Lefties hate Trump but THEY created this monster!


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Trump  Usually, I’m debunking Facebook memes but this time, I’ve found one with which I can agree.

Before I launch into my diatribe, I feel the need to disclose this: I am not a huge fan of “The Donald.” In fact, I’m not a small fan or even any kind of fan at all. At his most harmless, I consider him a carnival barker; at his worst, I believe he’s a Democrat plant to further discredit the Republican party. Furthermore, I think there are many on the G.O.P. roster who would make a better POTUS than the Trumpster, Dr. Ben Carson and Sen. Rand Paul, to name a few.

With that out of the way, I’ll address the meme, starting with its statement. Since at least the 1990s, liberals/progressives/social justice warriors have long relied on a tried-and-true tactic when they feel threatened in a political argument. It’s a tactic that combines both a strawman and ad hominem attack, and is rather effective at shutting down any opposition.

Quite simply, it works like this: if someone disagrees with the latest liberal policy, those who support it can simply call the detractor a racist, sexist, misogynist and/or homophobe in order to silence the opposition. While intellectually lazy, this tactic is amazingly effective since no one wants to be labelled any of these terms. We live in the social media age, and word of one’s perceived transgressions travels fast and far. Today, people labelled racist, for example, risk public ridicule, violence, and possibly even losing one’s job.

This is exactly what makes Trump so appealing.

“The Donald’s” angry diatribes against illegal immigration and other hot-button topics has become the voice of a specific American demographic long denied the opportunity to express theirs without fear of retribution. Being self-employed and independently wealthy, Trump doesn’t isn’t beholden to the purveyors of the current narrative, thus he shows no fear of the backlash of angry ISJWs screaming for his head on a platter. In short, this forms the basis of Donald’s appeal.

I’m not the first person to criticize the Left for its knee-jerk labeling and inability to withstand scrutiny. Yet even with so much criticism, the majority of those that make up this group continue to rely upon these tactics to silence their opposition. No surprise there… People will continue to engage in bad, immoral, and unruly behavior as long as said behavior continues to reward them. But in doing so, the American Left is completely ignore Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

As the meme states, if they keep this up, they might want to get used to the phrase “President Trump.”

How my wife and I saved the lives of two very young children…


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autismmagnet   There’s something about being the parent of Autistic children that makes one more aware of possible dangers that all children face.

This lesson was brought to our front door quite literally on Thursday (September 3, 2015) when my wife, son, stepson and I were leaving to go to the grocery store. Walking out of the house, we found two tiny children standing in our patio. Upon seeing us, they started to run… straight into the street! We more or less chased them down and kept them penned in the yard across the street.

While all of that took place in the matter of seconds, I can look back upon it now and understand exactly why we did what we did. The short answer is that everything about the situation triggered our protective parental instincts and we acted upon them, with the logical parts of our brains eventually catching up to what we knew in our “guts:”

  1. Both of the children were very young and tiny. We estimated both of them to be under the age of five.

2. We did not recognize the children. Since we know most of our neighbors, we knew that these children were not from any of the homes in our immediate vicinity.

3. They appeared to be lost and simply wandering around, drawn to anything and everything that appeared interesting to them.

4. There appeared to be no parent/guardian anywhere around.

5. Something needed to be done to help these children, NOW!

Once we had the children more or less secured, we asked them where their mother/father was and where they lived, but received no answer. Initially, this didn’t surprise us because the children appeared to be of Indian descent, so we assumed the possibility of a language barrier.

The more we observed them, however, the more we began to suspect that the children – at least the boy – possibly was Autistic. It was in the way he walked – unable to stand still, curiously dashing from one thing to another – and the way in which he kept repetitively muttering to himself. Let’s just say that being parents of Autistic children ourselves, we recognized the signs. That’s when our instincts kicked in once again.

“I wonder if they got out of their house and ran away,” I said.

“I think so,” my wife replied.

As nearly any parent of an Autistic child knows, my wife and I believed we were dealing with a case of “elopement.” A common symptom of Autism, it’s defined as, “the act of leaving an area without permission or notification which usually leads to placing that individual in a potentially dangerous situation.”

Since no parent or guardian came forward, I called 911 and reported the incident of two lost children. While waiting for the officers to arrive, my wife asked the boy how old he was and he held up four fingers, and he also held up two fingers when asked his sister’s age. This completely confirmed our suspicions that these children were way too young to simply be running around our condo community unsupervised.

A few minutes before the police arrived, the a very frantic Indian woman came running down the street. Assuming her to be the parent/guardian, I shouted to her and waved, telling her that we had her children. The little girl ran to this woman and embraced her, convincing me that it was likely her mother. (In contrast, the little girl screamed, cried, and dropped to her knees whenever my wife tried to hold her hand.) Needless to say, the woman and was quite relieved and thankful for our intervention.

As we sat there talking, the mother confirmed much of what our instincts had told us. S said she while she was in the bathroom, her son unlocked the front door and he and his sister made a bolt for it. She came out of the bathroom to find her front door open and her children gone. She also told us that her son is, in fact, Autistic, which did not surprise us.

Minutes later, two good officers from our city’s police department arrived to take our statements. The mother profusely thanked us again, and we were finally on our way to the grocery store.What was supposed to be a quick run to Busch’s for some cheddar brats turned into so much more, as I do believe my wife and I quite likely saved those children from serious injury… or worse.

I share this story with anyone reading my blog not because I want to be a hero – whatever that is – but rather, to bring some attention to the needs and issues of Autistic children. More than once, I’ve been accused of being a “helicopter parent” for my constant hovering around my youngest son. What no one who’s used that label knows is that we had a similar experience with our son when he was about three years old.

Two things about my son: he’s extremely strong and he’s extremely fast. Long story short, in a manner of a few seconds, he pulled himself loose from a family member’s hand and bolted straight for a very busy road. Unable to catch up to him, the family member began screaming for help. Fortunately, my stepson and I heard the screams and were able to catch up to my fleeing son, tackling him and bringing him to a stop roughly 30 feet from the road.

We were lucky that day, extremely lucky, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.

For those of you whose lives are not touched by Autism, please try to keep this story in mind. And try to understand that elopement is a serious issue, one that should not be taken lightly or dismissed in a casual or offhand manner. Most importantly, if you see a young child(ren) running around, seemingly lost or out of place and without a parent or guardian, step and up and do something to help! You might very well be saving the life of someone’s precious child.

On the day my wife and I helped these two children, at least three other adults – our neighbors – walked past these children and us, seemingly not wanting to get involved.

Streetfight Study: Using the environment as a weapon


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Your immediate environment can be the best and most effective weapon you can ever use in a self-defense situation. I’ll bet Al Gore never taught you that!

But before I start waxing poetic, let’s watch this video:

Okay… there are so many different directions this post could take based upon this 1:46 second video. It was brought to my attention from a friend who shared the video on Facebook and used it as a platform to discuss the efficacy of headbutts in a self-defense situation. While that proved to be an enlightening discussion, I’m going to take a different direction… namely, that most environments that people fight in can be the most devastating weapons, and they’re all available for you to use.

Before I start, let’s get one thing straight: I’m not talking about “weapons of opportunity.” A weapon of opportunity is something you can grab – a beer bottle, pool cue, stick, etc. – in the heat of the battle and use as a tool to defeat your opponent. What I’m talking about is using the actual environment itself as a weapon to disrupt and disable your opponent.

Case in point, this video. The crazy long-haired guy effectively used the pane-glass window – part of the environment inside the Subway restaurant – to his advantage by quite literally pushing his opponent the length of the floor and through the window, itself. The shattered glass did more damage to his opponent than the push/shove did, as was evidenced by the profusely-bleeding lacerations all over his opponent’s face.

Needless to say, shoving the young man through the window will likely result in felony charges for the long-haired wildman, but that, too, is a separate post.

Using the environment as a weapon can be easy if you’re mindful of it. For example, if you’re going to push someone, push them into a wall or through a window. If you’re going to slam someone, you can always slam them into a table and/or chairs just as soon as you can the floor, though the floor works, too. Pushing someone down a flight of stairs is also a good example of using the environment as a weapon, though a a high chance for fatality or serious injury usually follows this choice. (Just like pushing someone through a window.)

Quick trip down memory lane: After a few years at a private junior high school, I transferred back to public school in the eighth grade. A fellow student decided to test meddle in drama class, of all places, on the stage in the auditorium. It happened to be set up for a play and there was a large “bar counter” made of wood paneling placed upon the stage.

Long story short, the student climbed the steps to the stage and confronted me before swinging a wide, looping right that caught me in the ear, making my head ring. Much like the long-haired wildman in the above video, I somehow grabbed the young man’s wrist, spun him around, and sent him crashing through the wood paneling, which broke like glass and raked the back of his neck, causing bleeding lacerations. He also hit his head on the hard, two-by-four frames, giving him a slight concussion. As I was running in to pull him out and finish him off, my fellow students restrained me, thus ending the fight.

This is a true story, and it was a rather shocking revelation to my eighth-grade mind regarding the effectiveness of using the environment as a weapon. Feel free to share your stories when you’ve either used your immediate environment as a weapon or have witnessed someone do the same…

The Republican debate doesn’t mean shit to me…


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debate   The recent Republican debates and who might have shined in them doesn’t mean a thing. Why? Because we’re once again deluding ourselves into believing that ONE person is going to lead us into some new golden age of the American dream.

It hasn’t worked that way for a long time.

What I believe needs to change is the relationship that we the people have with governance. For too long, wealthy and powerful corporations with unprecedented access to our elected leaders have been influencing that laws that government. We can’t change that because the practice is Constitutionally protected. (First Amendment, free speech, etc.)

Now, these corporations are actually drafting and writing the laws that our elected leaders rubber stamp their names upon and push forward to be ratified. And in case there’s any question about what kinds of laws these corporations are creating, they’re only those that will further their interests, increase their profit motives, and solidify their hegemony. And this is almost always in adverse opposition to we the people’s best interests.

Money corrupts everything. This isn’t exactly a newsflash, but it’s something that needs to be thought through to it most logical and inevitable conclusion. To wit,  our need to provide for ourselves makes all of us complicit in this sick little game. We’ve all sold out… we did it a long time ago, and we did it for chump change. How? By turning a blind eye to the corrupting influences the power structure places upon us in our jobs. Sure, we’ll say things such as, “I know it’s not fair, but I gotta pay my bills.” I guess that’s meant to make us feel better about sacrificing our cherished ideals on a near-daily basis.

This isn’t anything I haven’t done and the knowledge of my complicity shames me to no end. As a professional writer, I’ve allowed job security to trump the truth, writing articles that I KNEW were false on behalf of our infallible advertisers and the power of their almighty dollar. Disturbingly, I’ve heard similar stories from doctors, teachers, police officers and nearly every other profession. (Scared yet? You should be!)

Since so many of us have long ago compromised our ideals, perhaps this is why we put so much faith in elected officials, particularly our POTUS. Every four years, we magically believe that the person we’re voting for will somehow be above the corrupting influences of money. Further, by finding something(s) to identify whom we’re casting our vote, we magically believe that, if elected, this person will become our personal savior.

Newsflash: Practically every president we’ve ever had has sold out, too. What makes this dangerous is that they often sell away OUR rights and freedoms in the process. And once the new relationship euphoria with our president wears off, we the people go back to our time-honored tradition of rationalization by saying such things as, “Well, everyone in politics is a little corrupt,” or, “Well, they have to do a little dirt to get things done.” Disillusionment sets in and we go back to our daily lives, waiting for the “game-changing” election. (If you’ve been paying attention, you should see a pattern here.)

So that brings us to today and the dawning of yet another election. With the recent Republican debates, many of us allow ourselves to once again be swept up into the hype and hope of finding our next savior… that ONE person who will save us from the forces of evil… but it’s not going to happen.

Whoever becomes our next POTUS is either already corrupted by the existing system, or he/she will be in short order. Consider our current POTUS, a man whom many Americans truly believed would be the savior of this country. While he may have helped do a few good things, depending upon whom you’re talking to, a whole lot of bad shit went down on his watch. And he’s not come close or even tried to put a halt to Big Money’s continued corrupting influence upon our country.

So what’s the answer?How do we undo the lies, greed, and corruption that have hijacked our government and way of life?

Truthfully, I don’t know. I’m only certain of two things: 1.) Going along to get along has gotten us to where we are, and 2.) The notion of electing a “savior” never works. We now need to change our relationship with governance, starting with us being less accepting of the many ways they infringe upon our rights. If anyone has a solution, I’d be willing to listen… but I don’t think the answer exists with anyone featured in the debates. And I’m also fairly certain that our salvation also can’t be summed up with some witty catchphrase and corresponding hashtag.

Why fighting for your friends can be a BAD idea…


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People who fight for their friends are idiots, most of the time. Yeah, I said it. What you gonna do about it, bitch?

Oh. Sorry. Got a little sidetracked there. As I was saying, it’s not always a good idea to jump into the fray on behalf of your friends because you don’t always know what you’re jumping into. Consider this video:

A quick break down: A rhino comes into the feeding ground of a group of Cape Buffalo. The alpha buffalo, in his role as protector of the herd, challenges the rhino. During their head-butting contest, other Cape Buffalo can be seen joining the fight… but not on the side of their buffalo leader. Instead, their taking shots at their leader in hopes of killing him so they can become the alpha.

Some friends, huh?

In the end, it appears as though the alpha buffalo dies as a result of the wounds he received from the rhino’s horn. His last moments on earth are spent surrounded by the very pack members he fought so valiantly to defend, and the same ones that turned on him during the fight.

Growing up in Flint, I’ve had plenty of experiences where someone – or a group of someones – would attack a single person on behalf of his/their friends. In more than one case, I’ve seen one guy in a group – usually the smallest – go around and purposefully instigate fights with strangers, supremely confident in the fact that his “boyz” would get his back. In more than one instance, I was the guy that “Mr. Congeniality” chose as his target.

Like our friend the Cape Buffalo in the video, a whole host of bad shit can happen if you decide to take up for friends who don’t care that much about you:

1. You can get your ass kicked. Seems pretty simple, right? Unfortunately , few men are able to admit that there are people out there who can beat them in a fight. In this scenario, there are two options:

A) You get a costly stretcher ride to the hospital and a fat bill for the treatment of injuries that will haunt you for the rest of your life,

B) A free ride to the grave.

2. You get arrested on simple assault charges. Yeah… while taking up for your boyz gives you instant street cred in your suburban-hood-fantasy life, powerful folks in the real world have built their careers around arresting and prosecuting idiots like you who like solving problems with your fists. And this comes with plenty of problems:

A) Court costs and fines. You think your boyz are gonna help you pay these? Think again!

B) Jail and/or prison time. You read that right! It’s actually pretty much illegal to beat people up, especially if you hurt them badly. If you like fighting so much, maybe this is the place for you, since plenty of “squabs” go down behind bars.

C) Limited job opportunity. Even if you get out of this mess with probation and some community service, your newly-acquired criminal record will come back to haunt you each time a prospective employer conducts a background check. Those same friends who wouldn’t help you pay for a lawyer aren’t gonna let you live in their basement rent-free for the rest of your life, either.

3. You’re being used. Some people like to stir up shit and let others clean up their mess. If you have a friend that always seems to be getting into fights – fights that you end up finishing – chances are, he/she knows exactly what they’re doing. Why else do they do it so much? That they’re so willing to allow you to accept all the risks and responsibility for their actions suggests that you don’t make good choices when it comes to friends.

4. Your friends turn on you. Believe it or not, the same people that you’re so willing to risk your life to defend will be the first ones to turn around and call you a “hot-head” or a “violent rage-a-holic” once the dust settles. This usually happens as people age out of their “crazy 20s” and start getting married, having kids and settling down. They and their spouses are trying to distance themselves from their “wild side,” and you are a living, breathing reminder of those days. Don’t be surprised if these so-called loyal friends start turning their backs on you. Remember that gratitude is preservative-free, so it’s shelf-life is exceedingly short!

5. You’re being set up. Admittedly, this is a worst-case scenario but it’s not unheard of. If someone wants something that you have, perhaps the best way to get you out of the picture is by playing upon your misguided sense of loyalty and getting you into a fight that they know will end up in your arrest and prosecution. Hey! Stranger things have happened!

These are the reasons I won’t fight for my friends. Well, most of them, anyway. I would fight and die for my wife and children in a New York minute, but the number of friends I’d actually be willing to throw hands for could be counted on one hand… with more than a couple fingers left over.

Well, that about covers it, though I’m eager to hear YOUR experiences with this phenomenon.

What I Don’t Like About Internet Social Justice Warriors…


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baby  “So what really is your problem with Internet Social Justice Warriors?” A Facebook friend and avowed ISJW recently asked me this. Here’s my reply:

At the risk of repeating what practically every conservative has already said, ISJWs have easily become as or even more intolerant as they claim every Christian/Republicans/Tea Baggers/conservatives they’re fighting against. (#TheRealInconvenientTruth) Every ISJW in the struggle has heard this, of course, yet like any other fact that conflicts with their “enlightened” worldview, they choose to ignore it.

They have absolutely no problem taking a heavy-handed, ham-fisted approach to their social issues and a blind fury with which they exercise this right. They do this by starting from the firmly-held conviction that they already have the moral high ground, and thus proceed to run roughshod over those who don’t think exactly like they do, or dares question their position. This can be evidenced in their very memes, which boldly declare: “If you don’t believe in (insert their cause du jour) then you’re part of the problem.” ISJW

I also take issue with ISJWs rather simplistic view of the world and America in particular. In short, they hate that part of America that has anything to do with Western white male involvement. As such, we’re burdened with their ongoing narrative of “systemic racism and white supremacy,” which is not only rather simplistic, it’s also getting old. By focusing on this sliver of history, they completely ignore the fact that other people/cultures engaged in much the same behavior as their hit list of dead white men, which would lead any rational person to conclude that acting out of extreme self interest seems to be the problem with the historical narrative worldwide.

ISJWs also ingore what we know about the human mind, particularly cognitive biases and other mental pitfalls that we humans, all succumb to. Instead they view the world in “Star Wars terms” the pit the absolute good against the absolute evil, and we all know what side they believe they’re on. I tend to think the truth is MUCH more nuanced and not simply defined nor solved; but in the current ISJW narrative, that makes me “part of the problem.”

Given that the majority of ISJWs whom I know are middle-aged white men, I wonder how much of their vitriol is psychological projection. This deep hatred of all things Western white male is so strong a force, and I can’t help but wonder if it gets triggered each time they look into the mirror. Something so strong can’t remain bottled up forever, so these mental midgets project their self-loathing and deep-seated feelings of insecurity outward onto other white males who aren’t sipping the ISJW Kool-Aid. Note: try suggesting this to an ISJW that this theory of psychological projection might be worthy of consideration and you guess it… you’re “part of the problem.”

Lastly, if ISJWs are going to keep telling me HOW to live and HOW wrong I am by not doing so, I want to know what kind of qualifications they have. I’m talking degrees, certifications, awards… anything that might acknowledge why I should swear blind allegiance to their desperate ideologies. From where I’m sitting, all I see is a bunch of white, whiny, washed-up, 90s has-beens yammering on and on about how THEY believe the world should be. If that’s the case, I might as well listen to myself.

Long story short, a few old adages easily apply to this ISJW craze, including but not limited to: “Practice what you preach,” and “It’s not WHAT you say, it HOW you say it.”

Don’t try telling me what a “great person” you are…


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scary.2   I’m a good person who would never do anything to hurt someone else. And if you don’t think so, then you don’t really know me at all.

In this capitalist, commercially-driven society, we’re bombarded with marketing messages from thousands of companies branding their message and image into the public consciousness. Unfortunately, we’re emulating these companies whenever we try to build our own, personal brand. Everyone is issuing “press releases” about what a great person they are, and the rise of social media has only made these messages more prolific… and annoying.

Scroll through your Facebook news-feed and read between the lines of your friends’ posts. From the ranting and raving of your Internet Social Justice Warrior (We all have at least one.) to the post from the hipster, housewife, blue-collar badass, etc. Read between the lines. What are they really saying?

I’m more evolved than you.

I’m more loving than you.

I have a better sense of taste than you.

I work harder than you.

It goes on and on, and as a writer, I’ve become somewhat adept at reading between the lines. When it comes to declarative self statements, however, no special skills are needed. There are plenty of people out there who are more than willing to put it bluntly so that there’s no mistaking their message. These are the folks that will come right out and tell you, “I’m a good/loving/compassionate/etc. person.” They put it out there point blank so there’s no mistaking what they want you to believe about themselves… their favorite subject.

The thing about declarative self-statements is that they’re NOT factual, no matter how forcefully it’s stated. Yet this doesn’t stop the person from saying it… and expecting – no, demanding – that you believe them. Maybe they’re the type that thinks the louder you say something, the more inclined people will be to believe it. Or perhaps they’re so used to their social media fan club (We all have one.) coming in to like and comment on these types of posts.

“I agree! You’re the most wonderful son/daughter/father/mother/brother/sister/friend/neighbor a person could ever ask for!”

Perhaps I’m getting cynical in my old age, but I wouldn’t dare attempt such a post… or statement. Case in point, take the statement that kicked off this post – “I’m a good person who would never do anything to hurt someone else. And if you don’t think so, then you don’t really know me at all.” Many of my FB friends – those who know me in real life – would likely sit back and say, “Who the fuck is he fooling?”

Truth be told, I would be a fool to actually think – let alone say – that I’ve “never” hurt someone. From little “jokes” to pointed “observations” of people’s behavior, I’m fairly certain that I’ve said things that have hurt the feelings of at least a few of my friends… things that I likely, at the time, tried to write off as “jokes” or “observations.” (I’m just trying to help, etc.)

Even some of my erstwhile bullies might say that they only picked on me because I said or did something that was “deserving” of their special brand of attention. Some of them might not have appreciated my carefree, sarcastic outlook on the high school social caste system, as such an irreverent attitude might have undermined their emotional investment in it. Others could’ve simply perceived me as “walking around, thinking I’m better than everyone.” Thus, they might believe their actions as justified. (As declarative self-statements go, “I wouldn’t hurt anyone unless they did something to deserve it” is a fairly popular one.)

And what about the times I’ve physically hurt people? I’ve admitted to enough of this right here on Facebook, and no matter how justified I think my actions, I’m sure the other person has a different take on what went down.

Here’s the simple truth: none of us are as good as we think we are. A cursory look through history – personal or otherwise – easily proves this. We’re nothing more than monsters in ill-fitting human skins, ruthlessly driven by our self-interest. It’s only our gift of language and ability to deceive ourselves (and others) that makes these pursuits appear better than what they – and we – truly are.

But I’ve rambled on long enough. You were saying something about being a good person…

*Artwork generously donated by Steven Michael Pace of Flint, MI.

“Thug” is the new n-word, you racist, piece of shit, cracka mutharfuckuh!


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beast  While this meme works when referring to tough-talking suburban soccer moms and any other pussy-ass nerd trying to front, a new meme is needed regarding the word “thug.”

This meme should read:

Everyone wants to call themselves a thug,

Everyone wants to do what thugs do,

But nobody wants to deal with the consequences of being a thug.

So why all this about thugs? Because many in the black community – as well as the white, liberal progressives whose ideologies feed their hate – are screaming from the rooftops about the media’s use of the term “thug.” In their words, “thug” is the new “n-word,” making referring to someone as a “thug” a racist statement born of systemic white supremacy.

Truth be told, these social justice warrior types are right… but not in the way that they think they are.

“Thug” is the “new n-word” because, just like its predecessor, it’s a term that’s fine for use within a specific racial/social/economic group, but is equally forbidden for use by those outside said groups. In plain English, this means that it’s fine for thugs to call themselves and those within their social circle “thugs.” But if the word is used by a “non-thug” to describe a “thug” and/or his/her actions, it becomes a highly-politicized matter subject to a variety of ideology steeped in the alleged systematic racism that allegedly exists in power/non-power relationships, etc.

So to you non-thugs reading this, use this term at your own risk! The folks on Fox News are safe hiding in their TV station, but you lack such protections on the street or in the bar, etc. Therefore, if you use the word to describe someone or their actions, don’t be surprised if the suspected thug(s) does some thuggish shit to you, then label you a racist who refuses to own up to your own inherent racism and privilege.

And speaking of consequences, I’d like to get back to that portion of my fictional meme idea. Whether it’s prison or the cemetery – or simply being labelled a “thug” – there are repercussions to certain types of behavior that go against what’s generally expected in an orderly society. Sadly, this reality is rarely taken into consideration by would-be thugs until long after they’ve committed themselves to their act(s) of thuggery. By then, it’s too late; thus, I have a feeling this term is going to be around for a while.

So, with all that said, who’s up for creating the meme?

*As a quick side note, the dictionary definition of “thug” is “a violent person, especially a criminal.” The word has Indian origins, and was used to refer to members of a religious organization of robbers and assassins who waylaid and strangled their victims, usually travelers, in a ritually-prescribed manner. (Apologies to anyone of Indian descent who might follow the goddess Kali, but that is some straight up thug shit!)

So much bullshit packed into one, tiny little Internet meme…


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Chad  The wisdom of Internet memes, this time from the only-God-can-judge-me crowd.

Before I get started dismantling the faux wisdom of this meme, let me make a couple things perfectly clear. 1.) I am covered in tattoos. I have two half-sleeves, both chest panels and a backpiece covered in a variety of designs. 2.) I am not a Christian. Instead, I’m an Odinist, which means I honor Odin and the rest of the old, Northern European gods, such as Thor, Tyr, Freya, etc. With that out of the way, let me tell you why I think this meme is bullshit, for the most part.

I will acknowledge that there’s a kernel of truth to this meme. Yes, not everyone who has tattoos is a vicious killer or conniving criminal. And yes, all of know at least one person who piously attends church every Sunday yet somehow seems to miss the better message of what being a Christian/Jew/Muslim should be all about, and that’s love, acceptance, forgiveness of self and others, etc. That said, this amount of truth to the meme is an acorn compared to the towering oak tree of bullshit that it implies.

Now let’s look at the bad, of which there is a lot. Those who would share this meme are doing so in search of validation. Chances are, they’re tattooed and likely don’t go to church – which neither of things are bad – and they’re struggling with feelings of low self worth. (Hint: we all do this to varying degrees.) Thus, sharing this meme is their way of saying, “Despite my flaws, I’m a good person. Right?” And each like and/or comment from their like-minded tattooed friends acts as another brick added to the poster’s “self-esteem wall.”

Another problem with this meme: it’s thinly-disguised tribalism. What I mean by this is it basically draws a line in the sand between one “tribe” – tattooed people – and another “tribe” – non-tattooed people who attend church. This creates an us-against-them scenario where people are reduced to mere stereotype of what each “side” represents to the other. This robs people of their humanity, which is known as “othering,” as in people become reduced to something other than human. Example: Someone looking at a group of tattooed people and saying, “Look at those freaks over there! They’re not like us at all. They’re evil!”

Thing is, it works just as well in reverse: “Look at those lying sons of bitches with their hands together, pretending that they’re praying. Half of them will go home and beat their wives!” (Sound familiar?)

The bad news is that it’s hard to escape the “tribal mindset,” as it’s been ingrained in us since the dawn of our species. By trusting in and taking care of only our own “tribe,” our primitive ancestors ensured their survival. This same biological memory doesn’t serve us so well today, where our culture has moved from tribal to one of a diverse global village. Now, whenever we separate humanity into “tribes” that are diametrically opposed to each other, we create conflict where there needn’t be any. This can lead to atrocious acts committed upon members of the other “tribe” in the name of survival of one’s own. Example: How many Jews were killed by the Nazi regime because they believed Jews to be evil and a threat to Germany’s prosperity?

One more thing about the tribal mindset: seeing the world as us-against-them blinds our eyes to the wide range of diversity of thought that in which humankind actually presents itself. Example: how many tattooed people go to church? Likely more than you think, and they’re not all bad (or good) people. On the opposite end of the spectrum, it should not be ignored that many murderers, rapists and other criminals have tattoos, and  there are many people doing good things – ministry, healing, charity work, etc. – in the name of their chosen faiths.

Wow! I’ll bet you didn’t think a meme that says so little actually says so much!

Beware all ye who would create monsters…


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ugly1 Dear two people from my past,

All you have is hate… pure, unadulterated hate. You have distilled it into its crystalline essence then weaponized it against the masses. It’s your gift to the world, and you mass produce your hatred, implanting it into each new hateful offspring that shoots forth from your fetid loins. It is their birthmark as much as their birthright.

I now realize why you brought me into your lives. You craved a monster – needed it, even – and so where there wasn’t one, you created that which you desired. Because a slavering and hook-clawed beast roaming the perimeter is the one thing that keeps you from looking into the mirror and seeing the real monster, that one that resides there inside the silvery glass, staring back at you with hate-filled eyes that look like your own.

And so, like like the mad scientist locked away inside his lab, you used my flesh, my soul, to create me the image of the monstrosity you so desperately needed. And just like your hatred, this beast was your masterpiece. It was something so horrible, so monstrous, so vile, that whatever semblance of humanity it once had was long ago destroyed in your zeal to create it.

With me so conveniently fashioned in the image of your grotesque, you wove your tales of my horror in taverns. The simple-minded villagers, needing something to fear, someone to hate, swallowed your words like so many tankards of ale. And like the ale, your words wove their spell, twisting their minds until they took up their pitchforks and torches, shouting, “Kill the beast!”

You sit back laughing in your near-salacious glee, but do not rejoice too soon. There’s a monster on the loose, and it wants to return home. Soon, this creature will be at your doorstep and it will have grown too powerful to be stopped by your shield of hate and self-righteousness. This beast longs to rend you limb from bloody limb as you scream in pain at the injustice of it all.

But do not expect pity from a monster. Vicious creatures are incapable of such emotions. After all, I am as you’ve made me.

*Featured artwork by Steven Michael Pace of Flint, Michigan.


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