Yet More Dangers in Obfuscation

With the meanings of words changing, and some words being given more power while others are given less, it comes as no surprise that a popular magazine would release an article that appears to attempt to normalize incest. 

This article go so far as to change the meaning of incest, however, softening it into genetic sexual attraction. This has been going on for decades, and has even been lampooned in a popular George Carlin rant. Adding softer language to something does not change what it is. Instead, it serves as a line of division with which someone can call themselves proper and another person improper. 

Beyond that, it blurs the lines yet again of hate speech. When will come, the first instance in which someone calls it incest, and another person gets offended because they were merely engaging in genetic sexual attraction?

The term “slippery slope” gets thrown around a lot, but in this case it is clear that we are on one.

Don’t fall.

My Road. Or, Escape from Ism’s

I am a 35-year-old man. I have a wife, four kids, and a house. I have worked plenty of different jobs, and have done well at all of them. I have pride in myself, and a desire to bring that feeling to others.

A mere 15 years ago, I was a 20-year-old liberal. I held women on a pedestal, I believed Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem were heroes of modern humanity. I believed feminism was all earth needed to make it good. I believed in socialism. All of the liberal tropes, I carried proudly in my heart.

When I was shown alternative viewpoints, I would shy away from them, assured that I was right and that I didn’t need to read them or hear them. They were wrong, after all. A huge rift between my brother and I likely stemmed from that, as I would demonize him for even the slightest infraction when it came to the fairer sex, let alone an expectation that I would, maybe, act like a man!

I was a socially awkward loser. I lived at home with mom. I played video games or had “deep” discussions with my friends. I pined after women, rather than have the balls to go talk to them. I was merely a man, and they were goddesses, after all. That, or they were whores. There is no middle ground for that kind of guy, right?

I hated sports, because I hated competition. I hated the idea that there had to be a winner and a loser. You know who else hates those ideas? Losers. And I was one. Of course I didn’t want a reminder when I could just dominate a video game.

I thought individuality was paramount. I didn’t want to look like everyone else, and I used to have a ridiculous hairstyle. Maybe one day I’ll post a picture of it. If I’d had the money, I would likely have ended up with some sort of piercings or tattoos. Luckily I was too much of a loser to get a job.

I hated Republicans, and thought that they were uneducated religious zealots. I thought guns were terrifying, and ought to be erased from the landscape altogether. I believe that jobs were not simply a means to an end, that instead they were the trap you got caught in. I knew that’s how people got money, but I also knew that no matter how much my mom worked, nothing ever got better. I thought it was due to The System.

I was content, languishing in generational poverty. I was 20 and didn’t have a job yet. I had dropped out of school, because I thought my ideas were more valuable than those of the “System”. I had no money, no prospects, and no plan.

The place were I grew up was a place where people were not simply poor in their wallet. They were poor inside of their own heads. That kind of poor is different. No amount of money can fix it. Have you seen those people who win $100 million in the lottery, and it’s gone within a year? They have no investments, and they’re broke, despite having five Lamborghinis. Those, of course, eventually get taken away.

That’s what generational poverty does to a person. It makes them unable to function with money. The problem comes when people see their poor roots as a source of pride, something to cling to, rather than as something to escape from. They cling to their old ways, fearing that they will lose themselves in pursuit of a better life.

I escaped. I got my GED, and developed a healthy work ethic. I grew into the person I needed to be. I didn’t lose anything. What I gained is my true identity, and a new legacy for future generations of my family.

Aside from that, I crave opposing viewpoints. Knowing what the other side thinks allows you a bird’s-eye view of an issue. Lately, I find that most people’s views stem from selfishness. I know that view very well, as it was once mine.

It’s always going to be a hard road. Why not take the one that will bring you somewhere?

Open yourself up to opposing views, uncomfortable situations, the possibility of mockery and failure. Succeeding at laying down is not success at all.

 

Perpetual Adolescence

Something strange to notice these days, is how much time young adults spend trying to remain in their adolescence. A record number of young adults or choosing to remain living at home with their parents, or living with roommates into their thirties. While some of these people have good jobs and contribute at home; not their home, but their parents home, many of them eke out an existence working at a Starbucks or similar coffee shop, or in a music store. They tend to have useless degrees as well, such as sociology, associates level psychology, or the dreaded gender studies. These are expensive courses that put people in terrible that while not preparing them financially to pay that debt back.

These are the people you see protesting all the time. They join groups like Antifa and travel around the country, unwashed and angry. They’ve got the time for it, because they’re not working an actual job. They tend to be very aggressive toward those that promote the STEM fields in school, and try to surround themselves with people much younger than them, more impressionable. 

Psychologist and cultural critic Jordan Peterson calls this a Peter Pan existence. This title makes sense. Peter didn’t want to grow up, and despised anyone who did. Captain Hook was the specter of adulthood, with the crocodile constantly chasing him, ticking, ticking, constantly ticking. A literal form of mortality. Time had already gotten a taste for him, and wanted the remainder.

Isn’t that just how it is though? We spend every day heading toward the end, inevitable and inexorable. We don’t get a choice in it, and yet, among the generation known as millennials, there is an idea that you can remain young until you suddenly wither and die. 

These are people for whom, when they reach their thirties and finally have to open themselves up to reality, things are going to be much harder because of the years they have wasted thinking that they are the ones that know better. These are people who are going to be bitter, angry, frustrated that their reward for trying to change the course of the country will be laboring until their final day.

Those of you who are reading this and have escaped that fate, good for you. Those of you who are reading this, however, and are still paying money into a course that’s only going to teach you how to divide people up into groups, get out before it’s too late. You deserve better, and so do the people around you.

There’s nothing that says personal responsibility better than piloting your life in a direction that’s not going to hurt yourself or those around you.

On Motivation

Most people think they know their motivation. Do you?

What motivates you?

Motivation is not just a buzzword. Your motivation is a deeply personal thing that only you truly know. You might not even know what it is, and this lack of knowledge could be what keeps you from reaching your true potential.

These days, in the United States, it seems like most people are motivated by bills, and keeping up with the joneses. There is such a desire to look successful even when you’re not, that people will work miserable jobs, long hours, and have an overall unfulfilling life.

When these people were in elementary school, and the teacher asked what they want to do, how likely is it that one of them said, ” I want to watch my hours burn away in a mailroom, and then working in front of a fryer, while my friendships erode around me”

More likely they said they want to be a firefighter or a police officer or a doctor. More likely their answers were rooted in the desire to do a job they’d enjoy rather than the desire to pay the bills using the job as a vehicle.

Are you doing what you like right now? If not, are you pointed in that direction?

You ought to be. If you hate your job, your free time ought to be spent finding a new one. A more fulfilling one. Maybe even a career. Your free time could be used to make yourself better for the life you want. School, or online coding classes, anything that will help you become the person you want to be.

I’ve found my motivation. My motivation is joy. Over the next few years, you’ll learn more about me, and you’ll see why it took three decades to figure this out, and why it’s such a revelation to me.

Until then, go seek out your motivation.

Taking Control

Happiness comes to those who control their lives rather than letting their lives control them.

The happiest people I’ve known or seen have been those who took control of their life. They were either born into a family that valued that way of doing things, or they got tired of how life was treating them and decided to take control for themselves. However it happened, it has always ended positively.

One thing that makes these people happy is the paradigm shift from ‘things you have to do’ to ‘things you choose to do’. Joe Rogan, a famous comedian and TV show host, doesn’t have to make a podcast every day. He could easily stop, or drop his production down to once a week, and his fandom would not disappear. His life would not change much at all if he completely stopped doing what he is doing and changed paths. He chooses to do a podcast each and every day though. He’s almost got a thousand up.

There was a time, however, when he had to do things. He had to take a TV or promotional contract, or he’d lose his house.

Most of us are at that point right now. We’re in debt up to our eyeballs, and working just to stay afloat. It’s funny, though, to see that there are people making minimum wage to support their family in the same exact boat as doctors who can’t stop spending money. It’s a distinct lack of control.

Believe it or not, there are people out there making minimum wage who have their lives in order. They choose a simple, no-hassle job and a simple life. They are happy, and in control. I’ve known quite a few. Those who are unhappy and out of control have bought an Escalade when they make less than 2000 a month. The bank who owns the truck is in control.

My wife and I have two vehicles. One is this beat up old Pontiac that is practically falling apart. It has great A/C and comfortable seats, but looks like it got chewed up and spit out. The other is a pretty Volvo with leather seats and a sunroof with okay A/C that was given to us. My wife will drive the Pontiac instead of the Volvo. To her, the Pontiac represents our ability to control our lives. It is something we bought and have paid off. The Pontiac, warts and all, gives her pride. The Volvo, no matter how pretty it is, feels like dead weight to her.

Controlling our lives is not always pretty. It always starts with working harder than those who are not in control. It always starts with risk, fear, hardship and the unknown. Eventually, though, the path we create straightens out. It aligns with us, and points where we want it to.

Are you in control? Are you honing your life to the fine point it needs to be for you?