Let’s talk about cops (and racism)

*DISCLAIMER: This post does not mean ALL cops. It means SOME cops. But there is no denying that SOME cops have done what I am about to discuss.

Source: politicsrevealed.com

Source: politicsrevealed.com

Racist emails, unnecessary violence, and gunning down unarmed black men. No, I’m not talking about the KKK. I’m talking about some cops in America.

Like many other Americans, the series of widely publicized shootings of unarmed black men has made my blood boil. I don’t believe that these eerily similar shootings have necessarily increased over time, but I think that the advancement of technology has allowed us to document and display the violence to wider audiences.

Keeping this in mind, the events of these horrific shootings involving white cops gunning down unarmed black men proves that not only does blatant racism still exist, but it’s alive and well in many police forces.

The most recent event is the shooting of unarmed black man Walter Scott, aged 50.

Police officer Michael Thomas Slager shot at Scott eight times as Scott was running away from him. Three of Slager’s bullets hit Scott in the back, and after the eight shots were fired, Scott dropped to the ground, and died.

How do we know this? Because a witness caught it on video. The video not only captures Slager shooting Scott in the back as Scott was running away, but it also shows Slager possibly planting evidence by dropping his Taser near Scott’s body. The footage shows that when Slager fired the shots, Scott was far enough away not to be a violent threat to the police officer.

This video is crucial to the case because it led to the arrest of Slager. His original police report suspiciously differs dramatically from the actual events captured on the video. Slager claimed that there was a struggle over his Taser and that there was a struggle before the shots were fired.

Clearly, the video evidence shows otherwise.

This case is different because the cop in question has been arrested and will be tried for first-degree murder.

It’s about time we see this outcome after a cop kills an unarmed black man.

Unlike the cases with the high-profile shootings of Trayon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner, there is the possibility that Slager may be imprisoned.

Even though Eric Garner’s death was also captured on video, there was no indictment against Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer who choked and killed Eric Garner, despite the fact that chokeholds are banned by the New York Police Department. Many were outraged by the outcome of this case, myself included.

With the case against Slager, the Supreme Court’s ruling proves that the officer’s actions were illegal. According to the Supreme Court, using deadly force is only legal if “the suspect threatens the officer with a weapon or there is probable cause to believe that he has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm.”

Was Scott armed? No. Were the crimes he was suspected of crimes that involved violence or physical harm? No. In the moments before Slager opened fire, was Scott threatening him or anyone else? No.

The evidence against Slager is damaging, and it seems unlikely that he will be found innocent. However, with the history of these cases, police officers somehow manage to walk away free after murdering unarmed black men with not so much as a slap on the wrist.

Technology is crucial in keeping police officers with this track record in line, but it’s depressing to me that even with video evidence, police officers somehow manage to avoid prison time or even an indictment at all. Police officers are in positions of power, and officers accused of crimes can use this power to their advantage. Jury members may have the mentality that most cops are truly abiding by the law.

Yes, there are “good cops” and “bad cops.” But this fact shouldn’t mean that there is no justice for the men who were killed by those “bad cops.” Police officers who disobey the law should be held accountable, just like every other citizen of the United States.

Video cameras should be used more widely among police departments across the nation, and investigators are beginning to crack down on the corruption among police departments across the nation. Hopefully, this means justice. Hopefully, this means that police officers will be held accountable. Going forward, America will hopefully become more united.

Who cares about beauty? (Advertisers make girls feel ugly)

Source: lisapetrilli.com Are girls vain just because they feel pretty?

Source: lisapetrilli.com
Are girls vain just because they feel pretty?

I wrote a post a while ago about beauty and why I think society’s obsession with women achieving unrealistic standards of beauty is dangerous. This topic is fascinating to me, and I’ve realized that I could write more posts about the topic of beauty. It’s complex, subjective, and broad. Since I can’t write just one blog post on the topic of beauty, I’ve decided to break the topic into a series of blog posts.

I’ve created a new category on my blog, called Who Cares About Beauty. I’ll be covering topics that I’m interested in at the moment. The topic for this post was inspired by blogger Grace Curly and her post Pretty.

For this post, I wanted to focus on the problem with beauty in advertising.

Grace Curly’s post got me thinking: “Why are women told to be pretty by advertisers who make us feel ugly?”

First of all, let’s find a working definition for the rest of this post. According to dictionary.com‘s first definition, pretty means:

“Pleasing or attractive to the eye, as by delicacy or gracefulness.”

Throughout this post, I’m referring to this definition of pretty. I’m also mainly referring to America’s definitions of beauty, because beauty is subjective according to country we are studying.

After reading Grace Curly’s post, I realized that in our society, pretty girls hear mixed messages. Women in general are told by the media that we should be striving to be pretty, but advertisements widely highlight women’s “flaws” in hopes that women will buy their products to fix these “flaws.”

Source: galleryhip.com Problem with this ad: Perfection is unachievable. It sets us up for failure.

Source: galleryhip.com
Problem with this ad: Perfection is unachievable. It sets us up for failure.

However, what happens when a woman truly feels that she’s pretty?

Source: pinterest.com Women are called "vain" if they seem confident in their looks.

Source: pinterest.com
Women are called “vain” if they seem confident in their looks.

Mean Girls is the perfect example that highlights women verbalizing their insecurities and shaming girls who display confidence and contentment in their looks. I’ve noticed that even in real life, it’s become the norm for girls to tear themselves down, and girls do this in daily conversations with one another:

Source: buzzfeed.com Oh you know, just girl bonding time.

Source: buzzfeed.com
Oh you know, just girl bonding time.

In my opinion, discussing my insecurities in depth with friends is a waste of time. Sure, it’s healthy to admit to others that we’re not perfect (no one is), but what’s the point of complaining about what we dislike in ourselves? It solves nothing. We can’t change most of our features unless we go to drastic measures like plastic surgery, so why bother complaining?

Where did this vocal self-hatred in women even come from?

My belief? Advertising.

Think about it: Advertisers want to sell products. Companies want consumers to feel like they “lack” something because this will tell the consumers to go out and buy the product to “give” them something they don’t have. All companies use this technique.

With clothing, makeup, and other advertisements with women as the target audience, this technique is taken to a dangerous level. Women are told that they “lack” pretty hair, and so they need this shampoo:

Source: pixshark.com

Source: pixshark.com

Or that they need to buy all sorts of makeup to hide their “flaws”:

Source: nola.com

Source: nola.com

With advertisers everywhere telling women that they are not good enough and that they need their products in order to improve their looks, they are setting them up to feel insecure.

Keeping that in mind, it makes sense that women are labeled “vain” if they feel pretty. But is that fair?

Source: mrmen.wikia.com

Source: mrmen.wikia.com

First of all, what is the definition of “vain”? According to dictionary.com‘s definition, the term means:

“Excessively proud of or concerned about one’s own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited.”

While having an obsession with one’s appearance is unhealthy, and it’s frustrating to deal with a person who’s conceited, I believe that pretty girls are labeled “vain” not because they are actually showing signs of vanity, but simply because they are pretty.

Advertisers try to keep women feeling insecure because that is the way they are able to gain consumers. If all women were completely secure with themselves, they may not need the advertisers’ products to the excess that they buy them now.

Today, advertisers seem to have picked up on the fact that their tactics are often unhealthy and cause negative thoughts for some consumers. Some companies, like Dove, for example, have begun to use more positive messages in their ads.

Source: chippersengl.wordpress.com

Source: chippersengl.wordpress.com

Advertisers are finally starting to come around to the idea that women cannot all look the same. But more companies need to begin promoting more positive messages like this. Women are still widely being told by society that they are not “enough,” and so women are still made to believe that if they feel pretty, they are “vain.”

Source: southlemon.com

Source: southlemon.com

I believe that not only do advertisers have to continue to promote healthy self-esteem in women, but women also have to start becoming allies. Not just with each other, but with ourselves. Tearing ourselves down with negativity does nothing but make us feel worse. Why not celebrate what we love about ourselves? I believe that does a lot more good for ourselves, and for other women in the world.

We are enough. You are enough. Who cares what advertisers say? You should feel pretty without being ashamed of it. We are all pretty, and we shouldn’t listen to those who tell us otherwise.

Too much information: Is blogging our lives “over-sharing”?

Source: huffingtonpost.com

Source: huffingtonpost.com

My blog started off, in its earliest stages, as a place to post my poetry. As it continued to evolve, I tried new techniques. I wrote about current events, music, and movies. However, I left most of my true emotions out. My blog was positive, void of my personal feelings, thoughts, and experiences. I wrote what I thought people wanted to read.

Somewhere along the way, my blog became a safe place. A place for me to vent, to be honest, and to receive feedback from people who not only understood where I was coming from, but appreciated and related to what I wrote.

I felt less alone, and proud of my writing. Proud of my honesty. Proud that my blog was more bold than when I published that first post. My posts are real because I’m going through what I blog about currently. When I feel something, I blog it. I write it in the way I want. My blog has now become more personal than it’s ever been.

But is that bad? Are there topics that should be “off-limits”? Where do we draw the line?

Is my blog full of sunshine, rainbows, and roses? Not all the time. Is that bad? I don’t think so.

Am I satisfied with my writing when I publish my blog posts? Absolutely. I wouldn’t post them if I wasn’t.

I have read other bloggers who’ve written posts about past relationships, and I commend them for being honest and venting their true feelings. It’s my belief that writing is therapy. WordPress is a community, and I have gained so much happiness from voicing my thoughts to the blogging community and receiving support in return.

Is there such a thing as over-sharing? Probably. To me, I believe that over-sharing is when someone divulges too much information in an unnecessary way. But for me, if the information is shared in more artistic or creative ways, it’s not necessarily over-sharing.

I believe that blogging is a place to write about personal matters creatively. We can tell our stories, sharing as many details as we want, and gain feedback from others.

I’ve read beautifully-written blog posts, and many of them stand out in my mind because they were honest. Personal. These bloggers told their stories without holding back. Without fear. They were not ashamed of what they went through, and it made the writing that much easier to relate to.

Is that over-sharing? In my opinion, no.

Blogging has become one of my forms of therapy. I have gotten positive feedback from my more personal posts, and it gave me the confidence to be honest. To write about things on my mind. To express problems in our society. To write about topics that aren’t sunshine, rainbows, and roses. Breakups, for example.

Should these topics be off-limits? Should I feel free to write about breakups, counseling, politics, and feminism? Or are these topics “too much information”?

I believe that as writers, we should be free to express ourselves in a way that’s comfortable for us. If I feel comfortable sharing details of a breakup and actively want to blog about it, I should feel free to do so.

For me, sharing some details of my experiences has helped me to cope with those situations. If I felt that I was “over-sharing,” I wouldn’t have published those posts. Why should I be ashamed with what happened to me? I don’t think I should be. I’m writing posts because I feel inspired to write. That’s it. As a writer, it’s as simple as that. I don’t believe in stifling my creativity, censoring it, or “toning it down.” That defeats the purpose of blogging; at least for me, it would.

I believe that every blogger is different. We all have our comfort zones, our go-to blogging topics, our life stories. If we censored our writing, sticking to limited, approved topics that are “safe” from judgement, wouldn’t have stifle our growth as writers? Where is the fun in only writing within the confines of what’s safe, and probably boring?

WordPress is a diverse world. There are bloggers for just about every topic. If we all censored ourselves, we wouldn’t have the diversity that we do. As long as we’re comfortable with what we’re blogging, that’s what matters. I don’t write for other people, and I never have. I write for myself first, and if others read it, then that gives me more feedback and inspiration for blog posts I write in the future.

But I’m the only person I’m writing for.

Source: nikki-blevins.blogspot.com

Source: nikki-blevins.blogspot.com

Learning to breathe: Harder than I thought

After a few weeks of learning how to breathe, I’ve realized it’s harder than I thought it would be.

When I started going to counseling, I was on a roll. Journaling, deep breathing and visualizations, yoga, daily positives, and other relaxing activities worked for me.

attackattackoh.com

attackattackoh.com

I learned about the thought process, how to recognize thought distortions (negative thoughts), and I’m currently in the process of challenging those negative thoughts. This involves debating with myself either on paper or in my head to help turn those thoughts into more realistic ones.

Since I started counseling, I am aware that situations themselves don’t cause my negative feelings; it’s the thoughts I have in reaction to those situations. However, a situation recently arose that gave me negative thoughts. I forgot how to breathe.

What situation caused my negative thoughts? My ex (*Bobby, the one who inspired many a blog post, and some of the back-story can be found here) sent me an email on Sunday. Here is what he wrote:

“Hi Becky,

Sorry I did not respond to your email last month. I know I’ve hurt you and I am so sorry. I haven’t been a very good person for a while and I deserve what I got.

Anyway I hope you are doing okay, thinking of you,

-Bobby”

Yes, I had sent him an email. On Valentine’s Day to be exact.

Source: imgflip.com

Source: imgflip.com

Why, you ask? I had gone on a double date that night. With the breakup (and anger) still fresh in my mind, and since it was before counseling (where I learned how to cope), I was overwhelmed.

The date was fun, don’t get me wrong. But that First Date after a breakup when I know I’m going on a date too soon always leaves me looking like this (after the date of course):

Source: becuo.com

Source: becuo.com

Going on a Valentine’s Day date, while fun, wasn’t the best decision for my emotional state at the time. If I had already been learning to breathe, I could have maybe had more will power to stop myself. But I couldn’t. I was irrationally angry. I sent an email to Bobby:

“I wish you had told me you didn’t love me.”

That was all I wrote. I’m not quite sure what I meant by it. It’s a possibility I meant that I wish he’d been honest, because in my mind, cheating does not equal love.

After my poor decision to email Bobby, he sent no reply. I was okay with that (honestly). I began counseling shortly after, and I dived right into the process of coping and relieving my anxiety. My negative thoughts no longer tormented me as often.

Until Bobby’s email on Sunday. When I read it, I was shaking. I couldn’t believe he had the nerve to write back as if he was so emotionally removed from the situation. As if he was being the bigger person and “checking in” to see that I was okay.

I didn’t reply. I found ways to distract my thinking, and for a while, it worked.

quickmeme.com

quickmeme.com

However, that was short-lived. Oops.

On Wednesday, after a night out with friends, my negative thoughts got the best of me. I forgot how to breathe. I forgot how to push the thoughts aside. I sent Bobby a reply.

Source: goodreads.com

Source: goodreads.com

Sure, it would have been preferable to continue ignoring his email. But since I decided to reply, I could at least be civil, right?

Source: memeaddicts.com

Source: memeaddicts.com

My reply was, to put it lightly, harsh and to-the-point:

“I don’t know how you sleep at night. Guess there’s always that one person who has no morals and he doesn’t care about anything but his dick.

Good thing I avoided wasting one more second on a diseased pig.”

Source: galleryhip.com

Source: galleryhip.com

Not my proudest moment in life.

What have I learned from all of this, besides not to send angry emails?

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be angry. However, I’ve finally (FINALLY, I think) realized that acting on my thoughts and feelings will not help me. So far, acting on my negative thoughts and emotions has only hurt me more. When I sent Bobby that email, it did nothing to relieve my anger. It only made me angrier, irrationally so.

Learning to breathe is a slow process. Making relaxation and realistic thoughts a habit takes time. Sometimes I’ve grown impatient, hoping that I could snap my fingers and be “over it.” But that’s not how breakups work. It takes work to cope with the process in a healthy way. I’ve had some bumps along the way. I’ve made poor decisions because I reverted back to my ways of acting on my negative thoughts. In the future, I have to learn to take a step back. I have to breathe.

*Name has been changed 

Victim shaming: What’s up with that?

Source: quickmeme.com

Source: quickmeme.com

Recently, I’ve been interested in writing about the silly things I read on the internet. Lately, I noticed a trend of people writing blog posts or comments within articles that make it clear they blame victims of bullying or rape. Normally, I ignore the stupid that is The Internet. *But today, I decided, “What the hell, let’s expose the stupid!”

[*DISCLAIMER: My blog post is in no way stating that the First Amendment should limit hateful comments. I noticed a blog post in response to my post What’s with all the hate, and there was the misunderstanding that I claimed people shouldn’t be allowed to say what they want. Trust me, that’s not what I’m saying. If you want to stupid, go ahead and stupid. Just know that your stupid may or may not be blogged about.]

There are two specific examples of stupid that I want to focus on. Here is the first:

1. A blogger posted about model Hannah Davis’ scandalous Sports Illustrated magazine cover. She’s in a bikini, and posing provocatively, like all the models of the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated do.

What conclusions does this blogger draw from a woman posing in a bikini for a swimsuit edition of a magazine? Not something I would have thought of:

“I might also point out that this is part of the reason girls get date-raped.  I know some feminists don’t want to hear this, but it’s unavoidable.  Our culture is constantly sending men the message that women/girls want sex all the time, getting men all charged up.  So, then when men try to give women/girls what they seem to want, what happens?  It gets reported as rape because it turns out they didn’t really want it all along.  That’s really confusing (and very unfortunate for everyone involved).  Whores and their greedy, corporate pimps are ruining it for the rest of us.”

All I can say is that this blogger is so very, very confused about rape, consent, and women in general. Let’s enlighten the poor guy. I’ll respond to his quote line-by-line:

“I might also point out that this is part of the reason girls get date-raped.”

No. Just no. A woman posing on the cover of a magazine has nothing to do with women all over the world being raped. Absolutely nada. You don’t hear men claiming that Abercrombie models are responsible for men having tons of sex, do you?

“I know some feminists don’t want to hear this, but it’s unavoidable.”

Actually, no one wants to hear this, because it’s incorrect. Next.

“Our culture is constantly sending men the message that women/girls want sex all the time, getting men all charged up.”

The fact that women have sex or want to gets men horny? Whatever you say. Our culture also sends the message that men want sex all the time (more so than women), but it doesn’t get women “all charged up.” Whatever that means.

“So, then when men try to give women/girls what they seem to want, what happens?”

That depends. If you’re raping some girl on the street because you think she wants it, you better be penalized (I was about to say your ass better be in prison, but when I thought about it, I realized that you don’t often hear about rapists being imprisoned. Why? Because 97% of rapists receive no punishment. Yet another reason why I need feminism.). So when you ask, “What happens?,” unfortunately, if you rape a woman, not much may actually happen to you.

But the blogger seems to believe otherwise:

“It gets reported as rape because it turns out they didn’t really want it all along.”

WHAT?!? Would you honestly be in shock if you raped a woman and she, in fact, reported that rape? This guy seriously needs to read this post about consent and educate himself. It’s really not that complicated to figure out if someone wants sex or not. But he makes it clear that he’s uneducated in Consent 101:

“That’s really confusing (and very unfortunate for everyone involved).”

Confusing to figure out if you’re about to have consensual sex? No, not confusing at all. Confusing that you were accused of rape when you raped someone? Nope, not confusing. Unfortunate? For the woman who was raped, hell yeah that’s unfortunate. But unfortunate to the man who raped her? He’d be getting what he deserved. Then, onto the wonderful conclusion:

“Whores and their greedy, corporate pimps are ruining it for the rest of us.”

Wait a minute. What do “whores” and their “greedy, corporate pimps” have anything to do with you figuring out what is rape and what is consensual sex? Nothing. It makes absolutely no sense to blame a woman posing on the cover of a magazine for men raping women. The two do not correlate at all.

It sounds to me like the author is just horny and that maybe he feels guilty for that? I can’t think of why else he would blame a girl on a magazine for rape. I can’t figure out why he would claim that men should be able to thrust themselves aggressively onto women, even when it’s unwanted. My assumption is that he clearly doesn’t understand what consent is.

Now, onto the second stupid Internet situation:

2. While perusing iFunny (an app with usually humorous pictures), I saw a photo saying that in order for cyber bullying to stop, the victims just have to shut down their computers. While it obviously isn’t just that simple to erase cyber bullying, I wasn’t offended by the picture itself. But I saw a comment (yes, I know, the dreaded comments section) that was quite heavy on the stupid:

“So funny these idiots say shit like ‘punish the bully’s, not the victims’ GUESS WHAT!!! Bullying in ALL forms exists ONLY because victims exist..How the hell you gonna force teach a bully not to be a bully. Easier to teach a victim not to be a victim and bully’s will CEASE to exist. GUARANTEED [sic].”

For real? Okay, Mr. Smartypants, how are we going to teach victims not to be victims? The fault in his thinking is that he’s assuming that victims are choosing to be victims, which is flat-out wrong. No one wants to be bullied, just like no one wants to be raped. Furthermore, just because people are taking precautions doesn’t mean that bullies and rapists are going to “knock it off.” They’ll just keep assaulting them, and then find other victims. Shaming the victims will only magnify the issues.

The problem with both of these writings I saw is that they both shame rape victims and victims of bullying. Both of these people are saying either, “Women are whores who want sex and rape is confusing!” or “Just teach victims to stop it!” In both cases, they are excusing the actual perpetrators, and completely blaming the ones who have been physically, emotionally, and mentally damaged. Like these victims need anymore shit in their lives.

While the phrase “Live and let live” is a blissful idea to live by so that we can ignore the negativity in the world, it can be difficult to do that when these ideas travel from the internet to the government. There are politicians who have voiced their completely idiotic opinions on rape, and it’s horrifying that these people are actually in positions of power. For example:

Source: outofstepper.com

Source: outofstepper.com

Seriously. He seriously said that. Oh God help us.

Sure, we can live and let live, but that’s not going to erase stupidity, or even hate. I’d rather voice my concerns with society than ignore them and pretend that the problems don’t exist. What’s the harm in speaking out?

Blogging Hints and Tips: What Do You Want To Know?

Do you have questions about blogging? Ask Suzie over at her blog, Suzie81 Speaks! See her original post for more information. You can leave your questions in the comment section of her post, email, or tweet her with what you’d like to learn about blogging.

Suzie Speaks

image

I’ve been emailed many times over the last few weeks with requests for blogging tips and advice. As I had a little bit of time free last night, I sat down and wrote everything I could think of that I deemed to be useful, and then proceeded to edit it and go through the word count.

It was over 4,000 words long.

As I realise that most people don’t have the time, nor the patience to read an epic post of that length, I have decided to break it down into a series over the space of several weeks. This would coincide perfectly with my blogiversary (I don’t care if you don’t like that word, I’m using it anyway) at the beginning of April and would be a great opportunity for me to be able to share what I’ve learnt from my little adventures over the last two years.

To…

View original post 68 more words

People who don’t get it

As writers, we often come across people who don’t “get it.” I’ve written poems to the people who don’t understand art.

Writing is an art that isn’t black and white (thankfully). We can interpret a piece in a million different ways. We can use our life experiences to relate to someone’s work.

However, if we’re the author and someone is misunderstanding our work and blaming us, how should we feel?

Is the problem us, them, or neither party?

Recently I wrote a post about “fire safety,” but it was a metaphor. Do I need to say what the metaphor is?

My assumption is that readers can figure it out.

Right?

That’s my hope, after all.

My hopes were dashed today when I received some rude tweets from someone who clearly didn’t “get it.”

Here’s how it went down:

Her: Did you really sit in your house while it was on fire?

Me: Hahaha, no, it’s a metaphor.

Her: Oh good cause I thought you were really a dumbass.

Source: imgarcade.com She did.

Source: imgarcade.com
She did.

Me: Yeah no. It’s quite clearly not about a real fire. It’s an obvious metaphor…

Her: Well it’s clearly not if I had to ask.

Me: Nah, it’s pretty clear. Maybe you just didn’t get the metaphor?

Her: I guess it’s just not that good.

Source: hellogiggles.com

Source: hellogiggles.com

Me: Well then you don’t have to read it. #thanks #ByeFelicia 🙂

For real, that actually went down.

If I had to give some advice to people out there wondering how to critique a writer’s work, here are some helpful tips:

Rule #1: Don’t call the author a dumbass. I know it’s shocking, but calling anyone a dumbass may come off as rude.

Rule #2: Don’t continue to insult the author. You may come off as hostile.

Rule #3: If you don’t understand the author’s intentions, remember that you didn’t have to read or even reach out.

Rule #4: Be prepared for the author to be offended. The author may not even feel inclined to be overly kind to you. Who would be cheerful after someone just called her a dumbass?

My conclusions from this little Twitter exchange?

Source: memegenerator.net

Source: memegenerator.net

No matter how long you’ve been writing, no matter how educated in the writing field you are, you will have haters. It’s just life. And like T-Swizzle, it’s better to just shake it off (or write a snarky post about it). Whichever works for you. Using whatever inspiration you can find to motivate your writing is something that will help your writing evolve. So maybe we need haters?

 

 

 

 

A Collection of Unpublished Blog Posts

Me--Probably procrastinating on a blog post...

Me–Probably procrastinating on a blog post…

My attention span lately is roughly a half hour. I am unmotivated when my computer crashes before I can click “Save.” On occasion, I have sparks of inspiration that punch me in the chest. I run with the ideas, until my time is up. I then abandon ship, retreat, abandoning my brief attempts at clever blog posts. They sit waiting in my jump drive, unpublished and ignored.

Somehow, this post was shinier, smoother, and wittier the first time I wrote it. Technology isn’t usually on my side. And while blogging, it mostly isn’t. Time and my laptop have been my enemies as of late. If my brain is struck with an electric idea, it’s a race against the clock to creatively weave through the bits and pieces to sew together paragraphs worth publishing.

Usually I lose. My pace slows as I watch other runners breeze past me. I inhale and gasp for air, and jog away from the track. “Maybe tomorrow I’ll finish it.”

But when I return to the original ideas, the spark has already disappeared. It was short-lived inspiration, and no matter how far I reach, I could never find it again. My time is up, and I move onto the next great idea. And the cycle repeats itself.

My newest spark of brilliance may be the brightest idea yet. Why not post those unpublished blog posts? Why not give them a home? They are rough around the edges, they have not been fixed, but they deserve a place somewhere.

The following is a collection of my unpublished, unfinished blog posts, stretching back several months. Some end in the middle of a sentence, some began with good intentions, but they all had potential. Maybe I’ll finish them someday. But for now, here they are.

Unpublished Blog Post #1:

Copenhagen Zoo: The Reason I’m Losing Faith in the Human Race (almost published March 2014)

First it was the giraffe. Killing a giant, majestic, beautiful creature viciously in front of zoo-goers because the zookeepers were afraid of inbreeding. And now, when the zoo’s reputation has already been called into question, it has been reported that they killed four lions for similar reasons. Shooting giraffes and lions in the head because they claim they cannot transport the animals to other zoos? An unlikely story.

For me, I imagine a zoo to be like an orphanage. All animals come from different homes, countries, cultures, and childhoods. If they were humans, we wouldn’t be killing them because of our fears of inbreeding or space issues. We would move the people to other orphanages. “Our orphanage can’t accommodate little Billy, so we took him out back and shot him in the head.” If this is NOT humane for humans, why is it humane for us to treat animals this way? Oh, that’s right: our evolutionary gigantic heads give us the delusion that just because we are humans, we are somehow more significant and deserve respect, while animals don’t. To be humane means to treat humans respectfully, but I think this term should include animals, too.

*This post was my fury when I learned of animals at Copenhagen Zoo viciously shot in front of zoo goers in March. Apparently the zoo cited space issues, potential for inbreeding, and a lack of resources to ship the animals to other zoos as their reasons for killing the animals.

Unpublished Blog Post #2:

Like the Universe, Love is Infinite (almost published March 2014)

One of my favorite films is A Beautiful Mind. John Nash, a mathematician, uses logic and reason in all his decision-making. In a scene when John asks his girlfriend Alicia of proof that she loves him, she asks him how big the universe is. John says, “Infinite.” She asks how he knows and he says that all the data points to the universe being infinite. Alicia asks, “But it hasn’t been proven?” John says it hasn’t. She again asks, “How do you know for sure?”, to which John replies, “I don’t, I just believe it.” Alicia then responds, “It’s the same with love, I guess.” This quote speaks to me because when we find love that is strong, real, and brave, it is endless. There is no scientific proof of that love, but we continue to believe it.

*Quotes, quotes everywhere. I ran out of steam early on in this post and I started to hear myself thinking, “Hooow cheeeeesy” in my head. I stopped when I felt like I was going to hurl. This post was too mushy for my taste, and I was the one writing it.

Unpublished Blog Post #3:

Miley Cyrus: Attention Whoring Continues (almost published August 2014)

Last year, the lovely Miley Cyrus reintroduced millions of innocent people around the world to the art of twerking. She swung butt naked from a wrecking ball for a music video because, duh! Her song was called “Wrecking Ball”! Why WOULDN’T she swing naked from a wrecking ball? Pure genius! Also, professional attention whoring.

I wrote a blog post last year about Miss Miley’s antics, and I believe that, a year later, my theory is still correct. Miley Cyrus is not a little girl lost. She is not having meltdown after meltdown in front of our eyes. No matter what opinion you have about the girl, no one can argue the fact that she’s smart. Her controversial moves are calculated and played out perfectly, achieving record breaking amounts of attention (record sales, magazine sales, Twitter conversations).

This year, Miley did something different. When she won an award for Video of the Year (for her naked wrecking ball swinging), she sent a man up to the podium to accept the award on her behalf. She watched, crying as he accepted her award. It turns out that the man was Jesse Helt, who was homeless on the streets of Los Angeles. He discussed homelessness in America during his speech, which was a positive and intelligent way to raise awareness to millions of viewers. At the same time, it gave her some attention, too. Positive? Yes. Does it make her a saint? Eh, not really.

Miley also knows how to cause some controversy.

*This started out as the Miley Cyrus Attention Whore Sequel. The first post (Miley Cyrus: Professional Attention Whore?) was so much fun to write that I thought, why not revisit the situation? I didn’t quite make it to the publishing stage, but it was fun while it lasted.

Unpublished Blog Post #4:

Why Quitting Doesn’t Mean You’re a Failure (almost published October 2014)

Why are we afraid to quit a job that makes us miserable? End a relationship that’s going nowhere? Forget a one-sided friendship? I’ve been in all of these situations: frozen, stagnant, reluctant. What was I so afraid of?

I’ve always been terrified of change, of the unknown. Even though a job, relationship, or friendship isn’t working, I remain unhappy for too long. The red flags are in front of my face, waving all day long, but I sit down instead of walking away.

In life, we all want to be happy. That is a given. Yet when we are in miserable situations and know what would make us happier, (quitting, breaking up) some of us are cautious to take that step. Instead of running in the other direction, towards probable happiness, we chain ourselves to misery, in hopes that things will “get better.”

I have been guilty of this numerous times. For some reason, change is more difficult than doing nothing. My fear of the unknown eats away my chances of saying goodbye. My fear of being “alone” keeps me unhappy for longer than it should. My insecurity tells me to sit down and ignore the logic running through my head.

Three different situations stand out in my memory, and I’ll share them with you now:

1.The Frenemy: Several years ago, I had a friend who turned into a “frenemy.” Of course since we were in high school, drama was a natural part of friendship. But I’ve always avoided confrontation. In high school I was terribly shy and avoided confronting people who disrespected me. This “friend,” who I’d known for many years, became jealous and went out of her way to turn other friends in our group against me. Typical high school behavior, I know. But instead of speaking up for myself like I should have done, I stood by, allowing it to happen. I was the doormat, too nice for my own good. But the problem solved itself with college, change of location, and new friends.

2.Case of the Ex: After college, my long term boyfriend ended our relationship because of differences in values and goals. It was rough. I wanted to remain friends, but friendship is a two-way street. Friendship is impossible with silence on the other end. He cut all ties.

*Looks like I never felt motivated enough to explain the third situation that inspired this post. But I’m guessing this gave me some material for writing a post that I did publish, called How to know when it’s time for a change. At least some good came of this potential post.

Unpublished Blog Post #5:

Holidays and the single girl (almost published December 2014)

It’s that time of year again. Holiday dinners, Christmas decorating, and Black Friday shopping trips often bring about questions from relatives about your singleness. Maybe it’s the romantic snowfall, the frigid temperatures, and the need to cuddle up with hot chocolate by a fire that makes everyone want to couple up. And when everyone is coupled up, they expect you to be coupled up, too.

Even the casual Facebook scroll can depress the average single girl during the holidays (or generally the months of November through February). Every other post seems to be engagements, baby announcements, and wedding photos.

While throughout the rest of the year, there is the occasional reminder that many other 20-somethings are tying the knot or having mini-versions of themselves, those fuzzy feelings of togetherness come alive during the winter. This makes the gap between the Singles and Not Singles even bigger.

I’m not trying to knock the Not Singles. If you’ve found love and/or had kids in your early to mid 20’s and it’s your bliss, then more power to you. But us Singles can’t help feeling

*Here is one of the perfect examples of a post that stops in the middle of a sentence. Did I care enough to finish that lingering thought? Of course not! I do have to wonder about that sentence that will never be. Anyone care to finish it for me? I’ll give five dollars to the best idea. “But us Singles can’t help feeling…” Ready, go!

Unpublished Blog #6:

No matter what your race, you should be enraged at the cop who killed Eric Garner (almost published December 2014)

Watching the footage of Eric Garner being put in a chokehold by Staten Island police officer Daniel Pantaleo and taken to the ground like a grizzly bear by the group of cops is horrific.

Despite the entire incident being captured on camera (including the EMT showing up and not administering CPR to Garner while he was obviously unconscious on the pavement), Officer Pantaleo was not indicted by the grand jury.

This is shocking because not only did Pantaleo use a chokehold, which is prohibited by the NYPD, but the entire incident was recorded and shown to the grand jury, and the autopsy ruled Garner’s death a homicide. Yet Pantaleo walks free.

In the footage of the incident, the crime that the cops stopped Garner for was selling untaxed cigarettes. While Garner had sold “loosey” cigarettes in the past, on this particular day, he wasn’t. He broke up a fight between two young people, and was walking away when the cops stopped him.

Garner was obviously frustrated, but he wasn’t aggressive at all. He asked the cops, “Please leave me alone.” After that, all hell broke loose. One cop reached up to grab Garner’s wrists (Garner was significantly taller), while Garner pleaded, “Please don’t touch me!” as he raised his hands.

Pantaleo snuck behind Garner and put him in a chokehold. This clearly surprised Garner because he didn’t see Pantaleo, and the rest of the cops immediately assisted in taking Garner to the ground.

*This story still enrages me. At the same time, I am proud to know Americans are marching in Chicago, New York, Boston, Miami, Washington, and other cities. Racism unfortunately still exists, and police brutality does as well. Maybe the country is finally starting to wake up and listen. Americans are taking to the streets. We cannot be silent anymore. I am so proud to see that people are standing up and speaking out for justice.

Disclaimer: My computer only crashed twice in the making of this blog post. But I didn’t give up this time. Even though my computer was being an asshole (it is several years old, so I guess it has a right to be), I didn’t let that stop me. Yes, I see this as quite an accomplishment. If you take a glance back at all the posts that went unpublished, you’ll see all the times my computer won against me. But not this time.

Stupid People Online Have Ruined the Comments Section

Source: thefunnyplanet.com

I am officially refusing to scroll to the comments section of YouTube and any news website. My reasoning:

  1. With a world population of 7 billion (and counting), this increases the probability of stupid people on the internet.
  2. Our technology advancements allow billions of stupid people internet access.
  3. Some of these stupid people have laptops of their own.
  4. These stupid people may also have ample amounts of time.
  5. Stupid people are stupid for a reason; they may not have been taught “respect.”
  6. The simplicity of “type” and “post” is so simple that a stupid person can do it.
  7. Stupid people shouldn’t be posting most of the stuff they type.

Usually these stupid people take the form of internet trolls, lurking behind screens, causing havoc in the internet world. Their usual hiding place seems to be…the comments section of any popular YouTube video, news article, blog post, you name it. I do not understand the way these people work (thankfully), but they appear to have high numbers.

These internet trolls are not trying to contribute useful comments to an internet community or to an online conversation. What are their motives for typing and sending comments in the first place? One can only hypothesize. My theories include:

  1. Boredom
  2. Self esteem issues
  3. Pure ignorance
  4. IQ point deficiency

Unfortunately, because of the skyrocketing number of internet trolls, I have decided that my plan is to ignore the comments section of all websites except WordPress. I’d rather pretend the trolls don’t exist instead of reading their almost incoherent insanity. I’ll spend my time online reading articles and online caring about my own opinion. Sometimes it’s best not to feed the trolls. Maybe if people ignore them, we’ll starve them of internet attention and they’ll become extinct from the internet world like dinosaurs. One can only hope.