Don’t Like This Country? GTFO

For some reason I haven’t been writing much about writing, but all these social/political arguments keep popping to mind. I think it’s a formula of 1 part sleep deprivation and 1 part Facebook (Why do I even bother) that create 1 part bitchy human. Whatever it is, I’m here to bitch. Well, hopefully make some valid points anyway.

Earlier today I saw a Facebook post someone shared from Sarah Palin. Had I noticed who the original post was from, I would have just skipped it and saved myself the trouble. Anyway, this post said something to the extent of: other countries banned guns, instead of thinking we should ban guns, you should just move your ass to another country.

This isn’t really a new sentiment. My country, love it or leave it. You’re all-American or you’re a Nazi. Red, White, Blue and fucking patriotism goddammit. Where’s my bald eagle? Someone get me the founding fathers on the phone, STAT! Because let me tell you, right here, right now, if it’s American it can’t be wrong and there’s no need to adapting to accommodate the changing American zeitgeist (<–I’ve been waiting forever for a good time to use that word). The Constitution was written by the founding fathers, great men who got it right the first fucking time and saw no need to change it.

That smart group of men were so far ahead of their time, they thought to include topics such as: the right to not incriminate one’s self, freedom for all regardless of skin color, the right for women to vote, and even THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS…

Oh, wait. What’s that? Those things weren’t in the original constitution? Amendments? Like, an addition? So, as in, a change?

Well, color me a fool and call me your uncle, I’ve just learned that our government has the power to make changes based on a changing world. But that’s not right. My country, love it or leave it. Remember? Not: My country, love it or work to actively change it to make it a better place. That’s not the damn slogan…but maybe it should be.

Simply because I do not agree with one, or even many, American policies doesn’t make me less American. Some would argue that it makes me more. Now this is not an argument for or against banning guns. I’m just tired of the ‘get out of my country’ way of arguing.

Coincidentally, I wonder how many people have permanently moved out of country since the gay marriage ruling. Love it or leave it, mother fuckers.

Can we please stop trying to ban things?

I’m just going to lead off with this: banning things is fucking ridiculous. Okay, maybe not everything. Personally, I’d be okay with a ban on 113,434 round shotgun clips or whatever they’re called, but that’s a different story for a different day. But this whole Confederate flag debacle has had me thinking. And honestly the complete whiplash of public scorn seems like a bit much. Or maybe not, I don’t know.

Disclaimer: I fucking hate the Confederate Flag. Aside from whatever racist aspects, I’ve always thought it to be un-American. If you think the south will rise again and you’re some Confederate son, cool, but you’re fighting against America. The south fought so that it could be separate from America. That’s my stance on the flag, if you were curious.

Now, I have noticed that since everyone quit selling Confederate flag junk I have seen more flags flying in rusted out truck beds than I think I’ve ever seen. That’s the nature of things. We humans are kind of stupid and the most sure fire way to make us want some shit is to say we can’t have it. It’s some kind of Freudian supply and demand or something. Okay, that’s probably not the best description, but still. How many people have read banned books because they were banned? *Raises hand* It’s cool. It’s edgy. You feel like you’re getting some shit over on the man because you’ve taken part in some secret plot to get around the fascist asshole that makes all those goddamn rules.

So the rebel flag is suddenly an ethical faux pas or whatever. What’s a good rebel to do other than fly those fucking colors with honor. Fuck that shit, I’m proud of my heritage, I’ll show it off. And you know what? That’s cool. Be proud of your heritage. Show it off. That makes it that much easier for me to understand I have no desire to ever speak to you. I have seen people with Swastika tattoos. And let’s be honest, racism and the Confederate flag can be argued, but a Swastika? Not so fucking much. Now the first amendment protects a person’s right to get that tattoo. The same right offers me the ability to call that person a racist piece of shit who would be better served as a pavement substitute than trying to walk around pretending to be any form of human being.

I guess it’s all just a slippery slope, but it’s a slope our founding fathers chose to slide down when they figured this shit out. They understood that as a free country, everyone has the right to their own opinion, ignorant or not. We can chose to engage these people on their beliefs or we can chose to ignore them, but what we can’t do, is put a legal muzzle on them. All it will do is polarize the sides even more. I’m just saying, these matters are tricky. I’ve met people with rebel flag whatever that I don’t believe are racist and I’ve met people who don’t own a bit of Confederate anything that are racist as all fuck.

Back to that slope though, say you ban racism or any racist speak. That’s a pretty honorable goal, right? I think so. I hope you do too. It’s offensive and breeds hate. But what about other things that set the grounds for disagreements. Atheists and Christians seem to dislike each other pretty hard. Lot’s of conflict there. Are we going to ban Christian speak or Atheist speak to make the other side happy? I hope not. Freedom of speech means you can tell me how Jesus is the way and I can tell you the Bible is a bunch of garbage written by man to control men. That’s the way of the beast.

So am I for the Confederate Flag? Hell no. Am I for freedom of speech? Yup.

HOWEVER, the flag has no place on any government buildings.

With all that said, repainting the General Lee is stupid and I’ve never even seen one minute of the Duke boys’ shenanigans.

How House Hunters Made Me Apply to College

I live in a pretty shitty part of the country. It’s beautiful here. The locals are somewhat occasionally nice. No joke, southern hospitality is a real thing. The people here as friendly as all hell…and perhaps sometimes they might be dicks about it. But the scenery is beautiful. The crime is low. Cost of living is pretty acceptable. It doesn’t completely suck, but it still kind of sucks.

Let me explain. Careers? Not so much. If you live in Sevier County, Tennessee you have three options: restaurant, hotel, or retail. See this place runs on tourist dollars. Tourists buy shit. It’s our job to sell shit and try to act like we don’t hate the tourists. It’s all about finding a balance really.

As far as the careers in this town go, I’ve done okay. I made it to management and have made some decent money along the way. As far as the holy food/sleep/buy trinity goes this place hasn’t been half-bad to me. My wife got to be a stay at home mom for ten years, we own two cars, and we bought our house at twenty-three years old. Like I said, not too bad. And compared to a lot of others around here, pretty fucking good.

Then I have to go and watch House Hunters. It’s this TV show on HGTV and my wife loves it. It’s usually on at all times. Most times anyway. If you don’t know, on the show a handsome couple and dog/children mixture look for a new home. They check out three homes that the couple seems to mostly hate because the paint is ugly/the fixtures are dated/the elm tree out front isn’t a spruce or whatever. At the end they fight to the death over who gets to use the basement for a ritual bacon sacrifice. I think that’s how it works.

So what about this show makes me want to go to college?

I get to see people in other places. This is kind of a foreign concept, but apparently in these mythical places called cities, people can make a living doing something other than asking if you want fries with that. When I was younger I thought, eh, those people are just older, of course they are better off. Now, I’m older and these couples are my age looking to stretch their budget to afford a house around the three hundred thousand dollar range.

What?!

Does not compute.

We worked our asses off to stretch to afford a $94,000 house. How in the fuck are these guys affording half-million dollar homes? So I started paying attention. At the start of the shows the contestants say things like “Mmm, hello, my name is Theodore and this is my wife Mildred. She’s a stay at home mom to our schnauzer, Little Teddy. I’m a web designer for a multi-billion dollar corporation.”

After a handful of these episodes, I noticed that none of the contestants said things like, “I’m Grady, bartender at the local watering hole.”

Hmmm. So yeah, college. Apparently these people in these mythical cities go to this extra school and then they make lots of money. Huh. I’ve been doing this all wrong. So yeah, after a daylong House Hunters marathon, I found myself looking into colleges and degrees. And now here I sit, waiting to hear back from the college application I put in this morning. Maybe it will be a yes and in six years I’ll be searching for that quarter million dollar vacation home in the south of France….Riiiggghhtt.

How #GamerGate looks to a non-gamer

I am not a gamer. I am so not a gamer. The last console game I played was Prince of Persia on a PS2. That’s right, a fucking Playstation 2. I don’t have any games on my phone, nothing. Hell, I only own one board game. So I repeat, I am not a gamer.

 

Now, this is the part where you avid in the gaming community might be shouting, ‘WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TALKING ABOUT THE GAMING COMMUNITY THEN, YOU SELF-RIGHTEOUS ASSHOLE’. I’ll tell you why: because apparently #GamerGate is a big enough issue that it’s half-flooded my Twitter feed. And as such, your debate has played out in front of millions of non-gaming eyes. Lots and lots of people who don’t play video games see you. This is like when you were a kid and went on a field trip and the teacher was all, ‘Hey, fuckheads, you represent the school, so don’t go run out there like a bunch of shit-stains.” Well, that’s what my teachers did, anyway.

 

Gamergate is kind of like that.

 

You are on a national stage, representing the video game community and someone totally missed the ‘no shit-stain’ part of the memo.

 

A couple weeks ago, maybe a month, I saw an article about gamergate. I read the article that spent so much time bashing the opposition that by the time I was done, I had zero idea about the issue. Whatever, I ignored it. I don’t play games, didn’t figure my opinion mattered much. A few days later, I saw an article on Cracked.com about being the internet’s most hated person. The article said the whole thing started after the author went through a breakup that lead to an internet smear campaign. Okay, I thought, but what does this have to do with video games.

 

Again, I moved on. Over the next week, I saw a few retweets from threats or slurs because of this mysterious gamergate. Some of the shit was pretty heinous and a majority (Read: FUCKING ALL) of it was men (Or anonymous accounts) directed towards women.

 

So I asked, “What the fuck is gamergate?” and someone responded that it was a movement for equality in video game journalism. I repeat: Equality in video game journalism. Fucking odd, I thought, video game journalism arguments are fucking violent. The guy said there was more than it seemed and encouraged me to search out the hashtag to see what the movement is about.

 

I did. I read many tweets containing #GamerGate. My quick research taught me there are three types of people using the hashtag.

 

  1. Fuckheads doing little more than harassing and threatening others.
  2. The Others asking to not be threatened or harassed by fuckheads.
  3. Other others claiming that not are gamers are like fuckheads #1 and asking for the ‘Social Justice Warriors’ to get off their high horses.

 

Let me address the first issue, social justice warriors as an insult might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Hey, look out for those sons-of-bitches trying not to be racist, sexist, whatever-the-fuck-ist. I hate the term and it’s soon to be the source of many unfollows.

 

Now, I think everyone can agree, Fuckhead #1s can fuck off. They should be muted, marked as spam, and deleted. No, not from Twitter, from life. If your immediate response to criticism is “You’re a fag,” or “She’s a bitch,” or anything similar, you don’t belong in an adult discussion. None of that shit is relevant, but it brings me to my point: I don’t know what in the hell IS relevant because all I’m seeing is noise.

 

Gamers, you are on a huge stage, you are representing a lot of people and if you ask me, you’re doing a piss poor fucking job. As someone not involved in the community, I don’t hear about the good things going on. I don’t know what movements are in the works. The only thing I see is what’s right in front of my face. And the only thing in front of my face is slurs and insults and general douchebaggery. So think about that before you go and spout off about whatever. We, the world, are watching and judging you, gamers.

To All the Proud Assholes Out There

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for a very long time. This means I’ve thought about it a lot, changed my mind on wording multiple times, and neglected to make any notes whatsoever. Therefore, this blog post, much like whatever electronic device you are reading it on, will probably be outdated by the end of the week. Sorry. Now’s your chance to turn back, but you’re already here, might as well stay. Right? Right.

 

I want to start with Denis Leary. He’s a stand up comedian or a firefighter on a TV show or Gwen Stacy’s dad, depending on how far back your memory stretches. Back when he did stand up stuff (He still might, honestly, I haven’t kept up) his big schtick was that he is an asshole. He had a little song about it and everything. It was hilarious and for your pleasure I’ll embed it right here:

 

Funny, right? Cause he’s an asshole, and he doesn’t give a shit and that’s something we should all admire. Right? Wrong. Maybe it’s just me, but I think self-proclaimed assholes/bitches have a different definition of the word than I do. People are proud of a negative. “I’m an asshole, I don’t take shit from nobody.” “I may be a bitch, but I get it done.” are both phrases that I’ve seen and heard often.

 

I totally understand the not taking shit and getting things done aspect of all that, but and here comes the big, glaring butt in the room, being an asshole, makes you kind of an asshole. Don’t get me wrong, to assert yourself often means that you will piss off the person you are asserting yourself to. No one likes being told they’re wrong, especially by a person in power. (Especially, especially by a person in power of the opposite sex)  Who doesn’t think ‘Fuck that guy’ when their boss gives them a menial task?

 

But, I’ve found that, in general, the people who are the proudest of asshole/bitch status don’t know how to turn that ‘assertiveness’ off. If you are in a board meeting and someone tries to call you out to make you look bad? Sure, break that person in half. Verbally, of course. Violence is only the solution occasionally. Also, that might be a bad example, I’ve never actually been to a board meeting of any variety. I’m just going off my extensive knowledge base gained from commercials and movies.

 

Anyway, I’m saying there are plenty of situations where it’s okay to not back down and in that one situation someone will probably refer to you as an asshole/bitch. Shit happens, dirt off your shoulders and keep going forward. Haters gonna hate and whatnot.

 

Now, let’s say you are in line at McDonalds. The place is packed, as usual, and while you’re patiently waiting your turn, someone storms in from the side door. He’s just been through the drive-thru, and has taken it as a personal fucking insult that the kid in the back making minimum wage forgot to leave the onions off his double cheeseburger with light ketchup, one slice of cheese and precisely 17 grams of pickle. A vein throbs from his neck as he talks down to the cashier at the front of the store who not only didn’t make his food, the cashier didn’t’ even take the dude’s order.

 

I’d like to think we can all agree that this guy is an asshole. I’d also like to think that when said asshole goes home and tells a friend about how he didn’t take any shit from that punk kid with the visor and peach fuzz mustache that his friend tells him he’s a dickwad. In all honesty, I know that won’t happen. His friend will congratulate on successfully being an asshole. Drive-thru guy will continue his reign of assholery ad nauseam while all the employees at McDonalds talk about the douche from the drive-thru.

 

So you see, my friends, being an asshole is not cool. It’s not something to be proud of. It’s not something to boast about. It’s not something you should be ashamed of either, but why start on the wrong foot? Why not start on a good non-asshole foot, and then let the meter dip into asshole territory when necessary? Think about it, if everyone starts off being an asshole, where does that put us? This is my call for world peace and an end to the assholeness of everybody. Or at least, store the asshole-itudes for when absolutely fucking necessary, like politics or religion or sports teams.