IN which I pontificate about social activism and crabby people…

I’m tired of reading these dumb arguments. Below is a meme about the people upset about Cecil the Lion’s murder, and asking why people aren’t upset about black people being killed every day.  Really it’s the same old song and dance.  Every time people express outrage or grief about something, other people come out in droves to bitch about those people and how their priorities are all wrong…or whatever.  They’re like…grief trolls or something.  I never realized until I spent so much time on social media that “caring about something” had to be so mutually exclusive to “caring about anything else.”  Apparently, we as human beings can only care about one thing at a time, I guess.  But let’s address this particular meme for a second.
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Firstly, the above argument will fall on many a deaf ear simply because many people tend to reserve a different place of outrage for people killing innocent animals. Generally speaking, with a few exceptions, most animal aggression is out of resource guarding instinct or fear driven.  There is little malice aforethought.  You may not agree with that logic, but that’s how it shakes out. Secondly, and more specific to the contents of this meme, the 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report, a compilation of annual crime statistics, also shows 83 percent of white victims were killed by white offenders; 90 percent of black victims were killed by black offenders. (source 1, 2)
So, playing Devil’s advocate… Do “black lives” only matter when a white person kills them? Given the ever-growing diversity in the country, when interracial crime occurs, does the crime itself or the resulting outcome of the justice system always have to be race related? How about All Lives Matter?
If you say Black Lives Matter, does that mean the rest do not?
Of course not.  *( I am not denying the existence of racism, but I do object to the significant amount of race-baiting done in politics and the media.  I only mention race at all because it is the subject of this particular meme…)
In this case, because Cecil’s life mattered, does that mean we don’t care about people killed every day, be they black, white, civilian, military, abortion, (or whatever else is a hot button issue right for someone?? )
No one can be pissed about everything, all the time; it takes a lot of energy to sustain that level of emotional involvement. Personally speaking,  the emotional toll of even seeing all the bad news online is overwhelming to me at times. Sometimes I just want to shut the computer for a few weeks… There are so many injustices in the world, why do we have to defend our outrage, give reasons why we choose our causes?  How many of these grief trolls on social media, denigrating the people who cared about the lion, doing any more for their own causes than sitting online being critical slactivists?? How about instead of fighting and criticizing one another for which cause we choose to embrace, we focus on improving the circumstances of any given cause?  Anyhow, that’s my cathartic ramble for the day.
Peace.
PS: (Also none of the people/demographics mentioned above were ever hunted by a lion with bait and a gun. Just sayin’.)

Happy (belated) Birthday, “Ex” Friend

Dear longtime friend,

Since you “divorced” me a few months back, I’ll have to admit, I sort of forgot about the whole issue.  At least on a daily basis.  You see, since we live so far apart now, and social media was really our only contact, you erased yourself from my life, and me from yours, quite effectively with that “block” button on Facebook…although I still can’t exactly figure out why you felt that was necessary, as if “de-friending” me was not enough…like you thought I would just continue to send you messages even though we clearly had nothing else to talk about.

I went about my life, and , like I said, after the shock and upset over our initial argument wore off, I sort of forgot about it all.  Except for when one of our mutual friends would mention you in conversation, or in a Facebook comment I couldn’t see because, after 20 years of friendship, you decided my existence pissed you off so much, you didn’t want to see my name…or whatever.  Then I would get kinda mad.

But eventually I’d forget about it…

Until I went through all my old greeting cards, some from as far back as middle school, and found the ones from you.  On more than one, you proclaimed how we would be friends forever and you’d always be here for me.  It made me a bit sad, but it also made me mad.  I didn’t know if I should keep the cards or get rid of them.  After all, if you could throw me out like an old card, why should I keep these mementos of our friendship?  But I decided to…just in case.  

And then I forgot about it.  After all, I am a mom, a wife.  I am (once again) a student, a writer, an artist, and a volunteer.  I’m a daughter and a friend… SO I had a lot to occupy my mind… and I forgot about it again.

Except for whenever feminism came up in conversation.  It seems a stupid thing to lose a friend over.  It’s not an elitist club.  It’s not about being obligated to feel or act a certain way, but rather having the option to decide for oneself…  And that’s what I would tell whoever I happened to be in discussion with.  But then I would forget about it again.

And every once in a while, something random would make me think of you.  How you were at my wedding.  How you are one of few of my friends from my homestate who have gotten to meet my daughter, who was not born until after we left the state.  It’s always with a mixture of sadness and anger that I think of you.  It makes me sad that you feel you no longer want to share in my life, especially my life’s greatest joy, getting to know my daughter.  She is super-cool!

It makes me sad that I used to describe you as the nicest, most open-minded person I knew, and you took those words and bit me in the ass with them.  I understand activism is important to you, but you seem more angry now then empowered.

Today* was your birthday.   I thought about asking a mutual friend to wish you a happy birthday…then I started questioning myself.  Did I really care?  Did I want you to know I was thinking of you, or was I just being passive aggressive, letting you know that despite your snub, I was still around?  I don’t even really know why I am writing this now.  You likely have “unfollowed” my blog as well and will never see this message.  And I guess that’s fine.  Maybe it’s better even, since it would probably just piss you off.

But, Happy Birthday anyway.  And Happy Holidays too, for good measure.  In a day or so, I will forget about this again for a while.  But I will be here, as ever.

Love me.

(edited cuz I thought today was yesterday*)

“Dogs are not kids.”

Becoming a mom has definitely changed me.  I’ve never been a kid person.   But my kid is fucking awesome!  

And now I am noticing something I hadn’t really noticed until I started posting on social media and reading comments on articles online; when the topic of kids comes up, it’s amazing how many people are hateful about children!

This morning, I saw this article on things parents shouldn’t say to non-parents.  If you don’t wanna read the whole thing, I’ll just outline the points.

1) “Dogs are not Kids”- based on the premise that the people that always compare their pets to our kids actually do know this.

2) “You think you’re [insert anything here]? Try having kids!”  Okay, I get what they’re saying about playing down others’ feelings, but if I’m exhausted from being up with my sick child, I don’t wanna hear about your post bar-hopping hangover woes.

3. “Don’t worry, when you have kids you’ll…”  Firstly, the author is insulted that parents assume everyone wants kids.  I definitely agree that’s not the case, and it does sound a bit condescending…

4. “Is the party kid-friendly?”  I don’t see what the big deal is with this one.  The author posits that unless you and your friend have a tacit understanding that your kids are always welcomed, you should assume they’re not.  I personally think it should be the other way around.  You call yourself my friend?  Then you’ll know chances are that I prefer to do things with my husband and child rather than without.  Common sense.  At any rate, why should even asking this question be discouraged?  By being insulted by the mere question, you’re just opening the door for miscommunication.

5. “My life didn’t have meaning before I had kids!”  The author seems to assume this statement of personal feeling implies something about their life without children.  To which I say, if that’s how you feel, the problem is with you, not me!  I have not ever personally uttered this phrase because I don’t feel my life was meaningless before, just that it has more meaning now.  But if I was to say it to a non-parent, it would not be to infer that I think their life is consequently meaningless, it would just be a statement of how I felt.

A couple of weeks ago I ran across a question on Yahoo! Answers asking people what they thought of a restaurant that banned kids under 18 (not a bar, a restaurant.)  Almost without exception, the “answerers” were either under eighteens who felt this was insulting and discriminatory, and responses like “This is a great idea!,” full of inferences that if a person had an upset toddler they couldn’t possibly  be a good parent.  Let me tell you guys a secret…

I used to feel this way. 

But– and you may not want to hear it– this IS one thing you can not know until you have your own kid… no matter what you think you’d do, or how you “plan” to be with your kids (should you wish to have them,) it is subject to change; you never really know what you’ll feel comfortable doing until you have to do it.  I always thought if my kid acted up, I’d just bust her ass the way my mom did my sis and I when we were kids.  We aren’t “emotionally scarred” (not much anyway.lol.)  But now that I have a daughter, I find myself loath to lay a hand on her in anger.  It’s just not how I want our relationship to be.  I’m not the same disdainful towards kids person I was before.  

And the fact is that some people seem to forget that children are people too.  They have feelings and thoughts and needs, and often not the maturity to frame them properly.  And yet, by the way some adults behave, that sometimes never changes.  Some people forget that they were kids once too.

At any rate, where’s the list of things that childless people shouldn’t say to parents, like telling us how to raise/discipline our kids, and or (#1) comparing their dog to our kids?  My cats and dogs have always been like family to me, my furry kids.  But…they do not require the same time, attention, or responsibility as a real child.  Deal with it.

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Ha! Joke’s on you! My kid already knows how to swear!

  • Parents (meddlesomeness.wordpress.com)

A Few One Liners About Social Media, To Sing You Off To Sweet Sleep

Just a few random thoughts that have been poking at my consciousness like splinters, presented in a passive-aggressive way for your entertainment…

All of your “selfies” look exactly the same.  Stop it.

Maybe it’s not your opinion that people object to; maybe it’s the combative and assholish way you present it that pisses them off.

That pic of you fresh from the gym/car dealership/proctologist/whatever– you know, the one where you’re staring into space, or looking sideways and making duck lips at the camera…it was very unique and illuminating.

You’re so vain…you probably think this post is about you.

This post is about you.

Dear close friend or family member, I have to be more understanding and try not to get my feelings hurt when I know you’ve been online, but you’ve ignored something I posted specifically for you; you must just have your hands full “sharing” all those played out memes and “inspirational” photos.

I love watching grown ass adults act like adolescents on a social media site, don’t you?

And speaking of “grown adults,” watching some of the older crowd navigate Facebook is like watching two monkeys try to fuck a football.

I’m just here for the Scrabble.

AlienRedQueen’s Golden Rule of the Internet

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again and know I’m not the first;

A lot of people act like complete assholes on the internet.

Perceived anonymity has endowed many people with big, brass bull balls.  Many of these people are likely timid or unimposing in their everyday lives, likely feeling “bullied” by people in their own lives, and just looking to be on the giving end for a change.  Some of these people are probably asshats in their real life as well as online.  But I’d wager that this second type is a lot less vocal about it in the normal course of their day, for fear of repercussions, such as losing their job or mate, or maybe even being punched in the face for their temerity.

“You, sir, are an Asshat!”

Which brings me to my point-  AlienRedQueen’s Golden Rule of the Internet-

Speak unto others on the web as you would speak unto their face

Sounds pretty fancy-schmancy, huh?  Not necessarily a novel concept maybe, but applicable nonetheless.  Basically, you have the right to disagree with someone.  You have the right to voice your opinion.   But choose your words carefully.  Be respectful.  Even if you don’t feel respectful.  Think, If I were standing in front of this person, who I (likely) don’t know, would I dare talk like this to them?

Because, see… I’ve calmed down a bit since I was a teen.  Well, not really calmed down, so much as reined myself in a bit.  I have a kid.  I don’t need to go to jail for popping some smart-ass in the mouth…  But not everyone has that inhibition.  Mouth off and disrespect the wrong person, in person, and you’re liable to get your ass handed to you.

Which is maybe how it should be.

 Oops.  Did I just say that?  Call the lawyers, get ready to sue.  Sorry, but some people could use a good old fashioned pop in the mouth.  Guess that makes me a bully now too.  Or just someone who is tired of people acting like total douchbags just because they can get away with  it.

In case you are wondering, this whole thing came about today because I happened to stumble onto a random YouTube video, where a flame war was raging down in the comment section.  Basically it was this one person saying uncalled for, negative things, not just about the video, but about the people who made and/or watched the video.  And I thought, here we go again.  What a bunch of idiots.  Likely, this one guy is just a young punk-ass kid who thinks he’s big medicine on the webz.  And seriously, some of the kids nowadays could probably use a swift backhand.  Maybe if their parents had given them more appropriately applied guidance and consequences, they’d not be the little douchbags they are today, in public or online.

**And just to show I’m not all bad and I’m not advocating child abuse, below is a link to an article with a point of view different from mine.  I’m not saying all kids need to be beat, but I don’t agree with no consequences (or delayed consequences or those that the child just doesn’t care about.)  When my kid does something wrong, she usually gets a time out…but apparently, even that is gauche now.  But as long as a child is not injured physically or psychologically, to each their own, all of this is a little off the topic of my Golden Rule, so:

http://earlychildcare.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/why-punishing-your-child-is-bad-and-what-to-do-instead/