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Forever Finite (part IV)

MUSA-Cancun-underwater-park-sculptures-by-Karen-Salinas-Martínez

May 23rd, 2019

Sunset Key, Florida

The water was warm as it folded around him, welcoming Evan as it always did, almost as though it had expected him to come at this time. His father’s voice was still a dim sound in the distance, but as his head slipped beneath the surface it was erased entirely as a new sound began to come to him through the shifting currents, beckoning Evan forward as he moved even deeper, feeling the rough surface of the sea floor beneath his feet as he continued to move along, knowing that the surface would descend for only a short bit as he pictured the site he was surely moving towards in his mind.

He didn’t know why his mother thought it was her right to tell him what to do, but it didn’t matter. Evan was going to do what he wanted no matter what she said, he wasn’t a child any longer after all. The stories of his grandfather couldn’t have been true anyway, the old man had likely just lost his way no matter what anyone said.

Wait, what?

He shook his head, wondering where that thought had come from. His grandfather had known these waters better than most and couldn’t have possibly gotten lost, or even disoriented. Plus, he’d never had a negative thought about the old man in his life. So why was he now?

In the next second it didn’t matter as he stopped walking and began to swim, holding his breath on instinct as the tingle in his lungs told him that he’d been close to forgetting that he was beneath the waves now. He would have to find the gate soon or risk having to come up and be found by his father or worse, his mother. The lecture she’d be likely to give him would be epic he could imagine, but he wanted find…

The ring.

He saw it as he turned to his left, frowning slightly. Hadn’t it been a little further from shore when he’d last come this way? Turning to look back in the direction he’d come Evan felt his eyes widen as he realized he could barely see the surface where he’d come from. Somehow he’d crossed the distance from the shore to this point without realizing it, and all on a single lungful of air. Last time he’d had to swim the surface and dive several times to find the spot.

So how…?

Once again, as something took control it didn’t matter. Evan began to make his way towards the stone ring, his lungs beginning to burn as strangely he disregarded the feeling.

Getting to the ring was the only thing that mattered.

(to be continued)

Lowering the Bar

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Take a good look, this is what we’re promoting on YouTube and the kind of girls, GIRLS mind you, not ladies, that are gaining popularity these days. Thankfully they’re not the bar that many others aspire to, but the damage they do is more than enough that they seem to inspire millions still that think their lifestyles are worth emulating.

If you don’t know who they are then here’s a little refresher course.

On the left you have a rather sad case called Woah Vicky, a seeming YouTube sensation, a white girl that thinks she’s black somehow and yet talks in a manner that no black or white woman would ever recognize as an actual accent. There are third graders that speak with more eloquence than she does, and likely have a much better time understanding what it means when your skin is pure white and doesn’t contain a trace of darkness that isn’t brought on by tanning.

On the right is the ‘cash me ousside’ girl, Danielle Bregoli, who came to fame as an internet meme after appearing on Dr. Phil to show the world just how much of a spoiled brat she really was and how cool she thought she sounded.

Both of them are white folks, without apologies they are white. Yet they both want to act in a stereotypical way that, somehow, has gotten them noticed since the idea of popularity these days seems to stem from looking at what seems like the most ridiculous thing you can find in the media and running with it to appease the people that want to laugh. Unfortunately this also means that some demented wingnuts are going to find it appealing and think that the people being put in the spotlight are genuine talents.

The bar is lowering when it comes to entertainment, no matter how both young women need a serious reality check. In fact it’s safe to say the bar has lowered if young women with this kind of inane attitude and self-delusions can gain a following of a million or more.

 

No Country for Conversation

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It’s no country for conversation any longer. Why would I say that? Have you seen the webcasts and news lately? It doesn’t matter if there’s a protest or just a conversation happening on TV, the likelihood that it won’t devolve into a shouting match or at least a heated moment between two or more individuals is getting lower and lower by the day.

Why is that? Well, if one person can’t get their way and convince someone that they’re right then the volume tends to go up. If the volume goes up without any resolution then the aggression begins to go up. And when that happens something usually seems ready to pop off at any moment.

There’s few conversations that go on between those with opposing ideals in this day and age that don’t devolve into something that ends up hurting the feelings of someone and angering another. The saddest part of this is that it would be so easy to just it, relax, and speak one’s viewpoint in a respectful and peaceful manner. There’s really no need to block roadways, shout at others, and instigate the kind of violence that’s come around as of late.

Arguing is all well and good, we’re human, we’re not going to agree all the time since our ideologies are always going to be different between one person and another. When we sit down and discuss whatever facts there are to be contributed and agree to disagree then it’s possible to be civil. The moment someone starts name-calling and throwing shade of any type at another the discourse breaks down and, well, we get what we’ve had for the past couple of years, and longer.

It’s no country for conversation any longer.

The Obsession with Weight

Obesity

Let’s get this out there to start with: being obese is a difficult thing for some people to talk about. Some don’t care, others don’t want to speak on it, and still others would argue that being obese and being healthy is entirely possible.

Um, no.

It’s very easy to argue with people over what qualifies them as being obese since looking at the charts that have been created it seems kind of ludicrous to say that an average man that stands over six feet tall shouldn’t be over 200 lbs. in weight. Personally I’m 6’2″ and when I was in the best shape of my life in college I was still weight in around 225 if not a little more. So technically I was overweight, but just as technically it felt as though my weight couldn’t lower without causing serious harm to my body as I’d grown accustomed to packing around the weight I had.

This is where disagreements come from and where harm begins to emerge on both sides of the argument. Being obese is in fact very harmful, and it’s even classified as a disease.

Okay, again, no.

Being obese can certainly LEAD to diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, but it’s not the disease itself. Is the disease responsible for compulsive eating? Does it force a person to shovel food into their mouth? No, not really? Then it’s not a disease, it’s a lack of willpower that keeps people from being able to say no and shove the bag of donuts or chips or whatever away. Many people want to replace the idea of self-control with the idea that they simply can’t say no to that tasty-looking slice of pie that has more calories in it than a full meal that might fulfill their dietary needs in a much better fashion.

Dieting isn’t the trick, but neither is shoveling food into your mouth to make you feel better. Exercise is a good idea, so is getting up and doing things that you normally don’t do, like walking to the store instead of driving, or maybe even get up and walk around the house a few times instead of sitting in front of the TV doing nothing.

Our obsession with obesity is that it’s easier to combat than people think. The trick is getting your butt up and doing something instead of sitting there and letting it get wider.

Antifa, the Crows of Society

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There’s a very good reason why I get so down on Antifa and not the other side, the other side doesn’t cause as many problems throughout society as Antifa does. Don’t believe me? Watch a few YouTube clips and you might change your mind, or not. Those groups that Antifa frequently squares off with have their faults without a doubt, but unlike Antifa they aren’t causing massive problems within the spaces they choose to march.

It’s true, both groups contribute to a part of the problem with this country when it comes to how ideals are presented and how they’re slavishly adhered to in some cases. But while both groups tend to come prepared for trouble to break out, it’s usually Antifa that starts it. Is that really the message that needs to be sent? Plus, the idea of wearing a mask, hiding your identity, and yet claiming that you have such strong beliefs is more than a little contradictory. If you’re going to believe in something then have the kind of pride that it takes to stand up and be counted, don’t cower behind a mask so you can break the law and get away with it. Cowards do that, which is why Antifa is little more than a social gathering for those that can’t fight their own battles.

But to the article…..

Why would I liken Antifa to crows? To be honest it’s kind of an insult to the avian species since they at least serve some purpose within nature, though it’s hard to figure out what it is sometimes. Much like a crow however, Antifa are highly annoying creatures that are insanely repetitive and either continue to say the same thing over and over or make no noise at all. Antifa members are particularly good at both when someone challenges their belief, especially when someone trumps them with a bit of knowledge they weren’t prepared for.

Also take note, you’ll hardly ever see a crow fight on their own unless they have no choice. Antifa members are much the same, they’re nothing without numbers and they know this, as with at least dozen or more members they’re insanely brave, but when faced with a situation where the numbers are against them they’ll either clam up or seek the best route that offers them an escape from the beatdown they might be facing. Ever see a murder of crows mob other birds in nature? That’s more or less what Antifa members will do when they know the numbers are on their side.

More than anything, Antifa are the crows of society since they’re an annoying presence that never seems to go away and simply has to croak their garbage rhetoric in the hopes that they’ll be taken seriously. Yes the other groups they stand against are just as ridiculous, but Antifa takes the bar and raises it to a level that most groups can’t reach and wouldn’t even try.

Reparations? Really?

“Making people that never ascribed to slavery pay people that were never slaves any reparations for a past they didn’t live is like paying someone that says you hurt their feelings, it’s one-sided and makes no sense.”
-Anonymous

Chanelle Helm has made it clear, some time ago, that black people in this country seem to be at a distinct disadvantage, you know, besides the black folks that have risen to the great heights in the music, film, business, and, ah hell, any industry in which a black individual has chosen to elevate themselves. Wow, that argument became a bit invalid the moment it came out since like white people, Asian people, Mexican people, just about anyone and everyone in this country, there are disadvantaged, poor, and downtrodden individuals that don’t seem to understand that hard work, no matter how much it doesn’t seem to benefit them, is one of the only ways you lift yourself up and make any forward progress. It doesn’t work for you? Find another way. You’re being oppressed? No you’re not, especially if you’re out on a roadway or in a public space protesting, using your FREEDOM OF SPEECH to condemn those you think are oppressing you but are in truth sitting back and laughing as they wait for you to go back to work and try to make your lives better.

No one is oppressing you, and each and every time a person, ANY person, demands that people give into their demands or their needs they’re saying one thing “I don’t want to do it, I just want it to be given to me.”

No I don’t support Trump, no I don’t support Hillary, but I do support hard work and the effort it takes to make your life mean something. When you’re blocking a road, just think about who you’re stopping from getting to work, the same hard-working individuals you claim to be.

Oh, and while we’re here, let’s make it clear to Chanelle Helm that this little list of hers is about as ridiculous as it gets.

1. White people, if you don’t have any descendants, will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably one that lives in generational poverty.

Unless those black or brown people are family, I don’t think so. The state will get the property if there’s no one else before anyone that simply ‘wants’ it. You want it? Pay for it like everyone else, EARN it.

2. White people, if you’re inheriting property you intend to sell upon acceptance, give it to a black or brown family. You’re bound to make that money in some other white privileged way.

Once again, there’s that word ‘give’. Is this indicating that people of color can’t EARN anything? If it is then a lot of folks both black and white would probably have an issue since that would be a pretty big insult. And as far as privileged goes, yes, working your butt off and saving up for years is SUCH a privilege.

3. If you are a developer or realty owner of multi-family housing, build a sustainable complex in a black or brown blighted neighborhood and let black and brown people live in it for free.

Then it wouldn’t be sustainable would it? The problem with giving things out for free is that far too many people think that means they have run of the joint entirely and can do whatever they want. Guess what? It costs money for upkeep, it costs money for taxes, and no landlord in their right mind is going to accept this kind of thing unless they’re the type that doesn’t have to worry about money. Maybe hit up Bill Gates or some other multi-billionaire and hope they don’t laugh you out of the office.

4. White people, if you can afford to downsize, give up the home you own to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.

Hold on, I need to stop laughing for a moment. You want people to just give up their home, downsize, and give their home to you? Maybe it wasn’t clear that the word ‘give’ isn’t the best word to use. There are many things that people might ‘give’ you after a suggestion like this, but their home isn’t one of them.

5. White people, if any of the people you intend to leave your property to are racists assholes, change the will, and will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.

Now we want to get personal and really dig in eh? Listen closely, it doesn’t matter who the land or home is given to, because unless you’re family or someone that’s trusted with it, the odds aren’t too great that you’re going to get it just because you want it. What you NEED to do is earn your own way and buy your own home.

6. White people, re-budget your monthly so you can donate to black funds for land purchasing.

There’s a lot of call for white people to do something in this missive, and why is that? Oh, because we’re inherently racist according to some and no matter that generations have gone by since anyone owned a slave we’re being made to pay for those sins over, and over, and over, and over, and….see how ridiculous that repetitive nonsense sounds?

7. White people, especially white women (because this is yaw specialty — Nosey Jenny and Meddling Kathy), get a racist fired. Yaw know what the fuck they be saying. You are complicit when you ignore them. Get your boss fired cause they racist too.

So, ruin someone’s life because they’re racist? Now honestly it would be kind of a shock and a pain in the ass to work for a racist boss. But unless they’re physically harming anyone or actively calling for harm against other people then you might want to tone it down just a tad. Racists aren’t pleasant people, but they occupy this nation too, and like it or not, they still have freedom of speech and the same rights you do. Ease down on the rhetoric as you’re coming close to the line.

8. Backing up No. 7, this should be easy but all those sheetless Klan, Nazi’s and Other lil’ dick-white men will all be returning to work. Get they ass fired. Call the police even: they look suspicious.

And the insults continue. So who counts when it comes to looking suspicious? You know us white folks, we all look alike at times right? I mean come on, our white skin and different hair colors aren’t fooling anyone, right? We’re all just secretly racists plotting the downfall of the nation under white supremacy. And if you believe that I’ve got a bedsheet to sell you.

9. OK, backing up No. 8, if any white person at your work, or as you enter in spaces and you overhear a white person praising the actions from yesterday, first, get a pic. Get their name and more info. Hell, find out where they work — Get Them Fired. But certainly address them, and, if you need to, you got hands: use them.

Now we’re calling for open violence eh? And yet for all that I did believe for a time that BLM was supposed to be a peaceful protest that didn’t want to advocate violence. I honestly don’t think she speaks for the entire group, but it’s still disturbing to think that anyone might actually take her seriously.

10. Commit to two things: Fighting white supremacy where and how you can (this doesn’t mean taking up knitting, unless you’re making scarves for black and brown kids in need), and funding black and brown people and their work.

So basically screw white people, don’t care about anyone else but black people, and get down and dirty if you need to when it comes to outing racists no matter if they’re admitting they’re racist or insisting that they’re not. Got it.

Wow, I’m kind of with Adam Calhoun at this point, BLM really does stand for Being Lazy Matters. That’s right, I said it.

Why People Fear the Dark

“It’s not fear of the dark itself, it’s what hides within the most hidden parts of it.”

-Anonymous

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Many people think that a fear of the dark is something for children to obsess over, a nighttime terror that is felt by those too young to associate the truth of the dark with the reality that exists beyond their sense of reasoning. That might be valid if such a belief hadn’t been debunked a long time ago. Some kids simply aren’t afraid of the dark and never have been. Some adults however have never seen the link develop between reality and the fears that their overactive minds constantly produce concerning the dark.

It’s not something to be ashamed of, though it is something that might be wise to work past since fear of the dark is something quite vague that can encompass a wide array of fears that make little sense and don’t always coincide with a rational, healthy mindset.

We fear the dark for the same reason that our ancestors did if you want the honest truth. The dark brings forth a great many dangers that we don’t feel equipped to deal with since we can’t see them coming. In the days before civilization mankind was vulnerable in the dark, they were exposed, forced to either hide or find ways to defend themselves against a world in which predators had adapted to hunt their prey in day or night. This gave rise to the beliefs that many still entertain today, that darkness is evil, that it is the domain of all things vile and destructive. While that might be so and is a very strong belief within many, it is still something that inhibits people instead of setting them free.

Daylight is just as scary as the night if you want the honest truth. Being able to see what’s coming isn’t much better than not being able to see. At least at night there’s a good chance you can disappear as well as the things that might stalk you. In the daylight, there’s little cover to be found.

Fear of the dark isn’t bound to the shadows, it’s due to what lies behind them. Once you stop worrying about what’s not there the darkness becomes just another night. It sounds easy of course, but making that link between rational thought and peace of mind is kind of difficult. But it’s worth it.

The Power of Words

“The only limits of words are the meaning which is affixed to them.”

-Anonymous

 

Think about that for a moment. Whether spoken, written, or typed, words have a great deal of power that is given to them by the speaker, or the writer. The belief that is packed into each syllable is palpable in many cases, powerful beyond measure if it is strong enough, and hollow and empty if they come by rote from another source. The power of the words we use isn’t bound up in the word itself, but in the belief we bring to bear when using them. Words are utterances, symbols, nothing more than another form of expression that is used to communicate feeling, meaning, and purpose between individuals, but the power they carry when an individual charges them is very real.

This is why we must take care with our words and how we use them. Too many people throw words into the ether to be used as little more than an inane mantra that carries little to no meaning but is meant to act as a shield against a world they refuse to fully understand. The guise of such words is often to hide the ignorance that lies behind them, though in truth it denotes the lack of wisdom through a stubborn form of arrogance that their words are those that carry any hint of power. In essence, those that chant their words in a repetitive manner are throwing up verbal smoke bombs to prevent their detractors from seeing behind the guise they weave, thereby denying them the idea that they have little to any clue as to what they’re saying or why.

Words do have power, but this power isn’t bound in the words themselves, but the convictions that are allowed to infuse every syllable and consonant as they spill from our lips or make their way onto the page. The power we possess in the form of communication is both vast and very underrated, but is also taken for granted by far too many that claim to believe in the freedom such power brings, while seeking to deny it to others.

If you can understand the inherent power that words bring, then you can appreciate why using them wisely is a habit of the virtuous, while spewing them forth in a tirade is the practice of the foolish.

Forever Finite (part III)

MUSA-Cancun-underwater-park-sculptures-by-Karen-Salinas-Martínez

May 23rd, 2019

Sunset Key, Florida

His family wouldn’t find him here, they hardly ever came out to this part of the island since it was considered too dangerous at high tide. But he knew how to navigate the coastline and had done it more than once even after his mother and father had told him not too. Sunset had come only a few minutes ago, and he knew very well that his father was likely out combing the island for him by now. There was usually no worry that he would come back, they knew that he couldn’t swim all the way back to the mainland and they also knew that he would calm down eventually.

But not this time.

This time he was fired up in a way that he couldn’t explain. Something had happened when his mother had demanded that he stay away from the gate, but he couldn’t explain it. The underwater ring was something that their whole family knew about, it wasn’t much of a secret really, but it was also something that a lot of those that lived on the island didn’t bother talking about for their own reasons. For his mother it was because she’d lost someone down there.

Her father had perished near the ring, though to this day no one knew how, or why. He had simply never come up the last time he’d gone down, though their grandmother, before she’d passed away, had told them all that he had changed somehow, becoming distant and even different in the weeks before his ‘accident’. No one had ever been able to believe that it had been an accidental drowning since his grandfather had been a strong swimmer and just as knowledgeable as anyone about the island and how to navigate the tides.

He perked up slightly as he could just barely hear his father’s voice over the lapping of the waves as they met the shoreline. The ring was just a little ways out and down, near the base of the island. He knew it was ridiculous but he could have sworn that he felt it pulling at him somehow, especially given that he knew right where it was. As his father called again though his voice seemed to grow distant, and something else seemed to call to him, forcing him to blink as he rose from his place of seclusion near an embankment that led down to the shore and into the crystal clear waters.

Before he knew what he was doing he was on his feet, and in the next few seconds he was in the water, moving forward without hesitation.

(to be continued)

What is Equality?

gender-equality

This should be a pretty cut and dried explanation, it’s about giving people equal opportunity, equal pay, equal treatment, and that’s that. Right? Somewhere along the line though that point got lost, and it’s been havoc ever since. Equality hasn’t been equal for a long time, there’s no mystery there. People have been treated differently because of their gender, their race, and even their beliefs for longer than the US has been a nation. But now that we’re in a position to start treating people equally it almost seems as those that are shouting for equality want a little something more.

Why?

If you belong to a generation that was oppressed and were in fact openly oppressed at any point in your life then you might be owed some form of reparation from those that wronged you. But if you were born with the freedom and the ability to pull yourself up and do what you can to make your life better, then no one owes you anything. If you’re raised in a poor family that’s not your fault, but it’s also not the fault of a child that’s raised with money. No one has the right to more than what they earn, no matter their background. We want equality? Well to be honest, it doesn’t come from taking what you didn’t earn, and it certainly doesn’t come from demanding extra from others that have more than you.

You want it? Go earn it.

It’s true, a lot of people are living from paycheck to paycheck and sometimes not even that. People are in debt because they’re living well beyond their means, they’re destitute because they can’t find a job, they don’t have the education, they have too many kids to look after, so on and so forth. Harsh and uncaring as it sounds, that’s no one else’s problem but yours. You’re right, that sounds like someone that would keep a person on the street unless they want to earn their way off of it. It sounds like someone that would look upon others that have nothing and say “too bad”.

You made your choices, and you have choices yet to make. No one is holding you down. The victim card is one of the more pathetic and despicable acts to employ when trying to get ahead, as the truth is that if you want a better life, you have only to try for it and do whatever is necessary to get it.

It’s not easy? People don’t just give it to you? That’s life. You aren’t owed a single thing in this life. The idea of being told that anyone owes anyone anything is laughable, as in the modern era, the only thing that is ever owed is what a person earns. Equality comes from what is done to earn the life you want, what is sacrificed in order to gain that life, and what you’re willing to do in order to maintain it.

So what are you willing to do? Are you willing to work? Are you willing to earn? If not, then your arguments about equality are invalid.