Shake It Off: Learning to Live a Life Less Controlled by Others

Picture by nosound-withoutsilence, via tumblr

Picture by nosound-withoutsilence, via tumblr

Taylor Swift and I are about the same age and, as a result, I’ve watched her and her music change as I grew up too. So maybe it’s not odd that I can look at her music and see myself in it so clearly.

Some of her early songs about haters, like Mean, were mostly about reacting to the hate and using it to motivate you. The song is really down on the singer just as much as the ‘mean’ person is.

“You have pointed out my flaws again/As if I don’t already see them/I walk with my head down/Trying to block you out ’cause I’ll never impress you.”

Continue reading

Grow The F*ck Up: The UCLA Remix

Seems like someone needs to teach this class at UCLA.

Seems like someone needs to teach this class at UCLA.

It’s not the first, nor will it be the last, time that I’ve brought up and condemned the childish, illegal, and unethical tactics of the left, but the “Grow The F*ck” series is beginning to be a favorite of mine. Mostly because it gives me an excuse to tear up the childish temper tantrums of liberal college students.

So here was go again.

This time it’s campus preachers, again, that are being targeted. Last time it was a preacher at one of my local universities and this week we are moving from Phoenix, Arizona to UCLA in Los Angeles, California.

Continue reading

Sorry Richard, Fairy Tales Are Important

(This post got away from me a bit, but I was super annoyed…so enjoy the rant.)

Richard Dawkins kinda annoys me.

No wait, let me honest here.

I might find it really difficult to not punch him right in the face if I met him in person. I wouldn’t do it, but boy would I be tempted.

Especially after this.

Fairy tales and believing in Father Christmas could cause children harm.

This is according to controversial biologist Richard Dawkins who warned an audience at the Cheltenham Science Festival about the dangers of make-believe.

In typically incendiary style, Dawkins suggested it was ‘pernicious to instil in a child the view that the world is shaped by supernaturalism.’

The 73-year-old acknowledged that the appeal of fairytales lay in their magic but believes they may be causing more harm than we think.

He also questioned whether we should let children believe in the myth of Father Christmas at all.

‘Is it a good thing to go along with the fantasy of childhood?,’ he said. ‘Or should we be fostering a spirit of scepticism?.’

- Daily Mail

 

I honestly do not know what I would have done with my childhood without fairytales and fantasy novels feeding my imagination. In fact I don’t know where I would be today in my personal or professional life without these things.

I read voraciously as a child and a teenager, most of it fantasy and fairy tale based. I was never hugely interested in science or mathematics, but English and history classes, anything where the story of an event was the most important part, I excelled in. This was what kept me going to school and turned me into someone who loved learning, rather than someone who cut class and flunked out.

My love of fiction, fantasy and fairy tales especially, also taught me a great deal about right and wrong, ethics and morality, peer pressure, hope, and loyalty.

The fact that my parents read to me when I was a child and took me to the library as often as I wanted (where I devoured fantastical stories about fairies and knights and dragons) gave me a love of reading and writing that has made me a better student and a better person.

The point of fairy tales and fiction is not to lie to our children. The point is to expose them to ideas and other cultures, abstract ideas that a child is simply not equipped to deal with in reality until they are older, virtues that will help them grow into strong adults, and lessons that teach our children, early on, how to avoid the pitfalls of adulthood by showing them that actions have consequences.

You can claim fairy tales are old fashioned, sexist, or too “supernatural” all you want, but takes a very narrow minded view of what the themes and ideas of these stories are, not to mention a really low opinion of children’s intelligence. I have yet to meet an adult whose mind was so addled by fairy tales as a child that they could not differentiate between fantasy and reality as an adult. 
There is nothing wrong with fostering imagination and fanciful thought in a child.
There is no reason why we must spend every second a child’s formative years smashing their wonder and imagination and telling them they aren’t allowed to believe in fairy godmothers or women with hair long enough to climb because it doesn’t foster a spirit of skepticism. 
Where does this even end?
If fairy tales are bad for fostering an acceptance of magic, then what of A Mid-Summer’s Nights Dream or A Christmas Carol, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings? What of the dozens of pieces of classic literature, hailing from your country and the histories of a half dozen other empires? Are they not appropriate for children either? 
Childhood ends soon enough (and children who love reading, whether they love Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales or A Brief History of Time, fair better than children who do not) and it takes a very sad person to want to end the magic of childhood early.

Look, Dick, I get it. You had a really screwed up childhood. I’ve read the stories about how a teacher molested you and how your prep school years were full of being bullied. Your childhood sucked and, even though it appears you can’t see the damage it did, it did leave scars. I feel bad for you, all feelings of wishing to punch you right in the nose aside, I really do wish your childhood had been better.

No child deserves to have things like that happen to them.

But that doesn’t give you the right to stomp all the joy out of other children’s lives and try to smash every bit of wonder and imagination out of the world, because you think fairy tales are “pernicious lies”.

I think maybe you don’t have the frame of reference necessary to decide what is or is not harmful for childhood development. Perhaps, if you stopped thinking you are better and smarter than everyone else for a second and consulted a child psychologist or the parent of a child (or, better still, an actual child) on the importance of fairy tales, you might find you don’t know everything and you might just be wrong about something.

Don’t Be A Jackass When Stores Allow You To Bring in Guns

I like Chipotle. I liked it when they allowed you to bring guns into their locations and I still like them now that they’ve changed their mind. I like their food and I’ll continue to eat there unless I find out that they are actually serving dog meat instead of steak or something of that nature.

Frankly I don’t blame them even a little bit for changing their policy on carrying guns into their stores at this point.

Why? Because the people who brought in large firearms are just being jackasses.

Continue reading

Things Feminists Hate: The Art of Women in Comic Books

Feminists tend to get really really upset over how women are portrayed in comic books. I actually tend to agree that I would like more female superheroes, but I’m not going to be particularly offended if the comic book industry doesn’t oblige me. I don’t need my superheroes to be female so that I can relate to them. No matter how much I enjoy Wonder Woman, after all, Batman and Superman are going to remain at the top of my list of favorite heroes. I’d rather have good quality superhero films than a bunch of affirmative action flicks, made simply to assuage the angry feminists who need more girl power on screen.

Sorry, but it’s true.

Two of the issues I hear complained about the most are these.

via Things Feminists Hate: The Art of Women in Comic Books.

Grow the F*ck Up

1345397495569_2924308Saw a video that was recorded at the college I used to attend, Arizona State, where a student assaulted and screamed obscenities at a preacher who was standing on the sidewalk near the student union with a sign that said something like:

WARNING
MASTURBATORS
THIEVES LIARS
DRUNKARDS
FORNICATORS
HOMOSEXUALS
JUDGEMENT DAY

The college kid (so somewhere between 18 and 22 most likely) threw a fit that I wouldn’t have let a 4 year old get away with and he or she, it’s hard to tell from the video, is lucky the preacher didn’t press charges. He was far nicer than I would have been, if they had assaulted me this kid would have been in for a hard lesson on the fact that there are consequences when you physically assault someone. I doubt they will learn to grow up any other way.

Here, watch for yourself. Be warned, it’s got a lot of vulgar language.

Continue reading

Systemic Oppression Versus Racism: Get Your Definitions Straight

Check yourself before you wreck yourself. If it would sound racist if you changed the word "white" to "black"...it's still racist.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
If it would sound racist if you changed the word “white” to “black”…it’s still racist.

“You can’t be racist toward white people. Racism is based in systemic/institutional oppression and since there is no sociopolitical infrastructure working  against white people, white people can’t be affected by racism!”*

Ah, Social Justice bloggers.

This type of comment usually appears on tumblr (or from the mouth of some professor in an ivory tower) and it is totally lacking any understanding of what systemic and institutional oppression is, as well as misunderstanding (usually intentionally) what racism is. They conflate the two, but they fail to realize there is are differences between the two things and pretending they are interchangeable terms is just dishonest.

Continue reading

An Open Letter: Ronald Reagan, The Big Tent, and Why the Gender I Sleep With Shouldn’t Determine My Suitability As a Republican Leader

A Message To The Republicans Who Care More About Someone’s Sexual Preference Than They Do Their Political Beliefs

The short version of this message is: were you born that stupid or did you just get hit on the head repeatedly as a child?

I don’t usually have a problem with these types, generally they come out in the comments sections of articles and have slightly better grammar (but comparable intelligence levels…okay, maybe that’s not fair) to the youtuber commentators who shout FAG!!!!111!1! at videos they don’t like.  Sometimes there’s the occasional  “conservative” blogger, talking head, or candidate, but they tend to get smacked down pretty quickly.

Other times, however, their stupid ideas need to be discussed out in the open. I’m talking about people who say things like:

Continue reading

An Excited Rant About Schuette v. Coalition

Apologies, it’s been a while hasn’t it? I had the flu (still may have it actually, but I’m better…ish. My apologies for my crap immune system.)

I had to do a little informal excited dance across my blog after the recent Supreme Court ruling in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, which was a court case that was working to determine if Michigan’s effort to stop public universities from using Affirmative Action in their admissions criteria was constitutional.

Spoiler alert: the Supreme Court found in favor of the voters of Michigan having the fight to do away with this backwards and bigoted concept of “affirmative action”.

Continue reading

“I Got My Feelings Hurt on the Internet!” Here’s an Idea, Turn Off Your Computer

Very few things have caused me to roll my eyes harder than reading an article about an atheist feminist who is claiming to have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of harassment on the internet.

I+need+feminism+because_a0d10b_5101878

This woman is not related to the story at hand, but her sign fits rather well.

A Washington woman has come under fire over claims her PTSD caused by online harassment and Twitter trolls is equal to that of military veterans.

Melody Hensley was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 16 months ago following online abuse, which she says is the result of her being an outspoken feminist and atheist.

She caused upset to many military veterans and their families and friends when she claimed her PTSD from Twitter trolls was as bad as mental anguish suffered by those who do active duty.

- Daily Mail

I’ve often stated that those being bullied on the internet have a very simple solution to their problem…turn off the computer or delete the twitter or facebook account that is the source of your trouble, change your email address, etc. This is usually in response to children being harassed by peers or similar issues, but it’s even more applicable when it comes to an adult woman who fears her mental health has been compromised by her internet activity. Internet hate fuels me, but I understand it can be upsetting for some, which is why an adult needs to learn their limit and disconnect from the social media causing their distress when it becomes to severe.

Continue reading