It was on that infamous day in November of 2011, when news broke of the nefarious actions of J Shitstain and the subsequent lack of response by those morally responsible to intervene, that I became a true misanthrope. It was a coming of age of sorts.
The absurd debates that ensued in the following months further reiterated my negative perception of humanity. Nobody seemed to grasp the big picture, supporters and detractors alike. It was all such an embarrassing mess.
Once the dust settled and the graves were dug, the only thing left to for us to do was to lick our wounds and appreciate the fact that football was even permitted to continue in Happy Valley. I, as both a graduate of Penn State and proponent of human decency, will forever stand by my opinion that a complete shutdown of the program for multiple years was an appropriate action to take.
But may no act of ours bring shame, right? To think that it was the lyrics of Sweet Caroline that so many got riled up over…
In the time since the fiasco, trustees and alumni alike have continued to incessantly protest the sanctions, such that every now and then it becomes a news story. Even once the penalties were reduced! Way to stick it to those assholes that made a statement against megalomania and idolatry in college athletics!
Today, again I saw some bullshit on my media sources that there is a push for further reductions or some crap. The fuck if I’m wasting my time reading that garbage.
Instead, let me share a little perspective.
Football doesn’t mean shit. And I love football. But nothing will ever take precedence over human decency.
These poor students that will never get to play in a bowl game? Fuck ’em. If they are good enough, they will make millions in the NFL and can abuse women without consequence just like Jerry did with his little boys for so long. Their futures are not affected.
You people preaching that the students and athletes shouldn’t be punished for Penn State’s executive transgressions sound like whiny-ass children who believe that life is inherently designed to be fair. I can think of about two million examples of people who are secondarily affected by some unfortunate and “unfair” punishment intended for the greater good. But feeble minds need an occasional exercise, so I will digress and leave it to your imagination.
And the one thing that I care the least about, just slightly less than Paterno’s win total, is the NCAA’s involvement in imposing these sanctions. Blaming Mark Emmert or expressing any vitriol toward him or the NCAA over this issue is absurd and as off target as a Sam Ficken 40 yard field goal attempt. This should have ended so much worse for Penn State athletics.
I could rant for days, but for fucks sake can we not just get over this slap on the wrist and stop embarrassing ourselves?
My name is Mike Porter and I nominate you to shut the hell up and contribute to a cause without making a pompous display of it.
Seriously, get over yourselves. This dumping ice on your head bullshit is beyond juvenile and it further reiterates how self-absorbed so many of us have become. It really ticks me off that we now have to self-promote under the guise of raising awareness for a disease when the internet can tell us pretty much anything we could ever want to know. But we don’t want to use it to learn. We want more selfies.
If you want to perform some act in the name of solidarity, please at least make it interesting. Run a marathon. Eat a cockroach. Impress me. Social media is so full of dogshit as it is, you are all just blending in. Perhaps next week we can eat a sour candy for depression, something that I can actually relate to and have dealt with for years. I mean, how could anyone not suffer from it? The world sucks.
Robin Williams’ recent suicide has done nothing but further complicate that particular issue, and for that I am super thankful (/s). Talking heads with journalism degrees have suddenly become experts on the nuances of brain physiology. Guess what. Using the term chemical imbalance does not make you appear intelligent. It makes you sound like you recently added two words to your vocabulary.
Further, celebrity* suicide is NOT an effing tragedy. The continued casual usage of that word has completely expunged it of any meaning whatsoever. Newtown was a tragedy. Rampant worldwide poverty is a tragedy. The murder of an unarmed man by a dickbag police officer is a god damned tragedy**. One old man leaving this world on his own terms is not a tragedy to anyone but those closest to him. In this mindless, recycled, celebrity culture that we call the first world, his legacy will disappear as quickly as journalistic integrity has turned to garbage.
A great man once said, “You either die a hero or live long enough to provide a cameo in Sharknado”. This, my friends, only further confirms that the death of Robin Williams was in fact not a tragedy.
*Celebrity suicide is not a tragedy.
**Evidence has come out that kid in Missouri may not have been as innocent as it first appeared. Isn’t that often the case? One day I’ll learn to wait for the facts before jumping to conclusions.
I’ve always sort-of hated Tuesdays.
Monday is alright. It’s a fresh start. And it always feels good to get through Wednesday and the Geico references. The other four days go without saying.
But it’s all just looking forward. Every day towards the weekend and every season to the next. Childhood to adulthood, adulthood to retirement. Shouldn’t we instead seek contentedness with the present so that we can strive to make each day better than the last?
I suppose that’s all much more easily said than done.
Today I was inspired by a brief conversation with a colleague about our growing anticipation of spring. Her perspective was unique. She explained that she, in fact, can wait for the nice weather, because as it approaches, well, we are getting that much older. I was taken back by the meaningfulness of a seemingly innocuous observation.
And on the seven minute drive home, I began to reflect.
And I realized that my intellectual superiority complex is at times insatiable and likely unsustainable. It’s a parasite that drains me of energy and morale when there isn’t enough of either to begin with.
People talk too much. People complain too much. People can’t drive.
Know what I mean?
You go to the grocery store and the lady in front of you on her cell phone refuses MOVE OUT OF THE WAY to allow you to get by. WHORE. Other people are crammed into this tiny aisle too, and we got SHIT TO DO.
You can’t be anywhere without being accosted by a beggar. I’m all for altruism toward the less fortunate, but upon these encounters I can’t help but reflect on the mistakes and sadness that must have lead them to such a fate. And then my mind wanders to the societal burden of poverty. And then I lament the fact that I just accidentally handed them a five.
And you sure as hell can’t drive anywhere without getting honked at over stupid shit like, say, MERGING. A polite beep? Fine. I’ll get over that by the end of the week. But the cacophony of passive-aggressive roadway fuck-yous that permeates the city is just further evidence of the inability of so many to control their emotions.
So what I’m trying to say is that I’m looking for a sign; a way to live my life irrespective of the annoyances that contaminate it. All while maintaining my beliefs about humility, patience, respect and intellect.
And it all raises an important question. Am I no better than the twat in the grocery store, the bum on the street, or the jehu with anger issues?
Or do I just have a front row ticket to the freak show?
Amid the snooze-fest that was this year’s Super Bowl, did anyone catch notice of this?
What did I just watch?
Did this cult that barely clings to life by capitalizing off of depressingly gullible celebrities really just buy a Super Bowl ad space?
And did they really just use the words “science” and “technology” to describe a notion that is purely conjecture?
Every day this world gets a little more difficult for me to handle.
At least I’m not a Broncos fan.
I have a dream that one day my children will live in a nation where they are not judged by the automobile that they own, but by the content of their character.
Unless they buy a shit car. Then I will disown their sorry asses.
I’ve been on the road a lot lately with the recent holidays and long weekends, and my journeys have inspired me to generate a compilation of the cars that will make me forever yearn for a red turtle shell.
The Ford Fiesta
This is not only one of the stupidest looking cars on the roads, but it also may take the award for most absurd model name. Which demographic is the Fiesta supposed to be directed at? This car does not invoke images of fun and happy Mexicans as its moniker may suggest. Instead, it makes you sad and lonely because nobody loves or wants to be friends with somebody who drives one of these shitsicles.
The Chrysler PT Cruiser Fake Wood Panel Siding edition
I don’t think Walter Jr. understood how much worse it could have been…
As if Breaking Bad didn’t do enough PR damage to the PT Cruiser, Chrysler has these shart stains terrorizing the roadways. I just don’t know why you want your car to look wooden. Cars aren’t supposed to be made of wood. My guess is that a wooden car would not be very practical. Or safe. Or aesthetically pleasing. Believe it or not, I actually once encountered one of these in mustard yellow. Let that sink in.
The former police car turned hooptie
In honor of MLK day, I will refrain from making any socioeconomically or racially disparaging comments about the people you typically see driving these things. It’s like some people just can’t stay out of them. Well there went that.
The pickup truck
I do understand the occasional necessity to haul shit around. But I just don’t understand these shiny ass, brand new F350s I see roaming about suburbia. If you need something to tote your, say fake wooden siding for your PT Cruiser, I’d suggest a beater. The whole glamour/rugged pick-up truck juxtaposition just seems so…paradoxical. But don’t tell that to everyone who bought a Yodge because of Ron Burgundy.
My recent debacle in the snow with my Z was a harsh reminder of the practical sacrifices one must make to drive a sports car. But for a 150 hp 1.8 L engine? I think not. Additionally, it is a little known fact that nobody has ever survived a crash in one of these shit-mobiles.
Anything that has a spoiler that shouldn’t have a spoiler
A sedan with a spoiler is like an old lady in a bikini.
It is said that spoilers on front wheel drive cars are useless because they are used to create down force on the drive tires. I don’t know enough about physics nor care enough at the moment to accept or refute that. One thing that I do know is that J-Roc and the Trailer Park Boys could probably build you a sweet wooden spoiler for that PT Cruiser of yours.
The flame motif
Speaking of the PT loser, it makes a return to the list, showing off this kick-ass flame job, which is not necessarily limited to the cruiser, but why not pile on as much as possible? Like this car goes so fast that it catches on fire. I mean, that is a good thing right? What kind of person drives something like this? Oh wait I remember. An idiot.
The douchebag car
Can you envision it just from title? The spoiler and tinted windows. Low to the ground like a roomba. Accelerates unnecessarily fast between stop lights in congested areas. The douchewagon almost always comes equipped with a dude in a flat-brimmed hat with lots of tatoos. Something about drifting? Yawn…
The bumper sticker car
You’re better off keeping your one sentence solutions to wealth inequality and third world famine to yourself. When I’m sitting behind you in traffic, I already hate you by default for dicking around on your cell phone and braking too often. The last thing I need is to be further outraged by your contradicting, bullshit opinions.
The horn blower
These cars must be defective or something. Every so often, when a red light changes to green, some car in line will honk for like 5 seconds. I think it has something to do with electromagnetic fields from the traffic signal or something. And then sometimes while I’m trying to sleep, I’ll hear one repeating incessantly in the parking lot just outside my window. I often find myself worried that the car may be in trouble, but nobody seems to care much about it. Eventually the battery just dies I suppose.
I have a dream that one day we can unite to rid the world of these inane automobiles.
I have a dream that red turtle shells exist.
I have a confession.
I’m a bit embarrassed about how I’ve handled adversity in certain situations in my past. Many times when my world was in shambles and the future looked bleak, I would wait for others to rescue me with love, generosity and a genuine desire to make me right. Those who have known me for a while may have witnessed this first hand, and for that I apologize. Perhaps it has taken longer than it should have for me to realize that this is not how life works. Maybe I didn’t invest enough time in those that I counted on for help, while pushing away those who cared. Most importantly, I wasn’t doing enough to be proactive in addressing the root of my troubles. Now it’s hard for me to watch others make those same mistakes. But we learn as we grow, and that is reassuring I suppose.
I bring this up because I’ve recently become dissatisfied with the negativity on my Facebook news feed. First, allow me to admit that I peruse the feed almost daily. I like Facebook, I really do. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. I think that it helps our generation stay in touch with friends and family in a world where so many of us are required to relocate after school. The sharing of media, humor and exciting adventures with those close to you can really galvanize the mundane 9-to-5 routine that we tend to fall into at times. And I couldn’t imagine ever having to plan an event without it. Sure it has its downfalls with all of the silly apps and requests, but I’ll never leave. What’s the point?
But when life gets you so down that you need to take the time and update your “status” with cryptic messages intimating self harm or not-so-evasive fuck-the-world declarations, you ought to consider alternatives before posting. Rather than displaying your lack of emotional self-control for all of your “friends” to see, why not talk it out with somebody that gives a shit…like a therapist. If I or anybody else gave a damn about your self-aggrandizing woe-is-me garbage that you took the time to publish so eloquently (and you know you want me to give a damn, because you put it out there for me to read), I suppose there would be a rather unpleasant chain reaction of dysphoria that certain pharmaceutical companies would be happy to capitalize off of.
Hear me out- I don’t mean to be insensitive here. We all have terrible things happen to us. For many of us, our darkest days still lie ahead. Therefore, for example, a tribute to a lost loved one or tragedy is totally alright. Lamenting a particular political figure, celebrity or athlete, while at times aggravating, is fine and often leads to entertaining discourse. I just don’t think that social media is the place to air your especially dirty underpants with your personal disputes, suicidal ideologies, and whatnot.
In closing, I just want to let you know that, however little it may mean to you, from here on out every person that I see misappropriating their emotions on my news feed will be permanently un-followed (not un-friended of course- I wouldn’t want to further contribute to anyone’s already fragile psyche). I’ve already done some tidying up and it’s quite refreshing.
Hey everybody (anybody?) checking in, it’s been a while since I’ve last said hello, and for that I apologize. Between my travels, job and everything that keeps me from these moments of digital reflection, I’ve had little time to share my feelings and spread my so-called, yet technically somewhat true, socialist agenda. But at last, today I have found inspiration!
While I find myself at times exasperated with the over-saturation of the internet with the recent fad known as “memes”, I couldn’t help but fall in love with one that I saw today on good old Reddit. It is called Conservative Jesus, and I think that it has some real promise! For the longest time I’ve seen the hypocrisy within “conservative Christianity” (and so have many others- I’m not claiming to be special here), and this particular image reaffirms that I am in fact not alone. Who else out there likes to think of Jesus Christ, our moral guide and savior from sin and damnation, as one who turns away beggars, cuts entitlements for the poor, imprisons those who commit victimless crimes, shuns a union between two people because of a sexual preference that he cannot understand, and generally supports economic and political policies that oppress those who are not able-bodied, male, white, and born privileged (yes I know there are exceptions, but anecdotal evidence is for…whatever the PC term for those who lack brain skills is…).
But alas, am I preaching to the choir or the congregation?
Conversation can be so difficult.
We all yearn to find those who we can share our sentiments with, but as we see on a regular basis, humans have a natural tendency to talk over listening and learning from others’ experiences. Deep down, many of us suffer from a sort of illusory superiority complex, thus vastly overestimating our intellectual capabilities relative to our peers (we can probably thank our parents and grandparents for that).
Dunning and Kruger have shown that in a variety of tests, an inflated self-image tends to correlate with poor performance while those who score exceptionally high have more realistic and often overly modest expectations (Ehrlinger, Joyce, Kerri Johnson, et. al “Why the unskilled are unaware: further explorations of (absent) self-insight among the incompetent). Although as a caveat, conclusions obtained from meta-analyses such as those performed here are often subject to publication bias, it has been an accepted philosophy amongst intellectuals throughout history that, as in the words of Charles Darwin, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge”. This theory may explain why the loudest voices in passionate debates are generally the least logically sound.
Through social media, we follow our idols, communicate our philosophies and publicly acknowledge those whom we agree or disagree with. When powerful events hit the media, most recently the indescribably heinous shootings in Connecticut, these modes of communication become saturated with soapbox rants that are often polarizing, and to some, antagonizing. We should not go as far as to condemn those who speak their mind but the dialogue in these discussions MUST improve for us to make changes for the betterment of man. For this to occur, knowledge, patience, logic, and critical reasoning skills are paramount.
I will make it clear, early, that on the topic of gun control, I believe stricter legislation across the board is necessary. This would include (but not be limited to) longer waiting periods, more serious punishment for misuse (even if not resulting in injury), stricter accountability measures on weapons registered to an individual, and eventually as the study of neuroscience progresses, more rigorous mental health screenings. I understand the reality of the fact that we can never completely remove deadly weapons from existence (although Darwin would certainly appreciate that- survival of the truly fittest), but I find it absurd to believe that we can’t come together as a country, even globally, to work to minimize such violence that plagues society. This effort also must include the acceptance of the physiological aspects of mental illness along with an elimination of the stigma that comes with seeking help. Millennia of human ingenuity has brought mankind from cave dwelling hunter/gatherers to a technological society that is mind-blowingly advanced. So why not take the next step? Why not dedicate our efforts towards ensuring that every human being is given the opportunity to live a long, fulfilling life. Evidence suggests that we get only one.
Here, I’d like to dissect some common arguments that I find detrimental to this ideology. My goal is not so much to discredit those advocating gun rights as much as it is to provide discourse that counters common, overly-simplified arguments against strict firearm legislation.
Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
The spike in blood pressure that I experience when I see this statement on a bumper sticker, Facebook status or tweet may eventually become life-threatening, so please excuse me while I vent. I get it; a firearm alone is harmless and requires the pull of the trigger to be destructive, but a gun is a machine specifically designed for killing with minimal risk for the shooter. A powerful example of this point is the parallel between the Newtown, CT massacre, in which 26 people were killed, and the slashing of 22 children (and one adult) in a Chinese elementary school (and we should all aware of the strict gun control in China). The result of the events in China: serious injuries but zero fatalities.
If we outlaw guns because they kill people, we should outlaw spoons because they are accessories to obesity.
This argument is difficult to comprehend and logically invalid. First, most reasonable gun control advocates are not championing for a complete weapons ban. Second, and even more absurd, is the connection between gun violence and overeating, one of which involves the infliction of serious injury to another living being while the other involves a personal choice to decrease one’s longevity due to overindulgence. This is not a fair comparison.
If more citizens have guns, armed assailants will be able to inflict less damage before apprehension and/or criminal activity will be deterred.
Unfortunately, there just isn’t sufficient evidence to either substantiate or refute this claim. I have yet to find a study on this subject that does not reek of liberal or conservative bias. Mind you, however, I have a life and job that has nothing to do with the subject matter, and more research may yield better conclusions.
If somebody wants to go on a homicidal rampage, they will, regardless of gun access.
In a sense this is true, but the argument cannot be used alone to substantiate a position against gun control. People harm others for various reasons and use different mechanisms based upon these reasons. Timothy McVeigh was frustrated with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ handling of the Waco siege, which led him to justify killing hundreds of civilians in the Oklahoma City bombing as a statement against the government. The September 11th attack is another example of a deadly assault on US soil that did not involve firearms and was orchestrated to intimidate our leaders (mind you that neither of these attacks could have been prevented by armed civilians).
In contrast, I believe (and I must admit that I’m no expert in psychology) that the desire to embark on a shooting/stabbing rampage stems more so from a lust for blood, dominance and power; a mental disturbance that can be exacerbated by an alienation from one’s peers. It seems that from the few details that we know, many of the recent assailants in these high profile shootings seem to fit into the aforementioned group. The point here is that while strict regulation on guns may lead criminals to commit crimes in other ways, the mental state of a face-to-face murderer may be unique to the weapon of choice. Hence, I do not believe that many of these perpetrators would have resorted to a less personal form of violence, such as an IED, if they had not had relatively easy access to guns. And, lastly, we should all be able to agree that, logically, knives, bludgeoning devices, etc. are much less amenable than guns for mass killings.
The US constitution affords US citizens the right to bear arms.
That it does, but I argue that gun ownership should be viewed as more of a privilege than a right. First let’s be clear on the fact that our constitution is not infallible. It was written by our forefathers who couldn’t have imagined the landscape of their country 200+ years later: Oh, and also, most of them have that little blip on their records; slave ownership.
In particular, the second amendment reads: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Note the reference to a well-regulated militia. Clearly the intentions at the time were to keep the nation safe from invasion by arming the citizens. But now, we have the largest military in the world! If our armed forces that have cost us so much over the years cannot protect us from a ground invasion from a foreign nation, such that the right for any civilian to bear arms becomes a necessity for national security, then we have much bigger issues to worry about. So while this generally well-written and thoughtful document has led to the formation of the most powerful nation in the world, let’s make sure we don’t forget its faults.
The war on drugs doesn’t work. Why should a war on guns?
It is certainly true that America’s war on drugs has had its fair share of negative consequences including excessive imprisonment for generally victimless crimes and the inevitable development of the mafia, gangs, cartels, etc. The prohibition of alcohol had the same effect. Most left-leaning individuals will agree that the war on drugs has been counter-productive in this sense, but it is dangerous to make such a comparison. The difference between drugs and firearms is that the damage done by drugs is self-inflicted whereas guns are often used to injure others (with the exception of suicide, which I find to be rather irrelevant in gun control conversations). While prohibiting citizens from legally consuming what they desire, the government infringes on our right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Conversely, the threat of physical harm does the same. Hence, it can be argued under this pretense, that those who campaign for the drug war and against regulation of weapons are hypocrites.
And as a note to all gun enthusiasts and hobbyists: Anybody that can feel empathy should GLADLY be willing to trade their video games, television shows, sports teams, sewing machines, etc. to promote an agenda to save innocent human lives. It comes off as insensitive to prioritize your personal obsessions over the safety of your fellow Americans.
We need to bring god back into schools:
The politicizing of the Christian God by Mike Huckabee and others has gotten so ridiculously out of control that God himself should consider conjuring up a second flood. Do Americans not realize that there is more than one religion in the world, and that our country consists of exceptional, law-abiding citizens that have never believed in a Christian God? How offensive must it be as a non-Christian, somebody who grew indoctrinated into a completely different belief system, to hear a politician blame a horrific tragedy on a God that one may have never even heard of until later in life? Why is it that when four Americans died in Benghazi, it was due to executive incompetence, yet this tragedy can be blamed on an entity that we don’t all have faith in and have no concrete scientific evidence for. This type of hypocrisy that emanates from the right-wing faction at times is reprehensible.
The blame game:
Schools aren’t doing enough to prevent bullying. Parents need to raise their children better. Violence in the media instigates mayhem. While these each may be contributing factors to delinquency, to focus on only one is short sighted, as the issues run much deeper. We live in a distraction laden society where relationships are minimized by technology and family life is much less influential due to working parents. To this we must learn to adjust. The violence in the media/games/etc. that our youth are immersed in may plant the seed of aggressive behavior, but cannot be proven as a causative agent of sociopathic tendencies. As a matter of fact, it can alternatively be argued that living vicariously through violence in the media (movies, video games, music, etc.) can serve as a release to those struggling with compulsive thoughts. Instead of “planting the seed”, infatuation with these sorts of violence may actually be the result of underlying antisocial issues caused by ostracization from family and peers (i.e. bullying at school).
So what do we do?
Despite the plethora of arguments against gun rights rhetoric, the answer to our nation’s violence problem remains unclear. What is known, however, is that a 0.03-0.04% homicide rate in the most powerful nation in the world is unacceptable. Of course, our situation could be MUCH worse (see most of South America and Africa), but it could also be substantially improved (see most of Europe, China, Japan, etc.).
I also think that it is important to note that strict gun regulation does not perfectly correlate with a reduction in homicide in other areas of the world. The United States has by far the highest gun ownership in the world at 88 guns per 100 citizens (Yemen is a distant second at 55 per 100), but at least 28 countries have higher homicide rates than the US (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list). Thus, it is important for our leaders to earnestly consider the pros and cons of tighter gun regulation before enacting legislation. Since up to 50% of the world’s privately owned guns can be found in the United States, irresponsible gun control laws do have the potential to create a powerful black market that would do more harm than good.
I do believe, however, that one small step that we can take as a country is for each of us to make a genuine effort to respect one another a little bit more than we normally feel inclined to do, remaining conscious of those whom may be battling mental illness. Take the time out of your day to talk to the colleague that you tend to blow off. Apologize to friends and family that you have alienated. Respect each others’ differences. The human brain is an incredibly complex system of neurons and neurotransmitters that is constantly undergoing physiological changes, especially early in life. I believe that instances of negative thinking (sadness, envy, anger, fear) can affect your natural cognitive processes and set the wheels in motion for long term illness. Often times, those with the most serious issues appear perfectly normal. Don’t contribute to setting a peer into the cataclysmic realms of despair. Make an effort to do one good deed each day, something as small as an acknowledgment or a compliment or a favor, and you may wind up saving a life.
It appears as though you have found your way to my blog and I’d like to thank you for your time!
As I’ve grown over the years, I’ve become much more passionate about my moral code. Unfortunately, I often find myself not being able to properly express myself in conversation, and thus I have a hard time conveying my opinions to others. As a result, I’ve decided to create a blog as a medium to share my feelings with those of you who may be interested. This way, I can tackle complicated issues meticulously and at my own leisure, rather than struggling with the quirks of group dynamics. Knowing where I stand intellectually is important to me and I invite any one of you to challenge any of my stances. As for the content, a flavor of the week style will be employed. Perhaps I’ll dissect a relevant philosophical issue in one post and the next I’ll lighten it up by delving into the world of entertainment. Nothing is off the table as this blog is intended to be my sanctuary, a place for my thoughts, and a spark for meaningful discussion.
I look forward to the learning experience.