communication, social media

Apparently, more than one person thinks IATA this week… now ask me how much I care!

The featured photo is one of the presents I sent to Bill’s grandson. Just call me “pseudogranny”… 🙂

Before I get too cranked up with today’s post… a little musical interlude.

A little levity is in order…

A few days ago, I vented quite a bit about a situation that developed between a relative by marriage and me. My relative by marriage read my rant (now at a whopping nine hits) and is now no longer my “friend”. I vented about that, too. For some reason, I’ve been thinking a lot about that situation, and how quick we are to cancel each other over things that are basically really trivial. Years ago, before we had social media, we had fewer chances to confront each other with our “ugly” sides. When the confrontations did come up, we either hashed them out and came to new understandings, or we just avoided each other. And we didn’t run into nearly as many people back then, so these kinds of disagreements were less common.

In 2023, it’s much easier to bump into people who will go nuclear at the drop of a hat. I’ll admit, I can be rather quick to block, too, however I mostly confine my blocking to strangers who are obvious scammers. Generally speaking, a person with whom I have a relationship really has to be offensive– and the off-putting behavior has to happen more than once or twice– before I’ll go nuclear with the block button. I really don’t like to block people on social media unless there’s a very good reason for it. And yet, I probably block several profiles a week belonging to strangers. I often block the “can you send me a friend request” types, or strangers who post really rude or offensive things that I know I don’t want to encounter again.

Other people have different thresholds, which is their right. I am amused, however, when people I don’t know block me because we have a difference of opinion. That’s what happened to me yesterday afternoon. A friend from Gloucester is a nurse, and she shared a meme that was sadly very relevant today. See below:

This is so true…

In Germany, when you are sick or injured, you are expected to rest. Doctors even prescribe spa treatments here. Granted, from what I’ve heard, German doctors are a lot less free with pain medications. Even getting something like aspirin requires a visit to the Apotheke and a conversation with the pharmacist. But if you need some time for recuperation, you can have it. Vacation time is a lot more plentiful here.

My nurse friend from back home wrote that she’s seen patients in intensive care on Zoom calls for work… or something like that. Some people really have a hard time clocking out. My husband, Bill, is definitely one of those people. He’s taking time off this week, and I told him this morning that he needs to clock out, as he continually frets about what’s going on at his workplace. It’s ridiculous.

One of my friend’s friends wrote that he had lived in Europe for a few years and still thinks the United States is the best place in the world. I can no longer access what he posted, but I think his reasoning had to do with money.

I posted that I totally disagreed with him, adding that I live in Europe now and much prefer it to the United States. I wasn’t rude in what I wrote. I just calmly expressed an opinion. The guy came back with a disagreement– I could kind of tell that he thought I was full of shit.

So, I calmly reiterated that I like living in Germany. I’ve been here almost nine years this time, and I’m in no hurry to leave. I have just about everything here that I had in the United States, plus I don’t worry about being shot when I go to the store or attend a concert. And I also don’t worry about going bankrupt if I get sick or injured. I don’t have to worry about abortion access anymore, but if I needed help with that, I know I could get it, and it would be private. I wrote that the United States is less appealing now, as extremist politicians are trying to deny rights to half the population, and when you go out somewhere nowadays, there’s a good chance you’ll run into an entitled asshole. If you’re really unlucky, the asshole will be unhinged and carrying a weapon. I didn’t even actually use the word “asshole”, because I try not to curse on other people’s pages.

Next thing I knew, the guy blocked me.

I don’t have a problem with this, per se. I don’t even know the guy. He doesn’t seem like someone I’d want to know, anyway, if he can’t handle a calm disagreement with another person who simply has a different viewpoint. I don’t enjoy hanging around people who prefer to be in echo chambers and are afraid of differing opinions. I like to hear other people’s thoughts on most topics, because it helps me understand where they’re coming from. I may not always agree with their opinions, but sometimes their views give me food for thought. It’s hard to learn anything when you don’t want to listen to other opinions. Of course, there are a few people I can’t abide listening to, like Donald Trump and his biggest supporters. However, even though I hate listening to Trump, it’s necessary to listen to him, because he has so much power. God help us if he becomes president again. I doubt it will happen, but I didn’t think it would happen the first time.

Bill tells me that one of the things he likes most about me is the fact that I don’t have so much of a problem with being disliked. I often say things he doesn’t have the nerve to say. He’s a people pleaser. I am not a people pleaser. Sometimes, it does feel bad to be “disliked” or unpopular, but as I mentioned earlier this week, I seem to have a hard time behaving in a popular way. I’m not a “go along to get along” type of person. I am open and honest with my opinions, sometimes to the extent of being offensive to others. I don’t mean to offend, but I seem to do it anyway.

I think I prefer to be the way I am, even though it causes people to think IATA. I have seen where too much “people pleasing” can lead people. In Bill’s case, it meant almost ten years of marriage to a woman who abused him in all ways and left him broke and ostracized from his family. I don’t tend to attract people who behave like Ex. They are “turned off” by my less agreeable nature. It means I have fewer “friends”, but the friends I do have tend to be genuine, and of a higher quality. “Friends” don’t last long in my realm, because invariably, I’m going to say something outrageous, offensive, or contrary.

I don’t like to offend people, but being willing to be offensive means that I don’t get love bombed by people like Ex. I flat out told her we wouldn’t be friends. I know that offended her, but it also spared us both a lot of wasted time and heartache. To be clear, I might have tried to be friends with her if she wasn’t such an abusive person. But her sweet act is 100 percent bullshit. I know it. And I know that she won’t ever change. So, I basically told her, in more polite terms, to fuck off and leave me alone. It was a good strategy.

Because I’m like that, Bill reaps some of the benefits. He tells me I am fiercely protective of him. I guess I am… although he doesn’t need my protection. It’s just that I don’t mind pissing people off as much as he does. We’re like good cop/bad cop.

Another mutually beneficial relationship… I picture myself as the crocodile, and Bill as the plover.

Of course, I didn’t think my comments on the post about time off from work were that inflammatory. I like living in Germany. What’s wrong with that? Why are some Americans offended when fellow Americans disagree with the idea that our country is the best in the world? There’s a lot to dislike about the United States. I think when you live there, in the weird-o-rama culture, you don’t see it as plainly as you do when you leave it and live somewhere else for awhile. I can totally understand now why so many people who aren’t from the United States think Americans are entitled, insufferable, jerks. I didn’t necessarily feel that way when I lived in the USA, though… because it was all around me, and I was in it, too. Moving away helped me change my perspective, and my behavior. I can see why America seems amazing and awesome to a lot of people. I just don’t agree with that viewpoint myself, anymore.

Anyway… I know I could be writing about something more exciting. I need to wrap this up, though, because I think we might go do something interesting today… something outside of our village. So, I hope you enjoy your Friday and don’t alienate anyone. I am happy to report that Bill’s younger grandson is now one year old, and I managed to send him a birthday present that he likes. So, I guess I’m not 100 percent an asshole… 😉

true crime

The asshole gene…

This morning, I read a sad news story about a transgendered black woman who was found dead in Dallas, Texas. Muhlaysia Booker, aged 23, was shot and killed in Dallas, yesterday. That would have been sad enough. But Booker was also in the news a month ago, since she was attacked in a parking lot at a Dallas shopping center. Cellphone footage of the parking lot attack made national headlines.

The cellphone footage of the attack last month is absolutely horrifying.

Edward Thomas, 29, the man who attacked Ms. Booker last month, was arrested, and it appears that he had nothing to do with Ms. Booker’s murder. As Thomas was beating Ms. Booker last month, other people in the crowd shouted anti-gay slurs and some other men were kicking her before a group of women helped her escape. Ms. Booker suffered a broken wrist and a concussion and had to be hospitalized. What was the motive for the attack besides hate? A lousy $200. Thomas was offered that much to beat the ever loving shit out of a transgendered woman. Thomas was charged with aggravated assault and serious bodily injury.

Muhlaysia Booker, who was no doubt still recovering from last month’s attack, is now dead. She was only 23 years old and, besides being transgendered, was also black. Of course I didn’t know Ms. Booker, but she obviously didn’t have an easy time of it during her short life. Last year, 26 transgendered people were murdered in the United States; most of them, like Ms. Booker, were black. Not including Ms. Booker, three transgendered people have been killed this year. All were black women who were fatally shot.

This story would be sad enough if I hadn’t read the comments that followed the article. But, dopey me, I just couldn’t resist. I read, with much dismay, ignorant, hateful comments, mostly posted by white men. Behold, the comments by just three white guys:

Notice that this person is more concerned with unborn fetuses than someone who had already been born.
Such civility… not.
This guy was rather persistent, and soon made it clear that he’s a Trump fan…
And sadly, people were wasting their time responding.
Something tells me that if someone referred to this dude with a female pronoun, he would be very “butt hurt” about it. He might even cry.

Notice that one of the commenters brought up how “liberals” are upset over a transgendered black woman being murdered in cold blood, but they aren’t angry about the “murder” of unborn babies. Judging by the sheer disrespect and downright hatred these men have shown toward the deceased Ms. Booker, I am not convinced they care about unborn babies, either. It appears to me that they are disenfranchised, cowardly, little boys who feel emboldened by bullies like Donald Trump.

It’s very hard for me to believe that most of these men are actually “pro-life” so much as they just want to control and enslave other people. Most of them are very immature, ignorant, and completely lacking in compassion and empathy. It’s hard for me to imagine a human– or humane– side of these white guys who are commenting here. They seem to have inherited the “asshole gene”. It looks like the “asshole gene” is very prevalent these days, as uniformed twits show up on comment threads and reveal themselves to everyone with the stench of their hateful views.

I don’t know a whole lot about transgendered people. I have never been exposed to them. I did go to a high school that was somewhat recently in the national news, thanks to a transgendered student who wanted to force school officials to let him use the boys’ restroom. But I graduated in 1990, and he graduated many years after that. I read with much dismay, ignorant and hateful comments from people in the community that I called home for almost 20 years. I still have many friends there and consider it my hometown, even though it’s not where I was born. I know there are many good, decent, kind people there, but I also know that many of the people I thought of in that way would silently cheer on these guys with the “asshole gene”, callously commenting on a tragic story shared by The New York Times.

I don’t understand what difference it makes what gender Ms. Booker identified as. She was a human being who felt great pain in her last weeks of life. People were unspeakably cruel to her, simply because of who she was. Someone felt that it was worth $200 to beat her up in a parking lot, while a pack of rabid, hateful, homophobic men stood by and joined in the fray. Many of these people would have supposedly done anything for Ms. Booker when she was still in her mother’s womb, but they don’t give a shit about her now… and continue to spew vile hatred, even after she’s been gunned down in cold blood.

I’m sure if I met any of the three men whose quotes I’ve highlighted today, they’d probably be alright to talk to face to face. They might even convince me that they’re decent people. They’re probably “Christians”, and they wear the cloak of self-righteousness that comes from identifying as “Christian”. They have no problem forcing an eleven year old rape victim to give birth, since all life is “sacred”. But they also have no problem cheering on the death of a transgendered black woman, who no doubt felt every blow as people attacked her in parking lot. She probably felt the gunshot wound, too.

This being said… Edward Thomas, the man who took $200 to beat up Ms. Booker, is himself a black man. I guess that just goes to show that when it comes to hatred for the transgendered, there is no racial harmony. If you are a transgendered person– particularly if you were born with male parts but identify as female– your life will be in danger. If you also happen to be a person of color, your life will be worth nothing to some people. They’ll kill you simply for being yourself.

There are people out there who think the world would be better if it was like it was in the 1950s. I’ll admit, when I look at television shows and movies from that era, it does look like things were more… “whitewashed”, I guess. I can’t fathom how it must have been to be someone who didn’t fit in, back in those days. Maybe it was a “great” time to be a white person. For other people, I don’t think it was the best of times. As a society, Americans were making some strides into accepting people for who they are. But then, Donald Trump arrived, and hateful people have now been emboldened like the rabid vermin they are, coming out of the woodwork to literally stomp on people like Muhlaysia Booker.

See… this is why I remain very much “pro-choice”. The world is not a kind place, especially for those who aren’t like the “norm”. Every time I see some pro-life activist bring up the “millions of babies murdered in utero”, I think about how a good percentage of those babies might not have really been welcome in this world. The truth is, if you don’t fit neatly into the mold, your life will mean absolutely nothing to a lot of people, anyway. And, as you can see from the comments in The New York Times, many of those so called “pro-life” people are only pro-life when it comes to the unborn. After all, the unborn make no demands on or offenses toward anyone but pregnant women.