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August, 2014
Archive

  • Does Always Wanting More Make you An Addict?

    The problem with good things is that they leave us wanting more. If I have a bite of delicious cake … I want more. I have some good sex…I want more. I try some amazing pure Columbian cocaine…I want more. The nature of pleasure is to desire more, more, and more of it.

    Part of being an adult is learning to moderate the seduction of indulgence. We are expected to find balance because we have the foresight to understand that too much of a good thing is actually bad. Too much food destroys your heath. Too much sex gives you bumpy rashes. Too much drugs can kill you. Understanding boundaries is part of growing up. The alternative is to end up an addict.

    The thing with kids is they don’t get it. They have no concept of time, so rationalizing the limitation of a certain behavior because of future consequences is futile. I can tell my kid “Look, if you eat all that chocolate you are going to feel sick and shit your brains out later.” Her response will always be “I don’t care.”  It is up to me to moderate her intake, because left to her own devices The Munch just doesn’t give a fuck.

    I’ve tried letting The Munch totally indulge, so she could do a little soul searching on this subject. The prevailing logic was that she would realize for herself the results of excessive behavior, and consider the impact the next time she is faced with temptation. Yeah. No. That really didn’t work. Saying to my four year old “Remember last time when you ate too much ice cream and felt really sick,” only resulted in yet another “I don’t care.”  Whatever memory of the ice cream tummy ache from the past held no power over the delicious taste of ice cream in the present. I guess The Munch is very Buddhist because she only exists in “the now,” but the awareness of past or future effects is a pivotal part of learning restraint.

    The Munch is relentless in her quest for more of everything. She is never satisfied and this is annoying as fuck. She will make a promise like “Mom, let me watch something. I will only watch one episode of My Little Pony I promise. Then you can turn it off and I won’t fuss.” So I let her because I trust her* (*want to get away from her) but when her stupid neon colored show is over, The Munch immediately says, “okay just one more. I PROMISE!”

    While I admire The Munch’s commitment to negotiation, everything becomes a battle because of her inability to be content with what she just had. She will literally be eating a cookie while asking for another. I will be like “Dude, you don’t need to double fist cookies. Just relax and appreciate what you got!” But then she will start crying because I won’t give her another cookie WHILE SHE IS STILL EATING THE FIRST FUCKING COOKIE.

    Here is my dilemma. I can’t tell if The Munch’s excessive wanting “more” of everything is a result of her age or a precursor to a struggle that she will battle with for the rest of her life. I don’t want my kid to grow into an adult with an addictive personality. That is how you end up in back allies doing things you really regret. And is a hard thing to overcome. It is difficult for me to distinguish between normal kid shit, and the makings of a person who is going to beat up old ladies to steal money for blow. It is a fine line, my friends.

    Munch: Mamma, can I bring two lollipops to the beach?

    Toni: No Munch.  One is enough.

    Munch: But what if I want another one? Let’s just bring two just in case.

    Toni: Munch, that is excessive. You don’t want to feed that part of your soul. We all crave more, but it is pivotal to know your limits. Being greedy is a detrimental trait because you will never be satisfied, nor truly appreciate anything. Be grateful for what you have. You are so lucky and have so much abundance in your world.

    Munch: Okay how about I eat one lollipop now, and we bring the other one for later.

     

    more-blog-(i)

  • Swimming In Bacteria Like a Boss

    Okay. So I totally fucked up. But it’s not totally my fault. It is also nature’s fault… and global warming… and all the politicians/corporations/bankers who are ass fucking the planet. But I guess it is also my fault too.

    This is what happened. I live on a lake. It is a beautiful clean mountain lake. I have always thought it was a magical, healing, energetically pure body of water. It never occurred to me to doubt its virtue. The other day my baby sitter, Lilliana, brought The Munch to the beach to go swimming and was told not to go in because of bacteria contaminating the water. When Lilliana texted me this information I was like, “what the holy dick hole. I don’t believe this shit. I have never heard of this in my life. NEVER in 30 years on this lake have I been told not to swim because of bacteria! That is some serious yuppie bullshit!!”

    I just didn’t believe the hype, and quite arrogantly considering I did ZERO research on the subject. Had I just taken… oh… I don’t know… 3 minutes on the Internet all my questions would have been solved. But NO! I was NOT going to be told that I couldn’t swim in the damn lake I have been swimming in my whole damn life.

    Okay so this is where shit got bad. Later that afternoon when I went to pick up Munch she mentioned our plan to go swimming that we had made earlier that morning before this whole debacle.

    Toni: Do you think we should care about the bacteria in the water?
    Munch: Nope.
    Toni: Cool. I am going to trust you because you have the wisdom of a 4-year old. Forget the fact that I am an adult who can and should research potentially dangerous situations. Lets do this because you, my child, say its cool.

    And we drove straight to the bacteria filled beach.

    Okay, so here is a little context. For one… august has been cold as fuck. New England weather already sucks, and our summer has been uncharacteristically short. It didn’t get warm enough to swim until July, and then we had a serious cold rainy front for most of August. Essentially we got dicked out of summer and our only swimming time. After days and days of crappy weather, it was finally a nice day to swim. To not go because of some cryptic threat seemed ludicrous.

    Then next influence is my overall denial of drastic changes in the environment. I know they exist – but I don’t want to actually believe it. I see all those kids wearing sun shirts to protect their skin from the hole in the ozone, but I keep going back to the fact that I never wore sunscreen when I was a child… so what is the big deal? It is this stubborn renouncing of obvious truths because to admit reality is too painful. Yeah maybe when I was a kid the lake wasn’t contaminated, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t now.
    Here is another element of the equation that maybe is less nature’s problem and more mine. I felt SUPER guilty about how much I have been working all summer, and wasn’t feeling like I spent enough time doing stuff outside with Munch. The fact that the season was almost over, made me feel like I didn’t appreciate it. The months went by so fast, and I spent an ample of amount of time inside working trying to make something out of my life. It was this crippling realization that my relentless ambition kept me from enjoying the fleeting warm months with my child.

    The last contributing factor to this scene is the “Holly” in me. You see, my mom –Holly- has a very particular approach to life. She is they type of woman who has mustard from the 80’s that she will put in your sandwich – ignoring the fact it expired 15 years ago – and rationalize eating it because fermentation or whatever. She has fed me rice with maggots unknowingly cooked in, because hey protein. She doesn’t measure when she cooks because measuring is for pussies. She let me ride in the back of a pick up truck because you know, safety is for weak. My mom just doesn’t give a fuck. She operates on her own frequency, and her attitude has obviously impacted my psychology.

    So being told I couldn’t swim because of some stupid bacteria seemed absurd! Forget the fact that NO ONE was at the lake. Never mind the water was eerily still and I could see the algae floating on the surface. Munch and I went anyway, had a wonderful swim, and watched the sunset.

    Sooooooooooooo…

    The next morning The Munch felt a little off. Her throat hurt, her tummy was cramping, but she seemed to pull through after breakfast so I totally forgot about it.

    Later that afternoon we again went to the beach. I assumed whatever silly little water thing HAD to be cleared up by now because it was all so ridiculous any way. Buuuuuut…. yet again it was closed. Yet this time though, there was a GIANT sign explaining what was going on with the water. So yeah…. I spend a moment looking it up, and it turns any contact with this bacteria can make you sick as fuck – including skin rashes, fever, sore throats, and stomach problems.

    Ummmm whoops.

    After I read that, I couldn’t help but feel sick myself. I couldn’t tell if it was in my paranoid head, or it was because I HAD BEEN SWIMMING IN BACTERIA FILLED WATER LIKE AN OVERCONFIDENT FOOL!

    So my guilt about not playing outside enough with my kid quickly transformed into guilt about maybe poisoning her with bacteria infested water. Luckily, she seems fine and never got to the explosive diarrhea or anal leakage stage… thank god Munch has been eating over at mom’s house having old mustard sandwiches with maggot filled rice to build her immune system.

    bacteria-blog-(i)

  • Here You go Sweetie… Eat this Tapeworm for Your Fat Ass

    Hi. The world sucks. Everyone is a total asshole. We might as well just flush our heads down the toilet because that is where society is headed.

    I recently read a delightful article about a mother who covertly fed her daughter tapeworm eggs so she would lose weight before a beauty pageant. When this girl went to the hospital complaining of cramps, the doctors did an ultra-sound thinking she was maybe pregnant, only to discover her belly was full of worms.The teen was administered medicine to flush out the parasites and await the exciting reality of having worms exit her asshole.

    A rehash: a mother didn’t think her daughter was skinny enough, wanted her to win a stupid contest about beauty, and made the decision to risk her child’s life (giving her the life experience of SHITTING LIVE WORMS UP TO 30 FEET IN LENGTH). Can you please close your eyes and imagine a LIVE WORM slithering out your ass, knowing it had been living INSIDE OF YOU??!!

    Of all the things I would not want coming out of my ass, a 30 foot live worm is at the TOP of my list. A squash would be a close second because of the girth, but at least it wouldn’t be moving around. In fact, I would take almost any inanimate object coming out of my ass – including a lamppost – over something that alive. It’s just wrong.

    Now that we’ve gotten over the whole worms coming out the ass part… wait hold on… wretch, gag, barf… okay I am better… there are some GLARING issues about parenting, this mother’s priorities, and how beauty is a defining attribute for girls. Of course I could say the classic rationalization that my mind gravitates towards, like the societal conditioning of women as sex objects, the societal pressure of female attractiveness, and the inaccessibility and absurdity of modern beauty standards. Of course I agree with all these points and believe we’ve been corrupted by oppressive definitions of gender. Yet this is also a chicken and egg scenario. Women often care obsessively about our physical appearance because culture dictates this and our culture is obsessively focused on female beauty because women are obsessed with it.

    We can hate the media for always writing about Kim Kardashian’s body, but every time I see an article about Kim Kardashian’s body I always look at it. I have been socialized to care and I should be furious about the constant objectification of women but I am also totally capable of rejecting this fucked up brainwashing.

    I remember being a kid in history class learning about slavery, the holocaust, Jim Crow, apartheid, and asking the teachers “I don’t get it. How did people allow that?? How could they not know that was wrong?” The prevailing justification I was given, “That was the culture of the time. Those people were reacting to the zeitgeist, so you can’t really blame them for participating in the perceived norm.” To which I would respond “What the dick!” and be sent out of the room.

    My reaction was “No way would I have gone along with that bullshit! I don’t care what kind of culture raised me. I would KNOW slavery was wrong. I would have NEVER let Jewish people be taken to concentration camps. There is NO WAY I would have drank water from some stupid whites only fountain. I would have been different. I would have NEVER let that happen!!”

    The same thinking applies here. Despite conditioning, there were still people who knew enslaving humans/segregation/genocide was wrong and actively fought against it. We women can also be like “fuck this beauty standard shit in the ass.” We don’t have to participate or buy billions of dollars of beauty products every year. We don’t have to hate our bodies or feel insecure that our thighs touch. We don’t have to give a shit about shit. Even though I know it is hard to reject all the fucked up messaging, it was also hard for people to start the Underground Railroad or hide Jews in their attics – but they still did it!

    Let’s do this. Let’s do it for ourselves, our mothers, our sisters and our daughters. Lets keep our toilets tapeworm free

    worms-blog-(i)

    August 26, 2014 • Current Events, Health, Mommyhood, Musings, Parenting, Women's Business • Views: 7557

  • Don’t even think of leaving your kid alone… EVER

    I don’t know about you guys, but I had a lot of independence as a kid. Maybe my parents were quasi neglectful, or maybe I was just exceptionally mature. After all, I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and believed marshmallow “Fluff” was a legitimate food source. So there you go.

    I started walking to school on my own in the first grade. The journey was about a mile and I embarked on this solitary excursion with my pride packed in my little backpack (which I ONLY ever wore on my right shoulder because I was NOT a NERD who wore their bag on BOTH shoulders….that would be CRAZY!!!!!) After school let out, I walked back to our empty house, put on my roller-skates, and glided around aimlessly until it got dark.

    When I was eight years old, I began babysitting for our neighbor’s twins. They were six months old and I got paid $5 an hour. I guess I was an innocent victim of a child labor ring – obviously I should have gotten $10 for two kids! I would play with these baby girls, change their diapers, sometimes remember to feed them, and play some more. I may not have been the most diligent baby sitter of all time, but I kept them alive and we had fun.

    In the summertime, I easily biked 15 miles a day because my mom thought driving her kid around was a “republican thing to do.” The majority of my childhood I was either alone or frolicking with friends making wise decisions like eating half a pound of cookie dough for dinner. Maybe this lead to a bout of serious diarrhea, but I also gained a sense of responsibility over my own person. I learned to rely on my instincts of self-preservation and subsequently understood how to take care of both myself and other people. The more my parents trusted me the more I trusted myself.

    It turns out that my mother, my neighbors, and half the parents I knew as a child, would have been arrested if they were parents today. According to a recent pole, 68% of Americans think there should be a law that prohibits kids age nine and younger from playing in parks unsupervised and 43% feel the same way about 12-year-olds. Despite the fact that people in this country are enjoying the lowest crime rates in decades. When asked: “Do kids today face more threats to their physical safety?” 62% answered “yes.”

    Americans are living with unprecedented fear. Enter the presence of modern day news. The pressure that 24-hour “news” channels have to fill each hour with content, every story is magnified to epic proportions. Media relies on people tuning in, so the more intense the tragedies, the higher the viewership. We have a morbid fascination with catastrophe, so media companies have a vested interest in amplifying every horrific detail to make more money, unconcerned that this ultimately exacerbates our culture of fear and paranoia.

    Call me crazy but parents today are in deep denial thinking the dangers facing their children are lurking in the park rather than I don’t know…THE FACT THAT CORPORATIONS AND THE BANKING INDUSTRY ARE RAPING THE PLANET OF ALL ITS RESOURCES SO THERE WILL BE NOTHING LEFT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS? Or how about our foreign policy: the U.S. is currently fighting SEVENTY-FOUR different wars right now? It is comparable to someone refusing to swim in the ocean for fear of sharks but then driving down the street because they don’t feel like walking—turning a blind eye to the reality that the likelihood of getting eaten by a sharped tooth bony fish is INFINITELY smaller than dying in a car crash.

    The benefits of allowing children to be accountable for themselves by playing with other kids without constant supervision and micromanaging of adults seems much more meaningful than our culture’s current obsessive panic over safety. Imagine if the movie “Stand by Me” took place today? The boys would be like “wanna see a dead body” and then some medley mom in the background would be like “no, you boys do not – now get back inside.” Roll credits.

    Of course we need to protect our children, but that also means helping them learn how to protect themselves. A generation of kids who has never once felt the autonomy of making their own decisions will potentially grow up to be a generation of very insecure adults. Although a 12 year old is still young, it is also kind of old. I mean… Mary was 12 when she had Jesus. If she can raise the Son of God, then I am pretty sure our kids can swing on a damn swing without their mommy having to observe their pumping skills.

    Maybe I am wrong. Maybe these kids will be happy and well adjusted. Maybe part of the problem is that too many of us were raised by inattentive parents. Who knows. I do know that the fun of playing outside until dusk with no one telling what to do so maybe you try a cigarette that makes you puke seconds after the rush of your life–those memories will last a lifetime.

    (I would be scared of Munch if I came across her alone at the park)

    alone-kid-blog-(i)

     

    August 26, 2014 • Behavior, Current Events, Disciplining, Mommyhood, Parenting, Playing • Views: 1409

  • Those Modern Teenagers

    Every generation looks at teenagers and thinks they are corrupted by modernity. It is natural to glorify your own youth, and believe there was a wholesome quaintness that no longer exists in current times. It is so common it’s cliché to feel alienated by teens just because you are not one – but fuck am I really that old already?

    Here is the deal, where I live right now in New Hampsha is the same town I grew up in. I mean, sort of. I actually lived in Boston, but I “summered” here, because yes summer is a verb. So being in this place that I have known my whole life forces me to compare then and now. It is impossible to avoid because I am surrounded by familiarity.

    I am always paralleling the past to the present – wondering things like “did there used to be this many cars on this old country road?” or “has this place always been so aggressively white?” I feel like the modern age is corrupting even the most remote places, and soon there will be nowhere to escape from the inevitable transhumanist nightmare of the future.

    The other day, I was at the beach with The Munch, reminiscing about the hundreds of hours I spent at that very same spot as a child. It was a peaceful moment, seeing my daughter enjoying the same lake, and playing with the same sand. I was transported back to a time of life that was coated with simplicity, and felt grateful for the continuity. Then I looked over and saw these 3 teenager girls – AND THEY WERE ALL ON THEIR FUCKING PHONES!

    I got soooooooo depressed. All I could do was think of all the times I was in their same position, but since we didn’t have phones we swam, talked, played cards, or read stupid sex tips from stupid magazines to each other. Those were the endless summer days with nothing to do but be together. Sometimes they were boring, but there was tranquility to that boredom because you were so glad you weren’t at school. Besides, being bored as fuck means eventually you come up with awesome ideas of things to do – like push on your friend’s chest until they pass out, or smoke pot and make chocolate chip cookies. Necessity is the mother of invention, and without boredom you are never forced to come up with creative ways to entertain yourself.

    Part of me was like “Who am I to judge this scenario? Maybe there are doing advanced quantum mechanics and solving equations? Or they could be editing a movie, or making a song using the sounds of life that no one notices or appreciates like some retro new age old school pop /rock/ psychedelic/ indi band.  Whenever I see any apple commercial that tells you all you can do with your iPhone, I realize that there is a shit ton I do NOT know about the iPhone. Perhaps these kids are way smarter  than me…. or they are looking at pictures of themselves on their Instgram profile?”

    Not that I blame these girls. It is not their fault they are seduced by the appeal of technology. The cure to boredom is no longer dependent on your imagination where you have to work for it, but in your pocket where you can just grab it easily. Yet all I could do is look at them with a mixture of disdain and pity. I felt like an old-timey guy wanting to sing Sinatra-esque tunes about times gone by. Sigh. Kids these days.

    (If I had a smart phone when I was 16, would I have come up with the below FANTASTIC idea of wearing a white turtle neck while humping a pillar with my friend?)

    modern-teen-blog-(i)

    August 25, 2014 • Musings, Old School Stories • Views: 3276

  • The Preppy White Hiker

    Walking is like cocaine. Seriously it is. It releases the same endorphins, and stimulates the same of the brain that makes you want to talk.  Walking while talking makes you more open, and facilitates dialogue. If you are ever in an intense argument with someone, go for a walk together and immediately the energy will change.

    When you hike a mountain with someone, not only are you high as fuck from the altitude, but also the walking. Of course on your way up it is hard to communicate because you are trying to breathe while also wondering why you went hiking in the first place, and if you even like hiking at all.  Yet after you bask in the accomplishment of making it to the top, the hike down is prime opportunity for some epic conversations.

    My friend Sasha recently came to visit me, and we went on adventure hiking up a mountain. On our way down, we did what any normal person would do – start talking about sex. For the majority of the hike we were the only ones on the trail, so by this point all our inhibitions melted away as we got intimate – in the discussion… not with each other you pervert.

    We were going on and on about past experiences, fantasies, likes, dislikes – totally oblivious to the world around us.  Now, the way were were traversing down the mountain was in the following positioning. I was in front, while Sasha was behind – revealing herself as I was taking it all in.  Wait… stop begin so gross. I meant she was talking and I was listening.

    Just as Sasha was exposing one of the most personal private parts… of her story you sicko… I saw a man coming towards us.

    He was the quintessential white, New England hiker. I am pretty sure he is the type of dude who chops wood to warm his cabin at night, reads Thoreau with a warm glass of whisky on a whicker chair, and the only time he has ever talked about his feelings is when he said “see you later” to his dad on his death bead. This was not a man who seemed to be in touch with his emotions, nor would he ever share any personal details about his life beyond what brand of wool socks keeps you most warm once wet with morning dew.  He was wearing his hiking boots, shorts, plaid shirt, a back pack with water, and sun hat.  He was that guy.

    We made eye contact through the trees, and I wanted to communicate to Sasha that this man was coming – but I didn’t know how…  I just kept walking forward and letting her talk, sort of thinking everything was going to be okay because she must have seen him too right?  The Preppy Hiker kept walking towards us, and could hear everything that was coming out of Sasha’s hole…. in her face you horny toad!

    Sasha: Every time I have been in a situation where people are having sex right in front of me I get super turned on. I just really get off on watching other people fuck.

    Right as Sasha uttered that last word – she looked up and saw the hiker.

    White New England Hiker: Uhhhhh… Don’t mind me….

    That was pretty much the best moment of all of our lives.

    hiker-story-(i)

  • James Foley, ISIS, The Perpetual War for Resources

    James Foley was a courageous man who knowingly risked his life for the pursuit of the truth. He wanted to expose the injustices committed against the Syrian people, and his morality took precedent over his safety. The Islamic extremist group ISIS recently beheaded him, and is now threatening to kill more.

    Murdering a journalist is a horrific attempt to have an impact on American foreign policy. ISIS is demanding Obama leave Iraq or else another kidnapped journalist will be executed. Yet they have to know these brutal acts are ultimately ineffective when it comes to having genuine influence on the White House’s decisions. Even though the American people will be devastated to watch more innocent citizens die, the political system will not adapt because of the sacrifice of the few.

    The American government has an agenda with Iraq, and it is far more complex than conceding to ISIS. ISIS is targeting the US because the American vision for Iraq is in direct conflict with what ISIS is trying to organize. ISIS wants a complete failure of Iraq in order to create a Sunni Islamic state – the rationale being that if there is going to be a Jewish State, then there must be an Islamic one as well. ISIS has exploited the chaos in Syria to hold territory, and funds itself through oil and extortion. The land ISIS is trying to dominate is obviously rich with oil, as Iraq is home to 4% of the earth’s oil supply – which is the 5th largest in the world.

    A military presence in the Middle East gives the U.S. leverage to shape political outcomes, and benefit economically from that molding. America has already empowered the Shia majority – whose Prime Minster refuses to accommodate Sunnis. That is like if Iraq came to the US during our Civil War and gave tanks and advanced military gear to the South/North. Our intervention to embolden one group has drastically angered the other.

    Despite how much trauma it would cause if subsequent journalists suffer the same fate as James Foley, the stakes are too high for the US government. This is hard to conceptualize because the wars we fight are not on our land. The relationships we have to them are more abstract than if we were being constantly attacked on our home turf. We can feel compassion for the families who lose their loved ones overseas, or a deep anger for the injustices of good people dying – but our daily lives are impacted differently by war than in the lands where the actual fighting is occurring. Bombing and airstrikes are not going to stop a momentum so strong it has taken over the Middle East.

    There is an extreme desperateness on the part of this radical faction, because although ISIS craves supremacy, it is still dwarfed by the Iraqi army and its allies. This has created a culture where barbaric acts amplify their voice on the global stage. To get attention politically, ISIS engages in drastic attempts to be heard. The pursuit for power blended with religious fundamentalism breeds a mentality that rejects humanity. Yet this story is not new, and will continue to be a theme because religion and the fight over resources are the prevailing components of war. They represent the most fundamental parts of the human experience – the will to survive, the desire for power, and the fear of death.

    The violence won’t stop with ISIS just as it didn’t stop with Al-Qaeda (who recently splintered from ISIS). Many predicted this type of uprising, as it is the logical consequence of US interference. The only way these perpetual wars will end is if the heads of state recognize the importance of sharing and distributing the earth’s precious resources in a more reasonable way that prioritizes humanity over power.

    foley-blog(-(i)

    August 21, 2014 • Current Events, Political Banter • Views: 2384

  • Beauty Is A Rainbow (of hair)

    When you bring your child into a public space, there is a pretty good chance that someone might overhear your conversation and judge you as a parent. This is especially the case when you frequent a new-agey organic restaurant where the seats are painfully close to each other, and the diners next to you are hyper-critical snobs… but in a non-critical accepting way. Yet just because you know someone is listening in on your conversation doesn’t mean you have to self censor. Sometimes you’ve got to speak the truth, even if that means dealing with dirty looks from hippies.

    Toni: I kind of want to dye my hair red like the color of this doll’s hair.
    Munch: You do?! How come Mamma?
    Toni: I don’t know. I guess I am sick of my hair color.
    Munch: I want to dye my hair too then!
    Toni: Okay. What color?
    Munch: BROWN!
    Toni: What?! NO! Not brown! You have beautiful blond hair Munch. Why would you want to dye your hair brown?
    Munch: Because you have brown hair Mamma, and I want to be just like you!
    Toni: Munch that is really sweet, but your hair is awesome. I wish I had yellow hair like you because there is so much more you can do with it. Like you could dye your hair pink if you wanted?
    Munch: No Mamma. BROWN! I want to dye my hair brown!
    Toni: What about purple! It would be so easy. You wouldn’t have to bleach it or anything. You see my hair is too dark for that….
    Munch: Mamma, I want brown hair.
    Toni: Dude there is no way I am going to let that happen. What about blue!!! It would look so rad with your eyes! We could do blue streaks!
    Munch: Nope brown.
    Toni: Okay fine. I guess neither of us will dye our hair then.

    hair-blog-(i)hair-blog-(i2)

  • Being White Won’t Save You From The Police State

    With the recent events in Ferguson a lot of people are talking about race, racial profiling, and the blatant targeting of police towards the black youth of America. There is a flurry of white people who are now faced with a very publicized example of the depths of injustice, and forced to think to themselves “Wow, that could be my kid, yet I am white so I don’t have that same problem.” This flood of empathy and compassion is meaningful, yet as a white person myself; I am surprised by how many white people are surprised by their white privilege.

    I would like to think that the LA riots inspired by the release of the Rodney King tapes would have shed a spotlight on police brutality so bright there would have been major bureaucratic overhauling. That physical proof demonstrated the flagrant prejudice, and the need for intervention. Yet since that time, there have been COUNTLESS instances of police shooting black men because they had a wallet, candy bar, or phone in their hand. Some of these stories, like Amadou Diallo or Trayvon Martin get mainstream press, but it is only when people take to the streets in rebellion that white America is like “Whoa, I guess police killing black people really is a problem.”

    Yet being white is not going to save you from the police state America is becoming. The black population may have been the first to suffer from this transitioning, but get ready White America – because you are going to be just as impacted. There is a naivety in assuming that whiteness will save you from an ever-growing corruption and militarization of the police force.

    White children are being arrested for lemonade stands, white moms are being arrested for letting their children play in the park or for saying “fuck” in front of them, white girls are being arrested for reading subversive books, white families are being arrested for growing vegetables in their yard / having chickens / putting solar panels on their roof. Do you remember The Occupy Wall Street movement? Can you recall the police in military grade riot gear spraying pepper spray and assaulting peaceful white protesters? Although racism is an OBVIOUS problem when it comes to police treatment, so is dissent.

    There are over 50,000 SWAT team raids in America Annually – that is more than 100 every day! Modern officers are groomed to be more like soldiers than neighborly protectors. The pentagon has given over $500 million worth of equipment to the police, and Homeland Security has granted over $35 billion in grants. 13,000 agencies are participating in a military recycling program. Many of America’s newly armed officers are ex-military veterans from the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t now about you, but I am not sure a man who was just fighting a war is best suited for the position of a police man who I hope might save my cat from being stuck up a tree. Can we just take a moment to think of how cops in England only have batons as weapons, and our cops have ½ million dollar tanks?!

    It is not individual policemen who are the problem, but the culture that is being cultivated. There is a prevailing message that the American people are the enemy, not citizens who need to be safeguarded. The drone invasion of American air space, internal check points, stop and searches, uncalled for strip searches, the prison industrial complex (which includes half of the prison population incarcerated for non violent crimes), police officers not receiving the same jail time as citizens for the same offenses, NSA surveillance / government spying – are a all clear indicators of the mentality behind the police state.

    The police in question can easily justify this behavior by insisting they are just “doing their job.” Which in many ways they are. Yet what we as the citizens must begin to question is what exactly is the “job” of the police, and why are we the targets? There is an element of complacency and blind obedience involved because ultimately we are allowing ourselves to be treated like criminals.

    That is why we have to have respect for the people of Ferguson who are standing up for their rights, albeit in a complicated manner, but the intention is profound and the message is clear. No! We have had enough of this treatment. They are braver than me, because currently I am not fighting back in exchange for the perceived freedoms that make it easier for me to live my life. Even though intellectually I am aware that the American public is becoming increasingly more oppressed, practically the effect still seems esoteric. Sure the NSA reads all my emails, but I allow it figuring they are bored or disinterested in my puny life. Yet that illusion of “oh well, what can I do?” is by far the most dangerous part of this police state. Many of us are too comfortable to fight back, turning away from the reality that our freedoms are increasingly being taken away. It is like we are lobsters who have been put in a pot of cold water, and are not noticing that someone has turned up the heat and soon we will boil.

    It is times like this where we have to remind ourselves of this poem about the atrocity of the Holocaust, because regardless of race, you are drastically impacted by the police state America has become.

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

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    August 19, 2014 • Current Events, Political Banter • Views: 3435