Category Archives: Social Commentary

Bill Nails It

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



A Couple Things…

Big news in sports this week.  Evidently, the NFL is going to start flagging players for using racial slurs on the field, to the tune of a 15 yard penalty, as part of the rules against abusive language.  This seems to have come as a result of publicity about bullying in the Miama Dolphins’ locker room.  Here’s the thing, or things:

Language is Ever Changing

A while back, I had a post in which I argued that calling an oppressive system a “Patriarchy,” when it’s not one in any discernible way, creates an anti-male bias in one’s head, because it connect the idea of maleness (“Pater” is “Father” in Latin) with a nameless, faceless, oppressive enemy, who is the source of all one’s problems.  This happens much in the same way the word “gay” being used to describe unpleasant things creates an anti-gay bias, and calling women as a whole “bitches” makes one subconsciously mistreat women.

That said, “gay” once meant only “happy.”  “Bitch” only referred to female dogs, and calling a human one would be so contextually inconsistent as to be tantamount to gibberish.  “Patriarchy” was once used to describe genuinely patriarchal governmental systems, as opposed to being a catch-term to distract people from being oppressed by an Oligarchy.

The same goes for racial slurs.  Everyone knows the tired trope of “if black people can call each other ‘nigger’, why can’t everyone else use the word?”  Right?  It gets used all the time, and the response is often that black people use it to take the power from the word, and thereby make it less dehumanizing overall, giving the word less oppressive power over them.  And, to be honest, that actually makes some form of sense to me.  My first choice would be that anyone use whatever words they want, and my second choice would be that no one use “nigger” except to reference the term itself (more on that later), but as third choices go, I’m fine with the “black people can say it and white people can’t” argument.

But the fact is that the usage of that one word has changed dramatically over the last few decades, and will continue to do so.  Eventually, it will carry none of the weight it did in the antebellum south, or during the 1960’s, or even today.  Words change, and outlawing them will not change that.  Frankly, if people can’t say one thing, they’ll find a way to say it without saying it anyway.  Because…

Context is Everything

I don’t use racial slurs.  I find them coarse and ignorant and I just have no use for them.  Well, almost.  You see, Louis CK has a point when he says that saying “N-Word” is the same as saying “Nigger.”

In both cases, the listener knows what word or idea you’re referring to, so they are effectively the same.  They’re synonyms.

There’s really no difference between saying “Bob called Joe a nigger,” and “Bob called Joe the N-word.”  If you’re offended by the usage in that context, you’re over-sensitive and you need a better understanding of how language works.

That said, it is always wise to avoid calling anyone by derogatory terms (unless involved in some kind of S&M degradation role-play, in which case, you should know where your lines are).  But it should apply across the board.

What I’m getting at is that the context of when you use a word has a lot to do with whether or not it’s offensive.  And more importantly, the things you say have meaning not because of the arrangement of consonant and vowel sounds, but because of the meaning heaped on them in the context of when the words are being said.

I mean, come on.  It wasn’t called “sex in the daytime,” but who doesn’t know what “Afternoon Delight” was about?  But the most important thing is this…

The NFL Has ABSOLUTELY ZERO Room to Even Talk About Racism

Until they force Daniel Snyder to change the name of the fucking Washington Redskins, I don’t want to hear anyone in the NFL front office say a God damned thing about players using racial slurs.  Fuck you people.  Take the beam out of your own eyes, douchebags, before giving anyone shit about the speck in their own.  The hypocrisy here is pungent enough that the normal bullshit about supposedly supporting “player safety” is white lilac and fresh linen by comparison.

Sometimes, I just don’t fucking understand people…

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.

From Boomers to Bust

I’ve mentioned before that I am a big fan of Bill Maher, and his “New Rules” segment on Real Time.  Comedians, of course, even more than other artists, tend to have a knack for bringing uncomfortable truths to our attention, in a way that we can process.  Unfortunately, this time, what began as an excellent finale to the segment devolved into a bunch of dick jokes with little to no insight.

But the beginning of this particular New Rule made me think.

As Maher put it, “In the battle for government giveaways, we have to stop thinking in terms of rich versus poor, or black versus white, and admit it’s really a war between the young and the old.  And the old are winning.”

Maher highlighted that federal spending is roughly $3,822 per child, and $25,455 per senior citizen (a difference of $21,633).

Then he began the dick jokes.  And that’s ok, because Bill Maher is a comedian.  It’s his job to tell dick jokes, and he’s really good at it.

That said, I think it would have been nice if some other issues had been brought up.  Like, for instance, the fact that college tuition rates have increased over 1000% since I was born, while at the same time, earning potential has become more dependent on acquiring an advanced degree than ever before.

Medical expenses have also risen over 600%, and food is up over 240%.

And from January of 1975 to January 2005, housing costs increased a stunning 700%, from $39,500 to $283,000.

And all this time, the median household income has remained flat since 1965.

And all we hear is that it’s imperative we all go to college, so we can remain a competitive workforce with the rest of the world.

This brings me to another point in the Real Time episode, when Maher and author P.J. O’Rourke wax nostalgic about their Boomer youth, and make the claim that, though their generation is often called spoiled, they were far less spoiled than generations after.

Why were they less spoiled?  Apparently it’s because corporal punishment was more acceptable then and kids have more sophisticated entertainment available to them now.

But fewer spankings and more television channels does nothing to account for the fact that, as a generation, the Boomers had more advantages and opportunities than any other generation in history, before or since.  And, as is evidenced by the massive discrepancy in federal resources devoted to the young versus the old, that same Boomer generation is still reaping the lion’s share of benefits from our civilization.  And the programs that Boomers use most, Social Security and Medicare, are the only ones no one is willing to cut, while anything that helps out the under-50 crowd is immediately on the chopping block, because those same Boomers don’t want their taxes to be used for anyone but themselves.

Maher says “…let’s not kid ourselves where our tax dollar goes.  It goes to Grandma, because she votes, and young people don’t.”

What he leaves out, of course, is that people over 55 constitute about a third of all voters, and they vote more regularly because they can.  “They have the time to participate in politics… Most of them are retired, largely thanks to Social Security, and they have the disposable income to make campaign contributions…”

It’s a lot easier to get out and vote when someone else is paying your bills, and you don’t have to put in a twelve hour shift on election day.

Seniors vote at higher rates because they have the ability, and the people they are voting to screw are the ones giving them that ability.

Here’s what it comes down to, though.  My partner and I were discussing plans for the future this weekend.  Because we have children, and because both of us have found ourselves remarkably disadvantaged by the utterly ridiculous cost of college (and therefore the cost of opportunity), we have decided our priority is that none of our children will face this roadblock.  We will live meagerly our whole lives if necessary.  We will, if need be when those children are grown, take to a tiny one-room studio, and pour our combined income into making sure our children do not have to pay a thousand percent more, just for the opportunity to earn the same lifestyle that their grandparents had.

We will not sacrifice our children, in other words, for our own benefit.

Because that’s what the Boomers did.  That’s what they continue to do.

If you are a Boomer, know that your generation had every possible advantage.  You came of age when wages were the highest (in adjusted dollars) they have ever been.  Food, housing, everything was far less expensive then than it is now, or was before you.  College, the engine by which so many chose to improve themselves, was damn near free, by comparison.  Your parents’ generation sacrificed everything to make sure you had these opportunities.  It was their gift to you, so that you would never have to know the difficulties they knew.

You took these gifts, enjoyed them, grew fat from them, then turned around and demanded that every generation after did the same, for you.

For you and only for you.

I’m not going to go as far as former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm, and claim that you have a “Duty to Die,” but I will say this:

You will be gone, one day.  You can’t suck enough life from the rest of us to stick around forever. One day, your stranglehold over America’s electoral system will be gone, and perhaps those of us who came after you will finally have a chance to benefit all of us, instead of just you.

I do not wish you ill, and I do not wish you pain.  I just wish you would think of someone other than yourselves, or, barring that, at least get out of the way.

We will be better off without you.

*As always when speaking in broad generalities, I add this caveat:  If this post, and my comments on the Boomer generation don’t apply to you, then they don’t apply to you  You know who you are.*

On Sex, Porn, and Morality

I just read this post by Matt Walsh.  Wow.  Watching porn is adultery?!?  Guess I’m the horrible, letcherous prick my ex wives would like you to think I am.  Never mind the fact that I never engaged in any kind of relations with another woman before the (allegedly) monogamous relationship I was currently in was really over.  I am a serial adulterer, apparently, and the proof is in the Google search pudding.

Of course, in America, a defendant has the right to plead their case.

That said, allow me to plead my own, and that of almost every single human who has ever walked the earth.

Since Matt Walsh started with pornography, I’ll continue on his vein (and please disregard any double entendre which may apply to this; I hate puns with a passion, unless they are particularly awful).  Thing is, I can understand where Walsh might have a problem with various types of pornography found on the internet.  The very nature of the medium, and the worldwide reach of it, is conducive to exploitation of people who don’t want to be involved in the production of such content.  If you will, allow me to take the bold stance that I, too, abhor any kind of forced sexual trafficking, and wish to never support it in any conceivable way.

But beyond that, Let me state clearly that Walsh is wrong about porn as an industry (in most of the U.S. at least).

Look, what people do for a living (within the bounds of the law, of course) is what people do for a living.  Is it less degrading for the contestants on Survivor or Fear Factor to endure their travails than it is for Lisa Sparxxx to win the worldwide gangbang championship?  I submit that it is not.  What’s the difference?  Both are following the directions of a producer/director/whatever to crank up as much viewership as possible.  If one does so through sex, and the other does so through eating scorpions, who are we to determine which is moral and which is not?  What’s the criteria by which we make that judgement?  Is it only ok if the person being (allegedly) degraded doesn’t enjoy it?  Of course not, and deciding that degrading oneself for money is only acceptable in a non-sexual context is hypocritical at best, provably conceited and self serving at worst.

So, porn is as valid a career as anything we see on reality TV, at least.  But what about the viewer?  Isn’t that the one Matt Walsh points his finger toward?

Let me tell you this.  People who watch pornography are people who do what people have done since the dawn of time.  The art of creating images of folks in sexual congress has been around since the first neanderthal picked up some ocher and scribbled some tits on a cave wall.  We, as a species, are hard wired to crave sex, and nothing anyone has ever done or ever will do is going to cure us of that, because the survival of our species has depended on it for as long as there has been human life on the planet.  There is a reason 80% of the traffic on the internet is sex related.  It’s the God damned biological imperative, and you can no more get rid of that than our desire to breathe air.

But there’s more to this than simply watching porn.

See, there is never a shortage of people who feel the need, and the authority, to tell others what they should do with their private lives.  It’s the reason evangelicals scream and cry about marriage equality for gay folks.  It’s the reason everyone threw a fit over Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction.”  It’s the reason there are people who will tell you, with a straight face, that wanting to watch others enjoy sex is a morally reprehensible act, one that makes you completely deserving of the worst of social consequences.

All this moral speechifying from others, though, compels me to do a little of it myself.  So, without further ado, may I present the only moral rule anyone need ever live by.

First, Do No Harm

Beyond this, no morality is needed.  Here’s an example.

Bob and Joe are a couple of 25 year old tech support workers in Redondo Beach, California.  One night, they go out together to pick up some chicks.  After all, it’s the weekend, and what else are a couple of young, reasonably successful single guys to do?  Unfortunately, though, the club is a chronic sausage fest, and they come away from the evening with nary a phone number, let alone a female participant in the night’s festivities.  But man, they’ve both had a lot to drink, and they’re both on a dry streak.  After a couple more shots at Bob’s house (they did the responsible thing and took a cab, being in no condition to drive), Joe says, “I’d take just about anything naked right now, even you.”

And the next morning, two very hung over men realize that they have relived a scene from Brokeback Mountain.

Was anyone harmed?  Unless you consider the fact that Bob is walking a little funny, no harm has come to anyone, and therefore nothing immoral has taken place.  Neither Bob or Joe might care to remember the events of the previous night, or maybe they decide (in true Brokeback Mountain form) that they just can’t quit one another.  But the important thing to remember is that no one came to any harm, and everyone involved was a consenting adult.

Another example.

Charles and Clara have been seeing one another for a while.  They met shortly after each of them had been divorced from a frigid, boring, unloving spouse.  Turns out Clara is bisexual (Charles is a very happy guy all of a sudden).  So, they create a personal ad for a woman to join them in some non-committal sexual adventures.  Soon, the personal ad comes to fruition, and the three of them have a wonderful evening of delights that leaves all involved exhausted, but truly satisfied.  Did Charles cheat?  Did Clara?  What about their unnamed third party?  Of course not, because they are all consenting adults, and no one was harmed.

Last example, I swear.

Tom is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and profits are down for the quarter.  Tom knows that the reason for lower profits are due to lower employment numbers across the country, which of course lead to a reduction in the public’s ability to buy his company’s products.  Tom also knows (because he is familiar with boom-bust cycles in economics, and he should, in his position, understand basic math and management strategies), if he keeps his employees on hand at their current wages, the company will eventually turn around and those employees will be even more productive for having been treated well in a bad economy.  Moreover, Tom is aware of the effects of branding on profits, and knows that if he keeps his employees taken care of even at the expense of profits (and advertises such), it will improve his company’s public image and, in the long run, boost profits because shoppers feel more inclined to pay for things that benefit their neighbors.  But, Tom also knows that the shareholders of the company might not be patient enough to wait for such a return on their investment, and they would prefer to have a high dividend paid for the next quarter.  They will, in turn, reward Tom with a bonus of $3 million higher than the $1 million guaranteed in his contract.  So, to make an additional $3 million, Tom lays off the bulk of the rank and file employees of the company, and retires with the extra money he made on the deal.

Of the above three examples, who is the immoral one?  After all, two of these scenarios are grounds for a scandal, possibly ruinous litigation, or even criminal prosecution.  And the other is completely legal, and will result in zero negative consequences for the bad actor.  I’ll leave it to you to figure out which is which.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is this.

We in America have a very skewed view of what is and is not moral.  Maybe it’s time to start living by Hippocrates’ oath, and consider that first, we should do no harm.  And that even more importantly, we should not negatively judge others, or treat them as anything less than equals, if their actions (regardless of whether or not we condone them) are not causing any harm.

Maybe we should get our priorities right, in other words.  Just a thought.

What’s in a Name? Everything

My daughter has a saying she learned at school.

“Thoughts become words, words lead to actions, actions become habits, and habits create your character.”

When she told me this saying, it made me think of a Maya Angelou quote on the same subject,

“The ‘b’ word and the ‘n’ word are like poison, whether you take poison from a vial or pour it into Bavarian crystal, it is still poison.”

This in turn reminded me of an exchange between myself and a guy I knew many years ago.  We’ll call him Bob (and FYI, this is paraphrased because I don’t remember the conversation verbatim from over a decade ago).

Bob: “I just don’t get it, you seem to get bitches without any trouble, but I can’t get bitches at all.”

Me: “Calling women bitches probably doesn’t help your cause.”

Bob: “It’s not like I call them that to their face.”

Me: “Doesn’t matter.  When you call women bitches, you’re thinking of them as bitches, and it affects your thoughts and actions so that you treat them like bitches.  I don’t know any women who enjoy that.”

Bob: “So I should stop calling women bitches?  And then they’ll like me?”

Me: “That couldn’t hurt.  But really, you should stop thinking of women as bitches, and treat them like people.  People like to be treated like people.”

It’s the same line of thinking that makes me hate it when people call something they don’t like “gay.”  I can’t tell you how many times, when I was teaching, I had to come down on kids for saying “that’s gay” about something they didn’t like.  When you say something bad is “gay,” you equate gay and bad in your mind, even if it’s just in order to form the sentence.  The thing is, the more you connect “gay” and “bad” in your mind, for any reason, the stronger the connection between those two concepts becomes, after time causing you to dislike things you would label as “gay,” which can lead you to homophobia.

This is why dehumanizing terms like “gook,” “kraut,” “jap,” “haji,” “redskin,” and the like have been much more popular in wartime with various cultures.  It’s a lot easier to slaughter people when you’re thinking of them as something other than human beings.  It’s also a lot easier to enslave and torment “niggers” than it would be to do the same to “people of color.”  It’s easier to objectify and disrespect “bitches” than it is to do so with “women.”

Which leads me to this article, “Unmasking the Patriarchal Values in Halloween Costumes: Naughty Leopards, Sassy Space Girls and Warrior Ninjas.”  At which point I feel I must offer this disclaimer:

I am not a misogynist.  I am not a misandrist.  I am not a feminist, nor am I an MRA.  I can identify with certain goals and complaints of both groups, and there are others with which I don’t agree.  Do not label me as any of these things.  Doing so is not only disingenuous and misleading, it is patently false.  I respect people as people regardless of their sex and/or gender.  I am raising my daughters to do the same; to respect themselves and others as people above all else.  End of disclaimer, back to the show.

This article is steeped in bullshit.  As are, in my less than humble opinion, all articles and any other complaints pointing to “The Patriarchy.”

Is the article correct that Halloween costumes degrade and sexualize women?  Yes.  Is it unfair and sexist that all the specifically female-oriented costumes seem to have “sexy” in the title, as though women are only important due to their sex appeal?  Absolutely.  Are women portrayed and pigeonholed as almost completely sexual objects in our greater culture at large?  No argument here, that is the truth.  I have daughters, and I hate the fact that this is the truth.  Which is why I didn’t buy them any of these costumes.  Instead, we made our costumes, and both of them played male animal characters from a favorite cartoon show.


That said, they have, in years past, also been princesses, fairies, and the like, depending on how they felt like dressing for Halloween.  And I encouraged them in all of these choices, because the point is for them to exercise making choices for themselves.  That is what empowerment is, after all.  And let it never be said that I wouldn’t want my daughters (or yours, for that matter) to grow up to be empowered, willing and able to make their own choices as responsible adults.

But I digress a little here.  Back to the terrifying specter of “The Patriarchy.”

Like a specter, it’s not real (and no, Paul Elam, there is no matriarchy, either, so just… don’t).

Men are objectified, just like women are.  We’re just objectified in different, albeit no less dehumanizing, ways.  For instance:

It’s a common trope in comedy that women love a man in uniform, because “When you see a man in uniform, you can always smell… BENEFITS”.  How about other things that attract women to a man in uniform?  Things like loving a Naval uniform because “It is good to have guys like this around us knowing they are there to defend us,” or how about a doctors’ outfit because “they make us feel safe,” or a tailored suit because “the suit represents [to] me the respectful man who has power and who is smart enough to lead a company or either a country!”  Even the article that started this whole tirade mentions that “Costumes geared toward boys represent characteristics, as evidenced in the names, and/or professions that elicit social respect and financial stability read: utility. Those marketed to girls highlight comparatively diminutive qualities and roles… indicating that one is pleasant, or sexually available” (italics represent my own comments).

The “sexy nurse” costume objectifies women as a sex object, while the “doctor” costume has the same objectifying effect, only it objectifies men as a means to gain security and status.  Women = sex toys, while men = tools.

And before you start screaming “Not all women are like that!” and mocking my point with “What about teh menz?” let me remind you that Partiarchy is defined as “a social system in which males are the primary authority figures central to social organization… and where fathers hold authority over women and children. It implies the institutions of male rule and privilege, and entails female subordination.”  Men are the authority figures, in other words.  Not a majority of authority figures are men, but men are the authority figures, deriving such authority from subjugation of women.  And if women are subjugated in our society to benefit men, could this happen without the severest of consequences?

What about this, on national television?

Could these facts be true, if women in general were at the mercy of men in general (my comments are in italics)?

  • In the United States, more men are victims of rape each year than women.
  • In many parts of the U.S., men who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse have no access to resources such as safe houses; in many places (including, as it turns out, my home town of Portland, OR) the laws and policies that enable resources for at-risk victims are written in such a gender-specific way as to only apply to women.
  • If you fall behind on your child support payments because you have lost your job, you can be sent to prison – and in your trial you are not entitled to legal representation – The only other group not entitled to a jury trial and an attorney are suspected terrorists.
  • If an adult woman molests a male child, and that molestation results in a pregnancy, that boy can be forced to pay child support for his offspring once he becomes a wage-earning adult.

Look, people.  All this Patriarchy vs. Matriarchy, MRA’s vs. feminists, “which sex is oppressing the other” is straight out of Willie fucking Lynch, and it’s important that you see it.  It’s divide and conquer, simple as that.

We don’t live in a Patriarchy.  We don’t live in a Matriarchy.  We live in a good old fashioned God Damned Oligarchy, and anyone telling you that the struggles faced by any group of people aren’t part of an overall rich vs. poor narrative is a big fat fucking liar, or at best has their head up their ass.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is this.

When you call the Oligarchy a Patriarchy, you’re implying that men in general are responsible.  That may not be what you initially mean, but that’s what you’re doing.

Yes you are.  No, stop arguing, and listen.

If you are using the term, you know that the word is derived from “Pater,” the Latin reference to fathers, and knowing that, you create a connection in your brain between a word that means “father,” and an oppressor.  And I am here to tell you, calling an oppressive system “father” is pretty fucked up.  It’s like saying something you don’t like is “gay.”  It’s like calling your enemy a “kraut.”  And it has the same effect on your psyche.  And as a father, who has never oppressed anyone, I rightly take offense to this term that dehumanizes me, as well as denigrating the role I play in the lives of my children.

Moreover, not only does the term “Patriarchy” as used in our American parlance degrade men at large as an oppressor class and a faceless enemy, it’s not even God Damned accurate!

So get it right, people.  There’s nothing wrong with being pissed about “sexy” [insert whatever profession you wish] costumes being the only female-specific option.  I don’t like it either, and I’m with you on that.  But blame your objectification on the right people.  The people who objectify me just as harshly.  The people who look at all of us as nothing more than tools to be used, objects to be played with and thrown away.  Don’t waste your time fighting a “Patriarchy” that isn’t real.  Turn your energy, your fury, your snarky internet comments, toward the Oligarchy that’s actually at fault.

And for fuck’s sake, please remember that looking sexy on Halloween isn’t exactly the worst thing in the world to begin with.

The Future, It Cometh

They fought it.  Oh, how they fought it.  Nathan Bedford Forrest fought it in Pulaski, Tennessee, and he failed.  Phyllis Schlafly fought it on national television, and she failed as well.  Hell, sports purists have fought it since the dawn of time, and they always fail.  And the Republican Party, namely the Tea Party wing, have fought it and failed in the United States Government.

What is it they fought?  A little thing called The Future.

I’d like to begin by congratulating the State of New Jersey for finally allowing the future to happen in their state.  Marriage Equality is reality there now, at least as far as the rights of individuals to enter into the “Bwessed Awwangement.”


There’s a lot that still needs to be changed, both in New Jersey and the rest of the Country, to bring actual equality to marriage, but that’s another post for down the road.  And while I continue to hold that government should have nothing to do with anyone entering into what is essentially a religious sacrament, allowing everyone to take part in it is a step in the right direction, the direction of equal treatment under the law.

I also want to heartily congratulate the President, for having the balls to stick and call the Tea Party bluff when it comes to the Affordable Care Act.  Because while they threatened to take the entire nation’s economy down with the ship over a duly enacted, completely constitutional law, he completely ice-grilled them, and took down one of their most powerful leaders in the process.  It was a stroke of inspiration of which Machiavelli himself would have been proud.  Well done, sir.  Well done.  (And it’s about God Damned time, by the way).

But I didn’t begin this post with the intention of gloating, as much as I may have made it a point to do so anyway.  I wanted to talk about this:

“He will not be mocked! This is not one nation under God. It never was. The greatest deception here is this is not one nation under God! It never was. Had it been, it would not have been! The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons! You cannot serve two masters! You cannot serve two masters! Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ.”
Dianne Reidy, US House of Representatives stenographer

And this.  And this and this and this.

But mostly, I want to talk about how they fit in with this.

You see, there have always been agents of change in the world.  And there have always been people who opposed them.  In some cases, this opposition has been a good thing.  But all too often, it is simply a resistance to anything different or new, a reaction of fear, brought on by ignorance.  Take the following for example:

Now, regardless of any genuine criticisms I might have f the ACA, these people represent exactly the same thought process as the Pharisees of Jerusalem, or the KKK in America.  They don’t know enough to develop cogent arguments, but they know they don’t like something, and (either subconsciously or because they just don’t want to admit it) what they don’t like is the unknown.  The fact that they refuse to do anything about not knowing is a separate issue altogether (which I might just touch on in the near future, hint hint).

But, this is the message I bring to such folks.

The future is happening.  It has never stopped happening, and all your yelling and screaming, all your Tea Parties and your focusing on the family, all your inane caterwauling, will never serve to prevent the future from taking place.  It is inevitable.

The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, like it or not.  And, in time, we will move toward some kind of single payer/socialized medicine solution, because that is where the future is headed.

Gay people will, one day, be free to marry whomever they like, across the country and without exception.  And, with any luck, marriage as a universally accepted institution will cease to exist altogether, leaving only domestic partnerships in the purview of the state.  We can only hope.

Marijuana, as well as a plethora of other drugs, will be legalized, as governments and citizens begin to realize that spending money on preventing their use is one of the most massive wastes of resources in human history.

Energy policy will move away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy, because finite resources are finite, and mathematics exist.

The American voting public is going to turn left as the Boomers die.  It’s basic demographics.

Governments will go bankrupt, wars and revolutions will happen, and in a thousand years, the borders of today’s world will be naught but a memory on a dusty flash drive that’s incompatible with any available software.

And a million other things, many of which are today unforeseeable, will occur as well.  And no one will be able to prevent them.

This is the nature of the future.  It is inevitable.  Get over it, already.  Stop trying to keep it from happening, and start working to make it as beneficial to all mankind as you can.  That, or shut up and let us move forward.