“Because if he doesn’t ask you out, he doesn’t get rejected.”

Thanksgiving, huh?  I reject this holiday.  Thanksgiving is where I take out my inner angst at being lied to while calling it education.  Not too thankful for that, yo.  (I just finished practicing my drums to current hip-hop songs.)  I was also raised under the influence of Native American culture.  (That’s the academic spin for my ego.)  😃

My inner teenager is running the show, today.  She’s bent on making up for the fact I skipped being a moody little shit at the proper time.  Fauxlidays belong to her.  When I was a teenager, I had a car.  I bought it with money I earned babysitting, raking leaves, and modeling for a department store.  (The latter wasn’t terribly lucrative because they usually gave me the option of being paid in a gift certificate, and I often used it to buy video games.)

I drove a mustard yellow Datsun B-210 (or something.)  It had a manual transmission, and I was taught by a fellow student on the only hill in town (at night while it was snowing.)  For those of you who didn’t grow up in South Dakota or a similar rural city;  we could legally drive at age 12 so long as we were on our parents’ property.  (This was widely known among local 12-year-olds.)

Those of us who lived in the city proper had to wait until age 14.  I bought my first car at age 12.  (More like my then 13-year-old brother used my money to buy his first car when I was 12, then allowed me to name it Mine.)  We used it exclusively for joyriding in the K-mart parking lot.  My nephew usually joined us (because letting a 10-year-old drive is hilarious.)

Fantasy Canyon in the Utah desert, USA.

So anyway, when I got to high school I attended public school the first year, which back then was 10th grade.  I use the word attended amusingly.  I’m the reason the school district adopted a stricter attendance policy.  I missed 180 days in one school year, (or at least that’s the number I remember.)  I loathed going to school.  So I didn’t.  Much.

Instead, I drove to the nearest reservation to get the truth about American history.  It had a powerful influence on how I think.  I thought talking to the chief of a tribe was fabulous.  It never crossed my mind the poor guy was mostly exasperated by my constant questions.  (That was before I understood the continuous inquiries into why I wasn’t in school were a polite hint.)

I spent more afternoons there than in class.  He sent me on (what I told myself were) quests to find answers to some of my questions.  (I was hint proof back then.)  I visited the capitol building, a courtroom, and some university libraries.  I was polite and neatly groomed, which has always worked well for me.  I also spoke like someone who spent far more time reading than talking to others.  (It rarely works out well.  Sigh.)

In hindsight, I realize I probably didn’t have valid access to any of these places, let alone while I was supposed to be in school.  White privilege is so bizarre sometimes.  I know they didn’t question me because they very likely never spoke to a black person before, and were too distracted by the experience.  It resulted in my having a lot of freedom to basically go wherever I wanted as a teen.  (I paid heavily for this unfortunate habit in my initial years of service.  It almost cost me my life somewhere (too) close to Area 51.)

I was used to being the unicorn by default, but in the Army, everyone is a green unicorn.  (It’s so much better the Army way.)  Oofda.  A colossal guilt trip just landed on me.  I’ve used autism as an excuse to ask questions in classrooms when I knew it might not be appropriate, (but I wanted the answers more than I wanted to be honorable at the moment and ran with it.)  Ooh; that’s going to leave a scar.  😞😣

(I mentally bookmarked it to agonize over later, when my inner adult is back in charge.)  I’ve never been able to buy into the concept of land ownership.  It’s just too ridiculous, and I have trust issues.  Heh.  I’ve purchased property twice.  Both times, it messed with me until I got rid of it.  It felt like I was willingly stepping into a trap.  Like believing dollars are backed up by gold ridic.

I also grew up believing life is the most valuable thing there is.  (The Army failed to have any sort of adverse effect on this belief.) It’s like accepting reality is real, (to me.)  It’s not going to be shaken easily.  Also, that the only sin is to steal;  such as someone’s free will or life.  I believe whenever a death occurs, we become less as a whole.  Less incredible as a concept and force in nature.  I don’t think anyone has a right to take someone’s life or free will.

I don’t care much about theft of property.  I don’t think it matters in the big picture.  It’s why I don’t get upset if someone takes something that legally belongs to me.  I don’t encourage or invite it because it doesn’t mesh with the rules of my community.  But it’s not part of me, so I see no reason to feel bad.  My cat doesn’t count because Amelia Bedelia is alive.  You can’t own another’s life.

Welp.  My inner teenager is done sitting here sharing deep thoughts.  It’s her day, so I’m off to angst through music.  Below is the t-shirt I’m sporting today.  Kind of says it all, eh?  Hope your Thanksgiving was great (if that’s your thing.)  🙃

Thanksgiving bird by @Acraigl

I think it’s B.O.!

Open Letter to the tiki torch carriers in North Carolina:

I woke up this morning and (eventually) checked my Twitter feed.  Oh.  A demonstration in North Carolina by angry, privileged, and misled individuals carrying tiki torches.  You’re upset because despite having an entire nation specifically designed to give you a better shot at everything in life, you’re still not thriving.  It’s not enough you’ve never experienced life surrounded by hateful people who despise you for existing.  You don’t even know what it’s like to face life without every possible advantage at your disposal.  You can’t imagine it.  It’s much easier to ignore these facts, and pretend to be the victim, instead, eh?

It’s also simpler to waste your life than live it to it’s fullest.  Privilege is an advantage, but it doesn’t live your life for you.  It doesn’t guarantee you will be on top of everyone else.  It doesn’t automatically make you awesome.  You still have to get off your lazy ass and build your life with effort, which is what truthfully has you so upset.  It’s unfortunate you didn’t focus on making yourself into someone you can love, and instead chose to concentrate on hating everyone else.  Every single one who carried their tiki torch around the church, while spewing racial slurs and saluting a dead, meth addicted loser, has publicly announced you are a miserable piece of shit.

That was precisely the message you delivered.  Nobody saw you, and thought, “Hey!  This person has factual information to share with the world!”  We looked at you and were disgusted.  What a pathetic tiki tantrum by spoiled brats who haven’t figured out how to adult yet.  We don’t pity your invented woes.  We know your cause is bullshit.  We are aware you’re merely proving yourself one of the poor fools who fell for (weak) propaganda because it was easy and didn’t take any effort.  You just want to be a terrorist without consequence, and this group will take anyone with white skin.  Finally, you get to fit in without effort or policing your poorly formed personality.  How sad.

Barrack Obama was President of the United States of America for eight years.  He has brown skin.  Obama overcame every single obstacle that stood in his way.  Not one of you tiki torch carrying fuckwads has even faced a single one of the barriers he conquered.  Instead, you’re bent on creating more barriers to ensure such an incredible achievement never happens again.  Even with all the privilege and advantages, in this beautiful country where you automatically have a far better shot at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,  merely for existing, you’re still losers.  That’s so fucking pathetic it’s hard to believe it’s even possible.  Holy shit.

The worst part is the why.  Why are you so miserable and pathetic?  The answer is simple.  You chose this.  You looked at all the opportunities America has to offer you, and said, “Nah, that all sounds like hard work.  Instead, I’m just going to make it harder for everyone else, and then pout over not being treated as if I’m valued, when all I have to offer is hate and destruction.”  On second thought, I do pity you.  If I see you on the street with your bug repelling torch, I’ll hug you.  I can’t imagine how awful it feels to be you.  Besides, you’re alive, which entitles you to my consideration.  You don’t even need skin for me to consider you and your feelings.  But if you strike me, my return will end you, so don’t.  Take the hug or don’t.  It’s yours to accept or reject.

Instead of choosing to be hateful, you can always change your mind and embrace all of America in her glory.  Together, we’re amazing.  I’d rather you were part of our greatness because I  suspect you have something inside you that makes you one of a kind.  Not part of some angry group looking foolish.  Just you, alone, without all the fake baggage.  Oh, there you are!  I can see you better when you’re not pretending to be a psychopath.  I don’t even believe you hate other Americans.  I think you’re angry and frustrated.  You’ve accepted a lot of bullshit as true and decided to go with it because you know you can get away with it, (now.)

I’m hoping you figure out this path leads to a dark empty place.  Many have traveled it, but none of them are still around to share.  You’ve chosen the team that will lose every single time, regardless of how much money and KGB bots feeding the effort.  In the end, love and life always win.  They’re the point, silly.  So think again about who you want to anchor yourself to, and why.  Do you want to spend the rest of your life angry and miserable?  Many have chosen to do this.  We have diseases named after them.  I hope you decide you want far more.  I hope you opt to be honest.  The hate is your thing.  I don’t hate you.  If I did, I wouldn’t bother writing this.

I love you for being alive.  I’m angry you’ve chosen misery because I know it’s a choice.  Nobody is forcing you to go down this road.  You’re truly only hurting yourself.  Don’t do that.  Life is hard enough without sabotaging it.  You know what’s right and wrong.  You’re free to choose.  Just remember, every choice has consequences.  You’re probably going to get away with terrorizing North Carolinians last night because of your white privilege.  Nobody is shocked by this because we live in a nation that doesn’t treat everyone equally.  We hate it.  We fight it.  We do whatever we can do legally to try and even the playing field.  We don’t show up and terrorize you, though.  We treat you better than you deserve, and you make us beg just to exist.

I hope you think about what kind of future you want for yourself, and make better choices.  Your white skin isn’t necessarily going to protect you forever, so please work on building yourself into a decent individual.  Nobody can do it but you.

Sincerely,

Alison

This whole thing is George’s fault.

I finally slept for more than a few hours in a row.  Oddly, I feel tired.  I think I’m hungover from too much sleep.  It’ll pass.  In the meantime, I’ll just be functioning in slow motion.  I think more when in this mode.  I’ve been pondering the obvious wrongness going on in our government.  I struggle to grasp the depravity of some elected officials meant to serve the people.  It lacks any logic.  I have a hard time processing illogical concepts.  My mind rebels.

I’m literal by default.  I always process the literal interpretation first, then run through a few alternatives.  When I’m overtired, stressed, or anxious, I tend to skip the latter and run with the literal.  It results in my looking foolish about 72% of the time.  The other 28% leaves me feeling awesome, so it feels fair enough.  I’m better at recovering from looking foolish, now.  It rarely involves tears these days.  I’ve developed a relatively efficient means of communicating in real time with others by trial and error.  It no longer feels like we’re speaking different languages at each other with no comprehension or interest in the other’s words.  Surprisingly, the most efficient way of conquering this issue was improving my listening skills, not my language skills.

My inability to control my adrenaline is a major factor.  It’s been the bain of my social existence.  For most of my life, having a conversation with someone has been barely worth the effort it takes to pull it off.  Connecting with someone is a nice prize, though.  I love people, they fascinate me.  There’s just so much to a person it boggles my mind.  So I keep trying.  I learned that conversations have a rhythm.  They’re more music than mathematics.  Conversations are dynamic and unpredictable.  No magical formula fits all situations.  Each conversation is unique and dependent on the participants.

Basically, it’s rocket science.  I’m not sure if I was pleased or disappointed to realize most people don’t have deep conversations on a regular basis.  Most people communicate pragmatically.  While it makes participation easier for me, it deflates my expectations gained from reading novels.  I’ve matured to the point where I don’t interrogate the people I meet to extract as much information about them as possible up front.  There were many things wrong with my technique.  But most importantly, it was because people didn’t know the answers to my questions.  They didn’t think about the things I wanted to know about them.  At best, they would tell me what they wanted me to think.

I learned there are many ways of processing the same information.  That’s remained a frustration.  It makes the word intuitive useless.  It explains why something I find hilarious might be offensive to someone else.  It’s unfortunate we don’t all prefer the funny interpretation by default.  I’d rather live in that world.  The laugh-a-lot world.  Well, I kinda do.  In my mind, I try to see the funny side of everything, but I’ve learned to keep it to myself.  I chose the disciplined path at the beginning of my adulthood on purpose.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned I was an arrogant smart-ass when I arrived at basic training.  The Army cured me.  Military discipline consists of forcing you to get over yourself through heavy labor, repetitive, nonsensical tasks, and humiliation until you see the error in your ways.  It’s as painful as it is effective.  The Army is twisted like that.

While I’m glad to have served, I don’t encourage others to do the same anymore.  The military is being built up for no reason while what America really needs is good, affordable healthcare.  Cancer, AIDS, heart disease, diabetes, addiction, obesity, etc.  These are the enemies of the American people.  The lie that we’re in danger from radical Islamic terrorists is played out.  It’s bullshit.  Their threat is minuscule in comparison to the health problems killing off our people on a daily basis.  Our domestic terrorism problem is more severe and requires addressing, not pretending it isn’t happening.  The Muslim ban is an agenda by greedy contractors who want to earn billions from building up a military that already surpasses that of any other nation by a huge margin.  The entire war on terrorism is a front for lucrative government contracts to build up a military that wastes it’s excesses and is corrupt at it’s highest levels.

There are other paths.  Not everyone is an arrogant smart-ass at 17.  I had much of the benefit of ‘White Privilege’ growing up, merely by being raised by Caucasian parents.  I went to the same private schools, played on the same teams, and participated in the same Girl Scout troop.  I had the president of a major national bank as a mentor in Junior Achievement, too.  And more.  I’m in a unique position, but it’s one of sadness.  I’m grateful for my childhood, and sad it was a privilege, and not available to all children.  When I first heard the term, ‘White Privilege,’ I thought it was a racial slur.  Then I learned it’s just another part of systematic racism in America.  It’s not just a black or white issue, of course.  There are Caucasians who didn’t get as much privilege from their white skin as others with the same white skin.  It comes down to several factors, but primarily, if your family was poor, you probably got shafted.  That’s fucked up for the human race.

I believe the children are our future.  Okay, I promise I won’t upload a track of me singing like I think I’m Whitney.  I do believe it, though.  Our most important and valuable asset on earth is our children.  They hold the hope of humanity.  It’s obvious on a primal level.  No child born on this planet should go without proper nutrition, education, medical care, shelter, and loving caretakers.  Everything else we do on this planet is moot unless we do our best for the children.  Survival of the species is the goal.  Everything else depends on it.  We need to lengthen our views and stop repeating the histories that continue to hold us back.  It’s so simple it’s obscene.  Stop taking more than your share.  Make sure the children are well cared for first, then do what you need to do to enjoy your life without hurting things that are alive.  That’s it.  That’s all we have to do to succeed as a species.