Hold up

Photo by Sebastiaan Stam on Pexels.com

Hold up, hold up. Wait, wait, wait! Freeze! Hit pause. Stop the presses. Slam on the brakes.

This isn’t the first time I have addressed this and I am sure it won’t be the last, but this couldn’t be any better of an example than what the music industry (and society as a whole) have in regards to a HUGE DOUBLE STANDARD.

“Kettle, you’re black.”

“Oh yeah well, Pot, you’re black too.”

Morgan Wallen has essentially been banned from radio for use of the N-word while hanging out with people he knew. Are his actions appropriate? Nope. Not in the least. Am I defending him? Nope.

What I am doing is pointing out the huge double standard that the music industry and the public have when it comes to use of the N-word. Seriously. The double standard couldn’t be any more obvious and blatant.

I am sure you are aware, or maybe you aren’t, but nearly every popular rap musician these days uses some form of the N-word IN THE LYRICS OF THEIR SONGS. The use isn’t an accidental slip, or under your breath muttering that was caught on tape – it’s intentional and calculated. Period. These songs are played on the radio (with the blatant words bleeped out), on streaming services without (and without) the words being bleeped out, in music videos (censored and not), and even on television (with the words bleeped out).

These musicians make public appearances, are celebrated by the music industry and the public, and have huge endorsement contracts with some of the most popular and recognizable names in the world. As an example, check out the lyrics of songs by Travis Scott. After looking at the lyrics, would it surprise you that he has endorsement contracts with Nike, Playstation, Fortnite, McDonalds, etc. totaling about a $100 million? Remember his NFL Superbowl halftime appearance/performance a last year? He was embraced, not ostracized. This is just one example. Just ONE example. There are so many more. The genre is full of it. Just pick someone that is popular in rap right now, or someone that was popular, and you will find lyrics that use the N-word.

So, it isn’t a secret in the industry. It’s just hypocrisy. It’s just a double standard. It’s just a “do as I say, not as I do” message from one community to another. Just plain, “It’s OK for some, but not for others.”

Yet, we have an example here where someone uses the word and there are consequences that amount to a “ten foot pole” for one guy and a whole genre of music that uses the word and it’s open arms for the artists and they can’t throw enough money at them.

I don’t get it. What am I missing?

Grumpy pants

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m feeling a little like a grumpy pants today. Did I wake up on the “wrong side of the bed”? Nope. Just feeling grumpy. Not sure why. Just am.

Do you have days like this? Where all you want to do is scream from the top of your lungs, “LEAVE ME ALONE!”

Yep. Today is one of those days for me.

Not that anyone is really bothering me, per se, but there is much to do at work and I don’t want to do it. There is much to do at home and I don’t want to do it.

I would prefer not to have anyone call me, see me, email me, message me, talk to me, look at me.

Actually, now that I think about it…I kinda feel like Bernie Sanders looked yesterday at the inauguration. Not that he was actually grumpy (at least not that I have heard), just that he didn’t look like he was all that pleased or excited to be there. He was probably just cold, but the image and all the memes being generated kind of says it all.

(Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)

Just leave me alone and all will be good. Just let me hang out in my grumpy pants and be me.

That is all.

One man’s…

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Perspective, or point of view, makes a big difference in how you or others view something. When it really comes down to it, no one perspective is correct because everyone sees things just a little bit differently. Two people can experience the exact same thing, yet have different views about what happened, how it happened, who it happened to, and what happened afterwards.

One man’s patriot is another man’s terrorist.

When I was teaching my history classes and specifically a class on modern terrorism I used to challenge my students’ thought by giving them the phrase above. It is based on the statement, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” I have researched who may have first uttered these words, but I can’t find anything that definitively gives attribution, so I can’t give you that info. But, that isn’t really the point.

Who defines a patriot and a terrorist really comes down to perspective or interpretation. There is no one definition that can truly encompass what the words actually mean. As such, it almost always comes down to who has the power to define the people, the actions, and the result. As Michael Bhatia of Brown University puts it, “…it’s about power, authority, and legitimacy.”

Now, he is talking specifically about international terrorism in general, but I think we can apply the situation and phrase to many different historical events because there are always two sides to take a look at.

  • The leaders in Britain saw the colonists as insurrectionists, terrorists, etc. as the colonists fought to create the United States. But the colonists saw their own people as freedom fighters, patriots, etc. because they were standing up to the tyranny of England.
  • The American military saw Iraqis in Iraq as terrorists when they blew up convoys, attacked bases and outposts, and killed Americans whether they were in the military or not. But the Iraqis saw the American military as an invading occupier and those who fought against the occupier were freedom fighters and patriots.
  • The leadership in South Africa saw the South Africans fighting for their rights and freedoms as insurrectionists and terrorists, but Nelson Mandela and his followers saw themselves as a freedom fighters and patriots.
  • Fidel Castro and his followers viewed themselves as patriots and freedom fighters who liberated their island from the right wing government and imperialist international interests while the government and international community viewed him as an insurrectionist and terrorist.

These are but a few examples. The point is, those in power have the ability to define anything and anyone as they see fit. We can’t let them define situations and people so easily without a little common sense and critical thinking.

What happened at the capitol last week can be viewed in much the same way. Are we going to let the media and those in power dictate who is a patriot and who is a terrorist? The use of either word has strong connotations behind them and if not used carefully, as in just throwing them around to fit a political agenda, it could harm people and ideas, and most importantly freedoms. It could keep people from standing up and fighting for their rights when there is legitimate cause to do so.

We must be careful when defining who is a patriot and who is a terrorist, because if we aren’t then the terms can too easily be manipulated for political purposes, which in turn allows us to be manipulated for political gain.

The Ban

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The ban from Twitter heard (or not heard) round the world. An interesting case of “private” versus “public” property, business, and serving the public. Can we trust the ban from tech no matter where or who it is?

Parler, a “conservative” alternative to Facebook, is banned by Apple, Google, and Amazon. The reason, supposedly, is for the fact that there is no “moderation” of the site and the planning of the WA DC riot took place on this venue.

I have seen some of my friends talking about this stuff on social media and saying that such bans don’t violate the 1st Amendment and the Freedom of Speech because the clause specifically refers to protection from oppression of private citizens by the government. That is true.

But over the years, that protection has been expanded beyond just the government oppression of citizens and been used to protect lots of different situations where people were upset with something someone said. Protections was extended to protect what people say because of the “marketplace of ideas” concept.

So there are some real contradictions when you see a private business (whom obviously serves a wider audience than just the public or private citizen, AND us a publicly help corporation) decided who can and who can’t use their service. The issue become rather problematic when you start applying the standards to some, but not others.

A friend posted on Facebook the other day (in regards to Parler), “…They are all privately owned businesses who can do business with whomever they choose. Would you as a business owner,…, like to be ‘forced’ to do business with someone who didn’t match your companies [sic] values?…”

Apparently this justification of “freedom to do business with whomever I please” is appropriate to apply on some situations when it fits the liberal narrative, but not the conservative narrative.

A few situations come to mind:

  • Shall I be forced to create a flower arrangement or bake a cake for a same-sex union if it doesn’t fit with my company’s values?
  • Shall I be forced to pay for abortions or provide health coverage that includes the abortion pill if it doesn’t fit with my company’s values?

In the cases above, the government has forced people and companies to “serve the public” even though the people they were going to be forced to serve were clearly going to go against the company’s values. For all intents and purposes, the lawsuits filed against the owners of these companies were basically told they couldn’t discriminate against people who had different values than they did.

Isn’t that what we have going on here when we talk about banning a service that is used by people who differ in “values?”

Liberals and liberal companies discriminating against conservatives and conservative companies?

Clearly, when violence, threats of violence, or breaking the law is at the heart of the service being provided, then a company should be able to limit those who have violated “community standards.” Did the president do this? Maybe. But, did the vast majority of users on Parler do this? Likely not. We’re talking about a small portion of the community, but the whole community was punished.

The result is you appear to be silencing an entire group of people simply because you don’t agree with their perspective, their opinions, or their beliefs.

There is dangerous precedent in this.

The big deal here is that if it happens here, where else can it happen and who else or what else can they do?

Turtle

Photo by Ludvig Hedenborg on Pexels.com

Pull your arms, legs, and head into your shell. No cares. No worries. Oblivious to everyone and everything.

That’s the life.

I want it.

I am so exhausted from everything that has taken place over the last day…week…month…year…decade? Seriously. I am tired of all people.

Anyone else just wanna throw up your hands and just say, “Screw it! I am doing my own thing now and everyone else can bite me.”?

If only it were just so and things would be that easy.

Interacting with social media, the “news,” friends, and even family (in some cases) has been like molasses in sub-zero temps. Pointless.

Exercises in frustration. Conversations similar to running your knuckles over a cheesegrater. Needles to the eyeball. Whatever you do, you’re just tired of it all.

So, life of a turtle, not so bad. I can see why hermits become hermits. Is it possible, at this juncture, to find a remote uninhabited tropical island and just live there?

I’ll take it.

Arbitrary

Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

No rhyme. No reason. Definitely not science. Just arbitrary rule making and enforcement. That’s just where things have been and are when it comes to a government that is willing to grab power and the ability to make decisions from the people.

A local establishment has caught the wrath of the government because it’s “outdoor dining” doesn’t quite fit the same description as “outdoor dining” that others are doing. No common sense enforcement, just arbitrary wielding of power because some of the local “Karens” have decided the business doesn’t fit, in their judgement, the safety standards set out by the government. Oh, and there isn’t any science to support the enforcement, just opinion and personal preference.

The restaurant in question has five giant garage doors that it can open up to elements. FIVE. Essentially, these are removable walls and is a trend in many other places around the country (dare I say, world?). Difference is that in many places the weather is warm and a nice cross breeze can be generated with the doors open. Here in the Northwest it isn’t warm but when the doors are open at this place there is one hell of a cross breeze, along with some sideways rain, or mist, or general damp air.

In WA, the rules right now say that “outdoor dining” can only take place in a temporary structure with, for all intents and purposes, one open side so there is adequate air flow.

The establishment above, according to the state, doesn’t qualify because it is a permanent structure. Doesn’t matter that two of the major walls of the structure are virtually non-existent then when the doors are open. It doesn’t take a lot of common sense to realize that the walls of the structure are open, regardless of the roof over one’s head being permanent, and there is air flowing through the room like the breeze blowing through a deck or park gazebo.

Hell, there is less air flowing through and airplane but we are allowed to do that? See what I mean? Arbitrary.

So, I know where I’ll be ordering food from this week.

Get out there and support those local businesses you want to see stay open. Hell, get out there and support any local business, because in the end they are your family, friends, and neighbors that working there. Don’t be arbitrary about that support. Be very intentional and very targeted.

Doorknob

Photo by PIRO4D on Pexels.com

WTF? Who is this doorknob and who the hell let him pray? An utter embarrassment to himself, to those who listen to him, to those he represents, and to all people of faith in general.

Leave it to the Democrats to make a circus out of something so basic.

Amen and awoman“? You gotta see it to even believe it.

I am stumbling all over myself at the stupidity of this. It’s hard to even put into words how uneducated and unnecessary something like this is. It doesn’t take much research to know that “amen” means “so be it”. It has nothing to do with gender.

But this doorknob has to make an issue out of a word he clearly doesn’t know the meaning of. Actually, I believe there were quite a few words in his “prayer” that he didn’t know the meaning of. Not because he is ignorant (actually, he might be), but more because his speech writer likely used a thesaurus to write the speech. It sounded a lot like the essays I would get from my high school students who were trying to fill space by using words that made them sound smarter than they were and sometimes didn’t even fit in the sentence correctly. Whatever is going on there, it was a piss poor display of speech writing and intelligence.

Please, sir, never pray again. You obviously don’t actually know what it means, understand how it is done, or have a concept of where a prayer comes from – the heart. It isn’t a political tool, or stunt.

Screeching

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Pexels.com

The Christmas break for schools is over and that can only mean a screeching halt to the quiet days at work. Also, that means a screeching halt to anything that resembled my days off.

I had three days in a row last week where I got more than 8 hours of sleep, and I must say that felt really nice. The time off for the holidays was both relaxing and productive, if that makes sense.

There is a lot of screeching going on today.

Now, the clients are back to screeching in our ears about the endless issues they seem to have, all related to the fact that each month they have the same issues in completing their job tasks as they had the month previous. How many times do we have to help people do their jobs?

People screeching about the election (still).

People screeching about covid (still).

People screeching about the weather (always).

People screech about their sports team and whether they are in or out.

People screeching about their health.

People screeching about a stimulus they don’t really deserve (or need).

The media screeching about some crisis they want us to pay attention to so they can generate clicks and money by being concerned about the next thing they want us to be concerned about.

People on social media screeching about some perceived injustice so it can be the flavor of the month for something that isn’t really an issue until they decided to make it an issue.

People screeching about WHATEVER.

Can you all just shut up now?

I prefer the peace and quiet of what were four days off of nothing. That was the ticket. I need more of that.

Are you Sears-ious?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

You’re gonna like this! No seriously, I am telling you to like it. But whatever you do, don’t expose yourself to free thinking. It’s bad for you. No seriously, it’s bad. Bad for some, that is.

If you haven’t encountered one of J.P. Sears’ videos, well, you just haven’t been on social media. They are everywhere! YouTube, Facebook, … you know, everywhere! No seriously, you will like these because they’re everywhere. I mean it.

Anyway, the man has been busy and is producing videos that just make you wanna sit back and think. No, seriously, think.

Is he serious, or is it comedy? Is it satire or is it truth? I’ll let you decide (provided you haven’t seen any of these already). These direct links to the videos are very specific, but if you click on that link up above, you’ll be taken to his channel where you can view all the stuff he has done. You can thank me later for this deep dive and lost afternoon of work, sleep, leisure, or whatever else you were planning on doing.

Socialist Media – The New Rules

How To Raise Weak Children During Lockdowns

My Apology to Facebook

A Communist Christmas

Instagram’s New Terms of Service – Not Sketchy at All!

Wanna be angry about something? Wanna be fearful and obedient? Wanna be controlled? Then don’t watch the videos, because they might enlighten you and no one wants that. That’s why Facebook has threatened him with de-platforming.

It takes brave people to standup and shout against the mainstream. I suggest you support this creator when you can.