Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Observations from the Inside

I do a lot of contemplative thinking when I've got to much free time.  And let's face it, now that I'm no longer part of the work force, and likely never will be again, I have way to much free time.  Random bits of flotsam go skittering through my poor brainpan on an almost daily basis.  Some of them are large enough to cause a bit of a logjam, and get turned over a bit more thoroughly than the rest.

Today was one of those days when a logjam happened.

Have you ever noticed that habitual liars all seem to have a few basic things in common?  They don't consider it "wrong" to lie - but boy, do they dislike facing the consequences when they get caught.  Some of them hate those consequences so much that they'll go to almost any lengths to avoid getting caught.  They'll tell further lies, they'll attempt to distract you from what they are being confronted with, they'll attempt to misdirect towards someone else as the "actual" culprit, and inevitably they will try to paint you (the one who confronts them with Truth) as somehow being The Bad Guy.

Starting about 16 years ago, I began a run of bad picks in men.  All of them, to greater or lesser degree, turned out to be habitual liars.  I'm not saying that all males are like that - they aren't.  There are some good, honest, trustworthy men in the world.  What I am saying is that my picker was broken during that time frame, and those whom I chose - inevitably - were of the Other sort - the dishonest, dishonorable, and untrustworthy.  It's been one of the main reasons for me having the long string of ex's that I've got.  They underestimated my ability to tell when they were lying, or thought I was either too stupid to notice or to desperate to call them to account for it.  I always know, on some level, when I'm being lied to - even if it's not a blatant and obvious lie.  Something about a statement simply won't sit well with me, and will nag at the back of my brain until I finally start digging enough to get to the truth.

Most of the males in that string of rejects had a trait in common that I'm still stymied to understand.  All of them, once they were caught and the evidence present to show them "I know you're lying, I know what the truth is" attempted to convince me that it was somehow My fault that they'd lied to me.  It was for my own good.  It was to spare my feelings.  I didn't Really understand what was going on, regardless of what proof I had. 

Buzzzzzzzzz!  Wrong Answer!  But, we thank you for playing You Bet Your Life! 

It wasn't to spare me, or to keep from hurting my feelings, nor was it somehow for My good.  No.  It was to spare Them having to face the consequences of their actions.  It was to keep Them from having to admit that they'd over estimated their charm and ability to lie, and under estimated my intuition, intelligence, complacency, and desperation levels.  It was to spare themselves having to face finding a new place to live (all of them lived with me, usually financially dependent on me to keep a roof over their head and keep them fed) or live out of their vehicle - assuming they even Had a vehicle.  It was for Their own good, so that they could (hopefully) maintain what they saw as a cushy life at someone else's expense and trouble.

Ultimately that's always why someone makes the choice to lie.  They are looking out for their own convenience or comfort in some way.  They're avoiding immediate conflict that would be uncomfortable to them, either in the short term or the long term.  They're avoid responsibility for their actions.  They want something that they're not supposed to have, or did something that they knew it was wrong to do.

Don't ever make the mistake of telling yourself that its for someone else's good though, when you choose to lie to them.  The only person you're protecting is yourself.

Lives Matter? Since When?

There are those who are no doubt going to scream "racist bigoty racist" at me for writing this post.  They're welcome to do so - I honestly don't Care what folks think - I write for me, not for them, and certainly not to be politically correct.

Over the course of the past 2 years, I have watched as my country becomes more and more polarized.  I have watched as an increasing number of folks rush head long towards out and out race war fare.  And its not going to be getting any better any time soon.

It started with riots in Ferguson, MO., over the death of a black male shot by the police, and has grown exponentially over the past 2 years, disproportionate to the actual numbers of deaths at police hands.  A movement grew out of protests - protests that were based on deliberate misinformation - which continues to this day, with an agenda that is troublesome at best and terrifying at worst.

The "Black Lives Matter" movement has done more to promote racial discord than anything I can think of since the days of the Jim Crow Laws.

The agenda of this movement - of its leadership - is not justice, or equality, or even a leveling of the playing field.  The leadership of the BLM movement has repeated called (via social media) for mass murder of Caucasians, mass murder of police, rioting, and intentional upheaval.  They don't care whether someone has stood with them or against them.  They don't care whether you've fought for civil rights.  All they care about is the color of your skin - while screaming about being the underdog because of the color of their skin.

I'm going to make an analogy here that I hope will put things into better perspective.  It should, at least, explain why I have ........... Issues........... with the BLM movement.

There's a wonderful little restaurant down the road, called "The Liberty Bell."  Its owned by a kindly old couple named Sam and Lady Liberty.  There's a sign on the door that reads, "Everyone Welcome. Come in and find a seat!"

Over the years, a whole slew of folks have entered those doors.  Cold, tired, disenfranchised from various places, many of them penniless, and all of them hungry.  Each of those folks sat down at a table or the counter, glanced at the menu, and saw in big letters that the Special of the Day was the Freedom Plate. 

When asked what was on the Freedom Plate, 'ol Sam usually smiles and describes it for them.  "We start with a heaping helping of Constitutional Rights, slowly sauteed over the flames of independence, seasoned with Duty, Honor, and Respect.  To that, we add a touch of rugged individualism and allow it to stew while we build the sauce.  The sauce is kind of special, its crafted from the blood, sweat, and tears of those who've worked to help perfect the recipe and protect it from those who would steal it. We top all that off with a dollop of Justice, and serve it with a nice side of Truth.  We add a touch of spice to each plate as we serve it - the spice blend is a work in progress, and comes from the special touches of culture brought by those who've tasted the plate in the past and decided to stick around and make this their home.  Its kind of expensive, but its well worth the price!"

And those who came and heard the description from Sam thought it sounded Amazing, and asked for the Freedom Special, declaring that it was worth it no matter what price was asked of them.  They signed blank checks for an amount up to and including their own lives for its protection, should need arise. And Sam sat their plates in front of them, and patted them on the shoulder, and told them that their check didn't just cover Their meal - it covered everyone in their family, and all their friends, and their neighbors, and even folks who hadn't been born yet.

Sometimes, someone would come in and sit down and ask for the Freedom Plate, and old Sam would scowl at them and tell them, "We don't want your kind around here."  Inevitably though, other customers who had already paid for their plate would say, "Now Sam, you said that Everyone was welcome, and that my blank check covered all of them.  So you serve them as well."

It would take a while.  Sometimes quite a long while.  Sam would hem and haw, and try to serve them only a partial plate.  But eventually, he was always brought around to serve them up the whole plate, with all the ingredients that the others had been given.  He didn't always like it, but he always eventually came around.  Sometimes, there were customers who agreed with Sam, and didn't want to see others get served.  But they were always shouted down in the end, and folks got their plate.

Then eventually some of the grand kids and great-grand kids of those folks who'd had to be stubborn in order to get a plate .. they came in off the street, and sat down at the counter, and ordered as well.  And the plate was set in front of them, fresh off the grill, just like it was set in front of the descendants of those who had grumbled about "their kind" being served.

Now while their parents, and grandparents, and great-grandparents had been happy finally getting the plate, and not being denied a place at the counter - their children and grand-children weren't so happy with that.  Yes, they wanted the plate - who wouldn't?  But they were angry that the descendants of those early nay-sayers still got the full plate as well.

"This isn't good enough!  I want you to take away some of the ingredients on their plates - to make it up to me that my great granddad wasn't given his full plate originally! Simply giving me my place isn't fair, because you never denied them a place or a plate!"

"But  these aren't the folks who didn't want your granddad to miss out on some of the plate."

:"Doesn't matter - I'm not going to be happy until the tables are turned, and the descendants of those who were oppressive are made to pay for the mistakes of those who came before them.  And if you Don't do so - I'm going to sulk and lie and say my plate isn't full - and then I'm going to throw a temper tantrum, throw the dishes, set fire to the tabletop, and scream that its your fault that I acted that way!"

That, folks, is what we've got going on currently.  A bunch of spoiled great-grandkids, who never had to actually fight to get a place and a plate, throwing a temper tantrum over stuff that happened before their parents and grandparents were even conceived, much less asked for the Freedom Plate.

It doesn't mean that their great-grands weren't oppressed.  It doesn't mean that their grands didn't have to fight to get their whole dinner.  It means that they're causing a ruckus and throwing a temper tantrum because they don't think its Fair that others aren't now treated as harshly as they feel their priors were.

These people aren't Protestors, regardless of what they call themselves.  They aren't exercising the rights that good men and women fought hard to gain.  They aren't assembling peacefully to ask for redress of grievances.  They are Thugs and Spoiled Brats throwing temper tantrums - rioting, looting, burning businesses and homes, attacking others in the streets. 

I won't back them.  They've made it impossible to respect them.  They've destroyed what sympathy I might otherwise have once held for them.  They need to grow up, stop expecting life to be handed to them on a platter to somehow make up for what their ancestors went through, and start acting like responsible, thinking adults.  Not toddlers who've been denied a piece of candy, going to kick over the block tower built by the other kid in the room.

A few ugly truths about Life with a Chronic Illness....

Many people these days seem to be on an Inspirational / Positive Thinking Quote/Meme kick on social media.  I don't know if its because they simply like the memes, and therefore repost them again and again.  Perhaps its that a few of them actually think that it will somehow "help" someone on their friends list, or further down the line.

Here's a little hint.  They don't.  They don't make one damned bit of difference.  Any "inspiration" they happen to offer lasts about the same length of time that the meme is actually visible on the screen.  They aren't life changing or life saving.

Whether religious in nature or simply "positive" philosophy in nature makes not one whit of difference, either.  Most folks aren't nearly as religiously inclined as their friends think they are, except while they're specifically in church.  Then they turn around, go home, and go right back to the same things they've done Monday through Saturday (or Sunday through Friday, for those who hold sabbat on Saturday instead) for the following week, with very little thought given to whatever spiritual teachings they happen to profess during that "holy" day.

My life is governed by 3 specific things: Pain Management, Fatigue Management, and Stress Management.  That's it.  That's all.  Everything revolves around, and is dependent upon, those 3 items being properly and carefully managed.

All the inspirational claptrap in the world isn't going to change that fact.  No amount of Positive Thinking is going to change it, either.

Pain from Lupus and Fibromyalgia doesn't go away simply because we think "happy" thoughts.  Doing as little as possible to exasperate the currently pain filled area, taking lots of interesting drugs with sometimes unpredictable side effects, and simply gritting our teeth and ignoring it when we have relatively "good" days.... that's how we cope.  Because the pain never completely goes away unless we're so doped up on pain meds that we turn into the equivalent of dieting zombies.  (Dieting because we're not actively eating brains.)

Fatigue from dealing with pain, and from hyper-sensitive nerves, and from over doing it attempting to actually get something done other than sitting around feeling utterly Useless doesn't simply Disappear because we read some nice quote telling us to BELIEVE.  It doesn't go away from laying down and taking a nap either.  It never completely goes away.

Stress is a fact of life.  Even on the "good" days there are stressors.  What to wear, traffic, what needs to get done just to accommodate the simple act of surviving in the 21st century, grocery shopping and cooking meals and feeding the pets.  And dealing with trying to get dressed while you hurt so bad you want to scream.  Trying to brush your hair so you look at least semi-presentable when your arms are lead weights attached to your shoulders, and lifting them sufficiently to use the brush causes agony.  Asking yourself, 'do I have time to take a much needed nap, since I'm falling asleep in my chair, or will that totally derail attempting to finish anything today?"

Keep your positive and Inspirational memes.  If they make you feel better... good for you, more power to ya.  But don't expect me to suddenly jump up and proclaim that my life has changed, or gotten better.  And DON'T tell me that I just need to start thinking positive about my situation or looking for some non-existent silver fucking lining.

Don't ask me what I "plan to do differently to make things better for myself."  This is simply how life is.  These diseases aren't going away.  Nothing and no one is going to make them suddenly ..... Easier. 

I already do everything I'm Capable of doing to make things "better" for myself - by not doing much of anything, by sleeping a lot even when I should be getting Necessary things done, by "neglecting" daily tasks that are nearly soul destroying to let them constantly slide because I don't have the energy or the pain free days to actually Accomplish much..

by putting up with getting told I'm simply being lazy, or that I "can't" hurt as much as I say I do, by being told that I'm just looking for sympathy and attention and making a big deal out of nothing, by being ignored and virtually abandoned by those who are supposedly my Friends because I can't go out and do things simply because I Want to.....

Keep your positive thinking.  Keep your inspirational memes.  Just don't expect me to be inspired.  Or to be positive of anything other than that I'm ready for this to all be over and done with - but that I won't get That luxury until I'm dead.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Thoughts about the demands for Racial Apologetics...

So I've been seeing a lot of stuff online over the past year that basically demands that I feel guilty and be apologetic .... for things I didn't (and don't) do, and for genetics that I had absolutely no control over.

I'm referring to all the neo-liberal demands that Caucasians  (you know - whites, primarily of European genetic extraction) feel bad for the institution of Slavery in the US.  An institution, btw, that was ended in the US via violent civil war long before any of us were even conceived, and in most cases before our parents, grandparents, or great grandparents were even conceived.  Its an institution which continues (ignored in most cases by the media) in locations in Africa and the Middle East.

The media (in some cases) and neo-Liberals via social media (in many cases) would have you believe that if you are of European genetic extraction, and live in the US, that you are guilty by association and birth of being somehow complicit in racism, segregation, and attempts (whether successful or otherwise) to maintain a huge chunk of the US population in degradation and suppression.  Your only hope, as a person born with pale skin, is to apologize profusely for your very existence and the genetic background you had no say in, and take up a nearly militant stance on everyone else is a racist bigoted racist if they don't make the same sort of apology.

Let me make this perfectly clear:

I will not apologize for the actions of others - I accept responsibility for MY actions, and therefore I am careful not to act in a manner that Needs to be apologized for.  Things that happened before I was born - or even my grandparents and great-grandparents were born - are not mine to claim responsibility or guilt concerning.

I will not apologize for the genetic factors of my birth, or the skin tone attendant with those genetic factors. As an American Mutt (mixed heritage that includes European and Aboriginal/Tribal factors) who happened to have been born with Caucasian skin tones - that's simply who I am - an American Mutt.  If I were to expect some other American Mutt to apologize..... because they had African or Latino mixed with European, and they happened to be born with skin tones that reflected that heritage from 5 generations ago - I would be screamed at, called racist, accused of being insensitive, accused of attempting to suppress them, and told I was a horrible person.

The most recent bit of.. well... to put it bluntly... apologist claptrap.... that I've had the misfortune to run across went beyond that, to tell me that simply being White and Nice is an attempt to suppress those of other genetic backgrounds.

What a steaming pile of complete and utter shit this is, that some SJW millennial activist has come up with to feed their own guilt ridden emo-istic angst on the one hand - and sense of self righteous superiority on the other.  These idiots are so conflicted there are even recent reports of some of them doing things like Cutting (self harm) in an attempt to "apologize" for being White.

And yall call ME a racist because I won't treat some folks Better than everyone else?  Call me up to discuss it when you pull your head out of your own Race Filled Rhetoric.