Not Missing Out

The sinister children.

The sinister children. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I dearly love my nephews and nieces. I adore all my cousins’ kids. I treasure the time I get to play with my friends’ children. All in all I like young people. Some days I am sad I will never be a mommy. Maybe I will find that special someone and be able to adopt, but with each passing year, that seems less likely. Mostly I am OK with that, since I get to live vicariously through all those others. Nothing in the world seems more natural than loving kids, right? Continue reading

My Country: Right or Wrong?

Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell (Photo credit: KariRippetoe)

“I’ve never been loyal to anything sir, except the dream.”

Those words, spoken by Marvel Comics character Captain America best sum up my feelings about my country. Every year on July 4 we celebrate Independence Day with little, if any reflection on what we gained independence from. Oh, we know the textbook answer: the colonies’ independence from a “tyrannical” crown. Dig a little deeper and it is a myth, or Founding Fathers, great and intelligent men all, were divided and deeply flawed as well. We had many more grievances with King George than the obviously noble ones we all learn in grade school. Few teachers have the courage to inform their students that the Fathers’ biggest beef with the Fatherland was its insistence we keep our agreements with “savages.” Continue reading

Those Funny Words On Our Coins

Deutsch: JFK 1968, Half Dollar, Rückseite, E P...

Deutsch: JFK 1968, Half Dollar, Rückseite, E PLURIBUS UNUM (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Diversity is hard.” Sometimes a sentence can be painfully obvious and wonderfully insightful at the same time. Such is the case with those words, spoken with passion, and compassion, by the amazing Heather McGhee at this past weekend’s Justice Works conference in Albany, NY. The entire conference was great, but Heather’s keynote speech was particularly rousing, as she spoke of the runaway income and wealth inequality in our country and  how the various intersections of oppression came into play to create that. Continue reading

The Incredible Shrinking God

Pendant depicting the Dwarf God Pataikos Egypt...

Pendant depicting the Dwarf God Pataikos Egypt 664-525 BCE Faience (Photo credit: mharrsch)

June is upon us once more, which means, among other things, that the Pride Parades have begun in earnest. Today my new hometown of Buffalo enjoyed theirs. It was a fun spectacle, and always great to see so many queer folk and our allies out there refusing to be silenced. No more being forced into closets no matter how much some may howl that we belong there, or in hotter places. I was fortunate that my friends and were nowhere near those poor baying beasts, but out there they were, shouting their hate and fear to any who would listen. Continue reading

The Kids Are Alright

Image representing Tumblr as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Forgive me for copping the title of this post from a movie I have yet to see (though I love Mark Ruffalo, so I very much have to see it.) It was the first thing that came to mind when I decided to write about today’s subject. It isn’t news to anyone who has been reading me for a while that I have a problem with ageism, especially the copious amount my generation, and those older than us, heap upon the younger generations. Mostly I have concerned myself with the meme (repeated with each generation) that somehow this current crop of adolescents somehow have it too easy. Continue reading

This Memorial Day Let’s Remember It All

US Navy 040526-N-0295M-035 National World War ...

US Navy 040526-N-0295M-035 National World War II Memorial located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It is a curious thing. Other than perhaps Christmas I can think of no other holiday that brings out the desire to blog, not just for myself, but for others, like Memorial Day. It is a day charged with emotions we have a hard time wrapping our heads and hearts around. Many choose just to sit back and enjoy the three-day weekend, which I suppose is their right. It is easier than taking the time to reflect on what the day means. It is simpler to just rattle off a few patriotic platitudes than think about what was sacrificed and why. Continue reading

Avoiding The Rabbit Hole

Original depiction of fictional anthropomorphi...

Original depiction of fictional anthropomorphic rabbit from the first chapter of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would like to thank Amanda Marcotte for inspiring this post with her wonderful article about misogynists in the Atheist community. More importantly I want to thank her for her handling of people like that. I often find myself drawn into pointless arguments with people who have dug in their heels on an issue and refuse to do anything but hurl invective at me and build up walls of rage and delusion around themselves to “defend” their positions. I do believe most people are not like this, and can be reached with honest, humble dialogue, but some refuse to give an inch. Some are so full of themselves that they can never be convinced they are wrong, and before you know it, you find yourself butting your head against a wall.

You can find them in almost any debate you enter. They have no interest in learning from the other people writing or speaking, they only want to shout loud enough. They are desperate need of attention, or of affirmation of their victimhood at the hands of those that disagree with them. They can be gun rights advocates who believe any rational discussion of gun control is an attack on their freedom.  They can be gun control supporters who fetishize fire-arms in exactly the same way as gun owners, just coming to the opposite conclusion. They can be people who hate the President no matter what he does. They can be people who love him, despite the same. Their logic, if there is any, is almost always weak and when you expose that, they lash out, often viciously.

It would be amusing if dealing with them was not so frustrating. You end up tied in knots, sometimes literally nauseous. You want to believe you can get through to them, but the verbal acrobatics they engage in to sustain their willful ignorance leaves you dizzy. Ultimately you find yourself tense and in a foul mood. Exposing yourself to these kind of people is toxic, and not engaging in very good self-care. I hate to say it, but sometimes it is better just to walk away.

I am not suggesting, and I am  pretty sure Amanda is not either, living in an echo chamber. That is how you end up like these people. There are some folks, however, who add nothing to the dialogue, who actually enjoy the fact that they can wind you up with their foolishness. Frankly most of them are pathetic little misanthropes that do not have the wit to realize that even on their side of a debate they are in the minority. Most people ignorant of the good of feminism aren’t anti-feminist, they are just people who have not had a chance to be shown what feminism means. Most people who don’t know climate change is real are not climate deniers, but folks who have not had the facts presented to them. That small minority that does live in a bunker of rage and denial, however, love to tear others down to make themselves feel strong. Really, they are not worth the time.

It is not worth my time, or yours, to go down that rabbit hole just to be turned all over the place by folks making nonsensical statements. They are in love with hating themselves and others, and with getting a reaction out of us. There are too many people out there willing to be convinced, given you have the patience to cut through the conditioning, to waste your time on the haters. I think I’m going to start shattering all those looking glasses, pruning my Facebook friends list and such, so I don’t have to walk in Wonderland any more.