My Cause is Better Than Your Cause

Solidarity

I just read a brief article from a fellow blogger that got me fired up enough to write this piece (which, considering my lack of entries into my blog as of late, must be saying something.)

She was “pissed” that so many people are changing their Facebook profile pics with the French flag color overlay. Racial inequality in America is an important issue for her and thus in “protest” of the solidarity outpouring that is coloring social media, she in turn changed her profile pic to one of Malcolm X, the radical civil rights activist and ironically, a Muslim.

I understand the cynicism that some feel when the public jumps on different social bandwagons and participates in activities without really giving much thought to what they’re doing. I’ve never been a fan of displaying ribbons for different causes as it does very little to actually help. I realize many folks will participate in trends just to fit in. I spoke with a teenage girl who didn’t even know what the word “solidarity” meant, though she’d posted it on her page.

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My Costume Only Comes in One Color

Does this come in white?

Does this come in white?

I saw a post on Facebook recently that inspired this colorful rant. Let me first share the link that was posted and then the posters comment.

What’s Wrong with Cultural Appropriation

The person who posted this added this comment:

Just a little PSA for the Halloween season. If part or all of your costume includes pretending to be from a non-white racial group, this is cultural appropriation. It’s also hurtful and in poor taste.

I want to address the “cultural appropriation” in the context of the comment. As I read this, she’s suggesting that if I, as a white man were to dress as President Obama or Gandhi, this would be hurtful and in poor taste. Really? Because of the color of my skin, I apparently have been bestowed this magical gift called “White Privilege” and while this allows me to perform all kinds of miracles that those with a different skin hue than my own cannot, I am now also restricted from certain types of behavior. It was certainly news to me that my list of Halloween costume choices was now shortened to include only Caucasian characters (I’m still not sure if this includes dressing as a ghost. They are usually depicted as being white, but I’ll have to check with the Political Correctness Overlords for a ruling.)

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Kim Davis Memes

Who wore it better?

Who wore it better?

I’m being lazy by posting these, but they’re funny and (gasp!) actually make legitimate points so… if a picture is worth a thousand words, this is a full essay for me. Enjoy (or scream and rant and rave, whatever floats your boat).

Kim Davis

 

Kim Davis1

 

Kim Davis2

 

Kim Davis3

 

Kim Davis 14

 

Kim Davis8

 

Kim Davis10

 

Kim Davis 11

 

Kim Davis12

 

Kim Davis 13

 

Kim Davis4

 

Kim Davis5

 

Kim Davis9

 

~V

 

Anarchy Devine

Would you vote for this man?

Would you vote for this man?

Huffington Post reports that Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, in his support for Kim Davis, the jailed Kentucky Clerk of Court, is now encouraging people to obey only laws they determine to be “right”. This is terrifying talk from someone who wants to sit in the White House and become the most powerful man in the land. It essentially encourages Christian anarchy. At a time when our nation seems more divided than ever, is this the kind of rhetoric we want to hear from our political leaders?

Does Huckabee actually think these things through? Is he so blinded by his faith that all reason has left him? (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he at one time possessed the capacity for reasonable thought) Can he envision the world he’s suggesting? Our entire legal structure would crumble if this were to happen. Anyone could break any law with impunity under the guise of “Religious freedom” or simply “I don’t think that law is right.”

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We Can Do Better Than Monkeys

Who flung poo?

Who flung poo?

Jon Stewart is now gone from The Daily Show and I lament his departure. I could (and may) write an entire blog post about his tenure and the vacuum that he created by leaving, but that is for another time. At the moment, I want to take a comment he made and share my thoughts. As much as I respect and honestly revere him, he said something in the following article with which I disagree (at least in part).

NPR wrote about him leaving The Daily Show and in the article was this quote:

“I feel like politicians, there’s a certain inherent — the way I always explain it is when you go to the zoo and a monkey throws its feces, it’s a monkey. But when the zookeeper is standing right there and he doesn’t say, ‘Bad monkey!’ — somebody’s got to be the zookeeper. I tend to feel much more strongly about the abdication of responsibility by the media than by political advocates.”

I find no issue with his critique of the media. It’s been quite some time that America (or much of the world) has enjoyed a relatively unbiased examination of national and world news. Major “news” networks (and the quotation marks is intended as sarcasm for those that missed it) are really nothing more than propaganda machines for political and industrial powerhouses. I’m not just singling out Fox News here either.

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Imagine All the People

unitystrength

I’ve been watching the political race for the US Presidency unfold, and I’ve been thinking about some of the topics that have dominated US news for the past few months and I’m struggling to understand why we as a nation, as a species even, cannot seem to agree on certain issues that seem to me to be very plain and not controversial at all.

For instance, let’s take the popular topic of the hour: Cecil the Lion and the backlash against trophy hunting. I can’t see anyone making a reasonable, rational argument to support  killing endangered or nearly endangered species. Setting aside the discussion about shooting deer as a supposed method to thin the population to prevent starvation in the winter months when food is scarce, (that’s probably another topic altogether), hunting for sport is cruel and serves no purpose. As Ricky Gervais said recently:

“It annoys me that it’s called ‘trophy hunting’ because it has nothing to do with hunting. There’s a big difference with, you know, hunting for food cleanly and honestly, as we said before, and wanting to know what it’s like to murder a majestic animal for no reason other than the thrill of what it’s like to murder something… Why is bullfighting fun? Why is torturing an animal the fun bit? It’s not fun to do, it’s not fun to watch. I wonder about the psychology of the people that like seeing an animal in fear or tortured or its life snuffed out for no good reason.”

Isn’t this something that we could all agree upon? Is banning trophy hunting really controversial?

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Book Banning: The Joy of Censorship

You can burn a book, but you can't kill an idea

You can burn a book, but you can’t kill an idea

There are certain groups of people who seem to love banning books and censoring thoughts and language. Among the most notorious are conservative Christians and Nazis. (Although we could throw in Muslims as well, to be fair). Interestingly, while conservative Christians aggressively try to ban or censor anything they find that is objectionable to the Christian faith, they have no problem at all with defending freedom of speech when it comes to insulting Islam.

Over the years, many classic books as well as many benign children’s books have fallen under strict religious scrutiny and have drawn the ire of religious zealots who feel it is their duty in life to protect the rest of humanity from itself. Take a look at a sample of books that have been banned over the years:

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The Physics of Freedom

Action and Reaction. Thus works the universe.

Action and Reaction. Thus works the universe.

[I apologize for my absence. Life demands attention in all matters and I’ve had some important issues to deal with which has taken me away from my writing. But now you can sit back and enjoy my triumphant return! Yay!]

 

Some of you may have read my post on the stupid memes that continue to proliferate around the internet. I’ve found another one that inspired me to sit down and bang out yet another rant. Check out this doozy:

Poor Phil. Is he suffering from Rodney Dangerfield syndrome?

Poor Phil. Is he suffering from Rodney Dangerfield syndrome?

Now, I’m pretty sure Phil didn’t whip up this beauty of a meme all by himself. In fact, he probably had nothing to do with its creation although I’m pretty sure he’d agree with it. Nonetheless I’ll address this topic as though I were speaking to the creator of the meme and not Phil directly.

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Heritage of Hate

A rose by any other name...

A rose by any other name…

I touched on this subject in my last post and I guess I didn’t get it all out of my system (as is often the case). I’d like to take a moment to counter all of the misguided and ignorant arguments in defense of the Confederate flag. If you live in America (and probably even if you don’t) you would be hard pressed to have missed the commotion recently about a particular symbol from American history: The battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, or as most people know it, either the Confederate flag or the Rebel flag.

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A Slice of Tolerance

two flags

In recent weeks two stories in America dominated the headlines. At first they might seem unrelated, but closer examination reveals a few philosophical connections. The two topics of which I speak are the controversy over the Confederate flag and the Supreme Court ruling about marriage equality. Let’s take a look, shall we?

In the wake of the tragic shootings of nine people in a black church in South Carolina, public attention was once again directed towards a symbol that many feel represents hatred, oppression, slavery and treason: the Confederate flag. There is no end to the disagreements about the origins and history of this flag, and certainly a great deal of misinformation is flying around the internet. Two things, however, are painfully clear and cannot be disputed:

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