Friday, November 18, 2011

A Bit Of Facebook Writing

I think one of the strengths of having a capitalist market economy that is working the way it's supposed to is that there is a sort of shuffling that occurs between the classes, hopefully based on some kind of merit of idea or business structure. Seems like the problem we have now is that there is a sort of royal elite developing that has figured out how to perpetually skim off the top of the economy, leaving the majority of the country little option but to be their indentured servants.

I was raised by a socialist as well, and so my roots dictate to me a strong reverence toward the poorer and harder-working classes. My personal feeling is that a socialist system ought to be in place at all times to allow everyone to live safely; we are only as good as the way we treat our worst-off. I don't think people understand that raising the floor brings fresh ideas to the market, too, and in the end this makes capitalism work better. Socialism and capitalism are not mutually exclusive, but it's essential to have fresh blood and ideas cycling through the capitalist power structure at all times.

Classism is a tough hurdle to overcome, and it's easy to write off an individual for being in a certain class. An essential item for achieving a better tomorrow is that the separate classes must unite under the flag of universal compassion. I think one of the ways we can push this change forward is to teach our children unconditional love. So much of the Libertarian philosophy seems to revolve around good things only coming to the 'deserving'. I think this ideology stems from parents teaching their children that they 'earn' love, and that their goodness comes from accomplishment.

The idea, too, that evolution favors only the strong and aggressive, is incredible. We are a social species, and speaking on evolutionary terms, many of our 'strong' traits may have come from the weaker, or at least non-alpha-type members of our species. If we choose to model a culture after an aggressive individual-type, there's a chance our culture will simply reach an apex and then collapse.

And the meek shall inherit the earth. Or perhaps I'm butchering that quote, but I find it poignant, since I believe that other cultures will outlive our sort of monoculture consumerist paradigm. I"m working on a bit of a head cold, still, so this comment may have just gone completely batshit crazy. Please feel free to ignore it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Osama is Dead... Ding Dong?

A creepy, festive air floating
through the memesphere, as Western
Culture shows its true colours
I don't know what to think.  I sure didn't jump to celebrating when I heard about this.  The whole thing has a G.I. Joe narrative quality to it.  I mean, we sent in Team America, and they just killed everybody in 45 minutes?  Doesn't that seem a bit, um, uncomplicated?  I guess this had been in the works for a long time.

I'd be happier about it if the man had been given a trial, one wherein he could at least speak some intelligible words.  One with good video quality, so everyone would know that it wasn't doctored.  And somehow, this is all part of political agendas already.

Hard to imagine that all these nations we've destabilized in the Middle East will stop producing suicidal soldiers brought together in the cause against the United States.  I mean, killing one person doesn't really erase that history, right?

I'm torn about these nations, because the feminist in me wants intervention so that the women in these places can be guaranteed safety and rights, but the rest of me knows that a) the oppressed classes in a country get treated worse when the nation is under attack, and b) the United States probably made these inequalities as bad as they are in the first place by intervening militarily in the first place.

I understand Ron Paul fans' total desire to just pull out of the Middle East.  I do.  I do not, however, understand how these people can ignore the other glaring issues with him.  The guy has one of the worst domestic policy platforms I've ever seen.  He seems to hate gay people, women, and immigrants (apparently he hasn't noticed that he's a White man, probably descended from immigrants).  In a country where we are only conditioned to relate to White men (see:  all television), it seems unfortunately likely that someone like him will succeed.

And Obama- Obama... Jeez.  What a successful politician, but what a player of the game.  It seems like he rides the party lines so closely that everyone has a bone to pick with him, not to mention the racist Tea Party movement.  It's amazing how quickly the roots of American show through when you temporarily dye it with equality.  Maybe we're not using expensive enough dye.  Or my metaphor is stupid.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Media, Memes, McDonalds

How many repetitions make a truth?  My thoughts at the moment seem to relate heavily to the idea of memes.  I see that while the non-advertising population is only just now becoming fond of the meme theory, advertisers have understood it for a long time.  Brand loyalty is most often primarily attributable to advertising intensity.  Distribution determines sales.  Shelf space in stores will always sell more units, even it's fart-flavored gummy fries on the shelf.  How many repetitions make a truth.

It's not quality, interest, or mystique that drives consumption, but instead burned pathologies on the surface of the human brain.  Scars on the psyche.  I've spent quite a bit of time trying to comprehend forgetting things like the McDonald's logo, and there's no way.  This type of symbol was impressed upon me starting at the same time I was being breastfed.  To be part of society is to be branded, and the worst part is that we aren't given one brand, but hundreds.  All of them are scarred onto the surface of our thoughts.

I think that the world's current paradigm is meta-relational, though.  Strong symbols and icons allow us to quicker reference things, digitize complex ideas and use them to communicate.  The corporate world has illuminated a human desire to contextualize the universe as simply and elegantly as possible.  The desire to place all people within the brackets of one idea is growing, and things like the internet (while riddled with redundant and incorrect information) are allowing us to throw together the conflict of all ideas in the hopes that equilibrium or enlightenment may be obtained.  That's the idea, right?

Unfortunately, the idea of living well with regards to a single idea is broken by consumerism.  I've always reacted negatively to organized religion, but I think our world would be lucky to only suffer the branding of spiritual dogma and icon.  Consumerism is the new unity on our planet, slowly bringing everyone closer to a 'middle class'.  The way of the over industrialized nation has seduced too many into believing that they would be moving up by obtaining more things, absorbing more nonessential needs into their life's lexicon.  Our being united in the unquenchable desire for stuff is the enemy of real culture, and all valuable and ancient wisdom will be lost by the end of the 21st century.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I've run into a lot of frustrating arguments from people who normally are very reasonable, when discussing vaccines, especially in reference to my newborn. These people are fueled by some kind of blind faith in the medical industry and its rhetoric. That's wrong, and they should knock it the f*ck off.

The truth of the matter about vaccines is that each individual one needs to be assessed by its potential effects. Whether or not the pros outweigh the cons is totally different from vaccine to vaccine. Being all for, or all against them is silly. Some of them work, and some of them simply make a lot of money for big pharma. Either way, they're all getting sold, and pushed, as something that people not only need to do for themselves, but for others. This is very successful marketing, but ought to be analysed as such, and not as scientific fact.

Medications in general need to be assessed, and I urge everyone here to do a lot of research before they decide to add a new non-food chemical into their life, just because someone made a pitch for it. It's not about getting a 'second' opinion. You already have that by going to a doctor, or listening to an ad campaign. You need to get a FIRST opinion, that is, your own.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

(More) Thoughts on Circumcision

We had, long before the baby was born, hashed out whether we wanted to circumcise, and there were so many reasons not to do it, that I don't understand why people ever do.

First off, I consider myself to be a feminist, and as such, consent is something I'm very aware of in daily life. I believe children are an oppressed class, and this flows from my desire to understand the complex social caste system we have in The Western World (did that need to be capitalized?).

While there are necessary decisions parents have to make for the well-being of their children, many choices are made in that spirit without actually being necessary. Circumcision falls directly into that category. There is no reason to circumcise at an early age. That child probably would not, and definitely can not consent to having part of their genitals amputated at the age of zero; and what can it possibly hurt to at least wait until they can weigh in on such a big decision about their body?

Other issues come to mind as well. It's a painful procedure -often performed without anesthesia- which some think can cause life-long emotional scarring. It permanently destroys glands at the tip of the penis that help to protect it, shielding it from discomfort and keeping it more sensitive for a better (or at least gentler) sex life. In addition to the risks and possible complications from an unnecessary surgery, one needs to consider the medical myths that are cited as reasons to circumcise; that is, most (if not all, I'm not fresh on this subject like I once was) of the claims about positive health effects have been proven incorrect.

That said, I'm a little sad that my baby won't be the same as me. I'm circumcised, and I'm sure he'll have questions about why we're not the same. I do, however have options. The easiest course of action is to simply keep a very open dialogue about society, the pressures there from, and why we decided to let him choose what to do with his body. Another option is foreskin restoration, which has been a subject of interest for me lately. I won't go into the details for that, but it's well-documented online.

I want my son to grow up thinking that his body is his own to govern, and I also hope that he will feel the same about others, and accordingly accept people for who they are, and what they decide.


Friday, October 8, 2010

New Arrival, Slightly Late Post

The baby is here.

The birth was incredible. I feel so fortunate to have been able to do a birth at home, with safety and comfort. I can't imagine the stress of having a baby in a hospital, because even the midwives' tiny amount of involvement made me nervous. It was really incredible, though, to watch a person come from another person. I couldn't believe it when it was happening, and I couldn't believe it after it had finished.

Now, three or so weeks into the baby being here, I can't imagine life without the baby. Every other thought is consumed with concern and interest for him, and I struggle while at work (I'm working from home, as of late) not to just get up and run into the other room every time I hear him make a noise. Fortunately, my partner is able to spend almost all of her time with him.

My days consist of working 8 hours (usually broken up into two or three hour chunks), doing a load of laundry (it was two loads of laundry a day at first), and doing the majority of the cooking and dishes. My in-laws (whose basement we occupy) have tried to help a bit, but I've been pretty adamant about getting things down as much on my own as possible.

We're not circumcising, which I consider to be a simple matter of consent. Since he can't tell us whether or not he wants part of his genitals amputated, we're going to go ahead and opt out of that for the time being. He can always remedy it later if he wants (who would want to?). The whole thing has made me wonder about my having been circumcised as a baby, and what lasting psychological effects that has had on me. I've heard of people restoring their foreskins, through a number of methods, the most appealing of which is using a weight to stretch the remaining skin over the tip of the penis. It doesn't repair the permanently damaged mucous glands that are destroyed during a circumcision, but it allows for the apparatus to function in a very similar fashion to an uncut one.

All right. The end.  Good bye.