Megan Fox is a Slut, because She Winks Like a Pornstar: Or Why I Lose Every Facebook Fight I Get Into

I try (and sometimes fail) to not be a troll when getting into Facebook arguments.  If I decide to engage someone with a differing opinion, I try to give a thoughtful and reasoned argument defending my opinion.  Inevitably, I do not get the same in return.

“That’s just my opinion.”

If you get into a Facebook argument, you will absolutely hear this thrown out there.  What it is, is a statement saying, “regardless of how obviously it may seem that I’m wrong, I can’t possibly be wrong if its just my opinion.”  It’s the equivalent of a little kid being like “your superpower can’t beat me, because I have the superpower to get any superpower including the one to beat yours.”

Unfortunately, we have the phrase “everyone’s entitled to an opinion,” which is while is technically true, does seem to be over extended and taken as “all opinions have equal weight and merit” which is absolutely not true.  If you have no evidence, or data to back up your opinion, and you are given evidence and data on the opposing opinion, yours is inferior (at least until some time at which you can provide some substance).

The sideways argument/crossing streams.

I call the it sideways arguing, when you’re having a discussion about A, and instead of A your discussion partner, or argument opponent, or whatever you want to call them, keeps straying off topic but thinking it’s still valid.  We’ll take the classic debate of “Should pizza have pineapple on it or not?”  One person argues that the sweet contrasts well with the other more savory flavors on a pizza, and the other states that pineapple doesn’t have the proper texture for a pizza topping.  As the debate wages on, one side sees they’re ill-equipped to continue, or to win, and says “well, I just think pepperoni is the best topping.”

What the fuck does that mean? What does that have to do with this argument?

In the confusion of this totally sideways argument, the person who said it, thinks they’ve won the argument, or at least gained new ground, because they’ve baffled their opponent, when really it’s like you’re having a civilized discussion, and they whipped their dick out, you just don’t know what is going on anymore.

Too stupid to lose.

I know, that in this I sound like a condescending douche (and at times, I certainly can be) but hear me out on this one.  Often times when engaging in a Facebook argument, you’ll pummel someone over the head with information, and reasoned arguments, but you’re not factoring in whether or not they’re intelligent enough to understand that to any third party reading your conversation, you have one handily.

The absolute stupidest argument that I ever got into, was when I saw a (former) Facebook friend post “Megan Fox is a slut!” and I assume there were some emojis, but it’s been at least five years so I don’t remember.

My response, because as many of you may know, I hate the word slut in most common usage, and this was definitely and offender, was to ask “why is she a slut?”  The response I got was baffling, and should have been my cue to stop the discussion in its tracks, but I didn’t.

“Because she winks like a pornstar.”

It was, and still is, such a stupid argument, that my brain hurts thinking about it.  Of course, I tried to use logic to back out of it and get to a better place in the argument.  I asked “what do pornstars wink like? Does she breath like a porn star? Does she eat like a porn star?  I think the only thing that matters is whether or not she has sex on camera, as to her comparison to a porn star.”  None of that worked, because for some reason there was no connection, no light behind the eyes, saying “hey this is a dumb argument” on the other side.  I let this particular argument go back and forth for hours before eventually my wife told me to unfollow the post, so I wouldn’t see any further arguments.

Because I engage in Facebook arguments.

Ultimately, it is ALWAYS my fault, that I lose an argument, or that I get frustrated in the argument, because ultimately, I decided to engage in the argument.  After years of doing this, I have not learned that Facebook arguments aren’t ‘Debate Club’ and we’re not awarded points for well made arguments, and in the end there is no sportsman like shaking of hands.  In the end, someone stops responding.

I wish I could say, that while I continue to engage, at least it’s a new argument partner every time, but even that isn’t true.  I let myself engage with people whom have shown no desire to have an honest or thoughtful discussion or argument, and for some dumb reason I always think “well this is too obvious for me to lose,” and yet I always lose, because I even engaged in the first place.

I think I have a compulsion, because not checking the arguments, not responding, all comes with it a deep stomach ache, which is then only worsened when responses do come.  Hopefully, by writing this, I will allow myself to stop engaging in these arguments, but I think I know that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

As a last thought, I should mention, while I do sometimes engage in arguments that others would consider to be trivial, I do usually see a moral obligation to engage and defend a moral standpoint.  Even the Megan Fox example, to me was important.  And no, I haven’t really engaged in the pineapple pizza argument, because I do not see the moral necessity.

I am a Fucking Coward

Most of us like to think we would be the hero in a crisis, we think we would be the person to stand up to a bank robber, or to risk our own lives for the sake of our families or the greater good.  Most people never are faced with a choice like that, and those who are often don’t act the way they hoped.

Today, not in the face of anything that personal, but something I believe to be as important, I found out that I am not a hero, I’m not even an ordinary man willing and able to do the very bare minimum.  I’m a coward.

Over the last several years, there have been protests that I’ve believed in, but I was able to justify not attending because it was always ten or not hours away.  I lived in Massachusetts, so when the protests were going on in Ferguson, it was easy to justify not going because it was too far.

Now I live in North Carolina, and so I’m closer to where a lot of the protests are happening.  Today, in Charlottesville Virgina (which is only about three hours away from me) the Klan, Neo-Nazi and an other white supremacy groups were organizing a rally in a park called Emancipation Park.

I should be going to counter protest, to lend my body to the ranks of people trying to show they have more support than the literal haters.  But I haven’t gone, and I’m not likely to go.  The reason for my absence isn’t moral ambiguity, or lack of time, instead it’s fear.  The truth is, if there are beatings, or pepper spraying, or God forbid worse violence, I’m scared of the personal impact.

All day today, the more I have heard about this ongoing event, the more I have been overcome by guilt and shame.  I cannot think of any argument that I have been more clear on in my head, and yet my convictions aren’t enough motivation to go stand for what is right.

It may seem less obvious to many of you, but to me, it seems today’s events are a clear movement in a worse direction.  There has been a lot of talk about the ’emboldening’ of racists in this country over the last two years, but this is coupled with a federal government unable to accomplish anything, and talking now about possibly suspending the 2020 elections due to illegal immigrants voting.

I’m terrified and ashamed.  Edmund Burke said “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  I think right now to do nothing is disqualifying from being ‘good,’ and I have done nothing, and make no mistake I do not kid myself for one second that this post or Facebook memes are doing something.  Something real must be done, by everyone possible.

My intention in writing this, is that maybe I will be told about something I can do that I will be brace enough to do, or at the very least to shame myself enough to act.

Trump’s Long Game, and: How It Will Benefit the Whole Planet

(This piece was an op-ed story I wrote for a website that felt it wasn’t right for their website, but I still think the points I make are valid.  Let me know what you think.)

What would you say, if I told you that world peace was within your grasp?  You have to admit it, that sounds pretty good doesn’t it?  Well, it can be a reality.  In order to achieve world peace—pretty much making the dreams of every pageant contest come true— all we have to do, and it is pretty simple, is let Donald Trump continue to be President.

You’re skeptical right?  Hear me out.  We cannot impeach him, and in 2020 we need to reelect, President Trump.

He hasn’t even been President for 150 days yet, and people are freaking out.  That’s because you’re all short-term thinkers, but President Trump is basically a Chess Grandmaster (or as he pronounces it ‘Grand Wizard’) because he’s playing the long game, and he’s so many moves ahead. That’s why he’s able to fire off tweets at 3 A.M. so deftly, because he’s planning ahead. If President Trump is unencumbered for the next seven and a half years, he is going to give us the best world peace that money can buy.

Do I finally have you on board with the premise?  Now you want to know how right?

Keeping Trump as President is going to continue to piss off pretty much everyone, there’s not stopping that. What we need him to do is lean into it even harder.  As he’s pissing off literally every person and nation, North Korea is testing nukes, and working on how to get them to the US.  Meanwhile, Trump keeps things going with ISIS, and giving bills to Germany, and frenemy-ing Russia, keeping those pots at a nice simmer.  Finally North Korea manages to nuke Guam—this may be pretty soon— and that’s when Trump’s plan takes effect.  After the first conflict nuke is launched, Trump goes responds in typical Trump fashion with the biggest greatest nukes. 

Now we’re in full blown nuclear war, and you’re thinking “what about mutually assured destruction?”  Well, in order to make this world peace omelet, President Trump is prepared to crack all of the eggs—other than those of him and his family, who are now all White House Staff members (except for Eric and the second girl one) who get to go into the underground bunkers with them.

When the radioactive dust settles, there in the midst of a barren wasteland will be world peace.  Trump will emerge (years of over tanning have made him impervious to radiation) and declare that the Earth shall be renamed Trump World.

Is the plan perfect?  No, but the goal will be accomplished.  It’s all outlined in the Art of the Deal, people just didn’t bother to look for President Trump’s subtext.

4th of July!

I want to start off this post talking about the 4th of July.  When I was a kid, it was so exciting to get to see parades, and fireworks, and go to cookouts, but the idea of what it represented was fairly vague in my head.  I’m sure that’s fairly normal.  As I grew older, I grew to appreciate the real reason for the holiday, and I continued to enjoy the cookouts, but parades and fireworks started to lose their appeal (not just for 4th of July, I just don’t find either one exciting).

Then a few years ago, I was watching a show (I’m pretty sure it was Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell—a totally underrated show) and Chris Rock said “Happy White People’s Independence Day!”  Immediately, I was a flurry with thought, I hadn’t ever considered that before, but it was undeniable, it was the day that the founding father’s declared “that all men are created equal,” despite the fact that slavery was still legal, and many of those men owned slaves.  It was something that for whatever reason, my brain wasn’t able to realize without Chris Rock pushing me there.

Fast forward to last year, I posted a Facebook post about “white people’s Independence day” my hope was that I would be able —not to alienate, but— to kick start the same thought process I had gone through.  I don’t think I know any black people who don’t celebrate the 4th, so I don’t think skipping the holiday is necessary, but I think its something we should talk about.

The post which was relatively lengthy got me accused of “hating white men,” by a family member, and then when I walk talking about it the next day with a conservative friend he said “well you do hate white people.” (In case you’re reading this and don’t know I’m a white man, a very pale pasty white man.)  I was shocked by this as the image I was projecting.

After a few days of thought, I realized why I give off the impression that I hate white people.  I have no loyalty to my race, and while I recognize that I’m a white person, I don’t think of it as my identity at all—the ability to not identify myself by my race, may be a part of ‘white-privilege’ because it is very rare that I am confronted with it.

“I don’t have any loyalty to my race,” that is the kind of statement, that I think needs to be explained.  I’ll quote my father who said “I can’t think of a black person that I hate, but I can think of several white people I hate.”  I think that’s an important element of why I feel no loyalty, because when I think about the people who bullied me, the people made me feel less than, the people who made sections of my life a nightmare, every single one of them is white.  Going to a catholic middle school, where by virtue of my last name, and my big nose, I was different, I was called “kike” and “faggot” and whatever other disgusting thing they thought my suit me.  One of the few people from that period who I remember always being nice to me was black.

I haven’t known as many black people in my life as I would like, but every one that I’ve known has been nice to me.  Every Latino, every Asian, and—even though it’s not a race— every gay person I’ve ever met has always been nice to me.  I should mention, that nice and polite are different.  These people have been kind, and friendly probably because I have been kind and friendly, and they’ve had no reason to not be.  Those white people that I’ve had problems with in my life, I was kind and friendly to them too, but it wasn’t returned.

So, I don’t feel any loyalty to the white race, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have loyalty to white people.  Everyone in my family is white, and I love and am loyal to—most of— them.  The two people I love most in this world, the people I would do anything for, my wife and son are both white (even whiter in complexion than me believe it or not).

I didn’t tell you this to talk about race on the 4th of July, but to share with you a brief story of my journey with the holiday, and how I try to appreciate it for what it is, but not to forget it’s flaws.  I hope you have a Happy 4th of July!

#Heterosexualprideday

Have you ever seen a handicap person getting out of a car right in front of a store, and thought “why do they get all the good stuff”?  Or thought “how come black people get to say the ‘n-word,’ and I don’t?” Or thought “I bet they’re just dressing up like a girl to see other girls pee?”— thanks for this one Mike Huckabee.

If you’ve had any of the those thoughts you’re in luck, because today is #heterosexualprideday!  So throw on your ‘all lives matter’ paraphernalia and start making unoriginal jokes about Adam and Steve, because it’s your day to shine.

“But, why don’t we get to have White Entertainment Television?”  Because that would be W.E.T., and therefore would be porn.

I had not heard anything about #heterosexualprideday until this morning (which I consider a win), and so when I heard, I decided to look up the hashtag on twitter.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a significant portion of the posts that came up shared my viewpoint on how ridiculous this particular movement is.  Unfortunately, we can’t all agree that it’s absurd, if you take a quick look, you’ll see posts from people (one of whom had Hitler as his avatar) talking about how important this is, and going back to the worn-out ‘snowflake’-type name calling of the ‘libs.’ I’m not going to repost any of the tweets I disliked on here, because I don’t want to give them anymore of a platform.

Here’s a suggestion to those who might be in favor of this particular hashtag movement, if the people who like Hitler are on your side, there’s a good chance you’re on the wrong side.

Also, while there wouldn’t really be any good timing for this ’cause,’ putting it forward during #pridemonth seems particularly antagonistic.

I know that twitter has a bunch of trolls, and so it can be hard to determine which posts we find hateful are genuine and which are just for attention, but I want to say, I’m really glad at how many anti-heterosexual pride day posts I saw.

Now let me clarify one last point, when I talk about anti-heterosexual pride, I do not mean there should be heterosexual shame.  Here’s the thing, pride in the sense of having a day, or month, or parade celebrating it, is about getting rid of shame.  There is not now, and never has been any real systemic shame associated with being heterosexual.  No one is upset if you’re happy you’re straight, but pride when it’s not a reaction to shame comes across as aggressive and antagonistic.

Fair and Still Fucked

The word ‘fair’ gets thrown around a lot, and of course ‘unfair’ is probably used as often. I’ve written in my book about words and phrases that I think need to be removed from the english language, and I included the phrase “life isn’t fair.”  Like so many other words, ‘fair’ is one that most people don’t seem to understand correctly.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure they even understand the underlying concept either.

I’m sure by now, you have heard about President Trump complaining to the graduating class of the Coast Guard about how unfair he’s been treated.  If by some miracle you have not, then I wish you a simultaneous congratulations —for managing to avoid the past week’s barrage of news— and shame—for being so detached from current events.

President Trump said that he has been treated unfairly (mostly by the media), but he hasn’t.  He could argue that he has been treated badly by the media, in fact, I think since he’s taken office this has been somewhat the case, but ultimately I think he’s been treated very fair. The truth is you can be treated fair, and still end up fucked.

Trump, like so many of people, has confused treatment that you may not like with treatment that is not fair.  Good and bad treatment, to some extent are objective—there is some wiggle room, but there a list of things that we could all agree are good, and a list of things we all could agree are bad.

Fair and unfair on the other hand, are subjective, or perhaps not subjective, but contextual.  Would it be fair to throw a baby or small child in prison?  I think we can all say it would not.  Would it be fair to throw an adult who has committed murder in prison?  I think we would mostly say yes.

If the media treated most other people the way that they are treating President Trump, there could be an argument made for unfair treatment.  The problem with that label in this case is deserving it.  President Trump, whether you like him or not, has earned this treatment, largely because the things he thinks are not fair come from the media pointing out how he criticized (perhaps I should say accused) President Obama, and Hillary Clinton for things that he is now pretty blatantly participating in.  Had he a) not declared how terrible these things were, or b) not participated in them himself, he would probably getting better treatment from the media.

President Trump, is just the latest (and possibly boldest) misuser of the word, but it is something that really penetrates our society.  If you watch as much legal TV, or films as I do, you would see defense attorneys talking about the right to a fair trial.  This is something we have the right to, but here is what people have really taken that to mean: you have the right to 50/50 odds.  That isn’t fair.  If you committed a crime, a fair trial would be more likely to find you guilty (perhaps not 100% because after all I think the system can be imperfect and still striving for fairness) or vice versa.  When someone who is guilty is found not guilty we hear ‘well they had the right to a fair trial,’ but ultimately the cards wouldn’t be stacked against the victim.

John Oliver on his show, Last Week Tonight, last year, talked about climate change, and how 97% of scientists believe that it’s real, while 3% don’t.  He mentioned that every time we see the issue debated on TV it’s one expert from each side, giving us the illusion that both arguments hold equal weight.  TV producers use these one on one debate styles (probably subconsciously) to seem fair, and unbiased.

Climate change is not the only topic this happens with.  Fox News’ tagline was “fair and balanced” for a long time, and that is how most of us see fairness, as being partnered with balanced, but ultimately true fairness can seem unbalanced, this is how we end up with a false equivalency.  We try to give an equal opportunity to a side of an issue that does not deserve an equal opportunity, or we say “well subject A isn’t perfect, so it must be as bad as subject B” even when subject B may be fucking terrible.

We’re never going to stop hearing or stop using the words ‘fair’ and ‘unfair,’ but my hope is that we can stop listening to them, and start analyzing their concepts in a better manner.