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The Costume Parade

Weaving through the insanely crowded lobby of the school theatre I felt like I was taking my initiation into “stage motherhood” quite well. My two five year olds were scheduled to do two, yes, two “performances” in the Best of Broadway 2012 Showcase and I was thanking God they had managed to stay in relatively good physical shape before this day. Only minor visible cuts and bruises from biking and scooting too vigerously. Costume fittings, preordering lunch, preorder flowers, preorder tickets, find fishnet hose for 5 year olds,(which was actually surprisingly and maybe a little frighteningly easier than I thought it would be), dress rehearsal, photos, video, invite the family and friends, etc. There were so many things we as parents, a.k.a. mom, had to do to get to this day and here we were. Registering for college courses at The University of Texas was easier than this and probably cheaper too.

My husband sits and waits in the cafeteria comparing how much information he really knows about what is happening that day with the other dads. He is starting to get the picture that he is clueless. It’s not really fair to let him find out that way, but hey. It’s his own damn fault for never listening in matters such as this. I had to do all the leg work. Why should he get to walk around with all the confidence of a peacock while I try to figure out how to get my kid’s crazy hair to stay in a tight low bun for more than five minutes? Does HE he have to worry about the twenty sixteen year old ballet students needing to make a costume change giving him the evil eye because his kid decided she had to take a major five minute dumpy in the one bathroom five minutes before show time? NO, I don’t think so. Did he have to peel his daughters off of him as he placed them in the small prison room filled with screaming tiera wearing toddlers and preschoolers wearing itchy costumes?  And I have to say, “Have fun for the next three hours, okay?” As the moms too afraid to leave their kids, I mean “volunteer” moms stay and play with their iPhones and iPads I have to convince myself my kids are perfectly safe and supervised. For the sake of dance class? How is this worth it I’m thinking to myself, but on the outside I’m a proud mom ready to see my kids “have fun.” Does my husband still have the gall to ask me if I knew what I was doing? Yes, he did. Is he still alive you ask? Yes, but just barely.

Finally, they let the parents and obligated loved ones into the theatre. I think I’m so cool because we find the perfect spot, center stage. An hour and a half into the show, I’m not feeling so cool. I haven’t seen my kids perform yet, so I’m getting anxious. Oh, here they come! There they are! Oh, they’re so cute! They don’t have a clue of what they’re doing. One of my daughters is trying her hardest to keep up with the other girls but seems to be going the opposite direction no matter which way the other girls go. My other daughter, nicknamed the “dancing queen” at our house, mouth wide open, eyes wide open, literally looking like a terrified squirrel running around in circles trying to avoid an oncoming truck. Maybe 30 seconds later, it’s all over. THAT was awesome, I’m thinking. Actually, I was really excited they didn’t just stand there like many of the performances I had already been so fortunate to be a captured audience for. Obviously they had paid attention for a couple of minutes of the four hundred dollars’ worth of classes we paid for.

We couldn’t wait to tell them how proud we were. We had flowers and pride just a bursting.  But wait what’s this? We have a couple more performances to watch? Okay. These kids are pretty cute. I think I can sit here and watch a bit more, but soon I’ve got to get out and get the girls’ lunch for them. They’ve already been without real food for going on six hours now.  They should be really ravenous back there and starting to eye up the “volunteers” by now.

So, I sit through ten more back to back juvenile performances and I’m about to go crazy. I look and on either side of me is completely packed with old people and I don’t know who designed this theatre, but they should be shot. There was as little room to walk between the seats as humanly possible, and there were no isles to break up the number of people you had to crawl over to get to out. With no more than 5 seconds between performances I was never going to get out before the lights came back up. I never thought in a million years I would be one of those rude people who walk out of a performance no matter how bad it was, but I did. I had to. My kids were starving to death, drowning in a prison of hairspray and tutus. When did being over privileged become so strenuous? I think I had had gotten about all the sentimental value I was going to get out of this pony show. To think they still had yet to do another thirty second part in the costume parade.

I made my way over the legion of butt sore grandparents and back stage to my girls. I was overwhelmed with relief. One of my daughters spotted me right off the bat and latched on to me like a little sea urchin. I quickly “checked them out” of the tiny dancers’ green room and headed off to the cafeteria where I was first in line to get them their lunch. We peacefully and a little bit guiltily ate our lunch while everyone else (including my husband and parents) were still pretending to enjoy the show or stuck backstage in their itchy tights. I couldn’t have been more proud of my beautiful girls and me. I did awesome. Everything from there on out was gravy. I knew my kids wouldn’t have to wait long to do their scary squirrel impressions and we’d be out of there.

We were going to leave this experience proud mostly because we didn’t quit even when our kids begged us to let them quit. Were we so proud we can’t wait to sign our kids up for dance next year? Let’s just say we had our professionally filmed DVD and pictures, memory complete.

Why do we do this again? Why do we feel we have to spend a small fortune to give them a little culture, a little fine art appreciation at this age? I’m pretty sure the secret is out. There are lots of parents who are not creative, but who want their kids to be creative and will pay a crap load to try and achieve that goal. The hard truth is, I don’t think we get our money’s worth out of it, but we feel like we’re not giving them all the resources to be as talented or at least as well rounded as we wished they could possibly be. Parents that have been through this tell me if they had known what they know now, they would have just put their kids in a costume parade in the garage and took pictures and video and call it a day. They’re totally right! Forget that the improvisational performance would probably have been more entertaining than what we had just suffered through, but for half of the price we spent total, I could’ve bought the girls some tutus, some boas, some hair paint, slapped some mascara and red lipstick on them and been done with it. Hell, if we held the parade down on 6th street people might just pay ME.

Oh, to be a parent in the suburbs with everything at your fingertips. Businesses tailor made to make you spend every last dime on over-stimulating your young child. “Please pay us to subject your child to the cutest form of torture you’ve ever laid eyes on!” “Hurry up and register your child today!” “There are only limited spots available!” “Don’t let your child feel left out!” I tell you. It’s not that the quality of the education, costumes or the organization was lacking. For the older kids who choose to do this, it’s fabulously realistic when it comes to learning how the theatre really works. However, if you have any inkling of an expectation of seeing your under-five year old “wow” your friends and family because you have your kids involved in some high dollar activities, you’re probably going to be sorely disappointed. No disrespect to their wonderful teacher, who God knows had her work cut out for her with my girls, but I’m not so sure the garage costume parade wouldn’t have given them just as much education in the ways of the theatre as the months of lessons we drove to and fro to in sickness and tears or not. Why couldn’t we have put more effort into making our own show? The quality of the family time would at least have been higher rated. We didn’t even get the pleasure of watching them practice as “distracting parents” were not allowed at rehearsals. Sure it’s “free time” for us, but where’s the involvement except for me donating my wallet, my taxi services and my sanity?

So as we’re walking out of the theatre my husband and I thank the girls for their effort as they noticeably tried very hard to do something that resembled a routine. They smiled proud of their hard work and we reassure them there will be no such torture in the near future. I say to the girls, “Would you maybe like to try singing lessons or piano next time? There won’t be any of this all-day, stuff. We know that was hard on you.” My tiny dancer turns and says to me with her serious face as she had clearly been thinking about it since she walked off that stage, “No. Next time I think I’m going to do Karate.” Oh Lord, have mercy.

Lying Beyond the Trend and Changing Our Cultural Conscience

Do you even know what a lie is anymore? Of, course you do. Really?

Did you know the most important part of a lie isn’t the lie itself? Is it the motive? I mean what’s the first thing your mama asked you when she caught you in a lie? “Why did you lie to me?” Maybe it’s the effect of the lie.

We lie to ourselves and others lie to us because we reinforce on a daily, maybe even hourly basis, that lying is an acceptable way of communicating. This is Pseudos.

Why is Pseudos in particular so dangerous? What happens because of Pseudos?

#1: When we lie to ourselves it sets us up as victims.

#2: When others lie to us we are taken advantage of like victims.

This becomes the perfect psychological weapon.

Introducing…the cultural conscience…

We all have our own sense of needing to achieve. Some of us have higher levels of achievement than others do, but what keeps the achievers reaching for higher goals? Why don’t they become satisfied after one achievement? Maybe it is because, with achievement there comes rewards. We actively, like all animals, try to make the correct decisions and react in the way that will bring us rewards.

Comparing animals such as dogs or horses to humans in personality is one way we can judge if there are any ulterior motives unique to humans. Bear with me. This makes perfect sense, not only because many of us today, consider our pets to be people too, but because going by the five-criteria of personhood, given by the philosopher Mary Anne Warren, in many ways animals actually are people too. To be a person one must meet at least two of the following criteria: “consciousness, self-awareness, has self-actuated motivation, the ability to reason (solve complex problems) and have the ability to communicate.”

Most animals are self-aware, some can solve complex problems, they can communicate, and they are conscious and have self- actuated motivation. Additionally, we have the same basic motivations. Such as, a need for love and belonging, a need for sex, a need for food, water and shelter, a need for safety and security, and finally a need to make the correct decisions. In a rat, that might mean choosing to walk along the phone line instead of crossing the busy street to get home safe. He is rewarded every time he makes it home and punished at every close call on the road. He learns to survive by rewards and punishments. Yet some animals experience much more out of this operant conditioning. A dog not only learns to survive in his master’s home, but also learns to play and receive love and affection. The dog has not merely survived, but actually achieved something some humans never do.

My point is this: if behavior is primarily geared toward making the correct decisions and moving toward achievement in all kinds of people, why do humans lie? What causes our behavior to differ from all other animals in that we tend to partake in a sort of anti-achievement behavior, by lying? Every human does it. What person would admit he or she farted in the elevator? You are the only one who acts like you didn’t do it, so of course, everyone knows it’s you. From then on, everyone calls you stinky and you are humiliated- the most common form of self-defeatism. To humiliate is “to reduce one’s dignity or pride to a lower position” (Webster’s Dictionary). Humans are the only species who do this to themselves. Carl Rogers would say no one can make you feel put down or make you feel like you don’t belong but you. You would never see a dog refuse a bowl of ice cream because he was afraid of gaining weight.

So, what is it, then? Why do we make these semi-automatic decisions that are in the opposite of our basic interests? Besides our language capability, what makes us different from other animals, so much so that we have to tell lies? We have social pressures like nobody on Earth! That’s what makes us different! We have to be smart, we have to be brave, we have to be funny, we have to be rich, we have to be beautiful and we have to face humiliation every day. But why do we have to feel humiliated therefore causing some humans to tell little white lies almost automatically, and almost daily. You wouldn’t see a dog lying to another dog about whether he had food on his nose or not. The other dog would just lick it off, with neither of the dogs feeling humiliated.

In most cases of the individual, whether or not the told and believed lies do damage to others is not as important, because ultimately, it is a self-defeating behavior that brings more harm to the self than anyone else involved. This is mostly due to what I call the spider web theory. It is when strings of inaccurate responses, become a burden on the mind as it is constantly working on untangling it. (Your brain naturally works to keep the lies straight without you getting caught, so to speak.) Most don’t admit they lie on a regular basis to themselves or anyone else. This is in itself a form of Pseudos. They think, if anything, the lying is a symptom or way to deal with all of their other problems. They don’t see lying as the root of them, so it continues.

And consciously or not, this constant burden on the mind causes people not to sleep well, causing stress and illness, they tend to be more forgetful and they misplace things more often. They, more importantly tend to lose the trust of friends more often. They don’t realize that the lying is the root of much of the unhappiness and stress in their lives. As Bandura reports, there is something called “TRIADIC RECIPROCAL DETERMINISM”, meaning the world and a person’s behavior cause each other. “People do not simply react to environmental events; they actively create their own environments and act to change them.” I hate to sound like an old fogy, but it really seems that with progress we have literally lost touch with what’s important in life. We’re all busy spinning and untangling our webs. Sooner or later those little individual webs are going to get tangled with each other and we’ll all be stuck in one huge web of frustration and confusion.

That huge tangled web of frustration and confusion is our cultural conscience out of control.

So, are we really “losing touch” as society becomes more modernized? Can we help it? Do we have the skills to choose to be honest, caring people? Well, that takes self-discipline which ironically is taught to us by someone else. (Typically, it’s our parents.) Now you’re saying, discipline? My parents? Ha! Let me just say, I’m with you. With the absence of discipline in general in our society we can clearly see the environment we are creating just by watching reality television. These people are freaks of nature… but then there are a lot of them.

Could it be as Karen Horney suggests? We envy justifiable qualities we find in our culture and we can’t help but feel anxious about achieving them. Perfect relationships, power, recognition and prestige. Or can we overcome, like Carl Rogers says? That no one can make us feel inferior except for ourselves?

It could also be that we all have Horney’s “neurotic needs” to some extent. All ten of them in fact. (And that’s Karen Horney’s neurotic needs not horny neurotic needs, for all you perverts out there.) I’d list them and their explanations here, but that’s a whole ‘nother book. The most important of which, to all of us, is that we never lose our status. Many will lie no matter what the cost in order to preserve this status. And this is where Homey and I agree.

Most of us are terrified of being humiliated. Some of us, to the point where it doesn’t even register that telling the truth would cause far less anxiety, than what we will later experience from the constant avoidance of such humiliation. Like I said before, our technology allows us to avoid this much easier almost completely, but as Bandura relays, the avoidance of such pain can lead to illness caused by stress or worse, could lead to psychopathology. In fact, George Kelly believes we don’t naturally respond to the environment truthfully in order to avoid pain, but to maximize our understanding of our accurate, true view of the world.

So, why do we complicate the world with silly little white lies? I theorize, that if we are feeling weak against the many pressures of the world, our judgment, in our process of Self-Regulation, becomes overridden by the “Cultural Conscience” and we respond in a behavior that pushes us almost automatically, in the way of making a response based on cultural and social influences. It’s like a defense mechanism, a filter in the preconscious mind, that other animals have no concept of, but that we use like instinct in order to avoid more social pressure.

I have a good friend who tried to make his point with this quote that something about how cuttlefish change their appearance to camouflage themselves from predators and are they lying because they do this? Let me just say that the people I’m talking about are so confused that if they were lying to do something so humble as protect themselves from predators their equivalent answer to disguising themselves would be pink camouflage and designer sunglasses. They want to be hidden but not “too hidden” if you know what I mean.

Pistol Packing Mamas Unite

I keep looking down at a scratch I have on my palm because it reminds me of my friend’s deep funky scar she has in the same place.  Well her’s is almost a scar, a barely closed wound really; still healing from trying to block the knife that stabbed her.

Let me just say that if you have any best friends that you have not gotten in touch with in a while, I highly recommend just calling and saying hello because the chances that they may need you are great.

What I thought was going to be a lovely Sunday evening reuniting with one of my old friends turned out to be a very rude awakening for me.  This friend is one that I consider one of the best and one I know I’ll always be friends with no matter how few and far between our visits are.  You meet few people in your life that hold this ranking, but you know them when you meet them.  They’re like your friend soul mate.  It was lovely, don’t get me wrong.  It felt very good to make the face to face connection again, but what she told me I had missed over the year completely rocked my world.

As things often go, my friend and I don’t get much contact anymore in that we’ve moved on to different cities and started families, etc. etc. So it’s not unusual when one of us goes MIA for a while.  We just get busy and after a while get together on Facebook or email and catch up.  Add the fact that most of my family and old friends live in Houston which is a place I rarely visit anymore and well, you tend to miss some things.

If you must know why I don’t like Houston, being that I was born and raised there, I don’t like it because well, Houston is getting to be a dangerous shit hole. Not to put too fine a point on it.  I don’t mean the whole place is a cesspool of crime by anymeans, because that’s just not acurate.  There are some fantasic parts of Houston that everyone wants to be in.  Austin has it’s share of daily tragedy too.  Every big city has them, but let’s just say Houston is very big and has a lot of room for crazies.  I used to feel so safe when growing up there.  Now?  Not so much. Hey, check the history books.  Even Sam thought it was a shit hole.

Okay, obviously I didn’t always feel this way about my home town and obviously I’m completely spoiled living where I live now, in typically safe west Austin.  While I’m in danger of being accused of being a snob for feeling this way, I really can’t help but make the connection between Houston’s crime rate and the ever increasing tragedy that is recently plagued my friends and family as of late.  I could go on and on about the horrible things that have happened of late in and around Houston, mostly because of drugs, but not necessarily.  Things that you would maybe expect in New York or LA, not the subs of H-town.  I actually saw my grandparents’ house featured on the reality show The First 48, which is a reality show about gathering as much information about a murder in the first 48 hours of an investigation. The 20-something year old that lived across the street had her head nearly completey severed by an angry ex-boyfriend.  Seriously, people, just as a conscientious observer looking in from the outside, I can tell it is not the town I used to know.

To put it in perspective for you, I got my first real job in the Woodlands and spent many a late college night on the backstage security staff of the Cynthia Woods Mitchel Pavilion. Me, 115 lbs. me…on security detail.  That’s about how much people were afraid of getting jacked in the Woodlands.  At that time, my worst and only fear of living in Houston was that I had to drive on I-45 every day.

But a decade (or so) later, just the other day a woman was shot to death in the Woodlands just taking her baby to the pediatrician. Probably where my mom used to take me.  Some crazy person decided (with the help of another crazy person no less) that they wanted a baby and that all they would have to do is take it.  So they stalked the woman, and when the timing was right the person grabbed the nine day old right out of his mother’s arms.  Of course the mother fought like hell so the crazy lady shot her dead and drove off with the baby.  Hours later the criminals were caught and the baby was rescued thank God.  They really had no plan other than taking it and going home.  How on earth did they think they would get away with that?  What are the chances of having two crazy people taking so much uncalculated risk?  Is the desperation per person in Houston higher?   Maybe, but my best guess is that the environment of crime and the prevalence of it being so high in such a large population, aids psychos in thinking: Hey, what the hell.

When I go everything kind of looks familiar, but there’s just something that’s not quite right.  Kind of like nephews and nieces you haven’t seen in a while.  The last picture you had of them they were so cute wearing their little soccer uniforms and the next thing you know they’re all hairy and joining the military.  The change is unnerving to say the least.  But to those who have grown up there and plan on staying there, I swear it’s like they hardly even notice anything but the traffic.

I guess it’s one thing to have a home where you feel safe and quite another to be a visitor having to stay in a hotel somewhere off I-45 where the pimps keep their BMW’s running out front, no matter how long they plan on staying.  The fact that I’m also a writer which makes me a little paranoid and reclusive by nature doesn’t help my uneasiness.

I know my friends and family don’t feel the same way because they’re used to it.  Of course it seems like a harsher more superficial perspective I have as a “visitor,” but as someone who did live there most of my life, to me, it seems like the old friendly Texan environment is gone and I just don’t think it’s worth it to ever go back. Usually, like Stevie Nicks I keep my visions to myself because I know I’d hurt their feelings by dogging our hometown.  When I bring up moving away from Houston they just sigh and tell me they’re husbands will never move, they share custody with an ex-spouse who will never move, they’ve got a good job in this economy, what have you.  Then I sigh and think: well, if they’re used to it then that’s good, because most of them are never going to have a choice.  They have put down roots.  I respect that so I back off.  There is usually no more to say, but the events that have recently come to light regarding my loved ones and my home town have made me rethink everything.

I don’t know why it’s worse there than in other towns, but the crime is bound to touch you in one way or another if you live there.  It’s touching me lately, and I don’t even live there.  The thing is, it’s not the town.  It’s the people and the times we live in.  As much as I want to blame Houston, that really doesn’t help.

First of all, Houston being Houston is not the reason violence happens to good people.  There is tragedy and crazy people everywhere, but that’s exactly why I am specifically saying this to women no matter where you are no matter what your situation.

Imagine you and your best friend and why you are best friends.  It’s probably because you tend to have very similar goals in your lives, similar personalities, maybe even the same strengths and weaknesses, that including men.  I know my best friends tend to be pleasers like me.  We have trouble saying no to people we love and have even more trouble dealing with the guilt on the rare occasion that we do.  Now imagine you two going through similar situations; getting married and each having a child.  You both have beautiful little girls that look just like you.  Now imagine one of you having marital problems.  That’s not too hard to imagine; everybody has those.  Now it gets a little tricky.  What if those marital problems were caused by him having a mental health problem like bi-polar disorder?  That’s common enough, could still be you.  What if those health problems were exacerbated by drug abuse?  Why not? We’re close enough to that around here with our beer and coffee habits.   I can see that happening to me.  So far, maybe you are exactly in the same boat.  But one day, something sets you apart without you ever knowing it’s even happened.

At a certain point the anguish becomes too much and plans have to be made to get out of the marriage without setting off any mental explosions.  This would have to be done quietly and without the knowledge or help of any friends.  As fate would have it, the husband who has mental health and then drug problems goes to jail for a while, making an easier exit for the wife possible.  A divorce is finalized and a bit of relief begins to set in.  There’s a hitch though.  The “changed man” who never has been physically violent wants to see his daughter; supervised of course.  This still kind of sounds like a pretty typical divorce these days, does it not?  After a while of witnessing truly rehabilitated behavior the wife is ready to let her guard down just a little, for the sake of being civil and for the sake of the child’s relationship with her father.  For the sake of gas mileage, I can honestly say, I’d had let the father of my child know my address.  Especially if I truly thought he was not a violent person and no longer on drugs.

So which one of you would you choose the next set events happen to?  The father comes to help the mother paint their four year old daughter’s room.  Together they paint it a beautiful shade of violet.  Then they clean up putting the little girl to bed, exhausted from an exciting day with mommy and daddy again for the first time in a long time.  Happily ever after is just a beer clink away.  She kneels down to pick up something off the floor when she feels the cold of a knife to her throat.  Only when she hears the vicious words hissing out of his mouth that he’s there to kill her does she recognize that it actually is a knife.  She fights for her life waking everyone in the house and nearby neighbors with her blood curdling screams.  Her four year old little girl comes running in and watches in horror as her father stabs her mother five times aiming for all her major organs.    As a student of anatomy there is no question he knows what he is trying to hit.  Somehow although now starting to black out, she is able to fight her way to the handgun he had no idea she had and she shoots him… and kills him.

My friend says all she could think about was not passing out and getting to that gun because she knew he would kill her daughter too if she failed.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I can no longer identify at this point and my guess is neither can you.  The words are going in, but no comprende’, you know what I’m saying?  The absolute truth of it all is that there is no reason that it couldn’t have been me or you.   Hell, she and I met because of our involvement with a crazy guy we once dated and between the two of us, we didn’t really date all that much.  It could have been me in that situation and I hate to say it, but I don’t think I would be able to get to my gun.  Then I realized I would have been a victim of my own Pseudos.  I heard them when I bought the gun that I really would have to own the fact that I would have to kill someone if ever I had to use it.  I believed them that it was absolutely the way it was going to be, but I never understood or felt the gravity of that until now.

Social psychologists say that upon hearing about a tragedy in general we try like crazy to see/find out who it happened to so that we can identify with the victim in some way.  (This is their explanation for rubber necking.) Then shortly after that, the second thing we want to find out is what exactly happened and every little detail about how because we want to rule out any chances that the scenario could ever happen to us.  In essence, we then desperately try to UN-identify with the situation.  Basically it’s nature’s way of calming us down when we are not in any immediate danger. But I tell you, I’m having a hell of a time “un-identifying” with this one.  I don’t see how any of us can.  I don’t see how any woman can hear this story and not want to get a gun and learn to use it.  If you can, let me just add one more thing. While my friend was lying there bleeding to death on the floor having just shot her husband, and desperate just to let someone, anyone, know that she had life insurance in case she didn’t make it, 911 put her on hold.  That alone is evidence enough to know you can’t count on anyone to come save you.  I don’t know which is more disturbing.  That Houston’s 911 can put you on hold in a situation like that or that they are so busy with crisis in that city that they have to put you on hold in the first place.

If you happen to be like my friends and family and have deep roots in a shitty town, I wish for you to be aware that just because you’re “used to it” doesn’t mean you are prepared for it.  While many get used to being unprepared and will never be comfortable defending themselves because of how they were raised, I mean no disrespect.  You are not a weak person by choosing not to own a gun.  I’m mainly talking to the ladies out there who go the lengths of getting a gun, but never touch it as the thought of ever having to use it seems too intimidating to fathom.   I’m guilty of this and I admit it.

We convince ourselves we’ll never have to use it.  We have it “just in case” but we never want to think about “the case” in which we would have to kill someone.  We walk around as mothers thinking we can do anything if we put our minds to it, but because most of us refuse to think like men, we become victims of them more often than we have to.

Now I’m going to get in all kinds of trouble for saying that, but my point is that men are wired in ways that we don’t want to comprehend.  They think of scenarios women may think are extremely violent or vulgar, but in their minds are just simply scenarios…possibilities.  None the less, we can’t think like them and seriously, we shouldn’t want to.  Maybe that is why we tend to put an emotional price tag on everything we think of because that’s how we get hurt the most.  Physical pain isn’t something we are all that afraid of or foreign to, but something we don’t seek out either.   Subjects like guns and how we’re going to blow someone away just aren’t something we typically fantasize about.  But this I’m sorry to say, puts us at a disadvantage in an ever increasingly violent environment.  What can we do but take certain precautions?

The fact is it’s not usually the strangers from the bad environment you have to be worried about.  It’s the people you surrounded yourself with voluntarily and care about who inadvertently are influenced by the bad environment and end up hurting you.  After what I heard last night about my girlfriend’s survival story, I can assure you, now is the time to get paranoid.

Ann Coulter said recently that everyone should get a gun.  I’m going to second that motion, but I also want to add that if you happen to be a woman, you should especially get a gun and learn how to use it well.  Ninja training is a little difficult, but if you want to do that, I think that might be the only viable alternative.  If a man is out to murder his wife, the cards are stacked heavily in his favor.  If you take away the fear of getting caught and going to jail, as in a murder suicide situation- the likelihood of a man being able to carry out his wishes is fairly easy.  Add an environment where there are about 290 murders/homicides a year happened and you’ve got a reason to get a gun and know how to use it well. Out of those I found there were at least 20 murder suicides and attempts in the area.  You know how many there were in NY City NY? Try six.  Crime on the decline? Ha!  I think maybe 10 less people were murdered last year than the year before.  Congratulations.  You did better than Afghanistan.

I’m about to get in trouble again but I’m pretty sure this is true. We women are forever suckers when it comes to the father of our children and they know this, deep.  There is just something inside them that knows that if they are really patient and concentrate on how, they can make us believe anything.    We want the happily ever after no matter what we have to go through to get it.  The phrase “I’m a changed man” should be a red light to every woman, because we all know “deep” that it’s impossible, but we ignore it anyway.  We love so deep and become so dependent on our spouse when we have a family even if that dependence is a hindrance to our health.  My point is we never know who will hurt us the most or how far someone will go to hurt us until many times it’s beyond our control.  And when this person happens to be a man, and maybe even a man who knows your particular weaknesses, what are you prepared to do to save yourself and possibly your children as well?  How many scenarios have you gone over in your head about just what you would have to do if you needed to escape a male attacker?  Have you ever thought of what you would do if the attacker was your husband?  I know I for one, I don’t want to think about that.  Honestly, with a gun I don’t have to give it much thought.

If I am trained well enough with my gun, I know where it is and I know I can get to it in an emergency, I don’t think about who I’ll have to shoot or why.  I just know I can and that I will if someone comes after my babies.  I am no longer an ultra-vulnerable, uber-trusting wife.  I am now a force to be reckoned with and I have no qualms about reminding my husband of that every chance I get.  Not that I think he’d ever do anything to harm me, but it serves like a reminder of the fact that I can take care of myself if he’s not around; either physically or mentally… if you know what I mean.   Look, it’s not any different than leaving out the tampon box in the bathroom around your period.  It’s just a subtle reminder to the man that he needs to leave you the hell alone.

I can only say this.  My friend and her daughter are alive today because she had a handgun and she used it…well.  After all the time she spent planning and lengths she went to in order to just stay away from the danger, the one moment she let her guard down  was the one moment evil took advantage of.   She was able to save herself with nothing but shear will power and that gun.  At some point she felt her husband or an intruder would be more of a danger to have around than a gun and for that correct decision she is still alive today to watch sailboats, talk about the Cure and drink red wine with me.  My friend isn’t any different from us, well, other than the fact that she is an absolute hero.

Mr. Rove, Architect This!

What I’m about to write may be a little presumptuous.  My best friend told me when we were kids that someday my mouth would get me in trouble.  Honestly, I don’t really think this is it.

It kind of reminds me of this horrible semester long research paper I had to write in college, a requirement to graduate called the Capstone Paper.  You had to pick a social issue you think something should be done about and propose a solution.  The thing was, you couldn’t write about any of the red letter subjects like abortion or… abortion.   I figure they didn’t want us to waste our time writing about something they knew we just weren’t equipped to talk about much less find answers for at our level of experience.  So, I finally got them to let me write about homelessness.  Ha!  Hey, I like complicated.  I thought I had some pretty good points but the guy grading me didn’t exactly see it my way.   I couldn’t for the life of me understand why he didn’t like anything I had to say.  I had basically written on the same subject in another course and received rave reviews.  This guy wanted to give me an “F” like something awful.  Needless to say, I lost my Suma Cum Laude status. Finally, I remembered a moment at the beginning of the course when the professor was trying to get to know everyone.  Seeing I was a big fan of automobiles he asked me my opinion on buying a new Corvette and I gave him my honest opinion.  I told him Corvettes suck and he should buy a Porsche.  Well, at the time it was pretty much true.  I don’t think he ever smiled at me again after that statement.  I learned the hard way that sometimes you just have to keep your mouth shut no matter what you think you know or what you think you’ll help by being totally and completely honest.  (Hopefully I’m not talking about me at this juncture.)  But anyhow, speaking of losing status and people who get kicked to the curb…

Poor Sandra Fluke, just the latest victim of the Democratic National Committee machine.  If there was ever a dangerously crazy fraternity on campus it would be the far-left Democrats.  Isn’t it just like them to sacrifice a child for their own quest for power?  Well, maybe not a child, I meant virgin.  No, I meant…umm…hmmm…young woman who looks like a virgin, maybe?  The point is this young woman may have totally screwed her future by following these people into what is clearly just a cheap attempt to get the vote of the young and the restless.  Wow.  Was that worth it?  Talk about wham bam thank you ma’am.  Her image of a serious individual for representing, women’s health law has probably been seriously damaged.  She clearly doesn’t know crap about women’s actual needs.  I’m not even sure she knows the definition of need.  Georgetown Law?  Really?

Kind of like that chick who came on Mr. Sean Hannity’s show in defense of the latest bus victim, Fluke.  Right off the bat Tamara Holder rebuts one of Sean’s opening comments with “Well, that’s because I’m a smart liberal, Sean.”  Then throughout the interview she went on to say with little finesse whatsoever, that she readily equates entitlement with our constitutional rights.  Despite his disappointment, Sean was very polite I have to say. When you know good and well he wished he could throw that football right at her head.

Another guest on Mr. Bill O’Reilly’s Factor proceeded to say how all of the conservative Republicans were spouting language that indicated a “war on women”.  She emphasized “all of them” several times.  But when Mr. O’Reilly asked her to give just one example, she sat there stunned, quiet.  Then he gave her an easier question.  “Give me one example of Romney saying something against women.”  Again, cricket sounds.  She finally was able to utter something to the effect that she liked Romney …but that he never has spoken out against the Republicans [and their apparent war on women].  Don’t they know they are going to be asked to back up their statements?  Don’t they know they look absolutely ridiculous when they sit there with their mouths wide open aggrandized by their flanking Farrah Fosset hair?  If there is a war on women, these women are traitors to our cause.  They all by themselves make us look like the weaker sex.

No disrespect to Rosie and Ms. Houston, but what on earth were you girls smoking before you had your little televised tea party?  Why would you go out there and say that there is a war on women “in this day and age”?  You mean in the day and age where women are freely allowed to live whatever lifestyle as a woman they choose?   Seriously, you’re going to take up arms and say there is a war on women because you think contraception is too expensive?  Did I miss something?

What about a war on women because fertility drugs are too expensive?  Fertility treatments or medications to help women get pregnant (whether they need them or not) aren’t covered at all by insurance.  This is because fertility is viewed as a luxury item, not any kind of medical necessity.  Well, I’m here to say that as a woman, I think having babies means just as much to me as not having them.  Besides, these “fertility” drugs are a medical necessity in many cases, just as the contraceptives are being argued to be.  Wouldn’t you think that should be included on this discussion of women’s health being neglected and further for that matter, shouldn’t we really discuss who is at the bottom of not providing shall we say a more well-rounded form of women’s healthcare?

If the Republican Party advisors (huh-hum, Karl) had any sense whatsoever, they would use this blatant misuse of a college kid to their advantage.  This is a dodge ball you can catch!  Come on, if some people are really going to use women’s health as a campaign strategy how about doing something that actually concerns women’s health.  And if you really want to earn more than just the votes of women and earn the hearts of women, you should use the power of the Republican Party to actually do something to change the way we truly look at women’s health so that it benefits us when it is appropriate for us.  This is one way they can do that.

Republicans should turn the issue of women’s health right back on these entitlement policy pushing people by pointing out that the availability of contraception and abortion to women, especially young ones is not where the government and insurance companies are lacking service.   There is a gap in women’s healthcare and there does seem to be some pretty anti-woman sentiment going on behind it, but it’s not coming from conservative Republicans.  It comes from ultra-feminist who want an absolute equivocation between the sexes no matter what the cost.  Like I said, I’m not a genius but, I’m guessing they don’t belong to the conservative Republican Party.

When I started hearing all this Pseudos about women’s health needs not being met because they were not going to be provided contraception drugs through their church-based employer or school, I thought what a ridiculous waste of media attention.  Look, I’m not smart enough to get into Georgetown Law but I know that is like the last thing women are really in a pickle about when it comes to their health, specifically.  It’s especially so when you can go and get those things at alternative locations for little to no cost, insurance or no.  Do they want it delivered to their dorm or something …with a cookie no less?

If those who are trying to promote change in America’s healthcare in general were so interested in the availability of excellent women’s healthcare, why do they no longer equate good health with fertility?  For thousands of years the epitome of a healthy woman was a fertile woman.  Somehow that’s all changed.  Specifically in business, specifically in insurance companies and I doubt very sincerely that it has anything to do with cost/profit margin.

Here’s an example.  If you have a complicated pregnancy, that’s one thing, but in general, if you need some help having a baby with fertility drugs, or if you want to have any extra monitoring of a healthy baby during pregnancy, it is absolutely not covered by any health insurance of any brand.  It seems the policy is this way because their stand is that if you want children, that is a luxury item and therefore you should have to pay for them.  What they fail to realize is by this policy, they are neglecting many young women that need drugs that are considered “fertility drugs” even though they are to treat diseases like endometriosis.  The goal is to not have to get pregnant actually, even though the only said “cure” for endometriosis is pregnancy.  They’re just trying to keep the cancerous-like endometrial tissue at bay until they are someday ready to have surgery or get pregnant.

There is hardly anyone who doesn’t know someone who is suffering or has suffered from endometriosis.  Scientists don’t know if this has always been prevalent among women, but they all concur this is a very widespread and an increasingly more serious disease among women.  Not to put too fine a point on this but, this is a real, major health issue among women, especially college age women, and I bet something they would be very interested in their political representatives getting involved in.

Many women like me at that age just want to finish college, but between the pain, the surgeries and lack of coverage it is almost impossible.  However, if women do not do something to remove the endometriosis at an earlier stage, it in many cases can cause serious problems and at the very least lead to very low chances of pregnancy later on in life.

At any rate, many college age women with this very common disease are faced with few choices.   They can pay full price for these extremely expensive drugs in lieu of tuition, food and rent.  Or they could drop out of school and go ahead and start a family if they can find a dude ready and willing (and hopefully with a job).  Or they can do nothing and let the disease invade.  So why is this issue for insurance companies?  What’s the big deal?  Why won’t they just write in a little sub clause thing-a-majiggy (that’s the word I’ll use to get into Georgetown Law) so that these truly in need women can be covered for these “fertility drugs” when they medically need them?

My theory is that no matter how you make the case, insurance companies will not cover such drugs because in order to do so, they would have to change their definition of fertility in reference to a woman’s health.  Suspiciously, they are obviously not interested in changing this policy for the benefit of women or for any other reason.  I just wonder.  Do you think it is coincidental that insurance companies’ policies and the policies and views of the far left of the liberal Democratic Party are so much inline?  They both take non-religious stands on medical issues.  They both seem to treat men and women equally as far as what they are entitled to (which brings up a point I will bring up later).  And most recently they also both seem to take the stand that contraception for all is a more pertinent issue to women’s health than the actual medical needs and care of women, especially women wanting to have children someday.

I believe this relates directly to the ultra-feminists agenda and directly in opposition to women’s civil rights.  I know that is a big statement, but scientifically it is a fact that this current policy of having an all or nothing approach to women’s health in order to protect a hidden agenda of equality or for any reason is harmful to women.  I believe they are harming more than they realize.

This in a way seems to be stunting the growth of families who have mothers who attend college.  If young women can’t go to college or have to drop out of college they will not have health insurance.  Medicare does not cover experts on how to create longevity in fertility.   If women continue to wait to have children after college or even after they get their career going, they naturally have a lower chance of conceiving a child.  Combine that situation with women who have diseases like endometriosis.  If they get pregnant young, but do not go to college they will not have a good income much less health insurance unless they get married.  If there is a lot of pain involved and they cannot work or go to college… well, you do the math.  You’ve got a lot of non-educated, not working, pregnant women and you also have a lot of educated successful women, but who have no ability to have children.   Instead of going towards a future where we have more freedom to do as we choose we are losing a battle to something we cannot control before we even get started.  Again why is contraception our biggest problem here?   I think this is a distraction; literally something they pulled out of a sack of things to do to harm the Republican Party.  The real issue is and has everything to do with wanting to keep conservatives away from the issue of abortion.  If they can get conservative Republicans to tuck tail and run just on the issue of conception there’s no way Santorum or anyone else will bring up abortion.  I believe someone pulled that because they are scared we are close to figuring something out.

What I’m about to say is not because I think insurance companies will begin to care or will change their “minds” because of what I’m saying.  The following has a point in reference to how you get insurance companies to “care” about their business enough to change their policy.

Historically I believe the only effective mediums that ever really change people’s cultural perspective is martyrdom, the media or big business.  The first one, martyr- well, those are a little hard to come by these days (in America anyway) and let’s just say they don’t come “on demand”.  The second isn’t really a creative medium and shouldn’t be used for political problem solving.  Well it shouldn’t be anyway if we’re talking about real news media, real journalists being the source and most specifically when the subject is the insanely delicate issue of abortion.  So news/entertainment media, that’s out for convincing us of the truth.  That leaves big business.  How interesting.  What in the world kind of big business could ever change the face of the “thing that appears in a woman after she has sex sometimes” A.K.A. a fetus?  If you said insurance companies then yes, you guessed it.

Insurance companies are businesses and they do not speak the language of care.  Apparently extreme leftists and feminists or both have been able to communicate with them quite well, but conservatives although a little slow on the uptake, can play that game too.  Hey, insurance companies are not politically biased.  Good health to them equals good money.   If they have good enough reasons to start giving some sort of legal descriptions of the fetus and how the fetus affects a woman’s health, good or bad this would indicate a fetus is not just a benign object.  This may mean the fetus would no longer be considered something that can just be operated on or elected to be removed as other benign parts of a woman’s body are.  Insurance companies believe it or not, may be the key to saving millions of unwanted babies from elective abortion.

Many women are harmed physically and mentally by abortions, but do not talk about it, much less report it to anyone. There are some very deep seeded reasons why women are so private and protected when it comes to the functions of their bodies.  Who can blame us when our whole menstruating lives we’ve been told by our fathers, boyfriends and husbands “I don’t want to know!”  It’s definitely complicated and probably never going to change.  From the dye in our hair to the corns on our feet, it’s all personal.  I hate to equate it with this scenario but it’s kind of like a woman seeking to have plastic surgery and she goes to this guy that a friend of a friend who says can give her a “deal”. You know what happens next.  Surprise!  You’ve got malboobification and no, there’s no deal on a redo.  How likely is she to do anything about it?  Sure she may scream at the doctor, but go to the public to warn other women?  Not likely.

Unfortunately by the same token women who want to keep their abortion private go to great links to keep it private.  Businesses that rely on patients who want abortions for non-medical reasons especially, can count on this silence to run their practice as they please.  Is this why Roe v. Wade became the law.  We needed abortion to be legal so women could be safer.  Wasn’t it so women didn’t have to worry about going to some shady place, devoid of information and any semblance of real medical care/after care?  You’re lucky if they remind you to bring a pillow to sit your raw biscuit on afterwards.

Doctors take a Hippocratic Oath to never use their knowledge to harm anyone.  The only way abortion is considered ethical and therefore legal is because by current legal statements the fetus remains a “benign” part of a woman’s body.  In other words, the fetus is regarded as a part of a woman’s body that is neither harmful nor beneficial to her health wise, so therefore it is medically ethical to remove a fetus if a woman so chooses.  If that perspective were to ever change, however…  For example if a non-medical, non-political, non-religious entity were to establish a different perspective that a fetus was not benign, the opposition to abortion may not be seen as a religious/moral issue any longer, but a medically ethical issue as well as a financial issue.  Let me explain.

If liberal Democrats want abortion to continue to be referred to as a real medical procedure that benefits women then they need to find a way to make it as such; giving a woman any and all information they can possibly comprehend in order for them to make a choice they can live with.

Ironically “Pro-Choice” Dems don’t want this either for several reasons.  If you start giving information about abortion a lot of people will stop having abortions.  If you show women a sonogram of the fetus a lot more women will elect not to have abortions.  But most importantly, and the bottom line will always be this: if ever there is a legal precedent set saying that there are ever different health/based scenarios where an abortion should be legal v. illegal, liberal feminists would lose the argument that a fetus has nothing to do with a woman’s health.

If insurance companies start paying attention to fertility they may have to disclose the harmful effects of having an abortion procedure in reference to future pregnancies and also the common mental side effects attributed to undergoing an abortion.  They may also inadvertently establish a precedent that having a fetus inside means more to a woman’s health than previously thought and therefore an insurance company’s bottom line.

There probably will never be a way to change the law to say abortion should only be in cases of medical emergency much less abolishing abortion all together.   This may be disappointing to those who do solely base their beliefs against abortion on their religious beliefs, but I say let your heart not be troubled.  There is still a way to have some satisfactory success in the real war against women.

So, scientifically speaking…the insurance company asks…does pregnancy actually benefit a woman’s health?  So I did a little research.  The answer is yes and no, but this is a good thing and I’ll tell you why. (I should have a white board for this.)  Okay.  Turns out if you have one baby or more than two babies the answer is no, actually.  Three or more kids are not beneficial to a woman’s health?  Imagine that.  Not sure why having one is not so good for your health; other than I can guess there were maybe health and/or financial stresses that were there in the first place.  Having three or more children seems to be harder on the body and mind for obvious reasons (with the exception of the breasts being more immune to breast cancer).

Two however, seem to be the magic number.  Aside from instinctive good comforting feeling we get from having the chance to pass on our legacy onto offspring, they say two children also add more joy and stress relief to a family than not.  More specific to a woman’s physical wellbeing, if a she breastfeeds during her pregnancy those two times, it reduces her chances of breast cancer.

Insurance companies therefore, should consider a policy more friendly to fertility than not.  Mr. Rove, you could architect a plan for the Republican Party to help.  In my opinion a good policy for them would be to simply offer to cover fertility drugs for women with less than two children.  This would cover young women who had endometriosis and those women who medically could not get pregnant up to two children without medical help. It would cover women who were truly interested in fertility drugs because they had health problems not because they wanted to have a million babies at once.  In essence once you have two babies you are no longer covered for fertility drugs.  This would motivate people on two levels, (financially and health wise) to keep their families smaller.  More healthy and smaller families?  This should make insurance companies drool… in a good way.

This in my opinion is something the Republicans could really use to get their spirit back.  A spirit that has been lost I believe, due to the constant rebuke from those who equate people of religious backgrounds as those who argue outside of reality.  Conservatives are tired of being beaten in arguments before they even argue simply because of what liberals say is the basis of all conservative beliefs.  Religion is not the basis for all conservative beliefs but for some reason red letter subjects like abortion especially, cannot be discussed at all if those on the right are in the discussion.  And those on the right don’t speak at all about these subjects because they are afraid people will think  all they want to do is have the country conform to their religious beliefs.   This is the damage of pseudos!!!

So let’s not try to fight liberals with emotional pleas.  Trust me.  They’ve got the bleeding hearts of America emotional arguments and drama in the bag.  If we continue to go that route we will surely lose.  Speak the language of the insurance company’s and you will find a way to make as much “change” with them as the Dem’s apparently are able to make.   You can use the young women’s disappointment in the insurance companies and government just as leftists have.   But you will win with the argument that you really understand what young women are going through regardless of their religion or personal lifestyle.  Women deserve more than to be told they need contraceptives to live healthy lives and you realize that they need security for their future.  Whether that means contraceptives today or a family tomorrow, they need to know or maybe they do know that there may be nothing left for them as far as Medicare and social security by the time they need it.  This may be why they are going towards a more “entitlement” society as they try to get all the free shit they can while they can. which is why they may vote for someone like Obama.  Then point out though, that voting for Obama probably won’t really lead to any free entitlements and that it will actually only make everything (free shit included) harder and harder to get if not disappear altogether.   In fact, voting for someone who insists on encouraging an entitlement society will only cause the quality of women’s healthcare to get worse.

Please Go Newt!

Does anyone know what’s going on here? Do you know how many Republicans have decided that they are too tired to watch any of the Republican debates or any kind of news about the campaign anymore? Try like everyone. All I know is I’m more than turned off and it’s not because of the ugliness like sweet Mrs. Bush Sr. says. I don’t think it’s all that bad considering baggage does need to be aired.  You don’t want bed bugs creeping into your house later.  You know what I’m saying?   I think she just said that because that’s what old ladies say when they can’t say “this is a fuck”.  Pardon my French.  I think she feels like many of us do, that we may have the wrong candidates in the lead and we’re not quite sure what to do about it.

But the great thing is, it’s not totally over!  Now that the “ugliness” is relatively passed us, we should re-look at our candidates, don’t you think?  This kind of illusion that it’s down to two candidates Romney and Santorum is merely that, an illusion. For one, I don’t want us to think this race is over because we’re clearly not happy with who we are going towards choosing as the Republican candidate. It’s pretty obvious that that is the main reason why Republicans are sick of watching.  We’ve got to that point again where we have gone through the traditional motions, gotten towards the end of that process and realized we’ve got a product we don’t want. The Republican Party can’t admit they’re going the wrong direction when they’re trying to win the election despite who the front running candidate is.  The Republican win is the main goal. I know this.

But maybe the main goal of choosing the right Republican candidate should be getting the right candidate for what happens after the election in 2012.  I think the candidates were correct in the beginning when they all said if you elect any of us it would be better than letting President Obama continue to be the president for four more years. I still agree with that. What I think is happening now is kind of like… Well, have you ever been baking something new and you follow the recipe, you followed everything that the recipe said exactly.   You get to the end of it and it’s nothing like you thought it would be.  It doesn’t taste good, it’s falling apart and you’ve got a party to serve.   How embarrassing.

We’ve faithfully depended on our process of choosing a candidate and here we are getting towards the end and oh no… we can tell it’s starting to look funny. Frankly, I think Romney scares the hell out of most of us. And Santorum is just so …Magoo. I don’t know what else to say. We have gotten ourselves into a process that when you come right down to it is not a good recipe.  The recipe is very much a beauty contest or a popularity contest and it likens itself to a lot like a High School Class President election.  But wait a minute, we don’t really just want to elect someone we think is the most popular or who we see is going to be a winner do we?  This can’t be about seeing ourselves standing next to what looks like a guaranteed winner.  That’s Pseudos.

The real candidate for an American President is someone who still carries that old-school-American, Reaganistic spirit we love and miss.  We need someone who can be calmly strong and who can be smart in high pressure situations.  You know what?  I think this man we’re looking for is a nerd, and an arrogant one at that.  The one none of us liked in High School and in fact the exact opposite of who we would vote for class president.  But see, we’re all grown up now and we can appreciate the need for someone who is completely confident in his intelligence and bold with his ideas of fixing this joint.  If you’ve ever had to deal with an engineer you know this simple rule: don’t ask an engineer to fix something if you can’t deal with the correct way to fix something.  We really need to set our pride aside and start paying attention to the person we would go to for real answers; especially if we needed them in a pinch.

It’s funny, but when people believe their time is short, they put all stereotypes and prejudices aside to get to what is important.  When we’re failing math and we’re about to be kicked off the team, who do we go to for study help?  Who’s the one we have to go to when we were too lazy to do the homework? Who always has the vocabulary list for the quiz?  The nerd.

Of course I’m talking about Newt Gingrich.   If you don’t think Newt’s a nerd, more power to you, but please note that this means you too are a nerd.  J Newt is the guy that has worked his butt off all his life and has been getting the straight A’s.  He has been paying attention, he’s been taking the notes, he’s been taking the crap too and still, we’re not willing to give the nerd some credit? Hey, this is America.  We’re not like that. Our country of America is the country that holds up the nerd with pride.  Revenge of The Nerds is one of our classic movies for a reason.  There are those who still hold Booger up there as one of their all-time favorite, All-American heroes just based on his burping talent, among other things.  You know who you are. Let’s do this!   Let’s raise up the appreciation of nerd abilities this day because what we need now is someone who knows how to do some basic accounting, some basic economics, some basic history and maybe some basic science would be good too.  The thing about nerds is they revel in a challenge, in the unexpected.  They are successful because they have the mindset to completely surprise people with something spectacular when the people whole-heartedly expected the opposite.

Hold the phone.  Wait a minute here.  Newt is no Booger.  He’s actually got some pretty cool skills that make him a super nerd.  Like Clark Kent!  He’s a diplomat.  Not many nerds are diplomats.  He’s got a great sense of humor.  Not many nerds have senses of humor.  He’s got a hot wife.  Not many nerds have that.  Needless to say, he’s got good qualities people and I think we need to start thinking about this seriously in these last few races.  This is no time to bail out on the process.  They can matter.  We need to make this cake work  and can if we can get around to doing something about what we really want for the future.  Not just about what we think is good for the popular election, I should say.  You should be very worried when the main stream media starts endorsing a certain Republican and it also just so happens to be the same way we’re going in our process of elimination.   To search for who will be the most popular or electable is just following into the Democratic Party’s ways of life.  That does not get us anywhere.

We’ve got two Republican candidates that all day debate about who is the most conservative. Meanwhile, we’re thinking uh, Romney and Santorum are both too damn conservative.  Preaching to the choir is an understatement.  They continue to show us they believe that we will not elect someone who may be a little bit of an underdog.  Actually, this is a quality in candidates Americans tend to empathize with more.  President Obama is a direct result of that.  Apparently Republican campaign advisors think the Republican Party is all about being conservative and I think they’ve missed the mark completely.  The majority of swing votes are going to come from the middle to left of the Republican and Independent voters.  I’d be sad to think this concentration on conservativism was not just a fight against President’s liberal policies but also someone’s single-handed wet dream of eliminating the purpose of the Tea Party all together with this election as well.  That could be a very costly mistake.

Albeit I think if we happen to elect someone who is super conservative I don’t believe they can ever get us to the point where all mainstream views are threatened.  Because we are way the hell over to left and getting kind of out-of-control, it would probably just swing us enough over to the right to make us more in the middle.

Newt by all means is what I would consider your average conservative. I don’t see how his baggage is much different than many Republicans I know. We all have a history full of mistakes. (That’s how we get to be so wise.)  And since we’ve gotten over Newt Gingrich’s history of his many divorces, his obvious stray from conservatism, I think we’re definitely steering in clearer waters.  Seriously, is that’s all you got?  A man who has lived in Washington DC for as long as he lived and that’s all you got?  He’s a freakin’ angel.

Newt Gingrich reminds me of America. He is smart. He is observant and is maybe not necessarily who you want to like. Kind of like the nerd you want to just stick in a locker sometimes because he so arrogant about what he knows in that big ol’ Q-tip head of his. He kind of goes off on these tangents where we can’t follow.  So we think, is he trying to make us feel stupid?  That’s essentially why we don’t like nerds, but in this case we really need that. We need someone who’s ability to think out-of-the-box surpasses the average individual.  I have not seen that from Romney.   I’ve not seen not that from Santorum.  Even as the leader, Romney tends to do what he knows is popular and what you know he needs to do to get the job done systematically.  I don’t see him doing anything that inspires me or inspires our country.

I don’t see Santorum inspiring our country to the point where we are all on the same page.  I think he already has gotten himself into the conundrum of causing division just by simply falling into some of these traps that the left wing media has laid for him. Newt is the one person who has shined on both of those points in that he has not repelled/excluded anyone with his personal beliefs and he’s caused people to be inspired.  You’ve seen that with the two standing ovations.   (Now I think he’s trying not to get them for the thought that they may start to look contrived.)  And he has also been the only one to be able to show some kind of balls when it comes to standing up to the media. Those three things alone say this is our dude.  We need someone who’s going to help us step out of this left wing media charged box of self-imprisonment.  Let’s not govern ourselves by the Middle East’s, the European, the East’s, the west coast’s or the east coast’s opinions and prejudices of us.  We can no longer afford to do that.

The real candidate for an American President is someone who still carries that old-school Reaganistic spirit we love and miss; someone who can be strong and who can be smart in pressure situations.  You know what?  I think this man we’re looking for is a nerd, and an arrogant one at that.  We need someone who is completely confident in his intelligence and bold with his ideas of fixing this joint.

And the only man who is shown any kind of inkling of an ability to do that is Newt Gingrich and we have little time to show him and the country that he is our man.  So if you’re out there and you’re able to vote or you’re able to do something about this please root for Newt!

I think a Newt Gingrich/Perry or a Gingrich/Palin ticket would be strong… to very strong. In a way, a Gingrich/Palin ticket would maybe remind Americans they had a second chance to erase the mistake they made last time.  I’m just sayin’.  Some said that Palin was the reason why McCain lost the election in ‘08, but we all know that wasn’t it. The left-wing media just said that to try and take down a female conservative and the McCain campaign needed a convenient scapegoat for failure.  The overall reason McCain lost the election for Republicans was the overwhelming weakness the people began to see in him.

Unfortunate as it was, at the same time Palin was announced his running mate, McCain suddenly became very vulnerable looking on conservative issues as well as appearing weak in his physical health.   Both attributed to his appearance of being the weaker candidate when compared with Obama.  I think again the Republican campaign advisers missed the mark on what our idea of what we as Americans (not as individuals) identify with.

McCain campaigned as the hero that he is.  Unfortunately, not all American heroes are built alike when it comes to what the American people see as heroes they would want as the President.   Americans are actually more taken with the ordinary American hero more so than the P.O.W. super-sacrificial soldier hero of lore.  Of course we hold our military, our soldiers to the highest degree of honor and standards for that matter, but then again we don’t hold ourselves to that standard.   I think we all tend to want to have a President that is a hero but also somebody we can still identify with.   He or she needs to have the appearance of having walked in our shoes for a bit.  Romney does not fit this shoe, and Santorum seems to be wearing elf shoes.  It may not be the truth, but what the people are seeing in this case does matter.

This generation of Republicans identify with the real beneficial “change” that took place in the late 80’s and also with Americans that remind them of a more Reaganesque time.  I think Gingrich has got that hands down and that Sarah Palin adds no weakness or loftiness to the image whatsoever.  Americans are leaders not followers.  Some of our leaders just happen to be nerds.  Go Newt!  Go!

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Pseudos 101

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Introduction to Pseudos 101

In the old days you could look at a person’s face and tell they were lying to you. That’s where we get the old phrase “look me in the eye and tell me you’re not lying.” Because we used to feel bad about telling a lie to someone’s face. Now days our culture has learned that little secret and we simply use it to lie better. For example, the other day my daughter was four, almost five. She is telling a story. She’s very talented with her words and she makes up fun little imaginative stories (like her mama).  But whenever she gets to a subject that’s maybe inappropriate, for example she says something to the effect of, I had a little friend named Jane and she died.  I usually tell her that it’s not nice to talk about someone who died.  I said, “That’s not really a fun story.  How about we tell about a happy story?”   And she says, “No mommy it’s not a story.  It’s the truth.”  In the back of my mind I’m thinking, Dear Lord my child is about to say she sees dead people.  So I take a deep breath and I tell her I know for a fact that she doesn’t know anyone at her school that died the other day and because of that fact I know she’s not telling the truth. But the scariest part was that at this time she gets very adamant that there was a person by this name and that it was her friend who died and it was at school, huff, huff, huff.   She was so convincing about her fictional story I became worried that she was developing a skill that makes lying not any different in her book then telling a story she just wished was the truth or even something as innocent as letting her very vivid imagination take over.

When I confronted her more sternly about the lie she became even more adamant and probably worried I guess more about the consequences of what she had said rather than the fact that she was telling me something that wasn’t true with a lot more conviction than I was comfortable with.  She could’ve been telling me that there was a purple rhinoceros at her school making cookies and it wouldn’t have made a difference.  The way that she looked at me and then started crying in her boldface lie made me pause. What can you do? Honestly. Your angel, poo-bear, little baby, wonderful girl is telling a story like Stephen King which is both inspiring and admiral but at the same time the conviction behind it is questionable. Either it’s entertaining to her or something far more manipulative. Either way I want to make sure she knows what manipulative language like lies do.

That got me thinking about what a friend had told me when I first started writing Pseudos 101. He told me “Well, if were talking about false and lies, you may have to define truth.” I thought, oh crap. I wasn’t a philosophy major.  Why the hell would anyone want to study that?  Anything attempting to tell people what is the absolute truth is completely subjective and I believe personal to each individual. How am I to ever convince people of what they believe is the truth?  Who does that? My beliefs will never be more than just a story to them.  Even the definition of evangelical in the Bible means simply share your story.  It does not mean try to convince people your truth is the only truth there is.  See, Jesus knew that cake wouldn’t bake.

People are always going to know what they know in their heart to believe based on their own perceptions. We are a conglomeration of prejudices. We hear what we want to hear. We want what we want.  We need what we need and we believe what we want to believe. Wars have been waged since man was able to throw his own poop over what each of them believe is the truth.   I think my frustration of defining truth for the world is therefore warranted.

What it comes down to is that many think a simple twist of words is hardly something to make a fuss over.  We all just occasionally want to have something sound a little better than it really is or look a little better than it really is so we can get a little ahead.  We’re just trying to keep up with everyone else.  However there is cause to be really worried about lying becoming so common in our marketing, in our government and our judicial system.  Not to put too fine a point on it, the way lawyers win cases and the way clients who are on trial conduct themselves morally speaking is becoming deplorable in many instances. That’s just one example.  Our culture is in danger of changing the basic instincts we have about what is really dangerous to us.

So maybe we shouldn’t worry about what each other think is the truth. Maybe that plan is moot.   And then it hit me.  The definition of truth is whatever isn’t false. What we should be worried about is how we from this point on, decipher what is false.  Like I said our culture is getting wise to how they manipulate people. We are getting so wise to how we manipulate each other that it almost seems like an instinctive type of survival. And so really what this book is about is helping you identify what is probably false information.  If people are getting better at lying then people need to also get better at deciphering lying. Learn to recognize it and learn to stay out of its reach.

Artificiality is specifically a problem because we are becoming more and more saturated in our society by things that are false.  Let’s say, anything that is artificial applies to whatever we think of as false in a physical nature or a philosophical manner.  At the same time what we consider true in nature because we can feel it, affects what we philosophically feel is true.  And we, instead of getting in touch with nature, we are tending to be more often surrounded by environments that are less natural and less concrete to our understanding of what is really real.  I guess a good metaphor for this would be how when our 36th President L.B.J. was so entrenched in what you can only imagine is Washington DC’s level of manipulative pressure and how he used to have to escape, literally escape, to the rural countryside in Texas.  This is where he claims several times that he felt more in the “real world” than anywhere else.  I think he was more in touch with who he really was and his true purpose when was immersed in that wholesome Texas environment.  He felt he could come back to the real world when he was in the country and not in D.C. because of this very argument that we can be oversaturated with artificiality.  Hence, this is why we need to learn how to protect ourselves from that environment and thus the creation of Pseudos 101.

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