Friday, September 21, 2018

The Cult of Superiority

First a disclaimer: I do not have anything personal against vegans who aren't obnoxious, belligerent, bullying assholes about their lifestyle choice. There ARE vegans are totally chill, reasonable, rational, respectful human beings. It just so happens that there are a LOT of vegans out there, who have absolutely earned their negative reputation as snotty, confrontational, entitled, self-righteous assholes. The following is addressed to THEM.

A few reasons why, even though not ALL vegans act/think this way, that veganism at large is a cult:

1. They truly believe that their dietary choice makes them better people, in fact, superior people, to those who choose to use animal products, especially those who eat meat.

IE They believe they have the One and Only Truth, and knowing it makes them the best people on the planet.

2. They genuinely believe that it is impossible to love animals, or care about Nature/The Planet, if you eat meat. They also believe that eating meat essentially makes you an ignorant, even bad/evil person.

IE People who do not follow their doctrines are "sinners" and "heathens", who either need to be condemned, or "saved".

3. They genuinely believe that veganism is THE only way to go, and THE only thing that is going to save the world. They believe this so much, that they constantly proselytize it, and actively desire to keep on spreading veganism until everyone on earth is vegan.

IE It isn't merely a dietary or lifestyle choice as far as they're concerned, they believe it is "The Way", and they wish to spring this "One and Only Truth" to the masses, to "save" us from our own ignorance and evil.

Even one of those things, let alone all three, are textbook examples of a cult. Many vegans literally worship at the altar of veganism, and consider everyone who is not part of their elite group, lesser beings. None of this is hyperbole or fabrication, because I've based it 100% off of vegan propaganda and sentiments I've seen expressed across various internet and social media forms.

Word to the wise: Your dietary or lifestyle choices do not make you "superior" to anyone. And while farming practices do absolutely need to change/improve, no, you don't need to spread your "superior" ways to anyone else. And yes, people can care VERY much about the planet, in fact likely far more than you claim to, while also choosing to eat meat. Keep your bullshit to yourself, and respect those who don't choose to live that way. Otherwise, you don't deserve an ounce of respect yourselves.  

Monday, September 10, 2018

Thoughts of Death

As someone who has dealt with depression, loneliness, misery, and yes, even suicidal thoughts, for over half my life, I've gotta say....a lot of the things that are said and proliferated about depression and suicide really bother me.

For one thing, NOT everyone who is depressed, or even deals with LONG-term depression as I have, is "mentally ill". NOT everyone who has ever wanted to die, or to kill themselves, felt so because they "couldn't help it", because they had some chemical imbalance or mental "disease".

YES, some people genuinely have that, and it's awful. But NOT everyone who suffers these things does. Sometimes? Sometimes life just fucking sucks. Sometimes, the world is a cold, harsh, lonely, and shitty place to live, and the experience if LIVING in it, makes you so miserable, that you see no other way out of the perpetual hell, than to die. That isn't ALWAYS just some psychological issue. Sometimes, you're just hurting that much, and you want it to stop.

NOT everyone who has ever found themselves teetering on the edge of suicide, found themselves there because of "mental illness", or because they "couldn't help it". Just because that is the case for SOME people, does not make it the case for ALL people. And this notion that "suicide is just the final symptom of the disease called depression", is such an absurd, condescending statement that it actually makes me want to punch someone in the face.

AS someone who has very much wanted to die, at times BADLY, countless times in my life, I find it dismissive, insulting, and diminishing of what I was feeling and what brought me there to that place, to claim that my depression and my pain were "mental illness", I just "couldn't help it", and thoughts of suicide were a "symptom". No, thoughts of suicide were me NOT wanting to be miserable, hurting, and alone anymore.

And yes, suicide was 100% a CHOICE. Want to know how I know that? Because ultimately, I CHOSE not to kill myself. Weather it was being too chicken shit to do it, or some deeper part of me simply realizing that "Hey, look, if you go out like this, then your death will mean exactly what your life has: nothing. If you take your own life, alone, for nothing, your life WILL have been a lonely, pointless failure, just as you fear it already is, and you will have proven yourself right, that your life is worthless and not worth living." I don't want that for myself. I HATE being alone, and miserable, and sad, and angry, and depressed. It's gross, and if you've never truly BEEN there, you have absolutely no idea just how dark, and cold, and scary a place that is to actually be.

I told a friend once, when talking to me about the concept of "Hell", that I know "Hell". I know what it's like, because I've lived it, in some ways STILL live it, every day of my life, for well over half my life. I know "Hell", because, as I put it, it's a state of being, not some mythical place you go. When you're lonely, and angry, and frustrated, and hurting, and depressed, and miserable in your life? That is "Hell". There is no better or more apt way to describe it. And these are things that I usually don't talk to most people about, because quite frankly, it's not any of anyone's business, unless I choose it to be. And frankly, most people don't deserve to hear it.

But I choose to talk about it today, just like I've CHOSEN, countless times in my life now, NOT to kill myself, even though I was right back there, teetering on the edge of the good ol', familiar gaping Abyss. I full well realize that for SOME people, depression IS something that is a mental illness, and for SOME people, perhaps, JUST perhaps, though I still don't agree with the idea, suicidal thoughts are indeed just some "symptom" they can't help. But that STILL doesn't change the fact that at the end of the day, suicide, like almost everything ELSE in life, is a Choice.

There is a hell of a lot to be said for the concept of "Mind Over Matter". The concept that the Power of your Will, is ultimately stronger than a lot of things life can dish out at you, yes even many illnesses. This pervading notion in modern psychiatry that people are essentially helpless victims of the things they suffer, and that they truly have no choice, unless of course they're paying for therapy or expensive medication. And while for SOME people, suicide may well be spurred on by some psychological malady that they have no control over, for a lot of OTHER people who have killed themselves in this world, or even simply HAD the feeling of "I want to die" ever in their life? You don't need to be mentally ill for that. You just have to be miserable, pushed that far, and see no other way out. It's not rocket science. It's just a shitty, dark reality of life for some people.

I know this, because I've lived it. And this notion that "Suicide ISN'T selfish", I'm sorry, is not only wrong in my view, it's also damn irresponsible. Why? Because even FOR those that are genuinely suffering from some kind of mental illness that is spurring on their depression, the reality, the TRUTH is, that yes, suicide is STILL a choice. 99% of the time in life, the tired cliche "I had no choice", is flat out wrong. You ALWAYS have a choice. The choices may not all be appealing or preferable, but you STILL always have a choice, in almost any situation you're facing.

And that includes killing yourself. So yes, I'm sorry, it may be a painful thing to hear, for those who have considered or even attempted suicide, as well as those who have suffered the suicidal death of someone close to them, but suicide IS a selfish CHOICE that people make. There is no two ways about it, as far as I'm concerned. I can't tell you how many times in my life I've told myself that "If I die or disappear tomorrow, no one I know will truly care, and my death would not really affect anyone I know, because no one I know honestly cares for me all that much." The bottom line was, I was trying to convince myself that if I killed myself, it wouldn't hurt anyone that I knew, that the only person I would be hurting was ME, except even THAT wasn't true, because I would be "Freeing myself from the pain of life". Which, you know, there IS some truth to that. But at the same time, how do I know that the few people in my life, WOULDN'T be hurt by my suicide? How do I know that there isn't at least even ONE person out there who knows me, who would not only be hurt, but permanently affected by my choosing to end my own life?

The truth is, I DON'T know that. Which means, that like ALL suicide, hell, like a LOT of depression, it is a very selfish head-space to be in. Why? Because you're not thinking about ANYONE else but you. You're focused on your pain, your loneliness, your misery, whatever. It's 100% about you. And trust me when I tell you, deep depression, the kind where you are SO low you actually think about wanting to die? That's some serious shit. And you can talk yourself into all kinds of stupid shit, whether it's actually true or not. Things like "my family wouldn't care if I died" or "the people in my life would be better off with me gone", etc. When you're in that head-space, you can and WILL tell yourself anything and everything you need to hear, to convince yourself that it would, essentially, be OKAY to kill yourself. That it's NOT going to really hurt anyone else, that it might even HELP them or be "better" for them somehow. THAT is what being in that head-space is like.

And this is not about shaming anyone. This is not about dismissing the seriousness and severity of depression and suicide. TRUST me on that. I don't personally know a single soul who knows living with pain and loneliness and anger, and just being trapped in your own headspace, wrapped up in your own misery, where ALL you want to see is that Darkness, than I have. There was a time, when I was on a home school field trip, at the age of 17, to go to Yosemite National Park. We climbed up Half Dome, to the top, and were hanging out, resting, and there I was, standing at the edge, looking over. And while the people around me, kids, families, even a couple of my own friends, were all just chilling out and having a good time, do you want to know what I was doing? I was thinking about jumping off. I was thinking about getting a running start, and leaping straight off to my death, because in my own words "I'll never have a better way to go, and I'll never be any closer to feeling like I'm flying".

I gave no real thought, in that moment where I was really considering it, to how it would ruin those families' day, or week, or month. I gave no thought to how it might scar those poor kids for life, even. I certainly gave no thought to how it might hurt my friends, because remember, they won't really miss me too bad, they'll get over it, and their lives will likely be better without me around. And all of that? That was SELFISH. It was me, wrapped up in my own pain and despair, which I usually kept all to myself, both because I didn't want to bother people with it, and because in many cases, people just didn't understand, or didn't want to hear it (because it's hard to hear, or deal with). But there it is. In that moment, I was only thinking of myself, and how I wanted to end MY pain, practically romanticizing Death, and seeing it as some grand release from all of this. I didn't think one bit, about all that it might do to the other people there, who would see someone kill themselves. Or to my friends who actually knew me. Or to the fun, innocent weekend everyone was having, that would be utterly destroyed because some teenager in pain thought it would be romantic, and ideal, to jump off of Half Dome.

There was a time that I actually considered killing myself in the kitchen of my first real job, with a knife. I gave no thought to how that would affect my co-workers, some of whom I got somewhat close with. How it would ruin their day, their week, perhaps the rest of their lives, to come in and find a dead body in a pool of blood in their work break-room. I gave no thought to how it might hurt or affect anyone but myself. Because, again, suicidal thoughts, and the act itself, ARE SELFISH.

There are so many other countless stories I could tell, of times I thought of dying, or trying to convince myself that no one really cares about me, and that my death would be just as unnoticed and meaningless as my life is. You try to convince yourself of the dumbest fucking horseshit when you're hurting and depressed. But like I said, anything and everything you have to tell yourself, to make it "ok" to do the deed. And for some people, is that the result of mental illness? Sure it is. But that doesn't mean that's the case for everyone. And that CERTAINLY doesn't mean that suicide is something that we, as survivors of it, or survivors of someone else who DID it, can't get mad at. Can't feel hurt by. Can't hate with all our hearts. Because guess what? Other people have that right too.

I KNOW only too well how horrible and awful living with pain and loneliness and depression really is. Because those things have been old friends of mine since I was at least 16 years old, perhaps in some respects even younger. I have not had, to be blunt, a very good or easy or happy life. It has been full of hardship, and pain, and many other very unpleasant things. I have more often than not felt isolated, alone, angry, and hurting, somewhere down deep. But in spite of all of that, I'm STILL here. Because I have made the CHOICE to be here, even in spite of how much it sucks.

And as I've said before, IF I had love in my life, IF I had the wife and children, the family, that I've craved and dreamed of since I was literally a little boy. Things that to this day I believe at my core, even in spite of how broken I am inside, how broken life has LEFT me inside, that they would make  me as close to happy as I am capable of being. And IF I had that love in my life, no matter HOW broken and hurting I might still BE inside, I would never desire, let alone CHOOSE suicide. Because here's the reality: perhaps on some level, I've been right in the past, up till now. I have "no one" in my life, I have no wife, no kids, no family. If I killed myself tomorrow, there is a VERY very small handful of people that would probably affect, and who knows how much. But they would, in all likelihood, even if it did hurt them, find a way to move on. It would STILL be selfish of me, but less so. But if I had a wife and kids? Or even JUST a wife? And to kill myself THEN? My God. How fucking self-involved, self-absorbed and how much of an outright colossal, callous DICK would I be, to hurt her THAT much? To do THAT to her?

Because THAT is the reality of suicide. For the person who killed themselves, it's over. It's done. It's sad, but they're gone now. And whatever comes after, IF anything comes after, well all of that is going to sort itself out whether you want it to or not. But just like ANY kind of death, what matters once the death has occurred is NOT the dead. They are gone. What matters are the LIVING, who are left behind. Period. And with respect to that, yes, when you have people who LOVE you, even NEED you, in your life, and you kill yourself? That was a selfish choice. The ULTIMATE selfish choice. Because you were only thinking of yourself. If I were to do that to my wife, my kids, were I to have them, it would destroy their whole world, it would flip everything upside down, and they would be permanently hurt and scarred from that, for the rest of their lives. How absolutely self-centered do you have to be, in THAT selfish of a state of mind, to willingly hurt people you claim to love and care about, THAT much?

Yes, there is something to be said for mental illness, and being in THAT much pain and "not being in your right mind". I know a bit about that too, whether I consider my depression "mental illness" or not. And as I said earlier, NO one should be shamed, while they're still alive and hurting, about feeling like they want to die. This isn't ABOUT shame. But it IS about being honest, and telling ourselves the Truth. The TRUTH about suicide. It is not some "final symptom" of depression. It is an ultimate and final act, that we DECIDE on, that we CHOOSE, no matter what frame of mind we're in.

Yes, people who are depressed and hurting DO need help. They absolutely need help, if nothing else just in the form of people who will stick with them, and stand by them no matter what, while they weather their own private storm, their own private hell. Depression and THAT kind of emotional pain, it's hard as FUCK to live with, especially for a very long time. And I have every bit of sympathy and empathy for people who are suffering with it, because I KNOW exactly what it's like. But even so, I'm sorry, but don't even TRY to tell me, that suicide isn't a choice. That it ISN'T selfish. Because it absolutely is.

It is entirely possible, to be sensitive and empathetic to someone's pain and despair, and the sensitive, very dark and very real nature of depression and suicide. And to STILL also not sugar coat shit, and not try to tip-toe around the unpleasantness, and outright EVIL of it, at its core. Let's be honest about what this shit is, and what it MEANS, not just for the people suffering it, but for those people in their LIVES as well.

Love, REAL love, is when you care about someone else, MORE than you care about yourself. And believe me when I tell you, I KNOW what it's like to feel like you aren't loved, that you've NEVER truly tasted love. I know what it's like to feel like you don't really have anyone. And that's a shitty, empty, scary place to be. I know, I live there, and have pretty much all of my life. So in that frame of mind especially, it's easy to convince yourself no one cares, and that your death will mean nothing, and hurt no one. But again, IF I finally had that love that I crave, that I NEED, in my life? I would never, COULD never do that to them, even if I hurt inside for the rest of my days. Why? Because they would matter far more to me than I would to myself. My love for THEM, would mean far more to me than my own selfish pain and brokenness. I would literally choose to live for them, because even if I'm somehow incapable of ever being TRULY happy, they damn sure would make me as close to that as I could possibly get. I would want to live as long as I could, as a matter of fact, to get as much time with them as I possibly could, and that means that much more coming from someone who has lived the better part of 40 years of life feeling utterly alone. And I CERTAINLY, would not ever make that selfish choice, to end my life, to hurt them and smash their lives apart like that. For what? So my pain can end? And I can leave them with the sadistic, selfish "gift" of lifelong pain because of what I chose to do instead?

I know this is a very touchy topic, and my blunt views on it seem to rub some people the wrong way. But I still feel like these are things that need to be said, that I have to say. Even if only a few people read them. Depression and thoughts of suicide are SUPER serious, and deserve to be treated and taken so. But that doesn't mean we coddle people who are in that space, or make suicide out to be some tragic, unavoidable thing some people just couldn't escape. Because that is incredibly untrue. AS someone who has dealt with depression and thoughts of death for over half my life, I refuse to believe that suicide is something some people "just can't help, that they had no choice". I'm sorry, but bullshit.

If you've made it this far, and find yourself disagreeing with what I've said, or let's say I've even upset you, well, I apologize. Not for my earnest, from the heart thoughts and feelings on the matter. But sorry you were upset, because that wasn't my intent, or for whatever reasons simply could not see my point of view. However, I do hope that the things I've said, harsh or not, blunt or not, have reached or spoken to SOMEONE. Because these are thoughts and feelings from a survivor, from one who knows exactly what it's like to be there, to feel that. These words are coming from a good place, at least to me. I am a firm believer in personal responsibility, and the power of choice and will. We are free agents, and life is a series of choices we make, moment to moment, day after day. And that doesn't change, whether you're miserable, or genuinely suffering mental illness. You still have a choice.

I think that should be an empowering message. I think people should realize that, embrace it, and spread it. Yes, we need to be there for people and try to help them out of their Darkness. But the truth is, NO one can fully pull you out of that Darkness for you. Everyone has to ultimately choose to lift themselves out of it. Depression is a valley that each of us navigates alone. It absolutely helps, and is perhaps even integral, to have people there to listen to us, to just be there, to be around, to lend their strength, or moral support, or whatever. But it's STILL a solo journey, and a very hard, shitty one. 

But I think the message of "Mind Over Matter" is important. Don't tell people they can't help it. Tell people they CAN help it. Tell them they always DO have a choice, and don't HAVE to die. There CAN, and SHOULD be a tomorrow for them, and they can CHOOSE to wake up tomorrow and greet it. The power of choice, personal choice in our moment to moment lives, is the ONLY power we as humans actually possess. And I think that should be an incredible source of inspiration. On the one hand, realize that by killing yourself, you are selfishly hurting those who care about you, perhaps permanently. Why would you want that? And on the OTHER hand, what could possibly be more powerful, more uplifting, than the knowledge that you always hold within you the power to CHOOSE for yourself. You don't have to let despair and pain and death beat you. Those things don't OWN you, and you owe them nothing. They are not your master, you are theirs, and you can defeat them, day after day, by CHOOSING to live, in spite of everything. You can give yourself the chance at a better tomorrow, by choosing tomorrow for yourself.

Just some food for thought....

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Tools of Destruction

Once again, another senseless, tragic (mass) shooting has occurred, and more people who should be alive right now, are dead, because someone had a bad day, or a bad life, etc.

My three cents on the issue:

 1. Yes, people with mental health and psychological/emotional issues DO need help, they DO need people to be there for them, and they DO need healthy outlets.

 2. Having said that, while we do need to understand and confront the PROBLEM, murderers do not deserve empathy or understanding. Even IF someone has a mental illness, and "isn't in their right mind", if they do something awful, if they rape, or kill, it IS still a choice that person is making. That kid CHOSE to bring a loaded gun to that event. He CHOSE to murder innocent people before he took his own pathetic life. That was a choice, whether it was "in his right mind" or not. Shooters like that deserve zero empathy, once they have made that choice. Once you cross that kind of line as a person, IMO, fuck you. Those people then deserve nothing but what's coming to them.

 3. The endless "pro gun/anti-gun" debate, and whether "the problem is guns", or "the problem is mental illness", is honestly incredibly tiresome and gross. All people want to do is argue, and virtue signal (people ACROSS the "political spectrum"), and literally get nothing of any value actually DONE to change things, to save lives. Yes, obviously anyone who would do this kind of thing, IS mentally ill. That's a fact. And if you take all the guns away, ALL of them, yes, mental illness and people being broken inside and committing heinous acts will still exist.

But, as I have been pointing out to people for decades, guns, by simply existing, ARE a problem, no matter how people try to rationalize or argue the issue. Guns have one function: to kill/destroy. They are not a tool, like a knife, or a baseball bat, or a shovel, or a chainsaw, or a CAR, or whatever the hell else that people could care to bring up, that crazies HAVE used, in recent times more than ever, to hurt and murder others, that have some other use. Guns' sole function is to destroy. To fire a projectile through something and damage or destroy it. Period. And yes, that CAN be used to defend your home, or your family, or yourself, in case of attack. But that does not change the fundamental nature of the gun, which is inarguable: that it is a tool to harm/kill.

People like to bandy about cute slogans like "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Which, on the most base technical level, IS true. But it's absurd and so far beyond the point. Because while PEOPLE kill people, they are doing it WITH guns. Those GUNS are killing people, by being utilized to do the only thing they were ever meant to do. And to reiterate, yes, that IS a massive problem in and of itself. If guns didn't exist, at all, yes, the world could be and likely would still be a totally mental and scary place. But it would STILL inarguably be a less immediately dangerous one. If someone comes at you with a knife, or a bat, or even a car, you have options. You can at least TRY to flee, you can try to get out of the way, or (excluding the car perhaps), you can even choose to fight for your life. With a gun, someone can hurt or kill you in the blink of an eye, before you can even react, without even trying. It takes zero real effort to squeeze a trigger, be it from point blank range, or from a great distance. There is little to no defense against a loaded gun, unless of course you yourself ALSO have a loaded gun. In which case, it becomes a "shootout" scenario, where you HOPE you're a better shot or a better wannabe commando than the other person, and meanwhile, innocent bystanders can STILL get hurt or killed, by either party.

The point being, that while the issue is FAR more complicated than "it's just guns", and mental illness, drugs, bad parenting, and societal failure/sickness in general, are ALL elements to this insanity. That doesn't change the FACT, that guns merely existing, makes it all so much worse, and so much more dangerous for everybody. Is there an easy answer? No, of course not. Because I can't just snap my fingers right this moment, and make all guns disappear. But, while ridding the world of guns at this point WOULD be hard, it is not impossible. It just would take serious work and concerted effort, and the actual will/desire to do so.

Guns are NOT the only problem, but people acting like they aren't even PART of the problem at all, are naive and ignoring simple, fundamental facts. Guns kill, they were MADE to kill, period. And they offer someone holding a loaded gun, a power over the life and death of ANYONE else around them, a power than can be exercised with, again, almost negligible effort. Mental illness DOES play a big part, as do all those other things. But that does not negate or alter the FACT, that so many shootings have happened, because someone was having a bad day, someone cut them off in traffic, someone said the wrong thing at the wrong time,  that was the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back", and they just so happened to have access to a loaded gun in that moment. And guess what? For a LOT of people, being presented that kind of power, ANY time, is dangerous, because most people with power, cannot handle it. They WILL abuse it, given the right motivations, the right circumstances. But people given that kind of power, to end someone else's life in the blink of an eye, without them being able to defend themselves, without you even having to really TRY to kill them, just squeeze a trigger, boom, they're hurt, or dead? In an irrational moment like that, that MOST of us have, where our day sucks, our week sucks, our LIFE sucks? Where you've had it, and you've just snapped, and here in your hand, in your power, is a thing that can kill people, BOOM, just like that? It's too much. 

There is, IMO, no such thing as a "responsible gun owner". There are people who have a high moral fiber and/or great self-discipline. And then there's most other people. A LOT of people, who are generally not "bad people", given the proper circumstances, and then presented a thing that can allow them to act out or vent in the most extreme or evil way possible? A lot of those people would pull the trigger. Why? Because that power is there, they aren't "in their right mind", and the most compelling reason: because they can. I know for a fact, even though I am a good and rational and moral person, that there have been many times in my life, when I've just fucking HAD it, I'm on the point of snapping, because of shitty neighbors, or a really bad day, or work being dogshit, or having a fight with someone, you name it. Where if I had a loaded gun anywhere NEAR me? Even though I am loathe at the thought of just MURDERING someone? I can't say that temptation wouldn't still be there, and be STRONG, that all I had to do was pick it up and pull that trigger. And even for the most "responsible gun owner" in the world, I don't care who you are, there ARE going to be a set of circumstances,  where that would COULD be true for them too.

 It is incredibly rare, almost impossible to find, to have a person who CAN'T be, in the most extreme scenarios, pushed too far, pushed THAT far. That isn't to say all those people are BAD people. But life can really suck, PEOPLE can really suck, and IMO, the existence of a tool that can SO easily kill, the existence of something that SO quickly and SO easily can give you the ultimate power over someone else, you getting to choose whether they live or die? That is not a power that most people should ever have. That isn't spoken from a PRO or ANTI gun "stance". That is just, at the end of the day, practical common sense.

 And yes, I have personally thought out the scenario: "What if my home was attacked by someone with a gun?/ What if I was out somewhere and attacked by someone with a gun?/ What if I HAD a wife and family, and they were threatened by someone with a gun?" And that's a tough, shitty question to ponder. I WOULD want to be able to defend myself, and CERTAINLY would want to be able to defend my family. In fact, if somewhere were threatening me with a gun, much LESS a prospective mate and children, I can tell you right now, if I ALSO had a loaded gun in that scenario? I'd be extremely tempted to empty the goddamn clip into them, not just to stop them, but for having the audacity to threaten MY life or the lives of people I love, in the first place. That is how I would feel, even though I am generally AGAINST guns and AGAINST killing, in that moment.

I DO get that mentality, for sure. But that still doesn't change the nature of the gun. And frankly, human society is NEVER going to progress, until we actually make the conscious CHOICE, to progress past our paranoia and obsession with weapons, with guns, and bombs, and vile, evil things like man-made viruses and chemical weapons, etc. Is that "pie in the sky"? Sure, you can say it is. But it's also the Truth. Humanity will NEVER experience meaningful progress as a race, until we are actively willing to let go of our tools of destruction, and move on from them. There is no other way about it. The "next step" in our evolution as a people, is impossible, without evolving BEYOND things like guns. And for us to survive, that moment in our history HAS to come about, sooner rather than later.

 No, it isn't easy, and there IS no easy answer, unfortunately. But it's either believe that it IS possible, and that it CAN happen, that it eventually HAS to happen and WILL happen. Or else you adopt the absurd (and far too common) attitude that "oh it'll never change", and succumb to the reality that eventually, humanity will just kill themselves off. Which is precisely what will happen if we never CHOOSE to evolve past tools of destruction. And personally, I choose to believe in a future where mankind actually grows the hell up, and that if I ever am lucky enough to get to HAVE children, that there IS a "Better Tomorrow" we can create, for them to inherit.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Scientific Facts

This is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. No matter someone's opinion on LGBTQ issues, science is science. Science doesn't change to fit feelings, it just fits facts. This is as bad as climate change denial, or "Flat Earth" theory. Nature/Biology is gendered, period.

And the scary thing is, this isn't a gag. It's serious, and seriously the idiotic, anti-science kind of shit they're starting to try teaching kids in ACTUAL schools now. Anatomy IS female or male. Humans DO exist as a "Gender Binary", just like every single OTHER goddamn mammal on the planet. That isn't up for debate, it isn't open to interpretation. It is hard, LONG-since-established scientific reality, easily and readily observable THROUGHOUT Nature, not just in mammals, but in the VAST majority of beings on Planet Earth, including most plants and trees.

The silliest part of all this is, the entire POINT of "Being Trans", to people who feel they are Trans, regardless of anyone else's personal feelings on the subject, is SPECIFICALLY that they feel they are actually the opposite gender, of the TWO genders human beings biologically come as. Ignoring all of the myriad "gender fluid" static that some others talk about, the exact point of TRANS, specifically, is that they feel they are the OPPOSITE gender than they were born as.

In fact, some of the same people who I'm sure support this "non-gendered sex education" bullshit in schools, the same people who actually with a straight face sit there and claim that "gender is just a social construct", are the SAME people who also claim that if you "misgender" a Trans person, IE see them and assume based on visual evidence (or otherwise) that they are one gender or the other (out of two), that constitutes as "hate speech". Which of course it doesn't, that is also not what hate speech is, and yet another example of just how dazzlingly anti-intellectual these types and their rhetoric actually are.

The bottom line is this: Scientific fact exists. Yes, many facts are debatable, and completely open to new data. But there are SOME very simple, very EASY facts, such as the fact that we NEED oxygen to breath (like most creatures on the planet except plants and trees), such as the fact that gravity exists and pulls things towards the ground, such as the fact that the Earth is verifiably "round", and such as the fact that almost ALL beings on Earth, and absolutely ALL mammal life on Earth, DOES exist in a "Gender Binary", that "Male and Female" are not only the default, but the ONLY genders natural Biology produces or recognizes.

So if you are one of these types, who actually try to argue differently, to argue against simple, obvious, long-established scientific FACT about human beings and gender, then no, you are no better, no smarter, and deserve no more respect or to be taken no more seriously, than people who earnestly believe that the Earth is flat. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Culture Clash

It is incredibly disingenuous, even terrifyingly ignorant and arguably evil, to actually suggest that speaking up/out against the FACTS that the forced mass migration of Syrian/Etc. refugees to "Western" nations, has not gone smoothly, is "racism". No, attacking those people for simply being who they ARE, THAT is actual, literal racism.

But pointing out that you simply cannot take, especially in mass quantities (meaning by the thousands), people from one culture, and shove them into a nation with a VERY different, even opposite culture, and expect it to go smoothly? That's just shining a light on what's actually happening. It isn't (or shouldn't be) subjective opinion. It is objective FACT that for countries who have taken on mass refugee populations, in many cases FORCED without choice by the EU, etc., things are not going so great.

It is a statistical, objective FACT, that the rates of things like robberies, beatings, stabbings, shootings, people driving vehicles into crowds, public attacks, kidnappings, rapes, and outright murder, has increased in many of those nations, like the UK, like Germany, like France, like Sweden, etc., considerably, since taking on those refugee populations. Are ALL of those increased instances being perpetrated by the refugees? Are ALL refugees bad or dangerous? Of course not. But it they are still directly correlated realities.

It is sickeningly hypocritical, for example, for feminists to blather on about Western "rape culture" and all of this bullshit, and then be absolutely SILENT, or decry people pointing it out as "RACISM", when literally thousands of European girls and women have been raped (objective fact, not opinion, not conspiracy), in those nations since taking on refugee populations. And yes, MANY, if not a majority, of those rape cases have been carried out by immigrants. There are girls and women in Germany, and even in the UK, who now live in fear of so-called "rape gangs", and fear they can't even go out anywhere alone anymore.

Yet where are all the strong feminists, who shout from the rooftops about the "Western Rape Problem", when these things occur? Is it actually somehow justifiable to these people, to simply ignore ACTUAL rapes occurring, because the perpetrators belong to what they identify as a "protected minority victim group?" Are they actually saying that because these people are Muslim Refugees, that committing horrible acts of atrocity is forgivable?

Beyond that, there are the cultural and economic implications. People are branded "Racist" if they speak out on the very real fear, whether it is entirely well-founded or not, that their countries and their cultures are being "overrun" by immigrants. And yeah, looking at what some of them have to say, or at least the ways in which some of them choose to say it, YES, of course, there is some racism there. There was always going to be, and WOULD be in any similar scenario.

Imagine, if you will, for a moment, that the "Shoe was on the other foot", so to speak. Imagine if some massive war or atrocities broke out in Europe, and the United Nations sent "white" European refugees into Middle Eastern, Islamic countries. Or Asian countries, or African countries. What, exactly, do you think THOSE indigenous populations would have to say about that? How do you think a lot of THOSE people would react, to "white people" flooding their cities? How do you think they would react, to non-Muslim/Arab, or non-Asian, or non-African immigrants suddenly existing by the thousands in their homelands, and NOT integrating well, NOT really bothering to learn the languages or cultures, just spreading "White European" culture around, in the very streets of non-European lands.

Would that be okay? How would the "Social Justice" set react if that happened. How do they think the indigenous populations would react? Do you think everything would go over smoothly, or that there WOULDN'T be xenophobia and racism towards the European immigrants?  Do you honestly think there would NOT be a movement in those countries to give those "whities" that were moving in, the boot? Tell them "Euros Go Home", etc? That there WOULDN'T be people in those countries who would claim, rightly or not, that the European immigrants were "threatening their stability, their culture and their way of life".  Sentiments like "This is OUR land, not THEIRS", etc.?

And where would so-called "liberal" whites in places like the US and Canada stand? Would they express that the indigenous populations of those countries had a right to feel that way? To "protect their culture and cultural identity"? Or would they say the same thing they say to European folks who share the exact same views, and label them "racists", even going so far as to claim they "deserve to be overrun and out-populated in their own lands" (yes, I've seen that exact sentiment online, by white Americans). 

Of course, the entire issue anything BUT simple, nor are the answers and solutions easy. In the example of JUST the Syrian refugee crisis, yes OF COURSE those people need someone to live, temporarily, so that they can be safe until shit calms down in their own country. No one should claim that they have no right to flee for their lives. Everyone has a right to self-preservation, on some basic primal level. But the thing is, circling back around to the concept of a "Culture Clash", it really wasn't, and isn't, a great idea to just push those people, who come from a HEAVILY Islamic culture, into "Western" countries that are decidedly almost the polar OPPOSITE of heavily Islamic culture. It is going to be difficult for those people to just on the fly adapt to European culture and views and ways of life, and it is most certainly absurd to expect that the European host countries should CHANGE their cultures or views or ways of life, to suit what is supposed to be a temporary immigrant population. 

The bottom line is this: Those refugees are human beings, regardless of culture, religion, or any other man-made complexities. They deserve the chance to live peacefully, without fearing for their lives or safety, and it is obvious that they do not feel, or cannot be safe in their home countries right now. But firstly, they should have been sent to cultures far more similar to their own, where the "clash" would have been minimal at worst. And ideally, the END GOAL, should be for their home countries to IMPROVE, for conditions to IMPROVE, so they can all go HOME. Their home, their land, their nation. They should strive to go back to their home eventually, and change it for the better. THAT should be the end goal of this entire circumstance, not for these populations to simply take root in Europe, or Canada, or the US, or Australia, etc. There is nothing saying some of them CAN'T make a home and a life in those places. But fleeing their HOME, permanently, especially for the majority of the population, shouldn't be the goal.  

The Culture Clash is real, whether people want to openly and intelligently acknowledge it, or not. And while fears are rarely fully rational, there is still something to be said for one people's fear of being "overrun" by another. Racism and xenophobia may well exist in that fear, for some people. But it is foolish and idiotic to assume that the exact same WOULDN'T be the case if "White Europeans" were flooding into "non-white" lands. And in both cases, the indigenous population has SOME right, at least, to want to preserve and protect their own culture and identity and way of life. That doesn't mean it's right, or OK, for anyone to be an asshole about it. But just as an extreme, but real and legitimate example, British people are not automatically "racist", if they are uncomfortable or even frightened by the sight of, say, thousands of Muslims immigrants praying in a London park. Imagine how Muslims would feel, if thousands of European Christians, who were forcibly moved to their country, were gathering and holding Christian prayers in public streets, or public parks. Would those Muslim peoples be merely "racist" for being disturbed or frightened by that? Or would they be well within their rights, rational or not, to be concerned that "these white people are taking over our country"?

That isn't to say that people shouldn't be able to move where they want, and that every nation on earth should be this perfectly homogeneous, static, xenophobic monolith that never allows "outsiders" in. But it IS to say, that it isn't necessarily "bigotry", for people to have a legitimate concern, especially in the face of very real non-integration issues and rising refugee-related crimes, that "shit's getting out of hand". It isn't anymore "Racist", if let's say, Swedish people or British people or French people want Swedish to "Stay Swedish", or Britain to "Stay British", or France to "Stay French", in the sense that they want their culture and ways of life protected, than it would be for people from Iraq, or China, or Nigeria to feel the same exact way. 

The Culture Clash is real, and while the ultimate goal should be to strive for a future where the human race grows up enough, that we stop being so sickeningly petty and small-minded, there is also nothing automatically, inherently "bad" or "wrong" about being proud of who your people are, and wanting your people to sustain and survive. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Down With Cis

"Down With Cis"?

I ran across this statement recently, actually while watching a very well thought-out Youtube video by a young woman who was explaining why she, in her own words, "Stopped being an SJW". And it was, as she put it, in large part because of things like this slogan, which apparently is a favorite on places like Tumblr and Twitter, right up there with "I hate White People" and "Kill All Men". And while I'm eternally glad that I don't subject myself to the Echo Chamber of mass-stupidity that Tumblr (and even Twitter) can so often be, I saw this, and I just felt compelled to say something. Because, quite frankly, the sheer level of stupidity and irony in that statement just about floored me.

So....they are really saying...."Down With Nature"? Because being "Cis", a stupid term in the first place, IS Nature. Nature exists in a Binary. The VAST majority species on earth, but ESPECIALLY every single mammal on earth, IS "Gender Binary". Meaning MOST life on Earth is split into Male and Female. So if you hate Nature, and Science (the Study of Nature), then you....hate yourself? And the very substance of reality?

Saying "Down With Cis" is not only anti-intellectual and anti-science...but it's also just absurd. What do they want then? A world in which every single human being (allowed to live, that is), on the planet, "Transitions" and physically mutilates themselves, removing their natural reproductive organs (IE what makes them Male or Female), and just becoming a bunch of A-sexual creatures, incapable of reproducing? So they basically want one last human generation of "Trans-Only" people, and then for the entire human race to just die off, go extinct? Because THAT is what would happen, in that insane, laughable, nightmare scenario.

That is perfect snapshot of what the SJW movement really is. It is nonsense, it is insanity, and it is actually rather dangerous, because you have people actually TEACHING impressionable young minds this kind of ANTI-science, made up dumbass bullshit, in SCHOOLS? You actually have somehow accredited teachers at colleges, teaching kids things that fly in the face of actual facts and science, such as "There is no natural difference between genders", or that "white people are born racist". I know this because I've SEEN footage and read articles of it. And they're getting away with it. This kind of insanity is shaping the narratives, not just in America, but in Canada, in Australia, and in parts of Europe, at the very least.

It's dangerous, because you have an entire generation of young people growing up right now, having this kind of completely NON-factual, ANTI-Fact, ANTI-Science, ANTI-Common Fucking Sense BS shoved down their throats. Yet the SJW set are the ones screaming of "brainwashing", when it is quite obvious to anyone who actually bothers to think for themselves, and doesn't just exist in an "Echo Chamber", that it is the SJW culture that is actively trying to literally brainwash young minds.

People talk up being afraid of those on the Far-Right ignoring science and making up stupid bullshit, such as the Earth only being 4,000 years old, or that Pollution and Climate Change are a hoax and don't matter, as being dangerous, or that the world is actually FLAT, which they ARE. But the made up, stupid bullshit from the Far-LEFT is ALSO every bit as dangerous to the future of human society. If you are unable to recognize that fact, then I'm sorry, but you're blind. Extremism is extremism, and it's ALL pretty fucking scary. It is ALL a major threat that humans, as usual through our own insanity and ignorance, are now facing in the 21st Century.

There was this promise in the late 20th century, when I was growing into a young adult, that the 21st Century was going to be this bright land of potential and hope. That the future was bright, and that things were going to be BETTER going forward, than they had been in the 20th Century. The late 90s were a time of hope, because young people of THAT generation, like myself, had every reason to believe that the world WE were going to build, would be one that made all the difference. It would be a bright world, based on facts and empathy and reason. And yet, here we are, in 2018, with people on BOTH extremes of the spectrum, not just in America, but worldwide, whether because of religious, or social, or political reasons, regardless, acting like childish fools. Dangerous fools, all trying to shape the future of our world, into some dark, abysmal madness that, I shit you not, the human race will NOT survive, if we do the kind of things that either "side" wants.

Make no mistake about it, ladies and gentlemen, the future, any hope for a RATIONAL, sustainable future for the human race, is going to have to be in the hands of the few of us, who ARE rational, who DO think for themselves, who DO question and DON'T just go along to get along. A younger me might never have thought I would say this, but it is going to have be people more to the "Center" of things, who have the brains and common fucking sense, to push humanity in a smarter direction. But the one thing I believed as a teenager in the late 90s, that I absolutely still believe now, is that our REAL hope, lies in future generations, and teaching them to be BETTER than us. And THAT, my friends, is going to be one tall task, to desperately try and steer WHAT they are taught, into a more reasonable and grounded direction, and NOT allow them to be poisoned with the sheer lunacy that so many people in the CURRENT era seem to be.

"Down With Cis". Sorry folks, but if you find yourself spouting, or agreeing with, idiotic slogans such as this, then in all blunt honesty, you really should forfeit all claims to intelligence, let alone basic human empathy and decency. If you champion bullshit like that, you are NOT one of the "good guys", and you are in fact a HUGE part of our current problems. Food for thought.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Why The Stan Lee Accusation Matters

Pretty much everyone who knows anything about so-called "Pop Culture" over the last 50 years knows who Stan "The Man" Lee is. Born Stanley Martin Lieber, he got into writing for comic books at a fairly young age. From his very humble beginnings at Timely Comics (the precursor to what would by the early 60s be known as Marvel Comics), where he was basically a "go-fer", getting people's lunches, erasing excess pencil-work from daily art sheets, making sure ink wells were full for artists, etc, he eventually got a chance to realize his life-long ambition to be a writer, working on a story for Captain America #3, published in May 1941. He would go on to be a writer for several of the early proto-Marvel "Golden Age" heroes, including Captain America, Prince Namor the "Submariner", and the original android Human Torch. He also created such characters as The Destroyer and Jack Frost (essentially a proto-Iceman).

By late 1941, at the tender age of 19, due to industry giants (and co-creators of Captain America) Joe Simon and Jack Kirby leaving, Lee was made the editor of Timely Comics, a post he go on to more or less hold until 1972. He joined the Army in 1942, doing mostly repair work before eventually becoming one of a handful of individuals given the designation of "Playwright". After WWII, he returned to Timely, which would by the 1950s become known as Atlas Comics. Unfortunately, during the 50s "McCarthy Era", comic books came under serious attack due to being deemed "harmful" to children's minds (essentially what they said about rock music as well), most superhero comics fell by the wayside. While DC Comics somehow managed to "Soften" their biggest iconic heroes Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, which all continued to publish throughout the decade, Atlas Comics did away with all of their heroes, which meant Stan was left writing a wide variety of "non-harmful" types of stories, such as romance, science fiction, westerns, war stories, mysteries, etc.

By 1961, he had become depressed and disenchanted with comic work, finding it creatively stifling and unsatisfying. Lee has in the past credited his wife Joan, as the one who convinced him, before he quit, to write "one comic you'd be proud of". So no longer caring a bout the still-lingering ban on superhero comics, Lee created what would become known as "The Fantastic Four", the first official superhero comic of the newly named Marvel Comics. This was an instant hit, and Marvel encouraged him to make other new heroes, so over the course of the next few years, Lee (along with several artists), became a one-man creative powerhouse, giving birth to the likes of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Ant Man, The Hulk, The Mighty Thor, The X-Men, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer, and more. He created some of the industry's first and most popular female superheroes, like The Invisible Girl, The Wasp, Black Widow, The Scarlet Witch, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), and Medusa and Crystal of the Inhumans. He also created the first two major black comic superheroes, in the form of African prince The Black Panther, and Harlem vigilante The Falcon. He continued writing comics regularly until near the mid-70s, by which point he became more involved in developing certain Marvel properties for television.

Most of this was started by one man.

Now, why is all of  that important to know? The easy answer is to give you proper background and understanding of the man. His dream was to be a novelist, which is why he chose the pseudonym "Stan Lee" when he started writing comic books, because he wanted to reserve his real name for "serious work". He never did get around to that "serious work", instead becoming one of the founding fathers of the comics industry. Where he was once slightly embarrassed due to the stigma associated with it, to admit to people that he wrote comics, as it was not seen as a "real job" and comics were seen as trash, he eventually embraced his place in the world, and even took the name "Stan Lee" legally. Today, he is one of the most well known and beloved "Pop Culture" icons in the world, and responsible for most of the top beloved characters people spend billions of dollars to see movies of every year.

And then, at the ripe age of 95 years old, having just lost his wife of SEVENTY years to a stroke in 2017, suddenly "allegations" surface that old, infirm Stan Lee, old and frail enough to apparently need at-home nurses, that Mr. Lee was allegedly "groping and otherwise harassing" said nurses. And, in the new "Guilty Until Proven Innocent" climate we've created, suddenly social media dogpiles the man. Everyone is immediately CERTAIN that they "weren't surprised he'd do something like that". A man whom millions claim to love, suddenly becomes vilified online, with people just automatically believing that he MUST be guilty, that he's a sexual predator, a misogynist, basically a monster. You even have tons of people flat out stating they wished that when they saw his name "trending" on social media, that it was because he had DIED, rather than these "groping" allegations, which are of course "So Much Worse". You also had a sizable amount of folks proclaiming their worry, NOT for this man's honor and reputation, but that these allegations might somehow "hurt the box office" of the upcoming Black Panther film. Yes, there are people SO invested in the success of the "first big budget black superhero film" (It's Not), that they care more about THAT, than they do the good name of the very LEGEND WHO CREATED THE CHARACTER.

That is how far gone our society, Identity Politics, and this toxic "Believe Women" culture has gotten. The wildfire of accusations to prominent male celebrities and entertainers (almost entirely white and of course, heterosexual), spreads almost out of control. And in the midst of it all, MOST people seem to just blindly, unthinkingly, immediately believe that EVERY single accusation must be the 100% truth, and that EACH man who is accused, is Automatically Guilty. The fact that SOME accusations might be bullshit, that SOME of these men, many of whom loudly proclaim their own innocence, doesn't seem to phase, let alone occur to most Americans on social media. And that is both disturbing, and terrifying.

His partner of 70 years.

As the title of this article postulates, WHY this Stan Lee accusation matters, is complex. But the first and most important reason is this: While everyone seems to be automatically jumping to the conclusion that it MUST be true, the fact of the matter is, the so-called "Source" of this leaked accusation, comes from none other than The Daily Mail, a notorious smut rag, also known as a "Tabloid". A "news outlet" that deals in trashy stories, most of which are complete and utter garbage. An outlet that ALSO, amongst other things, offers its readers regular chances to "see female celebrities nude/topless", in what are either outright faked images, or non-consensual paparazzi photos. It matters, because the alleged "source" is anonymous, the alleged nursing company is anonymous, and not a SINGLE nurse that has supposedly levied these complaints and claims against Mr. Lee, has been named. Zero official or police reports have been filed, zero charges made. What we DO have to go on, however, as pointed out in this articulate and level-headed AV Club article (written by a woman), is that Mr. Lee, through his lawyers, have claimed that a former nursing firm which he employed, has been trying to get money out of him via threats of these "allegations", and since he refused to give them a dime, they "went public" with it. Not to the New York Times, or the Wall Street Journal, or hell, even FOX NEWS. Nope, they "went public", without naming themselves OR the supposed accusers, to the lowest rung on the "news" ladder, The Daily Fucking Mail.

And WHY this accusation, and ALL of this information, is important, is because regardless of the veracity of the "source", regardless of the extremely dubious nature of the "news outlet" that leaked the story, the fact is, SO many people, women AND men, were immediately ready to believe that Stan Lee is guilty. No details needed, no facts need be confirmed, no self-defense on his part necessary. Just, open and shut, he's a straight white (never mind that he's Jewish) male, he was SUPPOSEDLY accused of sexual deviancy, he MUST be Automatically Guilty. And THAT is the problem. Not that a 95 year old man MAY have grabbed a handful of some nurse's ass. If he DID, that ISN'T ok, and it WOULD be wrong, though there are far worse things in the world. But that isn't the issue here.

The ISSUE, is that regardless of the FACTS, which most people gleefully not merely choose to ignore, but do not even bother to PURSUE for themselves at all, you have literally millions of people sitting on social media, waiting like so many salivating vultures, for the NEXT man to be proclaimed guilty in what has become the "Court of Public Opinion". It isn't even necessary to have a trial anymore. It isn't necessary to PROVE that someone did something wrong, that they are ACTUALLY guilty. It doesn't matter if they're completely INNOCENT, and the mere existence of an allegation is going to completely destroy their career and their life. What matters is that the general, most especially social media prowling public, is SO ready to believe that ANY (straight) man could be a disgusting, harassing, assaulting, raping monster, that the very second even an allegation as utterly VAGUE and questionable as this issue with Stan Lee drops, they are ready to pounce on it like lions awaiting their next meal.

Not So Blind After All...

A question I'd like to ask, to all of those who were/are so very willing to believe that a man like Stan Lee would do this, and are so ready to think "of COURSE he's guilty", is, simply put: "What would you do?" What would any of YOU do, male OR female, if you were suddenly blindsided by accusations that you KNEW to be false, you KNEW you were innocent, but the REST of the world is automatically ready to not only assume, but to PROCLAIM your Obvious Guilt? What if you were immediately assumed guilty of something, which cost you your job, your connections, your endorsements, any projects or prospects you may have had, or WILL have in the future, all on someone's word, and public opinion? No court, no trial, no "Delivery of Justice". Just You're Accused = You're Guilty. Period.

How would Stan Lee's wife of 70 years feel, he person who knew him best and his biggest supporter, to suddenly see her husband's name dragged through the mud? How is his daughter, or ANY of his surviving family and friends, supposed to feel? Do you expect that THEY should also all automatically assume he's guilty and a monster? Or do you expect that they should do what ANY good family and friends who actually CARE about someone, would do, and stand BY him, and believe when he says that he didn't do it, that he DIDN'T DO IT? The problem we're facing, is that in people's zealousness to root out the very real and longstanding issue of harassment and assault in the entertainment industry, people have adopted this ignorant mentality that EVERY man who is accused, even if that's ALL it is, is a vague and baseless accusation, IS guilty, regardless of whether he actually IS guilty or not. To many, it doesn't even MATTER if a man is guilty, because as I've seen it stated many times, "I have no problem with innocent men suffering, if it means that more women are safe." 

I hate to break it to feminists and so-called "Social Justice Warriors", but that statement does NOT represent Equality OR Justice, at all. The very fact that if a woman was met with accusations like this, that she would either immediately be assume to be innocent, or worse, that it would likely be hypocritically dismissed, is not lost in this situation. If, just as a hypothetical example, let's say actress Betty White was levied with the EXACT same accusations, that she groped and harassed nurses, even MALE nurses. Would you like to take a guess at what public opinion and reaction of that exact same scenario, with the genders reversed, would be? I can't of course state for a fact, but I DO feel pretty damn confident in guessing that she would NOT be vilified at all. If anything, people would probably laugh at it, saying something like "Oh yeah, I could see Betty White doing something like that, dirty old lady!" Or perhaps "C'mon man, she's old, let her have her fun before she goes!" And regardless of exact public reaction, I could almost guarantee that it would not be taken very seriously, and would NOT be faced with the same level of social media hostility and ugliness that Stan Lee's accusation has been. And that, dear readers, is complete and utter hypocritical bullshit.

Ready for the next burning.

Honestly, just putting myself out here, as I did a couple days ago when this "news" first leaked, to dare, to have the AUDACITY to defend Stan Lee's legacy, and his honor, could be damaging to me in a very real way. For instance, as a writer, a writer who is writing novels and looking to finally get published, hopefully sooner than later, I am fully aware that in today's climate, I could very realistically be endangering my ability to even GET a literary agent. Why do I say that? Because the reality today, is that I am a (straight) male, and by virtue of my even publicly speaking OUT in favor of Mr. Lee, let alone writing an entire thought-out article trying to DEFEND him, and to DECRY this mob mentality of "Automatic Guilt Based on Gender",  I am risking what is tantamount to a form of "Guilt By Association". Many agents, or publishers, could see that I am someone publicly DEFENDING a man who has been accused of sexual misconduct, period, and say to themselves "I'm not going to work with THAT kind of person".

Because that is what this is all about. Stan Lee, by merely BEING accused, regardless of his very probable (in light of known facts) innocence, is automatically assumed by the greater public to now be a monster, and I, as one of the VERY few having the audacity (or if you'd prefer, "brass") to publicly defend him, am then guilt of at the VERY least being seen as somewhat "Monster-Adjacent". The problem with Mob Mentality and Group Think, is that if you dare to go AGAINST the Mob, if you dare to think for yourself and go AGAINST the Group, you're automatically a monster. People that once "liked" or "supported" you, can and will, on a dime, turn on you and act like your worst enemy, or block you from their lives.

And that is what Mr. Lee is in danger of, as well. Even if he is able to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, publicly, that he absolutely DIDN'T grope or harass anyone, the damage, as they say, may well have already been done. Many of the people who were ready to rabidly pounce on the idea that he is a"Sexual Predator", even IF they just moments before considered him a great and beloved person, are liable to CONTINUE thinking ill of him, regardless of proven Innocence. And part of that, is due to this notion of "Believe All Women". The dual implications of which being, that first and foremost, ALL women are, at ALL times, honest and truthful and trustworthy, and they would NEVER be dishonest, or conniving, or have ANY sort of malicious or harmful intent behind levying accusations at anyone. Or as I have alternately had it explained to me by many, "These women have no reason to lie". Except that EVERYONE can, will, and DOES lie. The implication is also that all women are automatically innocent and helpless victims, who could only ever be RISKING themselves by accusing a man of mistreatment. The REVERSE implication, of course, is that ALL men are Automatically Guilty of any possible accusations, regardless of burden of proof, regardless of the alleged Rule of Law. Law doesn't even often enter into the situation in this new climate. It is, rather, Public Opinion, swayed heavily by Social Media, which proclaims a man Guilty. And by these public "rulings", men have lost their jobs, and their reputations and lives are essentially destroyed, even if they in reality did nothing wrong.

The very ASSUMPTION that, purely based on gender, women are Automatically Innocent and Honest, and men are Automatically Guilty and not only disturbing and scary, it's also very frustrating and angering. I do not, and HAVE never, assumed that there aren't SOME men in the entertainment industry, in so-called "Positions of Power", who ARE in fact predators and monsters. Harvey Weinstein, after all, was fairly easy to believe being a piece of human garbage. And for the record, as if I need to continue stating it, I HATE the existence of sexual legitimate sexual harassment and assault. I HATE that any women are ever abused or victimized. To me, it not only violates the person, it violates what I believe is supposed to be the SACREDNESS of human intimacy and sexuality. The very existence of abuse, much less RAPE, makes me sick to my stomach. But that doesn't mean that I, not only as a MAN, but as a free and independent thinking HUMAN BEING, am going to blindly believe that EVERY man, or every PERSON, who gets accused of something, is Automatically Guilty. The very idea is Intellectually Bankrupt, and shows not only a dismissal of value for actual Equality and Justice, but quite frankly, an open disdain for it. Assuming a person is Automatically Guilty of ANYTHING, let alone based on the simple fact of something as arbitrary and uncontrollable as skin color, or gender, is in point of fact, a MOCKERY of so-called "Justice".

Still a Legend.

Now, if it weren't obvious, I would like to wrap this article up by stating that, yes, I personally consider Stan Lee to be Innocent, and these accusations against him to be Complete Bullshit. Does that somehow make me a "BAD PERSON", for standing up for one of my childhood heroes, and having the audacity to proclaim that until PROVEN otherwise, that he is, as far as I'm concerned, Innocent? Fuck no, it doesn't! Am I willing to put myself in the public crossfire, and as previously stated, possibly even do some damage to my OWN reputation and future prospects, to defend the man and his honor? Obviously, I am.

It bothers me QUITE a bit, that all it takes is one accusation, and to apparently a great many, that's all it takes. A man they once loved and admired, now automatically a piece of human garbage, regardless of proof. The fact that someone would actually say that they'd rather Stan Lee be DEAD, than to merely be ACCUSED of such a thing, because the obvious implication is that Accusation = Guilt. The fact that, even if he IS innocent, for many, this is all it takes to permanently tarnish his image and reputation, in the mind of someone who doesn't bother taking the time to consider actual facts and think for themselves. And the very idea, that in the public consciousness, to many at least, when Mr. Lee DOES die someday, they will no longer mourn his loss and honor a Legend. Instead, they'll make derogatory remarks about ALLEGED acts he committed, and only think of him as some kind of "letch", instead of the great man that he honestly probably is.

Does my proclaimed love of Mr. Lee, and statement that he IS in fact one of my heroes, make me biased in the matter? Of course it does. But I'm going to let you all in on a little known secret: EVERYONE is Biased, and EVERYONE'S opinion is Subjective. Life experience, and personal opinion, by their very NATURE, are purely subjective. And what's more, I would rather be biased due to my LOVE or ADMIRATION of a person, than due to the obvious "background static" bias that MOST people on social media seem to be operating on these days, to be biased due to HATE and ill intent. The fact is, I DO believe Stan Lee to be a good and honorable person, and I thus believe him to be Innocent in this fiasco. But I ALSO believe that based on what little facts are actually known, which is FAR more than most who were ready to burn him at the Twitter stake can say.

Frankly, if he turned out to be guilty, I would be disappointed. But I wouldn't regret putting my "neck on the line", so to speak, to defend him. Why? Because he's a hero of mine, a legend and an icon. If he really DID grope or harass some nurses, that is shitty of him, and he should apologize. But even if he WERE guilty, that doesn't mean he's a "monster", nor does it make him less of a legend. It would make him flawed, and human, and someone who had a moment of stupidity or weakness, as ALL humans do, in some form or other. Just as I was unafraid to publicly discuss, much less DEFEND the honor and character of former NFL player Ray Rice, who by the way ACTUALLY committed an act far worse than groping, I am unafraid of the possibility that Stan might have done it. These things DO come in degrees, after all, and while ALL acts of harassment or assault are bad, they are not ALL equal, not in the eyes of the law, and not in reality. Ray Rice got drunk and got in an idiotic scuffle with his drunk fiance. Yet THAT fact doesn't make him a monster, it doesn't mean he's a bad person, nor does it mean that he should have been (and continues to be) ostracized from the NFL, and from public life. And if THAT'S true, than Mr. Lee playing "Grabass" doesn't make him a monster either, nor does it mean HE should be demonized or vilified or ostracized.

Having SAID that, I do believe him to be Innocent. But as the title of this article postulates, it's honestly BIGGER than whether or not Stan Lee groped or harassed anyone. The issue here, the only thing that is truly "Problematic" (though I loathe that moronic term), is the very FACT that so many millions of people would readily believe, without any proof, without any actual THOUGHT process on their own part, that he's Automatically Guilty. THAT, to the intellectual and thinking mind, to a mind that ACTUALLY valued Equality and Justice, should be EVERY bit as important and meaningful as ACTUAL acts of harassment and abuse are. The greater public should care JUST as much about a person's possible INNOCENCE, as they so very obviously do a person's possible VICTIMHOOD. Women (and people in general) should NOT have to live in fear of mistreatment. But by that same token, men (and people in general), ALSO should NOT have to live in what is becoming a very real fear, a very real reality, of their own possible accusation, and IMMEDIATE Automatic Guilt in the eyes of the public. Crucified by the faceless masses, strangers AND people they actually know, on no stronger a basis than "He's male, he MUST be Guilty".

BOTH are Equally Wrong, and if you don't honestly see things that way, I'm sorry, but that makes YOU part of the Greater Problem, NOT part of the Solution.