Monsters Are Necessary

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People are afraid of monsters, both fantastical and real. We are taught to fear them from a young age, to tread carefully in case the boogeyman is about, or to be wary of a certain individual in the neighborhood because of a bad reputation. But what if those legends and those risks weren’t there? What if the angels we depend upon and the happy endings that we’re told were all there were?

That sounds incredibly boring, not to mention much danger than admitting to and recognizing the need for true monsters in the world. You might think I’m a bit off my rocker, especially since very human monsters tend to be among the most dangerous, but without these malevolent individuals within our midst, humanity becomes rather complacent in their assumed safety. We don’t want the monster at our door, but we surely don’t seem to mind deriding them when they’re at a safe distance.

In life, monsters of all sorts are useful as cautionary tales, myths told to children to make them behave. As we get older and learn the truth behind the myths we also learn the reality that human beings are often far more monstrous to one another than any legend that’s ever been told. We are this time the only species that continually seeks its own demise for no better reason than the thrill, the desire to simply kill and gain some measure of excitement from it.

Monsters are necessary because they remind us that life is not an easy trek from one point to the next, but a maze that’s meant to be traversed in a careful and cautious manner. Monsters remind us of the faults we have as human beings, and the very real idea that there is not one among us that is perfect.

Monsters are needed to remind us of our humanity, and how truly fragile it is.

Life Just Isn’t Fair

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So who exactly thinks that life is supposed to be fair? Who thinks the world is supposed to be fair? In all honesty the idea of fairness is, as much as anything, a human construct. To be frank though this construct is usually made up by humans to cover up the horrible iniquities of a world that we don’t always understand and therefore want to imagine will be fair and nurturing to everyone, not just those that nature deems worth of survival. Does that sound a bit simplistic? Well it is really since the world doesn’t give a damn what we think when it comes to fairness.

To the world, fair is something that exists when the lion is fed and the herd is thinned. It’s fair when the wolf is able to feed their pack and the deer are kept in check. Fair is when things are balanced and able to harmonize with one another, and fair is definitely a transient idea since it’s never the same thing to anyone at any given time.

We like to think that we’re a species that wants everything to be fair and equal within our ranks, no matter who we are or where we come from or how we live our lives. But the moment that idea is challenged in any way fairness shifts gears and becomes a different ideal for many people since it’s not a concrete idea that can be set in place and expected to carry the same weight with every person.

Life isn’t fair, we know this from the moment we’re born and have to endure the cold air that greets us as we’re expelled from a warm and comforting place. What’s our first instinct in life? To cry about the unfair treatment we’ve been given and in our own way denounce our current predicament. Sadly, some people will go on doing such a thing for the rest of their lives.

Let’s not preach about what’s fair in life and what’s not, since quite often what’s fair for us is not as fair for others. You want to cry about life not being fair? Find a psychiatrist that’s paid to care about what you think. Otherwise, suck it up and get on with it like the rest of us.

Preferred (part II)

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June 23rd, 2019

Multnomah County Courthouse

Portland, OR

A few hours later Tate was out finally booked and released and was walking down the court steps hopefully towards a ride that was supposed to be there when he got out. The wait had taken longer than usual, according to a chatty fellow he’d had the misfortune of being sat next to in the waiting area, and by the time he got out he was hoping that he could just go home and forget about all this until the court date. Thankfully since he had no priors he’d been booked and released with a promise to appear in court in two weeks to stand before a judge. But the charges that the woman he’d supposedly assaulted were already being circulated and since no one else had come forward with any witnesses to the crime he was the only one currently on the hook for anything.

Walking out of the courthouse should have been easy enough, but as he took the first few steps his aching head was only made worse by a sudden shriek that had him wincing as he stopped in his tracks, looking further down the steps as he closed his eyes and groaned.

“That’s the guy! They let him out after he raped someone! The police are colluding with rapists! A-C-A-B, All Cops Are Bastards!”

The last chant was taken up suddenly and with great fervor as Tate tried to look beyond the small mob that had gathered on the steps, no doubt triggered by the fact that there were camcorders and phones galore wherever people congregated these days. And yet for some reason no one had been pointing one in the direction of a young woman getting beaten, leaving him shit out of luck for the time being.

He took a breath as he dared to make his way down the steps, hoping to just push through, but as he reached the front line he saw that not only had a few protesters made it out to welcome him, but several of them were dressed head to toe in black, with dark glasses and bandanas tied over the lower half of their faces. Antifa, swell. Now all he needed was a few Pride Boys to come tromping around and they’d have a full dance card.

“How’s it feel to rape a woman you sick prick?!” shouted someone on the front line. He didn’t bother to answer as he tried to move to the left, only to find that the mob was going to move in front of him. He tried to move to the right and had just as little luck.

“Rapists don’t have freedoms in this country! You need to go back in there and rot!”

He wasn’t ready to start swinging just yet, but as he looked past the milling crowd he could finally see the car he’d been hoping for as it pulled up to the curb, and was almost immediately surrounded by Antifa members and protesters.

(to be continued)

Broken and Left (part IX)

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March 5th, 2018

Finding the three goons that had been hired to beat him senseless was easy, they were in one of the little-known back rooms playing cards along with a few of their buddies. Obviously the belief that he would be coming back wasn’t a heavy burden on their minds since not a one of them had their weapons readied, and a couple of them didn’t even have their guns nearby. Killing them all without hesitation almost felt too easy, but he hadn’t paused as he’d walked right by them, beating down a door that lay behind the mercy-killings he’d just committed to find one of the men he’d been looking for seated at a large wooden desk, smoking a cigar, and looking for all the world like he knew that this was bound to happen.

“Kinda thought you’d be here earlier,” the Brit said, a grin on his face as cigar smoke wafted from between his teeth. He was called the Brit because he was in fact from the UK, but also because very few knew his actual name. He was a bruiser of a man with a bald head and rough-looking features, but out of all the people the Brit had done business with, he was the one bounty hunter the big man had never tried to mess with, until now.

“Y’gotta understand that it was just orders now,” the Brit said, seeming not a bit worried that there was a man that fully intended to kill him standing in the doorway. “You’da done th’ same if they’d tapped you for the job.”

He shook his head, “I wouldn’t have done the same. I would have finished it.”

The Brit laughed as he reached for a glass that was half-filled with an amber liquid that he swirled around a bit.

“Let us finish, yeah? Me da’ always said that hell has a place for those what don’t finish good scotch.”

“That the reserve?”

The Brit grinned as he closed his eyes, “Oh yeah, nuttin’ but the best.”

He merely nodded, letting the other man swig the drink in one long swallow as he winced, holding the glass up for a moment as he swallowed. The two of them had knocked a few drinks back together in the past, and he knew very well that the Brit was right. It was just business. But he took getting assaulted rather personal all the same. As the other man put his glass down he didn’t look the hunter in the eye, but did work up the nerve to speak.

“It’s a right fucked up day when two mates gotta square off eh?”

He didn’t answer, knowing very well that the other man usually had a weapon on him, even if it couldn’t be seen.

“Right,” the Brit said with a sigh, “Come on then.”

If someone had been there to witness the exchange they might not have been able to track their movements in that moment. The Brit was fast, but he was just a hair faster as he raised his dual pistols and took aim in the same breath, squeezing off two rounds and then, lowering the firearms just an inch or so, fired off two more.

The Brit rocked back in his chair as the shoulders of the jacket he was wearing tore suddenly, the fabric flayed open as red flew to strike the wall behind him. Only a second later both arms were hanging loosely at his side, useless as two more red patches had appeared at the middle of each arm. The first shots had taken the Brit in the shoulders, no doubt creating massive exit wounds that had likely damaged his shoulder blades, while the other two had been hit with a bit of luck and a lot of practice, obliterating his elbow joints as his arms had become little more than unresponsive lumps of flesh at his sides.

And despite all that, after the initial shock wore off, the Brit actually found it within him to laugh. It was a coarse, barking sound that came from his lips, but it was still there as he rocked forward, looking up at the hunter as he walked towards him.

“I had, to try,” he said, working through the pain as his eyes narrowed with each word, “Couldn’t, just, let you, send me off.”

“I know,” the hunter replied.

“Do me favor then,” the Brit breathed, “End it. I think I been nice enough t’ deserve it.”

Some men might have hesitated in that moment. Some might have argued. He simply put one of his pistols to the top of the Brit’s head and pulled the trigger. It was more than he deserved, but it was something anyway. From another doorway behind where the Brit had been sitting he could hear the furtive sounds of someone trying to be quiet, and failing horribly.

Time for the headman then.

(to be concluded)

To All Those Complaining About Their Job, or Lack Thereof….Grow Up

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Ever notice how some folks will whine and piss and moan about being unemployed even if they’re healthy, able, and can take just about any job that is offered to them? Here’s just a few things you might here on an average day, and things I know I’ve heard.

“This is my first job, I wanted a high-paying position.”

Well, are you educated? Do you know anything about the job? Is there any reason why you should be getting the kind of pay that a five-year employee is getting or are you just whining about having to start at the bottom since you have no experience?

“I can’t get a job in Trump’s economy.”

Go ahead and slap yourself once and then twice across the face and see if that knocks any sense into you. It shouldn’t matter what economy we’re in, there will always be menial labor jobs and other types of employment that are willing to hire people that have little to no experience and there might even be jobs that will be available if you have experience but aren’t getting what you want. There are times when you might have to lower your standards until another job that you’re qualified to do comes along, but until then, don’t turn your nose up at an employment opportunity when you need it.

“It shouldn’t matter what I look like, they can’t discriminate against me.”

This is a sticky one since you can look to the picture above and get a good chuckle before reading ahead. Jobs don’t have the right to discriminate when it comes to a number of things. But if you don’t fit the image that they’re attempting to push then the chances are that you won’t be getting hired over someone that’s willing to conform to their style. If you’re sporting tattoos all over your body and have to work in a very high-class establishment they can easily find a loophole to not hire you, especially if you come in with an attitude. Jobs want you to represent them, it has nothing to do with who you are, but everything with the image you present.

“I have a very strict schedule that many jobs don’t abide by.”

Guess what? That’s not their problem. They’re in business to make money, not to cater to your needs. It’s possible to luck out and find a job that will work with your school or social schedule, but don’t go in expecting them to say okay to any disruption in their business. The moment you expect something from a job is the moment they might be looking past you to the next person.

“I have mouths to feed!”

Then get your butt to work, and don’t be picky about what you accept. It’s not hard folks. There are so many opportunities out there for people who are educated and those aren’t that just walking down the street should afford many people a handful of chances to do something that will bring home a paycheck. But crying and moaning, last time I checked, only works for those that plan on using GoFundMe because they’re too lazy to do anything else.

The Bridezilla

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A lot of us in this country are married, a lot of us have been there more than once and probably don’t want to do it again. But there are still those unfortunates that have experienced a phenomenon that is something beyond the ken of many married couples who are perfectly happy with one another or who are perfectly happy apart and have never had to deal with this issue.

It’s an occurrence that one would hope might only happen once, as the shockwaves from such a happening are said to multiply on that one fateful day until lives are ruined, property is damaged, and ear drums are ruptured by the shrill, haunting scream of the only beast in the world that can possibly shrivel a man from the inside out…..

The Call of the Bridezilla.

This condition is felt by those women who, upon learning this will be THEIR day, want it THEIR way, and will not stop until every aspect of THEIR wedding has been closely scrutinized, ripped apart, and then redone only to be torn apart again when the colors are just a shade different than what they desired.

The dreaded Bridezilla is known to entertain thoughts of cancelling a wedding due to the mass number of family and friends that choose to ignore her shrill cries as she demands their utter fealty. There can be nothing else but HER problems, HER wedding, and HER desires leading up to HER day. Jobs must be put on hold, lives must be wedded to her whims, and none, NONE, may entertain even the thought of doing anything without her express permission…..

Seriously, women do get this bad, but if you’re lucky, you only did it once or never had to deal with.

BEWARE the BRIDEZILLA….

The Problem With Your Kid being Entitled/Spoiled

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You would think this would be entirely easy to discover, right? Well the truth of it is that some parents either can’t see it or will refuse to see it, thinking that their kids are just ‘particular’ ‘choosy’ ‘free-spirited’, or even just ‘willful’. Yeah, they’re willful alright, willfully snotty and entitled without a doubt. The worst part however is that it’s the parents that tend to cause this in numerous ways and then wonder just how their kid got so out of control. Most of them don’t want to take a look in the mirror to see just what went wrong and then fix it.

Here’s another great example of this:

But getting off the parents for just a bit, because some of them when they hit the wall know very well that they’re complicit in this and will at least think of ways that they can change. The kids that have been allowed to get away with their bs for so long are, at some point, able to at least conceive of right and wrong, and while some might change as they grow, some will continue to want the spoiled, entitled life and think that they deserve it. And woe to anyone that tells them the truth, that they’re entitled to absolutely nothing.

Anyone from a working-class or poor background know what it means to actually get up and earn what they have? The entitled brats of the world could use a good lesson it seems when it comes to actually paying their own way and figuring out just what they’re owed in life. Has anyone else mowed lawns for their money, or raked leaves, or cleaned houses, or done any kind of manual labor or grueling task that left you tired and sore at the end of the day but feeling good about yourself all the same?

Yeah, it’s time to let the generations after us remember just what that’s like. If you don’t want your kid feeling as though the world owes them anything, make it clear and to the point that it doesn’t. That, or cut them off the moment they think that you’re there for their pleasure, and see how quickly their attitude changes.

Just Showing Up Isn’t Enough

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Sigh, the participation trophy. Is anyone else fed up with these things?

Let’s start out by agreeing that when you’re just getting into sports and aren’t yet aware what it’s going to take to win and just want to have fun, these are great. Participation trophies make kids feel like they’ve accomplished something, that they’re worth something, and that their efforts actually counted in the grand scheme of it. As younger kids, perhaps from Kindergarten to mid-elementary school, it seems fine to build them up and let them enjoy the fun of the sport in order to really get them motivated.

But beyond grade school, let’s grow up a bit, eh? After a year or two in the same sport kids will learn how to play the sport to the best of their ability, and if they stay interested the act of just playing isn’t going to be enough after a while. Some might call this pressuring your kid into adopting a win/lose mentality that’s not always healthy, but there’s a counterargument to that and it’s pretty simple; competition is a healthy form of development.

Being competitive can become an obsession, that’s very true, but in the world we live in the lot of us compete for things every day even if we don’t realize it. We compete for jobs by being the most educated, the best at what we do, and the most dedicated when it comes to the type of work we want. There is no such thing as a participation trophy in life when you get right down to it, and being the best or at least being good enough to get what you want is kind of important.

But what does this have to do with kids’ sports, right?

EVERYTHING.

There’s no need to pressure your kid into needing to win so badly that they become an emotional wreck whenever they lose. But there is a need to instill some sense of pride in them that will allow them to know that a win is well-deserved and a loss is a learning experience that can help them later on. Losing is hard, it’s not fun and it’s certainly not how a person succeeds in life. But handing out participation trophies once a kid is old enough to know the difference between winning and losing is even worse, as it gives many kids a false sense of superiority and hope that something and someone will always be there to appreciate them no matter how they do.

Does your job hand out participation trophies if you don’t finish your work on time? Do they give you a small medal that says ‘Good Job! You Tried!’ when you don’t quite make a quota? Nope. Our prizes are our paychecks, and the top prizes are bonuses and pay increases that come when we actually use that competitive drive to our best advantage.

Participation trophies are, after a while, a crutch that some folks willingly give to others, thereby crippling them with every gold-plated award as they come to believe that life will always reward them just for showing up.

Why Kaepernick is a Joke

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This is a matter that should have been handled in a much different way a couple of years ago since quite honestly it’s kind of ridiculous. How good Kaepernick is really depends on who you talk to, as does what happened with him after 2016.

Let’s see, he knelt for the National Anthem, as is his right, but in doing so millions of people, whose lives weren’t made any better or worse for this, erupted in a frenzy trying to defend or condemn him. The reason that can be deduced, beyond all the hate, negativity, and misguided loyalty, that this was a bad idea is pretty simple. Do you get to protest America while you’re at work? Nope, probably not, and a display like this would seem to preclude being let go for a lot of people across the country if we dared to do it on company time.

But Kaepernick, being an NFL quarterback at the time, was allowed to keep playing. The fact that his game had already been headed in a downward direction was barely looked at by anyone, and the fact that he was no longer worth the money seems to have been lost. But the moment he was condemned by anyone for this act was when people actually exploded into motion when it came to defending him. And if anyone dared to mention that he was doing it for the attention they were called out as possible racists that didn’t understand why he was kneeling.

Quite honestly his idea of kneeling to protest police brutality wasn’t a bad idea. But given that, as an NFL quarterback of great renown, he could have have used his platform in a much more efficient manner rather than cause this kind of uproar, it seems very suspect that he would do such a thing while he was on the verge of being let go by the San Francisco 49ers. Worse than this was the fact that since he’d played his hand he had to back it up now, and so he doubled down on his words and action by openly disrespecting police officers in a broad and very visible manner.

The act of stating that he’d been blacklisted by the NFL was amusing since not only did he want starting QB money for being a backup when he was being passed around from team to team to see if he’d work, but he actually thought he could walk into the AAF and demand the same kind of money. The guy is still fresh off an endorsement deal from Nike lauding him as a ‘hero’ for taking a stand, and he’s looking for another big payday. Guess someone forgot to tell him that asking for money over and over is kind of a red flag when you’re supposed to be all about your principles.

Now that the NFL and Kaepernick seem to have settled up their dispute however, it’s hopeful that we won’t be seeing him don a football uniform ever again and that his name will be either forgotten after a while, not likely, or be added to those that almost made it but tripped somewhere along the line.

The joke? He had to start believing his own bs in order to make others actually believe in him again.

Why People Blame Millennials

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The funny thing about blaming millennials is that those of us from previous generations have a stake in why some of those that we see in the news are so messed up. When people start taking ownership of the fact that their kids are doing and saying things that make little to no sense or acting in ways that seem less than helpful to society we need to remember that someone guided them this far and didn’t seem to feel the need to remind them that while conforming to the status quo isn’t the most important thing in life, there are moments when one simply needs to stop talking and realize they have more to learn.

Let’s be honest, not all millennials are the problem as there are many that are well-adjusted and go about their lives trying to make positive changes in the world. Blaming all of them for the actions and words of a few misguided morons isn’t entirely fair. But as those that act in this manner do belong to the generation it is entirely too easy for many to simply generalize and assume that the majority of millennials are vapid little fools that want the world to make sense without having to put in the work to make it so.

There are indeed those that belong to the millennial generation that have done anything but make a compelling case as to why they’re the generation that will be making the future a better place. The media has certainly done it’s best to hype the iniquities of those that have been somehow proud to be seen as utter fools and will gladly sell themselves out for a little bit of fame here and there. But let’s remember that we don’t get to judge an entire generation of people based on the actions of those that are the most visible due to the actions and words that are, at best, the acts of fools that somehow missed out on a few very key life lessons that might have come in handy.

Millennials aren’t all as hopeless as those that have marked the generation for others, a good number of them did learn a few things on their way up. Thank goodness for that, otherwise our country would be headed in a downward spiral that would have started well before now.