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.

What do I do all day?

I woke up at 3:00am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I started looking at Facebook. I was immediately horrified at the latest Trump bullshit, to include the letter he sent to the president of Turkey…

Sigh… he’s just insane.

It makes me sad to read Trump’s letter. I have been to Turkey and it was an amazing experience, although it happened a long time ago. But I don’t want to dwell on this… because right after I saw Trump’s letter to President Erdogan, I saw this.

That poor interpreter looks absolutely gobsmacked at the sheer lunacy.

So then I decided I needed to read something lighter and ended up reading recent posts in the Life is Not All Pickles and Hairspray Group. And it was there that I saw this post.

Okay… well, I guess this isn’t totally unreasonable. When I was younger, I couldn’t imagine it, either. I had to work a lot just to pay my bills. I never thought I would be living the lifestyle I live today.

The first few responses were strictly about the fundies on television… really young women who get married when they’re barely legal and start pumping out kids. Then someone posted this:

Even non fundie families sometimes have one spouse who may not work but stays home for whatever reason. I imagine they do what those families would do. Clean, cook, laundry, visit family or friends, maybe babysit siblings or friends kids. 

And if you mean before they’re married, they most definitely clean, do laundry, and watch their siblings.

Again, perfectly reasonable response… until someone went there with this shitty comment.

I honestly don’t know any stay at home spouses without kids at home. Everyone I know works! Do people really do this?! How incredibly LAZY.

Fortunately, a few people piped up before I did and delivered angry responses to this incredibly judgmental and ignorant comment. When I did comment, I didn’t exactly bring the pain to this woman. Instead, I just explained my situation. It’s one that a lot of people face when they marry someone in the military, especially when they wind up living abroad. But even before we moved to Germany, having a job was a challenge, mostly due to moves, the uncertainty of where we were going to be living, and the amount of time we were going to be living there.

Over the course of my twelve years as an “Army wife”, we moved eight times. Four times, we had to move after less than two years in a place. Our stint in our last German town— the first place Bill worked as a civilian— was just over four years, and that is the longest I have lived in one place as a married person. But even though Bill is now a civilian, we still had no way of knowing how long we’d be living in our last town, and we don’t know how long we’ll be where we are now. In fact, twice in the past five years, Bill’s job changed. He changed companies; then we had to move again. Makes it tough for me to plan a career that will satisfy the judgmental out there who feel like I’m a waste of space for not having any crotch trophies, yet won’t bore me or drive me batshit nuts.

A few other folks weighed in on that whole, no job, no kids, no ambition thing…

Bill isn’t in the military anymore, but since we live in Germany, finding appropriate work is a challenge for me. Even if I wanted to work outside of the home, the kind of job that would be readily available to someone like me would be work I have no interest in doing. Yes, I have a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees, but I can’t just go on the installation and work in the field for which I was trained. So that would leave working at AAFES, or doing something similar, which doesn’t interest me at all. Besides, there are people in the community who legitimately need those jobs to pay their bills. Bill makes enough money to support us comfortably, so I don’t see why I should take a job at Taco Bell away from a teenager just so some twerp on the Internet doesn’t think I’m lazy.

I’ve pretty much turned into a writer by default and– SURPRISE– I have actually made money writing online. While I could make more money doing other things, I have had my fill of working in retail, waiting tables, shoveling shit, and babysitting. I went to graduate school so I could stop doing those types of jobs. I like writing, and some think I’m good at it. But even writing isn’t doing it for me lately, because I’ve kind of lost the desire to put out content, thanks to some readers who decided to cause trouble for me. I still try to write every day, but I do so in an untrusting way, which makes it a lot harder and much less fun.

I’m a bit depressed about this development, because I know I wrote some good stuff for my original blog– stuff that was useful to people I don’t even know. I also know that some people loved my travel reviews and some folks even tried some of the things I suggested. But thanks to the toxic living situation we left a year ago, I had to close my old blogs– at least for now– start all over, and try to trust the people who visit my blogs now. Believe me, it’s been difficult, and frankly, I’m not even sure it’s worth it. I can get into less trouble when I sit around watching bad TV.

I also make music. Most people don’t pay attention to the music I make, but if I can muster the desire to make recordings and videos, it eats up time and makes me feel productive. I also learn new things when I make recordings and videos, and it can even be fun. But it also seems pretty futile to do it, because so many people like the woman in the Duggar group are judgmental and ignorant. People like that just make me not want to engage with anyone anymore. I figure, why bother? It’s like casting my pearls before swine.

While my not working outside the home when I don’t have children may seem “lazy” to some people, I do try my best to be productive. I’m not sure why it’s anyone else’s business what another person does with their time, anyway. It’s kind of akin to looking in another person’s grocery cart and judging them for what they’re buying and how they’re paying for it.

Just last night, I had a bit of a meltdown that poor Bill had to listen to after a hard day at work. There are a number of reasons why I “melted down”, but one of them is that I am kind of longing for a “normal life”. I always thought I’d have children, a full time job, and all of the trappings that come with the usual American lifestyle. That’s simply not how it turned out for me, and I’m not sure how I can go there now. So I don’t live my life that way… and so far, it works. We pay the bills. I haven’t been arrested yet. I may upset some people by what I write, but I don’t go out of my way to upset people. It’s just me passing the time I have left in this miserable existence.

I also really miss Zane and would like to get another dog. If I lived in my own home, in my own country, this would not be a problem. I could just go to the local pound and pick up a new dog and no one would be judging me simply for being from the United States, as they do here in parts of Germany. We could move back to the States, but I know I would miss living abroad, too. I like being in Europe, even if I’m going through a rough time right now. I know this is a temporary situation… but in the meantime, it sucks. I feel misunderstood, judged, and frankly, over the whole thing.

So yeah… this is what I do with my day. No, I don’t spend all day cooking and cleaning. I don’t care to do that. If I did want to do it, I would. But since Bill is the only person who is directly affected by my day to day activities, I choose not to cook and clean all day. Maybe my lifestyle seems like time wasted to some of you. It’s not what I planned for my life, either. I made Bill grimace last night when I lamented the choice I made, not following my own career. I mean, I wouldn’t trade him for anything. I love him very much, and he’s worth more than a job in a cubicle. But sometimes I feel utterly worthless… and comments like

I honestly don’t know any stay at home spouses without kids at home. Everyone I know works! Do people really do this?! How incredibly LAZY.

do sting a bit… It must be nice to be able to summarily discount an entire group of people based on one’s own narrow-minded perceptions of what everyone does– or should be doing– with their time on Earth. If the author of that above comment ever reads this piece, I’d like to invite her to go take a flying fuck. Now, if you’ll excuse me– hee hee– I’m going to go wash the sheets.

complaints, condescending twatbags

“Alcoholic face”…

Got into an interesting discussion on the Recovery from Mormonism messageboard yesterday. Someone shared a clip of comedienne Chelsea Handler, who was disparaging Mormonism. Ms. Handler was raised in the church by her LDS mom, though her father was Jewish. She was on Bill Maher’s show, and the subject of Mormonism came up. Chelsea Handler said she thinks “Mormonism is really, really ridiculous.” Personally, I agree with her, but I also know a lot of people love the church. I know there are many good people in the church, too. But if you know more than the basic stuff about the church, a lot of it is really ridiculous. It is. And a lot of it is also ripped off from other churches and organizations.

“But they can’t even drink alcohol!”

For instance, yesterday, my sister sent an email and briefly described my uncle’s funeral. Apparently, a lot of people were there to pay their respects. The receiving line went on for over two hours and the Masons, of which Uncle Brownlee was a proud member, came to offer their thoughts. My sister mentioned some of the symbolism and their dress, which I remarked the Mormons have ripped off. That’s because a lot of the early Mormons were also Masons at one time. Mormons have also ripped off traditions from other churches. I won’t get into that right now, though, because I’ve already written extensively about it, and I want to comment on something else that came up in that thread.

A poster named “Jordan” commented that she made kind of an erroneous statement about Mormons and Hell. Mormons aren’t really into “Hell”, per se. They are into “Outer Darkness”, which is a complete divorce from God. But there’s no fire and brimstone Hell in Mormonism… or, at least that’s how I understand their depiction of Hell. Mormons also have three levels of Heavenly Kingdoms. There’s the lowest level– the Telestial Kingdom, which is much better than Earth, but not as good as the Terrestrial Kingdom. The highest echelon of Heaven is the Celestial Kingdom. Chelsea Handler didn’t get into that. She kept her comments generically Christian, probably because trying to explain this stuff on a show like Bill Maher’s would be too complicated and take too long. Most people understand the concept of Heaven and Hell, so that’s where she kept her remarks, even if it wasn’t technically correct.

Jordan, who obviously doesn’t like Chelsea Handler, also made a comment about Ms. Handler’s drinking habits. He wrote, “Going by the appearance of her skin, she has imbibed frequently.”

A few posters took Jordan to task for making a comment about Chelsea Handler’s appearance and drinking habits. He then became oddly insistent that she’s a drunk, and started making other comments about people with “drinking problems”. The tone of his posts were “holier than thou” to the extreme, and it was clear that he was annoying a lot of people.

You know what? Based on what I’ve read about Chelsea Handler and her candid comments about alcohol, I would agree that she probably is a drunk. She even seems to admit it. However, I take exception to people who make judgments about other people’s health, sobriety, and character based solely on their appearances. So I joined in the fray, bringing up the fact that a person’s skin condition does not, in and of itself, indicate that someone is an alcoholic.

Take, for instance, a person with rosacea. Rosacea is known as the “Celtic curse”. People of Celtic descent often have problems with this skin disease, which causes ugly red blotches and spidery veins on a person’s face. Drinking alcohol can certainly make rosacea worse. So can eating avocados, exercising, spending time in extreme temperatures, or eating spicy food. A person can be a teetotaler and have blotchy red skin on his or her face. I have blotchy red skin, broken capillaries, and spider veins myself. I am of strong Celtic descent. I also drink a lot of booze. But my mom doesn’t drink much, and she has the same issues I have with blotchy red skin. It’s in our genes. In fact, when either of us drinks any alcohol, we flush. Many Asians also have this same issue with alcohol, although truth be told, a person can flush or blush for lots of reasons ranging from menopause to embarrassment.

My point to Jordan is that you can’t make a solid determination about a person’s health status or habits based only on one or two physical clues. And even if Chelsea Handler is an alcoholic, why is it anyone’s business other than her doctor’s or her loved ones?

Jordan went on to write this:

Or if you’re an interviewer/employer, lover, business partner, tenant, franchiser, passenger, in law enforcement, a car driver, a landlord and a hundred other situations

If someone’s high functioning they may be able to get away with it, but this phase doesn’t last forever.

And my response was, “The same could be said about finding out if someone is an asshole. I bet people pick up on that about you right away.”

So he wrote this:

Takes one to know one, right?

Totally subjective opinion, whereas alcoholism is a recognized medical condition with physical symptoms.

So tell me HONESTLY. If you got in a light aircraft, and the pilot stank of drink and was unsteady on their feet, would you allow them to fly off with you? Really? Or would that be too judgemental?

Don’t dodge the question this time…

Unfortunately, the thread closed before I had a chance to respond. If I had responded, this is what I would have written.

First of all, I am not in the habit of flying in light aircrafts. If I were, I would not expect Chelsea Handler to be the pilot. We’re discussing Chelsea Handler, right? So what does a drunk pilot of a light aircraft have to do with anything?

Secondly, having grown up among alcoholics, I would tell Jordan that most alcoholics generally hold their liquor pretty damned well. I would expect a novice drinker to “stink of drink” and be “unsteady on their feet” more than I would a functioning alcoholic to present that way. I also would expect a novice drinker to lack the judgment to try to fly a light aircraft while obviously drunk. Alcoholics generally know how to hide the disease pretty well. In fact, secrecy is a big part of the illness. The scenario Jordan presents is pretty unrealistic, although I won’t say it’s never happened. I’m sure it has.

The fact is, we’re surrounded by people with “drinking problems”. Most people would never know the difference unless they happened to live with the person or the person with the “problem” got to the point at which they simply didn’t care anymore and stopped trying to hide it. However, even the simple term “drinking problem” is kind of subjective. To some people, anyone who drinks at all has a problem. To others, a person has to be on skid row, falling down drunk, and about to die of liver disease to be considered an alcoholic. My dad came out of the closet as an alcoholic in 1997 and many people who knew him were very, very surprised about it. In fact, I myself didn’t really know he had a problem until I was in college. To me, his behavior was normal. My mom was very co-dependent and she helped him hide it. Most alcoholics have co-dependent accomplices who help them hide their conditions.

Now, it is true that chronic overconsumption of booze can have an effect on a person’s looks. Too much alcohol can dry out the skin and make it feel rough. Excessive boozing can lead to liver problems, which can cause jaundice– yellowing of the eyes and skin. But so can liver and gallbladder issues from diseases not caused by drinking. Some people do get blotchy skin, broken capillaries, and spider angiomas from drinking too much or vomiting due to drinking… But a person with sensitive skin can also get blotchy skin and broken capillaries from vomiting due to a stomach bug. Sneezing, coughing, and violent dry heaving can have a permanent effect on your skin in the form of broken capillaries. Someone could get spider angiomas from having a high level of estrogen. A person can get dry, leathery skin from all sorts of skin diseases or environmental conditions that have nothing to do with alcoholism. Too much alcohol can make a person puffy, flushed, and fat. But so can eating too much food, taking certain medications, exposing oneself to certain allergens, or having certain medical problems.

My point is, while Jordan may be technically right about Chelsea Handler’s allegedly excessive drinking habits, it’s generally not cool to assume something about another person’s health simply by casually looking at them. Another poster wrote that s/he has rosacea, but doesn’t drink alcohol. Sometimes the rosacea flares up, but Jordan apparently thinks it’s okay to assume s/he has a drinking problem simply based on that skin condition. In that person’s case, Jordan would be wrong. I would hope that if he was hiring for a position that required sobriety, he would do more than simply make an assessment about the person’s character based solely on the appearance of their skin.