Thinking about abused men’s shelters

In a blogging mood today. Not expecting anyone to read what all’s posted today since I’m mostly just sorting out thoughts, as I’m prone to do.

Another thought that’s been running through my mind lately are these calls for men’s abuse shelters. Now, frankly, I can’t see them serving much purpose since most men very likely wouldn’t feel comfortable retreating to places like that. Based on what they’ve told me when I’ve asked anyway. In fact, not a single guy I personally know who’s been told of the notion thinks it’s a worthwhile use of funds, because they can’t see many men utilizing such facilities. Pride probably has a lot to do with it. That, and the fact that a lot of guys would rather retreat to a hotel room or to a buddy’s house.

But I continued giving thought to the idea, and I think I’ve come up with a reasonable response to this need, assuming there is a need. What are MRAs’ clamoring about most when it comes to this topic? That there aren’t any (or at least there are very few) abused men’s shelters and that they can’t get government grants and funding to start them up. Well this seems like a silly attempt to follow in feminists’ footsteps by trying to get the State to fund something to mirror what’s been made available to women. My thinking is that there’s no reason to involve the State at all.

Picture this. We live in this society surrounded by oh-so-many people with big houses containing guestrooms. Why not create a grassroots effort where individuals offer up a safe space within their homes to men in need? I’ve considered some of the concerns involved, a big one being to provide secrecy of these locations, and this is where a website venture could come in handy in connecting people in need with people with resources to share. Why not? It’s not a bad idea. And considering how many men are jumping on board with the whole MRM camp, undoubtedly donations would be plentiful, not that there’d be a great need for many since this wouldn’t involve constructing facilities solely dedicated to one purpose.  How much does it cost to make an extra meal (or even a few more if kids are brought along) at dinnertimes? Or to cover the expense of showers and toilet flushings? Not a whole heck of a lot.

I live in a city where there are TONS of big houses (by my standards anyway), and I work for some folks who live all alone in big places with several bedrooms. Rather than worrying about reallocating government funds, why not turn attention to reallocating space and opening it up to people in need? This could also offer the benefit of allowing a man in need to interact with the homeowner opening up his home, which could lead to friendship. It also could lead to MRAs gaining a more realistic assessment of the situation through coming face to face with the purported victims themselves rather than shipping them off to some unseen hideout elsewhere. I think this could provide a fantastic opportunity that feminists passed over by pawning off the problem of abused women onto the State, because feminists, by and large, don’t really get to know these abused women or to hear directly about their experiences or to find out about their natures and ways of being. Could be quite eye-opening for men to seize the day and give it a go themselves. Seems a pity not to considering so many guys are clamoring for shelters, claiming there’s a need, while so many houses contain plenty of space to share with people they claim to care about. Looks like a win-win to me.

I’m not even being sarcastic. It’s a way to bring about a grassroots effort without waiting around for the State and public to care, taking the initiative on oneself, while also simultaneously keeping the costs down. A website catering to this effort in a given locale can’t be that expensive to operate, especially not with volunteers choosing to be involved. People are so quick these days to look to the State to solve our social problems, and I really would like to see us find ways to solve them amongst ourselves where possible, and this looks to me very possible.

Those worried about security concerns can install nanny cams if they feel the need. And undoubtedly people can be screened and their information recorded in case incidences arise.

Isn’t this what communities are supposed to be about, helping people in their times of need? All I ever hear about anymore is political activism to where people seem to have forgotten about our social power and what’s within our means to accomplish on our own. Think of this like a buddy system of sorts where people in need can be paired with folks willing to help them, for however long, according to whatever conditions agreed upon in advance. Seems a shame not to go that route when there’s all this real estate sitting out here serving little purpose other than to provide people with a sense of status and accomplishment. Why not turn that asset into a way to give back to others?

It’s a thought…and assuming the need is as great as many profess it to be, it’s one worth seriously considering.

_______________________________

Read aloud and recorded Aug. 12th, 2014:

Thinking on males and violence (personal story-sharing)

Still have MRA/MGTOW/”manospherian” arguments and talking points on my mind lately, much as I sometimes wish I didn’t anymore. Got into an interesting conversation the other night with my companion, which I wish had been recorded, where we were discussing violence perpetrated between the sexes and how running of mouths can escalate things. He’s the type of man who doesn’t believe in hitting women, and likely it’d require some major breach for him to act differently (such as a woman attacking him with a lethal weapon or harming his son). The reason he takes this stance is because he is so physically powerful to where there is no question if he chose to hit, the fight would be over in an instant. Plain and simple. And he’s not the kind of man who needs to prove that in order to feel validatated, nor does he attract women who attempt to beat the shit out of him. But he’s no stranger to how women can run their mouths — myself in particular.

We talked about that, as we have already in the past, and I explained to him how my sense of physical powerlessness is likely a big reason for why I sometimes go for the jugular verbally (though I have been working on curbing this tendency for years, with mixed success — consider it something deeply ingrained and rooted in my childhood experiences of trying to defend myself against older males, particularly verbally). That sense of powerlessness that I experience is extremely frustrating to the point where I don’t always know how to handle it and get embarrassed when my last resort is simply to break down and cry because there’s nothing much else I can do in a given situation. It’s a frustrating dilemma, not only as a female but as a short-statured person who spends time socially primarily with males, because not all males are created equal. Some know they’re strong and use that to be intimidating and cruel toward physically weaker people. Over time I’ve learned to sniff out people a bit better so as to attract toward kinder men with higher standards of conduct for themselves, and due to this transition in my social scene I’ve been provided a strong incentive to reel in my own aggressive tendencies since they are overkill when directed at decent men. It’s been a learning process, and not an easy one.

My companion talked about how women running off at the mouth can come up against men who may be decent much of the time but who, once pushed beyond a certain limit, only see red and lash back out forcefully the way they might against a male “punking them out” like that. Yes, I’m aware of this. And this is a big reason why I don’t escalate violence beyond a slap, because I realize I am in no position to defend myself physically without a weapon at the ready. But the reason I have slapped is also generally due to how men can run their mouths and act as if they rule the roost and can act any which way (most offensive when in my own home), or because they grab me and won’t let go.  Some men pride themselves in not outright hitting women, but they may still grab, shove, kick, and physically restrain me. That’s been my experience, and I don’t see my slap as upping the ante any greater than their actions in these cases. But then again, I have been in a few situations (two immediately spring to mind as clear examples) where the man in question went way overboard and did harshly strike or physically damage me disproportionate to my prior actions. And both of those were huge neanderthal types who weren’t too bright and seemed to enjoy their ability to intimidate and manhandle others. Funny thing about both of those men in these examples is that neither would be too quick to get into a serious physical altercation with other men despite their body size and strength — underneath it all they were cowards who preyed upon and started shit with obviously physically weaker people.

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Why I’m not an anarchist and why libertarianism falls short (more thoughts on modern life)

Before I watched the video tonight by Justicar titled “Response to ThatGuyT’s Video: ‘The Justicar & Them Damn Libertarians’ I was starting to think the man had flown the coop based on a few videos that he made right after arguing with libertarians. But after viewing this one I’m better aware of where he’s coming from. And that’s the funny thing about him — why not instead of insulting people and labeling us a bunch of idiots does he not just post up relevant links to videos where he fleshes out his views in greater detail? That would be a lot more helpful than just resorting to snarky dismissals.

I used to refer to myself as a libertarian for a few short years, but by my early-to-mid 20s my views began to shift due to the arguments I kept hearing that left me quibbling over details. So I began referring to myself as “leaning libertarian,” meaning I share certain ideas in common with others who consider themselves libertarian, but not enough to where that label sufficiently describes my own viewpoints.

And before we go any further here, I think it’s important to draw a distinction between libertarians and anarchists. While overlap may occur between these two groups, they aren’t actually one and the same. An anarchist argues for a state-less society, and this is something I’ve never been able to wrap my mind around and have argued with anarchists about for many years. The way I see it is they’re advocating for a revolution but they don’t have a vision for where to go from there, to which I argue that another group will rise in power to fill that void out of necessity. This they always protest, but I see it as inevitable due to the complexities involved in managing any society and settling disputes (not to mention protecting property rights and persons where individuals prove unable to do so on their own). I concur that anarchists are envisioning cooperative utopias that are unrealistic and unsustainable, hence why I have never called myself an anarchist.

A libertarian, on the other hand, is a person who argues for a very limited government restricted from encroaching on matters best left to individuals, communities, and charities to tend to on their own. However, there are lots of disputes among libertarians over where to draw the lines. Some (if not many) are in favor of publicly funding the maintenance of public infrastructure. Some (if not most) recognize the value in funding a military and/or local militia. From there it gets trickier for folks to agree on much, especially considering how many have been indoctrinated into accepting neoconservatism and equating that with libertarianism, apparently not realizing they’d essentially be subject to a corporate state (i.e. corporatism). And that’s a big issue I personally take with libertarianism, dating back several years, hence why I am unable to fully embrace the label.

The way I see it is that an important role of government indeed must be to intelligently regulate businesses, which should have been more vigorously pursued throughout the last century though it was not. It appears that capitalism, if left unregulated (or poorly regulated), will eventually consume itself to where it ceases to be capitalism any longer and morphs into corporatism due to a number of major corporations gaining a stronghold across various sectors. This is accomplished by corporations growing in wealth to where they are able to buy out competitors or sell at a loss long enough to bankrupt competitors. We’ve also witnessed how major corporations have proven willing to collude with one another so as to promote their own interests, such as by agreeing not to undercut one another’s prices, thereby maintaining artificially higher prices than what one would expect in a truly competitive market. And with the wealth accumulated by major corporations, they’ve proven quite willing to bribe and thereby corrupt politicians via campaign contributions and intense lobbying pressure. This is a major problem since it places consumers/citizens at a severe disadvantage in competing for our own interests to be taken into account by our elected officials (and I’d also argue that plenty deserve to be impeached for this very reason, though many of my fellow Americans for whatever reason disagree). Average citizens don’t have the kind of money to throw around that major corporations do, especially when corporations make a concerted effort to sway legislation in their favor.

Furthermore, consumers/citizens haven’t collectively proven willing and/or able to police corporations through voting with our dollars or boycotting their services. Granted, some of the legislation passed has made it trickier for people to create small businesses capable of competing with corporate mammoths, but this is just as much the fault of consumers for choosing to support major corporations rather than spending their money at smaller businesses. And sometimes this is due to smaller businesses not having the funds needed to provide the level of service consumers have grown spoiled on and now regularly expect. We’ve shot our own selves in the foot here, by not supporting our local small businesses and by not demanding that our elected representatives protect our interests over corporate interests. This is largely due to widespread apathy where people give up on trying to discern what has long-term value and instead chase fads or go with what’s most convenient or readily accessible.

I personally don’t see living under corporatism as a better option than living under big government. Both concern me, though corporatism admittedly worries me a bit more due to it pushing arbitration clauses that circumvent our rights to a trial (both Wells Fargo and Netflix I’ve noticed have these clauses included in their small print, as do countless other corporations — even my landlord tried including an arbitration clause in my lease, which I had stricken from it). Because then we’d be at the mercy of arbitrators who I’m willing to bet would be even more easily swayed to upholding corporate interests than a judge might be, and that’s a serious concern. Especially if we’re envisioning a society with no State government capable of holding corporations liable for their shenanigans. Who in a stateless society would determine if there was a conflict in interest between arbitrators and the corporations who fund them, and even if they did, who would have the power to stop this from continuing on unchecked? The people?

People are already finding themselves more and more at the mercy of major corporations to provide what we need because no local alternatives exist (especially when it comes to supplying highly-specialized and technologically-complex goods and services). And no small number of people rely on corporations for their income as their employees. A conflict in interest is already sown into this situation, yet when I listen to anarchists and many libertarians speak on such matters, they talk as if we’re starting with a blank slate. We’re not. The game is already in motion and major powers already exist and have global reach and influence.

This is where it gets very sticky in these sorts of topics, and I feel frustrated that some folks like to bark at how dumb people are for simply having a more local frame of reference. It’s perfectly human for us to comprehend these matters in simpler local terms and to envision market exchanges on a one-to-one basis. Unfortunately though, we no longer live in that sort of world and everything’s become so much more complex, perhaps too complex for most of us to appreciably make sense of. I don’t find that funny so much as tragic, because, once again, this demonstrates how and why average people find themselves in a disadvantaged position in navigating within the current economic climate. We did not evolve to live within heavily-populated and complicated systems of this magnitude. The last century has set humans off into a new orbit never before experienced, totally unprecedented. And I, for one, am not convinced civilizations of this scale are compatible with our best interests, at least not as they’re structured and governed today.

For as much as we like to play confident about our ability to comprehend the marvels of modern life and the paramountcy of economics, it seems rather evident that we’re failing at our prescribed roles within this scheme precisely because of how foreign it is to us and how great the learning curve is to wrap our minds around it on every level. I am becoming convinced that this is asking too much of people, and though humanity has aspired to move into a whole new era filled with conveniences and scientific innovations and brand-new mediums for interaction and entertainment, it’s proving to be a double-edged sword as we individually and collectively lose power over our lives. So much is dictated to us, right off the bat, not much room for choice provided—because we’re groomed to participate in what’s developed over time. We consent because we can’t even take in enough of the picture to realize what’s going on and where we stand until we’re already several decades into living. That’s why it winds up feeling like a trap, because it’s not as if we came up fully informed about this reality or had any way of conceiving how it would eventually impact us on down the road.

It’s a tangled web humans have woven, and this web just gets trickier with each passing decade. We’re confronting not only massive governments but also a whole new economic paradigm at a point in history when fewer and fewer of us learn how or are able to provide for our own sustenance. This places us at the mercy of the “powers that be,” and I think concerns stemming from this is what underlies people’s anxiousness about the current situation despite it being common to zero in on one aspect while minimizing the importance of another that’s every bit as relevant and capable of being just as coercive and domineering.

It is true that people have lost a good bit of their freedom in exchange for living within rising civilizations. Everything in life is indeed a tradeoff, and one issue people are reckoning with today is the realization that what’s now in place might not permit people to return to simpler living that’s more suitable for human psychological health and social well-being. This is the predicament our entire species is being forced to confront in this day and age, and these changes are occurring all over the globe, whether people go along with it (as many Westerners have) or it’s imposed upon them. Power turns out to be one hell of a drug, and it’s centralizing in the hands of a relative few like never before. We may kid ourselves with dreams of direct trade and barter, but we’ve come to live in a whole new world with rules all of its own. I’m not endorsing this, just acknowledging it.

But perhaps these are trivial ponderings from a poorly-educated Southerner that don’t amount to squat. Either way, not all of us can or are willing to adapt to what’s unfolding around us. Many, if not most, will aim to and as a result will spend their entire lives disgruntled and complaining and dreaming of other designs for society. I say let dreamers dream…

The above piece recorded in video format:

Ain’t about shit

About shit I am not. Not really, not in recent times. Reading, watching, pondering, reacting, then going back to thinking. Watching the wheels go ’round and ’round. Contributing to the problems in my own ways.

Recognizing we’re not alone in this actually probably makes us all the more lazier about becoming more active. We’re in good company, especially in the blogosphere and on youtube. So much to explore online. A whole new world within a world.

And if the situation is dire albeit unlikely to be radically changed, then where does one go? Inside and to one another if possible. Can’t reach people across the planet though our militaries can, sadly enough. Don’t want to fund so much bullshit, but I also don’t wish to be imprisoned. Quite the conundrum.

Sometimes I wonder if what comes across as apathy sometimes isn’t moreso a reflection of powerlessness. You care, but what can you do? Chip at one small area, and then what? We wind up ushered along regardless, which activism of the mid-to-late 20th century in the U.S. clearly demonstrated. Lots of active people back then speaking up and resisting, and they were ground down. Younger generations are more interested in lobbying for group-specific perks. What does one do with that?

Where do you go in today’s world when there’s this big of a disconnect? What could have an appreciable impact in these times? I don’t rightly know, but it’s high-time we start thinking outside of the box. Undoubtedly our individualism can prove valuable in this period if we can figure out how better to guide our own lives.

Life’s a puzzle. I don’t claim to have any answers, mostly just a bunch of questions.

There once was a Devil…

There once was a devil…

For this thought exercise please set aside religious or anti-religious convictions long enough to explore the metaphorical value in greater depth. One can reject a religion and still find use and relevance in at least some of the metaphors offered therein.

Starting with the background information from biblical texts since that lays the foundation, the Garden of Eden represents Nature as the primary domain from which sprang the animal and flora kingdoms. Humans evolved up through this as well, as we know, and this story is intended to point to the historical transition of our species stepping over a threshold and effectively barring itself from ever returning to that natural state of ignorance and governance by instincts. When the story speaks of people eating from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, this symbolizes an awakening of new senses where our predecessors became self-aware and increasingly conscious on a whole new level. Animals may naturally be curious, but our predecessors came to recognize causality (or at least perceived of it, wrong or right) and then took the next leap into developing the art of rationalization.

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil symbolizes an opening availed to us to explore in greater depth our very existence. It symbolizes the choices we can make and the consequences that may follow, regardless of whether we can clearly foresee them. And the most interesting aspect of tumbling down that rabbit-hole and actively making choices along the way is that each choice opens up different doors that then lead to other choices and other possible doors. But with each choice we take, we set off further down a particular path to where the doors we might’ve accessed had we chosen differently several steps back may no longer appear available. And on and on through time this process has continued.

The Devil symbolized the impetus for the initial plunge out animality and into a distinctly new type of creature. And The Devil serves as catalyst each step along the way ever since. What is The Devil? Not some anthropomorphized being existing external to all of us — no. Nor is that which we call God fairly represented in that way either, though people habitually mistake these metaphors as being literal truths. Rather, The Devil represents a new form of knowledge unique to humanity. It represents a new understanding of reality through developing more and more complex reasoning, while at the same time it shows us as beings torn between our animal natures and our higher human potential. Through this, The Devil winds up associated with all great evils as well as sophisticated advancements.

One could say that God represents all possibilities. This is why people commonly envision a source of light, because from this all life and all potentials spring. It is the springboard from with all came into existence, past, present, and future. All possibilities are bound up within it, though this is not to say all possibilities are created equal or are naturally good and life-affirming. In this way, God is morally neutral, or perhaps more accurately, God contains the possibilities of the entire spectrum of morality, from moral to immoral to amoral. God, or Life, provides this to us as highly-developed sentient beings and leaves us to find our way accordingly. The moral judgments associated with religion are social constructs intended to point people in directions thought to be best during those times or by those particularly groups, and this understanding has evolved alongside our rising awareness as well. In short, morality is not a fixed objective truth but rather a reflection of what’s reasoned as life-affirming or proper for people at any given point in history. Morality is determined relative to in-group vs. out-group concerns, as well as among persons therein depending on status and social customs unique to a given populace.

So, the concept of morality is fluid, flexible, and demonstrably ever-changing as humans continue on their quest for greater knowledge of themselves, their surroundings, and of how Reality functions as a whole.

In there is where many interpretations are formulated, which, in turn, involve much rationalization, and these wind up determining which choices are encouraged as beneficial for aiding the group and which are not. The social mores brought about through this process have not remained static and continue to shift even on up to this very moment in time. But the shifting in itself can be a very painful process for individuals and groups alike, particularly when one uncovers what appears to be a new Truth that others aren’t ready to accept. Also, plenty of these social and moral transitions have been brought about through peoples being conquered by other peoples with radically different conceptions of Life based on their own historical journeys and the rationalizations they’ve utilized to explain reality based on what choices they’ve made and what doors that opened and closed for them.

When people say The Devil is in the details, they are more right than even they probably realize. Because that is precisely what is being implied by such stories when all taken together and examined as illustrative of the progression of human comprehension and “advancement.”

What is “advancement” really? What is “progress”? These are words used to describe humanity’s exodus from the animal kingdom and the formation of our own human kingdoms. They are indeed advanced in terms of technological sophistication and in-depth scientific understandings, as well as in construction of evermore complex civilizations. But with each step, each choice, comes new consequences, regardless of whether they can be foreseen. Interestingly enough, many were in fact foreseen and warnings were issued, such as those outlined in the New Testament book of Revelations. But those metaphors seemed to have confused people more than explained why we’d eventually usher in our downfall, and they have commonly been dismissed by anti-religionists and religionists alike. Why?

Because when we stare into the abyss, it stares back into us. We are changed by the choices made and the civilizations brought into being and the expectations so many of us are socialized to accept and embrace. Furthermore, humans have a tendency to get extremely excited with our capabilities and to go so far as to worship what Knowledge we’ve managed to uncover at any given period in time. That is to say that we’re a proud species, an egotistical species, and we are prone to be blinded by what we perceive as our success.

And here we stand today, globally networked, economically dominated, politically ruled, and perhaps aggregately experiencing a greater sense of individual powerlessness than ever before in history. Because people now are rendered dependent for their needs to be met not directly through their own efforts and interactions with Nature, but rather through playing the game prescribed to us in order to survive and/or flourish in the Human Kingdom. And it is a maze of complexities involving countless laws and restrictions and taxes and formalized routes to employment. When we are hungry, it feeds us. When we are in danger, we appeal to it for protection. When we seek knowledge, it educates us. Right or wrong, accurately or deceptively depending on what’s determined most beneficial to maintaining the System itself.

We’ve become drunk on its spoils and lazy due to the conveniences it’s provided. Innovation is a double-edged sword in this regard, as is so much in life. And when injustices occur and people raise their voices in dissent, it is the System that must be negotiated with from within.

What is the System? It is POWER CONCENTRATED, facilitated and enforced by sophisticated technologies and complex legal codes. It has become by this point what some refer to as The Beast, as was outlined in biblical warnings long ago. Even thousands of years ago some people were able to perceive how power operates and how when given the opportunity to do so, it will snowball toward ever-greater acquisitions of power.

What is Power? It is something intrinsic to all of us and all of Nature, yet it can be harnessed and used in a wide variety of ways. Each individual possesses a certain amount of power, yet people have been trained to turn over that power and/or to use it in the service of the System. This is not new, but as human populations have exploded in numbers due to technological feats that allow for many more to survive than would otherwise naturally be accommodated, power has become more centralized in the hands of fewer people and the institutions they reside within, under the protection of the System (also referred to as the State when referencing nation-states, but we’ve since entered a global system of interconnectedness based on economic imperatives). It is this situation in its totality that has led nearly all people alive today to depend heavily on the System for our survival, and this represents a new form of slavery on a scale never before seen.

How do people escape from it? Is that even possible when all lands have been carved up and claimed by one entity or another? And if we flee from that which we depend on for our sustenance, surely many of us will starve. With each choice opted for and each door opened, other doors were closed to us and consequences loomed on the horizon. This is where we stand today.

The Devil, as represented by human ingenuity as well as human complacency, acknowledges the trap. Each of us possesses devilish potential within us, whether intended as moral, immoral or amoral. There is truth in the saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But we more readily associate The Devil with immorality and mindless destruction, wickedness, cruelty, vice and temptations that lead to our demise. But what about amorality? That so often seems left out of these considerations.

Our technologies are amoral, even as their use leads to consequences deemed by many to be immoral. Self-serving ambitions can be claimed to be moral, immoral, or amoral, depending on one’s vantage point. The formation of complex civilizations was arguably an amoral venture, though many presumed it to be moral and “progressive” due to the advantages it wrought. That demonstrates a bias on the part of humans to want to see the good and ignore or downplay the potential bad, especially when the consequences are farther off on the horizon and won’t likely be experienced in-full for generations to come. People’s wishful, hopeful thinking leads them to be prone toward believing they can negotiate with the “lesser evil” today and somehow gain the upper-hand and change course for the better by tomorrow, but when has this occurred?

To negotiate with The Devil is to be irreversibly impacted by it to where we too change accordingly. This probably goes a long way in explaining political corruption and why even decent people who join those ranks don’t seem to remain decent for long.

Commonly we associate The Devil with that which mocks us for our collective stupidity for falling into traps we’re unable to escape. This is demonstrated by our fellow people who laugh and cajole and delight in the misery and confusion displayed by others, they themselves proving so corrupted that they relish signs of downfall. These individuals very often speak in riddles and play games, because they derive satisfaction from believing themselves above and more enlightened than the rest. This is how nihilism shows itself — through persons who’ve come to believe in nothing and no one aside from themselves and perhaps that which makes their existence comfortable.

As was depicted in George Orwell’s book Nineteen-Eighty-Four, many people will turn over their time, energy, and devotion to maintaining the System and will strike out against those who attempt to undermine it in any small way, even if only to dream for a saner way of life. So it is not only those employed directly by the System who seek to control and exploit people — nay, it’s also all of those who wish to feed it by any means possible because they are convicted and blind to any other possibilities. They defend these civilizations, even in their current state of wholesale corruption, as “great” and the best humankind could ever aspire toward. To even speak of wanting out so as to live in another way that’s outside of their laws and regulations is not allowed. Yet attempts to bring about fundamental change of the System itself through the legal channels afforded to the citizenry has been rendered ineffective, as is required for it to remain in existence and dominant.

The hecklers and hyenas may provoke those who wish to resist to go ahead and do so, but they know that to be a trap as well. Any arms taken up by this point against the System (in the form of the State) will be quashed in short order since the System and its employees maintain ready access to weaponry capable of far graver destruction than that possessed by common people. This is known. And to resist the System peacefully through street protests and/or through staking claim in a particular locale and announcing sovereignty will only result in resisters being mowed down (figuratively or literally) and/or imprisoned that much more easily.  This is the problem with allowing such a Beast to come into existence in the first place, though it surely did not become this powerful overnight and many apparently, in their naivety, did not see this coming.

So how does one either slay or escape from a Beast of this magnitude? That’s the question. Even if people peaceably faction off (as would make sense), they will be forcibly be returned to the fold, either through economic extortion or accusations of criminal wrongdoing. And The Beast has at its disposal major televised networks that spread messages to bolster its claim to power while actively deprecating the rights of those who resist it. Lies and distortions of truth are intended to confuse the rest of the public to where they feel no need to offer up a defense on behalf of those being persecuted. Not that many would offer much defense either way, seeing as how they too recognize their interests are intimately tied to the System and do not wish to wind up targeted by it as well. Because it not only has the power to kill people and claim the perfect right to do so, but it’s well-known for incarcerating people — placing people in custody where they have even less power to resist and are forced to accept dehumanizing conditions. A major concern here isn’t so much death but suffering, especially if it’s likely to be in vain.

This is where we stand today. What possibilities exist beyond this? That’s a question for all of us to ask ourselves and one another. Waiting for the day of collapse under its own weight doesn’t sound too promising considering how tenacious nations have proven to be in this day and age despite failed economies and rampant political turmoil. So what now? Are we bound to roll over and accept this reality as it runs its course?

“American Psychosis (written by Chris Hedges)”

Devchelle2 read a portion of Chris Hedges’ book Empire of Illusions: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle that I just have to store here and share elsewhere with others:

I’ve been a big fan of Chris Hedges’ work for several years now and own (and have completely read) the book mentioned above, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (can’t recommend that one highly enough), I Don’t Believe in Atheists, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America (very important read), and Losing Moses on the Freeway. I also have his book Collateral Damage in my collection but haven’t completed it thus far. VERY good author whose experience as a war correspondent provides such amazing insight, not to mention the clarity he brings to making sense of America’s social and political predicament.

And the man who made that video above deserves recognition for his awesomeness in helping get the word out. Very inspiring.

Political activism burn-out

I’ll be honest (if only to move Gloria Steinem’s image farther down my blog page…*shudders*), I actually do continue to experience pangs of guilt for quitting political activism. Bugs me sometimes. BUT, I try to remind myself that the best thing I can do for this country is work on my damn self, and I’ve got some issues needing to be more thoroughly addressed and hopefully resolved. Still not entirely sure where I’m trying to go from here, just not too happy where I’m standing currently. Happy with my job, don’t intend to move, not interested in new romance, battling addictions like most Americans — but recognizing that all necessary changes can’t exist in myself alone. We do have to reach out to one another and express where we’re coming from and what life has taught us so far. Very important to take time to listen too.

I have truly learned a lot on youtube since late 2011 when I went exploring the social atmosphere there. Never had delved into that before, having stuck with music, documentaries, lectures, and tutorials mostly in the years prior. Then somehow I became tuned into this online interaction festival, which swiftly wound up ushering me in the direction of Karen Straughan to be educated on the men’s rights perspective (or at least the AVFM version) after I started poking back around again to check what feminists were up to (never did follow feminism on youtube much, just stuck to blogs, forums and other sites I was more used to). Took up a couple months spending time with Karen’s material. My former partner didn’t care for her message and sometimes complained for me to turn it to something else (him not being an internet user to start with). But I persisted in my alone time and wound up introduced to a wide variety of characters producing content and interacting on the so-called “manosphere.” Strange place. But then again, the youtube feminists I’ve observed are just as strange. So many narrow-minded antagonists on each side of the fence. Part of why I grew tired of gender politics years back and am once again right about now.

thudpile

After losing interest in feminism, I spent a few years volunteering for a Quaker peace organization and don’t regret it. Taught me a lot. Wish they hadn’t been such big Obama-supporters, and we didn’t seem to see a lot of issues eye to eye, Ah well. It is what it is. It wasn’t a terrible experience, and it brought me in contact with feminist organizations (namely WILPF) and veterans’ organizations (namely Veterans For Peace) who were at least interesting to observe. Learned a lot from all of that and enjoyed showing documentaries to anyone who cared to show up. Cost me some money, but it did feel worthwhile. They consider themselves social justice activists, but not in the way people commonly reference it on youtube. All peace organizations with liberal leanings are apparently all categorized and caricatured in this way, which I don’t think is fair.

Anyway, I’m done with organizations and big groups. And completely burnt out on the political bullshit. But I don’t feel driven to be completely inactive just because of that fact. I do wish to remain active in some respects, just not apparently how others wish I would be.  lol  But such is life. Sometimes we need to bop to the beat of our own drums. Sometimes we feel compelled to go in a direction we don’t entirely understand at the outset. Life’s about taking risks and following where we feel called, but right now I don’t feel a calling. Just taking in what’s going on out and around, pondering and trying to make sense of what I can while contemplating where to go from here as a little soloist who feels increasingly disconnected from so many of the “battles” being waged out there.

Though I do intend to break down a bit more of my thoughts after having observed the “manosphere” at a future date.

Because apparently I can’t get enough of Paul Elam this week

Reposting the comment left there:

Okay. Decided today to peruse your channel—in an aim to be fair—and this video I, by-and-large, do agree with. Here you sound much more reasonable, which is what confounds me about some of the other shit you write, man.

Now, I do think you over-inflate men’s innocence, similar to how feminists like to over-inflate women’s innocence. While people like to think exaggerations are useful to even the score, it really just makes it look like both ends of the scale tip too far off-base. Would be nice if we could assess the situation without so many distortions and biases, but I suppose that’s impossible since we each live behind our own eyes. Subjective, emotional, irrational beings striving to be reasonable (or at least create the semblance of such).

Lots and lots of people are unhappy, both men and women, and material gain doesn’t alleviate that despite some hoping it will. So it seems obvious that we’re living lives out of balance and that something seriously needs to give.

Feminism has gone too far and is creating more problems than it remedies these days, that’s a given. But it really disturbs me when I read some of what you’ve put out there, like you’re just trying to scare the shit out of women. Acquit all men in rape cases involving women, nevermind all the other crimes men are falsely accused of and convicted for, like drug possession and homicides. When you zone in on what will scare and psychically hurt women most, you not only offend feminists and draw attention to your movement and organization, you detract from its value in many of our eyes.

All the men I know, once I’ve introduced them to your material of that nature and other videos on YT, have asked me to leave people like you alone. Three now have referred to you guys as a “hate group” (doesn’t matter if that’s consider illogical, it’s the sentiment that matters), all of which do support issues like fathers’ rights in custody cases and aren’t particularly fond of feminism or feminists. Yet they don’t want to come your way, because those sort of messages (“bash-a-bitch month,” really?) do not jibe with decent men with values and caring relationships. And it obviously doesn’t do much for women either, even some of us who take serious issue with both mainstream and so-called radical feminism.

It just makes me wonder what kind of people you are angling to attract, the lowest hanging fruit? For popularity purposes to grow the organization? But those types of people are poisoning your well and turning people off, and you come across as encouraging them. I understand you guys want attention drawn to what you’re trying to do here, but that approach leaves a very bitter taste and causes conflicts.

What we need, IMO, regardless of sex, is some sort of philosophical and moral impetus made possible by embracing sane principles. Currently so much is headed in the direction of tyranny and even more coercive exploitation and, like John Hembling even stated, totalitarianism is already here in the U.S. Academic and policy-influencing branches of feminism play right into that, I do get it. So we’re looking pretty fucked, and all this gender war crap is getting in the way and creating a distraction. Men need a balance of rights restored, I agree, but battling it out in the political and academic spheres is quite honestly just fueling the fire that’s previously been lit. What people don’t need is a mirror of feminism, lest we usher in the scenario presented in George Orwell’s dystopic classic Nineteen-Eighty-Four. Just sayin’. That’s one area where I personally can’t help but get hung up. I’d much rather see men go their own individual ways than mirror feminists. This system is fucking people up, and any further pandering for rights within it is just catering to an illusion. That is my opinion at this point in the game.

And can women play a pivotal role in lessening some burdens by deeply considering males’ perspectives? Absolutely. That’s integral, hence why I appreciate this video. It really does start with each of us individually, and that can’t help but relate back to the principles and ethics we’re guided by. (Spoken like a true hypocrite, yes.)

Anyway, go ahead and dismiss me as “histrionic” or some shit if any of you have read this far and feel the need.  lol  I don’t care. Just felt like writing this. Might even write more on my blog. As to be expected from us attention whores. But whatever. This is my honest reaction, all jokes aside. $.02.

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Gonna ramble out some thoughts now here in my own space…

Human interactions are obviously complex, and in many cases it does indeed take two to tango. But, women can be abusive and women can instigate escalating situations where violence becomes more probable to occur. Won’t even try denying that since I myself have tested that boundary and it’s taken time to awaken to the unfairness of that double-standard. But, then again, I’ve also known my fair share of male shit-asses in my day too (neighbors, spouses/lovers of friends, a few persons I’ve dated, strangers met out in public, etc.). BUT, there are lots of female shit-asses out there too, including a few I’m related to (did a number on me too). Women and men obviously can and do severely impact us all. And apparently we Americans (collectively speaking) haven’t been right in the head for at least 60 years (thank you television), or has it been 100 (World Wars, photography, telegraphs, and radio — opening up a global perspective to us)? Our technologies have quite visibly been life changing, and the impact from that factor alone can so totally NOT be underestimated. We all are contending with a whole new ballgame.

I’ve heard in other videos Paul’s co-hosted how crazy he considers most women to be, and there’s some truth there, but I see us all getting funny-funny. Because we’re trying to live up to ultimately unsatisfying and unnatural expectations, regardless of whether we mean well or not. Some give up and turn to scamming, that’s true. And some have blamed our partners incessantly for our own individual lack of happiness — also true. Women may be bad about that, but isn’t it also true that we’re all prone toward blaming, or at least taking shit out on, those closest to us?

Because I grew up my whole life observing my Papa treat my Grandma rudely and with a blatant lack of respect, despite her working very hard both in the home and full-time outside of the home to keep the family going (per the custom of their era). And I watched her silently take it most of the time. Learned while growing up that their kids had witnessed him being outright physically abusive toward her back when he drank. That’s a fact of my family situation. She wasn’t very happy, but she stayed by him. Partly because she felt economically dependent, partly because she was scared to do anything else. Didn’t believe in herself as capable and competent to manage life all on her own, especially not with kids in tow. And she also related worries about Papa not being able to cope on his own either. I love both of my grandparents immensely, but there he was harsh and he was wrong, and I grew up knowing that, seeing that, living with them at times and daily hearing that. I remember as a young teen resolving to never be in my Grandma’s position — I’d rather play the role of my Papa if I were forced to choose. And that probably didn’t help my outlook on life.

I’ve seen myself take shit out on romantic partners, and I’ve seen my romantic partners take shit out on me. I know how that sort of thing can escalate, and I have a runaway mouth sometimes that I have been actively working to curb in recent times. Verbally hitting below the belt can hurt as much, if not more, than outright physically striking a person. That’s the truth, and I’ve been guilty of that. Had partners who’ve been guilty of that too, but I’ve picked up a bad habit there over time. Gonna admit it. Trying to become better. Continuing to work on it and been making progress. But whatever. I have all sorts of issues to reckon with. Many do. Certainly not solidly a woman thing, as is obvious to anyone with much life experience.

The thing I do tend to appreciate about some of the men’s content online is that it has served to check me and encourages me to look more deeply at myself and my behaviors. The vitriol, though, probably only exacerbates the problem. Depends on who’s saying what though. Won’t pretend I’ve become saintly in the two years since coming across this corner of the internet, but it has impacted my thinking, and occasionally for the better. Wish rather than compete with feminists men actually talked to us women and communicated what they want, what they are experiencing, and how we’re making them feel. That actually helps. Referring to us as a load of cunts better off avoided, not so much. That sort of shit just makes me want to distance myself and stokes the embers of rebellion. And for what? Gets us where?

Anyway, tuckered myself out on that topic for the evening (maybe even for the week).