Tag Archives: homelessness

3 Reasons Why I Will Be Watching Ronda Rousey Fight Bethe Correia

I enjoy fighting. I’ve even taken a couple classes in a few different martial arts (although never for long enough to learn anything more than the basics). Occasionally, I enjoy watching a match of MMA or boxing. Watching these matches always makes me feel conflicted. On the one hand, I enjoy the skill and level of physicality involved in fighting; on the other hand, as a Special Ed Aide, I feel terrible supporting sports that could cause long term brain damage. Despite this internal conflict, and despite the fact that I’m not an avid sports watcher, I know I will be watching Ronda Rousey fight Bethe Correia on August 1st. Below, I’ve explained a few reasons why.

1) Rousey is a bad-ass chick

This post went up late because I made myself go to kickboxing last night and then crashed when I got home. The main reason I convinced myself to go (trust me, I love finding an excuse when I can), is because of all the Rousey clips I’ve been watching. When I thought about skipping, I couldn’t help but remind myself, “what would Ronda Do?”

She would do a bad-ass ninja flip and then get herself to kickboxing practice, that’s what.

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Fame Day: Alice and Kev

If you’ve been reading this feature for some time you’ll know that we typically laud things for being good and then some. Tom Morello is a great musician, sure, but he’s also an activist of the highest caliberIf I Were You is a podcast featuring a very funny internet duo, but it also has them tearing terrible people a new one. Today’s installment is a 60-part story that was created using the video game The Sims 3.

goodjobkev

It’s also a highly successful attempt at translating a game’s playthrough into a compelling narrative that discusses the realities of poverty. That may have been a lot to take in, I realize.

Alice and Kev was created by Robin Burkinshaw, a games design student at the time, in mid-2009. He describes the outset of this venture as starting out relatively simply:

“This is an experiment in playing a homeless family in The Sims 3. I created two Sims, moved them in to a place made to look like an abandoned park, removed all of their remaining money, and then attempted to help them survive without taking any of the game’s unrealistically easy cash routes. It was inspired by the old ‘poverty challenge’ idea from players of The Sims 2, but it turned out to be a lot more interesting with The Sims 3′s new living neighborhood features.”

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Fame Day: Micro Homes

Refinancing? Mortgages? Loans? No thanks, I own my home, and it cost me $15,000.

Nope, I’m not trying to spam you guys. I’m just sharing the title of my friend Kayla’s blog. Are you curious how she managed it? Well, she is the proud owner/designer/builder/etc. of a micro home.

Kaylas house

The exterior of her little place, and her loft bedroom.

 

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Our Injustice System (Revisited)

I don’t work in prisons.

I mean, I might have to in the near future, but as of yet, I haven’t.

Today I’m going to be making some pretty bold statements, and I want to be up front about my reasons for doing so. While I don’t work in the big house (I have had to deal with min-sec “transitional housing”- if that counts for anything), I do work exclusively with an ex-felon population. As with a bad car wreck, you don’t have to be an expert to a look at the current situation and work backwards to figure out just where things started going wrong. Now I’m not saying that prisons help cause crime, just that as they stand today, they aren’t doing a whole lot of helping.

Let me break it down here.

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Shame Day: 3rd Wave Feminism

While I said I was going to continue my discussion on religion, I feel there’s so much material there that it’s going to be easy for me to get sucked into it all. While plunging into the maelstrom of controversy is on my to-do list, before I get too sidetracked, I want to mark off something I’ve had on the back burner for a while now.

3rd Wave Feminism- and everything that’s wrong with it. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Hypocrisy

Before I begin, I believe I ought to clarify something.

In this post, I’m going to be addressing the issues of hardship and tragedy and our responses to both of these things as a culture. Naturally none of this is meant to rob any gravity from Friday’s events- pain is, as always, pain. Any and all criticism here is directed strictly at hypocrisy, not sorrow.

There is a scene in season 2 of AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead, in which one of the group’s children goes missing and the other is [accidentally] shot and badly injured- both of which are bad things even without the ongoing zombie apocalypse. After managing to stabilize the boy, his mother begins questioning whether or not her son would be better off dead, rather than going on living the horrific and nightmarish existence life had become. Her exact words went as follows:

Why do we want Carl to live in this world? To have this life? So he can see more people torn apart in front of him? So he can be hungry and scared for however long he has before he…

So he can run and run and run and run and- and even if he survives he winds up- just another animal who doesn’t know anything other than survive…

Now whether or not you’re familiar with the series, this scene will still probably get a reaction out of you. Horror, perhaps, at how vile life must be for a mother to suggest her son dying would be a better alternative. Pity, maybe, for a person so driven and desperate.

Or, if you’re like me, utter indignant rage.

Let’s take a look at that soliloquy again. What’s the criteria this person puts on a life so awful it might as not be lived? Constant hunger, constant fear, and exposure to violence. In other words, the life of the majority of men, women, and children on this planet since the dawn of time.

You heard the lady- might as well just keel over.

And what’s her description of people who live this life? Oh, right- animals.

“And a very merry **** you to you as well”

What really gets me is that this (almost certainly) wasn’t meant to portray Lori as the vicious, self-pitying hypocrite that she came across as. Someone- nay, a whole line of writers and editors and censors- let that whole speech slide on the basis that it’d portray the character as sympathetic and troubled. And it’s this twisted attitude towards life that I want to address.

Early in the summer, I wrote a post on the need to portray graphic violence in media– especially in regards to war. I argued that our distance from the conflicts the US was engaged in made war too easy to ignore. The lack of the presence of violence, or our understanding of the consequences, made it all cheap and trite. Really this problem exists not only with violence, but with every aspect of our alienated society. We love beef, but how many of us could actually kill a cow? I’m not talking about hunting one down using nothing but a smooth rock, I’m just talking about simply ending one’s life. Could you do it? If not, I submit that you shouldn’t have a right to eat beef or wear leather.

Take a look at this cartoon.

Hard to argue with that, huh? Just as you shouldn’t be able to eat meat if you’re unwilling to kill the animal, you really shouldn’t be able to buy clothes and shoes unless you are personally willing to oversee the sweatshops in which they’re made. One way or another, you shouldn’t be able to reap the benefits of something without being at least capable of getting your hands dirty- and nowhere does that apply more than perhaps our government.

You might be familiar with the famous scene from Fahrenheit 9/11, in which Michael Moore attempts to pass out army recruitment flyers to members of congress (not surprisingly, most duck the offer). These people who were more than willing to send other people’s kids out to die in the desert suddenly found themselves far less eager when in the same situation- one congressmen protesting that his son had kids of his own (after all, all soldiers are childless and single).

And before any liberal readers get too smug, you’re far from exempt either. After the tragic mass murder in Newtown on Friday, I came back from work to find a letter in my inbox from a progressive organization I’ve signed petitions with before. “Act now!” they cried, “Demand gun control!”. This from the same people who bombarded me with pleas to re-elect President Obama, author and owner of a freaking “kill list“, to say nothing of his administration’s shoot-first-and-suppress-questions-later policy with drone strikes, and the “operation fast and furious” debacle.

Now all of this is just to demonstrate the social pathology this culture is suffering from.It’s not that we’re involved in countless injustices (that’s all bad in and of itself, but it’s not the point right here)- it’s that we have the gall to act hurt, or shocked, or horrified. Injustice is not greater for having finally happened to you. Pain and suffering don’t intensify based on their proximity to you. If you won’t cry out over the violence overseas, what right do you have to cry out over the violence at home? What right does a person have to feel depressed about cyber-bullying when he’s wearing a shirt made by an eight year old?  If you shrug your shoulders, stick your hands in your pocket, and walk off whistling when you’re told about homelessness in India, what right do you have to complain about mortgage payments in Indiana? Let’s cut the narcissism, shall we?

Shame Day: Masculinists

Let’s be clear right here and now- I’m not talking about “masculinism” in the original “let’s recognize gender discrimination against men too” philosophy. No, I’m talking masculinism in its modern day sense: the general idea that women have somehow hijacked everything it means to be a man, and have either watered down everything manly, or made it socially unacceptable. This is the gripes of countless dads and uncles around the country at every kid on the team getting a medal given an intellectual motor.

That’s not to say that there are certain points which these guys aren’t correct on. In custody battles, the courts are almost certainly going to side with the mother on the basis that her gender somehow makes here a superior parent. That’s stupid. If a man were to make a pass at a female co-worker, the consequences would in all likelihood be more severe than if the positions were reversed. That’s unfair. A man striking a woman gets a visceral reaction out of us, a woman striking generally does not. That’s sexist.

Now promoting gender equality is perfectly fine. After all, when a person hits a person, that’s all that really matters. Gender (or race, creed, religion, etc.) don’t make the act any better or worse. But tragically, that positive element of the movement is mired down by all the psychotic and apologetically misogynistic madness that makes up the other 50%. Stuff like:

  • Equating circumcision with genital mutilation (or even wrongly declaring that women are exempt from any such practice)
  • Declaring the existence of a “war on men”
  • Complaining of the lack of existence of any day celebrating men
  • Complaining the women are somehow exempt from heavy, dangerous, and strenuous labor (again, what planet are these people living on?)
  • And countless other bat**** crazy claims of male victimization and persecution

Again, as stated above, there is a double standard, and while any inequality in the rules is obviously unfair there’s no way on earth we can possibly imagine that these offenses against men in any way stack up to the offenses against women. Is there female domestic abuse of males? There is. Is it as much as male domestic abuse against females? Not even remotely. Does that mean that one side is more right or wrong than the other? Of course not. The same basic logic applies to pretty much each and every one of the nutty gripes the masculinist movement brings against the supposedly woman-dominated world we’re trapped in. Other claims are quite simply false. The idea that women somehow have a “glass floor” protecting them from working physical labor or living in rough, dismal conditions is simply an utter lie. Women are disproportionately the majority in sweatshops around the world. Not two hours ago, I drove past a homeless woman on the street, and I saw another one the day before (although it could’ve been a hipster, I’m not entirely sure). Again, it’s true that men are sometimes treated unfairly on the basis of their gender, or subjected to a double standard. However, the degree to which men are persecuted and the degree to which women are persecuted are leagues apart.

That’s not to say that injustice to a man is any less unjust, but rather, when you’ve got a paper cut and the person in the emergency room with you is missing an arm, you should still apply a band-aid, just maybe without griping about it.