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Aug. 7th, 2016 @ 07:49 am Being a human is weird
Being a human is weird, but a lot of that weirdness is a result of social rules that other humans came up with well before I was born. I wish I lived in a society that could opt to discard social rules that it's grown out of, much in the same way that a lizard is able to shed its skin. But unfortunately *part* of being human is having those social rules ingrained into your being during your formative years - No matter how much you try to reject them, they'll always be there, lurking in the darkness.

The only solution to fixing this situation is for each of us to work to recognize the parts of society that have been ingrained into us while we were growing up that run counter to the society that we hope humanity will some day achieve, and then do everything within our power to ensure that those parts of our being do not become ingrained in our children as well. ...And then to hope with all our hearts that other humans have recognized the same failings of our current society, and are also working to ensure that those bits do not end up ingrained in *their own* children.

This is a high hope. It is unreasonable to expect that we will all have the enlightenment necessary to work toward this end, and even more unreasonable still to believe that even if all of us did, we would all recognize the same facets of ourselves as being toxic to the future society we hope our children's children will some day live in.

...But another part of being human - a part that I do not think our race will ever be able to discard - is fostering hopes that are beyond the unreasonable, and striving for them regardless.
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Jun. 30th, 2016 @ 05:19 am Regarding Taxes
Dear people who complain about taxes,

Every pay stub I recieve explains how 28.72% of the money that I earned was redirected - before it even got to me - to various federal, state, and local agencies and funds. And I'm glad that it does.

That money pays for the infrastructure that allows us to have a national healthcare system where new technologies and procedures are shared and improved upon. That money provides for the roads and bridges that I use every day to get from place to place. That money allows our military to continue developing technologies that improve everyone's lives, such as the GPS system.

I'm not going to say that every penny of that money goes toward things that I agree with, but a LOT of it does, and I'm excited to know that my efforts have contributed to the cool and useful things that that money helps provide.
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Jun. 26th, 2016 @ 06:31 am A Monologue
"We are all saviors. For who among us has not found themselves nailed to a cross of someone else's sin? And who among us has not died, at least a little on the inside, so that someone else might find forgiveness? So go on, pray to Jesus - yes! But do not forget to pray also to your brothers and sisters. Do not forget to pray also to those who came before us and those who will come after. And most importantly, do not forget to pray to yourself - for who among us is more likely to work toward ensuring that your prayers are answered?"
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Jun. 4th, 2016 @ 10:30 am Baby Sitter's Club Dream
I had a dream that I acquired a set of all the books in the "Baby Sitter's Club" series. I didn't really want them, but they were super cheap. I had never read any of them, so I picked up one of the books from the middle of the series and started reading, just to get a better idea of what kind of things they were about.

The entire plot seemed to revolve around Princess Leah and Kosmo Kramer, now divorced, trying to get along amicably for the sake of their two jedi children.

And I kept pointing this out to people and asking them how it was possible for the book to be about this without the publisher getting sued for copyright infringement, but everyone I talked to just kind of waved it off with an explanation that the entire series was just full of stuff like that and it was perfectly normal, and that maybe if I had read them as a kid I would understand.
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May. 24th, 2016 @ 12:47 am That's one heck of a nurse...
Austin: Do you trust Phil Collins?
John: Um... I guess?
John: He did call out that dude for not saving that other dude from drowning.
Austin: He told us that his generation would put things right and that they're not just making promises that they'll never keep.
John: Phil's full of fucking shit and I'll never trust him again.
John: He can just go back to the land of confusion.
Austin: Okay. Good. That's what I thought.
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Apr. 2nd, 2016 @ 03:39 pm Not because of racism
"What did the race of the officers have to do with the incident? Nothing. Neither did her race matter, because the situation arose not because of racism"

Taken from the following Conservative Tribune article:

Thank you Conservative Tribune, you unabashedly right-biased news source you. I'll remember that next time I hear someone "casually" mention that someone is black or middle eastern while complaining about something they did.
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Mar. 19th, 2016 @ 04:35 pm A series of facebook quotes regarding my father
I had to unfriend my father on facebook. Not because of the presidential candidate that he supports, but because of the constant negativity and derogatory language that he used toward other candidates and their supporters. It's just a level of negativity that I don't need in my life right now.


The weird thing is that I can remember my dad sitting me down and giving me a talk about how he noticed that I was avoiding interacting with his African American friends, and that while it's normal to be a little afraid of people who look or think differently than I do, I shouldn't let unfounded fears based on something arbitrary like skin color or religion impact how I interact with others.

I don't remember his exact wording, but I remember him ending the conversation with "I'm proud of you, because I know that you're better than that."

I don't understand how the beliefs he's advocating now can come from the same person who said those words to me. And it scares me a little.


This will sound dumb, but... every time he posts about how all people who support Bernie Sanders are moochers and have never worked hard for anything in their lives.... He expresses that view so often, that I can't help but feel that that's how he views me. That's how one of the most influential people in my life, a person who in many ways I have modeled myself after, thinks of me. And not just me, but a lot of the people that I care about the most in the world.

I can handle him supporting a politician that I strongly dislike, but I couldn't handle that.
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Mar. 11th, 2016 @ 04:38 pm Regarding Racism and Barack Obama
I used to play a game back in 2008 leading up to and following the presidential election. During that time I worked as a donor services technician at the American Red Cross - I drew people's blood for a living. Every day I went to work and interacted with new and different people, the vast majority of which I would not see again for months, if ever. This afforded me a little bit of leniency in my interactions with them. I generally strived to constrain my conversations to neutral topics, but if they happened to bring up politics, and I happened to express a viewpoint that they didn't like, it wasn't the end of the world.

Let me tell you about this game. It was good times.

Step 1: Wait for one of my donors to express a dislike for Barack Obama.

If you don't recall the political climate in 2008 let me refresh your memory a little. There was a presidential election going on, and the Democratic Party had decided to run a candidate named Barack Obama in their bid to occupy the White House. Barack Obama had become a well known political figure four years previous due to the fact that he had won a U.S. Senate seat in the state of Illinois. During an election where only 54% of the state had voted for the Democrat's presidential candidate (John Kerry), 70% of the votes for the senate position went to Barack Obama. America was impressed. But not all of America.

Step 2: Express that I also didn't feel that Barack Obama's policies were right for our nation.

During the months leading up to the presidential election in 2008 there were, understandably, a lot of people who felt that Barack Obama was not the right candidate for the office. And that's okay. Was I one of those people? Well, no. I lied to my blood donors regarding this matter, and I did so shamelessly. The first MANY times I did this were with the intent of reducing conflict - blood flows better when you're relaxed; causing a donor to be tense from an argument about political viewpoints doesn't help the end goal of collecting blood and saving lives.

The majority of the blood donors that I spoke with during this time who expressed a dislike for Obama as president kept the conversation to topics of policy and platform and were able to express logical reasons for their feelings on this matter. Some of them, however...

Step 3: Wait until the donor said something racist about Barack Obama.

As the election drew closer and especially in the weeks after the election results became known, I kept hearing more and more offhanded comments about Obama, not regarding his political platform or the decisions that he had made as a member of the Senate, but instead regarding his skin color. And for a while I did my best to ignore these. But then one day, I told one of my donors...

Step 4: Reveal that when I had said I didn't think that Barack Obama was the right leader for this country, what I actually meant was that I planned to cast my vote for Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party candidate who just happened to be a black woman.

I lied. Again. I honestly didn't know anything about the Green Party's platform at the time, but I was tired of hearing racist remarks from people. The first time I did this was at a blood drive where one of my co-workers who was working at the donor bed next to mine was black, and I realized that if I didn't say something to shut down what my donor was saying, I was complicit in their hate speech, and I was not comfortable with that.

Was this this right reason to take a stance? Probably not. Should I have acted a LOT sooner rather than turning a blind eye to the things that people had said to me previous to this point? Probably. Will I make the same mistake in the future and fail to address a racist comment in hopes of avoiding conflict? ...I would rather not answer that question right now.

But the point of the matter is this: It shut him up. The words I said made the blood donor that I was working with stutter comically and then go quiet for the rest of the donation.

Step 5: Watch as my donor backpedals awkwardly and tries to explain why what they said wasn't racist before falling into an awkward silence.

What was simultaneously the best and most angrifying part of this process was the fact that the more times I did this, the more apparent it became to me that there was a small but vocal subset of people who were perfectly happy with blindly assuming that anyone who didn't support Barack Obama must have ALSO done so AT LEAST IN PART because they didn't like his skin color. They felt that when I said that I didn't support his policies, I was actually communicating with them in a secret code, telling them that I also felt that Obama was wrong for the position at least partially because of the fact that his skin was a different color than my own.

And honestly, that's kind of terrifying to me.

How many times did I follow all five of the above steps through to completion? Maybe about ten. Not enough to make for a statistically significant sample, but definitely enough to shape my opinion that when people argue that Barack Obama is disliked for his political leanings alone and not at all for his skin color, they are either shockingly naive or, more likely, lying through their teeth.
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Feb. 12th, 2016 @ 02:14 am Cranial Spiders
Doctor: (Holding a transparent print of an X-ray) Well, the bad news is that it looks as if you have a mild case of cranial spiders.
Patient: Wait, What?!
Doctor: (placatingly) Oh don't worry. It's not as bad as it sounds. It just means that you have tiny spiders living in your cranium.
Patient: ...
Patient: (Yelling) I'm pretty sure that is EXACTLY as bad as it sounds!
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Oct. 4th, 2015 @ 05:43 pm We were all stories once...
"We were all stories once, each and every one of us. And we remain stories. But too often we allow those stories to grow banal, or cruel, or unconnected to each other. We allow the stories to continue, but they no longer have a heart. They no longer sustain us."

Charles DeLint, "The Onion Girl"

It's been ten years since I quoted Charles DeLint in my live journal. I thought that maybe it was about time that I did it again.
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