Category Archives: Just Because

How Do You Know if a Fish is a Serial Killer?

Seems like a strange question, I’ll admit.  But, a couple weeks ago I got each of my girls a goldfish to go into a tank we made together.  My youngest named her fish Lucille.  And after three dead tank-mates, Lucille is still hale and strong.  Something seems fishy about this…

*Yes, I know it’s a bad pun.  But it’s the most terrible puns that I like the best*

Bill Nails It

That said, I’m pretty sure the guy’s got a device in my brain to read my thoughts.

 

Chivalry is Dead, and I Say Good Riddance

Valentine’s Day has come once again, and across the country, old ideas of chivalry are resurrected to pressure men into emptying their wallets to prove to their significant others that they love them.  It’s a sickening cycle of manipulation, of both sexes, that is amplified to the Nth degree every February 14th, but stretches to more than just Valentine’s Day.  Above all, though, chivalry is an ideology that treats women as incompetents, and men as beasts of burden.  It’s a trap and a disgrace.

Allow me to explain.

Everyone wants to be happy, que no?  The big question, though, for most people, is from whence will my happiness come?  In our society, the answer to that question depends on your sex/gender.  American culture teaches men that their happiness is achieved by making a woman happy.  And women are taught that their happiness is derived from a man giving them things (watch a couple of DeBeers commercials if you have any questions about this).

So, a man and a woman get together.  They want to be happy together, so he buys her things and does nice things for her, and he believes that this will make her happy, which in turn will make him happy.  But, of course, happiness is not a material thing you can buy (unless you’re a horribly shallow and materialistic person, in which case your partner likely will still be miserable, but I digress).  So what happens?

She’s still not happy.  But, she’s been socialized to believe that more things, more gifts, more more more (one guy in the video mentions this), will be the key to her happiness.  Because she’s not happy, he’s not happy.  And he knows that what’s “supposed” to make her happy is more (see previous paragraph).  So, he works and works to try and make her happy with gifts and houses and cars and lifestyle upgrades and fancy dinners (and diamonds, never forget the diamonds) and all those things that both of them have been taught are what will make her happy, and in turn, make him happy as well.

And before you know it, they are both broke and miserable, and neither of them knows why.  So they break up, and attempt the same cycle again, with another person, in the hopes that more of the same will somehow have a different result.

My favorite question is “cui bono?”  And the answer here is obvious.  Over $13 billion spent every year just on Valentine’s Day.  “Proving” your love to someone is big business.  And it all stems from old, chivalrous ideals of men taking on a role of patronizing benefactor, and women accepting the role of damsel in distress.

And it’s all bullshit.

I’ve seen a lot of failed relationships.  And, in all fairness, been in more than a few myself.  And from where I sit, it seems one of the biggest factors in so many of those failed relationships stems from people allowing everyone else’s expectations to dictate how they think they are “supposed” to be, instead of defining those expectations for themselves.

In a recent post, Jim Wright of Stonettle Station wrote

There is only one truly inalienable right, one right that can’t be taken away by gods nor governments nor men, and that is the right to define yourself.  If you limit who you are to the labels others apply to you, you’ve given up the only right that truly matters.

And though he was referring to the definition of a successful writer, the sentiment applies to so much more than that.

Over the last year, I have developed a relationship based on none of the labels and expectations foisted on us by our society.  Where neither of us feels obligated to one another beyond the bounds of mutual respect, regardless of whatever labels might be applied.  It’s not me who holds the door for her, it’s whoever gets to the door first.  It’s not me who picks up the tab on a date every time, it’s something we both do.  I don’t expect her deference because I’m a man and she’s a woman; rather, we arrive at mutually agreed-upon conclusions based solely on the merit of ideas.  She does not define her happiness by the things I give her, nor do I do that with her, and neither of us expects the other to ride to the rescue and solve one another’s problems.  Instead, we work on those things together, and do what we can to help and support each other.  She is a strong, talented, hardworking and independent woman, who defines herself on her own terms, and I love and respect that about her.  And it’s a love and respect that goes both ways.  Oh, we do things for each other that the other can’t do, sure.  We have different abilities and skill sets, which is entirely to be expected with different people.  But, we make a concerted effort to learn these skills from one another, because neither of us wants to be dependent on the other.  We are together because we want to be, not because we need to be, and it’s ever so much better that way.

And as far as labels go, when referring to one another in the context of our relationship, we use the term “partner,” because it fits so much better than anything else (thanks gay folks, for popularizing that, by the way).

Cultures are slow to change, that has always been the case.  But they do change, always, or they die.

The old chivalrous mentality is unable to change, and so it is dying.

And I say good riddance.

Defense Wins Championships

Especially when the other team flat gives the game away, gift-wrapped and scented with perfume, in the first quarter.

Honestly, as a lifelong Broncos fan, I have seen some pretty ugly Superbowl losses.  I watched Phil Simms put up an 88% completion rate in 1987.  I saw Doug Williams and the Redskins score 35 points in one quarter in 1988.  I saw Joe Montana’s 49’ers crush my home team 55-10 in 1990, still the record for the biggest blowout in Superbowl history.

But those Broncos teams were in the championship due solely to last-minute heroics by (still) the greatest quarterback to ever don the blue and orange.  In truth, as a team, they had no business being there in the first place, and were only in those games due to the very best of luck.

This is different.  This was the most prolific offense in history.  This was a defense that, while not at the top of the league, was gelling and playing great at exactly the right time.  This was a super-talented, high-flying, unbelievably great football team.

And they gave up.

They gave up before the game started.  Obviously, before they even finished the national anthem.

The Seahawks came prepared to play.  The Broncos, well, they showed how prepared they were on the very first offensive snap.  A play that scored Seattle’s first points because, for some reason, it wasn’t important to them to get the fucking snap count right.

And it was all down hill from there.

I should have known.  I talk endlessly with friends about the importance of solid, smashmouth football.  Of good defense.  Of running the ball.  Of attitude and swagger.  That football, when it comes down to it, is a game of who’s tougher, not faster or prettier or has more finesse.

The Seahawks had it, the Broncos didn’t.  And no one but the Broncos players and coaching staff are to blame.

Way to go, guys, you embarrassed your loyal fans in the worst way possible, on the biggest stage possible.  I’ll be lucky if I can ever get my kids to take on my fandom now.

At the beginning of the season, I picked the Seahawks to win it all (though I figured they’d be beating New England, to be honest).

Sometimes, I hate being right.

My Real Hero of the Year

Sure, I previously nominated Cory Booker, but I have since thought that over.  My nominee for this year’s best hero is the one and only Michael Hulshof Schmidt, author of the Social Justice for All blog.

The more I think about that Bo Burnham song I posted a few days ago, the more I realize that Michael is exactly the kind of person who makes heaven on earth possible.  We don’t necessarily agree on everything, but his great love for all of humanity is beyond question, and his devotion to seeing the best of life come for all people inspires me to be a more loving and understanding human being.

And if he can make an angry, bitter, self-important prick like me see the light, he has to be pretty god-damned impressive.

So, this year, my vote for Hero of the Year goes to Michael Hulshof Schmidt.  And I wish him and his the very best of holiday seasons.

Cheers to you, Michael, with much love from Will, of The People.

Homemade Blackberry and Pomegranate Vinagrette

That’s right. Evidently I’m a guy that makes his own salad dressings.. For a fresh salad with romaine lettuce, scallions, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, and chicken grilled with minced garlic and taragon.
Good stuff

Bo Burnham: From God’s Perspective

The perfect song for this time of year.  Especially the part about eating pork.

Bo released his latest album/special, what., for free on Netflix and YouTube this month.  Definitely worth watching.