family, mental health, silliness

Poophoria… and phooey on the mean among us.

I’m experiencing it right now. Basically, it’s how you feel so much better after you’ve taken an especially large, messy, and uncomfortable dump. You get a rush of endorphins that makes you feel pretty good and a little bit “high” for a short while…

I first saw this term coined in a book I read called What’s Your Poo Telling You? I read it the first time we lived in Germany. In those days, I wrote a lot of book reviews for a site called Epinions.com, and I went through a shit phase. I read and reviews many books about shit… as well as all of the other substances that come from body functions. I left What’s Your Poo Telling You? in storage. It was a clever little book, though, along with its follow up, What’s My Pee Telling Me? Both books were co-written by a doctor named Anish Sheth, who explained all of the interesting phenomenons that happen as your body makes waste.

I own all three of these books, as well as a few others! Too bad I didn’t bring them with me to Germany.

Anyway… the poophoria feeling was fun, but it’s now passed. I wish everything passed so quickly and easily.

I’m now sitting here thinking about a story I read last night about a large family gathering in Texas. The family group of fifteen is close-knit and, before all of this COVID-19 shit started, used to get together a lot for fajitas and birthday cake. On November 1, they had an impromptu birthday gathering. They meant to do it outside, but I guess the familiarity of being together again lulled them into a false sense of security. Before they knew it, they were all inside, sitting on the couch maskless. And, you guessed it, they all tested positive for COVID-19. Every single last one of them. Their 57 year old mother ended up in the hospital.

This family thought they’d be okay because they had been very cautious since the beginning of the pandemic. They tried to stay home, avoiding gatherings with people who weren’t in their households. They didn’t go to churches, bars, or theaters. They cut down on their family visits and held them outside. And they worked from home as much as possible. Still, in an unguarded moment, they relaxed their vigilance and got together. Unfortunately, someone in the group had the virus and passed it on.

So the family decided to make a video about their experiences with COVID-19. They did so in an attempt to spare other people their experiences with the virus by confirming that it’s real. In doing so, they put themselves out there for public derision and rude comments from the masses. Sure enough, that’s what they got.

A screenshot of the nice family from Texas who all got COVID.

As I was reading about this family, I just felt badly for them. I wish them a speedy and full recovery. But apparently, I was in the minority, because I read a lot of really nasty comments from people. Many people were sarcastic, and quite a few others wrote that they’re “sick” of stories like this one. More than a few wrote, “They didn’t listen when others have shared their stories, why would they think anyone would listen to them?” The overall sentiment was one of “no sympathy” whatsoever, and “I told you so.”

A small sampling of the comments on the Washington Post.

I do feel sorry for this family. They’re a loving group of people who just want to be together– with their loved ones. And, like every other human being on the planet, they’re fallible. They thought they’d get away with a get-together. A year ago, a gathering for birthday cake and fajitas would have been perfectly fine. I don’t see the need to judge them for getting sick. Everybody gets sick eventually. It’s not their fault there’s a deadly virus and, though they should have been more careful, they’re only human. I commend them for trying to help by sharing their story, and I hope they get well soon.

Although I’ve not been a big fan of face masks, and I still fervently hope we can eventually ditch them, I have always taken the virus seriously. That’s why I’ve done my best to avoid people. I don’t remember the last time I went to downtown Wiesbaden. It’s been many months. I haven’t been in the car since October 4th, which was when we brought Noyzi home. I haven’t left the neighborhood at all since then, and it sucks. Fortunately, the virus is not as out of control in Europe as it is in the United States. I suspect that most people will eventually be exposed to it, although hopefully the upcoming vaccines will make the inevitable exposure less dangerous.

I wish people would be kinder. We’re all tired of this shit. We can’t stay locked down forever… much of what makes life worth living is being denied by the presence of the virus. I read another sad story last night about a young man who killed himself because he couldn’t take the isolation caused by the pandemic. His father knew his son struggled with depression and did what he could to help him. But his son’s therapist had to shut down her practice, and he could no longer hang out with his friends, who, in the past, had helped him through his depressive episodes. So, despite his father’s efforts to keep his son’s demons at bay, the boy purchased a weapon and killed himself. Which brings to mind another question… why in the HELL are gun stores considered “essential” businesses right now?

In the same story, a different bereaved father went to his son’s grave after the sixteen year old committed suicide. He encountered a couple of the boy’s classmates– two girls– one of whom was sobbing. And one of them said that she also thought of suicide a lot. She’d tried to get help by calling a hotline, but the local psychiatric hospital only had sixteen beds and they were all full. She said that almost everyone she knew had considered suicide.

Frankly, having suffered from depression and suicidal ideation myself, I understand how these girls feel. I would not want to be young right now. The future must look very grim to today’s adolescents, who have grown up in an era during which they can’t even enjoy feeling safe at school, thanks to all the school shooters. Now there’s a pandemic, which makes going to school even more dangerous. They’ve lost support from their friends and the ability to have carefree fun. A lot of them have seen their parents lose their jobs and their homes. Some of them feel like a burden and that the future is hopeless. It kind of makes one wonder what the purpose of living is.

From the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve been afraid for people’s mental health. Most people are meant to socialize. They crave human touch and conversation. They love live music and drama. They like to share things like meals and celebrations. The virus has made a lot of what makes life worthwhile forbidden. I don’t begrudge people who are looking for relief. They’re only human, as we all are. And the smug, self-righteous, unempathetic twits out there who think people “deserve” to get sick and judge them for it are headed for a fall. Karma has a way of dealing with those types.

So… while I can be cranky sometimes and vent a bit in my blogs, I also try to have empathy. This is a crisis that has touched every single one of us. People are just trying to get by.

And… when I get a touch of Poophoria after a glorious dump, I feel even more appreciative of the euphoric rush than I did a year ago, when I could sit in a restaurant and enjoy the company of others without having to worry about a deadly virus making me sick. You gotta take your thrills where you can find them.

Standard
rants

Three chords and the TRUTH…

Special thanks to Mary Ellen for the inspired blog post title…

Yesterday, as Bill and I were on our way home from the Eifel, we were listening to my iPod and Merle Haggard’s hit song “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” came on. It occurred to me as I listened that I could probably play that song. It’s basically three chords repeated over and over again. Granted, I’m not skilled enough to do the guitar solos yet, but I sure can follow the chord progressions. They aren’t hard. They don’t even require a capo.

Yesterday afternoon, I finally picked up my guitar again, having taken the weekend off from playing it. I turned on Merle Haggard’s classic ditty and made my first attempt at playing along. Sure enough, I was successful. I felt momentarily self-congratulatory, then realized that song could be my own personal anthem. When Mary Ellen wrote “Three chords and the truth”, I realized that could be a fun song title… And it’s also high time I wrote another one of my famous parodies, particularly since I am getting so fucking tired of Facebook.

Yes… Merle Haggard has it going on.

Maybe that’s what I’ll do today. Bill went in to work, since our Internet service is uncharacteristically fragile right now. He needs to be able to use his Internet connection without fear of being bumped. The house is empty, except for Arran. Maybe it’s time I wrote a song… and even played along with it. My playing is still so rough that it might not even be recognizable as a cover of anyone else’s song. And I can make up some funny or wry lyrics about life.

It might take me some time to accomplish this little project. I can probably come up with the lyrics quickly, but the music and guitar playing will take time and effort. But why the hell not? I’ve always wanted to write a song. And I am soooo tired of reading most Facebook posts. It’s not even fun anymore, since most of it is either about some kind of social justice issue or another tutorial on public health matters. Much like Merle Haggard’s song, it’s basically the same three chords played over and over again, with only slight embellishments and variations. Lately, I’ve been especially irritated by the following meme that’s floating around.

Seriously? If you want to judge me, I don’t give a fuck. Why should anyone? How about I judge you for spelling “judgment” like a Brit when you’re clearly from the United States?

To be clear… I did spend the whole weekend complying with the face mask requirements, just as I have the whole time this stupid virus mess has been going on. However, I haven’t actually worn the mask much because I have been staying home instead of mingling with sanctimonious idiots who make it their mission to judge what other people are doing instead of focusing on their own damned business.

Is it a bad thing that instead of going out and mingling with people while wearing a mask, I sit at home and play guitar and write in my blog? Is it a bad thing that I’d rather be in the privacy of my own home, unharassed by virtue signaling busybodies, than out and about with other people’s eyes on what I’m doing and “silently judging me” for it? If I sit at home, my germs stay home. Man, I think living in America must really suck right now. Everyone is judging each other and acting like cops.

One really refreshing thing about living in Germany is that people here completely understand that the masks suck. They are willing to wear them because they are community minded people, and they want this shit to be in the past as soon as possible. But make no mistake… I haven’t seen a lot of cheerleaders here insisting that everyone else get on their goddamned bandwagon and react with indignant outrage when someone has the nerve to say something that counters the pro-mask narrative. The masks suck. They do. Deal with it, and don’t harass people for saying that the masks suck. If I want to complain, what’s it to you? Particularly if I comply as I complain? The best thing to do is to take your own public health advice, socially distance, and leave me alone. Edited to add: it does occur to me that I don’t see the cheerleaders here because I don’t make a concerted effort to read things that are written in German unless I have a really good reason to. I don’t need to be preached at in German, so that could be why I’m not seeing any hostile cheerleaders.

A couple of people on my friends list shared the above meme. I saw it right after I saw a thoughtful but irritating comic strip shared on a page called “Woman with a Brain“. This thing was originally posted on Medium.com, but now it’s making the rounds on Facebook. It’s not that I don’t agree with what’s written… it’s more that I’m really tired of reading this kind of politically correct lecturing shit on Facebook. It makes me wonder if the people who spread this stuff are hoping I’ll give them a cookie or something.

There’s a big fucking “smug alert” on Facebook…

When did social media become the place where everyone feels the need to “set a good example” for everyone else? When did it become the preferred medium for preaching to other people about how they should think and feel? Why do people feel like they need to take it upon themselves to “correct” other people’s behaviors and opinions, particularly when they are complete strangers? And why do people think that angrily confronting people, particularly when they are total strangers, is going to make them want to change their behaviors and opinions? In my experience, that kind of confrontation has the exact opposite effect. Moreover, when you point your finger at someone, there are usually at least three fingers pointing back at you. Isn’t Facebook supposed to be fun? There was a time when it kind of was… although it was probably at least four years ago.

I wondered if other people felt the same as I do; so last night, I asked my friends if Facebook is fun anymore. Quite a few friends responded with the simple word “no”. A few mentioned ways that Facebook is still fun. One friend went as far as to post a picture of me when we both waited tables in Williamsburg, Virginia. I will admit– that was fun to see! I was quite a bit thinner and had a cute, short, professionally done haircut, and a big smile on my face. However, make no mistake about it– that was one of the toughest times of my life. I was never so physically sick so often; I was taking high doses of expensive antidepressants; and although I was thinner, I was a lot more depressed and anxious than I am now. It was still fun to see those photos, though. I met some really good people during that time period and many of them are still friends today. Even when things really sucked for me personally, they didn’t totally suck.

That’s the kind of stuff I like seeing on Facebook– good memories with old friends, thought provoking articles, things that make me laugh or are entertaining… not the fucking lessons on how to wear a face mask, admonitions about how strangers are “judging” me on what I’m doing or not doing to “flatten the curve”, or how I should feel about #BlackLivesMatter or #BlueLivesMatter or any of the other social justice causes that are trending right now. Since I am an adult, no one else is qualified to tell me how I should feel, what my opinions should be, or how I should behave. You want to judge me for it or call me a “spoiled brat”? I can’t stop you. But I also wonder why you think I, or anyone else, should care about what you think about me. Frankly, your “silent judgements [sic]” should remain just that, and as long as they do, who gives a shit?

Bill says I remind him of Mr. Burns when I laugh. I must agree, he’s kind of right…

And that, my friends, is the truth… as I see it, anyway. So, now that I’ve written this, I’m going to see if I can write a song called “Three Chords and the Truth”. Wish me luck as I battle this second wave of “caution fatigue”.

Standard
divorce, Ex, psychology, true crime

Armchair quarterbacks…

When I used to post on Blogger, I would get all kinds of comments from all over the world. Sometimes, people would offer me unsolicited advice, based on what they thought they knew about me. Sometimes they would armchair quarterback when I’d post about situations we were dealing with. Often, the comments were left in a spirit of being helpful, but sometimes they were spiteful and cruel.

I think there must be a lot of people out there in the world who feel a lot better about themselves when they tell off some stranger on a blog or on social media. For most of my years on Blogger, I didn’t moderate comments before they were posted, so sometimes I would get nasty surprises from mean-spirited people who didn’t like something I’d written or disagreed with my opinions.

The first “nasty” comments I ever got were based on a post I wrote about Jessica McCord, a woman who, with the help of her police officer husband, killed her ex husband and his second wife. I had seen an episode of Snapped, a TV show on Oxygen about women who kill, and was horrified by how much Jessica McCord’s behaviors, prior to the murders, reminded me of Bill’s ex wife’s. So I wrote a post about it. That was a bad move.

News piece about Jeff McCord, a former cop who helped his wife, Jessica, murder her ex husband, Alan Bates, and Alan’s wife, Terra, after Alan won custody of his daughters.

My blog entry about Jessica McCord caught on fire several months after I posted it. I got all kinds of bile from people over that post about Jessica McCord and my comparison of our situation to hers… a lot of people wanted to blame Bill for not fighting harder to get his kids away from his ex wife. In retrospect, maybe he should have fought harder for custody… although by the time I saw that episode of Snapped, the girls were already grown women. Both of the girls stopped speaking to Bill in 2004 or so, and back then, we had no money or time for court battles. I saw and wrote about the Snapped episode in early 2012. By then, older daughter was 20 years old, and younger daughter was 18, and it had been over seven years since they had completely quit communicating with their dad.

I wrote my post about Jessica McCord because I was shocked by how much she had behaved like Ex before McCord and her husband resorted to murder. At least, to our knowledge, Ex never tried to murder Bill, although she did once tell him, when she thought he was sleeping, that she should just “slit his throat”. Surprisingly enough, Bill didn’t leave her at that point. He still had hopes he could save the marriage and be there for his kids.

Although a lot of people had negative things to say to me about my Jessica McCord entry, that post also attracted sympathy from someone who was friends with Alan and Terra Bates and understood the dynamics of dealing with an unhinged ex spouse. He was also a man, and he understood that it would have been difficult for Bill to get custody changed, and just taking the kids from her and refusing to bring them back would have landed him in jail. Ex had made it very difficult for Bill to see the kids, anyway. She lived on the other side of the country, was taking about $30,000 a year in child support, and absolutely refused to cooperate with him. We later found out from younger daughter that Ex was terrified that Bill would “steal” them from her. “Steal” was the actual word she used, even though two of the three kids for whom Bill paid child support were also HIS children (older stepson has a dad, but his dad didn’t pay support– Bill paid for him, instead– how’s that for being an irresponsible father who “copped out” of parenthood?). She clearly sees her offspring as extensions of herself instead of people unto themselves.

Upon reading all of the nasty spew in the wake of that post, I ended up writing a follow up– not so much about Jessica McCord, but more for the people who read it and left negative, shaming comments and unsolicited advice for me. One woman who commented on the first post claimed to be an “academic” and pretty much gave us both barrels. I would say that for an “academic”, she was remarkably uneducated about parental alienation syndrome. She also lectured me about not showing appropriate “deference” for her academic achievements. However, she also used a pseudonym and blocked her profile, so there was no way to know if she was who or what she claimed to be. I would say that anyone who leaves a comment like that but doesn’t allow themselves to be vetted is probably brimming full of shit.

I am glad to point out that the follow up post got sympathetic comments rather than the hateful bile the first post attracted. In the follow up post, I explained in more detail what happened and reminded people that having one’s children completely disown and reject them without ever giving them a chance to explain their side is extremely hurtful. At that point, I was still very angry with Bill’s daughters. I thought they were complicit. Since they were adults in 2012, I held them responsible for their actions. I have since changed my mind about them, now that one of the girls has resumed communicating with Bill and we’ve learned more about what was going on from their end.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that people felt the need to “armchair quarterback” our situation. People react with righteous indignation when it comes to certain subjects, and they love to take what they think is the moral highground. When it comes to children, it’s easy for people to become sanctimonious about what other people should be doing, regardless of the individual circumstances they might be in at the time. For an easy example of what I mean, check out any video or picture of a child in a car seat. You can bet there will almost always be at least one comment on how the child is strapped in. It never fails, even if it’s a cute video. Nowadays, I’m seeing less about that subject as everyone is now preaching about wearing face masks. Many people take a “no excuses” attitude about some topics, even when such an attitude is not based in reality and doesn’t take into consideration other perspectives or circumstances. I guess it’s human nature.

On the other hand, it was pretty scary that some people felt that Bill should have been willing to be murdered for his daughters. What the hell good would he have been to them dead? Years later, Bill has finally reconciled with younger daughter, and he’s helped her out financially and emotionally, as she’s tried to make sense of her childhood. If Bill’s story had ended like Alan Bates’s had, his daughters would have lost BOTH parents forever.

My post about Jessica McCord was a source of a lot of angst for me, mainly because so many people left shitty, judgmental comments, mainly based on projection from their individual experiences. Also, a lot of people automatically blame men when a relationship doesn’t work out, and they assumed Bill was a “typical guy” (trust me; he isn’t). It got many thousands of views and, for years, it was one of my most popular posts of all time. It’s now been long surpassed by a post on my little visited music blog, Dungeon of the Past. For some reason, people are fascinated by a post I wrote about Mindi Carpenter, daughter of Richard Carpenter of the Carpenters. That post has generated many comments and, at this writing, has 117,790 hits.

Nowadays, I don’t get a lot of nasty comments. I moved the blog to WordPress, and comment moderation is turned on by default, making people a lot less willing to driveby with nastiness. I also have a smaller readership because a lot of the people who read the old blog were drivebys who read one or two posts and moved on. Now, I have some regular readers, but they’re mainly people who know me and know that Bill isn’t a deadbeat dad. I also don’t have as many posts about controversial topics on this blog, although I add new content pretty frequently. Today’s post, for instance, might ignite a fire.

Hope springs eternal that one day, I’ll write something as explosive as that Jessica McCord post was. In my experience, people tend to get the most upset about true crime posts. Sometimes I even hear from people directly involved in the cases I’ve written about. I can’t blame them for being upset– I suppose that even though I always try to be fair when I write, they still feel judged and/or attacked. I have to remind them that my comments come from what I’ve read or seen in the media, as well as my own deductive reasoning.

I empathize with them, too, because people did the same thing to me when I stupidly compared Jessica McCord to Ex. I couldn’t help myself, though. Jessica McCord really did eerily remind me of Ex. She pulled a lot of the same evasive tactics Ex did before Bill finally quit trying to fight with her. I’m truly grateful that she didn’t slit his throat or get her husband to help murder Bill and me, even if it pisses me off that she got away with what she did. Had it been my choice to make, I think I would have done all I could to take her to court and sue for custody. But I say that as a woman who wasn’t directly victimized and financially ruined by her, as Bill was.

I do sometimes get funny “advice” from spammers. Not long ago, someone left a comment on a post on my travel blog. It read like an actual person posted it. It started with something along the lines of, “Where’s your contact link? I have some ideas for your blog that I want to share with you.” Um… thanks for the attempt at giving me advice, but I don’t remember asking you…

I was a little astounded by that comment. It’s a fucking travel blog. Who says I want or need any help with it? I don’t write any of this for money! It’s mainly for myself and those who might find it interesting reading. If I make a little money from ads, that’s just icing on the cake! Really, I just write because it’s something to do, something I enjoy, is good for processing things, and helps me preserve memories. Not everyone appreciates what I do, though. Good thing the Internet is such a big place and people are free to go somewhere else.

Anyway, if my comments about Jessica McCord have piqued anyone’s interest, here’s a link to the episode of Snapped from which it came. I found it a truly chilling case. I am also going to repost my review of Death Trap, a book about the Jessica McCord case.

As an Amazon Associate, I may get a small commission from Amazon from items purchased through my site.

Standard
Ex, stupid people

Some men are really threatened…

This morning, as I was enjoying the pancakes Mr. Bill made us for breakfast, I happened to see a post in the Duggar Family News group about The Transformed Wife– aka: Lori Alexander. It was about how Melania Trump is the “best” first lady because she keeps her opinions to herself and is a good “help meet”.

I don’t pay a lot of attention to Lori Alexander, who preaches incessantly about how women belong at home, raising babies and baking cookies, rather than working or studying at a university. Lori Alexander is, at best, a hypocrite. Obviously, she thinks it’s okay to share HER opinions with the masses via Facebook and YouTube. But it’s not okay for a first lady to speak out about anything. Of course, Melania Trump did some rather powerful non-verbal communicating when she posed nude… and when she wore her infamous jacket that read “I really don’t care. Do u?”

I decided that I wanted to see what Lori’s followers had to say about her post. The people in the Duggar Family News group are pretty much against Lori and her ilk. But before I had a chance to find the post about Melania Trump, I ran across this post:

To be fair, Lori didn’t write this; she just shared it.

Now… before I go any further, I want to state that I agree that not everyone needs to go to college. I also agree that it’s ludicrous to saddle young people with five figures worth of debt. However, although I ended up not using my education in the way I’d planned, I can’t say college or graduate school was a waste of time or money. I don’t think my degrees made me “dumber”, either. I got a lot of value out of both of my university experiences.

I am immensely grateful that we were able to pay for my education and I no longer have to worry about student loan debt. I don’t envy today’s young people, who are still mostly expected to earn degrees, but will have a harder time paying for them as the chasm between poverty and wealth continues to widen and the middle class disappears. When I think about how much money I borrowed for my education, I think I got a pretty good deal. I was very lucky, especially since that debt is now gone.

I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the comments on this thread, particularly from men who think like Lori does. Behold, the unedited comments below:

Men should attend a college to attain a degree that enables them to work. Women should make the house a home.

The first step, perhaps, is to remove Federal guarantees for student loans, and allow banks to discriminate based on the degree to be earned.  That, of course, will spoil gender equality in the outcome.

Universities/Collages don’t teach real education anymore and haven’t for a long time. They indoctrinate students with worldly teaching that only hurts the student, especially later in life, more than they help. Some are good, but the majority of the crap they teach are so ungodly it is dangerous. The kid doesn’t stand a chance, because the public school education is the same way. UNGODLY EVIL is taught in both school and collage. When they are teaching kids the garbage of homosexuality and that God makes mistakes and makes some a sex they were never supposed to be, like he’s an idiot or something, it will only harm kids more than it will help them in life.Truly pathetic. I am so glad that my sister Home schools.  But unfortunately, even seminaries don’t teach true biblical education much either. There was a report that came out a few years ago that stated some seminaries are teaching the bible as a theory and not a face. That is the saddest thing. It IS fact and they should be teaching it as such. It is truly sad how this country is going down the toilet. (ETA: Collages? Sounds like he made a lot of them in school.)

But the real beaut of a comment comes from a guy named Ben who wrote this tripe…

Sounds like he read Princeton Mom’s book and took it to heart… except he doesn’t think women should go to college at all, even to find a mate.

When a woman confronts Ben for his misogynistic opinions, he posts this:

This post was not for you, snowflake, move along.

Wow… what a dick. So then a woman named Mary confronts Ben, and he continues…

You mean someone was impregnated by this insulting shitgibbon? She must not have been very smart.

Unfortunately, I’ve run into a lot of men who are intimidated by smart women. It’s a very common attitude, particularly within the military. I can’t even express how many times people from the military community have given me shit over the name of my blog. Personally, I think the attitude that education isn’t worth pursuing and that smart women are unattractive really reveals a lot of insecurity and outright fear that some men have. They can’t stand the idea that a woman might be in charge at some point. And some men think the more educated a woman is, the less “feminine” and attractive she is:

I’m going for my PhD. It’s funny how so many women in my class are older and single. These women feel that they deserve an educated man but my male classmates and I feel that as educated men, we deserve someone younger and more feminine.

When I read these kinds of responses on Facebook, I feel even more grateful that I found a husband who values intelligence in a woman. His first wife was a high school dropout and finally finished college after about twenty years. I don’t know if the extra education helped make her a better person. I just know that her lack of education wasn’t a good thing when she and Bill were married. Ex isn’t a dumb person, per se, but she lacked a lot of sophistication, common sense, and basic knowledge. She and Bill would have been mismatched even if she weren’t narcissistic. They had vastly different interests and Bill is way more intellectual than she is. In fact, I think he’s more intellectual than I am. He’s definitely better read.

I suspect Ex was spurred to get her degree because she knew Bill had married someone who is educated, and she couldn’t stand that. Because suddenly, after many unsuccessful fits and starts with school, she was talking about getting a PhD… in education, of all things! I think the PhD dream was eventually overcome by events, but I heard she did evidently take a stab at graduate school. I don’t know if she finished or what she’s doing now. I don’t even think about her much anymore, since younger daughter finally started talking to Bill again.

Bill did look up his still estranged older daughter and was dismayed to see his ex wife posting, especially since he thought he’d had her blocked. It turns out that Ex now fancies herself a “public figure” and was apparently posting to her daughter’s Facebook page with her “public figure” account. Bill took a peek and noticed that Ex is now into sea glass and purports to be highly educated. Maybe she is. Maybe that education has improved her. I can’t see how it would hurt, unless she found new ways to be manipulative and cruel. Ex used to tell Bill that she was the smarter one and she should have been the one to have a degree. And she also claimed that she was offered a full scholarship to Rice University and had gotten into West Point. Both claims, I suspect, are 100% bullshit, especially since she blamed other people for the fact she wasn’t able to take advantage of those opportunities. It was her adoptive father’s “fault” for not paying for her room and board at Rice. As for West Point, I’m not sure what her excuse was there. I doubt she would have lasted five minutes on that campus.

It doesn’t necessarily take education to make someone intelligent. I’ve known a lot of really smart people who never went to college. I’ve also known stupid people with PhDs. I just think that higher education should be a choice for those who are capable of pursuing it and want to put forth the effort, and yes, that includes fields that other people think are “worthless” or “stupid”. I wonder if it ever occurs to the folks who disparage fields like gender studies, theater, or modern dance that those fields do provide jobs for some people. After all, someone has to teach those classes, right? And if we stop letting people study those fields, more people will be out of work.

I don’t think college is just about becoming employable. For me, it was a valuable rite of passage, and I left school with many wonderful friends, enlightening experiences, and more knowledge and maturity than I had when I started. Maybe I could have had similar experiences if I’d just taken a job in my hometown, but chances are good I’d still be living in that hometown if I’d taken that route. That was not where I wanted to spend my life.

I don’t regret going to college or graduate school. I’m sorry it’s so expensive in the United States. I think a lot of that has to do with the capitalistic mindset that so many people have in the U.S. Many people think that the more you spend on something, the more valuable it is. A lot of people think the United States has the best healthcare in the world. They’re surprised when they find out that the U.S., for all its spending on healthcare, actually has pretty poor healthcare outcomes when compared to countries like France and Italy. Likewise, a lot of people think spending more money for an education at a private school is better than going to a community college or a publicly supported school. In some cases, maybe it is better, but private universities often come with a much higher price tag unless a deal can be struck or scholarships are earned.

Count me among those who value higher education for everyone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a college education. There’s a lot to be said for trade school. I do think that everyone, male or female, should have skills that can be used in paid employment. Plenty of women planned to get married, have babies, and stay home to be “help meets” like Melania Trump (snicker), but then something happened to their marriage. There’s more than one way to get through life, but I think it’s best to prepare for disaster. I see becoming educated as a way of taking care of oneself… and I think it’s very foolish for women to opt out of preparing to be independent. And if some guy doesn’t think that’s “feminine” or “attractive”, then that’s a sign that he’s probably not someone whose DNA should be mingling with those who can get pregnant.

Yuck. Exhibit 1 of an untalented white man who is scared to death of an accomplished woman with a brain…

Anyway… I really think the core issue is that a lot of men– particularly white men– are afraid that women and people of color will eventually make them less relevant. And that scares the hell out of them. So they preach about how women should stay home and raise babies instead of using their minds. It’s pretty sad, if you ask me. Almost as sad as the above video. Gotta watch some Keb’ Mo’ to clear my mind…

That’s more like it.
Standard
Trump

Don’t get a nosebleed on that high horse you’re riding…

A couple of days ago, the world was notified that notoriously obnoxious radio host Rush Limbaugh has lung cancer. I must admit, my first thought was, “Finally, something will put a stop to that wind bag.” Then, after a few minutes, it occurred to me that it’s not cool to wish cancer on people, abhorrent as they may be. Personally, I don’t wish cancer or any other disease on people who haven’t personally injured me or someone I love. However, I completely understand why so many people dislike Rush Limbaugh and are not sorry, or are even happy, to see him with a cancer diagnosis. I don’t judge them for feeling the way they do. A lot of them think it’s proof of karma.

Not twelve hours after the news about Rush, and Donald Trump’s subsequent decision to give him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, I noticed some people posting self-righteous rants about how so many folks were “glad” to see Limbaugh so sick. Can I just say that I sort of hate this kind of behavior? Yes, I get that it’s distasteful to wish ill on others, but publicly shaming and chastising people, particularly when they are fellow adults, is also distasteful.

I honestly think a whole lot of people in the United States and around the world are just flabbergasted and exhausted by the way Donald Trump has taken over the country with his brand of narcissistic bullshit. He’s made it *cool* for people to be misogynistic and racist, and even openly hostile to anyone who isn’t a white Christian male with a conservative viewpoint. Awarding Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom completely cheapens the award, but given that the man who gave it to him has completely cheapened the office of U.S. President, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. And people are also rightfully pissed off, but probably not at all surprised, that Donald Trump was acquitted in his impeachment trial, simply because no witnesses were allowed to speak. In a situation like the one we’re in, it’s hard to be high-minded and lofty. And so… Limbaugh may have his medal, but at least we won’t have to hear his insulting yammering for much longer.

Let’s be real about Mr. Limbaugh. For all he’s done for radio shows and their popularity, he’s also said some really fucked up shit and stoked the fires of racism. Have a look:

I think a lot of people are just plain fed up with this. Even when W. was in charge– and he was not a popular president– I don’t remember people being as completely gobsmacked by just how fucked up everything was. Yes, people were angry about the wars he got the United States into, but there was still a basic modicum of respect shown both ways. Donald Trump has turned the job of president into a complete mockery. And when he gives Rush Limbaugh a consolation prize for having lung cancer– a prize that was once highly regarded and is now forever cheapened– it just chaps a lot of asses.

So… I don’t judge anyone for thinking it’s karmic justice for Limbaugh to have lung cancer, or even those who applaud it. Rush Limbaugh is just as vile as Trump is, and I would not shed a single tear if Trump got cancer, either. I wouldn’t. Trump wouldn’t cry for me, so why should I cry for him? To be clear, I am not necessarily happy that Limbaugh has cancer. Frankly, I don’t really care one way or the other. But I also don’t care that people are happy for the way things have turned out for Limbaugh. It’s human. And hey, he’s got a shiny new medal for his office, too.

It’s pretty obvious Rush has been blowing toxic fumes for many years now, so it stands to reason that he’d get cancer. And I don’t blame people for expressing out loud how frustrated and disgusted they are by this shitshow of a presidential administration. Personally, I am frustrated by people that I used to think were decent, good, intelligent, loving people continuing to support Trump and his band of merry shitgibbons, even in the face of all of the awful things he’s said and done for decades now. What exactly has to happen before people realize that Trump doesn’t care about anyone but himself and, to a much lesser extent, those who can do something for him?

Bravo, Nancy.

You know who else I don’t judge? Nancy Pelosi. I think she’s a badass. I never paid much attention to her– or really, politics in general– until Trump got in office. In fact, I would say that might be the one GOOD thing Trump has done. He’s gotten a lot more people to care about politics and exercising their right and duty to vote. And because he’s done that, I now pay more attention to the people who want to run the country. I listen more to what they say and who surrounds them. And now, I vote in elections I might have otherwise skipped. I’ve also pretty much sworn off voting for Republicans. It would take a very special person to get me to change my mind about the Republican party. They permanently fucked up when they foisted Trump on the world.

But… when people get all up in arms about people wishing ill on Limbaugh or Trump or other world leaders– people who have great power over the rank and file– then proceed to go down the road to hell themselves, that’s when I have a good laugh…

Wow… seriously? Have a Snickers bar, bud… You are a massive hypocrite.

People have the right to their opinions. They (still) have the right to express their opinions. They’re gonna say what they’re gonna say. Even the twit who commented in the above exchange has the right to be an asshole if he wants. And the rest of us have the right to wish ill on him if he goes too far. You may not maintain respect for people who wish ill on others, and that is certainly your right. But personally, I see it as more of a very human expression of frustration myself. I’m sure there are people who read my blog and think I’m an asshole, too… simply because I can’t stand Trump and dare to say it out loud. And yes, it’s true, I probably wouldn’t cry if he dropped dead on live TV. Like I said, he would never cry for me. Of course, I don’t actually wish for Trump to drop dead while he’s in office, since that would mean we’d have Mike Pence as president, and I think he’s probably worse than Trump is.

Anyway… people are rightfully disgusted and they’re expressing themselves colorfully. I think, if the United States is really a “free” country, we should let them have their say without chastising them for their opinions or trying to squelch what they say. When someone posts a lot of shit I don’t like, I scroll by. If it’s a habit that gets on my nerves, I unfollow or unfriend. Life is short… and people are gonna say what they want, anyway. And even if they don’t say it, they’ll still think it.

Hell, why not just have a good laugh, like Lori and I did in the above exchange? There’s nothing you can do about it, and telling people to stifle themselves is not going to do anything more than cause them to look at you with a jaundiced eye. My personal belief is that the vast majority of people– with a few notable exceptions– aren’t all bad all the time. Those who want to lecture others for expressing their true feelings are almost always hypocrites. Everyone does this… On the same thread I posted above, I noticed a comment from a conservative about how “nasty” the “left” is toward Trump. This same person laughed and applauded when one of her buddies called me a “moron” because I dared to say that I didn’t think Trump’s wall was a good idea…

I will admit that I don’t always live by this myself… I am as hypocritical as anyone is. But I think these are wise words.
Standard