How May I Anger or Offend You Today?


Ah, the day after election day . . . a time when Americans spit vitriol at each other & blame everyone else for the pitiful state in which we find our nation, a time when approximately half of the country inevitably says this is literally the end of freedom & democracy & the other half silently (or not so silently) gloats about “winning.”  I will say I think this is the first year that there are so few people who are truly thrilled about the election results.  Almost everyone seems able to agree that we chose/were given two of the worst presidential candidates in American history.  However, I do challenge people to remember that before the days of electronics & social media many of our previous presidents & presidential candidates were probably equal scumbags; we simply had less access to their private, every-day lives because the technology of today’s world simply didn’t exist yet.  That’s not to justify in any way the disgraceful behavior of modern politicians.  I just ask that we remember that there never really were any “good old days.”divisive-media

Anyhow, in light of all of the nastiness that has ensued in the wake of this election, including being blamed for Trump’s win for choosing to vote with my conscience & thus not picking either major candidate, I thought this would be a good time to bare my soul & be truly open about certain of my beliefs (or in some cases perhaps lack thereof).  People can like it or lump it as far as I’m concerned.  I have friends who are significantly more liberal than I am & other friends who are significantly more conservative than I am, & I love them all dearly.  I would hope to receive the same respect from others, though I am no longer naive enough to expect that from everyone.'Hello, how can I offend you?'

Also, may I just add that I have never so badly wanted a good, stiff drink (just one)?  But don’t worry, I’m obviously going to abstain for the sake of the baby.

These are in no particular order.

  • I support gay/lesbian/homosexual marriage 100%.
  • I love tattoos (as a concept, not every tattoo that’s ever existed), though I have no particular interest in getting one myself (& won’t out of respect for my husband who doesn’t like them).  But I’ll never understand people who judge others for having them, & it angers me greatly that workplaces can still get away with discriminating against tattooed employees.
  • I don’t believe in the concept of “bad words.”  Words are just words.  There is no logical way a word in itself can be bad.  Out of respect for those who are offended by “swearing”, I try my hardest not to say those words in front of them, but I’ll never be able to wrap my mind around the concept that particular words are bad “just ’cause.”
  • I am a secular humanist.  If you don’t know what that means, Google it.humanism quote
  • I am a Libertarian.  If you don’t know what that means, you can Google that too.
  • “Despite” the above, I still believe public schools are one of the best ways we can acclimate our children to the “real world.”  They’re not the only way of course, & they are fraught with inherent problems & challenges, but I still fully intend to send my child(ren) to public school because I truly believe it is the best way to prepare them for real life.  (And I can afford it.)
  • I despise violence.  I think there are almost always better, more effective, & less hurtful ways to solve problems in this world.  But I stop short of calling myself a total pacifist because I absolutely do believe in the right to self-defense.
  • “Despite” the above, I am a staunch supporter of gun rights.  I’ve been tempted to jump the fence a few times, but statistically many of the most violent cities in America also have the strictest gun laws (ahem, Chicago, LA, ahem), so it seems obvious to me that laws are not what prevents violence.gun-rights
  • I still consider myself a feminist because there are still places in the world where women do not have even the most basic rights (ahem, Saudi Arabia).  However, in the US & other more “developed” countries, it’s men whose rights concern me more often than not.  I truly believe we have swung the pendulum so far in the opposite direction that we are now placing males at a disadvantage, almost as if we need to make up for all the years when things were reversed.  I do not see this as a solution.  I think it is only inciting & will continue to incite antagonism between the genders which is the opposite of progress.
  • I don’t believe in the gender wage gap.  Research has shown that women of my generation are actually earning more on average than men our age.  I think the whole issue is way more complex than most folks are willing to admit, & while I’m sure there are probably legitimate scenarios where sexism was/has been/is a factor, I don’t think it explains the whole picture by a long shot.
  • I think our society  has done itself a huge disfavor by worshiping at the altar of single moms.  I’m not saying there aren’t situations in which that is obviously the only choice or the only acceptable choice, but I absolutely do believe children fare best in a situation with two parents, if for no other reason than parenting is clearly much too difficult of a task for one person to take on alone.  Biology itself implies that if it takes two to make a child, it probably ought to take two to sustain the child. In any case, no matter how we like to spin it, statistics show that children of single moms fare worse in every major dimension, from academics to behavior problems to likelihood of becoming teen parents to everything in between.  This doesn’t mean all children of single moms are doomed of course, but even so we simply cannot continue to vilify or dismiss fathers & expect our society to improve.fathers
  • I think using hard drugs like cocaine, meth, & heroin is an incredibly stupid thing to do.  With the knowledge that exists today, I don’t think anyone can claim to being ignorant of the addictive, destructive powers of these drugs.  However, I absolutely support the decriminalization of drug use because I truly believe addiction is a disease, even if a largely self-imposed one, & imprisoning people for it is CLEARLY not working & never will.
  • I love rock & metal music.  But I also love classical & jazz.  And occasional country.  I’m not a big fan of most modern pop, rap, R&B, or bluegrass, though there are certainly a few songs from each of those genres that I do enjoy.  The point is I can appreciate all genres, even if I prefer some over others.  If you can’t understand how someone could enjoy such a vast array of different music, I suggest you open your mind . . . & your ears.
  • I am a huge believer in personal responsibility.  I absolutely believe that as a competent adult, I have no one to blame for my own failures or mistakes but myself.  I believe that our lives (at least in modern America & other similar societies) are at least 90% determined by the choices we make & the attitudes we choose to hold.  With that being said, I absolutely do believe in giving to others & helping those in need.  But I also believe in the age old mantra of “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.  If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”give-a-man-a-fish-blog
  • I do not believe in rigid, fixed gender roles by any stretch of the imagination, other than those imposed by actual biology (men can’t get pregnant; sorry, guys, that’s just the way it is).  However, I have no problem with people choosing to follow traditional gender stereotypes or roles, as long as they are doing it out of their own free will.  For example, it doesn’t bother me at all that there are more stay at home moms than there are stay at home dads.  I’m also not convinced that women should be serving in certain roles in the military simply because I don’t think we’re as biologically suited for it.  I don’t think that’s an indictment of us as a gender, just like it’s not an indictment of men as a gender that they can’t get pregnant.  It’s just the way it is.
  • I believe that if a man & a woman are both drunk & they have sex then the woman has no more right to claim being raped than the man does.  If a woman isn’t held liable for her actions while drunk, why should a man be?  If she’s considered too drunk to consent, why isn’t he also considered too drunk to consent?  Obviously things are different in scenarios in which women’s drinks are spiked or they are drugged or when a man who is not drunk has sex with a completely unconscious, obviously impaired woman.  But let’s not pretend these scenarios are all equal.
  • I do not believe that women who wear “skimpy” outfits are “asking for it.”  But I absolutely do believe that we attract a certain kind of attention by dressing in certain ways (this goes for both genders), & none of us should act surprised when people respond to us based on that.  It may not be fair, but it’s the way the world works.
  • I believe organized religion is by & large a destructive, divisive force in this world.  However, I will absolutely fight for your right to believe anything you choose.  I just ask that you don’t shove it down my throat or try to force your beliefs on everyone else.  That’s all.moral relativity
  • I believe in moral relativity.  In all honesty, I think everyone really does, it’s just a matter of whether we’re willing to admit it or not.  I believe real morals arise not from religion but from our own consciences.
  • “Despite” having no concrete beliefs about the after-life, I truly enjoy working with hospice patients at the end of life.  I feel incredibly honored when I get the opportunity to care for someone during their last days or hours on Earth & when I get to help a family process that loss.
  • I absolutely do not believe that sex outside of/before marriage is wrong.  However, I absolutely do believe that our very biology dictates that it is best inside of a loving, committed relationship.  The hook-up culture of my own generation disgusts me.hook up culture
  • In summary, I’m very difficult to pigeon-hole or categorize.  It’s very challenging to find a group in which you can accurately lump me which I realize frustrates & angers a lot of people because it makes me unpredictable & probably annoying.  But I don’t do this on purpose.  I just live the way I see best & hope to help as many others as I can along the way.

In conclusion I’d like to share some songs which I believe are particularly relevant at this point in history.  Interestingly enough, they all come from the Parkway Drive album entitled Ire which is perhaps fitting considering the title/theme of this post.  Please click on the links to listen to each song.  At the very least, I hope you’ll read the lyrics & consider them carefully.ire

Crushed

Brothers, my brothers

Is this all that we are?
Sisters, my sisters

We’ve been crushed by the fists of god

Welcome to the free world
Where nothing’s as it seems
Tell me, can you find a cure
When you can’t see, & you can’t feel the disease?
Can you seek a higher truth
When you’re living on your knees
Where freedom grows from blood soaked soil
In the lands of hypocrisy?

Because if you can’t see the chains, tell me what use is a key
It’s cash, blood & oil, in the age of the refugee
They’re trying to buy our minds, we ain’t selling
Bang, bang, bang, hear they’re nailing down the coffins

Cut the strings, feel your heart start
Cut the cord
Crack this code of silence
All our lives in the hands of tyrants

Crushed by the fists of god. Crushed.
We’ve been crushed by the fists of god

To the left I see the rats & to the right I see the snakes
In my ear they’re whispering sweet sermons of cruel hate
So do you buy the fear, or do you buy the lies?
Tell me, what will set us free
Do we kneel before the crooked few
Or do we bite the fucking hand that feeds?

When death casts no shadow & hope carries no weight
Rise into the light & feel the shackles fade away
They fear what we know, we know how they break
Bang, bang, bang, drop the hammer of conscience

Cut the strings, feel your heart start
Cut the cord. Crack this code of silence. All our lives

Crushed by the fists of god. Crushed.
We’ve been crushed by the fists of god

We’re just waiting for the sky to fall
Yeah I’m just waiting
Feels like all our lives we’ve been waiting for the sky to fall
Feels like all this time we’ve been

Brothers, my brothers
Is this all that we are?
Sisters, my sisters
We’ve been crushed by the fists of god
Crushed by the fists of god. Crushed.

The devil’s at our door
The Bloodwoods shiver in the glare of summer’s haze
Dust of ancient lands breathes beneath our feet
Since the dawn of time, giver of life divine
Shadowed by dark ruination, looming down the lineThe poisoned lies of narrow minds
Now spread into the soul of life

Bitter blight fractures life
This call for change won’t be too late

The devil’s at our door
Selling fool’s gold & a miracle cure

Hearts of fire unite & man their barricades
Truth is overwhelming & yet
Hollow men still talk in vain
Sowing sickness, shifting focus away
Setting in stone a future we cannot sustain

We can’t quench our thirst on profits gained
And we can’t turn back once it begins

Bitter blight fractures life
This call for change won’t be too late

They poison the well & expect us to drink
When the river runs dry only then
Then will they see

You can line your pockets, but you can’t buy back your soul
These gates are locked, this future is not yours to own

Bitter blight fractures life
This call for change won’t be too late

When you’re born in the dirt the only way to grow is up
So we reach for the sun but it seems
Every rung that you climb is another crooked line
That you cross off the tally of your dreams
Don’t step out of line kid, you learn it pretty fast
Every face has its place in the crowd
They’ll give you all the answers, so you don’t ask any questions
Then they’ll march you with a smile into the groundAnd we all go to heaven in a little row boat

So put your hands up, put your hands up
If crawling for the scraps won’t ever be enough
Put your hands up, put your hands up
The writing’s on the wall, this ain’t ever gonna stop
Put your hands up, put your hands up
If crawling for the scraps won’t ever be enough
Put your hands up, put your hands up
We’ll fight until we die, this ain’t ever gonna stop

This stray dog world, this sick sad place
Got a belly full of maggots & disease
Every apple here is rotten, every blessing is a curse
Every word is a lie you best believe
We take one step forward, then two steps back
In a race to the bottom of the barrel
They teach us how to fear
They teach us how to hate
Then they arm us and they march us off to hell

And its left, left, left right left

So put your hands up, put your hands up
If crawling for the scraps won’t ever be enough
Put your hands up, put your hands up
The writing’s on the wall, this ain’t ever gonna stop
Put your hands up, put your hands up
If crawling for the scraps won’t ever be enough
Put your hands up, put your hands up
We’ll fight until we die, this ain’t ever gonna stop

Because they came for our minds
We said nothing
They came for our hopes
We said nothing
They came for our souls
And still we said nothing
Now they’re coming for our lives
So what’s it gonna take

What’s it gonna take?
See how they run, see how they run

So put your hands up, put your hands up
If clawing for the scraps won’t ever be enough
Put your hands up, put your hands up
The writing’s on the wall, this ain’t ever gonna stop
Put your hands up, put your hands up
If clawing for the scraps won’t ever be enough
Put your hands up, put your hands up
We’ll fight until we die, this ain’t ever gonna stop

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