Drama, Drama, Everywhere!

When I made the decision to become published, I knew there would be drama in my social media world. On my personal profile (the one where I keep my real-life family and friends) on Facebook was pretty chill, but I could see the potential. There has been drama on social media for as long as I can remember. I love drama, but I hate it. On TV, I want all the drama you can throw me… if you can scare the hell out of me while you’re at it, that’s even better. In my personal relationships, I’ve spent my entire life attempting to rid myself of drama. It hasn’t always been easy, as I’m sure everyone has noticed.

The amount of drama on my “professional” Facebook is staggering. Finding your perfect circle of five thousand friends has turned out to be more difficult than the “culling” I’ve done in real life. I’ve noticed though, it’s difficult to get people to talk to you without the drama. I’ve fallen trap to it, even though I spent so long avoiding it. I go through my feed every day, deleting those that only stir it up, but tomorrow I will wake up to more. Where all the funny and cute memes used to be, now have personal arguments and accusations in their place.

I get the point of Facebook. There is no limit to your posts so that you can get to know people. Bad things happen in everyone’s life and I don’t mind the occasional post. I usually just post the “sad face” emoji and keep scrolling. When it looks like someone is being bullied, just like in real life: I want the bully gone. This is especially true if the bully is targeting a friend that doesn’t deserve it. I’m used to drama in real life, actually, because there has to be a reason all of our paid programming is based on it. I actually didn’t even notice it for the first few months. For the first few months, though, I only had a couple hundred friends: the same amount as I have on my personal profile. It’s not that the people I went to high school with don’t fight back and forth from time-to-time. I just have learned to block it out.

I’m not sure why I thought that being an author could just be about writing, sharing your stories (poetry, in my case), and reading each others’ books. I will always write, and I plan to self-publish all my work eventually. As the drama clouds my news feed, I have no chosen to ignore it, all of it again. It’s time-consuming to get wrapped up in something you weren’t actually a part of. Unless I interact with a certain person often, any sort of drama won’t even get a reaction anymore. When I started a year ago, I just wanted a feed that was full of poetry, music, video games, and art. I don’t tell people every time I have to delete them, but the rant has been inside me for a long time. I don’t get too many messages, but when I do they’re usually from men that think Facebook is a dating website. They usually get no response, unless they are especially rude.

I have had a few over the last year that want to “save” me, swap free (stolen) books, or peddle diet supplements. In real life, I don’t care what strangers think about me. Even though these people, my friends and social media followers are the people I’ve chosen to share my art with. After watching how people treat each other some days, Facebook quickly changed from my favorite place to chat with friends to a shark pit that’s not that much different than Wall Street. People scream at each other without listening to anyone else’s words. People read headlines and never open the article before posting their opinion. Their opinion, by the way, usually agrees with the article, they just couldn’t waste the time to read it. Authors tear down other authors because they don’t agree with their genre.

I think I’m finally getting closer to the friends list that works for me. It’s different for everyone, but there are some people that I literally cannot be friends with until elections are over. If their opinion is strong or extreme enough, we’re not fit to be friends ever. I don’t want bullies in my circle, but that’s what happens when you blindly accept people into your life. I’m someone who asks questions because I like to grasp the situation. I ask a lot of questions in general because I like to get to know people and understand different cultures. There is hope, and I’ve found some friends that answer them and even ask some of their own. For awhile, though, I was afraid that the art of conversation had been lost…

If I have to, I’ll just scale back to the two or three hundred friends that rock and we can live in our bubble of positive vibes and constructive criticism. I don’t mind being told that there is something wrong with my work as long as there’s actual assistance mixed in with the name calling. In real life, it’s easy to tell when my best friend is kidding as he calls me a dirty name. This is how we interact with each other. At the same time, we can tell when the other is serious. Social media does not allow for this change in tone. For that reason, everyone sounds sarcastic to everyone else. In my next round of communicating with the book world, I’m going with the approach that we’re all getting along, until we’re not. It’s not because I can’t see what’s going on, but that I don’t want to be a part of the drama. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to be a friend.

When We Fight for Human Rights…

Fighting for our rights as human is a struggle that is as old as humanity. We consider ourselves to be civilized and evolved, but even now we face crimes against humanity. In your mother or father’s lifetime they knew someone who was bullied by society because they mixed races when they married. We debated in congress then what was right or wrong regarding the matter. You might think that the answer is simple: anyone can marry anyone as long as both parties of the marriage are consensual to the terms. I include everyone in this. In cases of incest, it has been proven that children are no more likely to develop deformities as long as the incest doesn’t continue through multiple generations. It’s actually more likely that my next child will have a syndrome or autism of some sort than an incest baby being born with thirteen toes or severe disabilities. If the marriage is consensual, generational incest would not actually be a problem. Therefore, if a woman loves her father and WANTS to marry him, they should be able to be legally wed as long as their parents were not relatives. My feelings on the idea of incest aside, this is what human rights means to me. They are taking no greater KNOWN RISK for the offspring they produce, and it’s not up to us to judge the “right” or “wrong” in their love as long as it’s a healthy environment that does not REQUIRE relatives to wed. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Does a person have the right to get an abortion? This one is trickier than letting relatives or the LGBT community receive a marriage licence. As a whole, humanity cannot decide when life starts or if we have the right to terminate it. In answering this question, we must be very objective. What is the human right in this topic? How many women are collectively aborting their babies by choice, instead of medical necessity? There are people out there that believe it’s “right” to die before snuffing the life out of a child that may be saved with just a little bit of “incubation” womb time. We aren’t arguing right or wrong, though, we want to know if a person has the right to terminate a pregnancy that is definitely going to terminate the mother. We don’t know her circumstances, except that the child WILL kill her, or even that the child WILL die painfully during or shortly after birth. Many states, maybe even most of them, have put these cases in the  “legal” category. Since we have not decided when exactly life begins, we cannot mark it as a violent crime to terminate a pregnancy. Is it right to kill a fetus that can survive outside its mothers womb? Most of us would say no, and the laws basically reflect this in America. Still, a hard-core pro-choicer will tell you that it’s YOUR body, even if the baby is almost ready to be born. If the life of the mother and/or the baby are in jeopardy, most will tell you that it’s “okay” even if they can’t stand the procedure. For the women out there that want to terminate a 7-9 month pregnancy with no medical reason, you are selfish and should have to live with the scars of a c-section and the baby you hand over to the hospital will surely be adopted. Many couples want babies, and babies are harder to find than older children. Do not snuff that life (it IS a life by 7 months, with a chance of life on the outside) because you don’t want the scars or extra recovery time it takes to put it up for a proper adoption. As soon as medicine decides they can keep that baby alive without disabilities, it becomes a life that has an undeniable chance at life. I personally believe that children with disabilities that others view as “not worth living through” are blessings, but then the question comes about: Is it right to keep the child alive knowing it would never be able to care of him or herself? I believe that eventually abortion will be localized to the first trimester as medicine advances. Medically speaking if you make it to your fourth month of pregnancy, you should feel movement by then so that is where I will draw the line, I guess. (Despite my feelings that abortion is “right” for several different reasons, most of which I’ll leave to mystery for now.) Keep in mind with abortion that you have the right to leave the baby at the hospital once you push him or her out of your body. It’s a decision, yes, but it’s not something that yo can get arrested for as far as I know. Being able to care for a baby is not something that everyone can do, but pushing one out is something that most women are capable of, and if you’ve made it to the third trimester and do lose the baby that you wanted so bad, I hope for you to heal from that; it must be the worst pain in the world. To the hard-core pro-lifer out there, most third-term abortions anywhere are not on unwanted pregnancies. She may have cared for that baby for six months to find out that they will never move their limbs due to a rare disease and will have a lifespan of only weeks. Abortion seems, to me, to be the more human option in these cases, and these women should not be judged by others that have not been through a situation like that.

While we’re on human rights, should the government be able to MANDATE the vaccination schedule? By mandate, I mean if you are not up-to-date on your vaccinations, you will be arrested, quarantined, or forcefully inoculated. Force does not have to be physical, they can be in the form of arrest, quarantine, or even a trip to the asylum. The human rights question? Should we be forced to put chemicals into our body? With any other chemical, most people would say no. With vaccinations, it gets to be a touchier issue. We all want to be healthy, but there are those (probably well withing 1% of Americans) that believe natural immunity is a better way. Even a naturalist might get inoculated before travelling overseas, though. There are so many diseases and vaccinations that it could make your head spin, and they want to give them all to your baby who won’t retain any of the immunity until they reach 4-6 months. My personal feelings aside, should certain vaccines that are known to be an eradication tool be forced on all members of the public. Should I feel like I have to inoculate my child with every vaccine on the schedule, despite my beliefs (religious or personal)? If something goes wrong, will the pharmaceutical company own up to it or be afraid to tell the truth because of the law that was forced on everyone? The law doesn’t exist yet, but enough Americans want to make one that it becomes scary to others. Some people believe that there is a certain number of shots in each bunch that will give you the disease ten-fold because it reacted poorly with you in particular. A side effect like that could be but one in a million, but what about that one if he would have had the choice to not take the shot and others blindly followed anyways. The same companies that make vaccines make all those medications people sue over, so should we really give “Big Pharma” all that control? For the pro-choice abortion people out there that want this bill written and passed into law, does it make sense to you that you so quickly want to make others do something to their body that they are uncomfortable with? If human rights wins, the answer will be no to laws that dictate when and how often we get inoculated. (Despite my feelings that vaccines have kept diseases dead for many many years now. Or was it natural immunity that abolished it? No one likes to believe that doctors would misuse this power in America but the fact is that the Nazis did just that, and here in America we probably have too somewhere between the lines of history.

One more human rights question for the day, and I’ll leave it open, with minimal explanation. Does a person (adult) have the right to smoke marijuana. Now that we have 24 states that have legalized marijuana for either medicinal or recreational purposes. The federal government has decided to decriminalize the sale and purchase of marijuana, so it’s up to the state to decide what your punishment will be if they don’t allow it. We have the right to smoke cigarettes, and they are severely harmful to our health, so if you have the argument that it should be re-criminalized, do you also feel that cigarettes and alcohol should be criminalized as well? Why or why not?

I find myself saying often: I don’t agree with that, but I can see how it would be considered a human right. Let’s have some real fun and tell me what that sentence makes you think of. Fill in the blank.

The Crusades Rage On…

Before Christianity was even a recognized faith, there have been wars to prove their stance on God and the afterlife. During my short time here on Earth, I have seen much hate go on between Christians and Muslims. During biblical times, Christians were violent towards other religions. The Jewish people are to blame for the death of Christ himself, but many Christians like to ignore the violence in their own religion. Don’t get me wrong, a Muslim will tell you they’re also a peaceful religion as bombs are detonated with their hands all over television. There is hate that comes from “them” to “us” as well.

As far as my own religion goes, I’m sure that I could use more practice… But why do we have to “practice” being kind to each other? I have a hard time with Christianity and I always have. This isn’t due to the fact that I don’t believe in the ideals of Christianity, though. It mainly stems from the hypocrisy of it all; and translation.

Translation is what I focused on as a child. If you buy a book that was translated to English, people would act like it didn’t say the same message as the original foreign copy. This shouldn’t be true, but it’s bound to hold some fact.

I believe in The 10 Commandments, and do try to model my life off of them, but this alone does not make me a Christian. A Christian believes that only Christians will be welcomed by Christ into heaven when they die, and I used to cry for the souls that would be lost to the other half of the world. Yes, I said HALF of the world does not practice Christianity. Still, Muslims only hold a fraction of the pie themselves and believe in somewhat the same ideals for their own people. I have individuals in my life that aren’t bad people tell me that the Koran speaks only violence and though I have no read the book myself, I find this hard to believe. Is there no violence in Christianity? Of course there is! They don’t call it “fire and brimstone” for no reason, after all. I want an objective view on this, because anytime I search for information on one particular religion, I find hate from the others. I realize this holds only a fraction of believers out there, but it seems that no one can stand each other when we’re all trying to get the same place. It’s hard to explore religious culture, because it can actually become dangerous.

Statistically speaking, Muslim men do not respect women, and I’m with you on this. In my experience, I can enjoy a woman one minute and not understand how she married the man she’s with the next. Let’s talk about respect, though. Do Christian men respect their women, as a whole? They like to think they do because we’re allowed to show our face without being called a whore, but if you take a look at the Duggar family Christianity can show another picture. The mother in “19 Kids and Counting” believed she HAD to have all those children. Despite the physical exhaustion she must have felt when the bulk of them were young, it had to have had an effect on her health. They seemed like the perfect Christian family for so long, until… BAM! Just like a traumatic read, it became clear that not everything was holy there. That’s just an eccentric example, you may say. SO IS A MUSLIM BOMBER! There are extremes to any religion, and these extremes are dangerous to not only our very lives, but our simple freedoms as well.

What if we’re all wrong? We’re here on Earth to learn a lesson, and no one is disputing that. (Except Atheists, who are the least violent of the bunch, from what I’ve seen.) We base our entire lives around that very knowledge that Christians believe is the reason for our death. Adam and Eve ate from the tree just as we are becoming fuller with the knowledge it produces.

What if each religion has its own universe containing its own heaven and hell? (Or even just a heaven, though I haven’t heard of this in any mainstream religion.) Earth would be a crossroads of sorts if this were to be true. We’d be in a state of cycling back to our true universe, Euphoria if you will. According to science (yet another religion), there is a possibility that parallel universes exist, but it could go even farther than that. All of our Gods exist, and the ones that go to hell are the ones that defied their own faith. If you know that killing is going to get you a ticket to hell, and end up fighting in the army and taking lives you would go to hell if you don’t make that right with your maker. Even though you followed “the rules of the land”, you in your heart may feel troubled by this and ask your God for forgiveness. God may forgive you, but you have to ask. Then again… if your religion dictates that you must sacrifice a human to God in your lifetime and you can’t bring yourself to take that life, then this may be what you have to ask forgiveness for. What if we all came to Earth as a test of our own individual faith and if we convert to another we take the risk of ending up in a universe that is foreign to our very soul. We would get spit back to Earth again and again until we found our way home.

Have you ever heard the phrase “One person’s garbage is another’s treasure?” It’s kind of like that. Death is tragic regardless of how it happens. It does happen no matter what you believe, though, so why spend your entire life making others feel crappy about what they believe if they aren’t the Muslim that wore the bomb or the Christian that molested his sister? Satanists don’t all sacrifice human blood, either, and they’re only Satanists for lack of a better term, in my opinion. Christians see them as the works of the Satan depicted in The Holy Bible, as do many other religions that use Christians as a basis for their comparison.

What do I believe, you wonder? I believe in love. No, it’s not it’s own religion, but it’s what I have faith it. Love can cure all the hate in the world if we let it, but we have to ask. To me, HATING someone is just as bad as killing them. It’s basically saying that their life means nothing to you. This is not to say that I don’t hate anyone, because I do. I’m just saying that it’s a feeling I pray that I move on from one day because hate is a waste of my time when I could be experiencing love instead. Instead of ensuring that our religion is the right religion, we could just focus on loving ourselves and the God that we try to honor. We could love the ones around us, and become enamored with the differences in our cultures. Our contrasts can be beautiful when we strip away the hate we have for each other. I can’t bring myself to believe that any God would want us to take the lives of each other in their name. Judgments do not come from me, until I see disrespect for another’s choice in religion or lifestyle. Judgement is Hate’s ugly brother, and I try to stay away from it but we all fall victim at times and can’t help it. It’s what makes us human.

Humanity isn’t perfect, and I don’t expect it to be. The hope that there is Euphoria at the end of the tunnel we call life is what I hold onto, and I don’t care who think’s I’m “unbalanced” because of my faith in love. If we’re all calling each other names anyways, I’d rather have something that feels right to me and not something that you told me I need to believe to avoid a horrific afterlife. Stop with the threats, because you weren’t there when God (whoever he/she/it is) wrote down the rules for life. No one was, and that’s why it remains a debate today. If it was clear, we wouldn’t still be fighting about it 2,000 years or more later.

I believe in reincarnation as well, or I would like to. I would like to believe that all the people in my life right now will be there in my afterlife as well, because I love them. If we all belong to a separate universe where religions rule, then I guess it is unlikely that I will find these souls in another lifetime.

Maybe it’s too late (or early, depending on how you look at it) for this post, because I feel like I’ve went in a big circle. Isn’t that what the religious debates sound like anyways, though?

What would happen if we only supported content we enjoyed?

We’re probably all guilty of this: you see a topic in your feed that you disagree with and click on it for that reason only. When You get to the comments, you find a conversation to be a part of and take your stance. Did you know that all you’ve done is supported the opinions of an author you despise?

Anytime you click on that article, you have the author your “view”, meaning you looked at their work. This in itself is not the support I’m talking about. If you choose to be a part of a debate taking place below, you are raising their visibility rating for search engines, as every comment you leave puts them at the top of a feed and eventually at the top of a search result.

People that know this still do it, so I’m left wondering why? Why attract more people to something you don’t agree with. And why waste your time with causes that aren’t your own?

Do yourself a favor and the author a disservice. If you don’t like what they had to say, leave and write an opposition peace. You can literally transfer their readers to your article until people realize they’re actually making your name more known.

Personally, as a writer, I don’t have time to argue with people online. My opinion won’t change, and I assume yours went either.

Maybe we would just be divided father away from each other, but maybe we would be left with more peaceful debates. I’ve seen some pretty hateful comments out there directed at the author but know that the more people you make angry, the more people they get to reach just because you were there.

Food for thought.

When we use the word archaic…

I’ve done it. We refer to the past as barbaric or archaic when what we’re describing is a present predicament. We have been discussing and no doubt arguing all present matters dating back to the beginning of time. In my writing, I have actually had to avoid such phrasing because it is so large a part of my every day vocabulary. Archaic would be buying people like cattle. Barbaric would be stoning a criminal at town hall for a nonviolent crime. These things do still happen in parts of the world today, but are not part of our world as Americans. When we use such language to describe circumcision, abortion, or any other major debate, we stay in the past because we cannot distinguish past from present issues in our country. Keep in mind that what is archaic to us may be common in a third world country, so if you write globally these terms need to be used in a goal-setting manner. If you believe that circumcision should be a thing of the past, the correct phrasing would be “our children’s children will one day see circumcision of so-called civilization as an archaic and cruel tradition.” NOT “Circumcision is an archaic ritual that needs to be abolished.” The second phase implies that mothers are abusing their children and the first sets a goal to break the cycle of a procedure we have been told is safe and in many cases recommend or discussed during pregnancy. Maybe it is unnecessary, but without the right wording, an audience can be lost because you unknowingly offended them. Someone that is on the fence with a serious issue can become defensive because they asked a question and were called names when receiving their answer.

The Fight to get Married Continues…

I’ll never understand the need to be married by someone that believes in their heart that your marriage is unholy. For this reason alone, I don’t believe that churches should be forced to marry homosexual couples. As an LGBT supporter that sounds strange coming from my mouth, but I see it as an issue that shouldn’t be an issue. LGBT Christians, for now, are a small part of the Christian community as well as other religions. There are ministers out there that are willing to marry a homosexual couple, but they’re rare from the sound of it.

That being said, since there is the separation of church and state, marriage was legalized country-wide and I couldn’t be more thrilled. State employees are obligated to grant a license to eligible couples wanting to wed. Being gay no longer qualifies as a disqualification and these employees need to get over that. They can always go live with the church or work for one doing paperwork. This is fair. The church that the employee leaves for can still say no to the ceremony.

Catholics have been denying marriages for years due to a past divorce of one party in the marriage. You can be a member of the church but they will not bless your wedding. It sucks, but that’s the way it is. Churches are one of the only things that can discriminate, and it’s not just homosexuality that they oppose. It’s also not just Christian churches, though I haven’t made a list yet…

It’s not fair that you couldn’t book that beautiful church, but your marriage means so much more than the church you get married in. It is the devotion you put into it. If you believe that God loves you then he has already blessed the ceremony you choose to have. It’s not your fault the human race hasn’t evolved enough to know that everyone has their own relationship with God and that that relationship is between you and him and he will forgive you for not being able to find a church to stand under.

Be strong and hope for evolution. Hope that the LGBT community opens more houses of worship that will make you all feel loved by God instead of persecuted by his followers. Open churches and attend, and make a better future for the next generation.

Caitlyn Jenner is not The Hero or Woman of the Year

I will start this post by saying that I am in full support of gay and transgender rights. I myself am a woman married to a man, but that’s my lifestyle, and it’s no more your business than your lifestyle is my business. Also, an episode of South Park did spark these thoughts, but I’m going to tell you why she’s not a hero, not to women and certainly not those of us that were born with male genitalia. These are my thoughts, and have nothing to do with the “PC principal” episodes on South Park. I do find them insightful though…

I was there for the first transgender of my high school. That’s not to say “he” was the first person in even the U.S. to have this procedure performed, but he was the first I had come in contact with when first entering high school. His decision affected a family member that was in my class as well as, I’m sure, the rest of his family.

If the committee that even put Caitlin Jenner on the list of candidates even cared about transgender equality, why wouldn’t they find the first successful and beautiful transgender story they could find. Caitlyn was too easy.
I’m not a Glamour fan, I’ve always read Cosmo. This is why. I want the good story, not the easy one. That’s the difference in the people that write and the famous people that write, right? Maybe Cosmo wouldn’t have looked for her either, but I bet that the first obtainable success story in transgender history is more of a woman than Caitlyn will ever be.

It’s not a matter of hate for the community to me. It’s the lack of originality from a company that has almost unlimited resources and reach not reaching for a hero. Just because Caitlyn and her family are in the public eye doesn’t mean it was harder for her than anyone ten or twenty years into their transition. At least when she came out to the world it didn’t affect her actual livelihood as it would for a 35 year old that got her surgery in 2001. She had her money, and I’m sure by then she had people in her corner. When I joined the gay/straight alliance in high school, there were six of us and I was the only straight in the alliance. Even though I was “outnumbered”, I showed to show my support for a friend. I want to celebrate the strides the LGBT community has made in regards to their rights, but Caitlyn as a celebration made me sad for the friends I made in those first meetings that eventually had to exclude “straights” due to other people’s intolerance. Now, I fit into the community that I’m in, just as I always have. I say this to my transgender friends… Don’t take Caitlyn as a win, demand the history of your people before it’s lost. Caitlyn won that day, equality didn’t. As far as her transition goes, others have killed themselves waiting to have the operation. Many others. It’s a spit in the face to her own gender (in two directions) that she would even be thought of.

I’m not sure what the criteria are for Glamour’s Woman of the Year. What did Caitlyn Jenner do that year to deserve it at all though, outside of her surgery? So if Glamour wanted to showcase that to women as an accomplishment, why not show a regular woman “Glamourized” that went through the procedure and came out the other end?

Marriage equality across our free country is a win. One of those wins that will need to be worked on, but a win just the same. Don’t forget to celebrate yourself, not matter your gender.