Of Nazis and Idiocy

The “Unite the Right” gathering has had the usual Nazi-sympathizers trying to defend them.

I’ve seen people say the guy who ran his car into the crowd and killed a woman was a Bernie Sanders supporter and a liberal and that the profile of him being a registered Republican that voted for Donald Trump and had excessive interest in Nazi Germany is false.

Because you see, with such people, facts don’t matter. They’re not playing a game of data and facts and mind-changing; they’re living in a fantasy world where they, despite having the power in society, claim they’re oppressed. They live in a fantasy world where all they have to do is go to some nutjob rightwing conspiracy theory website and swallow the garbage there.

I’ve also seen (predictably) people blame Barack Obama for all this. Not Trump, who was the figuredhead and empowering symbol who hasn’t condemend white supremacy- only vaguely alluded to tragedy and somehow that “all sides were wrong.”

I’ve seen at least one person try to make an allusion to the Jewish notion of being God’s chosen people being synonymous with the white supremacy movement in the USA.

I’ve seen a person say, “I hope the person who got killed by the car was a liberal.”

People naturally say, “Oh, you call everyone you don’t like ‘Nazi’!” even though we’re now dealing with actual Nazis, and it’s not up for debate.

The thing is, I understand the white supremacists/white nationalists; I know where they’re coming from, what they’re really saying. The trouble is fairly simple: either they don’t understand how they sound (plausible possibility), or they understand that what they’re saying is an attempted sugarcoating and justification of something far more sinister than they’ll openly admit (strong likelihood).

I understand where they’re coming from- and it’s because I understand where they’re coming from and that I’m a reasonable person that I understand exactly how wrong they are. That’s the troublesome part- it’s appalling that people can be so very wrong and so very stupid about being so very wrong.

The thing is, they won this past election. Their figurehead won and empowered them. They’re still angry. They can’t be appeased or satisfied.

This is not on Obama. This is not on liberals or progressives. The responsiblity for the fucked up shit going on in the nation is squarely on the shoulders of Neo-Nazis who cry oppression.

S.

Minimalism: Let’s Go

To suggest that this blog isn’t a blatant nod to my friend, Canova, would be incorrect because it is…well, in part.

My husband and I have been working on going more minimalist in our home- I’ve rid the kitchen cupboards of a number of  pots, pans, and various items that we either don’t use or have only used a few times and have no real plans to use again. (The pasta maker remains because that will get used again in the future.)

Meanwhile, my husband has gone through our closet and gathered tons of clothing for donation.

The goal here is not to remove and replace- the goal here is to remove and keep the clutter cleaned out. Any human being can only use so much; why have more than you will possibly ever use?

One thing that the minimalists enlightened me on is the notion that it isn’t about just having less, it’s about having things that mean something to you and nothing beyond that. A person who frequently will need more items to cook with than someone who rarely cooks;  a person who rarely cooks only needs a pan and a pot and a stirring spoon in case they want to heat something up.

And that’s the reality- it isn ‘t nearly the problem that people seem to think it is. Having more clutter just to feel bountiful is ridiculous, but that seems to be what’s going on. “Oh, but you might need it one day!” BOLLOCKS, 90% of such things, you’ll never need, and you don’t want them anyway.

S.

Maybe Politics Can Be Weekly?

The attempt to repeal the ACA has failed again, and of course that’s the big news of the week.

But I’m not here to talk about that.

During my lifetime, the GOP had one, ONE thing going for them- they had the image of being the “mature, presentable, sensible” party. They had the “air” of professionalism, and…well…

…with the election of Trump to the presidency, that little mask has come off. We can see, in broad daylight, exactly what the Republicans are, and the ONE THING they had going in their favor, the ONE card they could play, is gone.

I’m not here to celebrate the Democrats like they’re some kind of super liberal party; indeed, I want to check the forehead of people who are under the impression of the Dems being SUPER Leftie. (If I were in the U.K., I would be voting for the Labour Party.)

If anything, the Dems are the Moderate Party; we don’t HAVE a Leftist party in the USA, so there ya go.

Last year, prior to the election, I skimmed through the agendas of both the Dems and the GOP. The most bizarre thing I found was that the Dems had a platform that espoused pretty much all the values of being an American- and I say this coming from the Deep South, from a rural community in Alabama.

But the GOP’s platform was bizarre and disgusting, and I couldn’t believe that someone would actually buy that crap, least of all AMERICANS.

Anyway, so far, so good, the Dems have done a great job obstructing the GOP, and we’ve had a few members of the GOP who’ve taken a stand for sanity as well. Good for them. I’m unsure how I feel about McCain, but I’ve got my eye on him.

S.

Not Posting about Politics is More Difficult than I Imagined It Would Be

Seriously, I’m even avoiding making comments about things, but good grief, this is ridiculous.

On the one hand, one cannot avoid politics- the power structures and dynamics of a society affect us in some way or another. That’s reality. We can’t escape that, and so we have to work with it the best that way we can.

On the other hand, a few things I’ve held to be accurate are still accurate- arguing with strangers online changes no one’s mind, and my tactics of keeping unsavory people out of my life is the best thing I can do. Lay low and strike swiftly and quickly if the need arises, but I’m not trying to go around and start shit.

My tactic of “speaking out” didn’t work. Plain and simple, people who are foolish and avidly advocate against their own best interests just aren’t intelligent and self-aware enough to waste my energy on them. And let me tell you, there’s something incredibly sad seeing people who are twice my age and above who have obviously wasted their entire lives even when they had the opportunity not to.

My block list currently only has three people on it, though, because there’s just no point going through and adding all the people I had blocked before. Honestly, I’m not sure who a lot of those people were or what they did. There’s only like a Big 10 on the shitlist, and right now, most of them are flying outside of my radar.

I did say when I turned 30 I was done with the bullshit, and I’m 32 now and have continued to make good on that promise.

Onward I go. My goal is to make my life better, to make the lives of people around me better, and my paintings seem to be making people smile, giving them a brief thing to have fascination with in the midst of the bizarre state of affairs.

Steve

About My New Facebook, Part 2

EDIT: I’ve updated this blog. I forgot to finish it or something.

Having a new Facebook account shouldn’t be an emotional process, but in some ways, it is; something noteworthy is how our Facebooks take on a life of their own and become something that is seemingly beyond our control.

Anyway, there’s a story I have to tell about this newest adventure, so here we go.

The blog prior to this explains my initial reasons for deciding to leave the old Facebook account, not the least of which is that Facebook is a poor place to attempt political debate and discourse. I’ve had that other account for a decade down to the month (I signed up in July of 2007), and a decade seemed long enough.

But let’s get to the interesting part. I made a new account and started adding people, then Facebook randomly locked my account about six hours after creation and asked for a photo ID of me. Well, I think they just said photo, but I had my Facebook in Japanese and was tired and maybe had misread what was written.

From that point on, I couldn’t log into Facebook. All I get is a message that says, “Thank you for the photo. We’ll email you as soon as we review it.”

I expected that account to be locked for maybe 24 hours, but no- it’s been a few days, and no email from Facebook.

There’s that possibility…but let’s back up and go to the beginning of registering a new account…Facebook wouldn’t take the email address I entered. I tried several times over, and Facebook continued to tell me the email wasn’t valid or the information wasn’t valid or something like that. So I used my phone number.

That was probably a mistake, because I got a message on my other account saying the phone number had been removed, so…it’s possible Facebook thought I was spam for that reason.

Needless to say, my phone number’s not going on the new account.

My friend, Canova, told me that maybe the universe was telling me to clear out the clutter instead of running from it. Her minimalist wisdom inspired me, and so I began to try to unlike all the pages that were clogging my feed and such.

WELL. The first time I went through, I unliked over 200 pages…and Facebook didn’t register that I had unliked any of them. I tried again…and I would click the boxes of 10 pages, and maybe two would be unfollowed.

Facebook doesn’t usually have an easy way to unlike groups and pages, but I managed to Google and find ways to work around the issue.

So that, I think, may have been the universe telling to make a clean break and burn it all down, which I’m glad I did.

Ultimately, I was forced to create a new email account- this time one that Facebook randomly and magically accepted- and go from there. My plan is to focus on art and making the world a better place in the way that I can.

The reality is that in the resistence, if you’re not ready for the battle, if you’re in the way, you have to stand back. On Twitter, someone made this point- they said, “This isn’t your fight.” People with anxiety disorders and so on- not our fight, not our place to be on the frontlines. We’ll get hurt and then be a burden on the other people who know what they’re doing.

But what some of us CAN do is be the healer. We can be the peacekeepers on our side, the emotional healers, the people who nurse our warriors back to health. A lot of this is metaphorical, but I hope you understand.

Most of my political statements will probably be posted on here. Most of my political perspectives will probably be blogged and not Facebook-posted because Facebook statuses are a horribly ineffective place to do post politics. Just sayin’.

Anyway, that’s all.

S.

In Case You’re Wondering about My New Facebook Account…

Yes, I’ve created a new Facebook account; the last one was created over ten years ago, and time for a change was upon me.

The landscape of Facebook has changed over the years; what were once endearing pages to like and follow have accrued to mostly clogging my feed and being generally too numerous to delete individually. Sometimes even I’m surprised by pages I’ve liked in the past.

Facebook is, of course, neither good nor bad in and of itself; as with most tools, the virtue and vice are relative to its use.

So much has changed in the past year for me that I needed a fresh start. I need a place to show my art, to post about philosophy, to bring the best of myself to the world, to make my small corner of the world better.

Unfortunately, after the U.S. election of 2016 and its result, I lost my inner equilibrium; I plunged into despair and had to confront any number of issues within myself and the world around me. I lost friends and family, but I don’t mourn them; instead, I celebrate the open space for new connections and relationships!

It’s taken months for me to regain my muse and my will to go on; the inner resistance has arisen, and it’s time for me to make my contribution by inspiring and stabilizing the people near me.

So the new Facebook won’t have arguments on it about politics and religion. I have my views; I’m willing to sit down and discuss them with anyone that’s game. But I’m not going to talk about it on Facebook posts anymore.

If it’s any consolation, I’m no longer on Twitter for the same reason. It was a constant barrage of people upset over the political landscape of the USA; what I do miss are the people who were able to accurately diagnose the problems (sucha s white supremacy), but I don’t miss the people so caught up in their ideology that they don’t take time to realize some practical realities that are right in front of them.

Look forward to my art. Encourage me. Buy some of it. That really encouraged me. (Thanks, Michelle.)

Time to be happy.

Steve

On Who We Are

In life, I take for granted the journey I’ve made inside of myself- I take for granted that at age 15, I had the cataclysmic loss of my fundamentalist religion, the shake and break of any sort of inner certainty about life and the way the world works. That’s all gone, forever.

I take for granted my exposure to a wide array of perspectives and philosophies from the time I was 15 right into the present. I take for granted that I’ve seen the world as an atheist, an agnostic, a monotheist, a pantheist, a monist, and a polytheist.

I take for granted that I had to experience the coming out process in the middle of the possibly most socially conservative state in the USA, and that years later, I had to finish the process of coming out to myself.

I take for granted that at an early age, I realized my parents were wrong about pretty much everything they ever told me about the world and the way life works. That was a fun one, of course- everyone around me chalked it up to teenaged angst. The newsflash here, of course, is that it wasn’t.

I take for granted that the person I’ve become has been, in part, a conscious process, and that I’ve willingly exposed myself to different viewpoints and that I’ve changed partially because our biology dictates that we change as we get older and partially because I’ve learned new things.

I also take for granted running smack dab into our biological constraints- so much of who we are is outside our scope of influence. That’s reality.

So yes. I take so much for granted, but maybe I can learn to not do that.

Steve