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philosophy
Posts

  • A Culture of Consequences

    How do you motivate people to get them to do what you want? Do you give them an incentive? “Hey, come help me move and I will give you pizza, beer, and make your genitals orgasm.” Do you threaten them? “If you don’t help me move then I am going to shit in your mouth while you are sleeping.” Or do you expect them to do things because it is the “right” thing to do? “Come help me move because you are my friend and I need your assistance.”

    Philosophically we should be kind, thoughtful, and selfless all the time. We shouldn’t do things because we are seduced or emotionally manipulated – but rather out of righteousness and nobility. I want to do good things for goodness sake. Being good should be all the provocation we need to do good.

    Yeah… but people don’t always operate that way. We are all busy, or at least feel busy, and sometimes need prodding.  There is nothing like a jab in the ass to get your attention am I right?

    Theoretically I want to raise my child where she is completely driven by rationality and kindness.  I don’t want to always rely on, yelling, bribing, or arguing to get Munch to do things.  I want there to be some reasonable conversations that lead to making a collective decision about what is best.  I try to plant seeds to remind The Munch that there are consequences she should be aware of – and I am often looking out for her best interests. If you eat too much sugar, your tummy will hurt. If you don’t go to bed, you will be tired and cranky. If you don’t wash your hands after the bathroom, you will get fecal matter on them that will eventually get in your mouth. Although The Munch has an understanding that there are costs to certain actions, that doesn’t mean she always gives a shit.

    Not every request you make with your child can be a 30-minute debate. Sometimes you just want them to do something – like say brush their fucking teeth – and you don’t want to dispute why holes in your teeth is not desirable for the 400th time. There are days when I have the energy to appeal to her rational side, and there are days where I take a short cut and create a consequence if she doesn’t listen.

    Kids are not stupid and they pick up on your strategies. Even though The Munch will comply if I say “If you don’t turn off The Little Mermaid and come take a bath then I won’t let you watch the Little Mermaid anymore” that doesn’t mean she isn’t taking notes.

    Now she is starting to throw this culture of consequences back in my face. When she wants to do something and I say “no” she then creates a consequence to motivate me. Although I have to say, her threats are way more twisted and demented than mine have ever been.

    “Mom, if you don’t let me have a treat then I will rip your face off.”
    “Mom, if you don’t let me watch a movie then I will take your computer and throw it outside in the rain.”
    “Mom, if you don’t let me stay up I will stomp on your toes with my high heel shoes.”
    “Mom, if you don’t bring my baby upstairs then I will take all your clothes, put them in the toilet, and flush it.”
    culture-of-consequence-blog

  • Overcomplicating Important Issues

    I think a lot of people try to sound smart.  There is a fear of being simple.  I have it myself sometimes.  There are moments when I use prose that perhaps may be rooted in embellishment as a means of aggrandized interaction, and potentially I extrapolate my usage of syntax in order to provide the illusion of an excessive capacity and propensity towards immense unyielding intelligence.

    In academia and intellectual circles it is not only commended, but also expected for work to reflect an advanced level of education.  I get that people of graduate level degrees want to experience information that reflects all the time, money and effort they have committed to their brains.  The expectation to communicate this way undoubtedly shapes the conformity towards it, but there is a time and place for that type of mental exertion.  It is fine and dandy to want to look clever in front of your clever friends, but when writing and talking about politics, world issues, the economy, the more people can truly understand what you are saying, the better.

    The capacity to take a complex idea, and translate it into something that is easy to digest is a skill, and takes a lot of fiber.  Bob Marley, Plato, Yogic philosophy, all make the effort for their message be universal.  I understand that news sources feel pressure to cater to a specific audience, but at the same time how are more people going to be reached if the writing is too intimidating.

    When informing people about world events it is not a time to flex your rhetoric.  There is a difference between grandiloquence and discourse.  Considering the average reading level of an American’s is at an 8th grade level, technically all pertinent information should cater to that.  I know Fox news tries to seduce its demographic with flashy graphics and sensationalism, but that doesn’t mean people are getting a more in depth understanding of what’s happening.  Part of why there is so much misinformation is because the most important news is often clouded by incapacity to explain it clearly.

    I recently watched this show called VICE on HBO, which is done in a hipster-gonzo journalism style.  I was immediately impressed with the show and their effort to create media that aims to clearly inform a younger audience about the issues.  But I started reading articles where people were shitting on the show for being too simplistic – just a bunch of bros that aren’t delving into the intricacy of the subjects.  I found myself outraged that people were so arrogantly critical of an attempt to use narrative and story to highlight problems everyone should be aware of.  The snarky comments saying it is only news if you are totally uninformed were absurd in the context of wanting young people to be a part of the dialogue.

    Even though I love Chomsky and want to dry hump his mind, how can we get his words into a forum that everyone can comprehend?  That needs to be the real agenda.  Only when people are inspired and impassioned to learn, will they challenge their minds to read and listen to more complex material.  So why not do everything we can to get people in the door and get the process started?

    (You know… just crawl in a bag and keep things simple)

    overcomplicating-issues-blog-(i)

    April 17, 2013 • 2 years old, Current Events, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 1384

  • Are All Kids OCD, Or Just Mine?

    Kids are really into routines.  I guess it calms their frenetic child minds when they can expect what is coming next.  I can see how that would be comforting.  It must be unsettling having no sense of time, never knowing what day it is, and having some giant who speaks mostly in tongues orchestrate your day.   Insisting that they know best when you should sleep, and that you shouldn’t suck all the toothpaste off the toothbrush.

    I am empathetic to The Munch and her particularities.  But sometimes I notice that she gets obsessed in really peculiar and somewhat irrational ways.  Like she has to line up her toys on the bathtub rim in a perfect line, will only wear tights and never socks, eats popsicles only after they have melted, or insists on cutting off all the tags clothes because she thinks they are itchy.  Well actually, I totally relate to the tag thing and do that myself.  I have 45 shirts with holes in the back collar.  I have heard that an obsession with tags touching skin is a mark of high functioning autism but whatever.

    The Munch needs things to be exactly how she wants them to be, and if I don’t honor her eccentricities it is like I tied up her Elmo doll and sodomized him in front of her.

    Example 1:

    Munch: “My hands are cold!”

    Toni: “Here Munch, I have your mittens.  Let me put them on you.”

    Munch: “No I don’t want to wear them! The thumbs are floppy!”

    Toni: “Munch look, they are hardly floppy. I will pull them tight.  See.  Not floppy.”

    Munch: “THEY ARE FLOPPY! Take them off!!!!!!!!!”

    Toni: “Okay fine!”

    Munch: “Ahhhhhhh! My hands are cold!”

    Example 2:

    Munch: “Mamma, cut my sandwich.  I want two pieces.”

    Toni: “Okay.”

    Munch: “No! Now it’s falling apart! Fix it!”

    Toni: “Well, I can’t un-cut it Munch.”

    Munch: “The top is sliding off!!!”

    Toni: “Here, you just have to hold it tight.”

    Munch: “Ahhhhhhh it’s slipping!”

    Toni: “Munch I can’t glue it together?”

    Munch: “Put it back together! Un-cut it!”

    Example 3:

    Munch: “Are my babies in my crib for night-night?”

    Toni: “Yes, they are in your crib waiting for you.”

    Munch: “Other Baby, Old Baby, Water Baby, Car Seat Baby, New Baby, and Headband Baby?”

    Toni: “Well, I think I forgot headband baby.”

    Munch: “NO!! I NEED HEADBAND BABY!!”

    Toni: “But I think she is in the car so lets see her tomorrow.”

    Munch: “I NEED HER!!”

    Toni: “Munch, you have like 100 babies in here. Lets just wait to see her until tomorrow.  She is sleeping in the car.”

    Munch: “Go get her!! Go wake her up!! She is lonely!!”

    Toni: “ Fine… I will go get her.  I will be right back.”

    Munch: “Thank you Mamma.  Is my computer in the crib?”

    Toni: “No Munch, your computer is down stairs.”

    Munch: “But I need my computer in the crib!!”

    Toni: “Well, that actually makes a lot of sense to me.”

    ocd-blog-(i)

    April 3, 2013 • 2 years old, Baby Brain, Behavior, Eating, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 2080

  • Emotionally Exhausted

    The mind-body duality is a philosophical conundrum that has been pondered for thousands of years.  In my understanding, the mind is this ethereal idea that is associated with the brain, but doesn’t necessarily reside anywhere.  Who is to say that your mind is in your head, it could be in your heart, stomach, penis… or the little man in the canoe.

    Your mind may not even be yours alone – it could be just a tiny fraction of a collective mind that we all share.  Floating around as part of a giant network of energy, suspended in the quantum universe that you are plugged into for all eternity.

    The body, however, has an expiration date and will decay over time.  It ages, excretes, sweats, leaks, expels, and can embarrass you with its strange noises – like queefs.  But the body is simple.  It is a mechanism that serves you – not an emotional terrorist like your mind.  A tired body from being challenged physically feels like an accomplishment, where a depleted mind from emotional exhaustion can feel depressing.

    Feeling emotionally drained can come in many different forms.  Getting into a fight with a loved one, a stranger being rude, your boss demeaning you, comparing yourself to others, paying bills, family events, or having your period 3 times in 6-weeks.

    The mind-body duality should be called the mind-body marriage, but between a couple that has been together for 50-years and is all crotchety and resentful.  Because if something is affecting the body, like oozing blood out of your lady parts, your mind will also be impacted. Right now my body may be provoking my mind, but does my mind have to be such a bitch about it?

    I need to take a break from all this….

    emotionally-exhausted-blog-(i)

     

    March 27, 2013 • 2 years old, Health, Mommy Body, Mommy Mind, Musings, Relationships, Women's Business • Views: 2110