Archive | September 2016

Pulling a Kidney Stone From the Bowels of the Internet: Transgenderism & Transsexualism

Now given that this guy might as well have trollface.jpg as his profile pic, we don’t have to pay much attention to what he has to say. He’s just trolling–clearly–using loaded language on both sides of the issue to ignite flame wars on the update. Who cares. Reading through the comments, though, is an interesting experience. Not interesting enough for me to share the comments one by one–besides, there are at least seventy right now–but it did make it plainly obvious that the average person has no idea what we’re even talking about.

stupid-dickI’ll leave to your imagination the comments that this received.

First, there is a difference between transgenderism and transsexualism, and it’s actually more than splitting hairs. I once criticized someone for using the word “transsexual” and said they were likely out of touch with mainstream society, because it is no longer widely used. I was incorrect, and hadn’t given the matter sufficient thought. I was still correct about the person, because it’s not like he knew the difference, but I didn’t, either. “Transgender” seemed a more palatable version of the deprecated “transsexual.”

It gets murky, because there is a difference between gender and sex. After all, gender is a social construct; sex is not. This gets even more opaque because we tend to use words like “male” and “woman” in both contexts, often without even realizing it. For example, in a single paragraph, a person might say, “A man is someone with a penis [thereby referring to the sex of male], and someone with a beard who drinks beer and eats steaks that are almost raw. If your steak is cooked, you’re not a man.”

It should be readily obvious that we’re talking about two totally different things here. One is a sexual organ–a certifiable, verifiable fact that a person either has or does not have. The second part deals with social roles and stereotypes that are not universally applicable. Although it’s becoming increasingly politically incorrect to say, if you have a penis, then your sex is male. At least, that’s how it used to be–I would argue that’s no longer the case, seeing as I’m a non-op transsexual, but I also think that “having a penis” means that I can never refer to my sex as female.

See how complex it gets?

Gender is all about archetypes and stereotypes, conditioning, and societal expectations. “Girls play with Barbies, boys play with G.I. Joes” is a statement referring to gender. These are human social constructs without objective form–they are, to borrow from Shakespeare, our attempt to “give to airy nothingness / a local habitation and a name.” It is almost completely arbitrary that skirts are feminine and jeans are masculine, that women wear makeup but men do not. Of course, we can look through history and find socioeconomic reasons for why these things are adapted by or forced onto one gender or another, but that doesn’t really change anything. Why didn’t men decree that skirts were masculine and that jeans were feminine, that way they could see all those delicious butts in jeans throughout the eons?

Well, for one, denim wasn’t invented in the age we’re discussing.

“Because they didn’t,” is the answer to my question, though. Why didn’t men decide that it was their role to attract women, and thus that men needed to wear makeup and doll themselves up? Again, “Because they didn’t” is the answer.

Now, again, we can go back to the ancient stages of human history and reflect on the fact that men are innately stronger than women, and so men naturally fell into the hunter role better while women were better suited for the gatherer role, but we’ll still ultimately find that it was arbitrary and mostly about power. I’m not preparing to launch into a tirade about female oppression throughout history–it’s not relevant. That’s exactly my point: none of it is really relevant. How these things came about is meaningless today–they are because they are, and they aren’t because they aren’t.

The anthropic principle applied to gender, as it were.

What about bras, though? Surely, it’s not a societal construct that women wear bras while men don’t. Indeed, it’s not, because the sexual dimorphism of humans is most prominent in the breasts. This is a real, sexual difference between the two. We can talk about bra burning and stuff, but that’s not the point. Again, the point is that women have boobs, and men don’t, so if either sex was going to wear protective–or oppressive, for the virulent feminists out there–clothing over their boobs, it would obviously be the sex that has something there to protect.

We could easily ask why men wear jock straps and cups, but women don’t.

“Because having something in that region to protect is a characteristic of the sex,” we would answer, and we would be right to give that answer.

Now, what happens if someone’s sex does not match their gender?

A lot of people would call it a mental illness. This is, strictly speaking, referred to as gender dysphoria, and it’s presently considered a mental illness, though the reason for that is explicitly given that it’s the only way to ensure that Hormone Replacement Therapy and Sex Reassignment Surgery are covered by medical insurance plans. We can get into whether or not that’s beneficial or harmful. It’s also not relevant to our discussion. Gender dysphoria is simply what it’s called when a person’s sex doesn’t match their gender.

Since “gender” is a social construct in the first place, it’s impossible that it could genuinely be a mental illness.

It would be like saying that a white kid has a mental illness because he wears Fubu and listens to Kanye West. In this analogy, the kid’s skin color (an objective, verifiable reality) does not match his cultural identification (he has adopted black culture as his own). Is this a mental illness?

What a stupid question. It’s obviously not a mental illness.

But when we alter it slightly and we have a white boy who wants to wear dresses and play with Barbies, suddenly we do have people crying that it’s a mental illness.

This is what being “transgender” means. It means there is no change to the person’s sex, yet they adopt the other sex’s gender roles and stereotypes as their own. Yes, this involves acknowledging and even embracing gender stereotypes, one of the many examples of liberals’ hypocrisy. You literally cannot be transgender without being sexist. Saying–even if not directly–something like “I don’t want to play with G.I. Joe! I want to play with Barbies, because girls play with Barbies!” is quite obviously sexist.

Under most circumstances, the liberal would reply, “Girls don’t have to play with Barbies! That’s an outdated way of thinking, you chauvinistic pig!”

But if the person is transgender, they’re like, “Awe, and you should do whatever empowers you!”

Being transsexual entails being transgender, but “transsexual” means that there are changes to a person’s sex organs, and there are a few types of this. There is Pre-Op, Post-Op, and Non-Op, depending on whether the person is going to undergo surgery of their primary sex organs. The difference between a Pre-Op Transsexual and a Non-Op Transsexual, then, is one of intent: the pre-op intends to have a sex change operation–to have their penis replaced with a vagina, or their vagina replaced with a penis. A Post-Op is someone who has had this surgery, like Caitlyn Jenner. A Non-Op is someone who is fine with their primary sexual organ, but does make changes to their body that exclude surgery (excluding cosmetic surgery of the face or breasts).

Realistically, a non-op transsexual is a mix of the sexes.

I’ve been criticized and told that I shouldn’t call myself a shemale because it underscores the idea that we aren’t “real women.” I agree and disagree. I agree that, when we’re talking sex, yes–not having the primary sexual organ of a woman does, in fact, mean a person isn’t a “real woman,” at the very least sexually. I realize this offends people. I also don’t care. If you don’t have a vagina, then your attempts to sell yourself as sexually a woman are either disingenuous or delusional. Take your pick. But I don’t think it’s your prerogative to demand other people to acquiesce to your delusion.

Sex is a matter determined by the person’s sexual characteristics. My sex is shemale. I don’t care if that bothers you. It is shemale–you can use “non-op transsexual” if you want, but I prefer communication over political correctness, and “shemale” conveys more to the average person in a single word than this entire article will–and saying “I’m offended” isn’t going to change that. I’m not a pre-op or post-op. I have made the deliberate and conscious decision to keep my penis. It would be the height of absurdity to proclaim that my sex is female and to demand that other people grit their teeth and pretend like it is female. It’s not–it’s S.

For “Shemale.”

My gender is female. With the recent changes to my eyebrows and increasing changes to my face from the estrogen that I take (which is causing the bodily changes I addressed previously), I’m increasingly “passable.” While many people would also get upset that I’d dare use such a word to describe a transsexual rather than a Drag Queen or crossdresser, it simply is the case that I, as any transsexual person does, want to be able to simply exist as an ordinary woman. It’s not until we get into the bedroom with the door shut that my primary sex organ would matter, so no one ever needs to know that my gender–female–doesn’t quite match my sex–shemale. As I currently stand, it is obvious, primarily because of my eyebrows and cheeks.

While the liberal would argue, “No. There’s no such thing as ‘passable’ when it comes to transsexualism or transgenderism. You are female because you say you are female. So you are, by definition, passable, because you are female,” the reality is, of course, murkier.

We don’t live in La-La Fantasy Land.

The word “passable” refers to whether a random stranger will notice anything odd about my gender identification. I can insist to this stranger, “No, really, I’m a female” all day long, but it’s not going to stop me from getting this look:

skeptical“Passable” simply refers to whether or not I get that look.

Strictly speaking, no, “passable” doesn’t have anything to do with me. I’m not a drag queen or a crossdresser–I’m transsexual. So the liberal is, in a sense, correct–I’m passable by definition because I identify as a woman and thus am a woman. Strictly speaking, it is irrelevant whether I conform or break this stereotype or whether I have or lack that feature. I am because I am because I am.

Yet the liberal is still wrong to say it has nothing to do with me, because no transssexual person wants that look.

Caitlyn Jenner, for example, is one of the least passable transsexuals that I have ever seen. It’s seriously jarring to me, to see Caitlyn Jenner. I do feel bad for the girl–that enormously square jaw and countless amounts of money spent on cosmetic surgery. And I’ve spent very little money and yet am far more “passable” than she is. That makes me sad for her–it does.

But that doesn’t really change anything.

So, to summarize, sex has been, through most of human history, a binary matter, and because of that, gender became a binary matter. I would suggest that it’s probably true that gender remains a binary matter to this day, but sex is no longer a binary matter. After all, I would put “S” under my sex, but “F” under my gender. I do get that a lot of people think that I should put “F” under both, and I’ve had people chastise me, insult me, and block me for refusing to put Female as both my sex and my gender.

If you ask me, that is the mental disorder: refusing to accept that your sexual organs do determine your sex.

We can have disagreement about whether the sex of “Female” means “has boobs and vagina.” But we can also find plenty of examples that break that mold–breast cancer survivors, and some girls are just flat-chested. We can have a disagreement about whether the sex of “Male” means “has penis, no boobs.” And we could also find plenty of examples that break that mold–men who have had irate waves perform improvised surgery with butcher knives after finding them cheating, or men who have what we call “man-boobs.” There are exceptions to everything, and a rejection of black and white thinking is prevalent in my work.

So I’m not willing to say that it’s universally true that women have vaginas and boobs, and men have penises but no boobs. But I am going to say that if you’ve made the conscious decision to have a penis, then you’re expecting other people to bow to your delusion when you say that your sex is female. Maybe this means we need a new sex for people who willfully operate between the sexes by having a penis, curves, and boobs while identifying as the gender of female.

What do you know! We have one.

It’s “shemale.”

Stop being offended by it. It’s the next step of sexual identification.

A quick note: I would tentatively suggest–without having put a considerable amount of thought into it, hence why it’s tentative–that if you experience “gender dysphoria” while touching your primary sexual organ, then it is probably evidence that you are identifying as the wrong sex. People are often surprised to learn that my penis doesn’t bother me. This appears to come from a general confusion on the matter–I’m a lesbian. My penis is rather useful for that. If I experienced “gender dysphoria” by having my penis stimulated, then I’d have major problems. I’d also say that this is “sexual dysphoria” and not “gender dysphoria.”

But my sex is shemale. Shemales have penises. There is no discrepancy there, so there is no conflict that would cause dysphoria. Again, people would understand that more easily if they could get it through their thick skulls that there are some very goddamned good reasons that I identify my sex as Shemale rather than Female.

Declaring War is So Passé

One of the easiest ways to identify an anarchist is that they’ll constantly say “the state” instead of “the government.” There are occasional times that an anarchist will say “the government,” usually to avoid repetition, but by that point in the conversation it’s usually clear what the person is talking about, and whether they are an anarchist.

Strangely enough, one of the easiest ways to identify a libertarian is that they talk of declaring war. No, I don’t mean that libertarians are trigger happy and want to declare war on everyone who as much as looks at them funny. I mean that libertarians are very much against the idea that it’s okay to have our military operating in a foreign country without a declaration of war.

I’m convinced, upon observing the rest of the country, that modern Americans think of the idea as passé. It’s outdated and antiquated–an ancient way of viewing the world from a bygone era of gold coins as currency and when imperialism was conducted by states and armies, not states and corporations. In fact, I would wager that there is an extremely high correlation between people who don’t see a declaration of war as necessary and people who think that “gold coins–that’s for, like, ancient Rome and stuff.”

Not us and our modern sensibilities, our modern understanding of how the world really works.

The declaration of war is from that same bygone period of human history where a person’s wealth was measured in gold, not paper–a time that most people have no desire to go back to, or even an interest in considering. As we so often do, though, we’re throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Just as it would be tremendously helpful to have a return to a commodity-based currency (I can see Americans recoiling from the idea of carrying gold coins in their pockets–how barbaric! “Should we go ahead and make clubs, too, Aria?”)…

It’s strange.

It’s very strange.

You tell people that they could carry around gold in their pockets instead of paper, and they act like you offended them. I once had a guy tell me that we could never return to a commodity-based currency, because there isn’t enough gold to do it. I was just like, “Yes. Yes, that’s the problem. That’s what we need a commodity-based currency to fix.”

Anyway. Declaration of war.

It’s not really true to say that our modern sensibilities utterly reject the notion of declaring war, is it? No, we’re okay with declaring war, as long as we’re declaring war on ideas, rather than states. It seems to be that people consider a declaration of war to be limiting. “If we declared war on Al-Queda, then we wouldn’t be able to fight Isis under that declaration!” they might say. It seems that they totally get that the point of the declaration of war is to define the scope of the war and specifically prevent it from being unlimited.

It’s hard to reconcile these realities any other way. Americans are okay with declaring war on ideas. Americans are not okay with declaring war on nations.

There aren’t many competing explanations for those statements, and the one that makes the most sense is that Americans are, whether they realize it or not, pro infinite war. It has long been observed throughout human history that you cannot kill an idea. I don’t know anyone who truly believes that you can successfully destroy an idea. I’m not saying that they don’t exist, but I’ve never encountered such a person.

Yet when that idea is terrorism? Suddenly they think a “war on terror” could be successful. Never mind the fact that it’s impossible to kill an idea.

You can kill the revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution.

Unless it’s terrorism. Then you totally can kill the revolution.

Moar bombs. We just need moar bombs.

Libertarians and anarchists have been warning since 9/11 that our fear and paranoia was going to cause us to sacrifice too much liberty, and we immediately did so, often with gusto and bravado. “Look how patriotic we are! We’re so patriotic that we’ll betray our own principles! That’s how much we trust our Commander-in-Chief!”

Now we have a presidential candidate who almost literally represents everything that we’ve warned about. “Bill of Rights? Fuck the Bill of Rights. ‘They’ll cry about Free Speech.’ Waterboarding? Do I look like Adam Sandler to you? Bring out the rack! We’re going to get medieval on these bitches! Crucify the journalists! Hang them out to dry! Wiretapping? Yes, please! And more! I’ll tap every goddamned Americans phone! We’ll kill the women, we’ll kill the children. We’ll teach them not to have family members join Isis. And then we’ll drink the blood of their children from their skulls! Yes! America! Yes!”

Une momento, per favore.

can-we-not-do-thatIt’s scary to have Donald Trump running for President of the United States and saying things that make Borat’s speech at the rodeo sound like a well-reasoned treatise on why we needed war with Iraq. I’ll never forget watching that scene where he says something to the effect of “May George Bush drink the blood of their children!” only for the crowd to erupt into cheers and applause.

I was like, “Y’all did hear him, right?”

Of course, Hillary is no better. Everything I’ve seen screams to me that Hillary wants war with Russia. Funnily enough, I do think we would declare war on Russia before we actually attacked them. That doesn’t make me feel any better about it, but the idea of an unlimited war with Russia is surely something that every American who has ever read 1984 would be appalled by?

Granted, this wouldn’t be the first time I drastically underestimated the average American’s tolerance for Obscene and Wacky Bullshit That No One Should Put Up With.

Our modern sensibilities, though, are essentially correct. The problem with declaring war on nations is that it defines a scope of the combat. If we declared war on Afghanistan, it would suddenly look pretty odd to see the news reports of Americans dropping bombs in Pakistan. And Libya. And Syria. And Iraq. And Kuwait.

See, we learned our lesson from Vietnam. In the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong regularly escaped into neighboring Cambodia, but we weren’t at war with Cambodia. Neither Congress nor the American people would have allowed the war to be expanded to include Cambodia, and this was a major issue at the time. In fact, it was because of Congress that we had to withdraw our soldiers from Cambodia when we did finally send them in to chase after the North Vietnamese and burn their supply depots that were along the Cambodia-Vietnam border.

“Never again!” we decided.

Never again would we allow our hands to be tied by the wall of a sovereign nation’s borders! If the enemy went to Cambodia, then we chased them into Cambodia, because we weren’t at war with the nation the enemy came from. We were at war with the enemy and, in modern times, the idea that the enemy represents. This is how we’ve ended up with military bases across the world, with bombs falling in nations that we’re not at war with.

And it’s bad. It’s never-ending.

Through my entire life, there has not been one single day of peace. We have been at war since I was born.

We just never declared it.

Democrats & the Drums of War

How long are we going to continue ignoring the fact that Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, are clearly beating the drums of war, and clearly have Russia in mind as the enemy? They aren’t even being subtle about it, and in last night’s debate Hillary all but said that she, as President, would absolutely retaliate decisively against state-sponsored hackers in Russia who may or may not exist.

That’s been the Democrats’ refrain for months now. Hackers have pulled back the curtain and have shown us the man standing there, maneuvering levers and talking into a microphone, and the great, green glowing head is shouting at us, “Ignore that man behind the curtain! The dog is out to get you! That damned dog! That dog hates you and wants to see you destroyed!”

Why are we entertaining this absurdity?

I am not arguing for Trump. Statements against Hillary are not statements for Trump, and I am not saying that you should support America’s Great Pumpkin. You should not. But, for fuck’s sake, a vote for Hillary is clearly a vote for war with Russia.

Turn your attention for a moment to the mess in Syria.

Not long ago, the United States finger-quotes-wink-wink “accidentally” wink-wink-finger-quotes bombed Assad’s forces in Syria–forces that just happened to be allied with Russia, thereby violating the Cease Fire we had agreed to–a Cease Fire that basically meant “No one cease firing.” One has to wonder what the United States is even doing involved in this fourteen-way civil war between Assad, several rebel factions, and Isis. Regardless, we’re on the side of the rebels, who we’ve been arming for a long time anyway.

“What? No, we’re neutral. We just gave them a bunch of weapons and stuff. We’re neutral!”

More recently, someone attacked a United Nations humanitarian unit, and, quite naturally, the United States blamed Assad.

Russia denies that either they or Syria attacked the UN Convoy, of course, and, it’s worth remembering, that there has been no investigation. We simply blamed them. That link is from Russia Today, so it’s hardly impartial, but that’s not the point. We say they did, they say they didn’t, and no one has ascertained the truth. It’s also irrelevant.

Russia has also accused the United States of supporting and defending Isis, a claim that isn’t without substantiating evidence.

It doesn’t matter which, if any, of these allegations are true, who is right, or who is wrong. All of that is completely irrelevant. We have two behemoths, each accusing the other of wrongdoing, bearing their teeth, and hostilities are clearly growing. Now we have a presidential candidate making overt threats of retaliation against Russia.

russia-wants-war-us-bases-sarcastic-map

I’m not going to say that it’s been a conspiracy for decades to eventually go to war with Russia, because, again, that’s irrelevant to the issue at hand. The issue at hand is that we have a presidential candidate who comes from a political party that is constantly talking about how evil Russia is, how they are out to get us, and how they are trying to destroy us. The powers that be appear to be doing everything in their power to make you afraid of Russia, to justify a war against them, and this Syria situation is fast looking like a catalyst to exactly that.

We’ve seen this song and dance before, that’s all I’m saying. War with Russia would not be acceptable.

Do not vote for a candidate that apparently wants to give you a war with Russia.

Atlas Must Never Show His Back is Breaking

I’ve been a bit shaken for about ten minutes, since I remembered suddenly that I had a dream about my mother last night. I don’t remember what that dream was really about, but it was significant, and I don’t often dream about her. Why should I? She’s been gone from my life for 17 years–well over half of my life, since I was 12 when she vanished inexplicably in the summer of 1999.

I told my sister last week that I plan to file the paperwork to have her officially declared dead. That’s long overdue. We need to put this matter to rest. While my sister agreed, I also realized by her tone and how she put things that she isn’t convinced that our mom is dead. Even more unbelievably, she believes the story that she “left with a truck driver named Tim” and thinks that our mom probably was murdered some time after that.

No. No, my poor, denying sister. Our mother was killed by the man she was living with, the one who put out the statement that she “left with a truck driver named Tim,” the one who was suspected of killing his parents, and the one who just got out of prison for killing another woman in Arkansas. It’s not exactly rocket science. When I said this, she remained unconvinced. I tried explaining that the murder was 6 or 7 years old when D. was finally arrested in Memphis and charged with it, and that it takes a lot of overwhelming evidence to find someone guilty of murder 6 years after the fact and then to sentence them to ten years in prison.

I wasn’t aware of how broken our justice system is until I began looking into that. Apparently, ten years is a huge sentence for a murderer to receive 6 years after the murder, and it’s apparently really hard to get a judge to be that harsh. How amazing. You can kill a human being in the state of Arkansas, live free for six years, be sentenced to only a decade in prison, and then get out on good behavior without even serving that entire sentence. While no sentence would ever have brought justice to the family of the woman he killed in [withholding the location to protect my identity–we are talking about a murderer, after all], it’s a damned shame that you can serve only about 75% of a weak sentence for murder.

My sister wants to apply for the survivor benefits that would have been due to us if her body had ever been found. I don’t really agree, because I don’t think I should be given money because someone murdered my mother. In hindsight, from that point of view, though, it’s good that no one ever found her body–our father would have ended up receiving the checks, and would have spent it all on drugs.

I’ve often felt guilty for using this story as such a major part of Dancing in Hellfire–for which it seems I’ve found an agent!–but I vastly prefer that over having the state write me checks. I’d rather tell the story in a fascinating, emotionally jarring way and earn money through the story-telling than have it gifted to me after other people were robbed to give it to me. But I no longer feel guilty, because my mother’s story is my story to tell. In fact, there is no one else who could tell it.

Even knowing as I do that she is certainly did–see above–does nothing to bring me closure on the matter. How could it? Her body is buried in the woods in some random place in Arkansas, rotted to the skeleton, forever lost. She has been given no memorial, no tombstone, and no real burial. These are things I intend to rectify. I will talk with D. somehow, and I will do everything in my power to convince him to give me the location of her body. Perhaps I can work with law enforcement to promise him immunity from prosecution. I don’t care. There’s no chance of having justice delivered anyway. For 17 years I’ve lived not knowing whether my mother is alive or dead–there’s no way to bring justice to that. So why bother?

But even if that can’t be worked out, I’m going to arrange a memorial service, difficult though that is to process and think about, once she is declared dead.

I don’t really want to do that, though. I don’t want my dad and grandmother there. I don’t want them patting me on the back or pretending to express sympathy. They didn’t show any goddamned sympathy seventeen years ago when she vanished. They would come, but it’s got nothing to do with them. It’s between me, my sister, and our brother. And our brother is dead, so it no longer involves him, either. He was killed in a car wreck about a year after we reconnected with him, after about five years of estrangement because he wouldn’t come to see us–because we asked “difficult questions about mom.”

So he wouldn’t deserve to be there, either.

No one on my mom’s side of the family deserves to be there. Her own mother would, but she’s dead, too. Her sister, my aunt? Hell no. My aunt knows exactly what happened–she knows damned well that her ex-husband killed her sister. She’s known it all along; everyone on that side of the family knew it all along. It’s the great elephant in the room, the sleeping dog that no one dares to wake. It would be an insult to have them there.

It’s ultimately between my sister and me, and, honestly, that would just be more awkward than anything, because we don’t share emotional moments. We’ve only hugged once in our entire lives, and that was awkward. How could we be comfortable showing emotions, after the bullshit we went through as kids? We trust no one with our emotions, not even the other. Then you have just me and my sister standing around, probably with her husband there, saying goodbye to a mother that isn’t there, in spirit or in death. It would be pointless, as neither of us would be willing to say what we were really thinking, and neither of us would be willing to shed a tear over it.

Carry on, weary soldier. Carry on.

Atlas must never show that the weight of the world is breaking his back.

Jill Stein–Don’t Go There, Girl

In what I consider to be a pretty shocking betrayal of Third Partyism–which is basically the idea that third parties shouldn’t waste time and energy picking at each other and should largely ignore other third parties while targeting the Republicans and Democrats–Jill Stein has made an utterly ignorant remark about Gary Johnson. So here I am again, defending a candidate that I don’t like.

I don’t like Gary Johnson. But when push comes to shove, I have his back.

Is you stupid, Jill?

Is you stupid, Jill?

Jill’s remark isn’t just stupid–it’s short-sighted and ignorant. Gary Johnson said that dealing with climate change is a waste of time, money, and energy because the Earth is doomed and will be destroyed by the sun no matter what we do. The only sensible course of action is to turn our gaze to the stars and focus on colonizing other planets.

Let’s say Jill and her party devote all those resources and somehow “fix” climate change. Great. The sun goes nova and wipes out all life on Earth anyway. Well done, Jill. I think we see that it’s you who doesn’t care about future generations, isn’t it? You short-sightedly want to focus here on Earth and its climate, to fix a temporary problem and divert resources away from the long-term solution. You might save the generation of 2100 from climate change, but you killed the entire species in 2200 when an asteroid collided with the planet, when a gamma ray burst vaporized he planet, or any other number of things that could happen at almost any moment.

Jill, you don’t understand economics. “We can save money by switching to clean energy…” Who is we? If that was the case, we individuals would switch to clean energy, because that is how economics works. Do you mean we could save money if the state provided our energy to us and we were basically feudal serfs? Well, yes, then, I imagine we would save money, since we wouldn’t have any money to lose.

The problem with you socialists, communists, and fascists who crave authority and want the state or some other authoritarian body to solve every problem is that your entire ideology rests on one precept: that the authority is benevolent.

I can’t believe that, more than two centuries after the American Revolution, we are still having a discussion about whether or not governments and authorities are benevolent. I would urge you to look into the Stanford Prison Experiment, where we learned that not only are authority figures not to be trusted, but they have it ingrained in them so deeply that they operate on a different morality code than the people they are safeguarding that the experiment had to be called off.

Yes, that’s certainly what we need: more authority figures, a government with more authority.

The problem I’m seeing, Jill, is that your ideology is so flawed that I wouldn’t know where to begin in ripping it to shreds. It is the most ultra-liberal of all ultra-liberal platforms. It is based entirely on emotion–see her plea above, that Johnson doesn’t care about the next generation? What? It’s demonstrably wrong. Johnson cares not only for the next generation but the fiftieth “next generation.”

I presume Jill Stein would leave us here on Earth under a communistic police state watching the sun go supernova?

Jill, focus your attention on Trump and Hillary. There is nothing to be gained by going after Gary Johnson. I do kind of get where you’re coming from. It’s about legitimacy, isn’t it? Hillary and Trump ignore you. If they said something back, then they would legitimize your presidential candidacy. But they haven’t, and they won’t.

So your turn to Johnson, hoping to get him to say something that will legitimize you as an opponent. I can imagine how frustrated you are, seeing as how the conversation about the presidential debate is fixated solely upon whether Johnson should have been allowed, and absolutely no one is saying that you should have been. So you’re frustrated and acting out, doing anything you can to get a stamp of legitimacy from one of the big opponents.

But relax, Jill.

Your desperation is showing.

And it’s not a good look.

I’m Done Being Nice, And Here’s Why

So, those who have followed the situation are aware that I basically share a house with two teenage kids. In reality, I share a bathroom and a laundry room with them. Things have tentatively been worked out, though they haven’t had to come face to face with Aria yet–though they nearly did today–and for the time being nothing is happening on that front. Keeping in mind that it’s a long story, the short version is that I still have the right to use that bathroom, that washing machine, and that dryer, and no one disputes that. Well, they do, actually, because the perspective has shifted. Now, it’s “You’re welcome to continue using it,” rather than “You have the right to continue using it.” A small shift, but also an important one, and all of this is going somewhere.

Anyway, it has become apparent to the two boys that there is no way for them to get Internet access out here, which led them to immediately ask what I do for Internet. I tether my phone, and I use Sprint, who offers an Unlimited Data plan. Since it’s a 4G connection here, it does everything that I could possibly need it to do. This, however, brought them no closer to a solution, because theirs is an AT&T family.

Seeing as we had reached an agreement over the bathroom and laundry room thing, I thought it would be nice if I shared my Internet connection with them. That’s right. I offered to work with the dad, my colleague/employer, to set up two Linksys WRT54GL routers equipped with DDWRT to act as Repeater-Bridges. Router A would be in my house and would connect to my phone’s hotspot. Router B would be in their house and would connect to Router A. Then all they had to do was connect their phones to Router B, and voila! Free-to-them Internet access.

Of course, this is a hassle for me. I simply connect a USB cord to my phone and bam, I’m connected. This means I have to install and use a wifi adapter to connect to my phone–since Wi-Fi and USB sharing can’t both be active simultaneously. Additionally, I’d have to be somewhat careful with where I held my phone and what I do with it. Even though it’s my Internet, it would be fucked up of me to spend a Friday evening downloading a thirty gigabyte torrent, you know? Even with this setup, though, their speeds will be half what mine are, but it’s not like that does me any favors–my speed is going to be cut in half no matter what. I’ll go from downloading at 16 mbps to 1 mBps, in addition to having two teenagers using my Internet for god-knows-what. Additionally, if they do something illegal, because of my setup, I simply don’t have the “They were using the hotspot, and I had no control over it” defense.

I was doing this out of the goodness of my heart, because when I bathed in there recently, I saw their entire entertainment setup: a Monopoly game and a deck of cards. That’s it. That’s all they have to do to occupy their time.

Dude, we had more entertainment options than that when I was in jail.

Filled with pity for them, I offered that up as a solution. It’s such a monumental offering–in case you’re not familiar with the description–that the parents immediately offered to start paying half of my phone bill for doing it. That should give you an idea of where these kids are at. Additionally, his dad is down in the woods most of this weekend setting up deer stands for the eighteen year old son. Are you kidding me? You’re gonna pay his Internet for him, basically, and are down here setting up their deer stands? Things are starting to make a bit more sense…

Anyway, after I got out of the bath this afternoon, I texted my colleague and told him that we needed to move forward with it, because their entertainment situation is depressing. It really is. Plus, the Internet is very helpful for college students. About forty minutes later, I texted that I also need his son’s number, so that I can text and offer to buy us all pizza if one of them is willing to go and get it. The reply I got back was:

That’s very cool. Do you really not have his #?

Oh… and I’ve got a request on their behalf that might affect the goodwill a bit: the bathroom u use – and are welcome to use – is M’s And wouldn’t u know it – M is allergic to smoke. So they’ve asked me to ask u if u can help reduce that factor. They both have tobacco habits so they don’t want to ask u to stop smoking in the bathroom. They just would like the after effects to not be evident. So I said I would raise the issue.

L’s # is xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Oh, dude, after that, you knew there was no point in sending me L’s number. You knew damned well that after that there was zero chance that I was going to be willing to buy them a goddamned pizza. I’ll fully remove all my makeup and change clothes and go myself before I buy them a goddamned thing after a message like that.

My colleague was as cool about it as he could be, but let’s evaluate things.

I use the bathroom once a day. In fact, once every other day. I can take very quick showers in my house; the water heater just doesn’t have more than about 3 minutes of hot water, and the water is only slightly warm. It’s sufficient for a very quick shower, but I’ve got hair to wash and basically an entire body to shave. It’s impossible to do all that in 3 minutes. It’s been agreed from the start that it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide me with a bathroom that meets my needs, and so it has never been up for discussion. I would be 100% in the right, actually, to argue that it’s not M’s bathroom. It’s M’s and my bathroom.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

The first time I went in to use the bathroom after they moved in, this is what I found. It was an absolute mess. About two weeks ago, I made the conscious decision to work around it, to ignore it, and to just get on with my business. Even though the mat outside the bathtub is perpetually soaking wet. Even though I have to move his goddamned clothes out of the middle of the floor. Even though he leaves toothpaste spit in the sink. Even though I have to scrub his hair, grime, and gunk out of the tub every time. Seriously, today there were three patches of some sticky shit in the tub that took Scrubbing Bubbles to remove–what the fuck was it? Even though I have to move his wet towels off the sink so that I can use it, I just work around it.

As I’ve said plenty of times, I know his this plays out. I know I lose any argument, automatically, because this is his son and his son’s friend. It’s not their responsibility to work around me; it’s my responsibility to work around them. If I get in their way, it’s a problem. If they get in my way, I have to bite the bullet and work out something else. It’s been that way since I moved in, and that’s what led me to drive all the way out to a friend’s to bathe and wash clothes for like a week straight, because no one would tell them that I’m freaking transgender. Fuck, they didn’t even know for a while that I was using the bathroom.

Is that fair? No, not at all. I’m a tenant, and I’ve been renting here for nine months. For those nine months, I parked my car in the garage. I lost the garage without a word. I mentioned it once, briefly, in a remark to the kid’s dad, and never said another word about it. It continues to piss me off that my clean white car is now parked under trees and having sap fall on it every day while their mud-riding trucks park under the carport, but whatever. Just one of the many ways I got screwed.

The biggest way is that I have very limited windows now to take my baths: either when they’re at school–Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, though their class times are unpredictable for some reason–or while they’re at work, which is equally unpredictable. Have I complained? No. I’ve worked around it, because that’s what an adult does.

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

This pic on the right came from a few days ago. Somewhere in the interim, one of the bathmats disappeared entirely and was replaced by a fucking towel. Additionally, the status of the sink has gotten ridiculous. I thought about taking another picture this afternoon, because it has gotten even worse. Those two soda cans? Apparently, they gave birth to a third can, a Sprite can,and they are still sitting there. In fact, looking at the date, that pic was taken on September 13–ten days ago. And those fucking soda cans are still sitting there. Not only are they still there, but a third has been added to it. The towels are still there, and there are still clothes in the floor.

On top of that, it has become a ritual. The first thing I do is begin running water and grab my sponge to clean out the grime, hair, and shit left in the tub by M, who apparently has never heard the words “Clean the tub when you’re done, shit, man this isn’t hard.” Maybe I’m lucky, that my grandmother’s stern upbringing taught me to clean out the tub, to clean the toilet, and to clean the sink. Once I’ve cleaned out the tub, sweeping everything toward the drain and using a handful of toilet paper to remove it, I move to the sink. I move all of the towels to one side–I’m a girl, okay? I need space to use the sink.

Oh, that empty can of dip… Yeah. It’s still there, too.

I then shake my head at the garbage can, because it’s full–it’s been full since they moved in. Worse, now M. has placed mostly-empty wet food containers on top of it. Judging from the packaging, they appear to have been baked beans from a local barbecue place.

That’s right. This motherfucker threw two containers of empty baked beans into the top of the bathroom trash can that has been needing to be emptied for two weeks.

Thursday morning, I took the garbage can down to the road. I think I’ve discussed this before, but I do this about once every three weeks. I simply don’t throw that much stuff away–about one bag a week. When it gets about half-full, I take it down to the road. Unfortunately, because these guys eat so many chips, cookies, and shit, they burn through trash, and the can was full. Cleverly, the landlord’s dad had moved it into the middle of the driveway for them to take. I took it down, because they were at school, and I didn’t know if they’d get out before the garbage ran.

That motherfucking empty can is still sitting at the end of the driveway, and I am not going to get it.

When I texted my colleague Exhibit A and told him that it struck me as a territorial claim, that was when he told me that they weren’t even aware that I use the bathroom. This was mind-blowing. Everyone knew that. The landlords are well aware of it. I tried extensively to get them to fix the water heater out here so that I didn’t have to bother, and we ultimately decided that it wasn’t too big a deal for me to walk next door to bathe. I’ve dealt with worse things in my life. And no one even told them that? My colleague assured me that this behavior–clothes, towels, and trash being left everywhere–would surely change when they knew someone else used it.

It hasn’t. That pic from ten days ago is in better condition than the bathroom is in right now.

So here I was, feeling bad for these kids and thinking that I was going to let them use my Internet, at detriment to me and at no cost to them, simply because I’m a nice chick? And I was going to pay for their pizza if they just went and got it? And the text I received in reply is basically, “They want you to stop smoking in the bathroom.”

I smoke a cigarette while running water. One. Uno. A single, solitary cigarette. That’s all.

Should I be smoking in their house?

Yes. It’s not their house. I’ve been smoking in that house. More importantly, the landlord smokes, and he smokes in that house. Though I suspect the landlord hasn’t been in there in a while, because one of the things I’ve been told is that they intend to do regular check-ups to make sure the boys are keeping the place clean, and… they are not. It’s not quite a pig sty yet, but give it another month.

I replied back:

This is a place that I decided ten days ago that I wasn’t gonna go, because I know how this plays out, but have you seen the bathroom lately? I have to clean grime, hair, and gunk out of the tub before it’s usable, and three empty soda cans and an empty can of dip have apparently become permanent fixtures. There are continually clothes in the floor, the sink covered in his wet towels, and now there are wet food containers sitting on top of the bathroom trash that hasn’t been taken out since they moved in. In another week, he’ll be thankful for the smoke for covering up the smell the mold and rotten food is going to generate.

I work around all that and made the conscious decision to just not give a shit, but your dad smokes in that house. I smoke one cigarette while I run water in the tub. Other than not smoking, there’s just no way to minimize it. I’ll stop, fair enough, it’s NOT my bathroom, but just making some observations.

And here I am thinking, “Hey, maybe you guys are bored, have my Wi-Fi and a pizza.”

My first response was “Fuck it. I’ll just start spraying off in the yard with a hose.”

I didn’t mean to be hostile, if it came off that way, and actually did withdraw before working on a reply.

The perspective on this whole thing has gotten skewed, I think. I never started using the bathroom there because it was more luxurious. It was because it was simply required, not optional. The ability to actually take a shower/bath and get clean isn’t optional. The point I’m getting at is that it’s not “M’s” bathroom that I’m welcome to use. It is a requirement in any modern American dwelling, even if not a legal requirement.

One might say I’m overreacting about what was basically a “Hey, could you minimize the smoke smell” message. But that’s not true. One–I only smoke a single cigarette. The fan cuts on when the light cuts on; there is literally nothing I can do to minimize the smell except not to smoke. Two–they have absolutely no right to make that demand of me. Three–after all the shit I’ve been overlooking for two weeks, they really don’t want to go there. Adulthood is a series of compromises. It’s time they learned that. Four–the fucking owner and landlord smokes in that house. Five–here I was, being nice, and going to do them a really awesome favor at my own expense.

They can forget that now. They can sit their fucking asses over there and play Monopoly all they fucking want. FoxFi isn’t getting turned back activated again on my phone no matter what happens. It’s time for the little boys to realize if they want to live out on their own, they’re going to have to be men. Little boys get everything they want. Men compromise.

That’s the problem here. Bitching about the cigarette smoke issue–which is already sure to set me off, as I discussed in this podcast:

… while, apparently, thinking they aren’t doing anything that I’m overlooking shows a short-sightedness and narcissistic view of the world that needs to be shattered before they step out and move somewhere that Granddaddy doesn’t own. If I was a bitch, I’d start chain smoking every time I went into that bathroom from now on.

I’m not going to start being mean.

But I’m not going to continue being nice. Look how well that turns out.

Related Tangentially

This colleague has routinely expressed to me that he is stunned by how racist his son is. That is surprising, because the kid certainly wasn’t raised that way–I know the colleague well, and he’s not a racist any more than I am. His son, though, is apparently vehemently racist and absolutely hate black people. Is the picture becoming clearer?

This colleague lives in a twenty acre property in the middle of <the nicest city in the state–no, seriously, it is, though it also has the worst traffic>. He has a swimming pool and an honest-to-fuck tennis court in his backyard. Yes, a tennis court. His granddaddy owns some land down here, and I rent one of the properties, and he just moved into the other one. His daddy bought him a truck, and he’s now in college. Remember that dip sitting on the counter? The kid works at Sportsman’s Warehouse. He’s expecting his daddy to solve the internet problem. He had his daddy talk to me about the smoke issue. His daddy is out setting up his deer blinds this weekend. Is the picture becoming clearer?

These… these are exactly the people I hate. If I didn’t know the colleague so well–the colleague is a terrific guy, and as close to me “spiritually” as anyone I’ve ever met, and a genuinely good, caring person–I have no doubt that I would immediately hate him if I didn’t know of him but was going through all this anyway. Oh, until the last few weeks of high school, daddy was waking him up every morning, too. These people exemplify the phrase “White Privilege,” and the son more than any. I know the father, my colleague, worked for what he has. But the son? The son has been on EZ Street his entire life, and he is in for a rude awakening. And, apparently, when that awakening comes, he’s inclined to blame black people for some stupid reason.

Despite all of that, I still have a hard time saying “no” on the Internet thing. I immediately backed out of pizza. But, see, that message never even got to them. The Internet message has, and so they’ll know that they pissed me off. Who knows. Maybe my texts will have the effect I want them to have. It’s not like I’m in the wrong here, and I’m the last fucking person who will cry “I’m a victim!” about something. But yeah. This is totally unacceptable. Considering the circumstances and considering all the shit that I overlook and my willingness to work around them even when I shouldn’t have to–the least they can fucking do is deal with some smoke, especially since the goddamned owner smokes in there as well.

I’m pissed, but I think I’ve vented enough.

Thanks for listening to me bitch, if anyone did.

Clown Sightings = It Remake’s Brilliant Viral Marketing

If there is anything that I’ve learned in the past week or so, as random clown sightings populate my Facebook feed, it’s how tremendous Stephen King’s legacy really is. I don’t know if people have really thought about it, but prior to the King’s It, absolutely no one gave any thought whatsoever to clowns. They were just happy dudes who wore makeup, did goofy things, juggled, and performed acrobatics to make kids smile and laugh. They were people who liked kids and people who liked being funny, and they brought happiness to the world.

Thanks to Stephen King, each day my Facebook feed is swamped with news stories of what are being called “Clown Sightings.” People are seeing clowns around the country, and are terrified of it. Mass hysteria has ensued, to the extent that a school here in Mississippi was actually locked down simply because parents were discussing a nearby clown. No sighting, no picture, no anything. Just a discussion. School was locked down.

An ordinary writer wishes they could have that kind of legacy!

Holy crap, when you stop to think about it.

Stephen King has made entire generations of people batshit terrified of clowns. Clowns. The happy dudes who wear makeup, do goofy things, juggle, and perform acrobatics to make kids smile and laugh. Those guys. Prior to It, if you were driving down the street and saw a random clown, you smiled, maybe laughed, and waved. Now, you check that your doors are locked and reach for your .38.

Now, that generation of kids who grew up terrified of clowns because of the book and movie It are police officers, mayors, and school administrators. Now, talk of a clown sends schools into lockdowns and launches actual police investigations.

Because someone saw a clown.

State police in Huntingdon County are now investigating reports of a suspicious clown spotted throughout the area, and urge residents to “use restraint,” should they have a sighting.

Need I remind you that we are talking about a clown.

It’s probably not a good time to be a clown, and my sympathy goes out there to all the clowns who are just trying to make a damned living and who are watching Americans gear up in a post-It hysteria strangely reminiscent of the post-9/11 hysteria targeted at Muslims. In fact, the way people are talking about these clown sightings, you’d think people were seeing Muslims running around with dynamite strapped to their chests while shouting “Allahu akbar!”

But nope.

Just clowns.

Just… clowns.

Now, to be fair, if I looked out of my window right now and saw a fucking clown, I wouldn’t hesitate to grab my shotgun and fill him with buckshot. However, such a clown would also be trespassing, and I would fill pretty much anyone with steel balls if I looked out of my window and saw them loafing around. And this brings me to my next point:

There is something inherently creeping about a clown stalking the side of a road at night, and anyone doing it is asking for trouble. That’s one of the things I haven’t been able to ascertain from any of the articles I’ve seen, though: has there been any trespassing? I would bet almost everything that there has not been. You may be curious why I would make that bet.

I would make that bet because I’m convinced this is a marketing strategy for the upcoming remake of Stephen King’s It. Just look at how terrified we are! We are launching actual police investigations over damned clown sightings, for crying out loud. We are clearly on the verge of shitting our pants in terror. In a few more weeks, we’ll start seeing ads, “Revisit the movie that filled you with fear…”

That’s all this is. Bound to be.

The movie studio almost certainly reached out to local clowns to do this–surely paying them handsomely, since one figures this isn’t going to help their business much for a while and being a clown probably isn’t a particularly. In actuality, though, it seems that it wouldn’t really take very many clowns to get this particular ball rolling. Look at the first news article I linked, the one from Mississippi. There was no clown sighting. A few random “clown sightings” across the country, and people start jumping at shadows. The more people who jump at shadows, the more it spreads and the more people who start jumping at shadows.

It’s fucking brilliant. And, of course, you have people like this who are intentionally stoking the fires of paranoia and fear:

fear

Only in the comments did the initial poster confess that he’d taken the picture off the Internet. By then, it had been shared by friends and family, exactly as he wanted, and probably only one in ten bothered to look in the comments to see the whole thing was a hoax. So now we have people in XXXXXXX, MS who think that a friend of theirs saw a clown just off the road. They’ll see something odd, pareidolia will kick in, they’ll be convinced they saw something, and then they’ll post about it on Facebook. It will spread further and further until someone finally does something stupid and actually attacks a clown who is just trying to do their job.

In all likelihood, there was no clown. Or, if there was, there were only a few in random places throughout the country, and that proved enough to kick off a chain of false clown sightings inspired by fear, getting us all talking about clowns and the number one reason we’re afraid of them. Go ahead, ask someone. Ask someone why in the world they’d be scared to see a clown. A clown.

They’ll all give you the same answer.

“The movie It.”

Which just so happens to have a remake hitting theaters almost exactly a year from now, while freaking “clown sightings” are popping up all over the country and sending people into sheer terror and panic. Hm. Coincidence?

I’m betting it’s not.

Although it does seem that someone jumped the gun a bit. I wouldn’t be surprised, though. I imagine the plan was to start small, with a bit of a test run with a few clowns throughout the country, to gauge how people reacted. They undoubtedly planned to ramp it up slowly over the next year, finally erupting in an epic trailer reminding us all of how terrified we are of clowns–so terrified that we’ll jump at shadows and lock everything down just because someone said the word.

Well played, movie studio.

And well played, Mr. King.

Addendum

It’s been suggested that I’m wrong, and that the clown sightings are much more sinister, because a clown in Tennessee stabbed a teenager.

This makes such a remarkable case study on hysteria, doesn’t it? Fascinating stuff. For one, we don’t have a shred of evidence that there even is a single clown, much less several. Despite that, schools have locked down, and there is now a police report of a teenager saying that a clown attacked him with a knife.

clown

I love it!

Beautiful. Muy perfecto!

Far from being evidence that I’m wrong, as the person who shared this with me suggested, this is precisely what we would expect to find once hysteria had swept through the nation. Whether there are clowns or not, this is exactly what we would expect to find, so it is evidence of nothing. It could mean that the clowns are real and that at least one of them is vicious, but it could also easily mean that the clowns are fake, and a teenager was swept up in hysteria.

“But he was attacked with a knife!” I hear people saying. “He filed a police report! You can’t seriously think he’s making that up!”

Well, let me tell you a story about a friend of mine when I was 18 or 19. I’m not going to use the friend’s name, because I’ve talked about him before, and his name is really distinctive. One night after we got high and went our separate ways, he gave a ride to a hitchhiker. During the ride, the hitchhiker told my friend–let’s call him “Tim”–that he, the hitchhiker, had committed armed robbery and was wanted, so he really appreciated the ride. A few minutes later, Tim was terrified. He’d worked himself up into a terror. Tim cried and begged the guy to just get out. The hitchhiker directed him to a gravel road; they were basically in the middle of nowhere. Tim cried and begged, offered the hitchhiker all of his money and his cigarettes, if he would just get out. The hitchhiker took the stuff and got out. Tim went and filed a police report.

According to Tim, the hitchhiker pulled a gun on him while they were riding, and directed Tim to the gravel road. Once stopped, the hitchhiker demanded Tim’s money and cigarettes. He had the passenger door open, and told Tim to get out of the car. Tim frantically moved and jumped up, kicked the guy out of the car, and sped away. That was the actual police report. That was how Tim characterized the event in the actual honest-to-fuck police report. The police report had Tim doing some Bruce Lee shit and kicking the hitchhiker out of the car while staring down the barrel of a gun. The real world had Tim crying and begging, while the hitchhiker never said or did anything aggressive.

Tim eventually rectified this with the police department and explained that he had become hysterical, and the police report was fixed. The cops confessed that they hadn’t taken him seriously anyway, because it sounded like the hysterical pitch of a kid, and they guessed that things played out very differently than they had appeared in the police report.

With talk of clowns and clown sightings spreading all over the Internet, I’m sorry to say, but it’s far more likely that this teen “pulled a Tim,” and that there was probably no clown at all. It absolutely is not proof of anything, and it is exactly the sort of thing we’d expect if it was merely another symptom of widespread hysteria. After all, when the police investigated, they didn’t find the clown. It’s not like clowns are hard to spot. It’s a little hard to believe that someone dressed as a clown could attack a teenager with a knife and then escape without anyone else noticing. So no. I’m sorry, but this smells much more like hysteria than it does like the clowns–which may or may not even exist–are a threat.

Hysteria

We like to think that we’re super-evolved and reasonable, and that we could never get swept away in a psychotic hysteria. We look at the Salem Witch Trials, and we say, “That could never happen today! We’d never allow that!” Yet the people suggesting that anyone whose name ends up on an FBI Watch List at any point should never have their name removed and should never be allowed to buy a gun keenly remind us that we are never more than a few poor decisions away from a hysteria-driven witch hunt. We like to think that we could never watch our town get swept up in a frenzy, that we would never have random people lying and saying that they saw someone dancing out under the moonlight drinking blood.

Yet look at this again:

fearOh, yes, America. Take a good, long look at it.

That is someone from Salem in the 1600s telling the town that they saw a group of women dancing in the forest and drinking goats’ blood. And without looking into whether or not it was true, other villagers began talking about how their friend saw women dancing in the forest and drinking goats’ blood. Suddenly there’s an entire town full of people desperately hunting down those horrid women, those foul witches, who were committing such abominations in the good town of God-fearing Salem. And by then it’s far too late for this someone to come forward and say that he never saw anything, that he was lying. Even if he did, people would simply say that the witches had gotten to him and were using their black, Satanic magic to make him lie.

Hysteria is a threat today, just as it was a threat four hundred years ago. We must be more vigilant than this.

So now, because some kid filed a police report, the story is spreading across the Internet that these clowns aren’t just out there standing–they are an actual threat, carry knives, and will attack kids.

It is hysteria. It is almost certainly hysteria.

It may not be.

But until we have hard evidence, be mindful of the hysteria. Do not give in to it.

Yes, Sexism Exists

Remind me to never, ever argue with theists about whether morality is subjective again. My contention is pretty simple:

Morality is subjective because humans are subjects who assign values to things.

It’s a tautology, and it is self-evident. It is as self-evident as a statement can get. It needs no argument, no substantiation, and no more evidence than direct experience. We are humans, and we assign values to things. As we are subjective beings and our experiences and existences are subjective, it follows that the values we assign are subjective.

Then theists come along and say, “No! The values we assign are objective!”

Why are we even discussing this? The burden of proof is so obviously and completely on the people arguing for objective morality that no more of my time should be wasted trying to explain a tautology. If you want to argue that the values you assign are objective, then you have to demonstrate the source of those objective values. Until you can do that, the entire conversation is moot.

So I spent a little while arguing on Facebook–banging my head against the wall would be more accurate–and in the course of the conversation I said two things that really pissed people off:

That is utter nonsense.

You can’t possibly be that thick.

These were taken as personal attacks. I’ll grant that the second one comes pretty close to being a personal attack, but the first one is obviously not. “That is utter nonsense” clearly refers to a statement, and not a person. Ergo, the statement has been attacked. What statement did I attack?

I’m not going back to the thread right now because they’ve kept going and I’ve washed my hands of it, but basically I pointed out that the very fact that we have disagreements about what is moral and what is immoral is strong evidence that morality is subjective. He replied something to the effect of, “So if one person thinks that something is more morally wrong than someone else does, obviously he’s measuring that with some objective criteria.”

No, it doesn’t make sense. Yes, it’s obviously utter nonsense. It’s such utter nonsense that it’s honestly not even wrong, and I wouldn’t begin to know how to explain what is wrong with it. So that two people use internal criteria to assign different subjective values to things is somehow a demonstrate of some external, objective criteria? What? When the guy threw this statement back at me as a “personal insult,” I gladly stood by it. What he said was nonsense. “The sky is blue because the sky is blue, so clearly the sky is red.”

And no. No one can possibly be thick enough to believe such a ridiculous statement. These two insults were tied to the same comment, I should point out; I said them both in reply to this utter nonsense. I stand by that, as well. No one can be thick enough to really believe something so horrifically nonsensical.

But it’s not my goal here to reiterate the argument. They are responding too quickly and Facebook’s medium too limited for it to take place effectively. Moreover, they are repeating themselves and denying that the burden of proof is on them, even though my contention, from the start, has been that morality is subjective because we are subjective individuals and we assign values to things.

Tell me: how shall I convince you that a circle is round?

For more than a decade, I have been arguing with people on the Internet and discussing things with people. I have engaged in undoubtedly thousands of online arguments, started probably a fourth of those. And in my career of arguing with people online, I have never been called “emotional” or “overly emotional.”

Until last year, when I officially switched from being a male to being Aria.

In the past year, I have been called “overly emotional” at least ten times in various online arguments. I am not exaggerating when I say that this never happened when I presented myself as a guy. It never happened, and no one who knows me could agree that I’m prone to becoming emotional in discussions. If I was, I wouldn’t have evolved from pro-life Republican and die-hard Christian to dyed-in-the-wool socialist liberal to pro-choice anarcho-capitalist. My loyalty is to reason, not to emotion, and I’ve written a goddamned book on Nihilism, which is an utter rejection of emotional thinking. It’s not finished, though it’s about 200 pages in.

It wasn’t even that long ago that Thomas Knapp corrected my position on libertarians and abortion, by making me see that I was wrong, and that pro-life people weren’t automatically un-libertarian. Yes, I’m so emotional I reversed my old position because it couldn’t be rationally supported. Totally ruled by my emotions. It totally explains why I’m still saying that Austin Petersen isn’t a libertarian because he’s pro-life.

Except… Oh, wait. I did change my position. I did ease up on Austin Petersen. I still don’t think he’s a libertarian, but it’s because he rejects the NAP, not because of his abortion stance. Recently I wrote specifically about abortion and that libertarianism isn’t automatically pro-life or pro-abortion. This is where a bit of a fracture comes in, as you can see in the comments there. I’m also not a big fan of abortion. I’m really not. I don’t think it’s right, because there are so many ways to prevent pregnancy in the first place. I’m 29, and I’ve only once gotten a girl pregnant. She aborted, but that was beyond my control, and it was only last year that it happened.

I’m certainly not pro-abortion, though. I’m pro-choice. Part of the problem is that most people do take “pro-choice” to mean “pro-abortion,” and it doesn’t really mean that. It means pro-choice. It means being in favor of people having the choice to get an abortion if they so choose, not being happy about them getting an abortion. A pro-choice person can still choose to reject abortion and condemn it, after all.

Recently, a girl on Twitter challenged me to demonstrate sexism in the United States. No, I honestly can’t do that. I could, if I cared to spend the time doing it. I could run two simultaneous online presences for the next year, carefully tabulating the results that I get. It would take too much effort, though, and it’s not worth it to me. I know what I’ve experienced.

And what I’ve experienced is that no one ever accused me of being overly emotional until they knew I was a female. Yes, the anarcho-capitalist who recently made a video called “What is Capitalism?” that said “being poor is a state of mind” is “overly emotional.” For pointing out that an argument is absurd and undermines its own point, and for saying that the person who made the argument couldn’t possibly be “thick” enough to believe it–which some could take as a compliment, honestly–I’m “overly emotional.”

And no one ever said that to me when I wasn’t wearing lipstick, you know?

As a cool little bonus, because this came out shorter and filled with more digression than I wanted, here is a chapter from Shattering the American Illusion that I’ve been writing.

Chapter 6: Morality

Warning: We are about to ask a LOT of “What if…?” questions.

Many arguments are presented by theists in an attempt to give their god something to do, and one of the most common among these is something along the lines of, “Oh, yeah? If there’s no God, then how do you explain morality? Western Law is built on the Ten Commandments!” Before we proceed much further, let’s stop and bask in the unabashed glory of this argument—and the one that says “America was built on Christianity!”

A precursory glance at the latter claim will reveal why Science and Christianity have stood at odds for so long: a little bit of reading is a very dangerous thing, especially to the theistic reasoning. Written in 1796, under the leadership of George Washington and John Adams (two of the people directly responsible for the creation of “America”), the Treaty of Tripoli is as follows:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of [Muslims][1]; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan[2] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries (Dawkins “God” 40).

Let no more be said (ever, preferably) of the idea that the United States was founded on the religion of Christianity. At best, what can be said is that our ancestors fled to these shores to escape religious persecution and then embraced the notion of religious freedom, which requires a secular state by any measure. Not only did our forebears reject the notion of any state-sanctioned religion, they would be scandalized to see the state of American politics today, when a man or woman’s religious beliefs is listed as the second or third most important attribute of them (generally followed only by their name and political association—Democrat or Republican) (Dawkins “God” 40). This is a deplorable state. Using a person’s religious beliefs as a motivation for voting for or against them sets us on the path toward abolishing the separation of church and state.

Moving on to our main discussion, there is the question of morality and why humans have a notion of it if there is no god. Many ideas have been put forth to explain morality, but before we get into that, we must ask: “What is morality? What is moral behavior? What is immoral behavior?” These questions, whether you “feel” the answers intuitively in the form of examples you can easily imagine, are not really so simple to answer as “doing good” and “doing bad.” In fact, it’s very difficult to explain moral and immoral behavior without using words like “good” and “bad.”

In the simplest terms, moral behavior can probably be defined as “doing to others as one would have done to themselves,” and immoral behavior can be defined as “doing to others as one would not like to have done to themselves.” You’ll notice the teaching of Christ buried in this philosophy; that is not accidental or coincidental. I doubt you’ll ever find an atheist who claims that Christ had nothing useful to say (though what he said was certainly not original). At any rate, these definitions don’t really help us very much, because what one person would like might be different from what another person may like. One person may dislike what another person would like. One person may like what another person may be indifferent to. One person may be indifferent to what another person likes.

We have no “universal person” who we can use to make these assertions that any given act “would be liked” or “would be disliked.” So we haven’t really come any further with these definitions than if we simply had attributed them as “good” and “bad” behaviors. Henry Hazlitt, in The Foundations of Morality, likens moral behavior to attempts to “make an is from an ought,” and this is difficult to get into without explaining the context around which he says this (5). We’ll still show, after explaining what he means, that he’s wholly incorrect because “is” and “ought” are just as subjective as anything else we’ve tried so far.

“The world ought to have peace” would be an exemplar statement, but the problem here is obvious: the conditions we’ve created with the word “ought” are an illusory world that is most certainly not the one in which we live. In order to make such an “ought” statement, we must be capable of comparing the “world as it is” to a hypothetical “perfect” world wherein “what ought, is.” Making such a comparison, of course, requires being able to compare any two states of existence (regardless of the disparity between them), and this therefore goes quite a long way in explaining why dogs and cats don’t have such a system: they lack the cognitive processes to imagine this “world of oughts.”

“Women ought to have equal wages” would be another example, and it has the same problem; in the world currently, there is not peace and women, even in the United States (bastion of “freedom” though it is) women do not earn wages equal to men. In fact, one of the presidential debates of 2012 established that women earn 76% of what their male counterparts make.

Moral behavior, then, is a vehicle with which we travel from “what is” to “what ought be.” The actions we take toward establishing peace in the world (as ought be) would be considered moral actions, just as the actions we take toward giving women what they actually deserve would be considered moral behavior (as this is what ought be). Moral behavior is any action that decisively transitions “what is” toward “what ought be.” But this is a minefield of problems, because it automatically presumes that “the greater good” is better than “a local good,” and we can’t justify that.

For example, what if the only possible way, after every other avenue has been explored, to achieve world peace is to nuke the Middle East and turn the entire region into a deadened tundra of snow and ash? Do the many (the rest of the world) outweigh the needs of the few (the Middle East inhabitants)? Would we be justified in killing hundreds of millions of people if we were to spare some countless number of theoretical future victims from dying in needless wars?

I can’t answer this question for you; it is one you must ask and answer for yourself. But I presume that you, like me, would say, “Absolutely not.” I say this because the people in the Middle East are real—we can see them, touch them, love them. They feel as I feel, they think as I think, and they know as I know. The theoretical future people that may be spared from needless wars are not quite so real, even if they are potentially of infinite number. I cannot condone the sacrifice of real people to protect the lives of imagined people—and I sincerely hope that you cannot, either. My sense of empathy forbids it.

What about a simpler, less illusory example? What if you could go back in time to 1940 and kill Hitler? What if you knew that killing Hitler would (somehow) immediately end World War 2 and would cause all the imprisoned Jews to be released from the concentration camps? What if you knew (thanks to your coming from the future) that Hitler would go on to be responsible for all those deaths[3] if he lived and you knew that a great many of those deaths would be prevented by the death of Hitler? You can kill him, press a button on your wristwatch, and return the present, with no negative repercussions on the world as a result of your tampering with the past. What if the only outcome of going back in time to kill Hitler was that there would have been deaths prevented and those people went on to live normal, productive lives? Would you kill him?

I tend to think the average reader would. If my intuitions are in touch with the average reader’s, then I am correct, because I know that I would kill Hitler in the above circumstances. That’s right: I would take the life of another human being. And I wouldn’t even feel slightly bad about it, and I doubt that you would, either. Why is this? Why is it that we can murder a human being and not feel, at the very least, immoral, much less can feel that it was the most moral thing we could have done? Why is it that you could approach a random person in the street and murder them, and this act would then be judged immoral, but you can murder Hitler and (I imagine most people would agree) the act would be judged moral?

In either case, you’re performing exactly the same act: killing another person. You might hold up a gun, take aim, and pull the trigger, ending the life of the victim—in both examples. But in one, you are moral (or, at the very least, morally neutral) and in one you are immoral.

This fundamental truth (that statements of moral value are subjective, rather than objective) is universally true, even for such contemptable acts as murder and rape. Though we would be hard-pressed to imagine up any scenario in which rape would be considered acceptable, we can do so, no matter how far-fetched that scenario might be. It follows, then, that rape cannot objectively be immoral, as it depends upon other factors and circumstances. Even though such circumstances would be so rare that they are unrealistic, any proclamations that we make that rape is immoral are still dependent upon circumstances that are almost always true.

The problem with moral claims is that they cannot be demonstrated, for the most part, as moral or immoral, because we lack omniscience and can never identify all of the effects of a given cause.

[1] The exact wording is “Musselmen,” which is antiquated term that means “Muslims.”

[2] “Mohammadan,” perhaps?

[3] We are so not going there.

Jurnalizm

A few days ago, I watched the American media and the two leading presidential candidates stumble in confusion over whether or not they were allowed to call an explosive device a “bomb.” I watched Trump be criticized for using “the b-word” and then I watched Hillary, mere seconds after criticizing Trump for it, call the thing a “bomb,” and I watched the media frantically dance around and try to paint one incident or the other in a better light.

This election, I’ve seen CNN edit videos so that a young girl who explicitly calls for violence and the burning down of white people’s homes instead sounds like she’s advocating peace; in other words, they flipped her message 180 degrees, quietly issued an apology through a nobody affiliate on Twitter, and then buried the truth. I’ve watched CBS edit interviews with Bill Clinton to cut out things that they didn’t like, and then, as CNN did, hide behind the same bullshit “We edited it for the time allotted… It’s just an unfortunate coincidence that we cut out something that would, by itself, have been newsworthy.”

I’ve watched the Washington Post, which rode the tail of the leak to win journalism awards, turn around and condemn Edward Snowden with an editorial that argued he shouldn’t be pardoned. I’ve watched a presidential candidate’s son comparing Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles where some of them are poisoned, only to have someone stupidly respond, “Are you suggesting that we eat refugees?”

And, most remarkably, after following the analogy of Trump’s son (which we could discuss, and whether or not it is fitting) with such a horrendously dumb-ass remark, the idiot didn’t go and bury himself for the crows to come and feast on his eyes.

What in the hell has happened?

I’m too young to remember a time when journalists gave a shit about the truth. As long as I’ve been an adult, journalists have had angles, and the closest I’ve ever come to believing in the fairness of a journalist was just before Anderson Cooper got his own show on CNN. Prior to that, I thought he was just a guy trying to do what he thought was decent.

The entire thing is a game, as the alt-right has made clear. These people like Milo Yiannopoulos–they don’t believe the racist shit they say. They are professional trolls, and they’re good at it. There is overwhelming evidence of this. They are playing a game, and they know that they are playing a game, and that’s okay, because they’re good at it. When I see national news networks editing interviews and videos to drastically alter the message, it seems inescapable that it’s not just the alt-right that is trolling.

It’s the entire media.

It says a lot that one of the Tweet responses that Trump’s song received and that was broadcasted at Raw Story is the one that stupidly asks, “Are you proposing we should eat refugees?”

Motherfucker, do you have a brain?

I would be ashamed to say something like that. And while this person (gods willing) doesn’t appear to have been a journalist, it’s hardly important, because this is the world journalists have created, by pulling shit exactly like that.

Social media could have helped, but we immediately turned to the algorithms to protect us and create our own echo chambers. Go to any Trump supporter’s Google News feed, and you’ll find it filled with pro-Trump articles. Go to any libertarian’s Facebook page, and you’ll find their feed conspicuously missing pro-Hillary people.

They attempted to address this by leaving their algorithms “context-neutral.” That is, the algorithm doesn’t care if you liked a video or disliked a video; the algorithm doesn’t care if you +1’d a post, Liked a post, or left a scathing comment. Did you interact with the post? If so, posts like that are added to the “stuff you’re interested in” pile and become more likely to be served to you. This doesn’t help the issue with people being exposed to contradicting information; it only ensures that we have two types of echo chambers: those filled with circle jerks, and those filled with angry yelling.

The only way to fix this is to consciously look for the things you don’t want to see. Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Youtube all exist to help you find the things that you do want to see. This isn’t a problem–it’s what they exist to do, after all. But more and more these are important tools of communication, spreading the DNC Leaks even as the media attempted to ignore them, revealing the truth of the video edits even as major networks obviously tried to hide them, and giving us a way to communicate directly, in a p2p way, bypassing the server altogether.

Social media networks were not made to accommodate that, though, and so the onus falls to us to destroy our own echo chambers. This is all the more difficult because half of everyone is lying, and the other half is stupid. You can’t rely on Facebook because it will serve you memes that are demonstrably false, because no one is willing to take ten seconds out of their day to fact check the damned thing–If it’s on the Internet, it must be true.

I’ve written about this before, and how, in the long-run, the prospects for American society are extremely bleak. We are all racing to the desert to bury our heads in the sand, and we’re somehow totally unaware that we’re doing. We are just a few decades from people who will go their entire lives without ever hearing the words “presidential election.” Such a bizarre thing to imagine today, I know. But just apply what we’ve discussed here and look forward.

These algorithms aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they’ll only get better.

How can you express an interest in something that you don’t know even exists? That is the question that will bury our heads in the sand and leave us firmly under the grip of a ruling elite; it is precisely what will make us the disinterested proles of Orwell’s 1984. Furthermore, it is exactly what these algorithms will produce. It’s not simply journalism that is the problem; the problem with journalism is that it’s merely a reflection of American values.

And these are American values:

_20160920_101105

It’s actually worse than this. The first article is about the recent American bombings. The second article is about Trump’s response to it. The third, we finally get to the horrendous state of affairs in Syria–which deserves its own article, but I don’t have time for that right now. The fourth, an article about how George H. W. Bush is voting for Hillary. Fifth, an article about the wage gap that is probably 99% bullshit and 1% outright lies. I say this because the preview here cites the wage gap for women at around 19%, while research shows 1.9% would be much more accurate (but still too high in most industries).

This isn’t how humans were meant to live.

Isn’t it time we took back the world from these psychopaths and trolls?

That is the state. The other people were our parents and grandparents, who set up this world in the fucked state that it’s in, and we inherited it without questioning it. Just like they did, we started standing up when the bell rang. We didn’t ask “Why?” and we didn’t consider remaining seated. We just blindly followed them, doing what they did, even as the entire planet was engulfed in war. It’s so bad that I’ve heard people characterize this state of affairs as “world peace.”

No, really. I’ve been asked on Quora, “Isn’t Donald Trump a threat to world peace?”

A threat to–

A THREAT TO WORLD PEACE?! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!

What the hell part of the world is at peace? If this is what world peace looks like, then it is my deepest hope that someone will rise up and threaten it. But, like everyone else, he isn’t thinking, the person who asked that question. He’s just standing up when he hears the bell, just like his pappy and grand pappy did.

And we have the power to change it overnight, almost instantly, simply by wanting to. We just have to stop standing for the fucking bell.

Addendum

It’s pointless, isn’t it? I just scrolled through my Facebook feed, and this is what I found:

I’m stunned.

I’m fucking stunned.

Americans spent the weekend dealing with the bombs of a Muslim terrorist.

The Cease Fire in Syria was Dead on Arrival.

Americans killed nearly a hundred Syrian “allies.”

Syrian “allies” killed dozens of UN humanitarian workers.

BUT ANGELINA AND BRAD ARE DIVORCING OMG OMG OMG OMG

Liberal Butthurt Part 1: “I’m Not a Victim”

Only in a society that has totally lost its mind would it be beneficial to be a victim.

And that is precisely what we find in the United States today. Liberals would not be bending over backward to characterize everyone* as victims if it wasn’t beneficial for those people, and therefore beneficial to the Democrat Party. “Vote for us!” they cry. “We know you’ve been victimized, and we have a goody bag for you! Yeah, you’d be basically selling your soul to a set of ideas that are demonstrably unsound, but we’ll pat you on the back and say ‘You poor victim’ and that will make everything better! We promise like totes 4 real!

I often find myself at the forefront of an extended trail of butthurt, and I don’t mean this in the way most people do. When most people say “butthurt” online, they mean “You dared defend your position from my straw men? U R CLEIRLY BUTTHURT LOL,” but I mean it in the sense of… actual butthurt, people who are offended by things that they shouldn’t be offended by.

internet-butthurt-form

If there’s any word that I despise, it’s “offended,” because we throw it around casually, without ever stopping to consider what it means to be offended. To be offended is to have some offense done to you, to be made a victim by something.

I do blame liberals for fostering this victim mentality. Everyone wants to be a victim. I would wager that it’s related to a Martyr Complex, but that’s just speculation on my part. Ha, that’s funny. I’ve never looked into the Martyr Complex before, and it lists “related to the Victim Complex” right there. Just watch how this screaming, petulant baby above whines about how offended he is by someone’s sign–so offended by those evil, mean words that he’s willing to physically assault someone and actually victimize them.

I guess that little bitch missed all the after-school specials that beat into my generation’s head that “No matter what someone says, it doesn’t justify hitting them.”

People are always so surprised to learn that I’m not a liberal, because we’ve gotten so used to people believing themselves to be victims, and there is no political party that panders to victims quite like the Democrat Party. I was ten minutes into one of the Sanders/Clinton Debates when I realized that it had taken me forty minutes to get that far in, because I kept pausing the video to rant about why they were wrong.

Seriously, though, the first ten minutes of the debate, at least, was unbridled pandering.

“You poor poor people…”

“You poor black people…”

“You poor LGBT people…”

“You poor Hispanic people…”

“You poor Muslims…”

I find pandering to be tremendously insulting. I don’t need your fucking sympathy or your goddamned handouts. Sure, I’ve been through some rough shit, and I’ve got a GoFundMe campaign asking for help to leave the state of Mississippi so that I can put my college degree to use. However, that’s a far cry from accepting help from the state; people who choose to can voluntarily give to my campaign, if they deem it to be a good cause. If not, they can ignore it. Of course, they don’t ignore it. I’ve had to delete at least a dozen comments on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and GFM itself of people who didn’t read anything I said on the matter.

The reality is that there are poor places in the country from where escaping can be inordinately difficult. Rural Mississippi is certainly one of those, but I don’t intend to get into all of that. Besides, I just interviewed for a job last Monday (and just sent a follow-up email and “Thank you” letter since I haven’t heard back), and it looks like I’ve found an agent for my novel Dancing in Hellfire. In fact, my life here in rural Mississippi has been so difficult from the age of two that I was able to fill an entire book with it.

The only thing I’m a victim of is random chance, that I was born to drug-addicted fundamentalist Christians in rural Mississippi while being transgender. I can’t even make the argument that I’m a victim of my father and mother, because they, too, were victims of a cycle of drugs, abuse, and poverty that goes back generations. Victims, themselves, of random chance.

It wasn’t long ago that I received a friend request from a transgender girl who was clearly a Wiccan and ultra-feminist. That’s a bit redundant, I know. Have you ever met a Wiccan who was not an ultra-feminist? No? Nor have I. I’ve actually remarked in the past that, regardless of what they say, Wicca is a religion for pissed off feminists. I deleted this line from Dancing in Hellfire, because the manuscript will cause enough controversy on its own because of the constant attacks against fundamentalist Christianity; there’s no need to add to that.

Anyway, she asked me why I call myself a “shemale.”

Goddamn, that’s a common question, and it’s one that transgender people evidently can’t resist asking me. What the fuck business it of anyone’s? Wouldn’t it make just as much sense to ask me why I call myself a musician, or why I call myself an author? And, to be clear, I have only met one transgender person who did not ask me that question.

One person on Youtube, shortly after I launched my channel, saw fit to inform me that she was also transgender, and was “deeply offended” that I would use such a word, how it was an insult to her and to all transgender people.

Yes. What I call myself is an insult to others.

Makes perfect sense.

Bitch, you and I are different people. What I do in my little world doesn’t affect you in your little world. What I call myself has absolutely nothing to do with you. If you call yourself a shemale, then you could be affected if you don’t think I’m hot enough or something, but if you don’t call yourself a shemale, then it has literally nothing to do with you. Literally. You are offended and insulted by something that has literally no impact on you.

Anyway, so this Wiccan chick–Gretchen something or other, yes, as full Wiccan as you can go short of calling herself Mistress Diana–said that she’d “been meaning to ask” why I call myself a shemale. I gave a two-part answer, with my usual reasons, though I left off the fact that I love shemales. During my answer, I mentioned the “ultra politically correct culture,” and she asked what I meant by that. That immediately told me what I was dealing with.

Is there someone out there who doesn’t know what is meant by that? It’s the fucking culture that makes it unacceptable to say “midget” instead of “little person.” It’s the fucking culture that has white people trying to figure out what they’re supposed to call black people. It’s the fucking culture that leaves me having to explain that I’m a non-op transgender woman instead of just “I’m a shemale.” It is the culture that condemns Trump for referring to an explosion as a bomb. It is the culture that makes it unforgivable to “mock a disabled reporter.”

Speaking of that last one, notice the wording here. It’s not that Trump “mocked a reporter’s disabilities.” Trump didn’t do that, of course, and I haven’t seen the video of him allegedly mocking the reporter because I don’t care to. Being disabled has its own challenges, but everyone has challenges and, in nearly all cases, I don’t think having this set of challenges to deal with, as opposed to that set of challenges, should set someone up as special and immune from offense and insult.

The wording is important, because it’s clear: Why did Trump mock a disabled reporter? There is a subtle, but important, distinction from “Why did Trump mock a reporter’s disabilities?” On the former, it is unacceptable to mock a reporter who is disabled. In the latter, it is unacceptable to mock someone’s disabilities. Do you see the difference? Under the first, Trump could mock the guy’s hair, reporting capabilities, journalistic integrity, or any other thing that is fair game for being mocked. Under the latter, a disabled reporter can be terrible at his job, lack journalistic integrity, and have ridiculous hair, but it’s not okay to mock him for it.

Here we have another one:

fallen-soldier

I still marvel at the biased wording.

An entire research paper on subconsciously programming people could be written from this one question alone. I’ll try to stay at no more than a paragraph.

“Muslim parents”? What does their religion have to do with anything? Is that a factor in whether or not they can be criticized? “Of course not,” any sane, rational, and healthy mind would think. So why is it mentioned? It’s there to inform your opinion, to call up that liberalism that lists Muslims as a protected class, making it wrong to criticize them, just like its wrong to mock the disabled reporter. It’s no surprise that my answer has zero upvotes–the question is too biased for most non-liberals to touch it, and it’s written in such a way as to get liberals to answer and have a little circle jerk over the issue.

“Fallen war soldier” is equally emotional and yet another attempt to subtly manipulate you into being outraged that Trump would dare do it. It could only have been worse if the question had “fallen war hero” instead, and, in fact, I’m going to look to see if that edit has been suggested. Apparently, someone has attempted to remove the bias, and that is the result. Jesus. The only way to remove the bias from this question is to change it to “Why did Trump criticize the Khan family?”

In effect, this question is asking, “Why doesn’t Trump agree that Muslims who are the parents of a ‘fallen war soldier’ who died in Iraq should never, ever, ever be criticized?”

To that, of course, the answer is a question. “Why should any of those things affect whether or not they can be criticized?”

This is how liberals work. They create all of these social rules that protect various groups–their groups–from criticism. You can’t mock a disabled reporter! He’s disabled, and that means you can never, ever, ever mock him–even if your mockery has nothing to do with his being disabled. You can’t criticize the parents of a fallen war soldier when they’re Muslims and their child died in Iraq! Never, ever, ever!

You can’t criticize:

  • LGBT people
  • Black people
  • Hispanic people
  • Muslims
  • Disabled people
  • Women

That list isn’t all-inclusive. But, once again, there is an enormous difference between criticizing someone who happens to be transgender and criticizing someone because they are transgender. There’s an enormous difference between mocking someone who happens to be disabled and mocking someone because they are disabled. Intellectually, we all accept this and know it to be true, even liberals.

But liberals won’t apply it.

Just see the question above.

They will say until the end of time that it’s okay to criticize anyone regardless of their gender. But then you have liberals in the media calling conservative journalists sexist because they said something negative about Hillary. I’ve seen people say in the same comment that Trump is an orange oompa-loompa and a sexist because he said Rosie O’Donnel is a pig. Um…

Really?!

Do liberals genuinely not see the problem?

So it’s okay to make fun of Trump for his appearance, but it’s not okay to make fun of a woman for hers?

As I’ve said before, yes, Trump is a sexist. So am I. So are you. Every single goddamned one of us is sexy and judges people initially based on their physical appearance. Every single goddamned person on the planet, bar none, no exceptions and no caveats. Yes, you reading this: you’re sexist too. Are you a straight man? Then you’re sexist, because sex is a factor in determining who you have relationships with. Are you a gay woman? Then you’re sexist, because sex is a factor in determining who you have relationships with. Unless you’re bisexual, you’re ipso facto sexist, and, even then, I don’t think you get to escape the label. I’m bisexual, at the end of the day, but absolutely consider sex as a factor and have a strong inclination toward women, such that I’ve never had a successful relationship with a guy and don’t particularly want one.

Every single goddamned human being who ever lived was sexist.

Part of the problem is that we no longer are aware that there is an enormous difference between “tolerance” and “acceptance.” Liberals have corrupted the word to the extent that if you don’t accept someone, then they consider you intolerant of them. Saying “I don’t like gay people” becomes intolerant, even though it isn’t–it’s simply unaccepting, and that’s okay, because no one has to accept anyone. To be intolerant is to attempt to use force, violence, and/or coercion to put a stop to behavior that you don’t it, or against people who have characteristics that you don’t like. But to simply not like those characteristics? That’s not intolerant.

As you can see, I’ve discussed the matter before.

This is clearly going to be part of a series on Liberal Butthurt, because there’s so much ground to cover that one article alone can’t do it. Let’s end this on a positive note.

Without using force, violence, and coercion against you, no one can make you a victim. You do not have to be a victim of anything or anyone. Stand up tall, stand up straight, and say it with me now: “I am not a victim.”

* Excluding white people, Christians, and men.

Oh! The Wiccan chick, the story I tried to tell twice and kept getting distracted. Evidently, she didn’t like my answer, so she blocked me. Yes, because I use words to describe myself that she doesn’t approve of, she blocked me. She didn’t reply, she didn’t say another word. She just… blocked me.