communication, condescending twatbags, stupid people

Some men just Can’t. Understand. Normal. Thinking… Glad to be Bill’s double shot of tequila.

This morning, I read an interesting Facebook comment thread on an article by The New York Times about CNN’s decision to fire employees who ignored their COVID-19 vaccine mandates. CNN, like many private businesses in the United States, has directed employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus before returning to its offices in the U.S.

The Cable News Network has been relying on the “honor system” to enforce its rules about vaccination. However, apparently three former employees are unfamiliar with the expression, “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The powers that be at CNN became aware that the three former employees were unvaccinated and defiantly continued to report for work, in spite of the vaccine mandates. The CNN bosses responded by firing the rule breakers.

I usually read articles before I read comment sections. I guess this morning, I was still a bit drowsy from the early hour and the cool, rainy weather we have today. It’s also getting darker in the mornings, which is a sure sign that fall is coming. In a month, we’ll probably need jackets again. In any case, I ran across a comment left by a woman named Margie. She wrote:

It’s interesting how so many people think “freedom” only works for them but not for others. I guess it’s that same lopsided rationalization that concludes that assault rifles are necessary for freedom.

I like Margie’s comment. I think it makes a lot of sense. It’s no secret that we have a serious problem with weapons in the United States. So many innocent people have died of gunshot wounds while doing ordinary things like going to school, worshiping, shopping, attending a concert, or watching a movie at a cinema. And now, so many people are dying of COVID-19. Most of the people who are dying of COVID are people who are vehemently against vaccines and have even taken to mocking them on social media. Interestingly enough, many of the people who are against the vaccines are also people who support the right to bear arms, no matter what the cost is to others.

Sadly… or maybe not so sadly… some of those gun supporting folks are ending up ruing the decision to mock vaccines. For instance, proud Republican H. Scott Apley was 45 years old and the father of a newborn when he died of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Mr. Apley was a very conservative member of the Dickinson County Council, and had taken to social media to lambast COVID-19 vaccine mandates. He cheered about a “mask burning party” that happened in Cincinnati in May, writing that he wished he’d lived in the area, and he claimed that Baltimore’s former public health commissioner was an “absolute enemy of a free people.”

In the end, Apley maintained his “freedom” not to be vaccinated. He caught the virus. And now, he’s dead. His wife, Melissa, who is also COVID-19 positive, is left to raise their infant son, Reid. Reid is currently in his grandmother’s care, because unlike her late husband, Melissa seems to realize that COVID kills people. I sincerely hope she’s smart enough to get the vaccine so that baby doesn’t lose his other parent to willful ignorance. I am also legitimately sorry for Melissa’s and Reid’s loss. It didn’t have to be that way.

I dedicate this song to “Rick”… but I would replace the word “step” with “fuck”. That’s because I enjoy profanity very much. It’s one of my most adorable flaws.

In any case, Margie, who had commented on the article about CNN, had a point that resonated with a lot of people. At this writing, there are 890 likes on her observation about the concept of freedom in the United States. Some people don’t seem to realize that freedom applies to everyone, and there’s civic responsibility that comes with that privilege. But, as we all know, some people just “can’t. understand. normal. thinking.” and they have to show everyone their ass. Such was the case with the response left by a man named Rick, who wrote this:

The fact you said “assault rifle” already tells me everything I need to know….

Margie came back with an impressive response that really should have shut up Rick. She wrote:

…does it? Would it surprise you to know that we have many guns, including some semi-automatic guns, in our home? That my husband conceal carries? So, what is it you think you know about me?

Rick wrote: There’s a reason why “assault” was in parentheses….try to follow along champ.

Then, Rick continued to show his ass by lecturing a guy named John with this beaut of a comment:

Its a common term among you leftists who have no fing idea what your talking about when it comes to firearms.. Thats the issue. It’s not a common term amongst people who have an ounce of knowledge of firearms. Trust me…its worth belittling…since by “assault” you mean “fully automatic”….which with like ten fing seconds of research will tell you have been banned for nearly 30 years. So yes…you now know I know at least basic knowledge of firearms. Congratulations.

A guy named Bill (not my Bill) wrote this for Rick:

An AR 15 is an assault rifle bro. No matter how you sugarcoat it

And Rick insisted that he knows better and responded thusly:

No it isnt….people are afraid of how it looks. It’s a fing rifle…..like any other semi auto hunting rifle. They just “look” scary. An “assault” rifle in the sense that people are so adamant against it would be anything that can lay down fully auto…added with huge like 75-100 round drums. Big diff. Those are already illegal. There litteraly is no difference between a Ruger ranch rifle and an AR-15 for example…..other than ones black and scary…which is kinda funny and ironic….One is acceptable by even left wing anti gun nuts for hunting purposes and the other one is ostracized….even though it’s the same thing. People are litteraly afraid of aesthetics. (He can’t spell either, can he?)

At this point, I was scratching my head. Rick must not have much to do in his personal life, since he was hanging out in the comment section of a notoriously left leaning newspaper that is known for its excellence in journalism. And instead of engaging with people on an adult level, he was resorting to insults and bragging about his knowledge of firearms. Obviously his vast knowledge of firearms doesn’t extend to knowledge of basic English grammar. Reading and writing are still considered fundamental skills, aren’t they? And yet, here he is in the comment section of a respected news source, taking on people who are clearly intellectually and developmentally superior to him, so he has to bring his “guns” to the fight. What a big man!

Rick, being a typically stubborn and obtuse sort of person, continued to engage. He was clapping back at everyone with personal insults and condescension. So I decided to leave him a comment, having noticed that he apparently doesn’t know the difference between quotation marks and parenthesis. I wrote:

I like how you can’t tell the difference between parenthesis and quotation marks or “your” and “you’re”. And I like how you belittle and name call to make your points. That tells me all I need to know about you, “Champ”.

Rick’s response to me? Unsurprisingly, he tried to insult me, too…

I like how you think men are actually looking for a booty call from you 

Wow… LOL. I thought that was funny on many levels. You see, in order for Rick to make that comment, he had to visit my Facebook profile. He was referring to my latest tag line, which is: “Not looking for friend requests or booty calls from strange men. I’m also NOT German.”

Several weeks ago, I posted that tag line in response to the tons and tons of unsolicited private messages and creepy comments I was getting from scammers. I’ve actually written about those messages in this blog, and have included screen shots of the more entertaining ones.

The scammers were writing icky messages about how “beautiful” they think I am. To be clear, I know the people (male or female) behind those messages are just shady fuckwads who have ripped off other Facebook users’ profiles. My own profile was also ripped off recently. Those lowlifes are ultimately just looking to scam money, and trying to use flattery to do it. I was getting a lot of these messages. So I posted that tag line to express my irritation, not because I think men actually believe I’m “hawt” or “fuckable”. Even if they did, I’m a happily married woman, so other men’s opinions about my appearance are irrelevant.

‘Ol Rick decided to zero in on that tag line to insult my looks, which is typical of people like him. What he fails to realize, though, is that the fact that he took the time to visit my profile instead of just blowing me off tells me that he found me attractive on some level. Maybe I’m not his “type”, but my comment obviously got to him. Otherwise, he would not have responded to me at all. That implies an attraction of sorts. Remember, negative attention is still attention, and the fact that he took a moment to check out my profile means that he noticed me.

Rick also seems to think I care that some random guy on Facebook apparently thinks I’m ugly. LOL… hell, my own father regularly criticized my appearance! So Rick’s opinion about my attractiveness is irrelevant, and frankly, pretty juvenile. I mean, that’s the kind of thing people say on the playground. “You’re ugly!” Well, I know you are, but what am I, Rick? 😀

Anyway, I laughed at Rick and wrote, “Thanks for creeping my profile, you strange man. Why don’t you run along now and play with your assault rifles.” I was going to add the word “loaded”, but decided that I didn’t need to encourage more gun violence. For all I know, Rick might take my suggestion.

A kind man named Stephen wrote, “…yes it is not worth engaging him in conversation. He seems to love insulting and using words he doesn’t understand.

So I wrote this:

Thanks for that. I don’t actually care that Rick apparently doesn’t think I’m cute. I’m married to a wonderful man, and he’s the only one whose opinion I care about regarding my attractiveness or lack thereof. Besides, I figure ‘ol Rick must have found me interesting on some level, since he took the time to stalk my profile. 😉 Like I said… creepy… just like the booty callers who send me random PMs.

Some people reading this might think I shouldn’t be writing this blog post. Why give guys like Rick a second thought? But I’m writing this because Rick actually did give me something to think about this morning.

There was a time when I was much younger that Rick’s comment might have hurt my feelings. Back in the days when I was less secure, had lower self-esteem, and cared more about what people thought of me, it actually did sting when someone insulted me on a personal level– especially when they criticized my appearance.

I think that comes from having family members who cared a lot about image, and what others thought of them and our family. When the people responsible for bringing you into the world– the people who were your first “love”– criticize things like your appearance, or your laugh, or they tell you that no one will ever love you, that tends to make you think that everyone feels that way. After all, they made me. You’d think they’d love me unconditionally for that alone. But they couldn’t love me unconditionally, because they didn’t even love themselves that way.

My parents are/were good looking, talented, and intelligent people, and they expected their four daughters to be the same. I think we all did turn out alright. I may not always be camera ready, but I clean up fine. I’ve never had a problem turning Bill on, and he’s the only one who matters. I mostly hang around with him and my dogs, and my dogs think I’m awesome because I’m the one who feeds them and walks them. I value their opinions a whole lot more than I do Rick’s.

I’m old enough to know that it’s not true that my parents’ opinions of me are reflections of what all others think. The world is full of people, and they all have opinions. I’ve been around long enough to know that no one is everyone’s cup of tea. I know I’m not… but I’d rather be someone’s double shot of tequila, anyway. Thanks to Bill, I know that I AM someone’s double shot of tequila! That makes me pretty blessed.

Besides, my mom is a lot more appreciative of me now, especially since she doesn’t have to look at me. 😉 My dad is dead, so his opinion is irrelevant, too. He was wrong, anyway. I found someone who genuinely loves me, even though my dad often said I never would.

I don’t have to be physically gorgeous to turn Bill on. He was very attracted to me even before he saw me in person. And when he saw me in person, it only confirmed that we belong together. I can simply write something erotic, sing him a siren song, or touch him in a certain way and he’ll get a “raise”. We have a lot of chemistry, and always enjoy being together. I am very fortunate because a high quality person loves me no matter what; but I would be okay, even if I were still single.

I could gain twenty pounds, get hit in the nose with a football like Marcia Brady, or look like death warmed over from illness. Bill would still love me. That’s what makes him vastly superior to cavemen like Rick, who are only interested in big guns, conservative politics, and what his eyes superficially see in a photo. And again, HE’S the one who came to my profile, looking for something to criticize. Why would he do that if he didn’t find me attractive on some level? If he didn’t find me interesting, he would have ignored my comment and kept scrolling.

What a guy like Rick thinks of me is completely immaterial. The fact that he criticized my looks as a means of shutting me down is pathetic! Obviously, he had nothing of substance to say, but had to say something to defend his pitiful male ego. He needs a big GUN to defend himself, too, which tells me all to know about his so-called strength and resilience. What a small-minded man he is… and I’d venture to guess that he’s not very satisfying in the booty call department, either. 😀 That’s why he plays with big guns. They make him feel bigger and more powerful than he actually is.

Anyway, I’ve concluded that Rick is just another guy who Can’t. Understand. Normal. Thinking… Read between the lines on that one. It’s sad that he has to resort to insulting and belittling people on social media rather than engaging in respectful and meaningful dialogue with others. He must live a very limited life.

I’m happy to report that Facebook finally seems to have done something about the PM issue. Or maybe the scammers don’t like my most recent profile photo. I haven’t been getting those PMs recently. It might even be time to change that tag line. Maybe I’ll write one that says, “Creeping my profile to find ways to insult me simply proves that you think I’m interesting.”

Hope you all have a great Friday. It’s time for me to find something constructive to do. Maybe I’ll drink some tequila and watch the below video again, simply because it’s hilarious!

Don’t act a fool… otherwise, Alfredo might be forced to tape you to your seat.

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Bill, Ex, family, Trump

Things are getting pretty surreal…

I’m not surprised that things are surreal… Trump is doing all he can to hold on to his power and people in his base are talking about taking extreme measures to keep him in power. And yet it’s very clear that Trump has lost the election and will be forced to leave the White House. Biden is projecting calmness and maturity and other world leaders are looking to him. News sources are showing less Trump more Biden as Trump continues to whine about non-existent fraud and refuses to cooperate with the transition. It feels a lot like breaking up with a narcissist.

To be clear, I never dated or married a narcissist. Bill did, and she employed similarly “nuclear” tactics on a much smaller scale. The damage was pretty extensive and extraordinary and the bitterness lasted for many years. It’s really only been in the last few years that things have started healing.

My husband spoke to his daughter the other night, just before we knew his dad had passed away. She wisely brought up the logistics of going to Ray’s funeral and how it won’t be possible for a lot of people who otherwise would have gone, mainly due to the raging global pandemic. This is a scenario we never could have foreseen even a year ago. I have been wondering how the inevitable funeral for Bill’s dad would happen. Now, it appears it will happen without Bill due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control.

Last night, Bill got an email from his daughter and she made it clear that she could now see how the explosion of her parents’ marriage had affected so many people. It didn’t have to be this way. I think younger daughter now sees more of the truth, which often happens as people grow up and their perspectives broaden.

The same is going on as Trump is forced to reckon with the realization that he has lost. I have read articles about how he’s now talking about a run in 2024. God help us! But I think it won’t happen because there are other people who want to run… people who hitched themselves to Trump’s star in a bid to further their own careers. And once Trump is cast out of power, he’s only going to find allies in true right wing nutjobs who continue to worship him despite his tantrums. This is what tends to happen to narcissistic types in the long run. They typically don’t have a pleasant end.

I am hoping the garden variety conservatives who supported Trump have had their eyes opened. I’ve seen a lot of people commenting on how “dirty” the Democrats are. I won’t argue with that point. Pretty much all politicians lie and make deals. It comes with the territory. But there are definitely degrees of depravity. I never saw Obama stoop to the levels that Trump has. I never even saw either of the Bushes doing that… or Bill Clinton. Trump is truly in a class by himself, and it’s alarming how much he has divided the people. It’s not unlike a really nasty divorce, complete with false accusations, DARVO, and gnashing of the teeth. It’s embarrassing and horrifying to watch, even from abroad.

Last night, I read a rather poignant opinion piece on CNN written by Richard L. Eldridge, a journalist whose family pretty much disowned him over his negative views of Donald Trump. I could really relate to what Mr. Eldridge wrote, especially these parts:

“Over our love-filled 50-year bond, you chose a hate-filled New York millionaire who has never spent a moment with you, cried with one of you when your dad died, hugged another of you at your mom’s funeral or otherwise cared about you.

I know his supporters, you included, see the version of Trump he claims to be. Here is who I see. A man under seemingly constant investigation while in office. A man who brags about grabbing women by their genitals. A man who — though he denies it — others say calls members of our military “losers” and “suckers.” A morally bankrupt, impeached and now lame duck President.

A man who refers to members of the press — my chosen profession for the past three decades — as “enemies of the people.” A man who mocks the disabled, who basks in the adoration of a crowd chanting his name as he engages in cruelty.”

This is what divorcing a malignant narcissist looks like. When you break up with one, they become very nasty. That’s stressful enough when it happens in a one on one relationship. It’s especially horrifying when the malignant narcissist happens to be a world leader who doesn’t care about anyone but himself. I suspect the coming days will be very scary and surreal, and I pray that people with decency and integrity do what is necessary to contain Trump and his minions before much more damage is done and we become a nation that is literally divided, much like my husband’s family was. If that happens, we most likely won’t be reuniting after fifteen years of silence.

As for my father-in-law… I really wish there was a way we could have been there for him and his wife. I am hoping the funeral can somehow be Zoomed or at least recorded for Bill. He truly adored his father, who was a man worth adoring. It’s breaking his heart that he can’t be at the funeral. At the same time, this morning he told me that he was glad he was with me instead of his ex wife, who would be making the whole thing about her and forcing Bill to calm her hysterics rather than giving him the support he needs and deserves.

I think America needs calmness, love, and support, too… It’s nice to see leaders of more sensible nations offering it to Biden in the hopes that we can all come together and live peacefully. I’m going to try not to be distracted by Trump’s tantrums or disturbed by the delusions of his base… but I can’t help but be very concerned about what’s going to happen before January.

Mary Trump talks frankly with Katie Couric about her uncle’s loss.
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rants

We can’t stay locked down forever…

Yesterday, I read an opinion piece on CNN by a man named Ed Adler. It was about COVID-19. Adler is over 60 years old, and he’s upset because people are speaking and writing of “culling” the weak and vulnerable and opening up the world for the good of everyone else. In his piece on CNN, Adler wrote:

…we will not be back to normal for a long, long time. Others will venture out. My son (26) and daughter (22) will surely risk the threat of infection and try to resume some normalcy. But for older folks and those with pre-existing conditions, our isolation must be ongoing. We will be the last to resume activity and continue our lives.

And while we wait, we can hear the echoes of those who care little about our vulnerability. One example: As the virus swept across the US, a city official in Antioch, California, said Covid-19 should be allowed to run its course, even if elderly and homeless people die. Ken Turnage, chairman of the city’s planning commission, posted on Facebook that the country needed to adopt a “Herd Mentality” that “allows the sick, the old, the injured to meet its natural course in nature.”

Mr. Adler writes that Turnage later deleted the Facebook post, but refused to resign or retract his comments. He was later removed from his role as chairman of Antioch’s city planning commission when city council members voted unanimously to strip him of his “powers”.

Adler points out that not everyone expresses themselves in the way Turnage did, but many people still have the attitude that elderly and immunocompromised people are expendable and should sacrifice themselves for the sake of others during this pandemic. As one of those who is at a higher risk of dying from a COVID-19 infection, Adler appeals to people to be considerate toward folks like him. He laments that the world is permanently changed and he will never again be able to enjoy the New York City that he loves. He adds:

In a society that has always honored and been oddly enamored of youth and the young, it is not surprising that older folks are deemed disposable by some. But I’m in my 60s and I’m still vibrant. I enjoy working with clients to help them achieve their goals. I’d like to be around to see my kids’ marriages and continue to help mentor their careers. I want to hold grandchildren and play with Walter, my grand-dog.

As I read Mr. Adler’s piece, I felt pangs of sympathy for him. But then I noticed this, posted near his byline:

Editor’s Note: Ed Adler is a partner in a global strategic communications firm. He spent 36 years at Time Warner, many of them as head of the company’s corporate communications. The opinions expressed here are his own.

So Mr. Adler has had a long, productive career at Time Warner, and I’m assuming, has enjoyed a mostly “normal” pre-pandemic life. He’s had children, and given that he wishes to help mentor them in their careers, they are still on good terms with him. He’s not ready to die. He wants to hold his future grandchildren and play with his “grand-dog”. That’s all totally understandable. But what about the young people of today who haven’t had the chance to do any of the things that Mr. Adler has done? What about the new high school graduates who are wondering if they’ll ever be able to find work or attend college in the fall? What about the new college graduates who are struggling with unprecedented unemployment rates? What about their lives?

This sketch from The Oatmeal recently came up in my Facebook memories. I had to laugh, since even though 2016 seemed like a shitty year, 2020 is proving to be much shittier for a lot of people…

How about the children who are halfway through their school years and are now scared to go outside because of what they’ve heard about COVID-19? Young people growing up right now have been robbed of some very significant milestones that Mr. Adler probably got to enjoy when he was their ages. They aren’t the first youngsters who have missed out on prom or traditional graduation ceremonies. Certainly older generations have struggled with finding employment fresh out of high school or college, too. But those situations are usually caused by something like a recession or going to war. They aren’t typically caused by a global pandemic from which there is no practical escape.

How about the people who are forced to shelter at home with partners who abuse them? Should those people stay locked down so that people over 60 can live longer? What about the people who struggle with depression and anxiety and can’t get the help they need due to being asked to stay home? How about the people who will get sick and die of something other than COVID-19 because they don’t want to risk going to the hospital? What about the young families struggling to support themselves, or people on the verge of adulthood waiting for their independent lives to begin?

I truly empathize with Mr. Adler’s concerns. I think it’s awful to hear people speak of “culling” the weak. It’s a very cruel and selfish viewpoint, and it doesn’t help when the idea of pushing herd immunity and “culling the weak” is conveyed in the callous way Ken Turnage expressed it. But we can’t stay locked down forever. Life has to go on at some point. The last three months have been devastating on many levels to a lot of people. Moreover, everyone does have to die. That’s a simple part of living that we must all face. We all hope our deaths will be as “pleasant” as possible, but many people end up suffering before they die. There will no doubt be deaths caused by COVID-19 that weren’t caused by the illness, but because of other issues exacerbated by the virus and the way it’s affected living. I think consideration is a two way street.

Personally, I haven’t had any trouble isolating from people. I don’t mind staying home. Bill and I get along great, and he makes enough money to support us comfortably. But I realize that we’re extraordinarily lucky. There were times earlier in our lives that this pandemic would have destroyed us, not because of illness, but because of everything else caused by the lockdown. I remember being young and trying to launch my life. It was very hard for me then, and I didn’t have to worry about simply going outside without a mask. In those days, I made my living dealing with the public. How would I have managed with my very modest income suddenly cut off due to a pandemic?

For about 25 years, my parents ran their own business out of our home. My mom taught knitting, needlepoint, and cross stitch, and sold the supplies. She also played the organ at different churches. My dad sold art and framed pictures, but also collected retirement pay from his years as an Air Force officer. I can’t even imagine what they would have done had the pandemic struck when they were making their living as small businesspeople. As it stands now, my mom collects monthly payments for our former home from Deborah, the woman who took over the business. She worked for my dad for years. When it came time for my parents to move into an assisted living complex, my mom worked out a way for Deborah to buy the business and the house. I have no idea if the business will survive… or how it will survive. I’m just glad it’s not my problem. My mom worries, too. In fact, she even loaned Deborah her $1200 stimulus payment and told her to pay it back whenever she could. She wants Deborah’s business to survive, because she doesn’t want to repossess the house, and neither do my sisters and I.

I think about the people who depended on us paying them, too. As a teenager, I used to have a horse, and we boarded him at the barn where I took riding lessons. What would have happened to him if my parents couldn’t pay for his board? What about all of the other kids taking lessons? Horses are expensive, so if they can be employed with riding lessons, it’s a good way to keep them in good homes. What about “mom and pop” landlords who have to keep paying mortgage, but aren’t collecting rent because no one is working? How about people who cut hair for a living and now can’t make any money? And what of all the people who make their money in the travel industry? I could probably sit here for hours thinking of ways people’s lives could be ruined if society doesn’t reopen soon.

So… while I don’t agree with people talking about “culling the weak” and I can empathize with Mr. Adler’s concerns about the elderly facing the world again due to COVID-19, I also think that it’s not feasible to keep everything locked down for months on end. Besides being disastrous to the economy, it’s simply not a healthy way to live. COVID-19 is a horrible illness for those who get severe infections, but it’s not the only way to die. People can die because they’ve given up on living. Hopes and dreams can die, crushing spirits. I worry about people getting sick from a virus, but I also worry about those who will drink themselves to death, overdose on drugs, lose hope and kill themselves, or get beaten to death by an abusive partner or parent. I worry about those who will lose their homes and businesses and plunge into despair. I worry about people who will decide it’s not worthwhile to live in lockdown.

Dolly Parton offers lyrics of kindness and hope.

I’ll be honest. I’ve noticed some scary things about myself lately. I’ve pretty much lost the desire to go out. I used to love traveling. I miss it somewhat now. Life has been pretty boring. But I don’t feel like going out, now. I don’t want to deal with the hassle. I’m probably not the only one. That’s not healthy, either. There has to be more to life than just breathing. There has to be some level of acceptable risk. Three months is a long time for most people to give up “normal”. As much as I cringe when I hear about someone suggesting “culling the weak”, I also think that Mr. Adler might want to consider what younger people are missing out on… experiences that he was lucky enough to have and enjoy because he didn’t come of age in a pandemic. A lot of people may never get to enjoy working many years for one employer. Some people won’t ever get to have children or grandchildren. And some people will die, not of COVID-19, but of something related to this altered existence we have from living with the virus. They deserve some consideration and empathy, too.

Incidentally, Europe is pretty much opening up today… just in time for this weekend, which is when I will celebrate my 48th birthday. Bill says he’s planning to take me somewhere. Maybe it will rekindle my love for life outside of the house. Or maybe I’ll get sick and die. But sitting here in the house for months on end is not a good way to live. It’s time to take a chance. Besides, I have a feeling that if I don’t, Bill will eventually drag me out by the hair. He’s ready to get back to living life.

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