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Posts

  • I Can’t Play With You!!

    It’s really hard to play with my kid. My brain has been corrupted by adulthood. I no longer have an imagination that can travel off to distant lands where vampire kitties can fly. I don’t know how to lose myself in a fantasy world because the so-called real world in front of me is so goddamn consuming. All my imagination has transmuted into anxiety about the end of humanity and trying desperately to envision a future where I no longer torture myself with endless craving. HAVE I MADE IT YET?

    Playing with The Munch is challenging. As she’s busy making up a world where bunnies pick daffodils made of sugar, I’m instead obsessing about how Mitch McConnell is to blame for the Trump presidency. I can’t lose myself in the moment, and keep trying to make the chipmunks talk about universal health care.

    It’s my own fault though. When you have an only child, you end up having to play with them more than if you had more kids. In many ways having one kid is MUCH easier as a parent. I have more freedom. It’s easier to find childcare. If I asked you to watch my one kid for the afternoon you’d most likely say yes. But if I asked you to watch my 3 kids for ten minutes you would probably lie to get out of it right? I think there is a major misconception that having more kids doesn’t make that much of a difference because you already have one – so why not add a few more? NOPE WRONG! The difference between having one kid and two is almost as profound as having zero kids and one. The amount of need you deal with is added exponentially with each kid. The equation is something like one child squared to the 10th power.

    Yet when you have a bigger family, the kids are more of a pack. They play together leaving you more free time to yourself to clean up after them. I don’t have that. Lucky for me The Munch has many friends and plenty of play dates, but there are inevitable moments where she looks to me to be the one to act out scene 7 of the mermaids that are astronauts’ saga.

    But you guys…. I think I have the answer to satisfy my inability to free my mind from the burden of hyper awareness about the destruction of world, and my daughter’s insistence on playing with me… a solution besides getting really high I mean.

    We now play political games.

    These games have been a profound journey because I get to learn what my 6-year old thinks about political policy. It is both equally awe inspiring and depressing.

    The Munch: Okay so Ariel the mermaid is a princess, so that means she’s royalty.
    Toni: What does it mean to be royalty?
    The Munch: It means you have to be kind and gentle and you have to like solving problems. Oh, and you have to love everybody.
    Toni: How do you become royal?
    The Munch: Well Ariel’s dad was royal and his dad was royal and his dad was royal and his dad was royal…
    Toni: Who was the first royal person though? Why did they need royalty.
    The Munch: Because everything was so confusing and the mermaids wanted someone to help create solutions to problems.
    Toni: I see. In the human world royalty is kind of different – so I like what the mermaids are doing.
    The Munch: What do the human royals care about?
    Toni: Mostly power, that’s why the humans have so many wars.
    The Munch: The mermaids have wars too. But they are silly wars.
    Toni: What’s a silly war?
    The Munch: Well, there are no weapons because they are too dangerous. They don’t want to hurt the other animals or fish in the ocean with war and weapons. So it’s a splash tail war. They just splash each other with their tails on the top of he water… like this.
    Toni: That makes a lot of sense.
    The Munch: So how were the first people made?
    Toni: How do you think the first people were made.
    The Munch: Ummm I think there was a ghost lady that has always been here – she’s never been born or anything. And that ghost lady created all the people and the earth and the planet and the stars and the mermaids.
    Toni: You’re probably right.

    This is the set up for tonight’s game. It’s called “Hey congress, rape is not a pre-existing condition.”

  • The Fragile Male Ego

    I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist, a brain surgeon, or even someone who knows how to toast a waffle to recognize the ego battle between US President Donald Tr… excuse me I just gagged a little… Donald Trump and North Korean Prime Minster Kim Jong-Un. So much of our current foreign policy seems to be a theatric display of men playing Star Wars, using their dicks as lightsabers, and the world as their playground for destruction. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not ready to die because of the massive ego of a small-handed man. Even though the Trump regime is trying to make us fear North Korea, the real person to fear is Trump, his volatile personality, and irrational taunting. In truth, the world is and should be much more afraid of America than we should be afraid of the rest of the world, because so far, we’re the only one’s who have ever dropped nuclear weapons. SAD!

    The US has been at war for 224 years since the “birth” of the country in 1776.That means we’ve only been a peaceful nation for 17 years? How is this okay? Where wars waged mostly by men are the ruling influence on the planet? Yes of course there is profit to war. Yes there are resources to exploit. Yes there are colonies to be made. Yes there is this constant pursuit of power – but WHY? Why is this a world of competition not cooperation? Isn’t it so dreadfully clear that this psychology is vastly destructive? Even though women are a part of the military and a part of the political system, it is clear that the majority of our war mongering history has been initiated by men. What is the root behind all the violence?

    Is Donald Trump’s ego the ultimate manifestation of the male ego that’s been in power for the last couple of millennia?

    The fragile male ego is perhaps the most elusive force on the planet. It has a mysterious power unbeknownst to even the most learned astrophysicist. More prevalent than dark matter, and beholds a powerful vacuum that rivals the black hole in the center of our galaxy. It has taken over the planet, and all of humanity bows to its glory. The male ego is the driving force of our economic system, political system, and even the solar system.

    That isn’t to say that ladies don’t have egos. Ohhhhh we do. Of course we do. But the lady ego is not in power. If the lady ego were the standard, we would be competing about who has the most beautiful gardens/national parks, which army’s outfits fit the best, and who hosted the most delicious country-wide bake sale. Maybe there would be some disagreements regarding who is the most popular dictator, but we would deal with that by gossiping behind each other’s backs… NOT BLOWING PEOPLE UP WITH NUCLEAR MISSILES!!!!!!!!!

    Come to think of it, would the lady ego have even developed the nuclear bomb? I THINK NOT! Perhaps a cosmic clam but it would simply be cozy place to store our enemies while we taunted them by offering cookies with BOTH gluten and sugar. “Here you go. Have a delicious cookie. Just remember, a moment on the lips, a lifetime on your hips you lady terrorist who terrorized me by hiding my tampons on day 2 of my period! All I had was toilet paper. It was a mess!”

    That is a world run by the lady ego. Is that reductive? YES! Of course but only because it’s impossible to imagine how ladies would run the world without male influence. Every element of society has been influenced by the male identity, and women have just learned to squeeze ourselves in, not revolutionize it.

    But the male ego, the fragile male ego. Holy shit. They make bombs that look like their dicks that dick over an entire nation in a matter of seconds by coming too fast and all over their metaphoric face. It’s a lot. It’s a lot to take in.

    Yet, I am an equal opportunity genital person. I don’t want to attack men all willy-nilly. It’s important that I display empathy and compassion. I would like to get to the root chakra of this conundrum of why the male ego is more fragile than a Faberge Egg?

    Is it because of his highly sensitive exposed scrotum? Just flopping in the wind, bouncing around as he walks. Does the extremely delicate balls sack motivate a deep fear in men, because they have to spend so much mental energy protecting them? Is there an angst I can’t understand because my genitals are all tucked in a like a suitcase, durable, and prepared for a journey? Yet all it would take for me to destroy a man is access to his balls. I could take them, turn them around in my hands like those metal Chinese Baoding balls for a while, and then, when the moment was right, squeeze the shit out of one until POP! Is that the problem? Is the tenuous sate of a man’s unprotected testes why we have nuclear war?

    Perhaps the boner is the main source of the male ego. I can imagine a boner is a very stressful thing. Again, a difficulty we women don’t have. I have never experienced performance anxiety about my boner. Of course a woman can be dry when she is not turned on, yet both parties can pretend that’s not happening with some spit, lube, coconut oil, of course the slime collected in packaged meat. There is an easy fix for the lack of lady boners. But when a man can’t get a boner, there is not much one can do about it except look at his flaccid penis and say, “it’s okay little guy. Better luck next time.”

    Maybe I’m wrong. I’m open to being wrong. But then you tell me why! Why is the male ego so goddamn fragile that he will rape, pillage, and bomb the shit out of countries just to prove its existence? Aren’t there other ways to make money and feel powerful? Like say, create an app, or start a podcast.

    April 20, 2017 • Current Events, emotions, Political Banter, Sex Stuff, Vagina Stuff • Views: 519

  • A Plea For Economic Social Terrorism

    Now that it’s no longer “International Women’s Day,” I notice that no one is thanking me for having a vagina. Where are all my Facebook shout outs for housing a womb to house a child? What kind of shit is this?

    The problem with the current state of activism is that social issues have become trendy. You’ll go on your Facebook newsfeed, and a gaggle of friends who think the same as you will post the same array of information. Once that trend get’s boring, it’s then no longer “cool” to post about. But social issues don’t go away just because they do on Facebook. There is still conflict in Palestine even when Banksy isn’t tagging walls.

    When causes become commodities for social capital, they may get a momentary bump in ratings, but they lose their audience once the next cause premiers on the red carpet. I went to an event the other day where these monks were talking about persecution in Tibet and their need for support and I was like, “Ummm no you’re wrong… Tibet is free, remember? I went to that concert in 1996.”

    We lose our stamina for social causes because we get protest fatigue, and then need Viagra for our activism. In the midst of our busy lives, it’s hard to schedule in “fight against tyranny.” Do I do that before or after I watch the OA? There is a sense of irony at play because the reason we agree to the concept of a goverenment in the first place is because most of us don’t WANT to think about the nuances of how a collective society functions. We prefer to defer to the Mommy and Daddy of our political system to take care of us, (or in our case in the U.S.A., mostly Daddy). Yet because we have given our power over to those that we assume “know better,” we then have to be even more diligent politically to make sure they don’t abuse their power. So in wanting freedom from the responsibility associated with having no government, we consequently lose our freedoms because of the corruption of government.

    As Trump tweets about which gender can fart in which bathroom, he’s simultaneously de-regulating business and allowing for a future of MAJOR environmental assault. Trump’s crusade against “fake news” has strangely inspired news outlets to report on their own fakeness rather than the fact that Trump’s making deals and longterm contracts for his businesses. The way this presidency is going to effect the future is terrifying when you think of how Trump prioritizes profit over the planet at every turn. Beyond Trump’s gross nature of giving chicks the “shocka,” this current regime has ZERO respect for the very real impact of business our ecosystem – which incidentally is the ONLY PLANET we have to live on. We are NOT Elon Musk and can’t afford Mars!

    Half the country is freaking out right now. We see the problematic nature of this Post-Apocalyptic Trump world, and want to do something. I like the spirit behind the call for strikes, but I think we can do more. One problem with the strategy of strikes is that if you are not of a certain social class, and believe you can’t make that kind of financial risk, you feel alienated. Also, there seems to be relatively wishy-washy outcomes. Why wasn’t there a specific demand for the strike on International Lady Day? How about women strike until the Supreme Court is ruled by a majority of women – much like it has been ruled by a majority of men since the birth of this cuntree? But the suggestion to “not go to work so guys realize how important we are” doesn’t exactly change the world. Simply wanting to be honored is too vague. We need be making clear demands, with clear outcomes, and clear deliverables. It’s not like the terrorists in Bruce Willis movies just want to be seen. No! They want x amount of cash, a private plane to get away, and to die just after hearing some pithy comeback like “yippee ka yay mother fucker.”

    So this is my plea: let’s engage in acts of economic social terrorism. I don’t think black people should pay taxes until reparations have been given, and the prison industrial complex has been abolished. I don’t think students should pay student loans until that exploitive system has been re-established and the cost of education brought down. I don’t think any of us should pay health insurance companies or our medical bills until we have universal health care. And if you are anti war, and believe that our military is one the LARGEST contributors to global warming, and terrorism, and is the greatest threat to the future of humanity, then do not pay the 21% of your taxes that go to supporting that system.

    If we all organize and refuse to participate in the economic structure that tyrannizes us, we will be heard. And guess what? There isn’t the infrastructure to come after us individually. It would be a bureaucratic nightmare. We could shut down the White House and Wall Street, and we don’t need guns to do it. We just need to be aligned.

    If we want change it’s not going to be through sporadic involvement. Change comes by kicking the system in the balls… where it hurts… with MONEY!

  • Brangelina Divorce And The Shadow of Police Shootings

    Whenever a shocking celebrity event happens there are a slew of people who will care deeply, and then another subset that will be horrified by the superficial interest in such base level gossip. If I look at my Facebook feed, I have my friends who are posting and pontificating about the Brangelina divorce, and then there are my friends who are deeply outraged – wondering why everyone is talking about a celebrity couple rather than uprising over the blatant murder of Terence Crutcher by police. Then there are those in the middle, which seem like the vast majority, who care a little about both stories – but mostly just keep living their lives.

    We feel there is a fundamental difference between gossip about celebrities and hardcore news, yet in reality they are both the same side of the coin – just a different spectrum. It’s all just information about other people. The difference between reporting about Brad fucking a French actress and police shooting innocent men is the brevity of the consequences. But the “news” is all a form is gossip about others –we just tend to be more interested in the shallow because it’s easier to swallow.

    A famous couple breaking up is a story that every adult can relate to. We’ve all broken hearts, or had our hearts broken. It’s a human-interest story because we can identify with it. Did they break up because he cheated? Well of course he cheated because he cheated on Jen to get with Angelina. Or was it the weed he smoked? Or perhaps the hookers that he may or may not have done coke off their tits? Or perhaps it was because she wants to be a humanitarian and he’s more interested in Hollywood? Did they never have sex because all their kids obliterated their passion and parental privacy? What happened??? I have to know!!

    The crazy thing isn’t that we care about Brangelina – of course we care. It’s a story we can easily wrap our simple brains around. The real crazy thing is that we are SHOCKED by the break up of Brangelina but not really that surprised by yet ANOTHER killing of an innocent person. Oh yeah… that happens. Cops kill black men all the time. BUT OH MY GOD BRAD PITT GOT BORED SCREWING THE HOTEST WOMAN ON THE PLANET???!!!

    Even in the time I was writing this YET ANOTHER unarmed black man was killed – Keith Lamont – who was not only disabled, but READING IN HIS CAR! I know a literate black man is a danger to society and all, but COME ON!

    I think this has to do with the fact that most of us can’t truly grasp a large percentage of the atrocities of the world. Our minds are too limited. It’s like dark matter. We know it’s out there, we don’t deny its existence, but we don’t understand it at all. I can easily understand the concept of infidelity in a relationship. We all can. Shut up yes you can… you have either been cheated on, or been the cheater, so get over yourself. But I can’t even sort of fathom the mindset of shooting an unarmed man in the goddamn heart. In no way can I even put myself in the headspace of what it would be like to fire a gun at another person looking me in the eyes. That story almost feels like fiction to me, where Brad’s alleged affair feels like an undeniable truth.

    Humans are innately empathetic, but most of us need a frame of reference in order to elicit compassion. We require a scaffold to build our comprehension of an event around. So when I hear about Syrian refugees I know that it’s terrible, and I want the horrors against them to stop – but my capacity of really understanding what is going on is drastically limited. Never in my life would I treat a person like these refugees are being treated, so all the stories or videos in the world can’t make me identify with what they are going through. It’s beyond me because I have had zero personal exposure to these events.

    Most people are essentially decent people. Not great mind you… but fine. They maybe lie about small things, cheat at board games, masturbate to your best friend while sleeping with you… We all commit minor infractions against each other daily. But most of us don’t murder, rape, or torture innocent civilians – and that’s why these concepts are essentially so foreign.

    The people who seem to be most impacted by the news are those that feel personally effected by it. People that have had some intimate experience, or have direct subjective fears around these stories. That is why it is so goddamn crucial for humans to exist outside their comfort zone and exhibit curiosity about the experience of other humans on the planet.

    You can’t relate to an abused woman or why she stays with her abuser? Then volunteer at a shelter and talk to one. You don’t understand the impact of a war torn country, then get a passport and visit one. You don’t comprehend why all these black people are questioning if their lives matter, then find the mother of a son who was killed by a cop and ask her.

    We will never understand the suffering of the world from behind our computers or TV screens. It’s too confusing to receive content about world events on the same medium we watch entertainment on. Yeah the news tells me innocent kids are being bombed, but that same box on the wall tells me spaceships fly around in Star Wars. Sure my computer can blatantly show me a man with his hands up getting killed, but that very same device shows me silly videos of a bear snuggling a parakeet while wearing a birthday hat. Fine that newspaper has a picture of yet another oil spill, but it also has this really pretty picture of Jennifer Lawrence.

    We have to live life to understand it. We have to expose ourselves truly to how fucked up the world is to believe it. You don’t feel the impact of environmental catastrophe until a hurricane rips your house out from under you. Global warming is just an idea, a concept, until you run out of water and are drinking your own pee.

    We Americans have a long history of allowing trivial stories to seduce away from the genuine atrocities of thew world – but it’s not because we don’t care. It’s because we are too damn sheltered!!! Talking about this shit on Facebook and posting stories isn’t enough. We have to do things outside of our homes, stretch ourselves beyond our normal routine and sacrifice our time – that precious time that we spend liking and poking each other.

    But who knows, maybe while you’re out there in the world trying to actually see it with your own eyes you meet a person who you can gossip about Brangelina with?

    Who wants to look at the yucky oil spill in Alabama when Jennifer Lawrence is sooooooo pretty!!

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    September 21, 2016 • Current Events, Environmental Impact, Political Banter • Views: 607

  • Why Men Fall Asleep After Sex

    Sex is the most ancient and essential building block of life. It’s as old as time. To assume that there are rational explanations for our sexual behavior is as absurd as claiming to understand dark matter. We just don’t. We can have theories, but there is always going to be a mysterious impulse that suggests you masturbate into your neighbor’s shoes while listening to your grandmother singing “Old Macdonald.”

    Considering the fact that there are people who actually enjoy being shit on – that is enough evidence for me to know that when it comes to our sexuality, there is a LOT that can’t be explained.

    Men and women also have very different relationships to sex. For example if I were to use the date rape drug roofies, it would be so a guy wouldn’t try and have sex with me. Instead, I would just prop up his body next to me and watch Netflix – maybe use his hands to do my dishes so mine don’t get all dry.

    Yet for men, rape used to be a reward for war! Sure you would risk your life to invade this village, but if you win, feel free to rape and pillage till your hearts content!!! Rape away soldiers – that’s your prize!

    When women are in relationships and their man is always trying to touch their boobs, they get annoyed. It’s agitating when you’re focusing on chopping vegetables for a salad and someone comes up from behind and cups your tits. I would say things like “this is my body, it’s not your property!” Or “how would you feel if I kept trying to grab your penis randomly when you’re trying to wash dishes?” And he would then answer, “yes, please. Do grab my penis.”

    It’s not that men like sex more than women, they just have a different relationship to it. Yet the idea that women enjoy sex is terrifying to society. In almost every instance when there has been a case of sexual misconduct, the woman gets blamed. Monica Lewinsky is still being shamed for blowing Bill Clinton, and Hillary still called a shrew for letting it happen. Personally I think Hillary is brilliant for outsourcing BJ’s, and what 20-year old intern wouldn’t let the president of the free world finger-blast you with a cigar? That’s the best hookup story of all time.

    Remember how Janet Jackson got all the blame for Justin Timberlake showing her breast at the super bowl? Or how about most of literature? The entire plot of the Crucible, or the Scarlet letter? There are countless stories of how the scandalous woman is the culprit of what was actually a two party sexcapade.

    The only woman that ever got away with a sex scandal was Mary. Somehow she was considered virgin after getting pregnant without sleeping with her husband, which is the ultimate coup. But we also have to remember that she was 14 ad married to a guy in his 40’s, which also explains a lot.

    There is so much missed messaging when it comes to women and sexuality that it’s impossible to keep up. Shakespeare’s originally quote from Hamlet was actually “to be a slut, not be a slut – that is the question.”

    There is a myth from ancient Greece that tries to uncover what gender enjoys sex more. So a god turned himself to both a man and a woman to experience it. Teirresias the prophet was watching two snakes coupling and had a premonition that women had much more explosive orgasms then men. He was then turned into a woman so he could see for him self, and prove his theory right.

    Despite all our conditioning and culture assumptions that suggest men are the more sexual creatures and women are passive recipients, there is a lot of evidence that proves otherwise. When we look at biology, I think I agree with Teirresias’ investigation. Men have one orgasm, where women can have many.

    So this all leads to my personal theory of why men fall asleep after sex. Once he’s passed out, then the woman can go look for another guy to fuck if she’s still in the mood, or wants some stellar sperm competition going on inside her. So back in the days of early man when Crog was too tired after his orgasm, Pog could mosey on over to the other side of the cave and get it on with Cronum. And that’s evolution guys… everybody wins.

    Get out of there girl!! There is another guy who is ready to rock!

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    April 21, 2016 • Musings, Relationships, Sex Stuff • Views: 1124

  • Breaking The Internet With An Ass

    You guys… a photo of Kim Kardashian’s ass is breaking the fucking internet in half!! Why you ask? Because it is just SOOOOO WORTH TALKING ABOUT!!! People are so irrationally inspired to communicate about her shiny butt that the interwebs will clog with opinions and semen!!!

    Is this image photo shopped?

    Does she have ass implants?

    Should we shame her for being slutty and a mother?

    What does this mean about modern femininity and the objectification of the female form?

    Does anybody have Kleenex?

    Do you see what I am doing here? I am making fun of talking about Kim’s ass while still taking about Kim’s ass!! I am winning!! I am making you think I am totally above talking about her butt, when in fact I am not. And neither are you because you are reading this!

    Kim Kardashian’s ass IS breaking the Internet because we secretly want it to.

    This is it. Right here. The problem with humanity. Even though most of us care about the destruction of the environment, endless wars, political perversion, the Federal Reserve, corporate corruption blah blah blah, we are also still vastly influenced by our primal brains. Seeking out complex philosophical profundity is hard work, where basic visual titillation is not.

    Our higher rational mind is something we have to train, cultivate, and challenge while our reptilian instincts are so easy to access with little to no effort. Even intellectuals who scoff at the absurdity of modernity and would never stoop so low as to validate pop culture references, will still look at Kim’s ass FIRST if paired next to a dissertation about NATO’s impact on the world’s economy. Maybe even just a quick glance, but I guarantee their eyes would helplessly be drawn to her ripe cheeks.

    It is not our fault that we are mesmerized by her crack. Its’ abyss is pulling us towards a simpler and safer place than the cold dark truth of reality. Thinking, analyzing, and critiquing existence is exhausting. Getting lost in Kim’s buttocks is not. In fact, it’s relaxing. I can just picture myself cozying between her mounds and forgetting all the stresses of life. When sandwiched between her cheeks you don’t have to think about global warming, but instead can melt into the pink warmth of physical comfort.
    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to dissect why people are drawn to simplistic celebrity news rather then complex political theory. Thinking doesn’t necessarily make you happier. Although willful ignorance is not exactly admirable, it is understandable. Rather than questioning the long-term implications of Russia’s courtship of China, we turn our attention towards concepts that are easier to grasp and hold onto…like a ripe rump.

    We don’t have to beat ourselves up for this impulse. It’s natural to avoid pain and prefer pleasure, or at least ease. The ideal human condition isn’t to abandon all frivolousness in exchange for relentless truth seeking. There needs to be a balance between semi superficial pursuits of carnality and academic contemplation. The absurdity isn’t that we want to look at a sweet supple ass. The insanity is that we overcomplicate this impulse and spend too much time trying to rationalize it. Rather than spending our energy talking about serious things seriously, we talk about ridiculous things as if they were serious.

    We want look at stupid trashy shit because sometimes we feel stupid and trashy. There is no need to defend that. Rather than deconstructing the meta meaning of a butt, why not save our energy and do that for shit that actually matters and just enjoy the ass for what it is….a full moon setting in the shadow of existential awareness.

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    November 12, 2014 • Current Events, Education, Musings, Political Banter • Views: 1409

  • 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)

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    August 26, 2014 • Behavior, Current Events, Disciplining, Mommyhood, Parenting, Playing • Views: 1045

  • 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.

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    August 21, 2014 • Current Events, Political Banter • Views: 1718

  • 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: 2785