.

I realize this sounds trite, but be the best you that you can be. Be the change you want to see in the world.

Blame.

Life isn’t all unicorns and rainbows, but, who’s to blame?

Life doesn’t always go as well as we hope it does. Often, just when things are going smoothly, something will happen to muck it all up. It happens. That’s life. What do we do when things don’t go right, though? Often, we look for the reason it happened, and just as often, we fail to look at ourselves.

How often do you hear people blame some outside force for what happens in their lives? There are small things, like blaming the train or bus for your lateness to work; or blaming the dog for eating your homework. Those are small everyday things, and they generally get put into the category of Excuses. The thing with these is that everybody knows they are excuses. Oh, the train was late? You should’ve caught an earlier one. Your car broke down? Maybe you should’ve maintained it better. People don’t pander to these things.

Why, then, don’t more encompassing things get relegated to the Excuses bin? A common one I hear, often used by awful people about why they’re awful, is their upbringing. People without a father growing up are supposed to be given a hall pass to be lower achievers? Apparently, lacking a father suddenly makes you go out and commit crimes or engage in otherwise illicit behavior. Why is the crime rate higher among people raised by single mothers? Should we lay the blame on women?

Of course not. We’re smarter than that. To whom, then, shall the blame fall? A common one is society, or The System. The system is designed to keep people down, they say. It’s especially designed to keep down those of certain racial backgrounds.

I grew up in that system. Moreover, I grew up in the same household as someone who constantly blames the system. Both of us had no father figure. We had the same mother, who was single and went to work. Both of us had the same level of opportunity. He chose gang life and crime. I, while often invited to take part, did not. He’s been in and out of jail multiple times, and I, despite times of extreme hardship, and opportunity to commit crime, have not.

Now, I’m not saying I’m perfect. I have anger issues. I used to punch holes in the walls of my home every day. Thing is, I could have blamed a number of outside forces and not helped the problem. I could have blamed…

The System.

Lack of a father figure.

A negative home environment.

Bigotry.

Rich people.

Bullies.

My depression.

My anxiety disorder.

Poverty.

Instead, I paid attention to my triggers, and instead of trying to rid my life of them, I developed resistance to them. I rarely punch walls anymore, or anything, for that matter.

It might sound a little absurd, but most personal problems can be handled that way. It simply takes a little maturity and introspection. Oh, and patience. Tons of patience.

Maybe a little bit of personal responsibility, too.

It’s easy to talk about solutions to problems. It’s far easier to blame something or someone for them. How often did you hear people blame Obama for their financial woes? How often do you hear people blame Trump for random thugs committing violent acts in the name of freedom? How often do you hear people blame every current president for the country getting worse?

Not a single one of them has a real solution though.

Maybe if they worried about themselves instead of everything they can blame, they’d find a solution to their own problems real quick.

Making a better you takes work, and it takes knowing that the current you is not the best one. Aren’t you worth the work?