The United States of WTF? – Part Two

I’m going to start this post by letting you know, dear reader, that I have no problem with either medicinal or recreational marijuana. When my father was dying from cancer, marijuana helped ease his suffering. If someone comes home from a hard day at work, I have no problem with them sitting back and lighting up a joint (or blunt, bong, or bowl). To me, it’s no different from relaxing with a beer and watching TV. I personally can’t partake due to nasty reactions (vomiting, migraine, breathing issues, and YES I found out the hard way…), but I also can’t drink beer due to the same reactions. Despite that, I’m not going to take the fun away from others. We’re adults, here. It’s not my place. This is also going to be short(ish), as it’s not something that’s always on my mind. It’s more of an annoyance.

My issue is not with the recreational smoker. It’s not even with the daily smoker that still takes care of their responsibilities and contributes to society. I’m sure that most of you have seen the person I’m talking about. They’re the ones constantly wearing pot leaf clothing and jewelry. They’re on Facebook and Whisper asking if anyone knows where the good bud is. They post pictures of themselves daily with bloodshot, half-closed eyes and the caption, “BAKED!” They refuse to get a job (likely because of drug testing), but insist that they’re independent artists and musicians; just as they’ve been for the past twenty years, and with just as much to show for it – nothing.

Get a clue. Get a LIFE.

Recreational marijuana became legal in my state in 2012. When the petitions first came out, I happily signed them. When the polls opened, I voted for it. I thought it was ridiculous that alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are perfectly legal; yet, something as (mostly) harmless as marijuana wasn’t. I still do. I also realized that there would be less arrests, and that the sale of marijuana could help the state economy. These views haven’t changed.

Unfortunately, there are some who turn recreational smoking into a complete lifestyle. It’s not always a case of stupidity, either. I’ve seen people write and draw amazing things; but, they’re too focused on getting high to ever do anything with any of it. I watched a guy give an explanation of String Theory that could put anything ever written on Wikipedia to shame… yet, he lived in his mother’s spare bedroom. He didn’t want to go to school and further himself. He just wanted to get baked. It was actually really sad.

Getting high should be a recreational activity, not a life goal. I’ve seen people criticize alcoholics, despite the fact that they can’t remember the last day that they didn’t smoke marijuana. I really don’t think that they have that right. Don’t criticize someone who isn’t sober if you’re never sober. That’s called hypocrisy. And yes, I get it. Getting high is something that’s fun for most people. I used to be one of them, once upon a time. However; if you are broke, carless, jobless, a step from homeless, and still smoking up… I think it’s time for you to reevaluate your life choices. There’s more to life than getting wasted. Posting “BAKED!1!” daily shows the world that you don’t understand the meaning of the word “responsible”. It shows that there’s not much to your life, outside of weed. Your personality has gone up in smoke.

It wouldn’t be so bad if this was just one person every now and then. Unfortunately, it’s not. There actually are people who will not be friends with someone who doesn’t smoke pot. They won’t go places that don’t allow pot. They refuse to get jobs that drug test; then, blame the employers for not allowing them to smoke marijuana. They are perfectly happy doing nothing but smoking up all day and watching television or playing video games; then, in the rare moment of semi-clarity, wonder why they aren’t going further in life. These people are getting more and more common. Even in drug-free workplaces; I’ve heard complaints about the policies from people who either stayed sober long enough to pass a drug test, or those who just wish to start smoking pot. I’ve even watched employees run to their cars and smoke so much weed during their lunch that you couldn’t even see inside their vehicle. I’m sorry, but I have to agree with the employers. If you are responsible for large financial transactions or the operation of machinery, you have no business coming in to work while intoxicated. No drug is that important; not even weed.

Go ahead. Smoke up after work. Just, please; remember that there is more to life than getting high. Much more.

The United States of WTF? – Part One

Welcome to America. This is the land of the free, the home of the brave, the home of… oh, who the hell am I kidding? We’ve become the land of the psychotic, the spoiled, the entitled, and the dangerous. We, as a nation, are focused on fun and self-indulgence. We stopped caring about our fellow man. We are a nation ruled by our love of guns, marijuana, the Bible, and bigotry.

Oh, this series of entries will be such fun; and will piss off SO many…

Let’s start with the guns. Here’s a few headlines, just from this week:

Police ID 3 Injured In Party Shooting Near TSU (http://www.newschannel5.com/news/local-news/3-college-students-injured-in-shooting-near-tsu)

The Comedy Store closes for a night after shooting leaves one dead (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-man-killed-comedy-store-20151014-story.html) [Author’s note: This one is particularly frightening; as a close friend of mine performs stand-up at The Comedy Store.]

Baltimore police arrest man in shooting of 9-year-old girl in Waverly (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bs-md-ci-arrest-20151014-story.html)

1 dead, 3 injured in 2 separate Wilmington shootings (http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/crime/2015/10/14/wilmington-shooting/73948850/)

1 Dead in Shooting Near Syracuse University Campus, Suspects Shoot at Detectives (http://www.twcnews.com/nys/central-ny/crime/2015/10/14/syracuse-university-students-alerted-to-stay-indoors-amid-off-campus-police-investigation.html)

This is just a small handful of occurrences that happened just in the past TWENTY-FOUR HOURS. This is not even half of the first page that showed up in Google News when I searched using the word “shooting”. Pages upon pages were filled with senseless shootings and dead innocents. Would you like to know what I did NOT find? There was not even a single story in the EIGHT PAGES of news headlines that I looked through where someone successfully used a gun in self-defense. Not even one. Think of how many headlines appear on one page. I counted twelve on page eight. There was not even one gun-toting hero saving their own life, let alone the lives of others. There was, however, plenty of cold-blooded murder.

I was raised around guns. My stepfather was convinced that there would one day be a race war, and that white families would have to defend themselves against the black man (he was a REAL winner [aka ASSHOLE]). I remember shooting a rifle when I was about six years old. I remember the recoil as I fired toward targets on a dirt hill. I remember holding my mother’s hand as we walked the aisles at countless gun shows. I remember the smell of cold metal and gun oil. I remember the old men chanting about how important guns are. I remember seeing the camouflage; not of soldiers, but of hunters. I remember signs that said that I could have their guns when I pried them from their cold, dead hands. I remember my stepfather rushing to purchase an AK-47 in the hopes that it would be grandfathered in when their sale became outlawed. He also had an entire dresser drawer AND a safe full of ammunition. Even as a child, I couldn’t understand why. Since I can’t understand why it’s necessary to have a small arsenal in the bedroom, I’ve sometimes been called a sheep. A libtard. UnAmerican. Yet; even growing up in a home where guns were so important, they were still not as important as the humans living within the home. The guns themselves were locked away. My younger brother and I had no access to them. We were taught how to live safely with them in our home.

Now? Not so much.

Guns today have become the most important thing to America. They have become our drug, mistress, and even our religion. Every day on Facebook, I see posts about how proud people are of their guns. Not their kids, not their spouses; their guns. They will post photos of guns the same way that people used to post pictures of their children. Instead of talking about how Bobby or Sally got an A+ in school, they brag about their new Glock. No matter how many guns they have, they need more. They’re like junkies. One gun isn’t enough. Twenty guns aren’t enough. They need more, more, MORE! The rush that they get holding a new gun is their high. It’s as addictive to them as meth, crack, or heroin.

Thanks to how the timeline is set up, I also see their comments on pictures of guns on Facebook. They treat the guns like they’re women. “Oh, that’s beautiful.” “Gorgeous.” “Oh my god, that’s SO sexy.” They literally salivate over guns. They have sexualized them. People treat pictures of guns the same way that they used to treat issues of Playboy and Hustler. In fact, they’ve actually crossed over into the world of pornography. I’ve seen pictures of nude women lying on top of automatic weapons. Pressing guns between their breasts with orgasmic facial expressions. I’ve even seen pictures of people, both male and female, masturbating with the barrels of guns. Seriously? Why is this a thing? Guns were invented for one thing and one thing only: to kill. Putting them into an orifice is supposed to be sexy?

The only thing that offends people more than disliking guns is the suggestion that maybe, just maybe, people exist that shouldn’t own one. They demand an official, government-issued ID for the right to vote; but balk at having to present the same when they buy a gun. They want welfare recipients to be tested for drugs; but, not to buy a gun. Even if someone has a history of mental health problems, there are many who cry out that preventing them from having a gun is denying them of a basic human right.

I will reveal a little about myself that I don’t like to think about. I have a bit of a mental health history. I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder that swings toward the depressive side, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD. While I thankfully don’t have any form of schizoid symptoms, I do tend to have very severe depressive episodes. This has led to more than one attempt at suicide. Suicide attempts, of course, tend to lead to hospitalization. Even with a history of three visits to a mental health unit to be treated for the depressive episodes, I am legally allowed to own a gun. Granted, I’ve never wanted to hurt another person. My thoughts were always of harming myself. However, not everyone with mental illness is the same. My depression led to suicidal thoughts; but, in some, it can lead to HOMOCIDAL thoughts. Just look at how many murder-suicides there are every year! Depression is not the only illness treated at this facility, either. There were people with schizoid behavior in the ward. There were people with rage disorders and drug addiction. There were people VERY capable of violence; yet, our behavior and illnesses weren’t enough to bar us from owning a gun. Someone who drank a bottle of cough syrup with codeine can legally own a gun. Someone who sees shadow men around every corner and hears voices telling them that the ward wants to kill them can legally own a gun. Someone who admits that they fantasize about strangling their wife and kids can legally own a gun. The only thing that would prevent them from legally owning a gun would be if they had committed a violent crime. This is how gun rights enthusiasts want to keep it. Well, I think that’s bullshit. I shouldn’t own a gun, even with treatment; and I’ll freely admit it. My fellow patients shouldn’t have guns. Arming the mentally ill is a disaster waiting to happen. If someone is hospitalized for a mental illness that risks making them a threat to themselves or others, their right to own a gun should be revoked. Period.

I don’t believe that the government should take all guns from all citizens, but I DO believe we need better safety measures. People argue that background checks are an invasion of privacy, especially if there’s a suggestion that treatment for certain illnesses could bar gun ownership. I’m not suggesting that Joe-Bob’s background should list his full medical history. I’m suggesting a database showing those who are no longer authorized to own firearms; and for it to simply say “DENIED” for those individuals. Problem solved. The seller doesn’t have to know your medical or criminal history; just that they can’t sell a firearm to you. It’s not perfect. Some sellers may wonder just why you were barred. However; your privacy would be better protected, people are safer, and most sellers surely have more important things to worry about. I also feel that just as we must pass a test in order to legally drive a car, we should have to pass a test in order to legally own a firearm. If Jimmy down the street can’t pass an exam on gun safety, do you really want him to own a firearm? I’m sure that you don’t; yet, many others do. We should also be required to purchase a gun safe and provide proof of that purchase before we can purchase a gun. Too many people are being killed because their guns are left in the open, and children find them. There have been over forty shootings BY TODDLERS this year alone. At least fifteen were fatal (http://gawker.com/report-american-toddlers-responsible-for-one-shooting-1736636148).

If you would like the stats for a nation that hands out guns like they’re Halloween candy, here you go: http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/. Let the stats sink in. 41,262 incidents. Only 944 are listed as defensive. With stats like that, how can you say you’re protecting yourself?

Don’t ban guns. There actually are plenty of RESPONSIBLE gun owners who study gun safety, and who keep their guns locked away from the reach of little fingers. No, don’t ban them. I’ll say it again; just in case there are still people who believe I’m an anti-gun activist, despite reading this: DON’T BAN GUNS. Make them harder for dangerous people to obtain them. Also, for the love of everything sacred; STOP worshipping guns. By worshipping guns and making them cool, sexy, and a necessity for True Americans™; you are helping to encourage a culture of violence and bloodshed.

Why I Refuse To Call Myself a Feminist

I’ve seen a few articles lately by modern “feminists”. Feminist was a title I once embraced. No more. Why? Because of the sexism of the modern feminist movement.

The feminist movement started as a way to promote gender equality. It has done great things. Here in America (and most other countries); women can vote, drive, own property, go to school, and are not the property of their husbands to be bought and sold at will. We can even divorce, if we want to! There is still gender inequality in some areas; most notably, in the work force. Women still tend to receive lower wages than men. I’m not going into sexual harassment, because that subject is often subjective and incidents towards men are often unreported. Violence against women is still very much a HUGE problem, especially in many foreign countries. That said, I don’t believe the modern feminist movement is the answer.

To be honest, the modern feminist movement seems to have nothing to do with its roots of seeking gender equality. It promotes the idea of repressing men. Almost every feminist site or essay that I’ve read as of late blames every female issue, from negative self-image to painful menstruation and pregnancy complications, on men. Some authors feel that all men are closet rapists. Some women even state that all heterosexual sex is rape! They feel that even when a woman wants it, she’s being fooled into THINKING she wants it, and only gives in because she doesn’t understand the error of her ways. That men are not needed for even procreation; only their ejaculate, which is to be handed over and inserted by the woman. Umm, excuse me? They also claim that the body isn’t made for sex or childbearing, and that those are just ways for men to assert dominance over women. I wonder how they got through high school biology. They feel that men are incapable of having any feelings outside of greed, rage, and lust. They are incapable of love, and must never be trusted under any circumstances. They are all animalistic rapists. If it seems that I’m exaggerating, go ahead and follow this link: https://witchwind.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/piv-is-always-rape-ok/. Once you’re done reading the article, take a stroll through the comments section. This is NOT just one woman with this point of view. This is one of MANY.

While it’s true that that’s an extreme point of view, there is still the underlying tone of misandry in even the least extreme sites and essays. Men cause all problems. Men are always wrong. Men can’t be trusted. Men are unintelligent. Anything that doesn’t show women as superior to men in all ways (books, video games, television, movies, etc) is anti-woman. If a man is harmed in fiction, it’s okay; but a woman being harmed is society’s way of promoting violence toward women. If a woman checks out a man, she’s simply expressing her sexuality; but if a man checks out a woman, he is objectifying and sexually harassing her. If a man abuses a woman, it’s one of the sickest things he can do; but if a woman abuses a man, that’s funny! Down with men! Women are superior! Anyone who disagrees is sexist, a rapist, or brainwashed!

This is the exact kind of attitude that created the feminist movement. These were the same attitudes that women have been treated with throughout history, and the exact thing that it used to fight against. It’s appalling. It’s complete hypocrisy. It should NOT be okay to bash men. They are our lovers, sons, brothers, fathers, co-workers, friends, and more. Is this how we want our loved ones to feel? That they are less than us, all because of their genitalia? It shouldn’t be okay to bash ANYONE regardless of gender, religion, color, nationality, orientation, disability, or creed. If you want to hate someone, do it based on their actions; not their genes, faith, or origins. Men have not set back the feminist movement; the FEMINIST MOVEMENT set back the feminist movement. So, I consider myself pro-equality; but, I am a feminist no more. I’m done with the double-standards.

I must also say that I’m disgusted by the attitude of these “feminists” towards the transgender community. Here is an early quote from the West Coast Lesbian Conference’s keynote speaker, Robin Morgan, in 1973: I will not call a male “she”; thirty-two years of suffering in this androcentric society, and of surviving, have earned me the title “woman”; one walk down the street by a male transvestite, five minutes of his being hassled (which he may enjoy), and then he dares, he dares to think he understands our pain? No, in our mothers’ names and in our own, we must not call him sister. My, my; how tolerant of you. Lesbianism is all-natural and will be accepted by all, but transgenderism is an abomination. What hypocritical bullshit! But, surely, attitudes have changed since then; right?  http://theterfs.com/2013/10/09/hypocrisy-hate-and-harm-no2h8splc/ Oh…

There are actually a few feminists who remember what feminism really means; which is this:

fem·i·nism
ˈfeməˌnizəm/
noun
  1. the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

Where does that say that we are BETTER than men? Unfortunately, the voices of the true feminists are being drowned out by the voices of RadFems; and, outside of yelling that not all feminists are like that, they’re doing far too little to make their voices heard. As a result, the word “feminist” has become tarnished. It’s been twisted. It’s dirty. It’s irredeemable. There’s no longer any fixing it. It’s been used to spew too much hatred, and to encourage far too much pain. Congratulations, RadFems! You have totally destroyed the very thing you once claimed to stand for!

We need a new word for true feminists. I, personally, like the term “equalist”. Here’s why:

Equalism or Equalist may refer to: Egalitarianism. Gender equality. Racial equality. (Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equalism)

Gender equality… hmm… why does that sound so familiar?

I WANT EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL. If a company offers a male a certain wage, then a female in the same position should get the same wage. If a man is harassed by a woman, I want him to be able to take appropriate steps to end the harassment without having his masculinity attacked. I want everyone to be able to walk down the street without receiving unwanted attention. I want everyone to have the same rights, dammit! Unfortunately, that’s not what the modern feminist movement is fighting for. If anything, it is creating a NEED for men’s rights groups. I’m not promoting the meninism or red pill men’s movements by any means, and will surely write about THOSE special little snowflakes at a later date; but, the modern feminist movement is working hard to create a world where men have to scream to be heard. How ironic. How sad.