Lacking Lack

Kierkegaard said that there will come a time when the only thing we lack is lack. It appears as though we’ve reached that time right now. People in the United States are so privileged and so inundated with things to have in things to make their lives more comfortable, that they are now inventing problems.

Beyond that, when those invented problems are solved, they simply create new problems. The LGBT community is a prime example of this. It used to be that they wanted gay rights. They got them, and then it became about transgender people. OK, go ahead and be transgender. We’ll even make one of you woman of the year. Then, they wanted to pass laws, which were passed in Canada, that force you to change your child into a transgender person if they even mention feeling like the opposite sex. It is also considered hate speech(another made up problem) to misgender someone, even if they have a made up gender such as xir or ze.

It’s classic psychological maneuvering. If I want you to go a mile from where you are and you don’t want to, I’ll do my best to convince you to move an inch. Once I’ve succeeded, I’ll convince you to move another inch. It continues that way until one day you find yourself a mile away from where you started. That’s what’s going on right now with all of these social justice movements.

It seems as though the days are long gone when a person would count their blessings. In the United States, and most other westernized countries, even the poorest citizen is in the top one percent of the world. Americans live in a place that most other people on this earth would gladly give up everything to come to, and many have. There is no other country on earth as sought after as a home than the USA.

Maybe it’s time to count our blessings instead of creating new things to lack.

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Be Your Own Advocate

In today’s increasingly selfish and desolate society, it is important to know that there is one person who will always stand up for you:

You.

The Current Meta

Advocacy and allyship groups continue to become more fractured, not being satisfied with their problem being part of a whole host of problems being solved. Instead, their very specific and often undefinable problem must be first in line. The LGBT movement alone has become a warzone in which transgender people now call gay people oppressive. Straight black men are considered the white people of black people. There are even transgender groups that call other transgender people transphobic. It’s mind boggling just how ready people are to be at the throats of people they once allied with or held close.

Even unions, the time-honored vanguard against morally corrupt corporations and small-time bosses who would feed on their workers have become a veritable mafia; using thuggish intimidation tactics and harassment to ensure that equity, not equality, is enforced. Anyone who doesn’t want to be part of the club is going to have a very hard time at their job. The Union wants its dues.

Even party politics has become a mine field. With no side currently being decent, the people who are decent have no home.

Who Can You Turn To?

You’ve made it this far, haven’t you? Despite all of the things that have happened in your life, including the things you were sure you’d never make it out of alive, here you are. Maybe you ought to listen to yourself.

Even if family, friends, and other people wish you success in your endeavors, it is ultimately up to you to push yourself to the finish line. No one can do it for you. The good part of that is, once you’re determined, no one can stop you, either.

 

Why So Negative?

Image somewhat related.

It’s strange in this modern day that people take such pride in the negative things about humanity. There is that quote that people often attribute to Marilyn Monroe that goes “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”. I understand, as do many people, the intention behind it. It’s trying to make it clear that people, as a whole, are flawed. The thing is, it’s unlikely that there has ever been a time when people didn’t know that. Everybody knows that every person that they encounter has their own set of problems, difficulties, and things that make them less than perfectly appealing to be around.

“I’m a bitch and I know it”

The problem that has become apparent,however, is that far too many people use that quote and others as an excuse to be lazy about their interactions with people, or to be less pleasant. Most people that are encountered on a daily basis are decent people. They’re willing to have a conversation with a complete stranger, and don’t at all put up a front that suggests that they might have misanthropic tendencies. There are, however, a very few people however, who believe it is their duty to show the world and everyone in it just how crazy or angry they are. They hold it close to their heart as part of their identity. They go so far as to tattoo it on their body. They take any opportunity they can to tell you how “Loco” they are. Facebook would suggest that these people are the majority. Reality makes it clear that this is simply not the case.

I Miss Mayberry

It used to be that people put on their best face when they left the house. No matter what was going on in their home, they wanted everyone to believe that everything was going perfectly. The term “fake it till you make it” seems to apply pretty well here. The glut of TV shows and other media that suggest that every family is a dysfunctional band of misanthropes that has become popular in the past decade or so is disheartening. The Cosby Show was a wholesome program that did not center on race, people’s various mental problems, or disgusting things that people do. Instead it focused on creating good habits and following good patterns. There was even an episode in which Cliff taught Rudy how to mop the floor. Real, actual parenting happened right on the screen in front of all of America.

Full House was another of these shows. Bad things would happen, and instead of succumbing to the difficulties found, the characters would find ways to overcome. Oddly enough, the show featured a family that was far from normal as well, yet they were not portrayed as dysfunctional.

With the advent of Netflix, the show Fuller House has shown that this sort of wholesome programming is not only still acceptable, but popular.

Why, then, do we focus on the negative so readily?

A popular argument that has been bandied about for years is that we crave things that make us feel better about our own selves without having to actually do anything. This is why people still have losers from high school as friends on Facebook, even though they wouldn’t be caught dead associating with them in real life. It’s also why reality TV is such a big deal: we love to watch awful people be awful to each other so that by comparison our somewhat dysfunctional normalcy looks like an example.

That’s great for most people, but what about the ones who actually do go around being awful in real life?

Short answer: some people are just naturally assholes.

The long answer is a little more entangled. Due to Asperger’s, high functioning autism, or simply having had a bad upbringing with useless parents, some people just don’t know how to function normally within society. The problem comes when an Internet and a media full of people like that try to make it look normal, and suggest that it’s actually normal people who are abnormal.

Suddenly, treating people like human beings instead of treating them like statistics is frowned upon. This point will be expanded upon in a future article.

So, what’s the takeaway? I’ve got shit to do.

In short, normalcy is being attacked, as is decency, because those who are incapable or simply too lazy to do it are trying to make their version of normal into everybody’s. It’s just like the Healthy At Every Size movement. They simply can’t or won’t take the effort, and so try to normalize it while stigmatizing anything else.

Oddly enough, they take a lot of effort in doing so.

 

Jimmy Kimmel and Other Celebrities

I’m sure that celebrity is a hell of a drug. The power and attention must be intoxicating. It’s no small wonder then, that people like Jimmy Kimmel and Colin Kaepernick, just to name a couple, feel that their celebrity is an appropriate vehicle for their political opinions. Now, I’m not talking about doing their own independent thing and telling us how they feel on their own time. I’m talking about football players going out onto the field that they have been paid to stand on, and choosing that time to stage their protest. Jimmy Kimmel, a couple nights ago, talked about the Vegas shooting on his show. That, in itself was not inappropriate. Using that platform, however, to spout fallacious political rhetoric is absolutely inappropriate. This is not what you were hired for, Jimmy. Celebrities exist solely to entertain us and distract us from the mundanity of every day life. When disaster strikes, celebrities are expected to be there to put a comedic light on the subject, or distract us altogether.

We have already hired politicians for political discourse. There are even political programs on TV. When we want politics, we tune in. When we tune in to you, Jimmy, we are looking purely for entertainment. I’m certain that your ratings will reflect the desire and will of the people. I wonder, however, if you will simply blind yourself to it as the Daily Show has, or will you see the light, and do just what we told the Dixie Chicks to do back in the early 2000s, and just “shut up and sing”?

I, for one, hope you do the former. You’ve shown your true colors, and your motives are clear. You no longer care for your viewers. You care for yourself and your interests. I’d like to see somebody else take up the mantle of your late night host spot.

Personally, I’d like to see Steven Crowder take that spot.

My Road. Or, Escape from Ism’s

I am a 35-year-old man. I have a wife, four kids, and a house. I have worked plenty of different jobs, and have done well at all of them. I have pride in myself, and a desire to bring that feeling to others.

A mere 15 years ago, I was a 20-year-old liberal. I held women on a pedestal, I believed Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem were heroes of modern humanity. I believed feminism was all earth needed to make it good. I believed in socialism. All of the liberal tropes, I carried proudly in my heart.

When I was shown alternative viewpoints, I would shy away from them, assured that I was right and that I didn’t need to read them or hear them. They were wrong, after all. A huge rift between my brother and I likely stemmed from that, as I would demonize him for even the slightest infraction when it came to the fairer sex, let alone an expectation that I would, maybe, act like a man!

I was a socially awkward loser. I lived at home with mom. I played video games or had “deep” discussions with my friends. I pined after women, rather than have the balls to go talk to them. I was merely a man, and they were goddesses, after all. That, or they were whores. There is no middle ground for that kind of guy, right?

I hated sports, because I hated competition. I hated the idea that there had to be a winner and a loser. You know who else hates those ideas? Losers. And I was one. Of course I didn’t want a reminder when I could just dominate a video game.

I thought individuality was paramount. I didn’t want to look like everyone else, and I used to have a ridiculous hairstyle. Maybe one day I’ll post a picture of it. If I’d had the money, I would likely have ended up with some sort of piercings or tattoos. Luckily I was too much of a loser to get a job.

I hated Republicans, and thought that they were uneducated religious zealots. I thought guns were terrifying, and ought to be erased from the landscape altogether. I believe that jobs were not simply a means to an end, that instead they were the trap you got caught in. I knew that’s how people got money, but I also knew that no matter how much my mom worked, nothing ever got better. I thought it was due to The System.

I was content, languishing in generational poverty. I was 20 and didn’t have a job yet. I had dropped out of school, because I thought my ideas were more valuable than those of the “System”. I had no money, no prospects, and no plan.

The place were I grew up was a place where people were not simply poor in their wallet. They were poor inside of their own heads. That kind of poor is different. No amount of money can fix it. Have you seen those people who win $100 million in the lottery, and it’s gone within a year? They have no investments, and they’re broke, despite having five Lamborghinis. Those, of course, eventually get taken away.

That’s what generational poverty does to a person. It makes them unable to function with money. The problem comes when people see their poor roots as a source of pride, something to cling to, rather than as something to escape from. They cling to their old ways, fearing that they will lose themselves in pursuit of a better life.

I escaped. I got my GED, and developed a healthy work ethic. I grew into the person I needed to be. I didn’t lose anything. What I gained is my true identity, and a new legacy for future generations of my family.

Aside from that, I crave opposing viewpoints. Knowing what the other side thinks allows you a bird’s-eye view of an issue. Lately, I find that most people’s views stem from selfishness. I know that view very well, as it was once mine.

It’s always going to be a hard road. Why not take the one that will bring you somewhere?

Open yourself up to opposing views, uncomfortable situations, the possibility of mockery and failure. Succeeding at laying down is not success at all.