Friday, December 20, 2013

The Man in Me

I hadn't posted this article about a month ago due to believing it would be posted on another web source. However, that did not happen, so here are my thoughts on hypocrisy, hatred, and bias in the internet age. Well, in one particular regard, at least.... (issue of Bob Dylan, Israel, and internet banning, or whatever you call it...)


Thousands of years ago, the Jewish people were forced into slavery and tormented like animals, treated like chewing gum on the bottom of one’s shoes. In the millennia that followed, society tried its hardest to scrape them off of the bottom, from the inquisitions of Spain and the pogroms of Eastern Europe to the confinement to medieval ghettos and, most infamously, the Holocaust. The anti-Semites did not win, however; they did not rid of the mess. What they did instead was strengthen a people, who continue to this day to face hatred, discrimination, and the desire of many to see an end to their existence.

Sixty-Five years ago, Israel achieved its independence. From there it harvested doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, philanthropists, and people of all beliefs, professions, and passions. Nonetheless, there are an astounding number of people who wish to see the end of Israel. The Jews in particular, of course, but also there are individuals of various backgrounds whom call Israel home, including Christians, Muslims, Druze, Ethiopians, Indians, Japanese... the list goes on.

Moving to Israel is referred to as making “Aliyah”. This word means ‘moving up’. Not because Israelis think Israelis are superior, but because Israelis think Israel is superior. Which is fair to say, considering the number of people who desire to own it and think of it as the holiest place on Earth. The reason Israeli immigrants’ migration is referred to as Aliyah is because no immigrant is seen as an immigrant, but as an individual who has joined the higher rank. A better person, now a citizen. Israel has always been the land for refugees, for people running away for the sake of a better life. The many Sudanese refugees can attest to this, as can many Palestinians who fled their own country searching for a safe haven.

I don’t claim that Israel is a perfect country. They are run by a government, a leader with motives of his own, prejudices of his own, and poor judgment of his own…. However, I recently came across a website that was created in order to share with the world the song lyrics and guitar chords of many of Bob Dylan’s songs. For those of you not familiar with Dylan, he is a singer/songwriter who has been active since 1961 when his name became big in the New York City, Greenwich Village folk scene. Dylan was born Jewish and converted once as a born-again Christian. He has found Judaism once again and has showed his support various times, most famously when he visited the Western Wall and described his feelings towards Israel in the song, “Neighborhood Bully” in 1983 (  

Despite Dylan’s clear support for the Nation of Israel, the individual who shared his lyrics and chords on this website has decided to block Israeli citizens from viewing his website. He refers to this as a “Cultural boycott of Israel”. He explains this action as, “…a long overdue reaction to the absurd inhumanity that is demonstrated in its actions and that goes against everything that I and this site stands for. Access to --------- has been blocked for visitors from Israel.”

                This individual goes on to explain that it is not an act against Jewish people, but against the state of Israel and its actions. Without going into the entire situation and explanation, let me just ask, why the Hell does the state of Israel care about Bob Dylan lyrics? He also provides links which answer why he doesn’t block other countries, he explains that it would be inconsequential. I bequeath thee to put aside any anti-Zionist beliefs and think about the sentiment here. This man is at one point claiming to have no qualms with the Jews, by religion or descent, but he blocks these people, these people alone from viewing his website. His reasoning being that he wishes to… punish the state of Israel? According to, “In Kenya, authorities violated international refugee law when they closed the border to thousands of people fleeing armed conflict in Somalia. Asylum-seekers were illegally detained at the Kenyan border without charge or trial and forcibly returned to Somalia… In Uganda, 1,500 people die each week in the internally displaced person camps. According to the World Health Organization, 500,000 have died in these camps... Vietnamese authorities forced at least 75,000 drug addicts and prostitutes into 71 overpopulated “rehab” camps, labeling the detainees at “high risk” of contracting HIV/AIDS but providing no treatment.” continues the long list of countries violating human rights laws. On the website they explain a particular situation in Egypt, “Egypt’s treatment of refugees from Syria is a violation of international law. Hundreds of women, men and children have fled conflict only to be subjected to abuse and discrimination. For some, prolonged arbitrary detention has ended with forced deportation – in some cases back to Syria….” (October 17, 2013)

Cases like these occur all over the world at the hands of nations’ governments and police forces. The creator of the Dylan chord website does not block his website from Kenya or Uganda or Vietnam, nor any other country. This block has been exclusively created against the access of Israelis to Dylan’s lyrics. Lyrics which could uplift, enlighten, and entertain children, soldiers, and the average bloke. This is Bob Dylan we are talking about here; a man of peace and justice and lyrical brilliance. Robert Allan Zimmerman is a Zionist Jew by any definition of the word.

What distinguishes Israel from these other countries? What do you suppose that special trait is?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Wonder, wonder, how I wonder....

Lately I've been thinking about friendship a lot. Who friends whom, who stays lifelong friends, how this whole FRIENDSHIP thing works.

Is it a coincidence that oftentimes the most genuine and kind-hearted people are drawn to the equally magnificent sort? Is it meant to be? Written in the cosmos a priori and there's no avoiding it? Or... is there something less metaphysical about the whole thing?

I predict it's all in our hands. Considering how many awful people I have befriended in my past, I guess that says something. Although, most of these awful people were weeded out. Not by me! God, no, I would rather live on Tums tablets for a year than face conflict! Time and events just kind of... did the job for me.

It's still on my mind, however, "How was I so fortunate as to attract the wonderful people into my life that I have?"

It wasn't about luck or chance, it was about being the people we each needed to have in our lives.

Most of my friends are absolute saints! Their patience, love, and empathy never ceases to amaze me! There are also specific types of causes I/we like to help with. Two of the most common causes within my friends are animals and mentally ill people. Obviously, if you go to events and things that associate with these causes, these are the people you come across, but I find myself attracted to this type outside of predictable situations as well.

Why animals, though? Why the mentally ill? Maybe, and this is a big maybe, but maybe what we all relate to are... those two groups.

For example, I remember what school was like. People will turn you into "just an animal". The way they would feel fine harming an innocent animal is just how they would treat me, and it's the same way these Saints were treated. The bullies would close you into a box; the one they've created for you in their mind, and they would beat you. They would no longer see you as a living thing, but as a way of venting hurt and anger and pressure and stress and everything that made them feel bad. It would give them such power and make them feel so much better about themselves. Day after day they would do this, recharge themselves, and go home telling themselves, "At least it wasn't me."

The Saint, however? Day after day, they would be humiliated and hurt, take a deep breath, and go home asking themselves, "Why was it me? I am powerless."

Animals and the mentally ill are two of the most powerless demographics in society. Along with the homeless, the elderly, and children. No matter your race, heritage, or class, if you fall into one of these categories, you are immediately labeled as weak and helpless. You are immediately a target for the masses and can easily be overtaken and taken advantage of. The bullies will corner you, they will take any sense of joy from you, and they will leave you for dead. Each time it gets easier for them. Only a handful of Saints will have someone there to defend them. The rest will have to defend themselves... or fall.

From these damaged goods, Saints arise. Not always, of course, but there are those special individuals whose decency and courage cannot be shattered. When these Saints stand back up, push their way through the carnage, and allow themselves to be reborn, they become the ones this world needs.  There is an incredible amount of power and beauty within these individuals. They may never be aware of it, but they are the ones we all owe credit to. The ones who won't stand around and watch others be bullied, who will be there for others when they need someone to listen or help or just sit next to.

Not everyone is able to appreciate the Saints, of course. They are an unusual breed. They usually look like everyone else, but their insides are more dented and bruised. Their hearts have more bandages and stitches. Sometimes they are loners or introverts or just shy. Sometimes these people put on a hard exterior to keep away the bad guys, and the good guys. Other times, they welcome anyone who will take them and love them; accepting the risk of being hurt again.  And sometimes they never fully recover, they go through life playing the past over and over again in their head, trying to escape the memories and pain, but they cannot. These memories are scarring and will FOREVER affect the Saint.

Then these Saints find one another. Slowly.

It could be at any restaurant.

They sit down at parallel tables and both order the tofu salad. These Saints are tired of seeing companies slashing open animal's necks and telling us, "They were born for this purpose".... Just like the Saint was born a freak and her purpose is to be harassed. How kids will be kids, and therefore it's okay if some of them are hurting and teasing the weird kid. How New York City is a rough city and you'll "always" meet those people who will mistreat you and touch you inappropriately and treat you like.... like... like a slab of meat. Like chopped liver. Like a cow on a farm having her calf taken away and then shoved onto a milking machine so someone else... some other, stronger individual can enjoy the taste of her milk.

It could be in the psychiatric ward of a hospital.

The Saints enter, curious, wanting to volunteer and help out a little. They enter the guarded gate and looks into the sad, bullet hole eyes of patient after patient. Each one with stories of prison, abuse, rape, racism, cruelty... and no one to listens, because these people cannot be helped. They were born to be weak and society will treat them this way. If they don't speak up, they are stupid. If they do speak up, they are crazy and need more medication. These are not people, these are defective puppies at the puppy mill. These are nerdy kids who need to learn to suck it up. These are the ignored individuals of the world; they must remain silent. We all must remain silent or be classified as one of them.

The Saints won't be fooled, though. The Saints cannot be shut up or shutdown. They will always do the right thing. They will be mocked and hated and society will try to cast them off as "mentally ill", "animals", and "freaks".

Perhaps that's not so bad.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Who do you consider a role model?

I am going to start this post by saying, I love the YouTuber known as Hannah Harto. She started out with a segment called 'My Drunk Kitchen', which has evolved into personal logs, world travel, mass worldwide volunteering, and probably various other adventures. I find Hannah to be a delightful character to follow. She is honest, real, a LGBTQ superwoman, and always can make me laugh. The fact that she uses her fan base as a way of inciting good deeds and positive messages is really inspiring!

The only thing wrong with Hannah's YouTube channel is the demographic. According to Wikipedia (an always reliable source-- merp), the majority of YouTube users are in the age range of 14-17 years old. This is clear when viewing the audience of almost any YouTuber's meet-ups with fans. Again, Hannah has many positive influences on these kids, she is straightforward about sexuality, body image, and various other topics teens need to hear about. In which case, YouTube is a marvelous place to learn. My question is, however, is a "show" based on the fun of cooking while highly intoxicated really the sort of thing that should be presented in a shared space with what is good and right and just? Should a 16 year old watch their beloved "leader" talk about empowerment and beauty, only to be followed by this same "leader" downing drink after drink and attempting to use the stove while sloshed?

Next to the other role models of today; the provocative, raunchy-mouthed, vodka-glugging sorts we know and love/hate, Hannah is a saint. I recognize this. I also realize kids will learn and see and hear these things in a million other places before and after 'My Drunk Kitchen', but does that make it permissible? According to videos of Hannah's and many like it, drinking is what youth is about. Sloppy inebriation is youth and fun and friendly, it's not until you start becoming old and boring that alcohol is the bad guy....

I'm not saying alcohol is bad, I certainly have partaken in my share. I know the invigorating feeling of the whole shebang! On the other hand, I've also read all the lists on saying how "you're getting old when you can't drink as much". It's "uncool" to not drink as much as possible while you're young enough to. I've seen the propaganda. I know how many 20-somethings buy into the lies of the advertisements. Television shows of middle aged women, too! Those who drink tons of wine are more fun, exciting, and youthful. That is who you should aim to be. Men will like you, your kids will like you, and life will just be peachy keen... if you drink away your troubles.

We're also reminded time and time again that some alcohol is good for your heart. Maybe this is so, but so is exercise, so is getting enough sleep, so is not going out to party every night. These lies are going to be the downfall of society. Maybe even of your life!

I am writing on this matter because of someone particular I have in mind. Someone who just turned 21 and is convinced in order to feel young, and fully experience life, drinking excessively is necessary. I overheard this person saying the other day, "You've had that bottle of vodka since Halloween? I've probably bought 7 or 8 since then." and another time, "She rarely goes out. People over 20 don't drink and have the same fun we do. I don't want to be like that."


Now, I will mention, this may not (hopefully) be the typical sentiment of the early 20 year old. See, this early 20 year old is particularly, what's the word? Stupid? Yes.

Do people over 20 drink just as much as people under 20? Generally, I would say so. Probably more because they can afford it and have real life issues which they like to drink away on the weekend.

Do people over 20 have just as much fun as people under 20? Most probably would say they do. Maybe not as often due to work and responsibility, but heck, maybe these individuals are onto better things than clubbing and passing out!

What I'm trying to say is, you can be an alcoholic at any age, that doesn't make you a better person. Shocker! Dare I say, it makes me sad. If you feel old and boring at 21, you have a LONG time to go, during which you'll be very depressed. Hate to break it to you.

It has been said time and time that the role models of today are terrible (not that they're any worse than Ozzy or Jimi or The Ramones...), but I think society needs to start establishing what they consider bad role modeling because it's gross or weird or annoying and what sorts of issues we actually have to focus on. We have to remodel what we consider the social norms and what can be laughed off as "kids will be kids", as opposed to, "I do not want my child exposed to this and I do not want this to be considered right or acceptable." Because in the end, what your kid's friends think and do and see does affect what your kid will think and do and see.

If I had the power, I would remind websites likes YouTube and Buzzfeed and all those sites who their audience is and what sort of message they are sending them. Adult or child, we are all influenced by what "everyone else" is doing. Don't drink the Kool-Aid is what I am saying, even if it has added vitamins.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Well, darn it all to heck

As you probably know, I'm not particularly fond of sentimentality of any sort. That is, until something really strikes me. Being away from family this holiday season has struck me.... So, here we go. Yes, folks, I am going to do a list of things I am thankful for... well, sort of. I will try to make it as genuine as possible.

Strike that. I can't do a list of things I am thankful for. I will just rant on about things I miss and appreciate and all that jazz. Enjoy!

Let's see. I guess the first thing I should mention is that I am glad my family is who it is. Well, kind of. I mean, I am lucky that none of them (successfully) murdered me as a child and hid the remains. I am lucky they didn't sell my organs on the black market (though, my grandmother always told me she was going to sell me to the gypsies), I am glad they aren't alcoholics, drug addicts, and prostitutes... as far as I know. Overall, they're not too bad. For that, I am happy. Heck, imagine I was born to a redneck family in Alabama? IMAGINE!?! Seriously, though, my parents and grandmother put up with a lot of stress from me, so good on them for not telling me plastic bags made pretty necklaces when I was baby! Or when I was a teen... or at any point this week...

I am also fortunate in the health portion of life. I have my random bodily outbursts of death: kidney stones, floaters, strep throat, random puking fits, sprained hip... you know, the hellish misery that lasts a few weeks. However, I've never had  malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, missing limbs... and no signs of schizophrenia yet! I would say that's pretty awesome. Plus, no one in my family has had cancer, so I am looking pretty good on the front. Ding +1!

Friends are a tricky topic for me. I never know who(m?) to consider a friend... there are at least 3 people I can certainly confirm are real, true friends. Those people I miss like the dickens, let me tell you! It's the rest of the heathens I'm uncertain of. Hey, 3 friends is a big deal for me, so I ain't complaining. As of late, I've tried hard to show "I care", but as you can see from the fact that I put quotes on "I care", it's really baby steps. Itsy, bitsy, tiny baby steps. I hope they know they're important to me. Two of them I can only hang out with a few times a year, so it's particularly rough on our relationship. Nonetheless, our love is relentless, which is just lovely. Anyone who can put up with this hot mess deserves a shout out. woot....woot...

I guess I should be grateful for my ability to travel and be educated and live in one of the most developed countries in the world. Well, the last one isn't an ability, it's just kind of how life played out. I am glad it did, though. As much as I desperately want to visit India, I think I would drown myself in curry if I had to live there. Sorry, Indians, but you can't disagree. Not to mention, I was even so fortunate as to be born in New York City. Mind you, it was Staten Island, but that's a whole lot better than Poland.

I guess as a whole I am glad about some random people I've met throughout my life. They'll never know or care that I gave them a shout out on here, but I thought I should mention it. Some strangers are super groovy. Many are creepy and dirty and deserve to live in a horror movie, but for the bundle who do and mean well, good on you. You're a super duper individual. Keep up the good work!

Finally, I give a big kudos to my doggy boggy woggy, Lolita. Although I feel like I have been traveling the world most of the time I have had her in my life, she has been an amazing pup. She puts up with the stupid outfits, the hours of wandering, being forced to hide in a bag on the bus, and random foster animals that try to eat her. I realize she has no option to leave and she may very well hate me, but I am going to go on the assumption for now that she absolutely adores me despite all I put her through.

Is that it? Am I done now? Eh, I think I can step away from this fairly satisfied. Herpy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Don't Call me Beautiful

This face complete with sparkling eyes and porcelain skin, these were not always mine. They were, they just weren't always so organized and put together. There was a time when this skin was completely freckled with acne and a slight unibrow. When my body fat distribution was off balance and my words were limited to, "Hi." and "Bye." At this point in my life, I was pretty miserable. For a slew of reasons, but how my peers and teachers treated me was not any help.
In college, this slowly changed. The acne mostly cleared (darn you, breakouts!), I regularly went to the gym (darn you, peanut butter!), and I learned how to look my best with the minimal amount of effort (darn you, eyebrows!) At this time, I noticed something changing. Outside of myself. It was in everyone else. I found men talking to me for absolutely no reason and asking for my number. I found women hating me and their husbands/boyfriends telling me it was jealousy. I could no longer hang out with my old buddies, they didn't trust themselves to behave around me. I was now the man-stealer, the housewrecker, the young blonde...
I hadn't changed, though. I still felt utter terror when talking to strangers and I felt ugly wearing short skirts or tight tops or bikinis. I had a few more tattoos and piercings, which made me come off as confident. I learned how to pull along a conversation without blushing or sweating too profusely. However, I was still the hippie weirdo with social anxiety and an unhealthy obsession with all things fluffy, feathered, and scaled.
I never adjusted to being treated better. After all, I didn't feel better about anything. I didn't want anyone to envy me, I didn't want to feel like I was becoming "one of THOSE people", either. I wasn't making more friends or feeling accepted, that's for sure. Now the guys got to admire me, the women got to gossip about me, and what did I get from the deal? I got harassed a lot. I got treated like a Barbie doll. It was assumed I was weak and stupid.
Only recently have I realized what I gained from this. I stopped putting all my focus on being one of those brats and I started lifting weights and I attended my college classes, putting my passion for psychology and music to use. I stood up for causes and sometimes people listened. People felt safe coming to me for help.
Should I be treated differently because my physical appearance has changed? No. Will I forever experience the world from a different perspective than those who never outgrew their rough patch in life? I hope not. I plan to always hold onto the worst pains of my past and what I felt and saw and experienced and never watch anyone else go through the same thing helplessly. I still have to fight to maintain my confidence and strength, and through that power, I will help others. Not to mention, others will continue to help me. I am still a lost fish trying to balance this new me and the me who couldn't be forgotten.
I just hate that the person I was before was the one who was bullied and teased and forgotten, while the new me sits around and reaps the benefits of puberty. I won't allow myself to become the person I've seen many of my peers turn into because I would hate to be that person.

Most of all, I have learned to let me people care about me. Even... LOVE me. I still have to practice and remember I am worthy of it, but I have made such strides and I have to love myself for that. Once I do that, I can begin my journey to forgiveness and eventually, esteem.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Psychoanalysis for Dummies?

One of the theories in psychoanalysis that intrigue me  greatly is the one stating that we dislike traits in others that we fear in ourselves. Either this is because we lack that trait and in some way envy it, or we have that trait and "have been there" and are upset that we can't fix ourselves or the other.

Example 1: Jerboa is very introverted and HATES when Barfelina goes up to the teacher and requests the whole class get As. When Barfelina is successful, the class celebrates. Jerboa is happy about the A, but still mocks and feels resentment towards Barfelina for being a big mouth who always has to be the hero.

Why is Jerboa upset at Barfelina? According to this theory, unconsciously, Jerboa wishes she had the nerve to ask the teacher and wants to be the class hero. She is unaware of her envy and desire, but it comes off as hatred.

Example 2: Merggy watches as Limon gets picked on by some other kids. Merggy is sick of watching Limon take it and not say a word. Merggy thinks Limon is just a pushover and really needs to learn to defend himself. What Merggy forgets is that he too used to be picked on by the very same kids. He never said or did anything about it either.

So... why is Merggy so judgmental about Limon? The theory explains that Merggy is projecting his hurt and anger about himself; his own regrets. Upon seeing Limon do the same thing, he feels transference for these feelings and therefore, negativity towards Limon.

Of course, sometimes we just don't like people and things they do... but in any case, it's always wise to reevaluate where your anger or dislike comes from before accepting your opinion of others. Why is it that humans have such natural urges to remove our own self-judgment and call-outs by placing them on others? It certainly is more pleasant to dislike another rather than to start blaming yourself for your own actions, but how does this innate trait benefit us? It seems counterproductive as far as resolving issues.

I think it's certainly a defense mechanism, as well as an escape. Every person gets to point where you begin to think, "There is NO way I have this many problems...", in order to defend your honour and sanity, there needs to be some way of pawning off the poor traits. There is a desire to find another poor victim and place some of your own vices on them. Which is good for perspective and for working out issues from a distance, but if one never comes to realize they are your own, then they remain an issue and people like Barfelina and Merggy are bound to be your sworn enemy for life.

This topic reminds me of a friend I used to have. He would tell me that it was stupid that I tried to fix things in the world. He never tried to and believed that I thought I was better than him for this. Despite me only mentioning my interest in activism once, he said I would brag about it and act like I was a saint. First of all, I think I have the right here to say that I am no saint. As a matter of fact, I know there's a super cozy spot down under waiting for me (and I don't mean Australia- although, I hope they have a spot for me too!) I am a human being who sees it as my right and my expectation of myself to do what I can to improve the world's situation... along with a billion other people.

Anywho, it finally occurred to me that this young gent was upset at himself for being too lazy (his words) to contribute to any causes. I realized this once he told me his fear was the inability to help someone. This confused me, being that it sounded as if he had no interest in helping anyone. Which was his right and I held no judgment for his actions or lack thereof. It just seemed to be a bit of a contradiction that he mocked me for helping people, and yet, was afraid of not helping people. Was his inaction due to his fear of not doing enough? Not doing everything? Being in a position where things were too severe for him to help? I understood this and I wish I could have shown him that he can do so much, but his denial was so great that I don't believe I could have convinced him to get involved no matter how I tried.

This is precisely a reminder of why we must be aware of ourselves and our psychology and why we do the things we do. Not just because we're nosey and want to feel like we "get" people, but because in order to better ourselves, which I personally believe is an important goal, we have to know ourselves. The question is, how can I beat these obstacles of the mind and allow myself to be the person I want to be and do the things I need to do?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Look me in the eye,

Look me in the eye and tell me we aren't the same. That we aren't all the same. Your eyes are brown or hazel or grey or turn colours in the Fall or on cloudy days. Your eyelashes are darker or your skin is lighter. You're blind and colour blind and cross-eyed and near-sighted. But aren't we the same? We hear barking and think, "Dog!", and hate waking up on Monday morning, and think the smell of fresh baked cookies is Heavenly, and get songs stuck in our heads.

I've never walked in your shoes or been to your family dinner, but I know how hard it is some days. How difficult happiness is. How wonderful and extraordinary it can be. I know what hurts, and what pleases, and how hot sand can be. Can you look at me or any other individual and not feel connected to them? Not feel a natural bond and need to protect them and feel compassion? Empathy. Sympathy. Guilt. Responsibility. The bubble I thrive inside, my personal thoughts and experiences, they're not so different from yours. I too felt pressure. I know how scary it is to exist on your own. Once your protective figures throw you into the world and expect independence... as well as obedience. How hard you clung to your idols and role models and that individual who made you feel safe from the world. How it felt when that person abandoned you. Rejected you. Betrayed you. Never really cared.

That day it all came true, it could have been me. When he or she proposed and you felt as if your lungs would never recover, you lost all breath. I knew that ecstasy. I felt it when I heard the news. Or was it in the obituaries? Perhaps murder. Even suicide. I drew that last breath alongside you and my throat bled as we screamed. Just as the first breath of Earth's air in a newborn and how you looked into this alien's eyes. My heart sunk and reawakened each uncertain moment. That hand that held yours as you endured your trials. You swore and your god was there. I was overhead watching you embrace your translucent hallucination of hope. That night I dreamed a wish for you, something that will remain forever mine.

Those days we shared without ever knowing. When we blushed in horror at the bra shop, popped our first zit that left a scar next to the one you got from scratching your chicken pox, peeling your tattoo, having a breast removed, reduced, added, sized. The C-section you swore you'd never do over until 18 months later when you created life and watched a life fade in the same room.

Here is the lesson, here is the moral. Here we stop the judgments we have been fed and trained and forced. It's the restart, rebirth and if no one else, I will be the one to give it to you. Look Us in the eye and see yourself. Whatever you want to be.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What I hate more...

What do I hate more than women who make me feel ugly? Women who make my mom feel ugly.

When my mother asks me, "Does she look the same age as me?" or tells me, "I need to lose weight." "I want to look like ____." I feel bad. I feel bad for myself, I feel bad for her, and I feel bad for society. We are living in a world where a woman can enter college at 16, graduate medical school,  graduate law school, have 3 children who grow up to be successful, and yet still look another woman and still think, "I'm not as good as her."  There is something sick in the air. Something putrid.

Yet, this is what life has given us and what we accept. Even the most charmingly dorky, compassionate, and intelligent women of the world feel overpowered by their desire to fit the mold of "attractive", of "skinny enough", of "fashionable". They may not even care deep down, but to feel feminine and empowered, this is what it takes.

No number of feminist butch women can outnumber those who make women feel useless and terrible on a daily basis. Talk big all you want, women still go about their lives waxing, and tanning, and comparing, and feeling a genuine sense of worthlessness. Of course, they then cover up these feelings by calling out others on their lack of "ooh la la!", and so the cycle continues.

When I look at my mom, I see her blue eyes, her rosy cheeks, her normal sized nose, her mom-on-the-run outfit, and that inspires me. Everything about her is evidence of a successful woman. She may not be perfect at parenting and may not have the neatest work desk and may not always have the answer, but she is the woman every girl should dream to be. She may not dress like Elizabeth Taylor, look like Audrey Hepburn, dance like Benonyoncee (Okay, I don't know how to spell her name. Is that even a name??), or sing like Mariah Carey, but she is so much better. SO MUCH BETTER. Not just as a mom, either. As a human, as a supermodel, as a teacher, as a role model...

Alas, no matter how many times I say this, no matter how many times you read this, every single one of us will continue beating ourselves up for not being born to the right parents, not saying the right thing, and not looking like every other freakin' plastic, miserable, stupid pop star wannabe.

I am not writing this to make my mom feel good and continue paying my bills. I'm not even writing this to convince anyone or point fingers. I just thought it had to be put out there and said and maybe someone will take a moment to consider what I've written. Maybe something will change in one person.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Back to Life through Sound

It is sad to me that my hero will never know what he has done for me. I wish he knew. I wish when he reached the end of his time, in some part of his mind, there was a tiny memory of the moment he discovered he saved me. I wish I could tell him how his life and artistry woke me up and rekindled my passion for existence.

It would be fine with me if he didn't care. I don't need to feel special or loved by him, I just want him to know that he affected me just like millions of other people. I am not the first to feel this way, nor will I be the last, but I was one of those people. Out of the clusters and clouds of trendsetters in their glassless eyewear, I stood amongst those sorts and unashamedly, I screamed. I screamed in a way I never scream otherwise, with a happier affect than I have ever exposed to even my closest loved ones.

I cried when I heard those words and saw what could only described as metaphysical birth of something one cannot touch, but only can feel. I wish my hero knew that feeling- or maybe he does. He doesn't know how I experience it, though. I wish he could feel MY skin tighten to my bones and the ache of my smile and eyebrows raised.  The cramps in my calves as I stand on my tip toes because the front row is never enough. It's not the same as being as close to the microphone as his cuff links.

He should know how proud I was. How I didn't give in when the other kids, the other adults, my peers laughed at my devotion. As they called me weird and crazy. How I defended him and told them why he mattered, why his words meant so much, why he will not be forgotten. Why he should not be forgotten.

I will never forget the first time he inspired me and woke me from my internal defeat. Nor will I forget the movement of my hips as I escaped my end and discovered my redemption. He brought me back from the half dead; the half gone.

I walked through his hoops of wise words. Ones he threw into the universe with intricacies of data, etched into the youthful public minds. I escaped through the back door of the "norm" and I saw what he could reveal to me. What sheets he could pull away from a sacred child, and I learned. I listened. I explored. I need him to know how I have tried. My every attempt to keep up with his message, his prophecy, his dreams. I was always there taking notes and hoping through some osmosis, I too could flee the moment and create my own... something. I too can create poetry from the words others dare not say. On the other hand, I can laugh at chaos and open my life. mind. world. eyes to it.

He has pieced together this mind in infancy and raised it into a glowing being. The person I needed to be today. Someone that the world could not go on without. I only wish. I just wish my hero knew.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm in the Closet.

Let me tell ya’ll a story ‘bout survival and finding hope where hope no longer lives. Gather ‘round, chitlins. Some of ya’ll might not believe this story, some of ya’ll might be afeared. Ain’t no use in either, honeychild, life is a wild ride. Every day is something new to face.

When did it all start? Ah, yes….

I done emailed my landlady on this here computer machine, and I told her, I done said I plan to move into school dorms at the end of the month. Yeah, yeah, sure, I had I told her I would be living here until January, but cross my heart and hope to die, she said to let her know by the 25th of the month if I had gone and had a change of mind. Which I did, baby. I sure did.

Well, she wunnit havin’ it. Nuh uh. Let me tell you somethin’… that Israel girl tells me moving out is unacceptable and she right up demands I pay rent. Matter of fact, since I went and said I wanted to leave, she demanded I pay that very same day. Honey, I do not have that sort of money just lying around!

It was then I realize, if she catches me home, who knows what awful things she’d do to me! God have mercy on my soul. This little Jew decided then, there ain’t no way I’m getting into a big something something because of all this drama. So I went and I shut the lights and turned off the fan. Let me tell you, you ain’t never smelt the smell of fear like I smelled that fateful night. I never packed my things so fast. I wunnit used to running away.  I don’t believe in fear, but that night the Devil was on my trail. I swear it as far as I can throw it.

Every time I tried to make my escape, my door would loudly bang, I couldn’t make a run for it just yet. The time was not right. Besides, them 60 lbs of luggage were a backbreaker going down 3 flights of stairs. I knew I’d have to stay the night and fight another fight for survival.

That night was the worst of my life. Every noise, every voice, I felt myself quivering from big toe to the hair on my head. I was a nervous wreck and I knew I was in trouble if I made a noise. I did what I had to do to survive, feasting on dead roaches and relieving myself in a corner. I ain’t never gonna be the same. Didn’t get me a wink of sleep.

That’s why I planned on the computer machine to get away when my captors were at work. My hero would come by in his car today while
they’z at work. I still heard the white man in the kitchen at 10 AM, though. Clinking dishes and silverware. Just clinking carelessly, awaiting to hear just a single cough or blink from me. For now, I just wait, not knowing what my future holds; or if I’ll even have a future.

Part II:

The day came and it was time for the escape. Mama A was on Skype all jumpy just as I was. We was anxiously awaitin’ my fate. I was at my computer when I heard that dreaded noise. A thud on the door. Now, I heard many thuds in my day, but this one held the wrath of Satan. Boy, I tell you. I up and grabbed my computer and dashed right into the closet. That there closet was as small as, well, a closet. Tiny as the dickens, but I fit my entire body in, except my toes stuck out a little. She walked away from the door. I felt relief, but weren’t taking no chances by leaving the closet, so I held in most of my breaths, took the pain, and dealt with my arms losing blood. Where was that dang hero of mine with his car? He weren’t nowhere to be heard from! So, not a woman for letting no man and no woman hold me back, I came out of the closet. I listened real close-like to the door. When it went silent, I made my flee. I grabbed my guitar, my backpack, my 60 lb luggage, my 20 lb luggage, and I jolted down the three flights of stairs. I swore any second they’d stop me and Krav Manga me in the face, but ain’t you know it, I got free. I whistled for a cab and it came near, all I said was, “Take me to the University, boy, take me home.” He looked at me funny and said, “What?” So, I clarified and asked him how much it would cost. Best 50 shekels ever spent, I tell you. Who would have thought freedom would come in the shape of a burly Israeli man and his little white taxi? Sure, I left behind my razor, but what I didn’t leave behind was my dignity! ‘Cept when she knocked the second time and I peed myself a little. I kept most of it, though.

Now here I am in the dorm room. Alone. Air conditioner on.
Just back from the mall with a beer. Life ain’t never been sweeter. Lordy, let me tell you, life is good.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Why you Should make him a Sandwich *This will offend you*

This is a list I dreamt about. Upon sharing it with a fellow scholar of advanced intellect and sophistication, he suggested that I post the list, along with images from the 50s and thereabouts that I felt fitting. I am easily influenced, so why not?

Reason #5:

Cardio! It may seem minor, but even just those 10 extra minutes off the couch will do your body some real good. We all know how hubby likes a slim wife, after all.

Reason #4:

Power! He may like to feel like he's in control, but she who decides what goes into his meal controls what matters. Show him who's boss!

Reason #3:

While you're at it, make yourself a sandwich too! Or even better, make yourself a salad. Remember: Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

Reason #2:

Know your way around. You know how in war there's a home base advantage? Same goes for the kitchen. Every woman should know her kitchen like the back of her man's hand.

The final reason to make him a sandwich?

Reason #1:

Because he asked you once and he shouldn't have to ask you again!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

If there's one thing I've learned...

Throughout my travels, it's that I do not travel well. Sure, I'll sign up for the major trek and I'll do it, so that's pretty impressive... however, getting me there and the first week or two... or three... or several months are misery. As my mother once said and I quote often to explain my mentality, "Most people get hungry and they're grumpy. You get hungry and you're a pit of despair."

This applies to hunger, travel, socializing, and... life. I don't deal well with things. Particularly new things. I'm kind of autistic in that way. Is that an adjective one may use non-offensively? To be fair, my anxiety is an offshoot of autism, so it's kind of true. As in, I am HIGHLY reactive. I get a sensory overload quite easily. Too much clothing in the clothing store! AH! Too many plans this week! AH! This did not go as planned! AHHHH!! Yeah, that's another thing, I don't deal well with last minute changes. If someone says we'll meet at a certain time, if they're late, or even if I am late due to unforeseen circumstances, I die. I straight up just die. Fortunately, I come back to life, but the death part is overwhelming and anxiety-provoking in itself.

This is not the direction I was planning on taking this bloggy thingermadoo, but I always seem to turn things, whether it be a travel log or a romantic venture, into over-intellectualized existential crises.  Anywho, sensory overload (or overlord, as I almost typed), what is this you speak of? You being me. Me being me. Well, it means I take in everything I see, feel, think, do, smell, and hear in a way that makes my head cry. It even goes as far as how I feel about things. I obsess, I overthink, I care too much. Fortunately, this is balanced out a bit by my lack of attention span. This, however, may sound like me saying I'm too good of a person that not even the tremendous capacity of the human mind can handle it, but that's certainly not what I mean. What that means is that I take things and people to heart. Let me simplify: I have the feels big time, yo. However, in a little twist of events, it's so overpowering, that in order to cope, my mind practically shuts those feels down. As in, I know before a big trip that I am crazy nervous and excited. I'm not a robot, as it appears sometimes. I am maddeningly emotional and sensitive. However, if I constantly spouted those feelings out and cried or screamed in joy all the time, someone would slice open my throat. In order to fix this, my body has decided to turn me into the person who's like, "Oh- the 4 month trip to the Middle East? Yeah. That'll be coolstuffandthingswhatever."

I am certain many individuals can relate to this poor way of coping. After all, it would be nice and healthy to turn on some sort of emotional faucet once in a while, right? Maybe the ability is inside us all and we just need to believe and let the emotions free!

Yeah, I get that line a lot. People seem to think I hold back my emotions because I fear vulnerability. You too? You hear that all the time also? Wow, we should be best buddies or something! Sure, this may be part  of the defense mechanism. Like I said earlier, it's risky to constantly let everyone know how you feel and think... BUT I don't think this is entirely the case. As a matter of fact, I know it isn't. I'm happy to tell people about much of my dark past (cue bats and witches and junk). I just won't necessarily go into the emotional aspect. Obviously if I cried in a dark corner, I wasn't Cheerful Charlie, but that's for you to infer, not for me to go into a whole rant about. "And then I felt like my sadness was just a big crumpled piece of looseleaf paper. I just wanted to chuck it into the trash can. Chuck it! I want to CHUCK IT! DO YOU HEAR ME!?"

Here's what I say: My rule is that I am allowed to be as terrified and sad and angry in my private time as I need to be. I won't be mad at myself for it or embarrassed, I'll just let it happen. At the end of the day, though, I have to go forward with the plan. Of course, in small print it says, "Unless it's really not worth it." Indeed, I'm also allowed to back out of it. The idea is just trying. Sometimes things end up being intolerable, of course. Even if I think I am ready for something, it doesn't mean my mind is. I have to respect that. This can get tricky, too. Sometimes you can't just walk out of a situation or say, "I'm getting off this ride now." Sometimes... maybe (????) it's good to put yourself in a new, scary situation that you can't escape. Maybe it'll be awful and horrible, but I do recommend it is something temporary. Even if it's 4 months. Those 4 months will end and I'll either fail out of school and go home crying like a true failure or maybe I'll excel and adjust and want to come back right away. Admittedly, these are two extremes, and neither are likely to happen... That too is in the fine print. I'll just keep the cheerful, positive voice. Yay! Everything will work out and all your dreams will come true and unicorns will pop out of your eye sockets!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

In your eyes...

There are few times in my life when I become spiritual. Whatever that means. As a matter of fact, I don't know that I've ever felt there was a bigger, better reason for the way of the world. I may have hoped it, I may have wished it, but I never saw any signs, any memories, any times in my life when the world plotted a path for me or taught me something through metaphysics or astronomy. Nor has a tree ever given me wisdom conspired from the hundreds of years prior. However,  I will say, on my latest exploration abroad, something quite mind blowing occurred.

It happened after a short chain of events. At first I experienced something some would consider dark, horrific, and traumatizing. Something, I unfortunately, have come to see as what life brings to me for some reason. I won't go into specifics, but it was just not good. Around the same day, the next, I believe, I went to the cruise ship's headlining act. He was a country singer, but he mostly did folk music covers. In my depths of despair, I sat through his show and lip synched the songs in a sorrowful and dejected manner. The musician kept catching my eye and smiling. I assumed this was because I was the only one in the room who wasn't wearing Depends and Poligrip. While I cannot say the music made the events less harmful, they did make the situation more bearable.

I started going to his shows every opportunity I got. Each time, my confidence and ability to dance and sing along becoming more visible. The musician continued to smile at me and play towards me. Until, finally, after about a week or a week and a half, I ran into the musician outside one of his shows. He came to me with a smile and said, "I don't believe I've learned your name." He held out his hand and I gave him mine. He didn't let go, he just gripped it. I told him my name and he responded with, "What. a. BEAUTIFUL name. Fits for such a beautiful girl." He told me little details about himself, the one that stood out to me was that he had 17 Great Danes. My curiosity was peaked.

More days went on, and even though we now were familiar with one another, I did not think much of it. We did not speak again, we didn't even wave 'hello'. That is, until the very last night of the trip. After a night of one particularly "friendly" older gentleman dancing with me and making jokes about kissing my neck, I made an excuse to excuse myself and then, when I saw he was gone, I snuck back into the area where the musician had been performing and I sat. I was hoping he would stop to chat, but it was rather late, he was rather inebriated, and he was already chatting with another family. He had thrown my name into one of the songs earlier, but I am certain this was just a crowd pleasing technique.

Still, I waited. I jumped each time someone walked past, thinking it could be the "friendly" man, but he was preoccupied by waiting at the bar until I was to return. Which I was not going to do (I think it best to be kind to people you will be spending 10 days on a ship with. Until the very last night, of course.) The waiting turned into an hour wait. This would not be a big deal, but I was growing more nervous, it was getting later, and I had to leave the ship early the next morning. Not to mention, I knew my grandmother would go off on me if I got back to the room too late.

After sneaking a peek every few minutes to see if the musician would notice my presence, I hear, "Mind if I finish my beer with you?"

I look up with a smile and there is the big Southern boy all dressed in black and looking down at me. I tell him it would be my pleasure, inserting some sort of less-than-clever witticism. He sat down next to me and asked me, "What do you want to do with your life?" Without hesitation I told him I was studying music therapy. That wasn't exactly an answer to his question, but it was the best I could come up with off the bat and I don't think I had a better answer within me.

At this, he went off on a tangent. He had a website idea and kept mentioning this fancy name he came up for a physical therapy plus music therapy plus massage therapy sort of deal. It wasn't the most original or genius idea, but it was definitely impressive how confidently he shared and how much he came up with in the moment. The whole time he spoke, he maintained eye contact and looked at me with such intensity and genuine concern, that I couldn't stop looking into his eyes and focusing on each word (something I am utterly horrible at). When he finished with the idea, I nodded that it was a great idea. Fortunately, he didn't stop speaking long enough for me to worry about what worthwhile response I should give.

He then stood up and searched everywhere for a pen and paper to give me his personal contact information. He assured me repeatedly that it was not his business or agent, but his personal email and phone number. He wrote in silver marker. I said, "Wow. I love that marker!" He then handed it to me with a wink and followed with something which would normally totally creep me out, but it didn't feel wrong when he spoke it. He said, "I've been watching you for 10 days. Whenever you were within 10 feet of me, I knew. You radiate. You are a special lady."

I have been told I am special many a'times. Not because I am special, but because guys know girls want to hear it. I can't say why this felt different, but it felt like the words were glowing and in bold font. I took it to heart, which I never do. Anyways, he tells me about his wife and his life and then he tells me if I ever want to move to Nashville, he can hook me up with housing and a job. He then gives me one last really good eye stare and stands to pack up his things. "Need me to walk you anywhere to avoid bad old men?" He jokes. I normally wouldn't accept such an offer, but I both wanted to feel safe that night and quite honestly, I wanted to have a few last minutes with this fellow. At this point I should clarify, there was nothing uncomfortable or sexual or even remotely flirty about the conversation we had. This man is 60 years old and his genuine concern is what led to our friendship. At no point did I feel he was making advances or attempting to woo me. As a matter of fact, once we safely arrived on my floor, he asked if my room was near the end of the corridor. I told him it was midway, so he looked me in the eye, shook my hand, held it tight for a moment that felt like an hour, and said, "This won't be the last time I see you." and walked away.

SO... a couple days after I got home, as I picked up the book I had been reading throughout the trip; some depressing memoir in which a child dies or is killed each chapter (it was about Haiti), a paper slips out. The paper is the musician's contact information written in silver marker. At seeing it, his eyes flash in mind and throughout the day, I cannot escape them. They are the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg (Great Gatsby reference) to me. I decided to send him a message and I explain what had just occurred. I can't say his response was particularly spectacular or profound, but he let me know he would be texting me when he got back into the states. Whenever that will be. He was sure to include, "You're a special lady."

Was this a spiritual encounter? Oh, I don't know. Probably nothing in the stars about it... but so help me if it wasn't precisely what I needed during the trip. Each night when the other young people would come to collect me and have me come up to the lounge to dance to hip hop and pop and R&B, I would reject them and stay where I felt wanted and safe. If not for the musician, my sadness would have been overwhelming, this I know for sure. I can't thank God or fate, I can only thank the musician and his music.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and I’m just a kitten

"Competition is about winning and losing. That is it. There is no middle ground. It's about being better than the next guy. That's what life is about."

This is a quote I stole from a fella named Matt Hopard**. Matt heard this statement being spewed from the ignorant mouth of a father to his now-jaded son. The topic at hand is that of competition. The need to be the winner. The *requirement* of this man's son to be "better than". The lesson being that anything less will be a failure and a disappointment. This father is not expressing his own desire to be better or a winner, but his expectations of his son to be the very best, like no one ever was. To capture success is his real test, to train himself is his cause. He must travel across the land , searching far and wide. Each Pokemon to underst- wait, I think I may be quoting something else.

I am sure this is a very common sentiment. It may be seen by some as motivation to do better and be better. What's wrong with that? Is it really "tantamount to child abuse", as Matt believes?

Well, here's the problem- any absolute is bound to be flawed. The fact is, there IS a middle ground. There are "losers" who are still a success, who still can makes something of themselves, or feel pride despite not being 100% perfect 100% of the time. Telling a child, your child, no matter his age or background, that he is, essentially, a failure if he does not always win will affect that child in various ways throughout his/her life. Some may be positive effects, but the thinking and the doing may also be negative. Now, it is true this applies to most words of wisdom, but there is a particular empathy, as well as common sense that is involved when it comes to parental advice. There's a difference between telling your child, "Always try everything new" and telling them, "If you think you have something positive to learn or experience from something new, give it a try!" Even this example may have its faults, but my point is, all wisdom must come with leeway. Not to mention, advice should be supportive rather than give a sense of shame or fear. No child gains from fear. Positive reinforcement is the wave of the future. We're moving forward from the hand slapping, head whacking, and emotional deterioration.

The one point that I have not made yet is that failure is not always fruitless, either. It is a learning tool and it may lead to winning in other ways. It leads to understanding, compassion, empathy, and most of all, it leads to resilience. Maybe not most of all, but it certainly does. I was inspired by this topic due to a patient I work with. This patient is extremely intelligent and has tons of potential, but his greatest  downfall? His fear of failure. He refuses to play games he does not know how to play or that he is less than perfect at. He loves mechanical engineering, but he is very resistant to the idea of returning to school to continue his studies in fear of not being as successful as his own father expected him to be. This man is 52 and to this day, he fears failure due to his father's unrealistic expectations. His father did not believe in a middle ground, much like the father in aforementioned situation. It was either win or be a loser. This is a common theme I have noticed in the mentally ill patients I work with. They have lived a life being told they are never good enough. That simply trying their best was never good enough. That living life and trying things for the sake of giving it a go was never good enough. That their "normal" and healthy sibling is the better child because they are healthy and "normal". What was it that Einstein said about climbing a tree like a fish?

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

I was close.

We are individuals, we are flawed in a thousand ways. We are built to fail and lack and play pool and sometimes (or always) lose. Admittedly, when you are in a competition, you are trying to win. You are trying to reach that point of accomplishment, and "being better", and making the other dude buy you a drink, and bragging like an idiot. However, you are also trying to enjoy the game, and working on your skill, and letting your crush win, and cheating, getting caught, and laughing about it, and punching the other dude in the arm because you lost. It's a game foremost, a hobby or social activity.

The trick when it comes to competition is not only respecting the other player(s) at the end, win or lose, but respecting yourself as well. If you have been raised to believe that losing means you should belittle yourself, that is abuse. Any parent who puts pressure and disdain into the mind of a child is not considering the well-being of the child. A parent who makes their child feel loss of self-respect for one day or one month or their entire life is committing the act of child abuse. That is cruelty. That is unforgivable.

**** You can check out Matt's live stream/Twitter/website @ - -****

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Live Like Today is Your Last Day on Earth!

"It could be worse"

How many times have we served up these delicious slices of philosophical pie? Just about as many times as we've heard them, probably.

That's beautiful. I love how you live your life like a poster in a guidance counselor's office.

You make me sick. Stop this monster before it smashes the ever-living sanity out of you!

Am I supposed to live as if my problems don't matter? As if I am being weak for caring about what happens to me?

Repeat after me: There is no shame in having reactions and feelings and needs and freakin' pity for myself!

I don't want to live every day as if it is my last. I've seen what I thought was my last day and it was grim and lonely and it made me want to eat an entire chocolate cake WITH SPRINKLES! I am all for appreciating each day and making that leap, but the fact is, as much as there is a likelihood that we'll die tomorrow, there is just as much a likelihood, and probably even more of one, that you will live. That means there are consequences. Ones we as humans don't want to deal with. Think about it- when you get drunk and do something incredibly stupid, do you wake up and say, "Wow- super glad I made out with my best friend's mom! No regrets!" Is that who you want to be?

Some cliches exist because they sum up the things we want to tell people. Some exist because we have run out of "answers" and are sick of those people who act as if they want an answer from you, but then trash all your suggestions. Some exist because we like to pretend life is simple and can be summed up in one fortune cookie. Have you read a fortune cookie lately?

Am I guilty of using these lines from time to time? Heck yes! I will cliche the pigtails off your underage girlfriend! That doesn't mean I can't be a hypocrite and shame you for doing it. More importantly, at least I know what a crime to humanity I am committing. I am doing it with full awareness of it and the horrors it brings unto us. What do these two phrases, and many like them promote? Shame. Self-hate. Disappointment. Humiliation. Masking. Repression.... The thing is, we need to recognize when things aren't how we want them to be. Awareness is how we make change. Simply accepting the unpleasant things will not lead to progress! We can no longer be the abused wife of life! Besides, how is it right or fair to compare oneself to every other downtrodden case? "Yes, your scalp was stuck in a garbage truck and you were dragged by your hair for 2 miles, but... this guy has lung cancer from smoking for 40 years, so, hey! It could be worse!"

As much as I hate other people to be unhappy or sick or sad or dead, if something is MY problem, it's MY problem. That means, "no wise words are gonna stop the bleeding". As the guy in that band says in that song. You preach it, dude in that band!

Maybe I'm just sick of coffee cups with heart shape bubbles and people jumping in front of green screens masked as a blue sky and dandelions, babies giggling inside flowers, and puppies. Wait- I went too far, sorry. There are never enough puppies. Whoever told you there was any chance that thinking positive or praying (hey- don't hate, it's truth) or repeating some dumb-butt mantra will make life improve, they need to get botox of the brain, because they are sagging. Not to say some peace of mind and inner-joy won't help, as it may, but no amount of women playing tennis and doing yoga while wearing the perfect tampon will lessen my desire to stab people during my period, honey. After all, we know what happened to Carrie when she wore white pants on that certain day of the month....

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How to Be Sexy without really Trying (women's edition)

This is not a topic I talk about or think about often, but it does nonetheless come up from time to time. I can't completely ignore it, now, can I?

When I talk about sexy, I don't mean, "Oh, look, she has boobs and such and such. I like that." When I say sexy, I mean walking down the street and heads are turning. Men in desire, women in envy (some also in desire). Too intimidated to hoot and holler. Looking for any excuse to talk to you, touch you, smell you. That kind of sexy.

We've all had those days. We've also had more days when we felt anything but. How does one create this lustful look?


  • RULE NUMBER ONE: Attitude.

Act how you want to act. Ammirite? Maybe you're shamefully awkward and mumble and make inappropriate comments and walk right over 4 large steps, nearly falling down and dying when walking to the bathroom. Three times in a row.

Who hasn't done that?

If you want to be shy or weird or hyper or lethargic, you have every right to be. You see all these articles about loving yourself, but then when it comes to 'attracting love', suddenly they want you to be smooth and confident and cool as a cracker jack in February. Whatever that means. Just act like you. Unless you happen to be a psychopath on a murder rampage. In which case, find your way to the nearest- um, I'll stop myself there.


  • RULE NUMBER TWO: Clothing.

I don't know what you like to wear and I don't care what you wear! You're a big girl, you can dress yourself. If you're trying to look sexy, I probably don't recommend blood stained windbreaker blouses and flab trappers (as I will now call leggings), but if you're into that, maybe there's a guy out there into it too. Do you really want to attract a guy who will expect you to dress up each time you see him? God, that sounds like a lot of work. All the power to those of you who put effort into existence, but for those of us who get distracted easily and end up with only half lipsticked lips because there was something glimmering in your reflection, we don't got time for that!

Wear less to catch our eye...


Wear more to make men sigh...


Wear a bathing suit and eat vagina pie!

Wear the things that hit the right spots, miss the wrong spots, give you space to dance or frolic or just take a seat without finding yourself in the predicament of a habitual butt-crack wedge.


  • RULE NUMBER THREE: Gestures.

You know that part in the movie when the girl does the thing and the guy does the other thing and next thing you know, they're madly in love and practicing coitus on the rocking horse they just built during the montage, from wood, her grandfather's ashes, and gorilla glue? Do that. Whatever it is they did right there, do that. Because if you're anything like me, your attempt to wink is as tragic as seeing someone with a clubhand trying to get their wallet out of their back pocket. "Don't worry, I got this. I got it." or as painful as a new Adam Sandler movie? Anyone?







"Republican National Convention"

All words which will not win you the 'sexy award' of the year. They will, however, guide you towards the man of your dreams. Maybe. Maybe less so if he is saying, "So, I was attending the RNC, my favourite event EVER, when suddenly I noticed an abscess on my wenis. It was secreting some sort of gelatinous fluid..."

In this case, proceed with caution.

However, aside from a few exceptions, as long as you're not a complete idiot, and he's not a complete idiot, you two will enjoy each other's conversation if it's real, interesting, and not creepy. Some people think if your style matches or your level of attractiveness matches, you'll be a good match. I think the importance lies in the conversation. Even if you have opposite interests or she can't stop talking about death (another 'Me' issue), if both parties find the other fascinating, you'll end up getting along well and he'll want more than a one night stand, as the kids are calling it. Don't be afraid of "awkward silences", those tell a lot about a relationship, I think. I happen to love them and embrace them when they come along. Just means you have control of the next topic of discussion, if you like. If you've been dying to bring up the topic of hand sanitizer: foe or friend? Now is your chance. Of course, if you just were awaiting a moment of quiet so you can drink more drink, that works, too.



Apparently, some people have issues with sealing the deal, or they have issues with the deal. The way I see it is, if it doesn't happen, it isn't supposed to happen yet or ever. Feminism aside, because forget that bo bidnezz, I can only deal with guys who are willing to take control of the situation and go in for the kiss without being like, "Um, miss? Pardon my forwardness, but I would honoured if you would allow the presence of my lipial (ha- that sounds dirty) area to grace your lipial (it still sounds dirty!!) area. May I?" Yeah, it's potentially charming, but 90% of the time, this is the guy who thinks he is the "nice guy", don't even get me started with the "nice guy". Although, maybe I will address that at another time. I am sick of this friendzone, nice guy junk. Point being, he is the weaker species in denial and he needs to be stopped before you "lead him on" by being nice to him. Ideally, he'll just dive in, but know well enough how to not kiss your eyeball socket or some random part of your chin.

Now, from my experience, it's usually the men who don't know how to kiss, but I am sure there are also clueless females out there. This isn't a science class, though, I'm just saying, do your research and be sure you know what you're doing before you go out, because a bad kiss can and probably will ruin everything.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Relationships. With food.

I love food.

I love the feeling of something activating your mind, your taste buds, your body, your everything. Every food item gives you different thoughts and memories and feelings. It might be a gross texture and make you gag, or it might be delightfully crunchy (my favourite), or so smooth, you can just slurp it up like Heaven. Some foods make you sleepy, some make you feel light and beautiful, and some leave you feeling silly and childish.

Filling up your tummy's desperate beckon for sustenance is a relief and an absolute joy! When you eat with someone you trust and care about, your mutual self-care and care for each other is a unique bonding experience. When your significant other takes you out for food and pays without question, he/she becomes your hero. Even more so if (s)he knows what you wanted or is craving the same item(s).

A dessert item is like that secret or very loud shared experience. It can be something you shamefully do alone, but feel so good about!

An appetizer- oh, boy. So disgustingly gluttonous , but if you have a tasty little treat to tide you over, you feel good, you feel excited, you feel relieved when it comes. Even a bowl of soup or a simple salad can make your eyes roll back, your eyebrows float, and your mouth salivate.

I love it for the faces someone makes after biting something truly horrific. They could get mad, but usually they just go wild and make all the faces and sounds you want to see and they truly feel. Somewhere inside themselves. There is no shyness when it comes to gross food; when you trust the people you're with. You might be more polite in mixed company... or not!

Every food you have ever eaten, you had at one point eaten for the first time. You may not remember it, but even your favourite food in the world, was once something new and strange, and maybe you didn't even like it.

My favourite food is peanut butter. Since I was a child, I would eat ridiculous, unhealthy amounts of peanut butter. Not on bread, not with crackers or jelly or celery or "fluff". Just peanut butter. Every time I taste a hint of it, I fall in love with it all over again. It is such a simple food, most people take it for granted. Not I. I savour every lick of my finger, every nibble of the knife, every last piece of peanut in thai peanut sauce. Crunchy peanut butter used to gross me out, however. As did pulp in orange juice. Now I just find it to be more peanut in my peanut butter. Nutty and messy and gooey and simply uncouth! Precisely how I would hope someone would describe me.

Not to mention french fries. My arch nemesis, my weak-point, my ab-killer. Who has the strength to only eat one french fry? Each fry, a new flavour, a new texture, a new chomp into oblivion. Children don't understand how lucky they are to have the right to say, "French fries. Just french fries." and this could be considered a picky child's improvement. Or a fair and "good enough" meal. For me? I'm just the carb guzzling, grease bather. Does this phase me? Not in the least. Just be aware of what I must endure in order to enjoy a french fry meal.

Although... I hate food.

I hate feeling like my food choices aren't good enough. That stupid 5, 10, 20 minutes of sitting and throwing mushed, mashed, crushed, cracked nutrition (or sometimes lacking) down my throat. It gets gross and boring and unpleasant. The stomachache and bloating and unpleasantness that seems to come all too fast and easily and unwanted. The inability to move or feel good about yourself for hours, days, weeks (if you experience IBS, you know what I mean.)

Not wanting to get fat so you can please the people you have no desire to please, yet feel the compulsion to satisfy. It's disgusting and ironic and not fun. To the point of contemplating anorexia or bulimia or just cutting of a limb. Say, the nose? As, I am not too content with mine. Water weight and muscle weight and hoping that my organs way 100+ lbs. It could be.

Watching how other women eat. Some eat so much and remain thin, we are bred to hate them, maybe devour them. The ones who eat too much and get fat and we ask, "Why do they keep eating?" but in the end, we wish we were comfortable enough in ourselves to eat like that and look like that without shame. Because there is no shame in looking like that! Unless, of course, you ask the models and actors and the rest of the list- all of which are known for their drug problems. Ah, where we find our heroes... genius. Or maybe we wonder how women eat so little and look the way they do. That one person who never seems to eat and yet, she weighs the weight of two of the skinny ladies combined. How frustrated she must be. Who does she blame at night when she looks in the mirror? I hope she is content, but what are the chances of that? It is people like me and you and us all, whether we know it or admit it or see or not. We are all part of it.

Of course, I happen to love a little something extra on a person. Or a lot extra. Or nothing extra! How do such beautiful creatures think such horrible things? Who or what gave us that idea? Of course, the media, the government, everything we see in the world. The things we cannot erase, the reason this way of thinking will never end, never cease, never be defeated. Self-love will only exist in the mind of the man or woman in denial.

Food which disappears so quickly after you buy it. Maybe it is just me, but I a so excited to eat the broccoli once I buy it. Every type of fruit I bought. I binge. I suffocate. I sit and sit and sit and struggle to move or breathe or think anything but, "Oy." Then it is gone and I wait several weeks before buying more. I starve meanwhile. That starvation! That ache! That nausea that accompanies it! I get it, stomach! Why not be like an alarm clock? Ache for a bit, then rest. Remind me again in 20 minutes or so. I assure you I will find food, stomach. Don't panic unless it's been more than a few days. Relax, stomach, you worry wart. I am going to take care of you and refuel. With what, though?!

Meat and dairy are bad. But I need the vitamins. I want the vegetables, but they upset my stomach. I need the vegetables, but they make me hurt. Meat and dairy make others hurt, they may animals suffer, they disgust me. I need the vitamins, but they are big and smell bad and make me gag. I need the vitamins but I don't want to suffer, so I seem to be okay without them. One day this will catch up with me.

Food is not simple. It's not simple.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Train Ride (a short story)

They entered the train together with the natural briskness of a native New Yorker; avoiding elbowing any elderly strangers. She couldn't help but do a double-take as a man possibly twenty-six years old, only a few years older than she, sat 12 feet away from her.

"Do not become infatuated", she told herself. "You see handsome men everyday. You feel the exact same urges and crushes. Don't look at him again!"

The doors slammed shut and the train began gliding along the rails in the direction of her home. The train stopped at the next station and as if she had no control of her neck and eye muscles, she turned to him again. This time she caught his eyes looking back at her. He quickly looked back down at his feet.

As the ride continued, the frequency of their glances increased. She was even fairly certain he would smirk a little each time they caught each other sneaking a peek. She wasn't sure what drew her to this man. He wasn't as good looking as other men she had come across on this same train ride. The kind she could get for a dime a dozen any other day of the week. He wasn't dressed like a man who was heading home from an exhausting day at his luxurious office. He was an ordinary man with an ordinary face and as far as she could gather, he probably led an extremely ordinary life. Yet, here she was, unable to stop herself from looking at him. His shaggy, dark brown hair was held out of his face by his green hoodie and his jeans were rather shabbily stitched together. No, he definitely wasn't her idea of sophisticated. After all, she was returning from a long day of work at a big-time attorney's office. Her boss was the kind of man she wanted to marry. As a young secretary, she knew she had no chance with her large, surly boss. She doubted even other co-workers would be interested in her.  For now, at least. She had plans to move up in the office ranks quickly. She had big dreams for her new job. For now, however, she was enamored with this rumpled boy on the train.

She tried not to look away too long, hoping he would recognize her interest. They both watched the crowds pour out at every stop, concerned this would be the others' stop and their coy interaction would be ended.

However, station by station, neither of them even began to put their things together in preface to leaving.

As the train emerged from the ground, she watched as snow hit the window pane. She was not looking forward to walking through the snow but watching it from the warm indoors was just lovely. As she turned to do her routine check-in with the man, she noticed he had now moved several seats closer to her. He gave her a smile to acknowledge his act. Letting her know she was responsible for it. Her smile was shy in response but unmistakable. She turned back to the window to watch the snow. She caught a glimpse of herself in the window. Trying to be inconspicuous, she inspected her half-formed image for any glaring faults, fly-aways, or smudged eyeliner. She concluded that she was reasonably presentable.

Several stops later, she noticed how close to her stop they were. She also noticed how close he was to her. She could now see his eyes clearer. They were green... maybe hazel. Whichever colour they were, they made him look like an honest man. They were large and reflected the train's lights in an almost cartoonish way. She could also smell him. Clearly, he had overdone the cologne, but she didn't mind the pungent musky odour he was emitting. The smell was how she thought a man should smell. She worried that she would have to get off the train first. In which case, she didn't know what she would do. She could initiate conversation but that wasn't really a skill she had. Men made her nervous. She had never outgrown that adolescent discomfort.  If he got off first, he would have to make the first move. Would he?

As they approached the 18th avenue stop, he stood up and walked to the doorway. She was overjoyed, she didn't imagine forty minutes after their initial glances, they would be then getting off at the same place. This was perfect. She knew he felt the same when she stood up and waited by the door next to him. His smile was all-revealing.

The train came to a halt and the doors opened. They exited the automatic doors and he placed a cigarette between his lips. He turned to her. "You look just like my friend's sister." He continued speaking for a bit but his words were incoherent through the cigarette in his mouth. She just smiled, excited by the conversation that was finally taking place. The one she had been waiting for the entire ride.

"Are you related to this guy named Lorenzo in the area?"

He had a certain air of confidence and disinterest that told her he was a true Italian Brooklynite. She shook her head.

"You look so much like her. It was driving me nuts the whole train ride."

He walked through the exit door. Without looking back at her, he shouted, "All right. Have a good night!"

His pace sped up as he walked in the opposite direction from her own.

She stopped walking and said under her breath, "What the hell?"

Sunday, March 10, 2013

It's not Insanity

I have been told my entire life that I need to speak up. That I am too shy. That I seem distant and stand offish. With a lot of people... I AM. I don't think this is a bad thing. I don't need the whole world to hear me saying what I think. I need them to KNOW what I want and I make sure they know. For me, it's not about everyone knowing who I am and what I do and my beliefs. All that is expected is that they somehow, through my actions, learn what I would like them to know and they then use that information as they wish. Pretty much, I lack an ego. Which is good, I guess. I mean, it comes in handy sometimes, I would imagine but I tend to be rather modest. I am not impressed easily and I don't aim to impress anyone. So it works out. We're all equal, really truly. We may not all do things the same way or have the same goals or intentions or desires but that's groovy. Not to say ignorant people should remain as such... sure, I personally believe a successful life is one which you are making positive change for everyone but I guess at the end of the day, instinct tells us to do for ourselves (aka our children and so forth...)

There are people who look down on you if you're not a BIG philanthropist activist hero moose goblin and there are people who look down on you if they feel you are wasting all your time on silly causes rather than doing something "more important" with your time. I, on the other hand, try to balance both! I would say I get involved with a lot of activism and good causes but I also go to school so I can have a career that will help people. See how that works?

My main intention here is to defend those activists, those believers, those fighters who can't dedicate their entire lives to "the cause" because they are also caught up in equally important causes. These people should not be put down for this, as I have seen done. A doctor who works night and day saving lives is not a bad guy because he or she isn't dealing with corruption in the government. What about those mothers and fathers who don't want their kids amidst a huge crowd of screaming, potentially violent strangers and cops and ruckus and madness? They instead want to be with their kids, safe at home, teaching them about life and love and the infinite possibilities in life... nothing wrong with that!

Just the same as I don't see some "big activists" at food banks or at adoption events or even at nursing homes. Which I find a little disheartening. Immediate or short term fixes are sometimes everything to someone. The arguing and insulting is just shameful. The stealing, the lying, the vandalization... these are not things that add to the beauty of the world. There are enough people destroying it, those who claim to be helping and take such pride in helping, as least do that the best you can if you're not doing anything else.

I don't say this to knock anyone or their life choices, I say this to maybe wake a few people up. Be their little reminder that change has to start within themselves or else no one will do better, no one will be better. Maybe they know this but pride stops them from changing (I'm guilty of this from time to time; we all are!) Just taking a second look at what you do and say and think can sometimes make all the difference within your life or even the world. This is how things progress and improve!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Twist of Fajita (irrelevant title!)

It can happen at any moment. That twisting, turning pain in your chest or stomach. The kind that gives you a headache, leaves you nauseous, and makes you want to run away and hide forever. It can be triggered by too much, too little, too big, too small... or nothing at all!

Anxiety is something I am afflicted with. Another obstacle that millions of people deal with in their lives. It's not the kind you can just take a pill for and everything is all right. Some people can but many can't.

It often stops sufferers from leaving their home or even leaving their bed. It's debilitating  and can easily lead to depression. When you never know what you will come across or, in general, what moment will trigger it, you come to fear experiencing things. You can learn you're fine in a 400 or more people crowd at a jumping, screaming concert and then you go home, put on music and sit with your dog in your lap and realize you find the combination of the dog and music is overwhelming you. You are finding it harder to breathe, your heartbeat is speeding up, and you can't focus on anything. You just want to get into the fetal position under your blanket and sleep. Of course, you're so wound up, you can't sleep, either.

This is what anxiety can do to a person. Take over your day, your happiness, your existence. It can even lead to an anxiety attack. The most dreaded time in an anxious person's life. You are certain you will cry or pass out or die. Everything is terrifying. You're falling, life is failing... Reason doesn't have any meaning to this person. You can tell them they need this or to do this but this person has fallen into a mental blackout. They can't necessarily process what they want or need, they just are following the motions of life. Oftentimes leading to depersonalization to escape the situation. This makes it easier for the sufferer but worse for those surrounding them, trying to help. This is why having anxiety attacks while alone are preferable, even though it may make them scarier.

I wish I could offer a cure or even a treatment. However, I can't. All I can offer is information. I will never expect anyone who has not faced anxiety to understand it. As much as they may try, like an disorder or unique thing in an individual, only those who have been through it understand. The problem with that is, because it is such an internal issue, those who do not know, may blow it off or act as if the sufferer is at fault or being dramatic. I say this because of what I have heard and seen and been told myself. Ironically, as many people as have anxiety issues, there are a million more who have experienced it once or twice and still do not lend an understanding ear to others.

Maybe my offer of a firsthand experience and understanding of anxiety will be of help and help those of you who have been misinformed or uninformed understand or reach out, even. Any step forward is important.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Scratching the Surface of Factory Farming

Shame is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a painful emotion cause by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety". That is to say, shame is a negative emotion felt as a result of not being up to the positive standard that has been set by society, typically an objective view. When an individual lacks in some way, shame is achieved. This is a human emotion and there is no individual who has never felt shame. It is normal and healthy to some extent. This is because humans are prone to do things often without knowing better or because of insensitivity at times.

Jane Bolton wrote an article for Psychology Today titled What We Get Wrong About Shame.  In this article she discusses the information, as well as misinformation most individuals have acquired regarding shame. She uses one case in which a patient of hers felt because she felt shame, she must have done something shameful, therefore, her entire life was shameful. However, this is inaccurate. Shame is simply an emotion one faces in reaction to doing, seeing, or knowing something they feel to be shameful. This does not mean the act is in fact shameful, however.

On the other end of the spectrum are those who have been conditioned to not take notice of the shame involved in an action they are taking part in. Such as someone who overcharges elderly customers for the sake of making more money. He may know what he is doing is wrong but in order for him to make more money, he may choose to take advantage of those who do not know better. On one hand, he could feel shame and do it nonetheless. In other cases, he may be so concerned with paying his own bills that he will not see any fault in his actions.

One case in particular which comes to mind when I think of shame in American history is the common practice of factory farming. Merriam-Webster  explains factory farming as, "a large industrialized farm; especially: a farm on which large numbers of livestock are raised indoors in conditions intended to maximize production at minimal cost." The definition alone does not appear to be all too shameful, however, upon further research it is clear where these farms do wrong.  I do not only find the actions of these farms shameful but also how normalized they have come to be. Whether citizens are unaware of the horrible conditions or simply choose not to care, there is still a major epidemic across the country and the world that occurs right within these farms.

Before delving into the abuse that the animals involved in factory farming face, the impact it has on each person must be discussed. Factory farming, the way it is currently done, has been used for at least the past 20 years. These factories have replaced the small family-owned farms and are now huge corporations that tuck away thousands of of animals into small areas, where they are tightly packed together. This affects us all because between the methane released by these animals and the pollution from their manure, the air and water can be turned dangerous and make sick those in surrounding communities. Within the larger factories there is about 500 million tons of manure produced each year, according to Rather than this massive amount of manure being dealt with immediately, it is placed in pits or lagoons and eventually used as fertilizer. Unlike smaller farms, these large scale factory farms do not prevent the polluting of water because of the size. So much is applied to land each time that it ends up in outside areas and pollutes the air and water. This would be not be as worrisome except, in mass quantities, you now have the release of nitrogen, phosphorus, and possibly even bacteria. These lagoons and pits have been known to leak, as well, along with the overflow of manure, which then spreads into nearby streams and water. This will then be consumed and lead to terrible consequences for the rest of the population, along with killing local wildlife.

The dangers of this manure doesn't stop there. All the chemicals held within the stacks of decomposing manure causes skin rashes, breathing problems and headaches, and long-term exposure has led to neurological problems. Beyond the manure, the animals themselves can spread disease. Due to overcrowding, therefore, stress in these factories, diseases are spread very easily. Having all these cattle in one, overpopulated area leads to bacteria spreading onto the hides and then brought inside the slaughterhouses. Even one cow that has been contaminated can bring about the contamination of thousands of pounds of meat.

The concerns do not end there. They even go as far as changing the effectiveness of antibiotics in humans. Being that spreading disease is so common in these factories, much of the livestock is treated with antibiotics to prevent illness and promote weight gain. These bacteria then become strong and antibiotic resistant. This leads to bacteria that are stronger than antibiotics once they reach humans. This goes along with the fact that chickens often receive arsenic-based additives in their feed, this is used enhance the flesh's pinkness and increases growth. Cattle are fed with animal byproducts, this increases the risk of mad cow disease.

When it comes to the animals themselves and their well-being, this is at risk as well in these factory farms. Most of the hogs and chickens in these facilities never have seen the outdoors. Cows on the other hand are outdoors but they are crammed into feedlots, as most factory farms use, rather than more humane methods. They are not allowed access to grass or open space. Even in the case of "cage free", there is little time outdoors. This is because the laws regarding what can be labeled as "cage free" are very vague. It not uncommon for a "cage free" chicken to have an open cage for 2 hours and be considered "cage free". At this point, the chicken may be unaware or too unhealthy to leave their cage anyway. These practices are all done to maximize profit. However, they also maximize animal stress and misery.

The final group to suffer due to factory farms is farmers! Every year there is less of a need and less of a presence of smaller farms. Most farmers are unable to maintain their farms and income when their competition is so large and powerful. They cannot keep up. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2007 more than half of family farmers lost money on their farming operation. The few but large companies that are able to dominate this field have much control over what money farmers receive and control over the general going ons of the farms. The amount farmers receive for their work and livestock has been steadily decreasing throughout the past two decades. The change from many small, independent farms that were charging fair prices into a lesser number of huge farms occurred rapidly. The Department of Justice allowed these large meatpackers to become a monopoly, influenced by money they were to make more of and faster.

What these large companies and departments don't realize is that the previous system benefited everyone. By simply separating these large factories into smaller, more personal farms, the animals, communities, and farmers can be treated much better and be much healthier. Individual farms have the time, and if given funding, the money to take their time to ensure all animals are treated humanely and all goods are then the best they can be. Those who are currently purchasing these products from factory farms are either unaware or uninterested in the effects of those they are giving their money to.

In this unfortunate case, shame is lacking in those who are supporting a dangerous and unethical practice. Through education and understanding, more people can understand, rather than make light of, the inhumane and unhealthy actions that go on behind the scenes of factory farming.


"How Factory Farms Impact YouFactory Farm Map | Factory Farm Map." Factory Farm Map. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2013. <>.

U.S. Department of Agriculture. “2007 Census of Agriculture.” AC-07-A-51. December 2009. Table 5 at 14.

Bolton, Jane. "What we get wrong about shame." psychology today. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2013. <>.