War Without End, Amen

Hello, Internet,

I recently came across a post related to an important political shakeup that swept the nation in the past month. I will not name the poster for fear of his life, but here it is:

“Putting women in combat roles is not about equality. It’s about making wars very unpopular and dismanteling [sic] the military.

Even though nobody likes to see our men get killed in combat, we can swallow it as a nation because it’s men being killed. However, when women start to be killed in combat at the same rate the men are then it becomes much harder for us to take.

Women aren’t supposed to be fighting wars, and they aren’t supposed to be dying in wars. They are not the warriors, but rather the nurturers and care givers. Placing women in positions of combat is unnatural and there is going to be a huge uproar when people see women coming back in body bags, or worse captured by the enemy.

This is by design, it is the Obama administrations goal to dismantle the military and this is one of the ways that they will make it happen.”

My gut reaction, which I narrowly avoided posting, went a little something like this: ” YOU IGNORANT SEXIST BASTARD. MEN LIKE YOU GIVE OUR HALF OF THE SPECIES A BAD NAME. KINDLY GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS AND JOIN THE REST OF US IN THE 21st CENTURY.”

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that emotionally charged visceral reaction like this only tend to exacerbate any given situation and fail utterly to change people’s perspectives. What I went with, was the following:

“I think this is a splendid idea. In the early years of the Republic, women’s rights movements demanded more liberties for women, (such as owning property or voting–basic privileges of citizenship) or even seeking gainful employment and controlling their own money (still basic citizenship stuff, but related to personal autonomy as well) and lately we’ve been hearing more about the acquisition and use of birth control technology (personally, i buy condoms out-of-pocket as a courtesy so I really haven’t followed that debate, but it speaks to a woman’s rights over her own person: a basic principle of citizenship).

now, though, a women’s rights group has lobbied for greater responsibility, and I whole-heartedly approve. Since women entered the workforce, there has been a rise in the number of stay-at-home fathers in this country; the Victorian gender roles have been out moded and child-rearing responsibilities are more spread out than they once were. (it’s not even close to a perfect 50/50, but change is in the air) and now the United States is taking steps to even out a gender discrepancy in another field of responsibility in modern American life: armed combat. (What some people seem to be forgetting, is that female police officers have been in, and lived through, armed combat situations for years now. So, in reality, any attempt to block this policy change would have been about as effective as the proverbial scenario of closing the barn door after the horse got loose.)

When America was founded, it did not treat women correctly: they were second-class citizens, little more than slaves or property. Now, through their own impassioned efforts and some aid from right-minded individuals in the power structure, women have, (on paper), gained the same socio-political and economic rights and responsibilities as men. It is the right and responsibility of any free citizen to fight for their freedom and their nation. American men have shouldered this burden for over 200 years now. But men and women were never intended to stand apart: we are the two halves of the human whole and we are designed to complement one another by cooperation in equal shares, with neither held in prominence over the other. Women of America, I thank you for stepping up as comrades in arms, truly equal to our men, to maintain the sovereignty and security of our home. God bless you all.”

I realize that I am not female, and that therefore my right/ability to speak on or evaluate women’s roles in society is limited. (I am also painfully aware of the fact that nothing short of a sledge-hammer lobotomy can alter this particular backward young man’s way of thinking.) But, having encountered a level of sheer stupidity that defies my sense of temporal continuity, I felt the need to speak up on behalf of every man who does not walk around with his head in his rectum viewing the world through his penis.

And, in light of the policy changes behind this unpleasantness, I say to America’s servicewomen in combat: Good luck, and Godspeed.

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Face(Palm)book

Okay, Internet, I’m reaching something of a boiling point concerning our modern social networks. Earlier this evening I saw and was immediately somewhat disgusted by an attempt to show support for our military gone awry due to the infamous “Like” button. To save you the trouble of looking for this image, allow me to describe it: a casket with an American flag draped over it alone on the tarmac, the only witness; the bereaved widow leaning against it in tears.

I do give credit to the page moderator for posting this content in an effort to maintain awareness of the sacrifices made daily by our dedicated, woefully-underpaid, armed services, but to ask someone to look at that image and show support by hitting the “Like” button, I think, is a contradiction in ideology that that speaks volumes of the public Apathy Neurosis sweeping the nation. There are a few simple truths I have noticed about levels of attentiveness in contemporary society. The first is that the most vocal among us, unfortunately, tend to be the most obnoxious, opinionated, stubborn, and totally-out-to-lunch genetic dead-ends to ever come up with the wrong idea. Take the recent gun-control hysteria, for example.

Why are people afraid of guns? Answer: Because they’re noisy, they explode, and when used in a certain way they kill things. People are especially afraid of so-called assault weapons because they do all of the above considerably faster. (This by the way is similar to why some people labor under the delusion that computers are smart. Speed isn’t everything, people.) An so, out of fear, people tend to have the reflexive reaction that guns are scary, (“COLD PRICKLIES!”  to quote my good friend Lady Imbrium), and seek to take them away from those of us who know better.

Just to set the record straight: I am a gun-owner. (legally purchased, background checks, yadda, yadda, yadda), I own a .12 gauge shotgun. It has a bore about the size of an American nickel and they make hollow-point slugs for this thing. A few rounds from that could drop an angry bear, (and not just the small yellow ones that eat honey), but no one ever seems afraid of shotguns for some strange reason, it’s ALL about the (cold prickly!) assault weapons. Please, America, aim your neurotic, unfounded fears at the right thing.

Okay, take a breather and step back a few paragraphs.

Another simple truth about humanity, is that we are, as a species, a very selfish bunch. We don’t tend to involve ourselves in things that have no direct benefit for us. This in turn has led to a pandemic of motivational speakers and self-help books designed to either get the Western Bourgeoisie off its obscenely rich ass and help the rest of the world OR alleviate the guilt and depression that gradually build up in the subconscious as your lifestyle’s distractions fail to fully hide the fact that you’re a self-indulgent waste of air and a drain on the global economy.  (Working-class America, this is not aimed at you.)

The Internet has made this whole problem even worse. Thanks to comment bars and the “Like” button it is now unprecedentedly easy to put your two cents into any conversation in the industrialized world. So, if someone posts an image of a group of religious pilgrims purchasing food for starving children, you need only “Like” or re-post the photo to feel like you’ve gotten involved and viola! no guilt. Most Star Wars (TM) fans I know tend to agree that the first prequel was horrible, but there is one line that pops into my head now as extremely poignant here-and-now, in this galaxy: “The biggest problem in this universe is that nobody helps each other.” Now, most people’s immediate reaction to such a statement is “Okay, Arcticgnome, what have you done lately?” The answer is, regrettably, not much. I’m between jobs and damn-near broke right now, I can’t afford grand gestures of philanthropy. So, I do what I can, which is set down in black and white the chief culprit behind the proto-apocalyptic nightmare we call “nowadays” which is the above-mentioned Apathy Neurosis: a deep-seated need to feel like we care and do something about the pain and suffering of others without having to miss Sports Center.

I do not know the fallen soldier or the widow from the picture I mentioned at the beginning of this post, but I do know soldiers…and I know widows. I doesn’t take much to do the right thing. When you see someone in pain, remember that the knowledge that they are loved is the greatest gift you can give, however you choose to do so. You, like me, may not be in a monetary or physical position to give aid, but you have to care. You have to develop those habits of giving positive energy before you will develop a habit of applying positive effort.

The last truth I’ve learned about life is that it is short, and you take nothing with you when you leave. I caution you all not to exceed your means: you help no one by becoming a charity case yourself, but I would encourage you to make certain before you shuffle off your mortal coil that what you’ve left behind was worth the effort.

Goddammit! No one Ever Reads the Manual!

And if I hear any cracks about men not asking for directions you will all be on my shit list.

http://modeljourney.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/securedownload3.jpeg

first and foremost, a location for a Liebster Award photo, as per Teh Rulez:

TEH RULEZ:

Thank the person who nominated you.

Post 11 Random Facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the nominator.

Pass the award on to 11 other blogs, not including the one that nominated you.

Paste a picture of the award into your blog.

Thanks to scoutlady13 at In Search of a Muse for inflicting this malarkey on my depressingly not busy schedule.

11 Random Facts:

1.  I once spent a week’s pay on personal leather goods

2.  I have a paranoid superstitious fear of walking under ladders

3. I never learned how to whistle

4. I live in the only town I know of to drive a McDonald’s out of business

5. My first car was a Chevy

6. My sister once gave me a brick for Christmas

7. Our family goldfish killed itself by jumping on a record player

8. The record player has never worked since

9. I not only own a lava lamp; I use it.

10. Conspiracy theories entertain and amuse me

11. I pretended to have a drinking problem so my roommate could meet a girl at a bar

The 11 Questions I was Asked:

1. Favorite food of all time.—Bacon and waffles. They go together I don’t care what anyone else says.

2. Favorite author—Currently, Steven Erikson. Seriously, look him up he’s awesome.

3. Storms or calm weather?—Stormy weather is far more exciting

4. Tea or coffee?—Usually tea, but if someone else is paying I’ll drink either

5. What is your obsession?—Presently, I don’t think I have one

6. What is your absolute worst habit?—Setting multiple alarms just for the satisfaction of hitting the snooze button

7. How do you feel about analog clocks?—Meh. They’re useful but I don’t own one.

8. What is your weirdest phobia?—Photocameras. I HATE having my picture taken to point were I have threatened to injure people that have done it.

9. What is family? Are you born to it, or do you choose it?—Family is the group you would do the impossible for, knowing full well they would never ask it of you.

10. What is your geekdom?—Definitely Star Trek.

11. E-book or traditional books?—I prefer traditional books, but I recognize the value of E-books.

Phew, glad that’s over. Okay, the only blogger I know who doesn’t currently have one of these is Mitch @ http://mitchreviewsanything.wordpress.com/

My Questions:

  1. Personality, is it nature, nurture, or both?
  2. Do you believe in magic?
  3. If you could be any kind of snack food, what would you be and why?
  4. Where do you stand on gun control?
  5. Price being no object, what is one accessory your car must have?
  6. Describe your ideal pet.
  7. What, if anything, is the defining moment in your religious/spiritual beliefs?
  8. What is love? (“Baby don’t hurt me” is not an acceptable answer.)
  9. What three things do your never leave home without?
  10. The daily news or The Daily Show?
  11. Fudge or ice cream?

I think that about covers everything. My apologies to the Internets for not doing this correctly the first time.

The Quality of Sympathy

Earlier today, in a random conversation, an associate of mine who I shall not name bemoaned the quality of student that seems to be clogging up the educational system these days. These are the kinds of people, and we’ve probably all met at least one, who will walk down the corridor texting, run into someone, and proceed to blame that person for the collision.

Now for those of you who don’t know me very well, which ought not to be many since most of my readers are personal acquaintances, I tend to be a very cynical person when it comes to schoolchildren, or even just children in general. In fact, I once threatened to tie up my 9-year-old cousin in a sack full of rocks and throw him in the river. Fortunately, he then stopped coming over for dinner and I was no longer subjected to the infuriating combination of his complete lack of manners and his mother’s blithe consignment to her son’s growing tyranny. I weep for the day that he grows up to be one of the people in the preceding paragraph, for a fear such a dawn shall ere long arise.

Fear not, my good friends, for the universe has developed a mechanism for sparing mere mortals the pain and anguish of spending the entirety of their short lives in the company of such imbeciles: Interstates. Yes, those wonderful, long, meandering thoroughfares with their higher-than-average speed limits and numerous solid concrete obstacles are a wonderful means of getting rid of the impossibly self-absorbed among us. For you see: they travel these roads much like they do the hallways in school, that is to say, paying no attention whatsoever to anything but themselves. These are the evolutionary dead-ends who insist on not only answering but replying to the text they received just now while traveling at 80 or more miles per hour whereupon, they frequently encounter an obstacle, or merely a slight curve, in the road, crash, and die horribly. At this point, said idiot is no longer my or any other living being’s problem, and the best part is; it’s entirely their fault.

If you’re going to pity anyone in this equation, do not pity the stupid ones. Rather, I suggest you pity the God of Death: that poor bastard is drowning in genetic defectives and has nowhere else to send them…for ETERNITY…

Some people fear Death, others actively run from it, a few curious individuals spend a lot of effort deliberately challenging Death, (see here emergency service workers, extreme sports junkies and people who shop on Black Friday), and most people prefer to wander around in the dust and humidity pretending for as long as possible that Death is non-existent. I, however, bearing in mind the growing disproportionate amount of oxygen-wasting machines, both expired and otherwise, choose to feel sorry for Death, and offer him/her/it/them my sincere sympathy.