Saturday, September 23, 2017

Love and Life

You know...I'm not going to "judge" people like Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington for taking their own lives. And this isn't about "judgement", so for anyone who might read this, don't even bother going there.

However, I will say that I simply do not understand how they could do it. You can say whatever you want about "chemical imbalances" and whatever meds they were on "affecting their minds" etc. etc. etc. But at the end of the day, IGNORING the fact that they were rich and successful and "had it all". The most important thing to me, the reason I find it unbelievable that they could just kill themselves, is because they both had wives and children and families who truly loved them.
I have never had a wife and children. I have never truly felt like I had "Family". I have relatives, but I've never had that "Family" closeness, in my entire life. And even many of the "friends" I've had over my life, have been rather dubious, and more than a few have turned out to false and self-interested, self-serving, etc. But one of the key factors in the depression that I have suffered and struggled with most of my life, has stemmed from loneliness and being alone. Not having even that "One" person in your life, who is always there, who will always love you and lift you up, no matter what.

Chris and Chester had that, and more. I can only imagine what it would feel like to NOT feel alone, and to actually HAVE love in my life, a wife, children, family. They had that. Yet they both chose to take their own lives, and LEAVE their loves and their families. Selfishly. I won't sit here and tell you I've never contemplated suicide in my own life. I have, a great many times. Possibly too many times to count. I don't talk about this with the vast majority of people I know openly, because quite frankly, it's my own private business, and most people do not need to know, much less do they truly care. But I can tell you with authority, that my ever wanting to kill myself, has stemmed DIRECTLY from being alone and miserable in this life.

If I had even just a woman/wife in my life, that one person who TRULY loved me and to whom I meant the world to, I would never EVER kill myself. Much less if we had children together, a beautiful family that WE had made together. I couldn't even conceive of wanting to die in that scenario. Why? Because I believe, have ALWAYS believed, that were I to HAVE that in my life, love, family, I would want to LIVE. A desire for death only comes from feeling like you have nothing and that nothing will ever get better. I'm sure many people who have suffered with depression and suicidal thoughts could tell you that. But if I had that love in my life, while everything, and my own problems, might not just magically disappear, I CAN tell you that all of the miseries and tediousness and frustrations of life would be a hell of a lot more tolerable. I could bare it all, because I had "Her", because I had "them" in my life. I would want to live as long as I possibly could, just to BE with them, and enjoy whatever time I could possibly get with them. I that with authority now more than ever, being almost 36 years old and still alone in life.

But the POINT is, that is why I cannot conceive why they would want to die, or how they could bring themselves to do it. Having loving wives, having loving children and families in their lives. I'm not saying that if I had a wife and kids that I wouldn't still be broken inside. That may be unfixable at this point, for all I know. But I WOULD love them as much as I possibly could, and would savor every moment with them that I could get. Doing what they did, to me, was selfish, and you could argue even an act of betrayal to the people who held them most dear. People who loved them and depended on them. Basically what I have wanted for myself my entire life, dating even back to childhood.

And I'm just saying, I don't get it. If I had what they had, personally, I would never, COULD never, do what they did.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Selective Facts and Moral Superiority

I'm sorry, but militant, cultist, morally superior, virtue signalling Vegans really piss me the hell off.

You've got people suffering and dying, losing their homes, even losing their LIVES, in these hurricanes and wildfires and crazy shit that's going on. And all they can think to do is sit around barfing up their religious fanaticism about "SEE, IF YOU JERKS DIDN'T EAT MEAT, THIS WOULDN'T BE HAPPENING!".

Make no mistake, we DO need to change the way we do pretty much EVERYTHING in our society (and EVERY society), not 20 years from now but TODAY. And that includes farming practices. But let's also get something straight here:

1. Choosing not to eat meat or use animal products does NOT make you superior to anyone.

2. People who DO eat meat or choose to use animal products, including dairy, are NOT bad people, and you have ZERO right to bully or shame them for THEIR lifestyle choice, when you expect YOURS to be respected.

3. The meat industry, particular beef, IS destructive and harmful to the environment, but not NEARLY to the level that fanatical vegans try to make it out to be. That doesn't mean it doesn't NEED to change. It absolutely has to, just like everything else we do wrong that was never sustainable in the first place. But even if you convinced everyone to stop eating BEEF, let alone ALL meat and animal products TOMORROW, it would not, repeat NOT, "Save the World". It would be a drop in the bucket compared to every OTHER source of pollution and garbage/waste, and oil spills, and gas leaks, and second-hand smoke, and carbon emissions, etc. etc. etc. Just because YOU don't consume animal products, does not mean that you are NOT still every bit as destructive and as much to blame for our modern issues in many OTHER ways, as everyone else is. If we're really going to give future generations a better tomorrow, or ANY tomorrow, we have to change SO much more than farming and dietary practices. And making the world Vegan, is NOT going to have nearly as much impact as you dream that it would. In fact, it would push people to over-produce and over-consume even MORE non-meat products, which in turn would have their OWN more destructive effects. It helps to actually think something through to conclusion, instead of just having what you think is a nice idea, and then beating people over the head with it at the top of your lungs (or fingers).

4. If you actually knew anything about human anatomy and biology, let alone anthropology and history, you'd know that human beings are NOT "meant" to be vegetarian or vegan. If someone CHOOSES that lifestyle, great for them, I 100% support them in that. But do NOT go around trying to tell people, let alone ME, that that is "How humans are supposed to be". Because that's flat out bullshit, on an evolutionary scale. If we were meant to be herbivores, our bodies wouldn't literally digest protein matter FAR easier than plant matter. Our teeth wouldn't be sharp and jagged, even our molars. They would be flat and dull, like a herbivores. There is nothing WRONG with choosing to not eat meat. If that is your choice, I commend you. But do NOT do what every other asshole on the planet does, and go around trying to selectively hold up cherry-picked and partially-understood "scientific facts", as validation for your virtue signaling and moral superiority.

5. If you are the type of person who uses tragedies such as these, as an opportunity to push your own agenda, you are no better, no more intelligent, no more morally superior, no less ignorant, no less petty, and no less shallow than the assholes like Cameron Kirk and the Westboro Baptist Church, who blame natural disasters like this on "The Wrath of God", because of something others do THEY don't approve of. In either case, you're a heartless asshole, and part of the problem. You are NOT one of the good guys. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Freedom of Expression

By now, everyone in America, and many around the world, are familiar with what went down in Charlottesville, Virginia. A group of "White Supremacists" decided to hold a rally, chanting such charming things as "Black Lives Don't Matter" and "We're Taking Our Country Back". So-called "Anti-Protesters", people who stand against their rhetoric, also showed up, to try and shout them down, or at the very least, one would suppose, show that people won't sit at home while these kinds of fools march around. But then, as things often do, especially in today's tense and troubled times, shit got real. Violence erupted, and in the escalation, some asshole decided to take a page out of ISIS' notebook, and drove his car into a crowd of "Anti-Protesters". Many people were injured, and one woman died. This act was ignorant, and evil, as are these words. The fact that an American emulated the Islamic Terrorist tactics of driving cars into crowds, is pretty terrifying, and I doubt it'll be the last instance.

However, while I have no love whatsoever for so-called "Nazis" (although let's be honest, no matter what they call themselves, these Home Depot clowns aren't Nazis), there is something worth musing, that I have posited myself elsewhere, that few seem to actually want to step up and answer. That being: If the driver had been one of the "ANTIFA" (aka Liberal) protesters, driving into a crowd of the "White Supremacists", how many of the people (rightly) decrying this act, would be the exact same people cheering it? If it had been an "SJW" killing a "Nazi" with their car, how many of these same people would be applauding them and calling them a "Hero"?

My guess, is quite a few. A lot more than most people would likely want to admit. As a "Person of Color" (though I dislike the term) myself, of mixed-ancestry, I have experienced bigotry and "racism" from all quarters. I've been attacked for looking non-white. I've been attacked for being white. I've been attacked for my Middle-Eastern heritage. I've been attacked for "still being too white to have a voice in PoC issues", etc. etc. etc.

But my thing is this. Are these "White Supremacist" idiots and ignorant assholes? Absolutely. 100%. Few are going to actually try to make a solid argument against that. But are every single one of them "EVIL"? Probably not. A lot of them, outside of this retarded group, outside of the fervor and the paranoia and the hate, are probably decent people, with jobs, and friends, and family, some even children. Should they be beaten, or threatened, or doxed? Should their families be threatened by association? Should they and their families lives be ruined? No, they shouldn't. 1. Because that isn't going to fix or solve anything. And 2. Because that is exact the disgusting, ignorant kinds of actions that many on the "Left" accuse many of the "Right" of already doing. It is endemic of the reality of this entire situation: that it's an endless Feedback Loop, with people on one side getting more aggressive and vile, which spurs the other side to escalate, etc. etc. But that is a topic for another day.

The biggest question is: Should hate speech be tolerated? Should bigoted, racist rhetoric, even in the form of "Free Speech Demonstrations", be allowed in public forums? I will admit, because they are either indirectly or sometimes directly advocating violence and harm to others, there is an argument to be made that NO, it shouldn't be allowed. But, on that same token, if we're going to shut down this kind of thing, then we should also shut down "Black Lives Matter" protests that go far beyond their original purpose, and devolve into straight up racism and bigotry themselves, carrying signs and yelling out things like "FUCK ALL WHITE PEOPLE", and "THE WORLD NEEDS LESS WHITES". And those are just some of the nicer things I've seen.

The problem with Freedom, is that everyone ELSE around you has it too. I have long said that "The True Price of Freedom, is Having to Tolerate The Freedom of Others". It isn't sending people to foreign wars to kill people, because rich folks who run shit say so. The true Price of Freedom, is that I have the freedom to say whatever the fuck I want, and so does some redneck piece of trash who wants to wave a Nazi flag. That is America. You're allowed to be a Nazi if you want to be a Nazi, unfortunately. Just as much as you are allowed to be a white-hating "Black Supremacist" who preaches a mythological doctrine which states that ALL white people are biologically evil, animals less than human, and need to be wiped out. Yes, those people exist, because I've run into them FAR too many times online. Two sides of the same, hideous coin, if you ask me.

Me personally? I don't WANT to live in a world where "White Supremacists", or "Black Supremacists" or "Muslim Supremacists" or "Christian Supremacists", or ANY of those kinds of hateful assholes, exist. However, this is the world we live in. And I happen to value my Freedom of Expression. For my Freedom of Expression to have ANY real value and worth, I have to believe that it applies to EVERYONE, not just me, and not just people who say things I like or approve of. But everyone. Even the hateful, ignorant, mouth-breathing assholes. I say, let people hang themselves with their own words. LET them be racists, LET them hold rallies and look like the fucking idiots they are. And then let people publicly CONDEMN them for it, and point OUT what racist troglodytes they really are.

But to shut down Free Speech? To shut down rallies and protests? That is a slippery slope. Where does it end? Shutting down their Youtube channels and blogs and websites? Making it "illegal" to publicly even SAY racist things at all? In some sense, that ALMOST seems justified. But then what's next? Coming after OTHER "harmful" or "radical" ideologies? Coming after people like me, who like to express myself, with colorful language and sometimes, yes, "Radical" ideas of my own? If we start becoming a Society of Censorship, instead of a Society of Free Expression, I'm sorry, but that is not the society I want to live in.

As an artist, a writer, a person, I value my ability to say whatever the hell I feel like, and as a grown ass adult, I'll deal with the consequences. And if we start shutting down protests, and then shutting down dialogue and discussion, shutting down people's ability to speak and express themselves, REGARDLESS of what they have to say... where does that end? Because if it ends with me ALSO getting censored, told "You can't say that" or "You can't talk about that", "You can't write about that". You know what? Fuck that, and fuck anyone who would want to do that to me. I don't WANT racist assholes to spread their idiocy. But I DO want to be able to express MYSELF without restraint. So unfortunately, for that to mean anything real, THOSE clowns have to have the same right that I have. I don't even remotely value WHAT they have to say. But I do feel obligated to value their RIGHT to say it.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Group-Think and Individualism

It's sad how that guy from Google people are talking about, was fired for spreading an "anti-diversity" campaign. Except that's not what he did. His overall point (if you actually read it) was to treat people as individuals, on a case by case basis, NOT as simply part of their group (IE black, Hispanic, Muslim, female, LGBT, etc.). Which is exactly how people SHOULD be treated, and regarded, as individuals, who are unique and not part of a larger mold. Everyone, even people within certain so-called "Groups", are different. 

He was basically fired because the fine people in charge at Google, are apparently the SJW types who don't believe people SHOULD be treated as individuals. The kind of people who call out women or LGBT or blacks (as examples) for "betraying their own kind, or internalized sexism/racism/etcism" for simply daring to think for themselves and have their own views on things, separate from the echo chamber. It really strikes me, from the way these people act, that they expect all women/feminists should act and think the same, that all blacks should act/think the same, that all LGBT people should act/think the same, etc. etc. etc. And that idea is beyond disturbing, because it implies that there is no room for Diversity of thought, belief and personality, within this "Diverse" world they claim to be trying to build for the betterment of everyone. 

It's amazing to me, as a so-called "Progressive", that these kinds of idiots claim to be "Progressive", that they claim to value individuality and choice and personal agency, yet act threatened when you challenge their established rhetoric even the slightest bit. And mind you, this isn't unique to "Liberals", people such as the Alt-Right or extremist Religious folks act the exact same way. Here's the major problem with that: If your ideals cannot stand up to dissent or even the tiniest bit of criticism or debate, those ideals are worth less than nothing. If any other thoughts outside of the specific "Safe Space Bubble" that you wish to create, are seen as THREATS...well, I hate to break it to you, but that's called fascism. Intellectual Fascism as the very least, and ANTI-Intellectual as well.

It's just ridiculous, and pretty frightening, when an alleged value for "Diversity", doesn't actually value Diversity. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Be Consistent

If Christians started telling women (in general, not just in their denominations) to "cover themselves" again, especially from head to toe, such as being forced to wear some sort of head-covering, Western Feminists would flip their shit. And rightfully so. But Muslims doing it is somehow "ok", because "that's their culture", and "the women choose to". Never mind that many actually DON'T have a "choice", and the only reason most "choose" to wear a Hijab, is because if they don't, they'll be viewed or labeled as a "Whore", and their very lives might even be in danger.

The idea behind making women cover their bodies (and hair, and even faces), is the same in Islam now, as it was for centuries in Christianity. It's no "mandate from God". It's making women cover up their God-given natural beauty, because "it's too alluring, distracting and tempting for men". Mind you, I do NOT subscribe to "Rape Culture" bullshit. But I DO have common sense, and recognize that we should live in a society where EVERYONE, women included, can feel free, comfortable, and safe, to dress however they want, even if they are completely nude.

The fact that we live in the 21st Century, and so many tens of millions of human beings still somehow view the human body as "dirty" and "sinful", something to hide and be ashamed of, is actually embarrassing in it's staggering ignorance. Modesty by choice is one thing, but prudity via enforced cultural shaming, is quite another. In my view, as a straight male, we should be able to live in a society where it is OK for men to look at, appreciate, and even celebrate their love of the female form, while at the same time women can also feel completely comfortable and safe. Some might call that "Utopian". I call it "something that has literally existed before", if you look back far enough at many ancient societies.

But coming back to the point, people need to be consistent. If it isn't okay for "White Christians" to tell women to cover themselves, then it isn't okay for Muslims to do it either. Period. Be consistent. If you stand for something, STAND for it, not just where it's safe and convenient. Otherwise, you're nothing but a phony and a hypocrite. Food for thought.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Saying Goodbye to the San Diego Chargers

You know, I haven't been a San Diego Chargers fan since Drew Brees left down. Even though the Ravens are my #1 team, by choice, I have love for the Seattle Seahawks because I was born in the Northwest, and similarly had love for the Chargers for years because I spent the first few years of my life in San Diego, before moving up to Northern California.

In fact, two of my favorite NFL quarterbacks of all time, Doug Flutie, and a man you could very well call his protege for their time spent together in SD, Drew Brees, played for the Chargers in the early to mid 2000s. When Brees left, I essentially "followed him" to to New Orleans, and started rooting for the Saints instead of the chargers, because I've never really cared of Phillip Rivers, and I was angry at the Chargers front office for cutting ties with Brees just because of a shoulder injury. An injury he obviously overcame, by the way, and went on to win a Super Bowl with the Saints, become of the greatest QBs to ever play football, with the Saints. Good move on San Diego's part, right?

But still, the Chargers have a long and proud history in San Diego, a town that once also used to have the San Diego Clippers, before they too, needlessly moved to Los Angeles. The Chargers were arguably the most successful team of the 1960s AFL era, and it was largely due to their success, and their exciting brand of football, that the NFL was intimidating by rising AFL ratings and attendance, and decided to go for the merger that would see them absorb the AFL teams into the NFL in the 1970s, creating what is now known as the AFC.

I still have an old navy blue Chargers shirt, with a faded yellow lightning bolt on the front, and now that the team is moving out of town, having an old San Diego shirt like that means even more. San Diego is a decent city, crime aside, and the fanbase there deserves to keep their team. But, as we're constantly reminded "The NFL is a Business", which roughly translates to "Rich people don't give a fuck about your fanhood or passion for the game and it's players, they just want to make even more money". And that goes for players AND owners.

So to all the San Diego Chargers fans, I'm sorry you're losing your team. I know it isn't AS bad as the Las Vegas Raiders debacle. At least the Chargers are staying in Southern California. But I know it still sucks. Here's to the memories. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Thoughts on Race and Racism, From a Person of "Mixed" Ethnicity

I actually found something on Tumblr that made sense.

Not that it should even need to be said, but this newfound "only white people can be racist" line of thought is not only dangerous, it's also some of the most ignorant and hypocritical I've ever heard of in my 35 years of life.

To be blunt: If you are one of those who have adopted the SJW idea that "white people are naturally racist even if they don't try to be, and non-whites are incapable of being racist"? Then you're a bigot yourself, or more specifically, a racist. And you also need to learn what words mean.

I'm a writer, and a former English Major (and Honors Student, just to clarify). I don't know every word on the planet, but I have a pretty firm grasp. According to the dictionary, Racism means: "Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior." In short, ideas such as saying that all white people are racist by default, and that black people (the popular example) "can't be racist", is not only absurd in the face of logic and common sense, but it's also by the very definition, a racist ideal. That very idea that ANYONE is magically "exempt" from ever being considered racist, because of their color of their skin, let alone that many are actually coming to believe this, is both laughable, and quite disturbing.

Trust me when I tell you, that I have also read and heard MORE than enough from black bloggers, vloggers and commenters on the internet and social media alone, just within the last year, to tell you have have literally seen them and heard them being racist. It's not only possible, it's prevalent in the online sphere, every bit as much as, and perhaps in part in reaction to, white people being racist online. It seems that a lot of folks feel "safe" behind a keyboard in the online realm, and can put aside things like common sense and decency. They also seem to feel they can just openly be as bigoted as hateful as they feel like, because after all "what is anybody gonna do about it?"

But the bottom line is, yes, black people, and brown people, and yellow people, and red people, and purple people, and RAINBOW people, can ALL be racist. Just the same as women can be sexist. That is how those concepts work. They are not some big phantom blanket term that covers all of society. They are terms referring to each and every individual THOUGHT and ACTION. I have seen and heard just as vile and disgusting, depressing stuff from black Americans online, as I have from white Americans. I've seen PLENTY of white people be racist online. It surely exists. But I'm saying that it seems to exist just as much from non-whites. Everyone can be racist, defined by their thoughts, beliefs and actions towards others based on the color of their skin or their ethnic background.

When you have a fundamental philosophy behind a movement, that states that black humans are the original humans, the "children of god" (IE special and exalted), and everyone else is basically just an accident, that is racism. When that same core mythology also states, that white people were CREATED, as an abhorrent freak of nature by some ancient African evil scientist, or alternatively are still just some freak mutation by Nature that wasn't meant to exist. And that BY THEIR NATURE, white people are evil, destructive, and basically "no good", no matter how good they may ACT, THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is textbook racism. It is literally no different from 100+ years ago, when racists whites made up "scientific evidence" that non-whites were less capable or less intelligent. In that ideology I'm referencing, which can be clearly found without much effort repeated all across the internet, white people are, and I quote "less human" than blacks and other people. Or just outright "not human".

I know these things because I've read them with my own eyes, or heard them with my own ears. When you have people saying things, in all straight-faced seriousness, such as "the only way black people are ever going to be free, is with the eradication of the white race", THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is textbook racism. I know because I've seen it. And it is JUST as evil, JUST as ignorant, and JUST as depressing to see, as the SAME exact kinds of sentiments I have also read from some whites, such as, for example, the recent appearance of the so-called "Alt Right" crowd. Folks paranoid that "white people" are going to disappear from the earth in time, and they "need to fight for survival". People on diametrically opposed sides of the same ignorant coin, neither of whom are willing to actually listen, or learn, actually communicate, and grow. They are unwilling to try and be better, to try and think with sober, mature, and rational minds, because "everything wrong and everything we suffer is _____ fault". And that goes for more than just people obsessed with race online. That goes for people obsessed with gender, and sexist issues as well.

I have mentioned many times, that I myself am of "mixed" heritage. As such, I know from personal experience that non-whites can be every bit as much racist as whites. How do I know this? Because sadly, I've experienced racism from both whites and non-whites in my life, directly. And if you've never had that experience, for one thing, count your blessings, but for another, let me tell you with authority: It SUCKS, and feels shitty, no matter who it's coming from. I've heard it all in my time: whites being racist to blacks, whites being racist to Latinos, whites being racist to Asians, whites being racist to middle eastern people (including myself), blacks being racist to whites, blacks being racist to Asians, blacks being racist to middle eastern people, blacks being racist to Latinos, Latinos being racist to whites, Asians being racist to blacks, martians being racist to cat-people, the list go on and on.

But in all seriousness and blunt honesty, it never stops befuddling and sickening me, just how obsessed petty humans are with skin color, or ethnic background. Hell, for all the talk about "white people", you still hear people of Irish ancestry talk shit about Italians, or German people talk shit about the Polish, or the French, or Russians, etc. etc. I've heard Asians talk shit about other types of Asians, blacks talk shit about Jamaicans or Haitians, etc. etc. While "Rich White Dudes" DO in fact mostly rule the world, and it sucks (not because they're white, but because they're greedy, callous assholes), the fact of the matter is, racism seems to be pretty damn universal. People in various Latin American countries are racist towards people from OTHER Latin American countries. People from various African countries, or European or Asian countries, are racist towards people from other countries in THEIR own region. And on and on.

Meaning: Anybody, and EVERYBODY, can be racist. There are no defaults, and no exemptions. Any notions as such, are merely fantasy, and pure ignorance, acts of racism in and of themselves. And until more people of EVERY skin tone actually start getting that Truth through their skulls, this tiresome race shit is never going to go away. It isn't that simple, at all, but there IS still something to what Morgan Freeman said, "If you want racism to go away, then stop talking about it". That's an oversimplification of course, but I feel like his actual point, was probably along the lines of what I myself am saying: That people, especially in America, but frankly all over the world, are so obsessed with "Race", skin tone, sexuality, gender, nationality, religion, and all of these other absurd, petty things that we use to divide ourselves, that too few people ARE actually focusing on growing the hell up and being better as human beings.

All of these racial issues, even just in America, are not merely going to magically disappear someday when all white people finally "stop being racist". Even if all white Americans suddenly vanished from the face of the earth, most of these issues would persist, in some form or another. We, as a human race, in the 21st Century, are still stuck on dumb, childish bullshit like skin tone. And instead of embracing and celebrating each other's differences, instead we delight (yes, delight) and obsess in vilifying each other for them.

If Aliens, assumedly "more advanced" than us, dropped down for a visit right this second, they would think that ALL of us, not just those of us who are "evil by nature because others say so", are fucking morons. And that's putting it nicely. Our Mother Earth is sick and slowly dying at our own hands, species of plant and animal life continue to disappear from the Earth forever by our own hands, yet all we can do is argue about skin tones, and "whose fault" all of our problems are. Instead of just growing the hell up, taking responsibility for ourselves AND our planet, and fixing things like we can, and should. And that, ladies and gentleman, makes us pathetic. Not just the ones who are "at fault", not just "Straight White Men" or "Rich People". ALL of us are to blame, because ALL of us still willingly just stand around stuck in our own quagmire of psychological and cultural bullshit.

Not a single adult on this earth is "innocent" of this. And no one will be a true Hero, until more of us grow the hell up, stand the hell up, and actually do things that matter, instead of continuing to argue over our petty differences, like spoiled, insufferable brats. Social issues matter. But none of them are AS important or AS dire as we pretend. And NONE of them are going to matter, if we don't have a planet that is still livable to our grandchildren. That is where my heart and mind lies...and always has. We could just wake up one day and decide to save ourselves, and the planet. But we have to actually decide to, actually want to. And that, I'm afraid, is simply how it is.