Posts Filed Under nothing to do with parenting.

Guns, church, and an unreasonable moon

by renegademama

I sat on my porch last night with my husband, Mac, and we talked about the twenty-seven people murdered during church yesterday.

“Did you hear that the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter died? Her name was Annabelle,” I said.

“No. Fuck.”

“And the dad wasn’t there. He wasn’t there to protect his child,” I said, and Mac looked away. “He wasn’t there to throw himself over his baby to take that bullet.”

His eyes brimmed with tears. I looked up at the moon with a couple fucking tears in my own eyes. Seeing him cry does me in. I suppose we were thinking of our girl about that age, fifteen, or any of our babies, really, or the eight-year-old boy who took four bullets in that church.

And being denied the chance to even try to save them.

The moon over our porch was ridiculous. An irrational brightness with barely a sliver gone, illuminating the back of a broken sheet of clouds, its face hidden in gray then bursting out between puffs of white.

Look at me, it seemed to scream. I’m the brightest shit around. 

“If you look at that moon long enough,” I said, “You can almost forget we live in a country where twenty-seven people are murdered while praying to God at church.”

You can almost forget that it happens so often we perhaps barely care anymore, that people believe the solution is to arm more people.

More guns.

Arm the grandmothers in the chapel. Arm the schoolteachers. Arm the fathers and mothers and teenagers. Get ‘em all guns.

You can almost forget the insanity of that prospect, how humans insist on methods of mass destruction even though each of us is here for 80 or 90 or 100 years at the most, if we’re lucky, and then we’re gone into the ground for the rest of the time the moon keeps shining, and still we can’t agree to try our best to let everyone live those years.

We make guns that rapid-fire so we can kill more humans. And we make shit to add to the gun to kill even more humans.

More. More. More humans.

You can almost forget that we’ve made nuclear weapons that could destroy every country on earth five or ten times over or whatever that statistic is (does it matter past once?), and this is in defense of arbitrary borders over stolen lands, stolen through the blood of people. Blood that could have run 80, 90, 100 years.

I guess we’ve always been like this.

 

I get it. I’m not a fucking pacifist. Maybe I’m a fucking pacifist. We need protection from the Hitlers and Mussolinis and manifest destinies. We need to protect our nation. Sure.

But really, if you pull way, way back, all the way back past the moon and into the void, it’s really fucking insane that humans can’t even agree on continued survival. We can’t even agree that nobody wants to die in mass bloodshed. We can’t even agree it’s a bad idea to create weapons that would destroy the entire planet in war, as if total annihilation is “winning.”

We aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed.

I grew up around guns. People very close to me are proud gun owners. I fired a shotgun for the first time when I was about twelve, off the deck at my grandparents’ house. The kickback knocked me on my rear. My dad and uncles laughed, as did I. I felt cool, like one of the guys.

I grew up with John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. I grew up with Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan. The gun owners in my life loved all four of those men.

I lean deeply toward the latter.

When I think back, and imagine it now, the gun doesn’t feel American in my hands. It doesn’t feel patriotic. It doesn’t feel like freedom. It feels like cold metal filled with other metal that shreds muscles and stops hearts and shatters bones.

It feels like metal that kills some people and earns other people astronomical amounts of money.

But I get it. I get the “culture.”

I get the mighty power an AR-15 offers, and how “cool” we feel firing weapons. So badass. So edgy. Gun culture. Whee.

Manly as fuck, you know. Real tough broad shit. The people in my life don’t act like that. They don’t flaunt their guns. They don’t post pictures of themselves on Facebook with rifles and smirks to show how tough they are.

Even still, I only “get” gun culture in theory. I understand because I’ve seen it, but it’s never felt like freedom to me, like love or life, like something to frantically protect.

A weapon for civilians that kills fellow civilians faster.

Huh.

 

After Sandy Hook, when dozens of first graders were mowed down in their classrooms, maybe sitting on their squares on the carpet, singing a song, brushing paint across rolled up paper, or at their desks practicing the letter “B” – when dozens of first graders can huddle in a room wide-eyed and crying while teachers hush them in a last sad pathetic attempt at life, to only bleed anyway on the carpet squares beneath letters the shapes of zoo animals on the walls – when those babies can die and not a goddamn fucking thing happens, nothing will ever happen.

Mac and I talked about that too. How there’s nowhere to go from there.

Maybe we just give up.

Maybe we accept America will become some robotic zombie dystopian hell where we all carry guns and simply shoot each other at random to get our way. Like California before it was in the union, maybe.

If we take all the guns away, will it work?

Call my fucking representatives, but do they care?

I haven’t the money of the NRA.

I lived in a nation once with strict gun laws. Spain, specifically. It was lovely. I felt four-hundred-and-fifty times safer.

But maybe we have too many guns in America.

Maybe it’s too late for us.

Maybe we should try.

 

On my wall, I have a quote from Ursula K Le Guin that says, “We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries – the realists of a larger reality.”

I suppose she means the freedom to sing to God without dying. Freedom to dance in sweat and moonlight, to stay alive in a high school, college, or first-grade classroom.

The faces of those babies.

They say more guns.

The insanity makes my head spin.

I take to the page to remember freedom.

Maybe the moon will be less bright tonight, but it always comes back in its brilliant indifference.

It’s up to us to listen.

 

26 Comments | Posted in nothing to do with parenting. | November 6, 2017

Could the internet please figure out what “free speech” means or STFU about it?

by renegademama

Did you see what I did there? I talked about free speech then asked people not to talk so I violated their First-Amendment free speech rights.

No, I fucking did not.

BECAUSE THAT IS NOT WHAT “FREE SPEECH” MEANS.

I know this may be rough and wild in the world of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” where apparently everybody goes around inventing information at random to suit political aspirations, but outside that special vortex, people try to use words according to their actual definitions.

In fact, some of us get super frisky and use the Google to research what a word means if somebody informs us we are using it incorrectly.

But you don’t. This is what you do, Candy. (I named you Candy.)

Candy: “Milo Yiannopoulos losing his book deal is a violation of free speech! Dangerous! Sad!”

Somebody on the internet: “Hey, hi. That’s not what free speech means.”

Candy: “Hillary Clinton is a crook!”

Somebody: “Okay but that’s still not what free speech means. Please look it up.”

Candy: “Politically correct snowflake liberals love to silence people like Milo!”

Somebody: “That’s probably true, but Milo’s free speech rights are intact nonetheless. Google it.”

But you don’t. Ever. I am convinced you’re not even trying.

But no worries. I am here for you. I googled “freedom of speech” (because that’s the official terminology –I’m not trying to be sneaky), and here is what I found for its definition (incidentally, all dictionaries say the same thing, which is how definitions work):

“the right of people to express their opinions publicly without governmental interference, subject to the laws against libel, incitement to violence or rebellion, etc.” (source)

Another: “the right to speak without censorship or restraint by the government. Freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.” (source)

Okay so this is not complicated, right? The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects our right to say virtually whatever the hell we want without fear of legally enacted censorship (although some speech acts are in fact illegal), meaning we can speak without fear of being thrown in prison, or killed by the government (although one may wonder what happened to some of those black Civil Rights activists of the 1960s and 70s who disappeared into thin air, but I digress.)

I can’t be thrown in jail for saying: “Our President acts like Caillou.”

Or “Gee I wish that Nazi was clocked 50 times instead of one.”

Americans get to burn flags, protest, rage, scream, sing, teach, write, and paint without getting chucked into the poky.

Melissa McCarthy gets to make fun of Spicey. Baldwin gets to mock Trump. Limbaugh gets to say women live longer because their lives are easier. Milo YiannoFuckYou gets to be the head gay spokesman for the racist, xenophobic, misogynistic “alt-right.” Bakeries get to gay-bash on Facebook.

IT DOES NOT MEAN THERE WON’T BE CONSEQUENCES FOR THOSE WORDS.

Please for the love of baby Jesus HEAR THIS:

It does not mean we won’t get fired, shunned, uninvited, criticized, kicked off Twitter, blocked, banned, dragged, mocked, and publicly ostracized. Why? Because other citizens get to exercise THEIR freedom of speech in response to ours, and those of us in the private sector get to fire or ban or drag your ass for being an asshole.

Once again just for fun: “Freedom of speech” does not mean “protection from the natural results of being a dick and/or sharing opinions the majority of Americans have progressed beyond because they result in the systematic dismantling of the civil rights of others.”

If I get mad at a coworker and yell that he’s a “washed-up piece of cow shit,” I can possibly get fired for violating a business policy of employing people with self-restraint and manners.

If I walk up to a gay bakery customer and start shouting: “You are evil in the eyes of Jesus and deserve no cake!” my boss can fire me because I am messing with business. Even beyond economics, businesses often have a mission statement, a corporate culture, and if my opinions are not in concert with that culture, I gotta go. 

It’s a condition of my employment. And whether you like it or not, if you believe gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry, or women should stick with the kitchen gig, or all Muslims are terrorists, you are holding archaic beliefs many Americans do not support, so if you share those ideas, there may be repercussions.

This is called, “Being an adult.”

Feel free to hold and yell and cuddle those ideas like your fleece Nascar blanket, but be prepared for what follows.

Societal progress is a motherfucker, ain’t it?

 

Milo YainannaDoucheNozzleButNicePearls can say whatever the hell he wants, and indeed he was invited to UC Davis and UC Berkeley, but protestors created an environment that the university (or HE) felt was unsafe, so he left. He said all kinds of racist and xenophobic and misogynistic neo-fascist shit, and still got invited places and published.

But then it came out that he stated pedophilia isn’t pedophilia if the kid has hit puberty, which apparently is JUST TOO FAR for Simon & Schuster and that Republican rally thing and Breitbart (who knew Breitbart had standards?!).

The rest though was no big deal for those guys, so not one deserves a cookie, not even stale ones with raisins in the back of grandma’s cupboard.

In short, Milo shares a message that many American citizens believe does not deserve a platform. So they did their best to assemble, and deny him that platform. We can argue over the goodness and sanctity of that act, but his freedom of speech is intact. We know this because he’s still walking around being blathering on as a washed-up piece of cow shit.

 

Boycotts are not a violation of freedom of speech.

Protests are not a violation of freedom of speech.

Losing a book deal is not a violation of free speech.

Being uninvited from a speaking engagement is not a violation of free speech.

Milo’s career is smashed because of the choices he’s made within the context of the world he’s living in. Undoubtedly he will maintain a cult-following of alt-right worshippers, but the rest of us have no time for his bullshit, and kindly ask that you exit your unique snowflake word-definition vortex and figure out what “free speech” means, or shut the ever-loving fuck up.

Alright, not so kindly.

But this is America. Milo and I (I just threw up) and you and duck dynasty homophobe guy get to say what we want, and then, we get to deal with the consequences.

THAT IS OUR RIGHT.

 

Here. I made a handy guide the intended audience will never use.

It’s called “Is my right to free speech being violated: A STARTING POINT”

 

***

Speaking of saying whatever the hell we want,

you should join my April online writing workshop so we can

DO THAT TOGETHER.

“Write Anyway” begins April 5.

108 Comments | Posted in nothing to do with parenting., politics | February 22, 2017

Sometimes life is about becoming unstuck, and that’s it.

by renegademama

You may remember we were burglarized last September, twice. In one week. They stole my laptop and essentially every piece of jewelry Mac had ever given me during our 13 years together. They stole my grandmother’s ring, the single item I inherited from her.

It took months to “get over it,” but recently, the wound was reopened. Basically, through a rather coincidental chain of events I’d rather not elaborate on, we found out for sure who burglarized our home, and it was the person I suspected: Our former nanny’s son, a young man addicted to methamphetamines.

I knew it was him the moment I saw my jewelry box laid open, empty. I drove immediately to his home. He was in the street. I walked right up to him looked him dead in the eyes and said “Hey. I get it. I was a drug addict once too. Just give me back my things. Have them show up on my doorstep and I’ll give you $1000. No questions asked.”

Looking back, I realize he had probably already traded everything for a 20 sack, maybe two.

He went around and around about how it wasn’t him. But I knew it was. The sight of his face in my mind’s eye makes me feel sick. Lying motherfucker. I had no proof, but I knew. 100%.

And the worst part is I knew it was going to happen before it happened. I saw it in my mind. I literally saw in my mind that this person was going to burglarize our home.

I knew it the day my nanny sat in our living room and told me her son (who lived with her) was addicted to meth. A thought crossed my mind: One of these days, he’s going to find out through his mom that you’re gone for the weekend and he’s going to burglarize your home.

Three months later, that is precisely, EXACTLY what happened.

 

After my nanny left that day, I called my mom. I told her “I need to find a new nanny. I need to disconnect. Something bad is going to happen.”

But I did nothing.

I talked to Mac about it, told him my concerns. I am no stranger to drug addiction and what it causes. I am no stranger to the monsters people become.

But still I did nothing.

I did nothing against my better judgment.

I did nothing against every cell of my being screaming at me “Stop this. Get out. Bad things are going to happen.”

I did nothing because I ignored my intuition.

I did nothing until it was too late.

And that is the part I can’t get over.

That is the part that haunts me, late at night when I think about the family photos and videos that were lost in the stolen laptop and the pearl necklace gone, the one Mac gave me a couple months into our relationship, and the diamond ring I remember so clearly on my beloved grandmother’s thin, wrinkled gorgeous finger.

I did nothing because I was stuck. I was stuck in a motherfucking rut and I could not see out. I refused to see out. I would not see out.

Life gave me the signs. It gave me the chance to redirect, to move along, to do something new. The universe hinted, nudged, and at times downright pushed and shoved, but still, I did nothing.

Why? Because it was too hard. Because I preferred the comfort of my rut to the difficulty of a new course.

Our home was dark. The neighborhood was terrible. I hated it. We all hated it.  It was a dead, depressing place. We lived two houses down from a known drug house. They’d do deals in the street. They’d park in front of our house waiting for the delivery. Sometimes I’d walk up to them and knock on the car window, ask if I could help. Probably not the safest move, but it gets to the point when you don’t fucking care anymore. The neighbor on our left occasionally got drunk and poisoned animals in the neighborhood. We lived in near-constant fear of our animals getting out. One day our cat did. We found her on our driveway, poisoned the same way our two kitties died when we first moved in, two years prior, before we knew. Our street was a thoroughfare to the worst street in town, so a constant stream of addicts and drunks poured down our road like a sad parade. They left their trash on our lawn and their baggies on the sidewalk.

We needed to move a long time before, but we didn’t. We didn’t because we were stuck.  We didn’t because sometimes the misery you know is easier than the unknown, because it’s safer, or you think it is, simply because it is known.

It all starts to feel so heavy: The change. The fear surrounding it all: What will happen? What if it doesn’t work? Where will we go and do and how will it all work?

One day turns into the next and the next and the next and it’s just you and the aching intuition, the burning feeling that something needs to change. But nothing changes, because nothing changes. And fear.

The burglary ended it.

Shaken to our core, we were faced with the reality of what our life had become and how distant we had grown from that reality. Within 45 days our house was on the market and we had moved into my mom’s house. Within 90 days our house was sold and we were in escrow on another. Around 4 months from that burglary we moved into the house we live in now, a place I love so much I never want to leave (which is its own problem but one I love to have!). I had forgotten how much a miserable house can bring you down. I had forgotten what it feels like to love where you’re living, to feel “home” each day, in your home.

Action. Finally. Happened.

In a way, that burglary was the best thing to ever happen to us, but still I’m full of hatred sometimes, toward him, but mostly toward myself. Why didn’t I act? Why didn’t I do something? Why didn’t I trust my gut and heart?

I know. I already know: I was doing the best I could at the time. And really, it was just stuff gone. It’s just stuff. Means nothing.

But shit. It’s hard. You know?

Hard to face the elements of responsibility in our own lives, hard to square off with the truth about ourselves. It is not my fault that he burglarized our home. It is, however, my fault that I denied my intuition and chose comfort over change, even though that comfort was making me fucking miserable and I KNEW IT.

It is my fault that I didn’t leave a house and town and situation that was sucking the life out of me.

It is my fault I DID NOT ACT.

Life is strange, isn’t it? The way we stay in things that are killing us because at least we feel safe – hang out in the muck and dirt and mire because at least it’s the muck and dirt and mire we’re accustomed to. The way we justify the shit in our lives as if it’s other people’s faults when really it’s us – we’re the ones too chicken shit to move, paralyzed by our own indecision, cut off at the knees with terror. Of what, who knows. How could it be worse than this?

Until life slaughters us one day, to be reborn.

I’m beginning to think life is just a series of little deaths, of becoming unstuck, of seeing how fear pulses through my mind and spine and legs, moving my body for me, on nothing more than a glorified rat wheel. Around and around we call it “living.” I know the truth but I’m too scared to face it. That bullshit job, relationship, habit, whatever. The truth rests deep inside of me. I work every day to ignore it, until I cannot any longer.

I was stuck. I’m not stuck now.

I want to forgive myself, but some mental construction won’t work. “I forgive you Janelle.”

Ah, fuck off.

That shit never works. I need action. I will forgive myself by staying unstuck, by laughing at the voice that says “You can’t. It’s too hard. Stay here.”

I tried that, asshole. I went down that road and it didn’t work. I couldn’t get off  the track on my own so life did it for me, and it hurt. I was shattered into a new direction.

I’m responsible for that, too, I guess. New digs and freedom. My own failure to move – literally and figuratively – killed me. But to begin again. Unstuck, one more time.

Maybe I’ll trust better, sooner.

Myself, and life.

The real kind.

 

sometimes I feel like this.

15 signs you need to GTFU

by renegademama

I agree with this dude who said parents need to calm the fuck down.

I would like to add that people need to grow the fuck up. From this point forward, we shall use the acronym GTFU. Sometimes, that’s the simple answer. Calm the fuck down, GTFU.

Personally, I’m pretty tired of people walking around as if they’re grown up, only to commit some fatal juvenile act outta the damn blue, signaling a formerly unknown, totally unmanageable well of immaturity. It’s actually rather disturbing. You’re hanging out with somebody all chill and shit thinking “Yeah, look at us, two adults.” And then boom! It happens and you’re all “Oh, wow. I was wrong. You’re my tween.” Possibly my toddler.

I mean come ON, I’m immature. But even I have figured out a few things during my years, and my bar is low I assure you. Some things just aren’t right, and whether we want to or not, at some point, in some areas, we simply must GTFU.

So in the interest of helpfulness (not really, I actually have no interest in being helpful at all), I have compiled a list of behaviors that really signal a need to GTFU.

This list is not comprehensive.

15 SIGNS YOU NEED TO GTFU

1. Finding yourself disturbed for more than 12 seconds by something you read on The Twitter. Check this out: There’s real life and there’s social media.Twitter falls into the category of “social media.” Social media is known to be the gathering ground of all idiots of the world, because not only are they idiots, they are INVISIBLE IDIOTS, which empowers the shit outta them. So, since it surpasses standard dumb exponentially via the blessing of anonymity, social media weirdness needn’t compel serious introspection or offense, but rather one thought and one thought only: What the hell is wrong with these people? And then you get back into real life.

2. Getting unfriended on Facebook results in days of thought and emotional turmoil. If you’re pissing people off, you’re doing it right. Well, usually. Unless you’re Rush Limbaugh or a proponent of this website, which promotes the equal treatment of white people (because that’s obviously always been a problem). There’s no way anybody on that website is doing it right.

3. Involving yourself in every corner of your kids’ lives, telling yourself it’s “for their good.” Look, the rest of the world knows you need to GTFU, because really, it’s all about you. You have not realized your childhood is over. Ship fully sailed. Please stop controlling your kids to bolster the value and meaning of your own existence. We are now in grown-up mode, where we reflect on past mistakes with a mix of nostalgia and horror as opposed to attempt to FIX them through innocent children. Get with the program!

4. You are offended/disturbed/made to feel funny by women breastfeeding in public without a cover. Masturbate, watch porn, move to Denmark. DO WHAT IT TAKES TO FIX YOURSELF.

5. You are in your 30s and think it’s acceptable to smoke weed and play video games all day while your partner goes to work.

6. You are the partner of number 5 and defend him(her?) to your parents by saying things like “But we’re in love.”

7. U write all correspondence like ur texting.

8. You play Candy Crush. Dude I’m totally joking. Just got addicted to that shit last week. However, if you play Candy Crush and send repeated requests for it, you may need to GTFU, realizing that most people with brains do not play stupid candy games on their iPhones. And if they do, they deny the shit out of it. So deny your shit like the rest of us! (for real though, lately, my house is so messy I choose to sit on the couch and wait for more Candy Crush lives as a new form of denial.)

9. When you’re angry at a friend, you prefer The Passive-Aggressive Unfollow rather than an actual conversation. Look. Good old face-to-face conversations tend to be more effective than a silent click and seething disdain. While I can get behind the “unfriend” as joyfully as the next guy, if you are going to remain a fixture in my life for reasons beyond my control, can we just talk about our issues directly rather than dance around “follow” lists?

10. Wearing sweatpants with words on the rear.

No wait. Actually I’m not done with the Passive-Aggressive Unfollow thing. You see here’s what makes your move childish and infuriating: YOU KNOW THE UNFOLLOW WILL IGNITE A CONVERSATION so it isn’t that you don’t want to talk, it’s that you want to poke me and prod me until I say “Okay, FINE, what is it. Why are you mad? How can I make this better?”

Newsflash: That’s what kids do. GTFU.

11. Yelling at check-out people instead of managers. Everybody knows it’s not their fault. We’re all watching you yell at the pimply faced 18-year-old Target check-out-guy nursing a hangover and general malaise are thinking one thing: “What sort of asshat thinks it’s this kid’s fault the headphones were marked on clearance and now they’re not?” GTFU.

12. You have a beard like this guy.

IMG_3183

I’m kidding. If you have a beard like this guy, you have reached the pinnacle of manhood. You have no further to go. Stop now while you’re ahead. YOU WILL NEVER GET MORE GROWN UP.

13. Judging people’s maturity by their facial hair. OH FUCK YOU. It’s a reliable maturity indicator.

14. Making duck face in photographs, seriously. 

15. Dismissing entire pieces of writing on account of one typo. Grown-ups have been the asshole, probably on more than one occasion, who suddenly for absolutely no apparent reason emails “there” coworkers and gets a reply from them, reads it, notices the typo in shock and horror, requesting immediately that those same coworkers hold her head in a full toilet bowl until she stops squirming.

Life is no longer worth living.

Okay if you think grammatical errors or looking like a douchebag signals the end of the world, you should probably GTFU, because actual grown-ups have realized we’re all douchebags who do the wrong thing, piss people off, and people piss us off.

And rather than pout and freak out and unfollow each other, we can just talk about it, like big people.

Or we can write about it on our blogs, sure the offenders won’t see anyway, CAUSE THEY’VE ALL UNFOLLOWED YOU.

OMG

I need to GTFU.

Leave me alone. I’m need to go play Candy Crush in my sweatpants with words on them while I unfollow people who were mean to me on Twitter.

And then I’m going to try to follow my own advice, which would be way easier if I didn’t hate advice like a fucking 16-year old.

No but really. The passive-aggressive unfollow thing is super uncool. I stand by that one with every shred of my immature heart.

“This offends me!” Who cares? Nobody.

by renegademama

I “offend” people, a lot.

I don’t give a shit, a lot.

I’m not a cold-hearted person. I’m actually quite sensitive. But when people write “This offends me” or “I’m offended by this,” the only thing I think to myself is “It is impossible for me to convey how little I care.” Not because I’m evil (though that may be true), but rather because I just don’t understand what the hell that’s got to do with me.

Recently I wrote a post referring to “childless” people. I used that word because I wanted to refer to people without children, and “people without children” is three words whereas “childless” is one. And since I’m into the whole brevity thing, I decided on the latter. If you hop over and read the comment thread, you’ll see numerous comments clarifying that “childless” is an offensive, politically incorrect term. The word is “childFREE.” ChildLESS implies a void.

See now this is precisely the moment where they lose me. Yes, of course “childless” implies a void. In English, when you add the word “less” to the end of another word, it means “without” that thing. Hence, without children, which is precisely what I’m trying to say. Forgive me, but I’m not going to INVENT some new word because you find the actual word unpalatable.

I know there are people suffering from infertility, and this word must pierce them, and that makes me feel sad, but can you imagine if we kept changing up English every seven minutes to accommodate every individual experience ever known to humankind? I didn’t set out to hurt people’s feelings. I was just writing. And I’m not particularly invested in the word “childless.” But the fact is I’m not responsible for crafting ideas that are pleasant and palatable and gentle on every version of human on earth today.

I will always hurt people, somehow, and they will always hurt me.

The reason some words are replaced by others (“humankind” for “mankind” or “artificial” or “human-made” for “manmade”) is that they are inaccurate.  They erase women. Women are also humans. And unless you know without a doubt that not a single female played a part in the creation of whatever’s in question, then you are misspeaking to call it “manmade.”

But I wasn’t misspeaking. I was merely pissing people off and hurting feelings.

And really, in the end, as harsh as this sounds, who gives a fuck about feelings?

You, your spouse, the people close to you. Feelings are super useful in indicating to us that something’s wrong, that we need to take some action. Internal unrest is a great indicator that our feet or mouths need to do something: Leave, tell the truth, clean up a past action or wrong. Talk about something. Call somebody. Click off this bitch’s webpage.

But people (whiners) of the fucking internet, your feelings are not sufficient evidence that the world should do something different.

In other words, it’s not our problem you’re “offended.”

Let’s think about this for a moment. You’re offended. You’ve taken offense. You announce that on a website or comment thread (or to a live human being) as if it means something, as if it’s some grand proclamation with relevance and importance, but all you’re really saying is this: “I don’t know you and you don’t know me, and we’ve had two totally different lives, but your existence is not validating mine, and that makes me sad, and therefore you should stop doing what you’re doing.”

Do you see how insane that is?

“I’ve had a unique experience of life and my feelings reflect that experience but you don’t, and so YOU’RE WRONG! Stop it! I’m hurt! Wahhhh!”

The problem is not that you’re “offended.” The problem is that you think the rest of the world should care, do something about it, change its behavior to accommodate your inner self.

I hate to break it to you, but your feelings are your own. They’re not mine. They’re not his or hers or theirs or the douchebag writing that article. They are YOURS. Own it, dude. Deal with it.

Every time I hear somebody say “I used to be an alcoholic but now I drink moderately” I want to bash them in the face and my heart sinks into my toes, because that ignorance furthers the plight of actual alcoholics, who of course can’t safely touch alcohol in any form. And there are people dying in the fucking gutters from this disease, and it sure isn’t helping to have people calling themselves alcoholics announcing that they’ve seen the light and “learned to drink reasonably.”

But I know that because I am an alcoholic, because I was dying in a gutter (well actually it was a beige Ford Taurus but who’s counting?). My feelings are hurt because I know – no, I’ve experienced something –this person has not. But that’s not their problem, is it? It’s mine. If I really want to be helpful, perhaps I attempt to explain my perspective, if the opportunity arises. But simply proclaiming “You offend me!” is about the most useless, narcissistic, entitled and meaningless statement ever.

Am I so important that the world should bow and shift and change because my inner self is wounded?

Poor inner child.

Grow the fuck up.

It must be frustrating to troll around the internet endlessly announcing the offense you take to this and that only to find a bunch of unfeeling bags looking at you like “Yes, and?”

But check it out: People find gay people “offensive.” People once found integrated schools “offensive.” People find people of other races, ethnicities and sexes “offensive.” People find breastfeeding in public “offensive.” People find uncovered heads “offensive.” I could go on all day.

Do you see my point here?

The fact that you find something “offensive” cannot possibly mean anything to anybody other than YOU, because if it did, if the world really had to respond to every offense ever taken by every person to ever walk this earth, well come on, you know that’s ridiculous. Nobody would be able to say or write or do anything. The world would turn into some giant vanilla ego-stroking orgy. And there’s no way that’s any fun.

So if that’s true, if quite clearly the world can’t respond to every offended person on the planet, WHAT, dare I ask, makes you so fucking special?

Oh, yes. That’s right. You’re not. You’re only that special in your own head, and possibly your mom’s.

So once again, we’re back to “your problem.”

My problem.

So please, people of the interwebs getting offended all the time and sharing it with us (and then getting more offended because nobody cares), for the love of logic and effectiveness, move beyond your damn feelings for a minute and look at what’s causing them.

Tell me why I’m wrong.

Tell me what I’m not seeing.

Tell me what you’ve experienced that I have not, leading you to see the world differently, from a different place in a different way, and maybe, just maybe, even an asshole like me will take a moment to think about what you’re saying.

Because to begin with, you’re actually, finally, saying something.

So go you.

And now, a moment of silence in reverence for Stephen Fucking Fry. The man-god.fryII