On accountability

I don’t think it’s going to shock anyone if I declare a steep incline in personal accountability over the last few decades.

Given this conclusion i’m going to skip the argument of that conclusions truth and go straight to how we got there.

America likes to blame people. We blame our government, we blame the weather, we blame our schools. We blame other parents, we blame society. There’s been a distinct lack of social responsibility. Why?

A long time ago (in this exact galaxy, as it were) news was reported for an hour a day. The essentials were told, the radio or television changed to music, or another program. Filler was not required.

When twenty four hour news became “a thing” it became essential to scour for any interesting stories we could find. A network’s survival banked on ratings not one hour a day, but now twenty four of them.

There just wasn’t enough news to go around those twenty three extra hours.

So, America got into a habit of human interest stories, fluff, filler etc. At first it was harmless. Squirrel rides jet ski! Pitbull sings (an actual dog, not the talentless rapper). Woman fends off robber using a plunger.

One day, however, news networks discovered something: Fear and righteous indignation sell ratings. Almost overnight the news turned from information that facilitated you going out into the world and making the most of your day into information that made you afraid to leave your home. Over a long cycle Americans have become convinced the world is a place filled to the brim with child molesters, rapists, murderers, psychopaths, AIDS, Crack Pitbulls and sexual deviation.

Now, in a time where the world is safer a place than it ever has been, we’re too afraid to let our children play outside. Once this fear machine was fueled, naturally, more pressure was placed on who was responsible for our invisible war zone. Who let these AIDS infected crack smoking pitbulls onto our street, and what are they going to do about it? It started with the politicians, the war on drugs and the  like. Once we tasted the succulent flavor of a politicians downfall we wanted more.

We developed the hunger.

Soon, celebrities, the media, the gays, religions and corporations were on the menu: not because we had a legitimate qualm but because we wanted more. We wanted that delicious shadenfreude. Humans blame others to cover their own inadequacies and hide from their own shortcomings. We delight in tearing others down because we want a level playing field. We, in our ego, have confused ourselves to being entitled to what everyone else has. This isn’t a matter of our fair share, no, this is a matter of what we desire. This isn’t a qualm about the one percent, but rather a social reaction. So, please don’t misinterpret this as a defense for the penny pinching scum at the top of the tallest tower. This isn’t about whether the blame is rightful, or not as well. It’s about our motive in playing the blame game to begin with.

Blame gives us unique opportunities to move on without reform psychologically. Billy gets a D on a paper and he says that his teacher hates him. Jack gets overlooked for a promotion and dismisses it for another associate’s brown nosing. Deep down we know these aren’t legitimate reasons but they’re just enough to let us forget it and move on, or bury shame.

The problem is we’ve been listening to the news blame people on our behalf for so long now that it’s become internalized. We instantly believe everyone is guilty of something if they’re famous and we instantly react to hard situations by blaming people. It has become ingrained in our culture.

In addition, I propose generation after generation of underage drinking has contributed significantly to the issue. Drinking before the age of four stunts the growth of the frontal lobe. In doing so it affects a region of the brain very important for forming personal responsibility, among other developmental skills. Time and time again studies have shown adults who drank before twenty four have a harder time developing these skills. I argue that the subsequential parenting these adults provide is lackluster in forming that maturity required for owning up behavior. In short we’ve created a cycle much reminiscent of Mike Judge’s Film, idiocracy, where each generation becomes increasingly less developed, purile and less responsible for their own actions. If we don’t address the issue now I fear that may very well be our future.

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On police violence, racism, and the white wash the ensues.

There is a not insignificant amount of whites who immediately scramble to grab statistics after an event occurs that embarrasses them. We as whites, nay, a majority, have a knee jerk reaction for crowd control whenever we’re forced to stare down the terrible decisions of our forebears and fathers.

Lately there’s been a trend of the media actually reporting unjust deaths of black citizens at the hands of their protectors. It’s always been happening, they’re simply reporting it now.

The first white objection inevitably starts with righteous indignation that white deaths aren’t being reported when a white is shot by police. Then they dig for a statistic and tell you statistically twice as many whites are shot by police.

Terrible! One might think this means blacks are treated better than whites, and that whites surely must be persecuted.

These are the sorts of misleading, out of context statistics that are letting people like Donald Trump get attention. Should we be looking at all police shootings? I argue no, of course not.

It’s only relevant if we look at unarmed or unjustified police shootings. After all, if that’s not what we discuss all that statistic of twice as many whites getting shot just means that there are more white criminals than blacks, doesn’t it?

Irrelevant numbers have always been a powerful tool of misdirection and political manipulation. Let’s look at a classic example of misleading statistics.

What country has the highest rate of crime in the world?

The Vatican City.

No, I assure you. That’s a true statistic, in fact no country comes close to crimes committed per year vs. citizens that live there. Statistically, there are six crimes committed per citizen per year.

Now, let’s interpret the whole picture, shall we? Not many people live in the Vatican City, but an absurd amount of people visit every year in religious tourism. Naturally, this brings out a lot of thieves, swindlers and other petty criminals.

When I tell you the Vatican City has the highest crime rate in the world you hear “violent crimes”. It’s how you’ve been programmed to think thanks to a twenty four hour news cycle. Things are misleading on both sides of the media outlet but what I can tell you is this; entire cities don’t riot over media outlets. They don’t march day in and day out for change.

To a fountain

I see your water flow each day

as I stare out in malaise

your crying soothes my aching heart

but for hurt or joy do tears depart?

You are but trapped, tower of rain

but do your bubbles speak of pain?

Perhaps your music soothes me so

because it says I’m not alone

On mother theresa

You might notice I left her name lower case. That was in fact on purpose.

Mother Theresa was a psychopath.

I know what you’re saying; she was a saint. She helped people. She did so much good. Unfortunately? This isn’t the case. This a narrative that was manufactured. These things didn’t occur.

So, I’d better contribute some documented fact, right? don’t worry, I intend to.

For starters, Mother Theresa was known to baptize those who didn’t even have any kind of faith. She took millions of dollars from the Duvalier family in Haiti without guilt. She’s even praised them as human beings (I challenge you to research the Duvaliers and see what kind of people they are).

She’s refused any type of pain killers to so many patients on the grounds that “suffering brings you closer to god”. So much so, when asked by a “patient” why they were suffering she responds “pain Is jesus kissing you” To which they replied “tell him to stop”.

Mother Theresa’s funding is very interesting. After becoming famous she had so much money to fund helping people. Profound amounts of money were funneled into new convents/nunneries and very little of it was assigned to actually help human beings.

We believe Theresa is a holy and helpful being because we’re told so. It’s not the case. Hopefully we outgrow this notion

Where Have All the Heroes Gone?

The world is a substantially less rose tinted place than say, fifty or sixty years ago.

There was an era that you couldn’t go a day without talking about someone noble, seeing them on television or hearing them on the Radio. Churchhill, FDR, Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein. People who made a difference in the world and illuminated the darkness we so frequently find ourselves mired in.

Strangely, the term “hero” is thrown around more than ever these days. What makes it so interesting though is that it’s rarely used to describe a person specifically. We throw it around as a generic term for firefighters, policemen and the military. In an age where Police violence against blacks/minorities has swollen to heinous levels and military atrocities are committed regularly around the world. It is an age where being in the military is the safest it’s ever been, with casualty rates being absurdly low compared to the countries the United States invades. An age where drone strikes frequently alleviate the need to even send anyone in the first place.

It’s also an age where wars aren’t fought to protect our country, or are citizens, but rather our economic interests around the world. I’m not saying that’s unacceptable. Hell, I might argue it could be necessary, but it’s not Heroism. Economics are never heroic.

The vast majority of folks in the military fall into two camps: the ones there for a job and a living. The ones that want a good income and good insurance benefits for their families. The ones that have grown up in a military culture, perhaps following in their parents footsteps.

Then, you have the ones who want the glory. They enlist because they know in America that automatically assigns them the title of “hero”. They wield this in substitution for a personality. Their insecurity drives them to violent outbursts and excessive nationalistic zeal.

I’m sure some are insisting I’m bashing the troops. That I “don’t support” them. This couldn’t be farther from the truth; I’m having enough respect for them to acknowledge the dirty, difficult job they actually do- not the narrative that’s been recited over and over until we all believe it’s true. The military is an essential function of our government but it serves the same function as tariffs or trade negotiations; It shores up our economic interests around the world and reminds other countries of our clout.

Unfortunately, all this jingoism has come at a very heavy cost. All our real heroes are lost in the shadow of our military. They go unrecognized for their deeds as we reward the wrong people. Yet, they keep on looking after us- which is, I suppose what makes them heroes in the first place.

Why Camille Cosby doesn’t owe you so much as a word.

Many out there are calling for Camille Cosby to turn on her husband Bill over the recent (numerous) allegations of rape.

I simply wish to be the reminder of reason and decency: she doesn’t owe you anything.

First, this is a private matter, and as the public (who this does not affect in any way, shape, or form) we’re not entitled to testimony. We’re not entitled to answers.

Let’s go beyond that however. Camille Cosby is currently part of a domestic partnership with a man she loves. That man is accused of doing heinous things. She’s known this man a very, very long time and thinks enough of him that she’s committed herself to living with him until it ends. of COURSE she sees doubt in the allegations. Anyone who has loved someone on this level would look for reasons not to believe the allegations. As a bystander I myself can create a sane narrative as to how he could have “not done it”. Purchasing drugs is not the same as slipping them into a drink. At no point was it admitted that he was intending to use them without consent (it was the seventies, man, people loved quaaludes)!

Now, is this the most likely scenario? No, of course not. Perhaps she simply doesn’t want to condemn the man she loves without proof? Perhaps she’s holding fast to the principle of innocent until proven guilty? This doesn’t matter though because at the end of the day her private ruminations on the matter are none of your business. She deserves privacy, it’s only decent.

Let’s say she DOES believe he did it? Then where are we? We’re calling for the public condemnation of her husband by her: a woman who would be striken with grief, guilt and disgust- a woman who would be regretting a massive portion of her life and suffering from a great feeling of loss.

Are we not better than this? When did our pseudo-righteous indignation become more important than our humanity? Or is that what humanity means today?

On Circumcision

Have you ever sat down and thought about circumcision?

Probably not the first thing on peoples minds when they get their first cup of coffee in for the day, but I suppose that’s kind of my point; Isn’t anyone disturbed by the fact it’s common practice to lop off a chunk of your child’s genitalia ?

How is it that the sight of a fully intact penis is “weird” ?

There are many that cry out when they see a dog with cropped ears, or a docked tail but these same people frequently have their children circumsized. How did religion manage to get us on board?

The issue is so profound, in fact, medical excuses had to be manufactured to justify the behavior; people started saying it was for “hygeine” rather than to curb sexual desire. (the latter of which it doesn’t even achieve).

When told there are folks in the middle east that cut off their daughter’s clitoris for the same reason, Americans react with horror and disgust. We say it’s barbaric and we’d never do anything like that. In our hypocrisy we stand on our soapboxes and decry the evil, sinister ways of the Muslim, the Arab. We go about our day as if the act is only heinous because we’ve done it to a woman.

It’s time to drop the act. It’s time to stop making excuses for Religion. if a religion cannot accept you without the ritualistic mutilation of your children’s genitals then that religion has no place in the modern world. It’s time has passed, and the world is a better place without it. If you are unable to exercise reason and practice your faith simultaneously your religion is not a healthy one.

A true test of faith is not mangling your child’s genitals; it is maintaining faith in a society that performs such a heinous act over five thousand times a day.