VERY interesting conversation between Tommy Sotomayor and a woman named April

Hmmmmm…very thought-provoking. Worth a full listen, now paused 1:17:09 into it. Continuing watching…

We are indeed our own worst enemies sometimes…

[Hadn’t yet watched the former video referenced in that one before viewing it.]

Did wind up watching the preceding videos, but they’ve since been marked private, which I can understand.

Still observing racial and gender-bent movements

American politics continue to blow my mind. Blew it hard enough that I pretty much gave up on the presidential BS from 2008 onward. Didn’t watch speeches from either Hillary or Trump, just as I didn’t listen to speeches by Obama or Romney or McCain back before. Don’t care. *shrugs* Same old, same old every time. Already know plenty of what Hillary Clinton talks about, seeing as how she’s been in the political spotlight since Bill was in office in the ’90s (during my teenage years). Gave up on so much of that shit. Had to. Continued volunteering for a local “peace-building” nonprofit organization until 2011, mostly because the international economic situation and war-mongering were hardest to ignore and not speak out about.

Still care. Just not quite as much, or at least not in the same way as once upon a time. Beginning in 2012 I wound up re-exploring gender relations issues discussed online, having around then initially stumbled upon the so-called “manosphere” which includes men’s rights advocates/activists (MRAs), MGTOWs (“Men Going Their Own Way”), PUAs (pick-up artists, as described by authors Mark Manson and Neil Strauss as well as Roosh V). Learned about feminism in the past and returned over the last 4 years to observing it generally as a movement, witnessing it transforming into this weird, new “SJW” (“social justice warrior”) hybrid (thanks to intersectionality conglomeration). Taken me some time to make better sense out of what all I’ve been looking at — an ongoing struggle, to be sure.

But went there, been doing that. Still, when the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election began over a year and a half ago (ugh), I opted to tune out. Didn’t want to care. Know already plenty of reasons for why I don’t like and would never vote for Hillary Clinton. Saw no reason to concern myself with Trump. *shrugs* Sticking with Gary Johnson, so fuck it. That’s been my attitude for a long while now. Not been watching the news barely. Haven’t subscribed to cable television in my home for many years. Lack enough fucks to give to all that nonsense. I care enough to continue reading books to gain a better sense of perspective on where we are at this point in history, where we’ve been, and where potentially we might be headed, intentionally or otherwise. Occasionally share titles with pals open to giving them a perusing. Most aren’t. Living in my woman cave, working and paying bills and handling my own shit. What goes on in Washington D.C. is just more fuckery so far as I can ever tell.

Social relations matter more to me than politics. Probably because they’re down here on the ground where we individually actually have some direct control and power. At least can learn to better control our own selves, so far as we need to. But down here at ground level it’s clear that we’re not all constituted equally. Doesn’t break down purely according to racial or sex/gender or purely socioeconomic demographics — no, it’s far more complex than that. It comes down to us as individuals and what we’re apparently made of, what potential we might possess and whether we choose to work to unfold it. No one can determine that outcome — nobody but our own selves. And we divvy up across the spectrum in that regard, as is clearly evident to any of us who take time to look around.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is bugging me a bit lately in terms of what videos I’ve been watching on youtube. Watched quite a few over the course of the last few days, particularly paying attention to post-election protesters. Also went back and observed footage of campus protests in both the U.S. and Canada. Listened to law enforcement commentators and congressmen speaking on the subject. Today I came across an author, Colin Flaherty, who’s very critical of the state of the black community, calling hypocrisy on black people’s explicit racism against whites, examining news reports and showing displays of unjustified violence committed by black individuals against various others. Was an interesting channel. Is he racist? I don’t rightly care since he primarily focuses on numerous specific examples that we can then investigate for ourselves and form our own opinions on. Subbed.

Earlier today I also happened across a YT channel by Oshay Duke Jackson. Opted to subscribe to him too.

A few years before my Papa died, he warned me that there will very likely be a civil war during my lifetime and it will be race-related. Took that piece of advice and considered it in the years since. Initially assumed him to be wrong that the civil war would be race-related, though yeah, a civil war unto itself may occur. Tensions are mounting in this country and have been for a long time, and various factions seem intent on pushing the situation into the red zone. But race-related? During my lifetime it appeared that race relations were overall improving. Sure, we had the rise of gangsta rap during the ’90s and that set a trend that has yet to lose steam. But more interracial mixing has been occurring. Upon visiting my hometown in Mississippi, I’ve frequently been amazed at how much interracial dating is permitted and tolerated in recent years. Wasn’t like that even when I was a teenager a couple decades back. And I remember how racial divisions back then were sown and enforced by both older whites and older blacks, meaning black mamas and papas and grandmas took just as much issue with their child dating outside of their race as white mamas, papas, and grandmas did. See, people up north don’t seem to understand that fact. I come from a hometown where our high school then and to this day has segregated proms. Why? Mostly because black students throw a fit about changing this setup. It’s primarily their decision, so far as I’ve ever been able to tell, for why prom hasn’t been integrated yet. Yet we non-black folks are accused of being racist for this reality, which is basically to say they’re called racist for accommodating black people’s preferences in that town and school. Can’t win for losing there.

I’ve grown up observing a state known for possessing the highest black population in the union (nearly 40%), the highest out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy rate, the highest obesity rate, and one of the highest social welfare-dependency rates. Mississippi has the poorest public education ratings in the nation (switching places with Arkansas occasionally for 50th), high drop-out rates, and low economic opportunities throughout the state. Hence why people with ambition tend to leave, as did I at age 21. Kind of a depressing place to be, having lived in a few far-flung cities across Mississippi during my time down there, as well as attending Mississippi State University for a couple years. So I come at these topics with a perspective informed from what I have witnessed and directly learned about, not just what others may have told me.

Are most people racist? Probably. At least prejudiced to whatever extents. Appears to be a part of human nature. We may aim to take people as they come, but we still do tend to form opinions of demographics based on what our exposure to them has shown us. Oftentimes our exposure is too narrow and needs expanding, for which I’m grateful for the opportunity to live in the Midwest to juxtapose with Southern living, as well as my social science curriculum that did help in fostering a wider appreciation for what others may be facing, from Papua New Guineans to American black folks to Hispanics aiming to make a life in the U.S. due to widespread economic hardship in their native countries to Native Americans losing their cultures to the white Europeans originally brought here under indentured servitude, etc.

BUT…after college, a whole new education unfolds before us. How do those social theories perform when rubber hits the pavement? Do current socioeconomic and racial differences justify violent revolts? What other factors may figure into these situations beyond what was mentioned in the social science theories we were once educated on? When studying collectives, is it not an error to overlook the actions and choices of the individuals therein? Does that not produce a bias?

While no human is fully 100% an island, neither is he or she simply an irrelevant cog within some sort of hive-mind borg, individually obscured through a commonly shared identity.

I’m reflecting on Papa’s words tonight, pondering the possibilities for the future. I’ve said before that we can’t fight this system through the use of direct violence, because we wouldn’t win. Violence begets violence, and the State has more firepower than all of us combined. Act like a hooligan and expect to be treated as such. Harm innocent people who in no way have violated your rights to a similar extent, then don’t expect sympathy. Because that’s misguided. Won’t help anyone, including yourselves. Just turns more people’s hearts cold.

It’s almost as if some are pushing a self-fulfilling prophecy where they show up hostile and chaotic but see any response to that as proof of racism or sexism or homophobia or whatever that somehow justifies their initial aggression. But that’s not logical. It’s a skewing of reality, setting up a situation where defensiveness is paraded as some sort of offense. Why? To aid in perpetuating their own sense of victimhood. When aggressors are not plentiful, create them by making people stand up for themselves and others and then flip the script on them.  straight_face

That’s a shitty way to behave. Yet we see plenty of examples. Seems like more and more over time. I’m not okay with that. Nor am I okay with so much of the public kowtowing to political correctness requirements to where they’re unwilling to state the truth plainly, fearing social and possibly professional repercussions. Got people in a weird bind these days. Making cowards out of folks. Don’t want to us be reactionary in our responses to one another, but also don’t want to take shit lying down with our eyes and ears firmly closed. That’s not helping anybody either.

“Interview with Dr. Jordan B. Peterson | Free Speech & Social Justice”

A video by Roaming Millennial:

“Jordan Peterson: Tragedy vs Evil”

“Ex-BPD Cop Joe Crystal Blew The Whistle On Corrupt Police & Paid The Price (Interview w/ Cenk Uygur)”

I have mixed feelings about Cenk based on what I’ve seen and heard from him thus far. But still. Good interview. Worthy of sharing to hear Joe Crystal expounding on what occurred in his situation.

Cops speaking back to power

Alabama Cop Fired for Speaking Out Against Ticket and Arrest Quotas:

Here are a few NYPD cops being honest with the public about arrest quotas and seeking justice through a federal class-action suit against their own department:

A Baltimore cop spoke out about an incident of police brutality within his department:

A former LAPD Officer speaks out on police corruption and the code of silence:

A Georgia officer supports his fellow good cops while taking issue with those who erode the public’s trust:

As a former Baltimore cop, Michael Wood gives brutally honest interview on the Joe Rogan Experience (Part 1):

Part 2:

Lots more examples out there for those interested in conducting a search.

“White Men vs. SJWs”

Why continue barking at me, “MGTOWs”? Have you not better shit to do with your time?

Gonna wade back into this topic today since a video on my YT channel that was created 2 years ago continues to attract animosity in the comment section, most of the responses having little if anything to do with my gripe stated within the video which pertained to expressing disgruntlement over some of these guys fear-mongering one another into not even accepting females as friends. I’ve already stated on here and on YT countless times where I stand on various matters pertaining to gender-related social justice concerns, and I do tire of repeating myself to folks with absolutely no interest in hearing me out or establishing any kind of dialogue. Winds up being a waste of my time, and indeed I let these “manosphere” movements online take up a tremendous amount of my time over the 3 years I was observing them. That largely came to a close a year back since it’s become a tedious bore dealing with most of these folks.

But what I wish to bring up today is how they, like so many other groups and movements, form a mob mentality and employ the mob strategy in the ways they communicate with others online. This appears to be the norm for many groups, hence why I’m not a fan of any group. That grouping up and coming at people aggressively in an effort to bombard them, thinking they’ll intimidate others into pulling videos down or shutting up is a cowardly modus operandi. If they don’t know that then they should. I see it for the bullying attempt that it is, but that shit doesn’t work on me. I leave the video up specifically to showcase the comments left on it. Because it’s precisely that which I’ve been aiming to point to all along when taking issue with this internet “phenomenon.” Hyper-aggressive, blame-casting, talking point-spewing (ad nauseum), strawman-constructing, fear-projecting, highly-exaggerated claims and pitiable assholishness — that’s what much of it turns out to be. And not only is it tiring to continue reading (seeing as how I typically read all comments that come my way) but it’s become pointless. Genuine interaction is all but impossible with members of such a group since they’re more interested in recruiting people to their cause via using channels like mine to use as a soapbox for repeating their mantras, actual topic in question be damned. No real communication is likely to come about when dealing with people blinded by that sort of group/movement mentality. That was true for rabid feminists and it’s true for these jerks too, much as they don’t like to hear that.

Guess I’m not entirely sure how to handle the situation. Leave my showcase up even though it clearly demonstrates that I apparently liked to pick fights with stupid? lol  Pull the video down and ignore them so that these guys will hopefully move on and get lives? Eh, I doubt that’ll happen since when I mark videos private or unlisted they tend to just move over to other videos on my channel and start jabbering in those comment sections instead, even in music video comment sections. They’re determined to have their voices made public anywhere and everywhere, like graffiti scribbled all over the internet landscape. Should I start blocking these people so that my other commenters don’t have to deal with reading their vitriol? Personally not much into blocking people except in rare cases, but I’m also not a fan of letting particularly vocal mobs take over the scene and destroy the pleasure of using the internet either. Should I just let them have their heyday on my channel and create a second channel where the comment sections are more closely monitored and pruned? Maybe so.

All I know is that day after day, month after month, year after year, I continue to receive so many comments barking and barking and barking at me and womankind in general for all sorts of perceived wrongs. On and on and on and on and on and on it goes. Where it stops, nobody knows. Does it make any difference? No, not really. Does it help anybody? I doubt it. Does it create more hostility than is necessary? Absolutely. Are we learning anything from having the same talking points repeated again and again and again and again, angrily and accusatorily? No. Past a certain point it becomes useless chatter. Seems intended to raise ire rather than to address anything truly meaningful, let alone to encourage people to gather at the drawing board to discuss possible solutions or to establish worthwhile dialogue so as to better comprehend one another’s perspectives. So it’s become totally and completely useless, this never-ending chatter generated by the frustrated and stuck.

Well, I’m not stuck, at least not any longer. And I wish to continue growing and learning and living and challenging myself with new ideas and information. Already heard plenty of what these guys have to say, over and over and over again. If they’re wanting sympathy, they’re going about this the wrong way. If they’re wanting understanding, they’re certainly going about things the wrong way. But I assume their primary goal is simply to give an ongoing “fuck you” to female members of the population, as a type of sport or hobby of sorts. That’s just how they entertain themselves apparently. Which is to say they aren’t really about shit. They’re angry and need to blame somebody, preferably a whole lot of people, probably because they can’t see the parts of the problem that lie within themselves. Hey, we all got problems and we all have reasons to be angry at times, but at some point we have to come to terms with the fact that we do indeed have a lot of control over our own lives and their directions or at least how we handle the circumstances that come our way. I can bitch and gripe with the best of ’em too, and what’s it ever gotten me other than a reputation for being angry and volatile? Not to mention raised my own stress levels and trapped me in regressive cycles since I was unwilling or unable to take my own power back and apply it as I’m able.

They don’t like to hear this. I know. They love to tell me how women’s opinions don’t matter. But au contraire, our opinions obviously do matter to them or they wouldn’t waste so much time and energy barking on and on and on at us. They’d simply go about their lives. They’d find ways to circumvent the system they take so much issue with. They’d seek to expand and grow rather than sitting there at their keyboards stagnating, pretending their “red pill” perspective is the broadest and most comprehensive perspective available.

Something life has been teaching me is that I blame others the harshest when I am most unhappy with my own self and my own progress. I lash out the cruelest when I am feeling defeated and weak. And when I’ve concentrated the most on the past and all of its trials and tribulations, at those times I have been most afraid of what the future holds or how I am to navigate it effectively.

Fear is a fact of life. So is disappointment and pain and sorrow and suffering. No one is immune. Luck shakes out in countless different ways across the spectrum of humanity. With privilege tends to come some sort of downside, some correlated limitation or consequence. It isn’t all fair nor will it ever be. That is a pipe dream of modern folks with too much time on their hands and too many ideals in their heads that haven’t been put to the test on the pavement of Life. We win some and we lose some, and that’s true for any of us.

The group mentality is an unnerving phenomenon, speaking as one individualist out in the crowd. The time has passed for me to concern myself with all of that. Either buck up and come on, or stay back and cry among yourselves. The choice is yours and only yours. That’s what I have to tell myself so you’re damned right it’s precisely what I must tell these frustrated shit-talkers with nothing better to aim for than to spread hatefulness and divisiveness. There isn’t anything any of the rest of us out here can do to improve your situation, nor would we even want to lend a hand when you come at us with hostile attitude problems, fellow strangers on the internet. Life is simply not that black and white, that clear-cut and easy to assign people to camps so as to judge and dismiss them. You’ll miss out on a lot of worthwhile opportunities by employing that tactic in your social relations.

May your perceptions continue to evolve. That’s my prayer today for that group of individuals.

Thoughts on cop-killing and police brutality

I am of a mixed mind on these matters. On one hand, we depend on police officers and really need them when we’re in danger, assuming they are able and willing to help us when called upon. But on the other hand, not all cops are created equal and we all know of some, perhaps merely a small fraction, who unfairly disrespect members of the public and abuse the power bestowed upon them. Some of us out here know at least a couple cops like that personally and have observed their police departments covering their tracks or otherwise refusing to discipline the officers for reported infractions. And that can stir up resentment among the public, understandably.

However, because one cop is wrong doesn’t equate with all cops being wrong and deserving of harsh treatment on account of what their peers may have done. It’s one thing to punish the guilty parties, quite another to try to take it out on an entire demographic (or, in this case, profession) of people based on perceived grievances (legitimate or otherwise) pertaining to a relative minority belonging to said demographic (/profession). That’s true of black folks just as it’s also true of cops or any other group of people.

We become biased based on what we keep seeing, what we’re exposed to, and what side of the aisle we find ourselves on over time. I can understand that. But still. Cops’ lives matter too, just as the rest of our lives do matter. We need to come to terms with that as much as cops need to comprehend that the inverse is true as well.

And yet we instead are becoming more tribal, identifying ourselves with those most like ourselves or affiliated with similar causes, and then, in turn, view the rest as either opposition or somehow less important or less worthy of respect. This paves the way for escalating injustices, as we keep seeing unfold…

In this “game” that we call Life, there really are no winners or losers. Just people and our perceptions and judgment calls and misunderstandings and regrets and reactions and lessons learned (or not).

My prayer today is for us to be more mindful of what we’re doing to one another and how categorically assessing an entire group of people tends too often to lead to mistreatment and problems. It’s no good. When police officers shoot too quickly and ask questions later, resentment grows among the public. Cops may justify this by explaining the stress involved in their chosen professions, and while I can sympathize with their positions, this is the line of work they signed up for and these are the potential consequences that come with it. This is clearly known. When they adopt an “us vs. them” mentality against the public they swore to serve, can they then claim to be shocked when members of that public turn on them categorically as well?

On the flipside, we among the public do depend on good cops to be there in times of emergency. We depend on their bravery and willingness to make sacrifices in the name of upholding justice and the rights of the people. Our society cannot function with any civility without them taking this very important task seriously to heart. And that asks of us to show them some respect for the role they carry out, so long as they also respect our civil rights in the process. But cops are human too, and they are not infallible just as none of us are either. That has to be kept in mind.

I understand that tensions are mounting and, like many others, am concerned about the fate of my nation and society going forward. There’s so much strife, so much blame cast and fingers pointed, so much information to sort through and try to make sense of, and so many rapid changes constantly bombarding all of us to where life can feel very disorienting in this day and age. We have a lot on our plates, both individually and collectively. I just pray that we take time to pause and reflect and dig deep inside ourselves before reacting to the perceived injustices occurring in our midst. The Truth has many angles to it, not only one.

These are radical times calling for radical compassion, this I do believe. And it remains to be seen if we can muster enough up to keep from co-creating a more hellish scenario in our society. There will always be outliers and psychopaths who choose to operate with a different (or absent) moral compass, but they need not define the rest of us nor dictate our choices and actions.

Several times this week the following quote keeps springing to mind:

“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

Read aloud for my YT channel: