Archive | May, 2016

“Enjoy Your Transgendered Bathroom. We Just Lost America” Is The Shit Thinkpiece You Need

23 May

Follow me @TheJoekes on the Twittah-spherical

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a certain post catch wildfire on my newsfeed and you always have to appreciate it.  You know, I try to blog when inspiration strikes and the best I tend to is get like 10-20 views in the immediate aftermath.  So power to those who can strike a chord and really do it.  I mean it.  I admire you.

However, since we are in an election year and LGBT for some odd reason don’t want to be persecuted, there’s been a bevy of takes when it comes to the whole bathroom-gate.

Basically, something that has been going on for probably awhile is now a federal law and your mancrush Monday is fucking pissed!  Yeah, he doesn’t have a daughter but boy if he did, he would walk into the bathroom (not in a weird way, but a protective way!  he certainly isn’t wanting to prey on women) and lay down the law!  If that tough mudder gets rescheduled next week, you can surely believe Wyatt will be manning the doors at every public restroom in America.

Now, guess what!  We got the ultimate thinkpiece to both go viral and Make U Think.  Look no further than this piece from something called New Boston Post (“the hub of conservative thought”).  Like anything from Boston, we should ignore this but hey Kyle S. Reyes; you went viral bro!

Let’s take a peep at what we are working with here.

While you were fighting over who should use what bathrooms at Target, we lost our country.

For starter’s, the lede matches the headline which I appreciate honestly.  I hate when the title never matches the post.  Seriously, look at 90% of posts and try to guess what’s going on here.

While you were arguing with coworkers over who would leave the country first if Trump/Clinton were elected, the “American Dream” perished.

Alright, you still got me.  I’ll let you make your point but otherwise, maybe we have something bipartisan here.  The angle you are going for, so far….so good!

Don’t believe me? Then perhaps ALL is lost. And I can prove it all to you through the eyes of a child.

This is a classic tactic.  It shows that whatever my man is about to talk about, you just aren’t woke enough.  When you want to simplify an argument, you bring up the children.  Kind of like how those memes were shared a few years ago about how Duck Dynasty got taken off the air because of prayer and the rebuttal was, MILEY CYRUS WEARING A THONG!  THINK OF THE CHILDREN?  Not that the Dynasty jamoke squad was a sulfuric mix of bigotry and homophobia….but they prayed!
Anyway, amateur but still….dude needs to make a point.

The screens around our house in the past couple of weeks stand in stark contrast to what’s in front of them.

The television … the laptops … the iPads … the cell phones … filled with images of the attacks around the world. Day in and day out, we hear stories about “refugees” pouring into the United States. Broadcast are the sounds of tone-deaf leaders. Of anger. Of hatred. Of hurt. Of fear.

In front of those screens runs our little daughter. Just over a year old, she’s the greatest blessing a young family can have. She’s filled with innocence, love, joy and our hopes for the future.

Well, minus the “refugees” being air-quoted for some odd reason (I’m sure we’ll know why he did that in a moment) I can see the point.  The world is a shit scary place and with our ability to get news instantly; you are going to see a lot of mayhem.  A parent should always be terrified about the world their leaving behind for young ones.  It’s natural.

But for the sake of your daughter, man put on some Nick Jr or Angry Birds.  Like, you have a smart phone yourself to see the world burn.  It’s a pretty good idea.  At twelve months, I’m sure she’s not quite aware of bombings unless she has CNN Breaking News on.

But there was a lull in the media noise on Sunday when we attended Mass. Our priest usually preaches about love. Faith. Hope. But there was a different dynamic this week.

There was a different energy.

Sorry man, Game of Thrones spoilers are everywhere.  If you DVR it, gotta watch it immediately.

This time, he talked about the end of times.

Our priest is far from being an alarmist. Just the opposite. But this particular Mass, he spoke deeply and heavily about being prepared. “For we know not the hour … ”

He wasn’t trying to frighten people. But he also understood that he couldn’t be tone-deaf to the deep concerns of his flock.

Well, this is has a religious bent and I’m not religious so I have no right to talk about this guy.  But I mean, religion can be a pretty dark thing right?  I remember there were some stray pamphlets around the house (because the only youth baseball league in my area that was affordable was Catholic, we got these things) and religion is always rather alarmist.  If you sin, and don’t repent, you go to Hell.  That’s a pretty alarming place to be.

But this man does know his audience!  Think of the screens!

Growing up, I paid close attention in history class

Oh now we are getting there!  This is a good transition from the Darkest Timeline Priest storyline which I thought was starting to get stale already.  When someone touts their credentials, it’s always good to mention you paid attention in history class.  No one can call bullshit on you.

And I’ve always felt a very deep sense of patriotism. I’ve always felt great respect for my country and believed that if, God forbid, we ever faced World War III, America would once again triumph.

Perhaps my fear, and the anxiety of so many others, is that we were wrong.

Jingoism can blind us.  Always root for the home team, always root for the troops that deserve our support 100%.  But you can never, regardless of where you live, assume that the current reality is that America was never perfect.

If you pay attention in history class, you’ll notice that empires tend to fall.

Have we ever faced a time when our country was so polarized?  Have we ever faced enemies so dangerous? Have we ever been on such a precipice that a frightening and painful energy radiated through each of us, tying us together in some disturbing, unifying, powerful and yet simultaneously divisive way?

Let’s see.  There was a fucking Civil War that literally tore the country apart?  There was a mammoth economic depression that was sandwiched in-between TWO WORLD WARS WITH A NUCLEAR BOMB!  There was a Cold War that at one point, there was nuclear missiles literally 80 miles away….and POINTING AT US!

When the fuck was America’s heyday that people want to go back to?  Was it the 20s that was bookended by the Great Depression?  The 30s?  You guys hate Bernie Sanders, but you’d REALLY not like FDR then and Huey Long would’ve scared the shit out of you.  The 40s and 50s?  When we were on the cusp of global nuclear conflict which continues in the 60s when we were in an unwinnable war, which beforehand saw the murder of a President, his brother running and two of the most influential Civil Rights leaders of all-time?  Where race riots broke out constantly, schools were segregated and hoses turned on protestors?  How about the 70s?  When the USSR was still a presence, the President had to resign and Vietnam was still raging?  The 80s where a Presidential assassination nearly occurred, so did the AIDS crisis and the beginning of a massive march to raging levels of income inequality?

Just some things I picked up in history class.

I’m angered to see that we live in a country where we have gone soft. We’ve become hypocrites, and we’ve become pansies.

lmao.  Dude definitely has done a tough mudder.  “WHY ARE WE NOT NUKING ALL COUNTRIES?  IS IT BECAUSE OF PARTICIPATION TROPHIES?

This is always the weakest argument.  Like, did Ron Swanson write this?

We forget that our grandfathers stormed beaches to protect freedom. Instead, we demand that the freedom now come in the form of a shelter from hearing words we don’t like.

We flip out because our $7 coffee comes in a red cup.

We cancel concerts and cost people jobs because we don’t agree with a law that the people of the state passed.

We care more about protecting where someone can take a leak than we care about the safety of our children. OUR CHILDREN.

We give out trophies to kids who come in 8th place. Eighth freaking place.

No one has forgotten about WWII.  Hell, people compare people to Hitler all the time!

Yeah, the coffee shit was stupid.  But do we forget that people have complained about their feelings being hurt for at least fifty years?  Do you remember the Nixon “Silent Majority” which was basically the epitome of “political correctness” that you all fucking hate so much?  You know there was OUTRAGE at the thought of a sitcom couple sharing the same bed?  This type of shit has gone on for a while.  Live outside the “this generation” bubble just for a moment.

Oh yeah fucking participation trophies?  Why does this piss off people so much?  Like a diploma is a participation trophy!  We should ONLY GRADUATE THE 4.0s!  Little Cayden, Jayden, Bobbyflayden know they didn’t win the game!  My mom, grew up in the early-60s has some bullshit thing from her high school!  This isn’t a new thing?

 

We ignore the simple facts about our dangerously open borders and the lack of a vetting process for refugees, then we stand in horror as ISIS attacks and we ask our politicians how they could have let this happen. And then, of course, we put a fast lane in for more to cross the border.

Are we suppose to close the borders in every country?  Look, I know there’s been tragedies in America but how many were 100% confirmed by all sources to be linked to ISIS?  To be honest, is there a place that you feel more safe than America?  I mean this as a genuine question for once, not douchebaggery.

We celebrate court rulings with rainbow flags that speak volumes about how far we’ve come and how inclusive we are as Americans … then we tell our neighbors to remove their American flags and stop saying “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Hanukkah” because it offends us.

We can believe in more than one thing you know?  Like, are we supposed to not be happy about people earning equality?  Guess what, inclusion is you know….a good thing!  Your religion isn’t the only one, all of ours is!

Put it this way.  Imagine if you weren’t ALLOWED to be Christian?  You were seen as an outsider and looked at as less of a person because of your religion?  I mean, Christmas is still THE holiday!  Every commercial, every parade, every store theme is fucking Christmas!  I work at a retail store.  After Black Friday, we decorate the building in trees, ornaments and garland.  Just because your town thinks “hey let’s just say Season’s Greetings or Happy Holidays because there’s more than one thing!” doesn’t mean you are losing this damn holiday.

We fight tooth and nail over whether someone dying of stage four pancreatic cancer should be allowed to use medical marijuana while drugs like heroin are running rampant in our schools.

We teach kids that there should be no boys section or girls section at the store, but our kids notice that we won’t sit down with our neighbor for a beer because they have a different skin color and we’re too busy fighting over what is and isn’t racism.

We hold massive rallies demanding $15/hour for flipping burgers … but we sit quietly on the sidelines when our men and women protecting our country who make $11/hour aren’t getting paid because Congress is debating their funding.

See this is why I don’t get.  Why can’t we agree on both?  Why can’t we think, yeah people should be paid more….including the troops!  We should break down barriers….and also agree, that yeah that Paula Deen saying the n-word is racist!  It’s not that complicated to believe in two things at once.

It’s kinda funny this was posted earlier:

We talk about the number of homeless vets who we have to feed and clothe and house when it’s convenient for us to leverage them like pawns in a game – yet tomorrow, so many will forget to feed and clothe and house them.

Because you hate the fact fast food people might get a wage, you used soldiers as leverage.

We change our profile pictures to colors that represent solidarity with a country that was attacked by terrorists … then we attack our neighbors for being concerned that the same could happen here.

Has this happened once?  Not in a Facebook meme, I mean in real life?

We’re terribly focused on what matters to us as individuals. Marriage. Cell phones. Birth control. On and on and on. We’re so worried about what matters to “me” that we forgot that in order for us to have a “me” … we have to first have an “us.” A safe “us.” A unified “us.” An “us” that can at least find some kind of middle ground.

It’s funny, this is true but…..don’t those things matter too?  How can some folk type “ALL LIVES MATTER” then say “JUST A FEW THINGS MATTER” right after?

We put our daughter to sleep and shut off the television. The internet. The phones. The iPads. All screens but the black and white monitor where we can see nothing but innocence. And for a moment, just one fleeting, precious moment, we’re once again one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

That’s a good thing.

Under God though wasn’t always in the Constitution?  Wasn’t the point of this entire article to show that we shouldn’t exclude people?

 

 

 

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Welcome To The Real World Class of 2016: Here’s Some Advice

3 May

Follow me on the Tuh-witter @TheJoekes

It’s graduation season!  As always, your newsfeed will be filled with cute group photos, job announcements, “is this real life” and various ways to celebrate what is truly one of life’s biggest moments.

Now whether you are joining the workforce straight out of high school, hoping to right after college or desperately trying to take on more debt (like me!) in grad school; this is a sobering thing.  You’ll see videos of commencement speeches at rich Ivy League schools where some famous person talks about how “you need to fail!  cell phones are bad!” with the caption “so true!”.

The advice that is given to graduates is usually roughly the same.  Take chances.  Embrace failure.  You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take (Michael Scott).  The cliches are basically copied and pasted into every speech and while yes, it fundamentally is true, it doesn’t really prep you for what’s going to happen as you enter a world of debt.  So, since I’m such an expert at real life, let me give you some real legitimate pointers about what’s about the thoughts that are going to occur.

It’s Not All Failure

Here’s something you will face.  Whether you are working an hourly job, a salaried one or a part-time one; you are bound to hear someone who is like four years older than you tell you that “there’s no participation trophies out here!  No one is hear to help you now!”.

That shit is basically not true.  There is always help out there, and you know what, you should seek it.  Don’t be one of those hyper-competitive, chip on their shoulder, employees who deny help because of…..reasons?  When you are one of the newer and younger employees on the job, you are bound to screw up.  You are bound to not know every thing.

A common theme I see is that everyone is terrified, rightfully, of losing their job that they’d rather be wrong alone than receive help together.  Now, that’s not to say have other people do your job but to just not be ashamed in asking for help.  We all need it, we are all vastly underpaid.  No need to make it worse.

It’s All Unknown

You cannot predict any part of life unfortunately.  So some things are going to happen and some choices will have to be made.  You are going to have to take risks, but hey fun fact!  Some of them are good!  I never thought I would be in grad school, even two months before I was in my first class, but I received an amazing opportunity and took it.

Sure you will probably fuck up interviews.  You will receive reprimands of some sort.  But you honestly don’t know what’s going to happen in the next year, month, week or hell even day.  You are always one day from promotions or a life-changing opportunity.

Okay, Some Things Suck

Social media softens the blow, but it is a bummer to not be with your friends 24/7.  It kind of sucks if you have to move right back into your childhood home full-time or move into a new neighborhood.  It’s an adjustment period especially when those first few weeks pass by and you realize this is the beginning of the rest of your life.

Do not compare yourself to anyone else too.  You will be in for a world of hurt once you realize the bro who only wears Monster Energy fitteds is somehow an account executive making legitimate money.  It’s natural to do that but everyone’s situation is totally different and you can only maximize yours.

Embrace The Present, The Future But Don’t Forget The Past

Here’s one of the biggest pieces of advice I feel like I can share and not be a total hypocrite.

There comes a point, maybe six months after commencement, where people start whispering how you should “move on from the past”.  Whether that’s college, high school friend groups or whatever; don’t let that get to you.

I’m not saying relive your glory days each week and forcing yourself into conversations that no one wants you in.  There is a fine line here and you can cross it.

But don’t fall into that trap where complaining to your friends, or going back to your school or going out is suddenly equal to “oh I guess you just can’t let the past go huh?”.  This is the one thing, well one of a million things, that irritates me.  The past formed who you are and you can’t run away from it.  You only get a few years of youth before you look back and go “shit, I really regret being an asshole because” and it’s gone for good.

There is nothing wrong with occasionally just ignoring the present and future to just rekindle what was more than just a phase in your life.  You can’t just move on aggressively because that’s how you fill your life up with regrets.  The future is always ahead of you, no matter how bullshit Hallmark that sounds, and the present is only a second long.

Congratulations!