Thursday, February 2, 2017

Briefly Deconstructing the Snowflake

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Looking back on the last year, there was definitely topics to write about, from mental health, to communication, to relationships, to politics (and everything beneath that umbrella)...but the topics never made it to ink and paper, virtual or otherwise.

Let's call it getting into the groove of self-employment post graduation (a year and a half in and loving it), and travel (shout out to all the great people we saw last year), and gardening (year three was a mild success), plus working on finishing up the Lady Cave (still not complete, more to come on that), and let's be honest...just too much election...too much bullshit...too much real shit...too much.

But it's 2017 now.

It's still too much. Too much too fast. Watching the very fabric of this county being ripped apart at the well-stitched seams; and if you have no idea what is going on because you only watch local news, read local papers and/or pay attention to very specific news outlets, then Google search: Trump with any number of the following key terms [and click the 'News' tab] - Mexico, Australia, Taiwan, China, UK, Exports Mexico, Exports Russia, Muslims, Travel Ban, Immigration, Johnson Amendment. Constitution, First Amendment, Press Suppression, Reproductive Rights, Education...the list could literally go on and on.
Note: do the search in an incognito [Google] Chrome search window (Ctrl+Shift+N) this way it will ensure it's giving you a more "pure" search not based on your search and user history. Also, none of these searches will impact your future searches via your Google account.

It's not even like when you have a shirt that has a loose thread that you constantly pull at, that you forget about every once and awhile, and eventually your procrastinating ass clips and double stitches the breach; this is full-on pull the seam ripper from the sewing box and dismantle the shirt stuff.
It makes a rational person shudder. Especially a rational person who has a clear understanding of history, and how abuses of power in the wrong hands can destroy countries. For more on that please see every superpower that crumbled in the entire history of recorded human history...

Anyway. On the the Snowflake.

This past week it became necessary to explain to one of our old political science professors (a professor we do occasional work for, and also go visit to hash out politics with every couple of months) what a Snowflake it. Trying to use all the words possible to get the point across, he finally got it when the words "sensitive libtard" tumbled from these lips - a detestable infantile word used by the Right when they are all out of constructive debate tactics, or they just want to be bullies. (For more on the horrors of being a libtard read this guest blog post: 'I'm a "Libtard", Apparently'.)

Having had to explain such a politically potent slur to a political science educator became just another weird teaching a teacher moment - shouldn't he know these things? - like when we brought him an argument, backed by data, about how 'Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America' was outdated and incorrect, and he then decided to stop using it as a teaching tool, because it was indeed incorrect. This was almost exactly two years ago. Not a minute too late. Right?
People never stop learning, no matter who they are or how old they are.
Okay. Some people definitely stop learning. But that's a choice.

So what is a Snowflake, really?
There are plenty of variations of the definition, but it generally comes back to the "Libtard" paradigm.
A "Snowflake" is someone who is "easily" insulted, or takes offence.
[Older uses of the word have more to do with someone somehow insinuating that they are unique or special. This is not that kind of snowflake. This is the snowflake that has been appropriated by the Alt-Right/White Nationalists/White Supremacists/Neo-Nazis/Right/GOP/Republicans]
Delving further, a Snowflake is someone who is insulted, disgusted, offended, and angered (proponents of the word would say easily) by things such as racism, bigotry, sexism, bullying, "alternative facts", inequality, making fun of handicapped people, targeting people for abuse based on gender, sex, sexual orientation, *religious discrimination, (calm down Christians, you're never being unfairly targeted or discriminated against in the USA, your privilege is well in tact, check it), anti-intellectualism, the death of democracy, ruining/destroying the planet, this country becoming a crumbled mass of fallout debris, etc. You get the picture. They care about stuff, and people.
These people will usually be vocal, via social media outlets - though surely there have been snowflakes at protests, and on TV, and Radio, and in the newspapers.
Snowflakes will express their concerns about how they feel and what they think, which makes them a target of the Alt-Right/White Nationalists/White Supremacists/Neo-Nazis/Right/GOP/Republicans who, in turn, upon confrontation, or just in passing, will spew any manner of derogatory terms (in addition to "libtard", or calling someone "whinny", See Also: "cuck", though this one is usually directed at conservatives who the alt-right white supremacists find weak and ineffectual), either before, during, or after a digital debate in which they have lost footing and/or have nothing of factual value to offer. Need proof? You simply need to read the replies below Tweets and Facebook posts.

Essentially a Snowflake, in this definition then, is a person who cares about other people's freedom, other people's happiness, the environment, culture, education...usually from an educated standpoint, who generally wants to be respectful to people and their many differences.
What a terrible person, right? Like, who wants to care about those things?
Other people?
Be a good person?
Shit, man.
Money is all that matters. Money and controlling a woman's reproductive rights, amiright. Fuck the environment. Clean water? That's what filters are for. Fuck the future of the children. They'll live in glass domes or some shit some dumb scientist came up with. *snorts* Science dumb. Book learnin' is for pussies. *high fives grunting friend* Go God (but, like, only the Christian one).

This is not to say said Snowflakes are perfect, and never name call (or blatantly make fun of the lesser developed homo sapiens), but it usually takes some pressure to push them, despite their "delicate snowflake nature". They'll crack once in awhile. Melt? Shit. That analogy doesn't work so well.
In any case, it's pretty sad and pathetic that people have to deal with bullies because they are nice and caring, and want the best for the country, and it's pretty sad that this bullying is a national phenomenon in such a way that one of the bullies is ruining the country.
That wasn't a spelling error.

Just remember, all you active and would be bullies: One snowflake behind a screen may be an easy target. But the snowflakes of the USA are getting pretty agitated.
You know what happens though, when you have a bunch of snowflakes whipped into a frenzy?
A goddamn blizzard.
And take it from someone who lives in the American Midwest. Blizzards kill.

As an aside, there is nothing more "delicate" and "snowflake"-like about a man, or his followers, who attacks every person who criticizes them or their actions from a place of caring and concern, brandishing facts - you know, the real kind - or threatens those who don't do as they say.
That is authoritarianism, and fascism, and definitely not democracy.

So there you have it. A brief deconstruction of the Snowflake.

Thanks for reading. Hopefully this'll be the year of getting back into writing. :-)

Time for some whiskey.

[*Religion is a private matter, and a choice, and as such it should be practiced in the home, in ones private life, not forced upon other people, not used to discriminate in public businesses and services.
You don't have to let the person that is not living their life to your religious value into your home. You can even keep your kids from dating them. You certainly don't have to have sexual relations with them, or perform their abortions, or dress like them.
You can choose not to patron their businesses/services...those things are your private life.
When you negatively impact the way other people live their lives, by creating laws to prevent them from doing so, you are doing nothing more than enforcing a kind of "Sharia Law" - laws derived from religious "tradition" - on society.]

PLEASE NOTE: Comments of a harassing, ignorant, and bullying nature will be removed. Ain't nobody got time for your motherfucking hate.

For more political-type essays/writings from this blog:

Patriotism and Religion in Persisting Social Stratification: The Evolution of Knowledge - A University Essay

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Being Brief

The thing about people, friends, significant others, and family members knowing where to find your blog is that over time it really limits what you can write about. Unless you're a complete and utter asshole, that is. So it forces abstract and brief commentary and statuses, here, there, in all the usual places ... nothing coming together to form anything tangible for anyone to fully understand.

We're currently trying to figure out a way to return to therapeutic blogging, the kind we used to do, because it was a helpful tool in the past. As we slide into familiar old patterns we're mentally clawing and grasping for that old life saver.
The stress and anxiety mounts. It's been so long since we've been able to really write.

Hopefully it will break soon.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Flowers Beneath Your Touch

When it takes years to understand the significance of what it means when you find pure pleasure in gently running your fingers against soft, wet, beautiful flowers after a rain, when you've had "too much to drink"...knowing the petals of those flowers bring you nearly as much joy on a hot and dry day as they do in that moment following a downpour.
And he doesn't drink much anymore, but he says when he did he ran his fingers over the rough terrain of unyielding stone walls, waking up the next day, his fingernails ragged. No flowers there.
Though you know what waking up with bloodied ragged fingers feels's evident that he has never seen the same flowers that blush beneath your fingers in those beautiful moments, that are  just as beautiful on hot dry days. Beautiful beneath your touch.
There grows a vast empty terrain between those kinds of worlds.

The end.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Snapshot of an Average Life

So we're driving down the back road, and about 20 miles from home we see a car alongside the road, facing the other direction, an old classic, a tan Mercury Comet with collectors plates, hood up, an old man sort of ambling around it.

As we pass he sort of waves his hand, low, near his hip. It was difficult to tell if he was waving us off or not.  We drove on, glancing in the review mirror as he got into the front seat of his car...

It's hot out. 80°F. The hottest part of the day.

It wasn't long before we started to slow down...

"You know, he's pretty old. He probably doesn't have a cell phone."

"It's really hot out. He could be out here a long time if we don't turn back."

"It's dangerous to offer roadside assistance when you're all by yourself."

"He's, like, really old. No way is he a threat."

"We don't need more bad karma."

"This is going to be annoying."

"Let's just keep going."

We turn the car around and go back to help.
He was immediately thankful we stopped, as he walked towards us, rambling about his car, and whatever it was that had caused it to come to rest on the gravel and tall grass of shoulder of the road.

Sure enough, no phone, he doesn't even have his son's number, he thinks our cell phone is a phonebook...all things we discovered as it became clear this man had no concept of personal space as we stood wedged between the car door, the opening, and him...inches from us, creeping closer and closer as he tries to see the screen of the cellphone we're holding, his every pore exuding the smell of aging flesh, dirty pennies, and empty Rolaid bottles.
Just like grandpa used to smell. The pervy one who used to pat us on the bottom well into our late teens and early adulthood, skirting the lines of appropriate familial affection.

We stood there for what felt like forever, sun beating down, the smell of him assaulting our nasal passages, while we tried to use Google to find his son's phone number, an impossible task - because No, cellphones are not phonebooks - and search the number of the gas station in the small nearly town (more of a cluster of houses than anything), the name of which has changed hands in his lifetime, probably before the Internet was even a thing. Just standing there at the shoulder of the road while he spit out names of people he figured we should know and be able to contact. Because in his time everybody knew everybody and guess that means so should we, even though we've only lived in the area a few years.

Finally we asked him where he lives, to discover it's barely two miles. We offer him a ride home - he doesn't have AAA, and the area tow truck driver was not available - and at this point we can't just leave him there, he's easily in his late 80s, and we needed him to get out of our personal space.

We got him in the car and drove off to his house. When we got there he offered us a few dollars, which we obviously declined, and told us how lucky it was that he broke down where he did, and I passed when I did, because he could have been out there until dark for all he knew.

He made it home safe, and our karma remains stable.

But now all we can smell in the car, on our clothes, lingering on our skin, inside our nose, is dirty pennies and Rolaids married to the smell of slow fleshy decay.

There is no moral to this story, no real point.
It's just a brief snapshot, a retelling of an average mundane day in our life.
And a good opportunity to write a little, and put something to "paper" again.

Although, for anyone with an aging parent or grandparent who missed the window of keeping up with the rapid evolution of {communication} technology - you know the ones, they're still carrying a checkbook - make sure they are carrying important phone numbers with them at all times (like in their checkbooks).
Their memories may be poor, and it may be very frightening for them to fully depend on a stranger who stops for other strangers on the side of old county highways...even if it is a fairly attractive young lady who looks harmless enough...

Monday, May 30, 2016

A Garden Meditation

Today, while weeding the garden, fingers and toes deep in the moist dirt, pulling up the offensive greenery, we could feel the impending thunderstorm in the air. The heaviness, the humidity...just a matter of time. Summer is here, and with it, the glorious thunder and lightning.

And suddenly we thought of Skittles (aka Nettie, aka Annette Ford) and the last time we saw her, when she came to visit for several days, mere months before she passed, when we ran from a prairie storm, and then we chased it with a vehicle, trying to see all the lightening possible, laughing about it all.

It has take this long to fully realize how rare a friend like that is, especially as years pass and age takes its toll; and how it's unlikely we'll ever have a friend like her again. Not that the loss of her wasn't deeply personal, but for so long we'd focused simply on how unfair her passing was, for her family, her husband, her child...she was so young, and the passing [still] unexplained.
Now, three quarters of a year later, we're reflecting on it in different that we're feeling more fully equipped to deal with it in a healthy way.

And from it, this garden mediation, simply came this.

It's a damn shame that it grows so increasingly difficult to find friends who will laugh wildly with you, running from a storm, and then try to catch that same storm with you.
A damn shame that society just isn't equipped anymore, doesn't create or foster the existence of those people as much as it should.
But maybe it never did? Maybe those kinds of people are the true unicorns. And you're lucky to have found a unicorn.

And then, sometimes, life will just take them away.