Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Roy Moore's Victor--No Wait! Concession Speech Playlist

Stoned Willy reportin live from Twitter. Whattup.

Now yall know me as tha Houndiest of Poonhounds, but ya also know I only get down wit my dime-pieces after Extreme Consent is established. Contracts n cameras gotta be involved. Acceptable positions gotta be determined. Anyways.

Alabama Good Ole Boy Roy Moore Disgustin By Tha Day might become a US Senator. (EDIT: He didnt!)From a state known fer bangin cousins, even this is a bit much.

But it's 2017 bitchez! Anythin fuckin goes! He'll probly win! If he does, I got a few suggestions for tha victory song  concession speech music. I bet Ol Roy has a favorite or two on this list that he can choose from.

The Police: Every Breath You Take

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I'll be watching you

Oh can't you see
You belong to me
I'll be watching you.
I'll be watching you.
I'll be watching you.


How'd we let Sting become a sex symbol after this song? He shoulda been on a registry. As for Ol Boy Toy Roy Boy, he aint really known for stalkin specific young girls, he's more inta stalkin all tha girls. Especially at the mall. Roy's a Mall Rat. Or a Mall Weasel. A Mall Vulture.

Ironically, fer years, tha police were watchin evry move Roy made.


The Temptations: Running Away (Ain't Gonna Help You)
Running away sure ain't gonna help you
I'm gonna get you girl I'm gonna get now
Running away sure ain't gonna help you
I'm gonna get you girl

Could it be, could it be
That you're afraid of me?
If so I never recall giving you a reason
You know how much I love you


Uh, Mr Ruffin, ya don't recall givin her a reason ta be afraid? Ya don't remember two sentences ago, where ya said "running away ain't gonna help you, I'm gonna get you now"? Chill, man.

Roy Moore's victims never had reason ta be afraid. He was tha Assistant District Attorney! He was a well respected adult! N jus like Roy told 'em, if they got afraid n told someone, nobody would believe 'em anyway! So dont run away little girls, Roy Boy will take care a ya!


The Beatles: Run for Your Life


Well I'd rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or I won't know where I am

You better run for your life if you can, little girl
Hide your head in the sand little girl
Catch you with another man
That's the end ah little girl
Let this be a sermon
I mean everything I've said
Baby, I'm determined
And I'd rather see you dead

Damn! I knew John's "peace lovin hippy" image was mostly a crock a shit he used ta help sell enough records fer him n Paul to buy more pools, but man, I had no idea tha Beatles were so fuckin hard core. John musta written this before beatin tha shit outta a girlfriend or wife.

This was George Harrison's favorite song on Rubber Soul. He probly wished he could say all this ta his ex-wife as she was bangin Eric Clapton. Jus a lotta shit happenin here.

I bet Ol Roy's got a soft spot fer this song. He's not an alleged abuser, but he yearns fer tha days when women knew their place n didnt try ta do things like speak up about sexual assault or vote. Who needs tha 19th Amendment!


The Crystals: He Hit Me
He hit me
And it felt like a kiss
He hit me
But it didn't hurt me
He couldn't stand to hear me say
That I'd been with someone new,
And when I told him I had been untrue
He hit me
And it felt like a kiss
He hit me
And I knew he loved me

This was produced by Phil Spector. Ya know, tha guy who murdered his wife n looked like an even more coked out Kleinfeld in Carlito's Way.




This song's like a transcript of an abusive asshole's fantasy. A beaten, broken woman so brainwashed n tortured that she loves him fer his abuse.

Again, Roy Moore aint an abuser. He doesnt beat women. He doesnt murder women. He molests little kids. Big difference. He hasn't killed anyone, so how bad could he be?


Ringo Starr: You're Sixteen


You're Sixteen, You're Beautiful And You're Mine


Ol Roy's team (it was a Breitbart News editor, but, come on, that's like tha Propaganda Machine fer tha Literal Worst People on Earth) actually tried ta use this song as an example to take heat off him. Like, a musician made a song talkin bout bein with a 16 year old, so Roy shouldnt be held accountable fer molesting 14-17 year olds while he was in his 30s!

These fuckin people are in positions a power. Let that sink in.

I'm not defendin Ringo. Maybe Ringo was young at the time, or maybe tha "character" he plays in tha song was young, but thas beside tha point. It's creepy ta fixate on tha age like he does, but it's not illegal in most states. Age a consent varies, but its usually 16. That's...kinda why it's so creepy tho. He's hyperfocused on tha age. Like, were you countin tha days til she became "legal"? Would 17 be considered an old maid, Ringo?

At least 16 is legal tho, unlike several of Roy Moore's accusers! A grown man with a 16 year old is kinda gross n morally questionable, but a grown man with a 14 year old is really gross, morally repugnant, n fuckin illegal!

Sidenote, did yall know that there were over 160,000 child brides in tha US between 2000-2010 alone? Its popular as hell! N not just in Alabama! Thas why Roy Boy still has a chance. Its not that his supporters dont believe tha stories. Some dont. But most jus dont give a fuck! Theyd give their own daughter ta Roy Boy as long as he bans abortion n kicks out "illegals" n sticks it ta tha libtards! The child bride situation works like this: An older man wants ta fuck a young girl. Usually this man is religious, most likely Evangelical. He knows its wrong in every way, so he asks permission from tha parents ta marry her, cuz marriage is a get outta jail free card. He explains that tha girl will be taken care of fer life, n so will they! Tha parents, usually religious themselves, usually Evangelical, will marry their child off ta this kind, respected adult. They dont gotta worry about her or pay fer her anymore, n they'll get several beautiful grandkids.

Aint love beautiful?


Boogie Down Productions: 13 and Good

I always thought this was a statement against pedophilia, so I wasn't sure Roy'd like it. But then I listened again. Holy shit.
Tha song ends with KRS One saying: The moral of this story? There is no moral... And thats 100% accurate.

For years, I considered this a cautionary tale about child predators. Or maybe it was about scheming girls. It turns out, it's just a confusing story that ends with rampant homophobia. Tha girl was pretendin ta be older, tha guy finds out n kinda doesnt care, then she calls her dad ta come get her. Tha dad shows up n says tha older guy, KRS, can bang his daughter, with a catch. KRS has ta let tha dad bang him. So KRS gets his gun.

Ohhhh. Kayyyy.

As KRS says, there is no moral, n there is no point. Except maybe that crazy shit happens?

N with Roy Moore, crazy shit is gonna happen bitchez! Maybe he'll outlaw homosexuality! Maybe he'll bring back slavery! There's no tellin what awful shit Ol Roy is gonna do!


Gary Puckett and the Union Gap: Young Girl Stay Outta My Heart

Young girl, get out of my mind
My love for you is way out of line
Better run, girl
You're much too young, girl

Beneath your perfume and make-up
You're just a baby in disguise
And though you know
That it's wrong to be
Alone with me
That come on look is in your eyes


Gary at least knows his behavior is wrong. N he tells her ta get away n run home ta momma. He's no Roy Moore, thas fer sure. Roy Moore would never admit that hes wrong, n Roy Moore would never send a girl away fer being too young.


Benny Mardones: Into the Night

She's just sixteen years old
Leave her alone, they say
Separated by fools
Who don't know what love is yet
But I want you to know
If I could fly
I'd pick you up
I'd take you into the night
And show you a love
Like you've never seen - ever seen.


Even tha imaginary people in tha song are tellin this guy ta leave her alone! It's kinda like all those people who worked with Roy Moore n all tha police in his town. "Leave those girls alone Roy!" they'd say. But he wouldn't! Not Ol Roy! He persists!


ZZ Top: Francine

If I ever caught her with Stevie P
I'd throw her back in the Penitentiary, now
And if I caught her with my mother's son
I'll call her daddy and get my gun

My Francine just turned thirteen
She's my angelic teenage queen
And I love her, she's all that I want
And I need her, she's all that I need


Holy shit! These are tha "She got legs" guys right? Sharp dressed men with tha long beards? Damn, even Roy Moore wouldn't obsess over a 13 year old. He'd wait a year.


The Crests: Sixteen Candles

You're only sixteen but you're my teenage queen
Oh, you're the prettiest, the loveliest girl I've ever seen

This creepy obsession with 16 year olds has a long history. N what is it with "teenage queen"? Why do grown ass men keep usin that as a term a endearment?

This song probably won't work fer Roy though. 16 is elderly ta him.


Neil Sadaka: Happy Birthday Sweet 16
This is probably more appropriate for Woody Allen, but I think Roy might like it, too.

Tonight's the night I've waited for
Because you're not a baby anymore
You've turned into the prettiest girl I've ever seen
Happy birthday, sweet sixteen

What happened to that funny face
My little tomboy now wears satins and lace
I can't believe my eyes you're just a teenage dream
Happy birthday, sweet sixteen

When you were only six, I was your big brother
Then when you were ten, we didn't like each other
When you were thirteen, you were my funny valentine
But since you've grown up, your future is sewn up
From now on you're gonna be mine, so

If I should smile with sweet surprise
It's just that you've grown up before my very eyes
You've turned into the prettiest girl I've ever seen
Happy birthday, sweet sixteen 


This dudes been scopin this chick out since she was 6 years old!! That's dedication, n hopefully, isolation in a detention center fer a long time. Take Ol Roy with ya n ya can share stories about dealin with pryin parents.


All a tha songs here were from long ago, but that doesn't mean this problem is in tha past. In 1987, Bell Biv Devoe was talkin bout

Backstage, underage, adolescent
How ya doin', fine, she replied
I sighed, I like to do the wild thing
Action took place
Kinda wet


Then there's Tyga, who started datin Kylie Jenner when she was 16 n he was 25. In 2016 he told us

They say she young, I should've waited
She a big girl, dog when she stimulated


That's fuckin gross. Then Kanye West praised Tyga for "gettin in early" which is even grosser. 

There's this idea of purity (I got her first!) mixed with tha thrill of toein tha line of legality. This fixation on young girls is a pervasive, n perverted, aspect a our society. That's not excusin it, but it aint uncommon. Roy Boy jus takes it a step further, n younger, n he acts on it. N he was a District Attorney. N he might be a US Senator. Fuck.

Most a tha guys in tha songs above acknowledged that what they were doin was wrong. This idea that it was accepted back in tha day is bullshit. It was just as wrong back then, women jus didnt have tha voice that they do now. N there was no support fer survivors. Now, tha momentum has shifted against abusers n harassers.

We're goin thru a moment of reckonin. We gotta reckon with our culture as a whole n that starts by not lettin creepy child molester fucks in positions a power, where they can make laws fer tha whole country.

Reckonin with tha Roy Moores n Matt Lauers n Bill Cosbys n Bill Clintons n Donald Trumps is ta reckon with common behaviors in our society n throughout history. We recognize this shit as wrong when someone we dont like does it, but we gotta call it out when anybody does it. Even people ya love.

Ya broke my heart, Kev.

We gotta call it out when it happens (easier said than done i know, especially when its yer boss or a district attorney). N we gotta support tha victims when they come out, instead of callin em all liars n threatenin em.

Or, we can embrace tha depravity n say fuck everythin (n anybody). Your choice Alabama! 

EDIT: Ya did good, Bama! Ya jus barely didnt vote in a child molester. Yay.

Spread World Peace...Stop Wylin, Perverts

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Politics is Personal


The other day I hung out with my friend, a refugee from the Congo. I don't mean to sum up his entire identity as "refugee" but I was advised not to use his real name or post pictures of him for his safety. Sadly, I don't know if it's to protect him from people back home or from people here

My friend is a refugee because his whole family and the majority of his village were brutally murdered in the Republic of the Congo, during either the first or second Civil War in the late 90s. He escaped to Tanzania where he lived in a refugee camp. After many years, his mentor, a pastor at the camp, was going to sponsor him and pay his way to University. When it was approaching the date to go, the pastor was brutally murdered. 

Finally, after 20 years in a refugee camp, which is not an ideal place to live for a week, let alone 20 years, he met with an organization that helped refugees come to America. They would only talk to people who had lived in the camp (with a spotless record) for more than 10 years. 

Following a 2 year immigration process, with extreme vetting (no matter what some people want you to believe) he arrived in Connecticut in 2016. He lives in an apartment complex with another refugee, an older man from a different African country in turmoil. My friend speaks Swahili, French, and passable English. He works full time at a bakery. He reads the Bible. He is signed up for classes at Gateway Community College. He recently passed his driver's license test. He wants to help other refugees settle in America once he gets his degree. He asks about my family whenever I see him.

The son of our President compared him to a poisonous Skittle.


Our President tried to ban all refugees from America. That ban was determined to be unconstitutional, so now he's drastically limiting the number of refugees we take in and banning immigrants from 7 countries. He has lifted the refugee ban in theory, but in practice he has effectively banned all refugees from 11 (mostly Muslim) countries and made it even more insanely difficult for refugees to come here

Sadly, the opposition to refugees is only getting stronger. It doesn't matter if they're from Muslim countries or Latin America; Americans don't want to help black and brown people in need. Trump ended a program that specifically helps Central American child refugees fleeing from violence. Did anyone even hear about that? No, because nobody gives a shit.

There's a lot of talk about "getting outside your bubble" and engaging with people on the other side of the political spectrum. Weird how that usually only goes one way though. "Liberals" have to engage with racist Trump supporters. How many Trump supporters have even met a refugee? There's a reason support for them is low: most people have never actually met one.

It disgusts me that our country is denying refugees (in particular from countries where we have caused much of the destruction and chaos) and demonizing immigrants. I'm not surprised, though. It's not the first time our country has accused refugees of being secretly villainous.



I'm not religious myself, but I know all religions have commandments or guidelines about helping immigrants and refugees. It doesn't shock me that many religious folk pick and choose what they believe within their own religion's teachings, but the hypocrisy is striking.


From Leviticus.



Where is the morality? Where is the compassion? 

There's also the problem of horrible foreign policy. Denying refugees isn't helping to keep us safe or win the War on Terror. Unless, of course, the goal is to extend the war infinitely, which...is probably the goal.




I've talked before about how our politics help define us and that it makes perfect sense to judge someone based on their political viewpoints. When people say things like "we shouldn't let politics divide us," it's never really clear what they mean. It mostly boils down to a misunderstanding or a misuse of the term "politics." Politics isn't some abstract notion, and it doesn't just refer to electoral campaigns or politicians; "politics" is a blanket term used to describe important issues that affect real people. Paying attention to government policies is overwhelming and frustrating and tedious, but when people don't pay attention, we end up with worse health care, higher taxes, lower wages, a polluted environment, and endless wars.

You care about your healthcare and your money right? Well, guess what? You care about politics! You care about being able to drive over a bridge safely and having access to the internet. You care about politics!

Education. Health care. Jobs. These are basic aspects of politics. Gun control, immigration, even gerrymandering. They affect us all to some degree.

A policy that limits the number of refugees isn't "just politics," it's a policy that will affect my friend and people like him. Not to mention, it's simply bad policy based on a false premise.


BREAKING:

319 days later:
Refugees:
•0 Attacks
•0 Deaths
•4 Travel Bans

Americans:
•56,863 Shootings
•14,335 Deaths
•326 Mass Shootings
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) December 4, 2017


Our politics is an extension of our personality, our concerns, our beliefs. If someone has conservative beliefs, such as there should be less government regulation on corporations, I'm not going to dismiss them as a person. I can and do have conservative friends. However, if someone feels that immigrants and the poor are less deserving of respect and care than rich white folks, or if they want to ban all refugees, or if they think all Muslims are murderers, that's not "just politics." That's a fundamentally different way of approaching life and looking at the world. 

This text image sums up my sentiments:


When people talk about refugees being dangerous, they're talking about this man and his family. They're talking about my friend. I take it personal. 



I Love You All...Class Dismissed.

Friday, December 1, 2017

#ImNotRacist is Racial Unity Fantasy Porn


You might have seen this video floating around the web...



I'm not gonna even start on the visceral disgust I felt watching a fat wannabe Chuck Johnson MAGA moron mouthing the n-word and doing rap hands; let's focus on the content and the fact that this seems to be getting universal praise for its message.

So, what is the message?

The message is supposedly that we're just not listening to each other. We're not coming together to hear each other out on the important issue of race relations. If we did, we'd understand that our differences are just simple misunderstandings. Hug it out bitch!

I feel like I'm missing something when I see the praise for this video. It seems to me that people are just so thirsty for racial issues to go away that they'll applaud anything that remotely addresses the issue and proposes that deep-rooted, systemic white supremacy isn't a major issue that requires more than an argument and a hug to solve.

I think Joyner Lucas has a lot of skills as a rapper, but I think he missed the chance to truly say something meaningful. Here are some issues I have with the song and video.

1. The white guy is racist as hell.

2. The intent of the video is supposedly that we should listen to each other. But this guy is simply spitting out every well-worn stereotype about black people. There is nothing insightful here. We've all heard this bullshit before. Now it's just centered around Trump.

3. Maybe it's meant to be irony. There's a moment that almost has to be ironic. The white guy screams the n-word (with an "er"!!) and then immediately says "I'm not racist." That's funny, ironic, and true! There are definitely people who feel this way. But then the verse ends with a sincere, "But there's two sides to every story, I just wish I knew yours." That cancels any claims of irony, and reality, because no white guy with those beliefs wants to "understand" black people.

4. The hug at the end completely kills any chances that this was meant to be ironic. But it gave me a good laugh. Honestly, a hearty belly laugh. Not as hearty as that MAGA guy's belly, but pretty hearty.

5. The black guy doesn’t dispute the claims strongly enough.

Here's a section from the white guy's verse:

"I see a black man aimin' his gun
But I'd rather see a black man claimin' his son.
I work my ass off and I pay my taxes for what?
So you can keep livin' off free government assistance?
Food stamps for your children, but you're still tryna sell 'em
For some weed and some liquor or a fuckin' babysitter
While you party on the road 'cause you ain't got no fuckin' goals?
You already late
You motherfuckas needa get your damn priorities straight
Wait, it's like you're proud to be fake
But you lazy as fuck and you'd rather sell drugs
Than get a job and be straight, and then you turn around and complain
About the poverty rate?"

Wow. Ok. So here it all is. The typical racist belief that all black people are lazy, gun wielding, welfare recipient, drug addict deadbeat dads cheating the system, while white people work their asses off to support them. And Lucas barely refutes him! In the black guy's verse, he says the White Man is keeping black people down so that's why he sells drugs, and he doesn't pay taxes because he doesn't make money. Huh? If you're gonna give the first two minutes of the song to those bullshit ideas from the white guy, you have to dispute them much more forcefully than that. At least tell him that more white people are on welfare than any race. Tell him that black people and poor people pay taxes. Oh, and all black people aren't poor! And all people on welfare don't cheat the system! And fuck you MAGA dork! What the fuck Joyner?! 

5) The black guy actually says, "You don’t know about fried chicken and bar-b-q.” What? Did you see the white guy's gut? He knows about fried chicken and bar-b-q. 

6) But seriously, he makes some legit claims justifying black people's anger (which is a problem in and of itself; why are you accepting the premise that all black people are angry?) then he starts talking about black culture, which consists of fried chicken, loose change, 2 Chainz and...Kool Aid? Seriously? Ok. Then he yells at the white guy, "You don't know!" But what he just described as "black culture" is the exact thing a racist white guy would say! It just makes no sense. 

6. Jimbo would’ve shot Jamal when he flipped his MAGA hat. (Wait, am I racist for calling them those names?) And on a more fundamentally flawed level, Jimbo would never want to hear Jamal’s side, so the whole concept is flawed. He sure as hell wouldn't hug him.

7. That hug provided a damn good laugh, though. Damn good laugh.

8. At this point into the Trumponium Error, the bullshit idea that if we just hear the other side out we will all get along simply pisses me off. What black person hasn’t already heard all the racist shit the MAGA says? And do you think MAGA morons haven’t been told about systemic racism and white privilege? They have, they just don't believe in it!

9. The song, and the video especially, makes racism about "both sides." The two views expressed here are not equal and should not be treated as such. Racism is not about “both sides.” That’s literally a Trump line of logic. The fact that several Trump supporters attacked me on Twitter for criticizing it only proves my point.


Don't ask me to explain what is going on here. All I know is that this guy loved the video. 
Clearly I am right about this. 


There are definitely people of all ethnicities who enjoyed the video, but the only people who attacked me and told me I was "missing the point" were Trump supporters. Dudes with Pepe profiles love this video. One dude literally tweeted 5-6 times about how great the video was, right after he retweeted Ann Coulter shitting on immigrants. The video has basically given MAGA morons a pass for their horrible beliefs. They are literally posting #ImNotRacist while calling for a border wall and a Muslim ban. They want to be able to say all this racist shit with the assurance that they are not racist, and that's essentially what the video does. I hate to break it to you MAGA morons...you might not mean to be racist, but you are. 


Here is a typical MAGA moron's response to the video, along with his stance on sexual assault victims.
You don't want these guys as fans of your racially charged video.

10. People want a fairy tale world where all our differences can be solved with a hug. Well, we can't hug away racism. We've fought a war over it; we've had several social movements dedicated to stopping it; we've talked about it and written books about it and made Disney football movies starring Denzel Washington about it. Yet it still exists. I know Mr. Lucas isn't proclaiming to stop racism with this video, but the idea he puts forth here that both sides just need to hear each other out is naive. We, white people specifically, need to do a lot more work to dismantle individual and systemic racism.

11. The pseudo-intellectual statement at the end of the video reinforces the idea that this is all just a big misunderstanding (we're all just humans underneath it all, man!) and that's simply not helpful in any way.

12. Fuck Trump and his stupid red hat minions. Ain't no hugging up in here.

13. Watch Joyner Lucas's video for Ross Capicchioni or any other video. He is talented. This song and video miss the mark. When you have MAGA morons praising you, something has gone terribly wrong.

14. If you want to hear a great song about unifying the races, check out this classic:




I Love You All (Not You MAGA Morons, though)...Class Dismissed. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

5 More Activities That Shouldn't Exist in 2017

It's time again to look at popular activities that exist as anachronisms in a society that is finally beginning to confront the abhorrent behavior of its most powerful people. These are activities that can not and will not last in an era with access to the truth about their consequences. The list was going to simply be 5 different types of sexual assault,because apparently a whole lot of people need to learn what is and what is not acceptable, but I'll leave that discussion to HR and the court of public opinion. Let's look at some other activities that, while maybe not on the level of sexual assault, still have no place in an advanced society.

Football, Specifically the NFL

I haven't watched football at all this year. It's not because the Dolphins are garbage. It's definitely not because I oppose the players expressing their free speech and highlighting racial inequality. It's not the NFL's obsession with and glorification of the military or the fact that they serve as a propaganda tool. It's not because of the owners' bullshit showing of "unity" after Trump's comments attacking them despite the fact that most of them support him. It's not because of Papa fucking John. It's not because of their obvious blackballing of Colin Kaepernick. It's not because of their denial of CTE for years and their slow, almost non-existent approach to addressing concerns of CTE now. It's not because of their horrible policies in regards to domestic violence. It's not because players aren't guaranteed a contract if they get hurt. It's not because of how the owners treat taxpayers and cities as pawns in their efforts to build new stadiums and enrich themselves even further.  It's not because more and more youth players are getting seriously injured or dying. It's not because playing youth football guarantees later health problems.

Well, it's not any of those things individually. It's the combination. For the past few years, I've only watched RedZone because entire games are excruciating. I don't have RedZone anymore and I'm definitely not watching a long, boring game considering all the awful elements of the NFL one has to look past to enjoy it.

As a society, though, I just don't believe we will accept a sport that inflicts this level of long-term damage on its players. It makes too much money right now to really change, but that will only last for so long. When Bob Costas says the future of football is bleak, I tend to believe it.

Or not. I mean shit, we lose 30,000 people to gun violence every year and the gun lobby just gets stronger so what the hell do I know. Besides, Bob Costas's foresight might still be affected from that conjunctivitis.

Image result for bob costas conjunctivitis
Hard to see the future when you can barely see the teleprompter.


Carnivals

Has anyone over the age of 12 actually enjoyed a carnival? "Carnival" in Brazil, yes. Maybe even a Carnival cruise, when the toilets don't back up for 2 weeks. Otherwise, very doubtful. But much like Daylight Savings Time and pennies, carnivals are a relic of a foregone era that have somehow stuck around and convinced people they are part of the social fabric of America.

This one seriously mystifies me. Maybe people in towns that have carnivals are just absolutely, devastatingly bored out of their minds. And they don't have internet access. Or heroin. Nothing else explains the existence of carnivals in the age of Netflix and the Opiod Epidemic.

Or maybe everyone at carnivals is high out of their mind? That would actually explain a few things.

People can't be going for the rides. Even if they weren't rusty, dilapidated death traps, they still aren't fun. Maybe you'll find a Tilt-a-Whirl style ride that will at least evacuate all the greasy fried food you just ate, but that's the height of excitement.

Speaking of the dumpster remnants that they fry up and serve as exotic creations, I guess it's possible that some people enjoy the taste of fryer oil and despair, but the feeling that immediately follows has to make you question your life's decisions, no?

Maybe it's the rigged games that offer an opportunity to win dusty stuffed figures of children's movies from the mid 2000s. Maybe it's the knick-knacks that your great aunt Susan sells there every year. Yes, you could make gum wrapper earrings yourself, but at the carnival you get to spend $15 on a pair!

Plus, carnies! Everybody loves carnies, right?

Image result for simpsons carnies

Olympics

Ahhh, the Olympics. Every 4 years we come together as a nation and cheer on our most gifted athletes in the hopes they dominate the Russians in the javelin toss. It's a blast.

The Olympics are always presented as something more than just a collection of sports that for the most part nobody watches for 3 years and 11 months. It's about national pride! But how much pride can we take watching NBA players decimating the JV high school team of Kazakhstan? We already call our championship teams in our sporting events "World Champions," why do we even bother competing against countries that have fewer citizens than Delaware? Obviously our pool of athletes is better than most.

That "national pride" is how we convince athletes to throw their lives away to train for multiple decades just for the honor of competing for free. Sure, Michael Phelps is ballin'. Now. Sure, Simone Biles is the face of US Gymnastic and gets to meet her celebrity crushes and probably doesn't lack for sponsorship money (then again, she probably had to deal with predatory coaches and trainers). But those two athletes reached the pinnacle of their sport. They took home gold. What happens to the hundreds of athletes who don't medal? Even silver and bronze medalists are met with contempt for not coming in first. Unless they won a gold as well, they may as well have come in last in the eyes of corporate sponsors: "For every athlete that ends up on a cereal box, there are hundreds of others that do not get paid for their sport and have to struggle to make ends meet." Imagine being the 4th best in the entire world in any given sport and never receiving a dime for it or even a glowing profile in the paper.

So, good luck supporting your family while you train for 12 hours a day for 10 years in the hopes of maybe getting a sponsorship that can at least pay for your equipment and training.

Oh, but at least the city that hosts gets an economic boost that lasts for years and years and obviously I'm lying to you right now. Host cities for the Olympics end up in shambles. And it doesn't even take long. If they can even get the stadiums and everything prepared in time for the Olympics, they generally fall apart immediately after. Cities in solid economic shape before hosting tend to manage, but cities hoping to boost their economy end up further in the hole with unused facilities taking the place of historic sites or diverting major waterways that provide clean drinking water to entire countries.


Gender Reveal Parties

Through the miracle of social media, I have discovered the existence of "gender reveal parties." Not all knowledge is power.

What the hell are we doing here? Baby showers aren't enough, we need "gender reveal parties"? Is a woman's value inherently tied to her ability to pop out babies? Stationary companies certainly think so. Call me crazy, but maybe we don't need a party for everything. Or maybe we don't need to come up with all of these reasons to get together with friends and family and drink and eat cake. Just get together! I'll come over for a "listen to music/watch tv/sit by the fire and drink" party over a gender reveal party any day.

Unless you're coming out as trans, keep your damn gender reveal party. I'll support the hell out of your decision to live your truth, but when it comes to your baby, knock it the fuck off. These parties only confirm gender binarism and gender biases. But maybe you only believe biological sex matters and gender is not a different concept. You're wrong, and that's fine, but intersex humans exist. Like, that's not semantics or a liberal manifestation. Approximately .05% of all live births are intersex. That doesn't sound like a lot, but it equates to about 1 out of every 1500-2000 babies. Almost 4 million babies are born every year in the US alone. That's about 2,000 intersex babies every year. Surprise! Put those pink cigars away! Nope, put the blue ones down, too! Honestly what the hell are you doing smoking around a pregnant woman anyways?

It's bad enough that we conflate biology and gender, but we're seriously still equating "girl" with pink and "boy" with blue? Did Killa Cam really teach us nothing?

Image result for camron pink
Between this and his decimation of Bill O'Reilly, we really need to be listening to Cam'Ron more. 


Maybe one day we'll be as advanced as Germany when it comes to gender. Man, "progressive Germany" is still really weird to say.


Early Start Times for School

I can't remember the beginning of high school. I don't mean the first year. I mean, the beginning of every day for four years. I know I was in school, I just don't know what was happening before 10am. My first 2 classes were inevitably my worst grades. It was a full time job just getting out of bed.

It turns out that my struggle was not unusual and it wasn't simply because I'm not a "morning person." In fact, my brain simply could not function at the time it was asked to every day for 4 years. I have called high school torture since the first time I was forced to choke down cardboard cafeteria pizza, and it seems my hyperbole was a lot closer to reality than even I realized.

So why so early? Maybe it's so parents can get their kids to school before they go to work. What about after school? If the parents job starts after school starts, it undoubtedly ends after school ends. We have created a nation of exhausted latch-key kids.

Well maybe it's so they can play sports after school? Besides the fact that connecting athletics and academics is possibly not such a good idea in the first place, they could practice before school (hockey already does, and they'd be able to push practice back a little so parents don't have to wake up at 3am to take the kids to the rink). After school sports might be pushed back a little, but is that such a problem? What are we prioritizing? Athletics or academics? At the very least, isn't school supposed to make children better people? If they can't focus half the day, what are they learning?

I'd hope there was more reason for keeping early start times other than "it's tradition," but sadly, I know that has become the main reason we keep a lot of very stupid practices. And way too many people have the mentality of, "if I had to do it, they should have to as well." That is one of the most damaging mentalities when it comes to social progress. Forcing other people to go through the same torture you did doesn't benefit you in any way. Let the kids sleep!

I Love You All...Class Dismissed. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

My Uncle, The True American Hero

My uncle Jim died Sunday. He was 85. He lived a good life.

He was an FBI agent into his 50s, the oldest agent in the country when he retired. He served in the Air Force and Army. He was stationed in Korea and Germany and several other places. He fought in Vietnam in the late 1960’s, some of the worst years of the war.

He was also a husband, father of three, an uncle, a granddad and a great granddad. He was the real life version of the stereotypical perfect American military family man from the movies. He was the True American Hero.

For my childhood years, my uncle Jim and his wife Charlotte (my Dad's older sister) and their family lived right outside of DC. He worked with the FBI at the time. We’d visit semi-frequently and see all the historic DC sites. Once we toured the FBI headquarters. I thought it was so cool to have a family member in the FBI. I remember watching Silence of the Lambs when Clarice is at Quantico and being so excited that I had been there.

I remember his chair at his house. It was in either a den or a furnished basement; there was a tv and sofa, I think there was a bar there, too. But what really stood out was my uncle's massaging recliner. I remember how amazed I was by that chair. It seemed futuristic at the time. I’d sit in it whenever he wasn’t there and giggle as my whole body vibrated. 

I remember watching old movies there with him and my family. There was one movie we watched about the Holocaust. It was very graphic, nude bodies walking to the gas chambers, etc. I felt like I was too young, but I also felt a sense of pride that they were allowing me to watch it, like they thought I was ready. I think my uncle and parents wanted me to start understanding the realities of the world.

My aunt and uncle moved to Florida in my early teen years. We spent one Christmas down there (I’ll still never get over palm trees and 75 degree weather during Christmas but it was a great time). One year he took me out on his boat into the intercoastal behind their house and let me steer. I remember the manatees that came up to his deck one year. I remember how he’d have the water in his pool at 90 degrees. I remember falling into the sea of catfish at a seafood restaurant (inside family joke).

I haven’t seen him in a couple years, and I never really saw him that often, but family (and I include true friends in that category) is family no matter the distance, which was long, or the differences in opinion, which were many. The love is there.

I know he never knew it, but he influenced my views in many ways. He suffered and eventually died from blood cancer caused by Agent Orange in the Vietnam war. He also essentially had PTSD before it was identified as PTSD, which led him to drink heavily for a while. He didn’t talk about the war much, he mentioned losing buddies over there a few times, but he did talk about Agent Orange. There were times when his platoon would be eating and US planes would drop the chemical on a target nearby, coating their food in a mist of the poisonous chemical. The government never admitted how toxic the chemical was and how much damage they were doing to their own soldiers, which rightfully pissed him and a whole lot of people off. His experience helped shape the way I feel about the military. I learned to love and support the soldiers, but never the war and never the military as a whole. It was apparent to me that the military just didn't care about its own. And the government certainly doesn't care about individual soldiers. We talk about honoring veterans in this country, but don't do nearly enough to actually support them. It's a cause I have become greatly invested in, and I attribute that directly to my uncle's experience. I remember the first time I went to the Vietnam memorial in DC. I figured he would come with us. He didn't, and it turns out, he never visited the wall. He couldn't handle seeing the names of his buddies. That stuck with me forever. I never looked at war the same. 

Of course, he also helped shape my understanding of what it meant to be a man. He was one of the three male role models in my family. My father and my two uncles helped me establish the definition of manhood. My uncle Jim did so through his service to the country, but moreso through his dedication to his family. And his wit. I remember I always thought he was funny as hell. People would be having a regular conversation and he’d say something kind of goofy. Sometimes my aunt would get flustered and "upset" with him but she obviously loved his irreverence just as much as I did. She put up with it for 61 years. (61 years!) I remember sometimes thinking that with his past, he would be more serious and intimidating. But he never came off as the uptight military guy. He'd always have a sly, knowing smile, crafted through eight decades of pain, joy, service, and love.

I hope he's enjoying warm weather and cold gin and tonics somewhere. He deserves it more than anyone. 

Rest in Peace, Uncle Jim.

I Love You All...Class Dismissed.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

SNL: Still Not Laughing

Saturday Night Live hasn't been funny in decades...and that statement itself is decades old. Even when the long-running sketch show was funny, every episode had 45 minutes of excruciatingly unfunny material.

Now, according to the Emmy's, and most people on my social media feed, SNL has returned to glory. They have always done political humor, and last year's election from hell gave them an incredible ratings boost. Like everything else these days, the overwhelming focus 12 months later remains on Trump's shenanigans. Sad! Especially since Baldwin's impression is horrible. Beyond that, it's impossible to satirize Trump. His words and actions are more ridiculous than any satire can hope to be. Baldwin essentially repeats what he has actually said, always to roaring laughter, which only serves to normalize Trump. He becomes just another goofball politician that SNL lampoons, no worse than Gerald Ford or George HW Bush.

If SNL was just a comedy that wasn't funny, I wouldn't really care. There's hundreds of unfunny comedies. I'm not gonna rant about Big Bang Theory because it's awful; there's no point in that. It's horrible, but ultimately it's harmless. The thing that bothers me about SNL is that they see themselves as having some value beyond comedy. Their most passionate fans think that these stupid skits mean something. They are part of #TheResistance! If you think I'm being harsh, think back to the episode after Trump won, with Kate McKinnon in character as Hillary Clinton singing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, the most serious sad song ever. This was beyond comedy. This was IMPORTANT! People were raving about how powerful it was. Fans shed tears!

Meanwhile, SNL literally had Trump on as a host; this was past normalizing, it was celebrating him. He danced to Drake! Haha he's just like us! A megalomaniac, billionaire, serial sexual harasser just like us!

Image result for real donald trump snl card

SNL even made Dave Chappelle unfunny. That's almost impossible. The entire episode with Chappelle was a catastrophe. He was out there during the monologue talking about give Trump a chance (a statement he now regrets, to his credit). That was literally 5 minutes after Hillary McKinnon sang her little heart out and fought back tears while telling us she's not giving up. Mixed messages much?

Image result for trump sewing flag snl

If you want to watch SNL because you think it's funny, that's fine. You're wrong and why would you do that to yourself but thats cool. But if you watch because you think it'll accomplish anything or that it MEANS something or that these people really give a fuck, don't kid yourself.

To be fair to SNL, they are not the only ones who normalized Trump. CNN and NBC as a whole deserve more of the blame. NBC saved Trump's entire career and brand by allowing him to portray a successful businessman. He was on prime time television "firing" people during one of America's worst economic recessions, at the same time he was claiming President Obama was not an American citizen. Then Jimmy Fallon tussled his hair like a good little boy.

Celebrities and the rich are not on your side. They will make endless videos and tweets about the unprecedented dangers that Trump and Co. represent, but  the reality is they are not affected by his horrible policies like the rest of us. It's just a game to so many of these people. Sean Spicer hadn't been out of the administration for more than 3 months, and the "outraged liberals" were fighting over the chance to give him a big wet kiss at the Emmy's.

Image result for james sean spicer kiss
Fuck both of these guys.

I'm surprised Spicy hasn't hosted SNL yet. This is the guy who berated reporters and blatantly lied about things from crowd size to policies to basic history. But it's all good because he can laugh at himself! Awesome.

It hurts to say this because I am a fan, but it was Stephen Colbert who brought Spicer out. Colbert also had Trump on and took it easy on him. Now he has his highest ratings ever because he shits on Trump constantly. The sad reality is, that's what it's all about for the vast majority of these #Resistance celebrities. The head of CNN even admitted that Trump may be bad for the country, but he's great for ratings.  Some in the entertainment business probably care about certain issues, but again, most of them are not really affected like the rest of us.

But man, people really believe Alec Baldwin is out there protecting the Republic by scrunching up his face and wearing orange make-up.

Image result for will satire take down trump magazine cover alec baldwin
Pretty sure I know the answer to this one, The Atlantic.

People have told me in all seriousness that Tina Fey helped Obama win by mocking Sarah Palin. I'd say that theory got shot to shit this past election. If comedy shows had any real impact on politics, Trump would have lost by 20 million votes and all of the major Republican politicians would never have a job. Just because someone hates the same person you hate doesn't mean they are a good person, and just because celebrities make fun of unpopular politicians doesn't mean they are fighting for you. And it definitely doesn't have any type of significant influence. In fact, you could argue that it has the opposite of the intended effect. Trump in particular feeds off the mocking. He uses it to paint himself as the outsider, an average Joe getting harassed by the Hollywood elite. He and his supporters ignore that he is part of the Hollywood elite, but that's beside the point. Every joke, every satire, every video mocking Trump is just another example of the "liberal" media attacking "real" Americans.

It's a shitty situation because everything seems to embolden Trump and his supporters. Make fun of them and they take it as proof of oppression from the liberal media. Break down Trump's lies and provide evidence, they claim it's fake news and take it as proof of a liberal conspiracy.

I don't know the solution, and I'm certainly not against satire or humor. I also think it's important to call powerful people out on their bullshit. I just think all of the Trump satire doesn't work that well and it definitely isn't effect as a political tool. I love John Oliver, and I think he does the best job of making fun of Trump and explaining all of the real horrendous shit the administration is doing. But I find myself not laughing that much at his show anymore. Frankly, the reality is too sad to laugh.

As far as SNL goes, the writing just isn't good enough to provide any unique, humorous insight or perspective that can't be found on Twitter the day before. Plus, Alec Baldwin is a huge piece of shit, so the social commentary they're going for turns into more of a meta comment on the ruling class. Instead of showing how horrendous it is to have a rich white asshole celebrity for a president, it's just reminding us that rich white asshole celebrities will always remain powerful and can reach the pinnacles of their professions despite their horrendous behavior.

Ha!

I Love You All (No Joke)...Class Dismissed.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

America: Empty Dreams and Broken Promises

Sentient sack of warm rotten zoo garbage Paul Ryan recently said that what makes America great is the fact that "the condition of your birth does not determine the outcome of your life." In essence, he was reaffirming the American Dreams. The only problem is, that notion, like everything that weaselly slime sponge says, is bullshit. The reality in present-day America is that where you are born and raised determines your success to a scary degree.

Image result for paul ryan liar
I know, Paul. It's very sad.

The American Dream was never meant for everybody. Our Constitution and legal documents all have language that seems inclusive and representative of the highest ideals of equality, but the reality has always been something different.

Actually, contrary to what I just said, even our legal documents often make exclusivity and bigotry very explicit. It's kind of our thing as a nation.

Race and gender have long played roles in who has access to the American Dream, and they still do. But the problem is not just unequal access: the problem is that the very idea of the American Dream is simply illegitimate. The fact is, we are born into a certain class, and we are more than likely going to remain in that class.

This triumvirate of class, gender, and race discrimination is America's dirty, open secret. In general, race and gender discrimination is frowned upon in respectable company. It still happens, as recent events prove, but most Americans know that open bigotry is unacceptable. (I hope?) Our president and the worst of his supporters are doing their best to change that and bring it back out in the open, but there seems to be enough of a pushback to stem the tide of outright hate. (I really hope?)

Poverty, on the other hand, is still something that "respectable" Americans can openly hate, or at least ridicule. Not poverty itself, mind you; people generally don't criticize or address the systems of inequity that create poverty. No, they criticize and often hate the people affected by poverty.

Many consider being poor a personal failing instead of an institutional or social failing. The notion that America is a meritocracy is deeply ingrained in our culture. This myth perpetuates the idea that our circumstances are a direct reflection of our work ethic. Most financially stable people feel that they deserve to be in the position they are, that they earned their status as wealthy or middle class. Therefore, they believe that anyone in the lower class also deserves their status. Our society links poverty with laziness: poor people simply don't work hard enough. We need to believe that our own success is deserved and not simply luck.

Don't get me wrong, many wealthy people work hard for their success, but luck and circumstance always play a part, as does inheritance. Wealthy people ensure that their children are wealthy. If you're born into a poor family, or even just born in a poor neighborhood, you are most likely going to remain poor (and of course, America's history of redlining also ensured that black people were more likely to live in poor neighborhoods despite their financial status). Our environment is a much bigger determining factor in our financial status than intelligence, work ethic, or anything else, which is a scary thought to people who build their identity on this idea that they earned everything on their own.

It is true that some poor people are lazy. Just as some rich people are lazy. I'd wager that overall, most poor people work harder than most rich people. There's a lot less leisure time, that's for sure, and being poor is definitely more expensive.

Despite the popular belief that we can just "pull up our boot straps," work hard, and succeed, that ol' American Dream of upward mobility is mostly dead: “The probability of ending where you start has gone up, and the probability of moving up from where you start has gone down.” That's true even for people with a college degree. Working hard and going to school does't necessarily improve your circumstances in America.

So what's the solution? Well, for many, the solution seems to be shitting on anybody in a worse situation to feel better about themselves.

Look at some of the reactions to the flooding in Texas. "Why didn't they just evacuate?" Well, besides the fact that Houston traffic is an absolute mess on its best days, and the fact that more people died in the evacuation during Hurricane Rita in 2005 than in the hurricane itself, a lot of these people simply can not pack up and go. They might not have a car. Or money for gas. Or money for a hotel. Or family anywhere in driving distance. Etc. But yes, blame them for trying to endure a horrific crisis.

It gets worse. Remember bum fights? Those were the wildly popular videos that featured...bums fighting. Literally, homeless men were given spare change or alcohol to fight other homeless men on film. Millions of these videos were sold. Yeah, they didn't even have Youtube yet, where any deprived video can get upwards of a million views. People actually bought physical copies, brought them home, put them in their dvd player, and watched homeless men fighting over Old English malt liquor.

America views the poor as playthings. They exist for amusement. It's nothing new, though. From 1955 to 1964, a show called Queen for a Day was a big hit on NBC. This was a game show that featured working class mothers competing against each other for worst life story. One mother needed a wheelchair for her son, another needed home repairs after her husband killed himself. The crowd would cheer for the saddest story, and that person got what they needed. Problems solved. How uplifting!

Most people say they want others to do well and they'll even cheer for the woman winning the wheelchair, but they'll be quick to condemn the woman if she still has financial problems afterwards. Why can't she get her life together already? She got a free wheelchair!

Most people don't really understand poverty. It's more than simply not having money for an item here and there. It's a long-term physical condition that has real, measured negative effects on mental health. Poverty is even associated with higher rates of dementia. The struggle is really real.

This misunderstanding or lack of understanding makes people look past the systems of inequity and blame individuals for their inability to escape poverty. That mentality allows the government to cut social welfare programs, remove protections for workers, and keep wages almost criminally low. Republicans are much more open about their contempt for the poor (they have been pushing the "bootstraps" propaganda for decades and attempting to cut any programs that even marginally help the poor) but it goes both ways. Mainstream Democrats have ridiculed the "pie in the sky" ideas of universal healthcare and free college, and they are complicit in cutting welfare programs as well.

There is a great contempt for the poor in this country. Not many recognize their own privilege; they think that if other people simply tried harder or pulled up their pants or SOMETHING they would be more successful. They fail to take into account how many of the people on food stamps and welfare are children and literally have no choice.

The 8 richest men in the world have more money than 3.6 billion people combined, yet a single mother gets more disdain for using her EBT card to buy food. Our economic system has created an ever expanding chasm between the rich and poor. Over a million Americans make $2 a day. The average CEO in America made $11 million last year, almost a 10% raise from the previous year. When was the last time you got a 10% raise in a year?

This contempt for the poor runs deep, and it cuts across race, gender, and political party. I can't count how many times I've heard or seen self-described "liberals" complain about people using food stamps for seafood or some other food item that doesn't meet their own idea of what poor people "should" eat. Poor people can't eat shrimp? Bullshit. Besides, it doesn't matter what they buy, people will find a way to hate on them. They'll get dirty looks for buying steak, but when they buy fast food they get condemned for not eating healthy.

There's a ridiculous, and dangerous, stigma against state aid. The majority of people who are against it have never had to rely on it (although, remarkably, some who have benefited from social welfare programs argue against them once they are back on their feet). Too many people think that if they managed fine without aid, everyone else should be able to as well. Of course, most of these people are born into a safety net that poor people couldn’t even imagine. The privileged  don’t see their own privilege. They may have inherited their family’s business but they'll argue that they had to work to keep the business. If you just worked harder maybe you would have inherited a business, too!

Many people will never experience poverty, or even meet people who have experienced it, so they have no real concept of it. They hear about the “Welfare Queen” who’s living large off government aid (but doesn’t actually exist) and they imagine swarms of people eating gourmet dinners on marble tables in front of 60 inch 3-D tvs. All bought with your hard earned tax dollars! Or they see a poor person with a smartphone and they post a photo on Facebook with a long-winded rant about how people shouldn’t have a smartphone if they don’t have a job. This of course neglects how many people on food stamps do in fact have jobs. Not to mention the fact that in 2017 you need a smartphone (or another way to access the internet) to get a job.

Yet again, these same people who demonize the poor won’t blink an eye when an insurance CEO gets a $100 million check after resigning in disgrace, or when an entire industry gets a government bailout.


It's hard to see the big picture, but it's important to at least try. Instead of getting mad at individuals for being on public assistance, maybe get mad at the corporations keeping people on public assistance. Or get mad at the military industrial complex, which loses trillions of dollars and simply shrugs its shoulders then asks for trillions more.

But let's just stick to the corporations for now, specifically everybody's favorite corporation to bash publicly and use privately: Walmart. They run a nationwide food stamp scam. They lobby hard for the SNAP program, then pay their employees as little as possible (making it so they need public assistance to survive even though they work 30-40 hours a week) all while taking advantage of loopholes to avoid taxes. To cap it all off, they accept food stamps at their stores (taking in $14 billion in just one year) and encourage their employees to shop there.



Walmart's  majority owners are worth $149 billion. They could single-handedly end hunger in America. Get mad at them.

The system is so fucked up for the poor and working class that it's often more financially responsible to get public assistance than work full time. Of course, Tomi and Glenn will yell "get a job!" at poor people on state aid, yet when they do get a job and demand fair wages, the same assholes shout "you don't deserve that much!"

All workers deserve a livable wage. There's been a somewhat successful push for a national minimum wage of $15 lately, largely led by fast food workers. The service industry employs 30% of American workers (up from 13% in the last 60 years). With the continued trend towards automation, a lot more people are going to be forced into these low paying jobs. Unfortunately, the prevailing consensus around the country seems to be: "fuck those fast food assholes for trying to make a livable wage!"

People in other fields think they should be doing better themselves, so why should fast food workers, the lowest of the low, get more? Well, chances are, if you are an employee anywhere (and not the CEO) you should be getting paid more, too! Income equality in the US is at the highest level since 1928. (Why yes, that is the year before the Great Depression started, thanks for asking.)  Instead of knocking fast food and service workers, the largest growing sector in America, why aren't we looking to increase everybody's wages? Yes, teachers and EMTs should make more than fast food workers. So fight for it! Don't knock others for fighting for their worth. It helps us all when more people do better.
Fast food workers are the factory workers of yesteryear; there are still some 17 year old knuckleheads flipping burgers for beer money, sure, but its mostly adults supporting families. It's still one of the few jobs anyone can get. These workers used to be middle class. They, we, deserve the same livable wages middle class workers once made. Yet wages have not nearly kept up with the cost of living or inflation or CEO pay.

St Louis workers recently voted to raise the minimum wage, but then the state of Missouri capped the minimum wage at $7.70 (and its not the only state to do so). That's almost as low as the federal minimum wage, which hasn't been raised in 10 years. Thanks Obama? Almost a quarter of minimum wage workers in 2014 were over 40 years old, (an increase of 40% from 20 years ago) yet people still imagine all minimum wage workers as pimply teenagers. More than half support themselves; they are not still living with mommy and daddy. They'd deserve better wages even if they did!

Sadly, the wage chasm in this country will probably just get worse. And employers will continue to literally rob workers of their labor. I don't know the answer to these issues by any means, but I know that we have to at least understand how this system negatively affects us all. Trickle down economics does not work. It never has and never will. Workers are the foundation of an economy; when they are treated well, all of society benefits.

And when we take care of the most oppressed, the most marginalized, the most vulnerable among us, we move closer to becoming the society that we have always pretended to be.


I Love You All...Class Dismissed.