Thursday, July 27, 2017

poo emoji

Image result for poop emoji
Sometimes I feel like my message is lost on here. So, today I wanted to break it down. It truly is the most simple of philosophies but for some reason people overthink it and miss the message. They turn it into something way bigger than it is.
  • We are all equal.
  • Exactly who we are is the answer. Not who the world shapes use to be and not what others believe we should be and not what we believe others want us to be but exactly who we are. 
  • We have to love each other for exactly who we were meant to be on the day of our birth and we should not ask others to be anything other than that. 
I know that sounds simple but when I say all that I always get a lot of "but what about." So, I'm going to break it down one more level. 


Now what I mean by that is if you are putting out anything that does not uphold peace and love then you are putting shit into the world and that will not make the world clean. If it ain't love then it's fear. If it's fear then it ain't love. 
  • If you believe others should be something that is tolerable to your special palette, that is shit.
  • If you believe you need a gun to protect yourself, that is shit.
  • If you believe your race is superior, that is shit.
  • If you believe your place of birth makes you entitled, that is shit. 
  • If you don't mind people being harmed as long as you are safe, that is shit.
  • If you believe killing people in their home on other soil is okay as long as you live, that is shit.
  • If you believe that killing makes you safer, that is shit.
  • If you believe this country belongs to anyone, that is shit. 
  • If you do not believe freedom belongs to every person living, that is shit.
So read it and weep out your "but what abouts." It will not be anything I've not heard before. But what about if all your arguments are met with "but what abouts" that are the opposite of your "but what abouts"? If it has not happened then what about if it never does. And what about if it has happened but will never happen again? Life is meant to be lived here and now and if your plans only include what you think might happen then you are fucking life up the ass. Why do you even want to live?


Most of the damage caused comes from a place of making sure "but what about" never happens. Kill or be killed. There is another perspective. But what about if the black man wasn't reaching for a gun? But what about if the Muslim man loves this country like you love this country? But what about if the people coming into the country are just like you and just want the best for their family? But what about if the transgender person is just a regular person and we don't make sex categories but just let people be who they are?

Folks that is as simple as I can make it. You don't have to believe me but what about if that is just more shit.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Malcolm Gladwell - You Were Not Wrong

I recently listened to a podcast episode of Black On the Air with Larry Wilmore speaking with Malcolm Gladwell. Although Larry Wilmore is on my top ten list of people I'd love to have at my dinner party, I did not think he was totally right in this discussion regarding satire. I understand the points being made on both sides but I don't think either side had a completely fleshed out argument to defend their stance. I want to give it a shot here and stand up for Malcolm without completely shooting Larry down.

Malcolm tried to make the point that satire has some responsibility that goes along with it, in that it could be used as a vehicle to provoke change. 

Larry's argument is that satire chooses no side and has no responsibility but merely is a flashlight that is pointed to put attention on the subject being satirized. 

Okay Larry, I see your point. Maybe we don't need Will Ferrell or Alec Baldwin showing us the way to heaven's frontgate but to say that satire ends when the curtain closes is a complete turn about from what you said on the previous episode to Al Franken

Larry, you said (this will not be a direct quote) that when Darrell Hammond satirized Al Gore and the lock box on SNL it changed the course of the election because it shined a light on things Gore did that people had not noticed before. So, you may say that it has no responsibility to evoke change and it may not but then you have no control over the way this is received by the viewer and that is where your original intent stops mattering. It is the point when the math starts to change. The intent may not be to bring about change but that does not mean that it is not the outcome for good or bad. Would Al Gore win the election if SNL left the whole thing alone? Would we have gone to war with Iraq if Gore had become president? Would thousands of service men die if Gore had become president? I think that is the point Malcolm was trying to make and I wish he had made that point clearer rather than just agree with you and then end this discussion. 

So, on the one hand, Larry, you are right but on the other you cannot control the outcome and on that hand you can't be right. It's like intentionally running over the cyclist and then blaming the air for blowing the wrong way when the person is injured as a result. 

You cannot innocently shine the light on something and then blame the thing for being seen. Dave Chappelle quit comedy for this reason. The wrong people were laughing and for the wrong reason. That makes the case for Malcolm's Archie Bunker analogy. You shine a light on Archie's racist ways and the racists laugh because they think the show is about people like them. They don't get the satire and they don't see the light shining. They are encouraged. 

Also, you do not shine the light without pointing it at the thing you want people to see and so by choosing where the light goes, you make a statement. The two can't be exclusive. If you shoot an arrow in the sky with no target and it lands in a place that causes harm you are still responsible for pulling back the bow even if you didn't mean anything by it. 

The other side of this is Fox News. They put out false info like it's real. Does that cause harm? Stephen Colbert was invited to host the George W's correspondence dinner in 2006. He dressed down the president and the GOP's was in shock because they could not tell the difference in his satire of Fox News and the real Fox News. They thought he was their Jon Stewart and they were taken by surprise when it turned out he wasn't.

If satire takes no side then why shine the light at all? Why not just leave the thing alone and let it play like it will? And if the author of satire truly takes no side when deciding where to point the light, from where does the light come?

If the wrong people laugh for the wrong reason does that not give rise to encouragement even though there was no intent and no side taken? I think that is what Malcolm tried to shine his light on and I believe he was correct. Satire is not without danger. 

If satire has the potential to cause harm then it could also be used for good and I think that is Larry's point though it sounds like Malcolm's. You shine the light, that is where your responsibility ends and then you walk away. You cannot decide for people if they will see the light. That is where their responsibility begins.

Here is the math on this:
Larry=no you are not responsible for how people use the info the light is shining on 
Malcolm=yes the light could bring change and the vehicle it rides in could take it somewhere positive
Both sides together=you cannot control others and that means that you might cause harm 

Thank you guys for this thoughtful dialogue and Malcolm you are on my dinner list too.

Friday, July 21, 2017

just a little observation of the situation

The US wealth divide has been on my mind for a while now and I've concluded that is a little (teeny tiny bit) different than what I thought before. I have held the idea for a while that the reason our country has gone the way of dickheads is that the dickheads are too rich to know what it's like to be poor. They think everyone should be able to pay their own doctor bills without insurance. They think everyone should get to the end of their life and not rely on Social Security. They think if you cannot pay your own doctor bills you don't deserve treatment. They think there is something wrong with people who cannot find a way to be wealthy and they say and think things like Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah said:

Not being able to afford insurance does not mean you shouldn't have it.
"Well we're getting rid of the individual mandate. We're getting rid of those things that people said they don't want. And you know what? Americans have choices. And they've got to make a choice. And so, maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love, and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest it in their own health care. They've got to make those decisions for themselves."

That only explains a part of the equation. The thing I've arrived at lately is that it goes both ways. Poor people do not understand what rich is. I feel like most poor people think that being rich is the guy next door that works for Budweiser, has a nice house and a new boat. I also think the next level up thinks the same way. I would say anyone making less than $200,000.00 has no idea that they don't really have money. I think in the world today that is chicken feed. Unless we've been poor then we don't know poor. If we've never been rich, we don't know rich.

It's like when I heard a lottery winner (who won a few hundred million) interviewed on the radio about how he'd spend his winnings. He said he was either going to get a new truck or fix the roof on his house. He said it like he had no idea he could do both. That is the thing I'm talking about here.

So, what does this do to the way we see things. Well, for the rich man, he thinks he is carrying everyone on his back. What he never thinks of is, if he actually paid the people who work for him the wage they deserve, he'd not be as rich. He's rich because he hoards the money for himself. And for the poor man and the next level up they get so mad at people on government assistance and they think they are the problem. When the rich man tells them that is the issue, they believe it. They think like the rich man. They think they are carrying them on their backs because they do not understand that they are poor too. They don't understand that the rich man is their problem. They don't understand that the rich man looks down on them as the problem as much as they do the folks on assistance. Now everyone is on the same page and no one is mad at the rich man who hides his money overseas to avoid paying taxes. No one is mad at the rich man who doesn't pay his workers a living wage. No one is mad at the rich man who bribes the government to make laws that favor him and his business. No one is mad when the individuals who govern this nation get richer and richer because they have all the insider information and the kickbacks from the wealthy for spinning things their way.

Here is another thing I'm not sure most people understand when it comes to taking healthcare away from poor people and making the next level up pay more ($162 a month more, on average) for their policy. The Medicaid program is so instilled into the fabric of the healthcare system and workforce of this country that to take it away would literally strip this country of jobs to the point you could not even begin to fathom, not to mention the number of people who'd die. Hospitals would lose the money they get for people who cannot afford treatment, or they'd let people die. Doctors would not be paid to treat people who cannot afford treatment, or they'd let people die. People who go to school for years to become doctors won't be able to repay student loans they took to become doctors. Some of them would be lucky to break even. People who work at other medical jobs would be affected like x-ray techs, lab techs, ultrasound techs, nurses, etc. Those people who administer these healthcare programs in offices like Dept of Human Services would be without jobs. The people at the insurance companies who administer the programs would be out of work. Because these insurance companies would lose the money paid to them by the programs, they would have to increase the premiums on people who could pay because it would not be offset by government funds. These things would happen in every town, in every state in this country. I cannot do that kind of math but a lot of people you know would be affected right down to the people driving the Human Resource vans and the folks delivering Meals on Wheels. These same people would not have jobs. Every person working in my office and the people we employee in the field, no jobs. They'd all be gone if there was not Medicaid.

I hope this country will be happy about cutting welfare for the poor and giving it to the wealthy. It's like bizarro Robin Hood to be giving out billionaire welfare.

These wealthy folks think if you are poor you don't work so they are sending all the brown people out of the country to make sure you have a job. Obviously, they don't believe the unemployment rate in America. It ain't that bad. And since most people who can work are working, who is going to do the job of the people being sent out of the country? Maybe those people I talked about who'd lose their jobs due to Medicaid cuts. What they see as fair is that people who have a seat at the high table are deserving and those who are not should have to beg. They want people who are not rich to serve them.

So, let's keep kicking the little guy and elevating the wealthy to the heavens. And let's do it because they told us Jesus said so. Cause that is really all they need do is make us believe they love the Lord more and we'll eat that shit up. Never mind that their actions are the opposite of what Jesus would do. They will continue to drop the bait and we'll keep eating it up. It's like we are zombies. They drop a little Jesus on us, and we mindlessly head in their direction.