The greatest of all time calls it quits!

Obama Crosses the line twice!

Game Over!

We're finally out of Iraq.

99 Problems

He got 99 problems but Mitt ain't done.


20+ weird things you may or may not have wanted to know about Sarah Palin.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

God hates flags

In the wake of the terrorist massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, there has been renewed focus on the racism that permeates this country, the history of said racism, the violence behind it and even the symbols associated with it. I for one am kind of glad that we're at least attempting to pretend like we really care about what black people think and how they've felt about certain things for many, many decades. One of those things that we're caring about now is the confederate flags that are flying all over this country.

Not too long ago, Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, and the governor of many inappropriate thoughts, called for the confederate flag to be taken off of the state capitol. In a normal world, this would be a no brainer decision with broad support from the most bleeding heart of liberals to the most flag waving of conservatives. Just out of pure nationalism, everyone should be on board with removing the flag of a country that actively fought against America from the front of and on top of American government buildings. Of course the key word was normal and people get surprisingly not normal when it comes to almost religiously defending the confederate flag, the confederacy and their cause in the civil war. Some even go as far to romanticize it and then tie it in with southern heritage and culture. I guess I should probably get on why the flag symbolizes so many wrong things in America.

The first thing wrong with the confederate flag should be the most obvious; It's the flag of an enemy combatant. We've all been through the 4th grade. We all know of the civil war and why it was fought. We also know which side won and won decisively, and that side wasn't the south. The fact that people in this country feel the need to have pride in an institution that started a war against America and lost is mind boggling to me. Even more mind boggling is the people in states which weren't part of the confederacy who proudly fly the stars and bars. No one with the name of Arnold Wachowski from Hamtramck,MI should be proud of the confederacy. I'm also extremely troubled by the amount of people flying that flag who claim to be Christians while glossing over that the flag represents some of the biggest sins against God. Is disliking certain folk a big enough deal for you to actually turn your back on the God that you so loudly claim to believe in? If the answer is yes, you never really believed in him. Flying that flag isn't just dumb, it's unpatriotic and blasphemous. You might as well just paint "I hate niggers" on your truck and fly a swastika in the middle of a Jewish cemetary.

Speaking of that, the flag is also extremely racist. Sure your great, great granddaddy might have fought for the confederacy and you want to honor him, but you have to realize that he was fighting purely because of racism. The civil war was started because a bunch of rich southerners were offended that someone like Abraham Lincoln could possibly end racial enslavement one day, thus ruining their lucrative business of daily, multiple human rights violations, oh and fancy shirts. The amount of racism and greed it takes to secede from your own country and start the bloodiest battle in it's history because you can't imagine a world in which a black man can actually earn a living is amazing. This is the type of thinking which has led to the current stereotype of black people being lazy despite the fact that having a slave is literally the laziest thing you could ever do. Of course, we only got lazy once we started getting paid to do things. When you wave any of the flags of the confederacy, you're endorsing hatred, greed, racism, human rights abuses, a losing war strategy and an unsustainable and increasingly unprofitable business plan. On top of all of that, it really makes people wonder about the culture surrounding the south.

Speaking of southern culture, it's so much more than the official logo of the losing team and slavery. It's everything from NASCAR having its roots in people defiantly fighting weird and unjust laws surrounding alcohol to the modern civil rights movement and even feminism stemming from people having that same spirit to fight weird, unjust and unfair laws regarding women and people of color. It's the introduction of new foods and cookling techniques into the American lexicon. It's the introduction of an innovation when it comes to music. Without the south, America wouldn't have music. We'd be missing rock,country, blues, jazz, r&b and even hip hop which is often a mixture of every other style of music. As a descendant of the south, with relatives in the south, I realize that southern culture isn't tied up in that flag, but the idea of white superiority is. The south has many, many things to be proud of, but slavery, starting and then losing a war over it and then spending 150 years being complete dicks about it isn't one of those things, and that is what you look like when you try to say that the confederate flag is about having pride in the south. You're not representing southern culture you're spitting in the face of southern culture by going out of your way to align yourself against America.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Normal Heroics

In America we tend to love calling people heroes, courageous and brave. This gets used for everyone from soldiers, firefighters and the police to people who say things that we slightly agree with. Some would even say that by simply existing or due to their professions, some people really are heroes. Of course the giant hole in that logic is, what happens when these people fail to live up to even the basic duties of the profession they applied for? Are they still heroes? Is a rogue cop still a hero? If a soldier saves his comrades from an attack, but later abandons his guys and goes AWOL, is he still a hero? According to the law, the answer is no. Of course this is really the easy part to answer. The not so easy answer comes when we have to examine why we're calling people heroic and brave for existing.

I often see news stories about people facing some sort of awful or debilitating circumstance. A kid with cancer. A mom who got paralyzed in a car accident with a drunk driver. A story about a woman dying of breast cancer. All of these stories have the common thread of not only tugging at our hearts by pointing out our own fragile mortality, they also have the common thread of the people being called brave, courageous, inspirational and heroic for not dying. This bugs me because by doing this, it implies that when these people die, they become horrible people who were unworthy of our attention when in reality they're examples of how life can throw you a curveball and how some people choose to deal with a traumatic event that becomes a long term part of their daily lives. The other part of this that bugs me is that this type of overblown hyperbolic beatification isn't extended to victims of most types of violent crime. No one's calling the guy that got shot at a house party a hero for taking up a career as a DJ. In fact no one's calling the woman who probably got assaulted at that same party a hero for not killing herself due to severe depression. Instead we're more than likely to ask why either of them were there and then debate if they deserved it based on their lives up to that point. I guess what I'm saying is that when we call people heroes for living through or with debilitating circumstances, we're being condescending. This gets even worse when we go over the top praising people for doing normal things.......

I want to make one thing clear before the hate tweets roll in, I'm not some sort of transgender hating person. I'm legit happy that Caitlyn Jenner can be true to herself and that people are generally accepting. This is a huge step in the right direction considering how awful we've been as a country lately when it comes to treating all of us like we actually belong here and deserve common decency. With that said, Caitlyn Jenner isn't a saint or heroic for finally being comfortable enough to stop pretending to be a guy named Bruce. What she really is, is normal. She has the same strengths, weaknesses, flaws and fun that we all have. Sure she lives a more public life than I ever will but in reality she's out doing normal things(for a rich person with a TV show), trying to live a normal life and dealing with normal, everyday issues. We can't make people in to national heroes for doing mundane things while having the supreme confidence to keep it 100 and be themselves while doing it. It's condescending, it's fake praise and it really waters down the impact of the word. Just be normal.

For reading this, here's a video tutorial on how to make candy bars shaped like classic video game controllers.