STFU- Violence and Taking Responsibility

We are living in a world I almost don’t recognize.  Or maybe I just wish I didn’t recognize it.  We live in a world where parents can murder their own children and then lie about it while a whole country looks on.  We live in a world where a man can murder his pregnant wife, and where kids go to school and shoot up the place, with reasonable expectations, or even plans, of dying.  A place where people do drugs they know could lead them to acts of cannibalism and violence and kids feed firecrackers to dogs.

And if everybody whines enough- about their jobs, their parents, society- there’s even a chance of getting away with these horrible crimes.  Or being paid money.

All of us “normal” people are clamoring for an explanation, an end to the violence.  So, after quite a few conversations in this vein, I have decided to blog my ideas on the topic.  Now let me start with a disclaimer:

The following is my opinion and is based on all my education, experience, discussions, and observations.  While I do have a BS in Psychology and Sociology, I am by no means an expert.  Nor is my opinion rooted in theology. I’m not going to tell you everything would be “fixed” if we put God back into the schools.  The problem facing America (and many other industrialized nations) is complex, therefore the answer will also be complex.  For each act of violence there may often be “mitigating” circumstances.  Sociological causes (basically, how society influences the behavior of individuals) and psychological causes have been suggested.

I was abused as a child so I … [blah blah blah]

or It’s because we are so poor that I had to [blah blah blah]

I’m not even going to say these things aren’t sometimes factors.  However, I think there is way more flagrant violence than can be accounted for legitimately with these excuses.

And I can’t tell you how it burns me up, every time some school kid goes on a rampage and then it comes out “he listened to heavy metal,” or “he played violent video games.”

So let me tell you what I think a BIG part of the problem is…

Lack of accountability.   Yup.  That’s it.  Every time a parent sues someone over some little transgression, they are teaching their children that if you don’t get your way, you can basically bully someone into doing what you want.  Really, what are frivolous lawsuits but attempts to legally bully someone?

And any time a kid shoots at someone or kills his parents or a sibling, there’s a whole league of people waiting hand the kid his excuses on a silver platter.  I feel like this kid who took a shotgun to Perry Hall High is a perfect example.  He has seen on television how he can walk into a school and shoot it up, make whatever inane point by doing so, and then escape facing any consequences by killing himself or having the cops kill him.  I’m not saying TV is at fault.  I’m saying he has learned that he can “make a statement” dramatically because others have done it before him and there have been no real consequences.  After all, what consequences can you expect if you’re dead?  But the whole point is that people have been led to believe that they are entitled somehow.  I am all for equality and compassion and tolerance of others, but the country has gone so far down the Politically Correct road, that now everybody feels like they are owed something, and every time someone wins a lawsuit over some dumb shit, it reinforces the idea of non-culpability and entitlement.  

Every time a burglar gets bit by his victim’s dog or cuts himself on his victim’s kitchen knife and then wins a lawsuit about it, our own legal system is enforcing the idea that you can not only escape responsibility for your actions, but actually profit from them.

Casey Anthony is another example (barf.)  This bitch led a whole nation on an emotional hunt for a child she already KNEW was dead.  At this point, let’s even assume she didn’t intentionally kill the baby.  She willfully covered it up and lied repeatedly about it.  And really, she’s basically gotten away with it, with a slap on the wrist, a butt-load of attention (which I’m sure she loved in all her sophomoric twisted-ness), and probably an even bigger butt-load of offers for made-for-tv movies and interviews and whatever.  It’s sick.

How about the newest thing, bath salts?  After several documented cases of cannibal-like behavior resulting from the use of bath salts, this asshole  is deemed “not competent” to stand trial for being found in his bedroom with a dead pygmy goat.  A pygmy goat he stole, allegedly raped, and then butchered.  Well, by all means, let’s cart him off to a mental facility for 6 months, let him out, and then when he does the same thing to a human victim, maybe THEN he’ll be competent to stand trial.

My bad. I thought if you willingly ingested mind-altering substances, you were held responsible for any illegal actions you might commit while on said substances…

So, basically, he was crazy before he ever took the drugs?  Oh, well than that’s different.  Next time, just don’t let him out without his leash and everything will be fine.

And please can we just stop with the over-simplistic and ignorant answers to the problem?  It’s not Marilyn Manson or violent video games and movies.  I am a 31 year old mother and a wife and I have listened to metal, watched horror movies with a passion, and played video games since…forever.  I’d not stomp a spider, let alone kill a person in cold blood.  By the time a child gets to the appropriate age for such games and films, he/she should be old enough to know right from wrong and real from imaginary…and if the kid is still young and still learning these delicate worldly ideas, then maybe the parents should be held responsible for allowing said child access to media that is too mature (violent) for them in the first place.

It’s not lack of God in the schools.  Thanks; I’m not religious, yet my code of ethics and my level of tolerance is undoubtedly stronger than many so-called religious people.  God hates fags?  Really?  Did he tell you that himself?  Didn’t he also say “judge not…”?  Last time I checked, God doesn’t preach hate.  

(And here’s a real mind-fuck… How many church “people” have you heard of who disparage the violence and sexuality in today’s music and TV?  Okay, now, how many church officials have you heard of who have been caught molesting children? My point here is not necessarily to disparage religion, but to point out that there are many good people who are not religious, and many religious people who are not necessarily good.   Also, as indicative of the above passage, a lot of people hide behind religion as a way to justify hate.)

It’s not our DNA or our “killer” instinct…  And even if it was, the whole idea behind being human is that we have higher thought processes, and here’s a novel idea– the ability to exert self-control and make conscious decisions.

I’m not saying my theory holds the key to the ultimate solution.  The things that drive people to violence are varied and often complex.  Violence could never be completely eradicated.  But we can start by adopting a lower tolerance to it.  This starts at home, and it’s up to the legal system to enforce the idea of consequences and accountability out in the “real world.”  Let’s not forget that the rules appear to be different for folks with fame/and or money.  Kids see their pop culture icons getting away with all sorts of crap.   The little girls who used to be in the Mickey Mouse club are crashing into people with their cars while they’re drunk and yet some people are worried about a video games corrupting kids?

Get your head on straight, people.

And this may sound counterproductive in combating violence in society…but have you ever met teen that was so obnoxious you couldn’t help but think maybe their parents should have smacked them around more during their formative years?  I know I have.

For instance, if I ever saw MY kid run into a pregnant lady and then give her lip when she said something about it, I’d cuff ’em right in the ear (this happened to me at the public pool when I was pregnant.)  The other day I saw a lady (and I use the term loosely) allowing her dog to shit in a common public area.  When I asked her if she planned to pick it up (she had no bag or anything with her) she gave me a raft of shit (no pun intended.)  How hard is it to understand that I don’t need my small child trampling through your dog’s mess?  Is it untoward for me to request she pick up after the nasty little beast?  This woman, this huge she-beast who lives with her adult daughter on HUD assistance had the nerve to tell me I needed to get a job!  All because I called her out on something she knew was wrong in the first place.

Apparently, as there are no consequences for being an asshole (you’d get sued for knocking the teeth out of someone being disrespectful to you now,) people feel free to throw courtesy right out the window.

Seriously, ignorance aside (even though it drives me absolutely batshit,) I fear for my child in this world.  It makes me want to move my family to some isolated mountain in Montana or something.

Anyway, sorry if I sound preachy.  This stuff really irks the piss out of me, and I pretty much feel helpless to do anything to change the majority of it.  I can teach my kids solid values and responsibility, but there’s no way for me to force the rest of the world to act like civilized human beings.  I just have to arm my kid with knowledge and then hope for the best.  And that scares the crap out of me.

English: McDonalds' sign in Harlem.

By the way, while we’re talking about “responsibility,” it’s not McDonald’s fault that you’re fat.

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Those Pesky Insomnia Worms

In the past few weeks AlienRedQueen has been enjoying a surge in readership.  Between the support of my friends and family and the new connections I’ve made with my fellow bloggers, I guess my network is beginning to be a little more self-sustaining.  Now people searching terms on various search engines often get routed to my blog.

If you have your own blog or website, maybe you have access to a page that tracks your statistics.  Maybe you also have access to the search terms and queries people enter that ultimately result in them finding one or more of your articles.

When you tag your posts, you are essentially guessing at what terms people might search and applying them to your posts so that they can be found and get maximum exposure and readership.  Some search terms and tags are pretty obvious and/or self explanatory.

And some of the queries are not only unusual, but downright bizarre.  After noticing a number of highly interesting (and humorous) search terms, I decided they deserved a post all their own.   Continue reading

Here We Go Again ~sigh~ (re-blog)

Another article I originally wrote for To The Controller! Gaming

…And the adventures in gaming just keep coming for this “girl” gamer.  I saw this on MemeBase somewhere, and worse than the actual content (which is hard to read anyhow) were the ensuing comments, shining examples of  chauvinism and idiocy at their finest.

The best (worst) of these little gems was the assertion that gamer girls are deserving of “no sympathy” because most of them only hang around in the gamer lobbies to get attention from guys.

Some might defend this sentiment saying, “Well, he didn’t say ALL gamer girls are like that, just most.  I suppose I could use the same logic and flip the scenario then; “most gamer guys will hit on the female gamer shamelessly the first chance they get.”  Not fair or accurate, is it?

After reading through a lot of the comments, from men and boys, girls and (hopefully) gamer women, I would hazard a guess that the attention-seeking that goes on has more to do with an adolescent frame of mind (not age, necessarily, but mentality) than it does the shape of gentalia in the gamer’s pants!

As to the assertion that us girls just want attention in the lobbies, I’ll say this: I am 30 years old (31 next month, eh hem, ~cough~)  I am not a girl.  I am a woman.   And secondly, I have a husband and a 2o month old.  When I DO have time to game, you can be damn sure I’m not going to spend it hanging around online waiting for horny adolescents to hit on me.  Actually, what’s worse is that lately, the guys that hit on me online actually are closer to MY age than their teen years!  Adult men (who should know better and act better) sending me messages saying that I “sound gorgeous” (on my bluetooth) and calling me “Princess.”  Fuckin’ REALLY?!

It’s not as if my gamer tag ADVERTISES my female-ness.  I am thinking that as soon as they hear my voice on the bluetooth (even if they don’t have one, my voice may be heard on their TV speakers if my headset is on!)  a bell goes off in their head (balls?): “GIRRRRRRL!”

Perhaps some of my irritation and malaise with this ridiculousness has to do with the fact that this extends into my “real” life as well.  My 70- some year old neighbor who thinks he’s Casanova is always telling me how “good [I] look.”  An old school mate and Facebook acquaintance has repeated made lascivious remarks to me this week, despite knowing I am married.  (He’s got one more strike before being defriended!)  And it’s not like I’m Angelina Jolie or anything.  I’m not trying to give that impression at all.  But that doesn’t seem to matter either.

Now I may seem like the type of no-bullshit person who would just cram said jerks’ balls back down their throats…but I really do prefer to resolve issues without conflict and hurt feelings.  I like to “make friends” and don’t like to be on the receiving end of nastiness either if I can help it.  I am a “second-chance” giver.

But I might have to rethink my policy on handling these types of “friends,” both online and off.  Maybe I should just handle them the way I handle player killers!  Playr killerz get Playr killd, beeetches!

To the Controller! Gaming

…And the adventures in gaming just keep coming for this “girl” gamer.  I saw this on MemeBase somewhere, and worse than the actual content (which is hard to read anyhow) were the ensuing comments, shining examples of  chauvinism and idiocy at their finest.

The best (worst) of these little gems was the assertion that gamer girls are deserving of “no sympathy” because most of them only hang around in the gamer lobbies to get attention from guys.

Some might defend this sentiment saying, “Well, he didn’t say ALL gamer girls are like that, just most.  I suppose I could use the same logic and flip the scenario then; “most gamer guys will hit on the female gamer shamelessly the first chance they get.”  Not fair or accurate, is it?

After reading through a lot of the comments, from men and boys, girls and (hopefully) gamer women, I…

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RE5: “Wait…are those genitals?”

Alright, let’s skip the foreplay and jump right into the meat of this thing; despite the (very) obvious fan service with characters like “battlesuit” Jill and Excella Gionne (yikes!) fans of Resident Evil 5 may have noticed some definite sexual connotations about some of the various enemy creatures and bosses throughout the game.

Are those things taped in there???

Continue reading

RE5: The AI Partner Experience (Artificial Irritation)

Sheva Alomar and Chris Redfield (RE5)

What this picture should show is AI Sheva standing directly in Chris’ sight-line while he tries to kill multiple pissed off enemies that wield spiky spears, and wonky spider-bugs try to jump on your back.   Continue reading

Resident Evil: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead

I’m not going to do an in depth point-by-point comparison or deep philosophical analysis on the difference between the ‘old’ Resident Evil (RE) games and the ‘NEW-er’ generation of RE.  Both have their merits and deserve recognition.  Also, I have JUST finished playing my way through RE 5 for the first  time (yes, yes, I know I’m a bit late,) and though I have played through the original RE (the Gamecube remake) SEVERAL times, it’s admittedly been a while since I broke bad on some O-Z (that’s Original Zombie, yeah yeah.)   The point is, I don’t feel equal to the task of comparing their merits in any detail, given it’s been a while and the details of the original are not as fresh in my head as I would like.  But I do want to discuss a couple of significant differences in the ‘old’ and ‘new’ and how they effect my gaming experience.

Alright…let me collect my thoughts…deep breath…and GO! Continue reading