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Emotions
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  • A Tale of White Privilege

    Gather round little ones, snuggle by my side, and tuck yourself into a cozy blanket while I tell you a tale of white privilege. Lend me your ears to hear this glorious legend of how I, a white woman, was able to prevail despite a harrowing encounter. The suspense of my journey will leave you grasping at your own breast, hoping that me, your hero, triumphs despite my hardships. As the protagonist of this epic story I invite you to perhaps take a sip of tea, to calm your nerves, for what you are about to read is sure to shake you to your core.      

    It all began on a Sunday afternoon. I was strolling through the woods with my dog. Excuse me. My RESCUE dog because I’m better than you. How do it? My moral righteousness knows no bounds. I’ll take my Noble Prize later though, for right now, I have a saga to convey. One of my dear friends had come over to promenade my RESCUED dog with me, and we were partaking in some herbal remedy. (We smoked some weed). I had yet to eat lunch, and subsequently got very high. You’d think considering how often I partake in pot, and for how long I’ve been puffing pot for, I’d have a better understanding of how to best dose myself. Yet my shamanic attempts have always been such where I take a little too much of everything. Yes, I’ll have that last tequila shot at 4 am! Whoops, who knew projectile vomit could traverse such a distance? Even though I can see the trees breathing, why not eat a few more mushrooms? My heart’s beating so fast I think I’m having an anxiety attack – but let’s do more anxiety! (coke). I do drugs to the point where I feel like I’m almost dying just to remind myself that I do in fact want to live.      

    I digress. 

    My friend, RESUCE dog, and I eventually made it out of the woods, and onto the country road. As we were walking – discussing how time is an illusion because in theoretical physics there is no difference between the past and future because they are treated exactly the same and how the present doesn’t even exist because everything that happens in the “present moment” is actually in the past because it takes time for your brain to process the data and information in front of it – we ran into another woman with her dog. (Probably just a regular dog, and not a RESCUED dog like mine). Even though this woman wasn’t a national hero like yours truly, she still seemed deserving of a polite “hello.” Yet upon our greeting, I realized that she was in fact, quite distraught. 

    Woman with NON-rescued dog: “There are some dogs down the road that are running free without anyone monitoring them, and they are very aggressive.”

    Toni the glorious honorable citizen: “OH DEAR! Loose dogs! I actually know those dogs. One of them bit me once! I was just walking by, and it came up and chomped on my hand!”  

    Woman with NON-rescued dog: I’m actually afraid of dogs, so I’m turning around.

    I’m not sure if you know this, but my dog is actually a RESCUE dog, so she has some emotional baggage. As of right now, she does not get along with other dogs well, nor can I let her off the leash to figure it out doggie style. I am too conservative for that. Also, because I was pretty high, dealing with unsupervised antagonistic dogs was not on the top of my list of preferred priorities. 

    Toni the glorious honorable citizen: “Maybe we should turn around too? I’m not sure I’m prepared to handle dog drama.” 

    My friend: “Fuck that. We’re going for a walk! I’m going to go tell those dogs to go home.” 

    My friend went ahead and yelled at the dogs to go home – which they actually seemed to do! Emboldened, we started walking again. We passed the place where the hostile dogs lived, and I thought we were going to escape their wrath. Yet we were not so lucky. They must have sensed our presence. The two dogs came barreling down their driveway and started chasing us. Had I not had my RESCUE dog, I could have stood my ground, but I was attached to their object of prey. So, I started running. Did I make clear that I was pretty stoned as well? I rationally knew running from animals chasing you is probably not the best solution. I was only making us more appealing by becoming a moving target. But I was just not emotionally equipped to face Cujo 1 and Cujo 2.

    As we ran from the dogs I realized “Holy shit, I have not run my fastest in a while, and this is intense on my lungs!” Eventually my friend had the brilliant idea of turning around and yelling at the dogs to go home. Her standing still and matching their hostility allowed for me and my RESCUE dog to gain greater distance. We rounded the corner out of their sight, and the dogs lost interest. 

    This dramatic event had us all a bit dazed, so we of course stopped to smoke more weed. 

    Toni the glorious honorable citizen: “That was fucked up. I don’t want to live in fear of these dogs! I do this walk all the time!” 

    My Friend: “I know. They were going to eat your dog.” 

    Toni the glorious honorable citizen: “My RESCUE dog.” 

    My Friend: “Right.”

    Toni the glorious honorable citizen: “I kind of want to call the police. Something should be done!” 

    Now, was I really going to call the police? Of course I wasn’t. That would be crazy. But threatening to was how indignant I felt about the whole affair. We kept walking and smoking more weed. What? I needed to ease my system! Then, as if positioned by the Goddess herself, I saw a cop car pulled over! He was tucked into a driveway trying to trap speeding drivers, but to me, it was like a sign from mother Gaia. 

    Toni the glorious honorable citizen: “LOOK! The cops!” 

    My Friend: “Toni, no…”

    There was no stopping me. Was I thinking about how America is a police state full of corruption and abuse of power? No. Was I pondering the prison industrial complex and its impact on society? No. Was I musing on the justice system and how its flawed morality is indicative of a broken system that targets the poor and minorities? NO. Was I convinced that my class and race privilege would protect me from all this? I SURE WAS! The spirt had gifted me with an opportunity to live my truth, and I went right up to the cop.

    NOW KEEP IN MIND I HAD JUST BEEN SMOKING WEED. NOT ONLY DID I HAVE WEED ON MY BREATH, BUT ALSO A SMOKING HOT BOWL IN MY POCKET! I must have smelled like a Grateful Dead show gave birth to a Phish tour. But I went right up to cop’s window, despite my friend’s objection. 

    Toni the glorious honorable citizen: “Excuse me officer? I was just walking my RESCUE dog, and my friend and I got chased by two loose dogs. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, but is there anything you can do to communicate that this was a problem? I am an upstanding honorable member of this community and all.”

    The Police Officer: “Sure Ma’am. Can I just get ALL your information including your address and phone number?” 

    Toni the glorious honorable citizen:  “You sure can!” 

    All the while my friend is losing her shit. For from her perspective I was literally blowing weed into this cop’s face, but from mine, I was letting the law know my rights had been infringed upon!  I know. I’m so brave.

    Here is Luna… the RESCUE dog I so selflessly adopted.

  • You Will NEVER Get What You Want

    What do you want most in the world? Close your eyes and picture it. Is it love? The caress of a person you long for to be eternally devoted to you? Is it success? The accomplishment of settling into your ideal career, or getting the job of your wet dreams? Is it money? Being so wealthy that you can use dollar bills as toilet paper? Which, btw, I do not recommend because that’s one hell of a place to get a paper cut. Is it the perfect body? Being so chiseled you could cut steak with your abdomen? What is it? Let your greatest desire, your deepest want wash over you. Do you have it in your mind’s eye? Are you holding that yearning in the palm of your hand? Stroking it like a flaccid soldier you want to harden for action?   

    Now guess what?

    You will never get it. 

    You will never get what you want. 

    Ever.

    I’m not saying what you want won’t happen. It’s absolutely possible that it will happen. But once you get what you want, you will not want it anymore. Not in the same way. The wanting will evaporate. The initial bliss will be replaced by being accustomed to having what you wanted. You will get used to it, and it will be impossible to remember the yearning of before. What you wanted will no longer be a desire, but a familiar part of your life that is taken advantage of, unappreciated, and expected.

    I used to want to be a published writer. Salon published my first article 7-years ago. I then wanted that article to be read more than it was. After that, I wanted to write for other publications. I did. But then I wanted my articles to go viral… frowny face. I got sick of writing for other people so I started writing movie and TV scripts. I made short films. I wanted my scripts and films to get into festivals. They did. Then I wanted my scripts and films to win awards at festivals. They did. Then I wanted some Hollywood big wig call me on the phone to tell me, “You’ve got the goods sweetheart. I’m buying you a ticket to tinsel town.” Still waiting.  

    I once wanted a boy. I got that boy. He annoyed me. I wanted to be free. We broke up. I was lonely. I wanted long hair. I grew long hair. It got tangled. I wanted change, I got bangs, too much change. I wanted to start a business. I started a business. It was stressful. I wanted chocolate crepes with strawberries. I made chocolate crepes with strawberries. I ate too much.

    You will always have something to complain about when you are in the mindset of complaining. You can always find problems. You will always want the next thing. What you have will never be enough. Nothing will ever satiate the deep need for more that lives within us. 

    Unless you are an enlightened being, of course, which in that case, groovy. 

    I am currently not enlightened, so this paradigm is something I struggle with from time to time (every day). Yet I am aware of it, and that awareness makes it less painful (not really). Contentment is a very hard emotion to cultivate, and even harder to maintain. Yet contentment is what we all need more of. Not perfection. Contentment. 

    Maybe that’s not the sexiest concept? How are you today? I’m content. You don’t hear that very often. But we should. That is what she should be seeking. Not happiness. Happiness is an ethereal fairy that drifts around indiscriminately like a floating dandelion seed. A more reasonable expectation of life is having total acceptance for what is and an apperception for what’s in front of you.

    Gratitude. 

    Feeling genuinely grateful. 

    Yet you have to remind yourself to feel grateful. Daily. I don’t think gratitude is our default operating system. I think we have to upload it every morning. Have rituals to connect to it. My personal strategy to access gratitude is listening to 90’s hip hop or smoking weed in nature. We all have our methods. What’s yours?   

    Look how tangled that long hair is!

    March 7, 2019 • Ambitions, Change, Consciousness, Emotions, Musings, Problems, Relationships • Views: 505

  • The Perfect Metaphor For Life


    How do you feel about the day of your birth? Do you enjoy being celebrated? Do you relish in being the hot dog for a day and nestle betwixt the buns of your personhood? Or does the concept of aging cause anxiety? Do you fear your imminent death and want to shove your head into the sands of time in order to avoid thinking about the unforgiving truth that soon you will be consumed by soil as worms slowly engulf your rotting flesh?

    My particular birthday falls in a strange vortex of time – December 29th– this piercing eye amidst a cyclone of holidays, vacations, celebration, and darkness. There is a collective expectation for fun during this season, anticipation hangs in the air, and a mutual yearning coats those winter weeks. This particular year – as the day commemorating the glorious moment where I blasted out of my mom’s sacred internal oven approached – I began to feel an intense pressure. I was stalked by an unrelenting need to do something out of the ordinary. Something spiritual, something mind blowing, something that would shake up my consciousness and dip me into the quantum soup of our so-called reality which is actually just a hologram projected onto a screen of mutual mass illusion.

    My first plan was to drink ayahuasca. I wasn’t particularly in the mood to do so, but there was an opportunity to. I have done ayahuasca before because of course I have I’m a white hippy, and a friend invited me to a ceremony that happened to be taking place on that exact day that I was spewed from my mother’s womb. Yet I had my reservations because I didn’t feel the personal needto look into the black eyes of my demons and crawl into the ceaseless vacuum of inner darkness that layers my soul, but I would have. Sadly, however, that event was cancelled, and I was left with no plans. Then another friend invited me to a Kambo ritual, which in case you’re not familiar, is the psychedelic frog medicine where a shaman burns the amphibian’s venom into your skin and you spend the next half hour or so vomiting and shitting out toxins – which sounded like a real party. But sadly for me, I had just gotten mercury fillings removed from my mouth and had spent the day taking benzos at the dentist the day before the Kambo was going to take place. I guess sedating yourself on medical grade heroine isn’t the best recipe for spiritual enlightenment produced through anal leakage, and I couldn’t participate in that event either. 

    I was starting to panic. I didn’t know what to do to satiate my yearning and had no idea how to spend the day venerating the instant where I disgorged from my mother’s birth canyon. I knew I had a feeling of wanting to connect to something larger than myself but was unclear how to accomplish that. I couldn’t ignore this feeling of restlessness. I yearned to dive into myself, to uncover a new layer. Tormented by this need I smoked a little weed and went for a night walk around the lake by myself with my dog, Luna, hoping I would figure out what to do with myself. The moon was full, it was the winter solstice, and the season had just turned to Capricorn. It was as cold as a witch’s tit, and the wind was unyielding. I walked around thinking about nothing important (myself) and contemplated this and that (me and more me). 

    Eventually I made my way to the graveyard and tromped through the snow to find the familiar place where my best friend Bitty’s grave is. I kneeled down and pressed my forehead against the bird bath which marks her gravestone, allowing the essence of her energy to enter my 3rdeye. I decided to listen to some music and put on my “Bitty playlist” of songs that all reminded me of her. The vibrations reverberated from my headphones and I entered into a trance as our favorite song from childhood, “Like a Prayer,” played. I started singing to Bitty so she could hear it too. The next song was “Tennesse” by Arrested Development, which in case you haven’t heard that one in a while, is worth the listen. I was moved to get up and dance. The song “Scatman” was next – a stupid club song that Bitty and I danced to at the disco in Hungary when we were 15. I closed my eyes and could see perfectly clearly the way she danced in my mind’s eye. How she’d turn her arms into a snake like a Michael Jackson video we loved. How she smiled at me, a drunken sloppy smile as we threw our bodies around to the beat. I could see it effortlessly – a memory come to life. Then the timeless romantic tune “Gimme that Nutt” by Easy-E was blasted through. I still remembered every lyric (Bitty and I memorized the whole song) and again felt compared to share out loud these tender words as I danced.   

    “That dick you know what so roll over girl while I stick it in ya
    But I’ll turn it wild while I’m ridin’ that ass scream and shout
    My name is the same
    Just another pussy that I had tah tame soooooooo…”

    My ego subsided and I lost myself in my own ceremony – a personalized ritual and ecstatic observance of the holy. In that moment I was unwatched by anyone, even myself. The memory of Bitty blended into what it was actually like to be around Bitty – like we were hanging out again. I danced for hours with her that night. Pounding the ground of her grave with the stomping of my feet. I had assumed the cure to my existential angst was some substance-induced experience to catapult me into the space time continuum, but what I really needed was to spend time my best friend again. To allow the connection to feel alive. Letting myself love Bitty is how I unite with the divine. She is my spiritual practice because she is my god source. She’s part of the mystery of death, the unknown of the eternal. Spending time with Bitty’s spirit is like a cleansing of my cells. It shakes me to my core and wakes me up to life. I deeply I miss my best friend, and that’s not something I always let myself feel because it’s so much to carry. I can’t always find the state of mind where it’s possible to truly open up and connect to her. That’s why I seek the guidance of psychedelics to push me over the edge. Yet that night alone with my dog under the full moon, I allowed all the feelings to flow through me again. These emotions I so often contain and repress because to really feel them is almost unbearable – how much love can hurt when you can no longer make new memories with someone. Yet there I was, on December 22nd2018 dancing with the gravestone of my best friend Bitty, making new memories with her spirit.   

    After that night I no longer cared about my birthday. I no longer felt that internal push. I was calm, almost serene. The holidays floated by in a daze and on the day of my birth, the day I was putting so much pressure on, I barely did anything. I made a video about my new bangs and played one continuous game of “Chutes and Ladders” with my kid for 2 hours. It was the most epic game of “Chutes of Ladders” ever played. Neither of us could win. We’d get so close to the final square, but then down a slide we’d go. We’d go from the top of the board to the bottom of the board again and again and again in an incessant feedback loop. After about the 70thtime I realized that “Chutes and Ladders” is the perfect metaphor for life and is preparing kids for their inevitable future. You go up, you go down, you go up, you go down, you go up, you go down. That board game is the most brilliant physical manifestation of existence ever created. Our inability to get to where we wanted to go was pushing us to the limits of sanity. We started screaming at the board. I began to sweat with frustration as my eyes blurred from fatigue. I was unable to comprehend how many times we’d fall down those damn chutes. I may not have had the drug inspired birthday I was seeking, but that game of “Chutes and Ladders” was truly shamanic.

    PS I won. 


    February 28, 2019 • Adventures, Emotions, Family Drama, Musings, Old School Stories, Playing • Views: 206

  • Sex and Romance Tips: To Enforce Gender Roles

    My friend recently sent me some “sex tips” from an app, which seems about right for these modern times. Just what we need right? Sex and romance tips straight from the mouth of a phone! Soon your lover will be asking, “where did you learn to do that trick with your tongue and toe?” And you will coyly reply, “oh, that little old thing? From an app! And that wasn’t my toe silly, it was my liver.”  

    What a world we live in. Forget the Karma Sutra. Too much reading. And whatever happened to the Joy of Sex? Does anyone on this porn infested planet ever get that book anymore? Do you remember this delightful body of work? I can’t be the only kid that found that gem in my parent’s bedside table, marveling at the complexity of those drawings. I especially enjoyed the detail paid to hair.   

    But in today’s times, we turn to tech to fulfill our needs and curiosities about humanity, hence the sex tips app. My friend didn’t send these glorious guidelines of how to please a lover because she thought I needed the advice, but rather to laugh at the absurd gender implications associated with each so-called “tip.” 

    Here is the suggestion for how men should treat their women.

    The implication here is that “chores” are women’s work, therefor helping with these annoying aspects of life delegated to her will make your lady so sopping wet that she’ll let you slip and slide right inside her. Let’s not question the hideous expectation that often the woman’s role in the relationship is to deal with the mundane activities of “chores” (despite her most likely working too considering the current economic environment). Don’t over think this silly discrepancy fellas, and instead occasionally help her out with the sole purpose of getting your dick moist. Classy stuff.

    Let’s move on to the suggestion how women should get their men off!

    Wow. So much to unpack here. In order for the lady to entice her man, she doesn’t have to go through the silly charade of doing “men’s work.” She’s not expected to break out her Allen wrench or get under the sink to tighten the plumbing pipes. NO! That would be absurd! She should bow down to his penis and genuflect to all its glory while taking him in her mouth as he stands over her like a king! If you want your man to want you, allow him to feel his power as he thrusts his boner into your gagging throat because he deserves the royal treatment! That will get his attention! 

    There was so much that enraged me about this! How in 2019 is this the gendered propaganda being inserted into our psyches? Why pump this outdated hype into our brains? Who is this flaccid thinker that thought these tips were accurate depictions of how we should be relating to each other? I mean seriously, what archaic sexist assumptions gliding in and out of our minds. Also, it’s actually not that bad advice. 

    I mean…. I do really like it when dishwasher is unloaded when I wake up in the morning, and I’m sure any guy would enjoy an impromptu BJ on an imaginary throne or standing over you like the god he wishes he was. Exactly what’s so fucked up about this is how equally true it is. We are so embedded in our cultural programming that we can’t escape the data circuits fusing into the most primal aspects of self. You’d think sex, the most animalistic act we engage in, would be safe from the conditioning of society – that there would be something sacred about this sacrosanct act. Yet no. Our sexuality is predicted by the paradigm we exist in. We might as well admit that we are androids of our own making, unable to detangle the influence of society on the strings of our synapsis. 

    These sex tips are attempting to illicit romance and connection with you and your partner, but romance is an illusion stemmed from the bouquets of our collective fairytales. The stories we tell to each other define the stories we want to create in our own lives. There is nothing particularly sexy about flowers beyond the expectation that they should feel that way. There is nothing inherently romantic about any of the gestures we make. Unless you fell in love 2-weeks ago, romance is mostly a forced feeling we think we should be experiencing. If you’re in a long-term relationship looking to feel like you did when you first fell in love, well guess what? It’s not going to happen. No “tip” is going to bring back the unbridled desire you had when that person was still a mystery to you. The lust of not knowing someone very well is romantic because romance is predicated on the fantasy you’re projecting onto them. All the love and sex tips we receive are essentially caca manipulating you to think you’re not the mercy of your indoctrination.  

    PS

    HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

    February 13, 2019 • Cultural Commentary, Emotions, Relationships, Sex Stuff • Views: 723

  • The Pointlessness of Arguing

    For the past 15 years I’ve been slapping my opinion onto the collective table of the internet. I’ve dealt a variety of different cards during this time – sketch comedy, music videos, stand up, written blogs, memes – shuffling through my consciousness in a desperate attempt to be heard. Why I have this compulsion to broadcast my thoughts is not exactly clear. The short answer is obviously because I feel like I have something to say and the long answer dates back to my childhood insomnia fueled by a quantum entanglement with my father so we’ll just leave it at that.

    When you feed yourself to the wolves you can’t complain about getting eaten alive. I’ve learned to grow a dense hide in order to protect my ass from the hate. There are times I create something and receive nothing but praise (thanks mom!) but there are plenty of other times my work tickles the taint of those that don’t share my view point, humor, or politics, and I am then flooded with a deluge of zealous condemnation.

    I recently made a video entitled “Is that Rape?” inspired by the adorable Brett Kavanaugh and his charming “who cares if I assault women” attitude. I knew when I made this video that not everyone was going to clap their chubby little hands in approval, and boy was I not mistaken. I got plenty of comments calling me a “libtard” to remark on how dumb and how unfunny I am, with even some really sweet annotations wishing violence upon my being. The internet is so cute!

    To me the problem isn’t that people disagree, it’s how they disagree.

    If you think about our educational system, there isn’t a lot of emphasis on learning the art of dialogue. In the times when the Greeks were developing the concept of democracy, the process of dialogue was HIGHLY regarded as one of the most crucial and pivotal personal aptitudes. Socrates’ entire philosophy was based on the importance of dialogue. He didn’t concern himself exclusively on what the topic of the discussion was, but rather how the topic was discussed. He encouraged a deep knowledge of how to have a conversation because the contents of that conversation were of lesser importance.

    So, what happened? America boasts that we’re the “greatest democracy in the world” (we’re not) and yet there is zero attention paid to the most basic and fundamental principal of democracy. How can the people rule when the people can’t talk to each other? I find myself getting into arguments with humans I mostly agree with simply because they don’t know how to have a productive session of listening and exchanging. Don’t you feel like it’s time we make the art of dialogue a priority again?

    No one knows how to argue because very few people are open minded enough to allow their consciousness to expand. When you have a political view, or some moral commitment, you tend to build a narrative that supports your thinking. We construct our reality in order not to challenge our construction of reality. Once you have committed to seeing the world in a certain way, you are often too afraid to re-think your thinking because then what does that mean about the reality you’ve created around it?

    But here is the issue. You can create any reality you want. I could just as easily create a reality where Brett is a victim of nasty liberal feminists trying to take him down because of their venomous ways, as I could the reality that he is in fact quite rapey and has no place on the Supreme Court (much like Clarence Thomas). There are plenty of “facts” out there to support either position.

    Where we are failing each other is not acknowledging that everyone’s reality is valid to them. Even those that we vehemently disagree with, they still have a sense of reality that’s based on logic. Their logic may seem crazy pants to you, but it’s logical to them. When we act like the other side is just a bunch of dumb dumbs without rational for their viewpoints we are ignoring an unavoidable truth. 99% of people have REASONS they think they way they do, and if you’re not curious about their reasons and instead just toss insults and disdain we will never have constructive dialogue.

    Everyone’s relationship to reality is born from the data and processing power in front of them. There is a reasoning system that humans apply which means that all points are valid, regardless of how much they might enrage you. That’s not the point. The point of dialogue isn’t to think someone’s an idiot for seeing the world differently than you, but rather to have a dialogue deconstructing why. We are ALL the consequences of our programming. We have all been conditioned by our parents, society, and our life experiences. The question then becomes how do you take that reality internally and implement it externally? There has got to be a better way than calling people “cunts” on the internet.

    What if we argued less and talked more? What if we understood that we’re all victims of structures of power, and that even those supporting these high-rises of oppression are still slaves to it? What if we stopped wasting all this energy screaming about who’s right and instead worked towards a greater understanding of what’s to be done?

  • I’m Sorry I Tried to Rape You

    The sexual assault accusation of Brett Kavanaugh is one of nuance, and if there is one thing our American political system avoids, it’s complex thought. The media is struggling to box this story up into a black and white package, which is hard to do when a woman feels she experienced an attempted rape and the man feels like, “what?” Men like Fox news columnist Stephen Miller chalking the whole scene up to “drunk teenagers playing 7 minutes in heaven,” makes me wonder if Miller understands that HEAVEN usually doesn’t entail someone holding you down and trying to force themselves inside of you. If that’s your idea of heaven sweetie, I know a place for you to experience that… Prison!

    If I look at this story from a meta perspective, it’s obvious to me why many men don’t want to classify this it as a crime. For Kavanaugh to pay the price of what he did as a 17-year old (as if that’s the ONLY time he acted this way which I highly doubt) then what kind of snowball effect would that have on other men? What are the standards of which we should hold men accountable to for assaulting women? Men don’t want to set that precedent because of the fear that too many of them will go down in flames.

    Women speaking out about this situation are begging for retribution. They want to expand the definition of punishable assault because, go figure, most people don’t like to be attacked and forced to do things they don’t want to do. They want Kavanaugh to be held accountable in order for our society to have higher standards. They want a more intricate understanding of assault, because for many, even if the penis never makes it inside of you, the trauma is just as significant.

    I have read countless stories of women voicing the need for us to redefine our understanding of how rape violence impacts victims, and men saying “hey honey, it’s not that big of a deal.”

    Who I haven’t really heard from is the MILLIONS OF MEN THAT ARE ALSO AFFECTED BY RAPE CULTURE AND COULD PERHAPS SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE THAT RAPE CULTURE DOESN’T JUST IMPACT WOMEN WHO ARE RAPED BY ACTUALLY THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD!

    There are MANY men that I know who would NEVER be handsy, rapey, or inappropriate. I even know men who can’t watch porn because it feels too degrading towards the actress and they empathize with her and the life experience that brought her to have two dicks stuffed in one ass. There are so many men who don’t rape or assault others. Call me old fashioned, but I have a lot more trust in the morality of a man who doesn’t rape than a man who does.

    Who is the kind of guy that rapes or attempts to rape? Men who want what they want, when they want it. They want power over others. They want to show their strength. They have no concern of the consequence of their actions on other people’s lives. They prioritize their own needs over the feelings of the person they are with. These men use psychological and physical violence to get their way.

    This begs the question who are these guys when they are not busy raping? I’ll tell you who they’re not – Mr. Rogers that’s for damn sure. The type of guy that is open to raping is also the type of guy that is spreading that same forceful energy in every aspect of his life. Everyone is impacted by the energy of rapey men. We need to examine how rape culture is directly destroying the planet – how rape culture is effecting the environment, business, media, politics, war, weapons, the world economy, men, women, and children. Rape culture is so insidiously ingrained in the patriarchy that it’s often hard to identify.

    The micro is the macro. That’s why this current media cyclone is not just about Brett being a little too aggressive one night. It’s also about do we want this kind of man, this kind of thinker, IN CONTROL OF OUR NATIONAL LAWS? I don’t! That’s why this is important. Rape culture can’t be the prevailing foundation of which we build our lives upon, and rapists cannot continue be the ones in control of the future.

    There are men out there who have raped, who have assaulted, who have pressured, and they have owned their actions. They have admitted what they did and apologized to the people involved. Beyond prison, I think what we also want is for rapists to understand the hurt they caused. For the event to change the assaulter as much as it changed the victim. If one is emotionally mature enough to acknowledge and take responsibility for the hurt they caused, then mostly likely that awareness would seep into all aspects of their life. These men are our allies too. It takes way more balls to be able to say “I’m sorry I raped you,” than it does to rape. I believe in personal evolution. I believe that people can realize the trauma they caused and have genuine remorse. I believe there is a place for them to be forgiven. Yet if you are going around raping people and then defending or denying your actions, then what else are you capable of? How else will you psychically rape the people you are around, or emotionally rape the system you have power in? I don’t want a rapist ruling this country. I don’t want rapists ruling business. I don’t want rapists in control because they don’t just rape people, they rape period.

    Rather than arguing about “is this attempted rape really that bad” why don’t we instead focus on not giving power to men why try to rape. In the priesthood, in Hollywood, in politics, in business, in all these circumstances where men exploit their power over others. If we take down the rapists we take down the patriarchy. If we take down the patriarchy we will have the revolution we’ve been looking for. The change we have been craving. The desire to live life as we know is possible. If we want a paradigm shift it starts with this. If we want to reform Wall Street it starts with this. Rape is not a woman’s problem, it’s the world’s problem.

  • “My Hair Isn’t Perfect!” – A Feminist Nightmare

    I never thought this day would come. I had assumed that my influence would overshadow the toxic messaging of culture. I wanted to believe that my personal jihad against women defining themselves through their attractiveness would seep into the pours of my child. That my daughter would emulate my behavior rather than succumbing to the influence of media manipulation and societal conditioning. I naively thought I was going to be able to shelter her from the storm of female insecurity by turning myself into an umbrella of ambivalence regarding beauty standards. Are all these years of dressing like a 12-year old boy, not caring about make up, and having my hair resemble a nest suitable for a family of opossums worth nothing?

    Toni: Hey Munchie let’s go!
    The Munch: I’m not ready yet!
    Toni: Why what’s going on? Don’t you wanna go swimming?
    The Munch: I do, but I can’t leave yet! I am doing my hair!
    Toni: Munch who cares? We’re going swimming.
    The Munch: MOM! I CAN’T GO SWIMMING UNTIL MY HAIR IS PERFECT!

    Silence.

    I let that one sink in for a minute. Five minutes later she comes downstairs in tears.

    The Munch: My hair is not right!
    Toni: Munch, why is your hair so important to you?
    The Munch: It just is!
    Toni: If something is this important to you that you’re going to cry about it, I think it’s crucial for you to understand why it’s so important.
    The Munch: I don’t know!
    Toni: So… is it possible that maybe your hair isn’t actually that important?
    The Munch: I ONLY LIKE IT WHEN MY HAIR IS PERFECT AND I LOOK PRETTY!

    A Tsunami of rage flooded my being. How could my 8-year old give a flying fuck in a rolling doughnut about looking pretty? How could this country-bred, Waldorf educated, Swiss chard eating child (that spends her days in nature communing with chipmunks) work herself up into such a tizzy that she’s weeping because hair isn’t perfect!? It was a feminist nightmare. The walls started closing in on me. It was hard to breathe. I began to lose consciousness as my mouth lost all moisture and I nearly gagged at the horror of it all.

    The munch has never seen me stress about my looks, and if she had observed my hair closer she would’ve noticed that the back section was in fact a giant knot that housed 9 different forms of bacterial microbes. Where was this beauty anxiety coming from? TV? Movies? Other girls? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

    Toni: Do you know what this kind of thinking is? This idea that you’re not pretty enough, or that you need your hair to be perfect? It’s a disease of the mind.
    The Munch: What do you mean?
    Toni: Munch like a cold, or the flu that is spread through germs, there are also contagious diseases of thought that culture spreads to make girls think that they aren’t perfect enough or pretty enough. This idea that girls have to be pretty and perfect all the time gets ingrained in your mind. You then think you’re good if you’re pretty or that being pretty is the value you have to the world. Girls then start to believe that being pretty matters more than anything else – more important than being funny, smart, creative, artistic, interesting, or kind. When all you care about is being pretty, then you can no longer see yourself truthfully. When girls obsess about beauty they often will only see their faults – and how they are not beautiful enough – and this disease makes them mutilate themselves with plastic surgery.
    The Munch: Is that where you change your face with doctors?
    Toni: Yes. These women become so insecure that they change their face with surgery because their minds have the disease of believing that they are not good enough. I’ll show you.

    We got on my phone and spent about 20 minutes looking at before and after pictures of women with plastic surgery. In every photo the before was the better photo – the actual faces of these women, smiling and yet to be ravaged by the Hollywood machine. We looked at what they did to themselves, what society did to them, what doctors allowed to happen. These human faces transformed into plastic masks.

    When we were done The Munch stopped talking about her hair. She hasn’t really talked about her hair since. I know the road is still long for us to go down, and this will most likely be the first of many conversations about this. I wanted to at least plant a seed in her consciousness because it breaks my feminist heart to think of The Munch plagued by insecurity around her beauty. Any woman who has gone through this knows what a waste of time it is. How when you are worrying about how pretty you are, you aren’t fighting against the patriarchy that made you feel inferior to begin with. Our daughters don’t have time to worry about this bullshit. Insecure women are controlled by the paradigm of male dominance and are trapped in a compact lacking the foundation they need to break free. Insecure women will waste their money, resources, time, and energy on the impossible task of seeking perfection.

    As humans we all deal with insecurity because it is genuinely hard not to compare yourself to the other. Yet if The Munch is going to feel insecure I’d so much rather it be because her friend Becky is better at science and not about who has the cuter pigtails.

    I mean its not every day that I can do a “Game of Thrones” style hair on an 8 year old.

  • Did I Fuck Myself By Making You a Better Person Than Me?

    Before having a kid, I had all sorts of ideas and goals about how I was going to indoctrinate a human. I felt very confident in my ability to socialize a person, and believed my influence could guide my child’s essence to develop into my ultimate Nietzschean ubermensch. In my fantasy she was going to be a counter-culture anti-corporate non-conforming anarchist revolutionary that would be really into Avant-garde art, only listen to obscure neurofunk tracks, watch exclusively Dutch films part of the digressionism cannon, and of course be an intellectual prodigy. So far things haven’t worked out exactly as planned. The Munch did in fact go through a 3 year My Little Pony phase, is not as interested as I would have thought in my anti-capitalist rants about the Amero or the federal reserve, and genuinely enjoys such TV programs as Full House – but at least she likes Pink Floyd so, that’s something.

    I guess another aim I had was to install a deep sense of empathy in my kid – especially if she’s not going to shave fractals into her hair and write gnomic poetry about the absurdity of existence – sigh. It’s hard to say if The Munch’s empathetic nature is a result of my flawless parenting or more an innate impulse that would have existed regardless, but she is one of the most moral and thoughtful people I know. She is genuinely happy for her friends when good things happen to them, she feels authentic sadness if she causes someone distress, and she’s hyper-aware of how others are feeling. It’s almost uncanny at times how compassionate she can be, and for a while I thought this was a good thing.

    But is it?

    The other day we were driving to my dance studio in Vermont and there was a homeless lady on the corner. We were stopped at a red light so The Munch had time to read her sign asking for money saying “any help is appreciated.”

    The Munch: Mom, the lady’s sign says she needs some money.
    Toni: Ummm… here is $2 – roll down your window and hand it to her.

    The Munch complied and the lady said thank you and we drove into the parking lot to go grocery shopping before I had to teach my class.

    The Munch: Why did that lady need money?
    Toni: Because she’s homeless.
    The Munch: How do people become homeless?
    Toni: There are so many reasons. Sometimes they have mental illness. Sometimes they have addiction problems. Sometimes they lost their jobs and can’t find another one and don’t have friends or family to help. Sometimes they are coming out of prison and can’t find work and have nowhere to go. I mean in truth it’s is a crime against humanity that there is homelessness, especially here where there is the national income to support homeless people – we just make the choice not to. There are solutions, but it’s just not the priority of the government or I guess any of us.
    The Munch: So, they need other people to help them and give them money to survive?
    Toni: Yeah.
    The Munch: So why did you only give her $2?
    Toni: Huh?
    The Munch: Why did you only give her 2$?
    Toni: Well, it’s more than $1…
    The Munch: But you have a $20 bill in your wallet. I saw it.
    Toni: Oh. Well… ummm…uhhhhh… you don’t really give homeless people $20???
    The Munch: WHY NOT!? THEY ARE HOMELESS!? MOM SHE DOESN’T HAVE A HOME AND YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GIVE HER $20?!
    Toni: Well, it’s complicated. I don’t know what she’s going to spend it on….
    The Munch: MOM WHY DOES THAT MATTER!? DID YOU NOT HEAR THE PART ABOUT HER BEING HOMELESS!?
    Toni: Touché.

    Munch took my wallet, grabbed my last $20, and went to find the woman to give it to her. And that’s how I began a relationship with a homeless woman where every time The Munch and I see her Munch gives her all the money in my wallet.

    Here she is making sure that I’m giving all my cash away.

  • How to Stay in Love and Be Happy in a Relationship ForEVER!

    I think we all know the narrative of the classic love story. Human meets human. They fall in love. They have sex 3-5 times a day. They think this will never change. They know they are the real deal, the ones who have found the hidden elixir of eternal love and lust. They are convinced they are different. They move into together. They are happy. But who’s turn is it to unload the dishwasher? Why are your dirty socks always on the sofa? Don’t use the sponge to wipe up the floor! THAT’S FOR THE SINK! No, you take out the trash! I did it last time. Who’s turn is it to make dinner? But I cleaned up yesterday! Why are you in such a bad mood all the time. No, YOU’RE THE ONE WITH TOO MANY EMOTIONS! Why are you always interrupting me? That’s my story… I want to tell it! I don’t want to watch that show, I want to watch THIS show. I guess we can have sex. Did you brush your teeth? Does that mean I have to brush my teeth? No it’s fine, I’ll do it. Wanna put some music on? Not that track, I hate that track. Have you always had this mole?

    The intimate relationship of living with a person and committing yourself to them is not an easy dynamic. Cohabitating means you’re exposed to MANY different sides of a person. No one is in a good mood all the time or has the energy to consistently be on their best behavior, so as a consequence you’re going to see the worst of your partner. (Except for me, I’m always a delight) It’s the moments of witnessing the shadow side of your lover that you may even feel some hate for them, but here is the question – how long do you hold onto that hate? How easy is it for you to access forgiveness?

    Genuine forgiveness is the KEY INGREDIENT to keeping the cherry pie of your relationship stay fresh. When you start to resent your partner, and are unable to forgive them for their behavior, that’s when you know you’re in trouble. Forgiveness is best accessed when the other person owns their shit and can say to you, “Whoops, I know I just took a huge metaphoric dump on the rug of our love and it’s smelly and moist, but hey, I’ll clean it up. Maybe the scent will linger for a bit, but I won’t deny my shit stank up the room. I also have this Nag Champa incense we could burn.”

    Of course, not everything a person does is forgivable. People can be abusive and if you’re living in that paradigm and keep forgiving then you’re putting yourself in danger (emotionally and physically). Yet for many of us our problems with our partners aren’t major red flags but more insidious scratches all over the body, and if you have too many, you will slowly bleed to death. You have to have time to heal each abrasion before the next one forms because even if they scar, they at least are no longer open decaying wounds.

    Having unconditional love for a person doesn’t mean you don’t have boundaries. I used to think that to show unconditional love I had to always say “yes” and do what a person wanted. But that’s not sustainable. Saying “no” is sometimes the most loving act you can do if saying “no” means you won’t resent them in the future. Unconditional love is what we are looking for, yet that means we also have to give it. So how is this achieved?

    We have to separate the person we love from the behavior we want to choke them for. People don’t change, but behavior does. It’s hard to fathom changing who you are, but it is totally possible to change how you act. When you’re with a partner you love and respect you have to take their feedback of your behavior and modify accordingly. Chances are the stuff you do that drives your partner crazy also drives everyone else fucking crazy. Your partner just nags you about it more because they have to goddamn live with it!

    We have to train the person we want to be with to be the best versions of themselves. Just as if you got a puppy, you wouldn’t just expect that puppy not to piss in your shoes. You’d train them how to act so they’d know what behavior was acceptable. Some people lack the skills of being a good roommate and they have to be taught how to be so they aren’t insanely annoying. The more your partner is willing to be influenced by you, and learn from your wisdom, the more you will be able to work together in being the best versions of yourselves more often.

    A lot of my friends who date men often accept their ways because they assume that’s just how men are – especially around the house. NO! People have so much potential for growth, you just have to figure out the best strategy to motivate them to work with you not against you. Many men haven’t been taught to access their nurturing, caregiving, or homemaking sides. But a life partner than can cook, do the laundry, care about your emotional needs, express their emotional needs, clean up after themselves, take care of children, is a person that’s more fun to live with. When the woman takes up all the slack of running the house, holding the emotional space, and has to also work a job – she’s going to feel bitter. When a person refuses to evolve you’re going to resent the shit out of them. But you sometimes have to train your lover to learn that evolution is best for all parties. The better person you are to your partner, the better person you are to the world at large.