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That’s About All I Have to Say About That

This one’s a real kicker. Reading this really gets you thinking, but not in the way the author intends, but more in a way of, “What in God’s name is this dolt talking about?” I know I may not look it – maybe due to the fact that I don’t have my hair in some sort of elvish braid or wear tye-dye or eat granola all the time – but I’m a pretty firm believer in climate change, and I consider myself an above average preacher of the issue when compared to most people, most of whom treat terrorism and Islam to be the world’s greatest threats of this time, and disregard climate change as the hippie, loser issue that, when brought up at a big boy conference, the leaders of the world oftentimes respond with, “Yeah, yeah. We get ‘ya,” and then whisper to their big boy, corporate-owned, coal-loving, river-poisoning nation friends and give them a look screaming, “yeah, right. Look at this nerd!” and then laugh maniacally as they rip all of the coal out of the earth and pour all of the chemicals into it (i.e. fracking, that lovely process by which thousands of people have been irreversibly physically damaged and filled with cancerous cells and death. Gotta love it, amirite, Trump?) I even have friends who disagree with the notion (or, really, the fact, in all honesty) that climate change is the single greatest threat faced by not only the U.S., but the entire world as a whole, and they suggest that Isis is literally the worst, and this really garfields my lasagna.

If I wrote this blog about four or five months ago it would be incredibly topical for this class because we’d have just watched An Inconvenient Truth (great movie, by the way, and one that I think everyone should see because of its great current cultural and relevant significance to contemporary society) but I’m a little late for that train. Much of the raw scientific and statistical data I now have on the matter of climate change and its history and it effects came in large part from that film, and it has provided me with a far greater understanding of the issue than I ever had before, and I think that’s safe to say for all – if not most – of the people who see this documentary.

There is a clear correlation between the increasing presence of the greenhouse gas CO2 and rising world temperatures, as depicted in the aforementioned film, although many a climate change denier would disagree, much like my friend John Nolte of dailywire, the author of the article I previously referenced. If you were to look at a graph depicting the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere, and then superimpose it on a graph of world temperature throughout past thousands of years, there is an evident identicality between the two graphs, and they depict nearly the same exact trend.

Now, the things I just stated are facts (truths that are undeniable or unquestionable in nature, and are not subject to really any sort of dissent or skepticism). Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I know, although sometimes the opinions of certain people are simply wrong and ridiculous, but no one is entitled to their own facts. Facts of science, like this one, are not to be deliberated or questioned in that they have been regarded as canonical law of whatever they relate to. I am by no means encouraging the mindless acceptance of what some may believe to be true, but when the intellectuals of society, and those on whom we depend to advance humanity through scientific and technological breakthroughs believe unanimously in an issue that poses a grave threat to all of civilization, it is our job to accept it and to work to aid our current situation, and those of our neighbors’.

The denial of fact – especially those of science – has been occurring for over a thousand years, and it is nothing new in this day and age, especially now that anyone can essentially deem themselves a scientist or doctor or lawyer with the internet at their fingertips. The Black Plague, initially outbreaking in the 500s in the Eastern Roman Empire was nicknamed The Plague of Justinian after the emperor at the time. The people of the empire believed that this devastation was caused by no one other than the Lord himself, and he cast this evil upon us as a punishment for the sinners of the world, in spite of the efforts of certain people to convince those in power that the plague was spread through a bacterium carried by rodents. Then, when the plague resurfaced 800 years later in medieval, the devout Christian population of Europe once again denied the reality of the plague, and instead attributed it to the hand of God.

Climate change – without trying to seem like a jabroni – truly is the greatest threat faced by humans today, and any and all other issues really pale in comparison to it; threats like Trump’s beloved Isis will mean nothing to us if there’s no world left for us to protect, so it holds a great level of significance to us. Really, what I’m trying to say is that there’s no time to dilly when it comes to the matter of climate change.

 

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The Anti Anti Vaccination Vaccination Blog Blog

This, my friends, has been a topic that I have held very near and dear to my heart, and it has brought me many a laugh, but also many a blood-boilingly moronic hippie mother who believe that vaccines cause Autism and that the Swine Flu shot contains monkey brains. Now, you may be thinking, “Jeez, Reid, calm down, bro. What’s your deal?” And, to be honest, I don’t know exactly what my deal is, but there is just something about a fully-functioning, sentient human being denying the science of modern medicine that is truly nothing short of magic that just really garfields my lasagna. Now, it really isn’t very difficult at all to find a specific source pertaining to this subject – heck, I bet you could take a trip down to your nearest Whole Foods and find yourself at least three of these types of people at any given moment – but this, albeit almost a year old, really caught my eye. This particular article is not the first of its kind, and it certainly will not be the last.

 

This article, entitled Baby died of meningitis ‘after parents tried to treat him with herbal remedies’, is covering nothing less than a tragedy, not only because of this infant’s terrible, untimely, easily preventable death, but also because this couple, 32 and 35 year old Canadians, David and Collet, are breathing the same air as us; occupying the same space on earth as we do, and acting as members of society, who are clearly two impressively ignorant people whose actions sincerely baffle me. I mean, seriously, how on earth could anyone in their right – or wrong, even – mind believe that the hidden, cureall remedies of their  minds and the internet are better, ten times out of ten, for treating their infant son with meningitis. And, yes, it is honestly a life-shattering thing to go through, losing a child, and even though I am apparently bashing on this couple currently, I extend my deepest sympathies to them and feel for their loss, but the things that they tried to do to help their ill baby, even after being told to take their baby to a doctor by two different medical professionals, is ruhtarted.

 

One would hope – one would really hope with all of one’s heart – that this occurrence is not a very common one, and that these people are in the infinitesimal minority here, but no no no, good sir/madam; this is far from a rare occurrence. In actuality, there is this whole entire neanderthalic, moronic, stupidiotic subculture of science-denying, herb-munching, doctor-ignoring dummybrains who actually result in the deaths of over ten thousand people, and over 100,000 preventable diagnoses of illnesses, as seen here.

 

The whole Anti-Vaccine movement has been going on for quite some time, and has been at the forefront of conspiracy theorist garbage since its birth. Led, in large part, by minor celebrities and nutritional supplement CEO’s, always with either stripped – or no – medical or scientific qualifications whatsoever, and backed by the occasional rogue doctor who conducts an absolutely outrageous ‘study’, proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that the Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccines lead to Autism in its recipients.

 

It really is hard to say where, exactly, these ideas initially formulate, and how they spread so quickly from healthfreak mom to healthfreak mom and from hippie dad to hippie dad. I think that it is just attributed to this cauldron of propaganda, a deep mistrust of our government, and pure ignorance and arrogance, that breeds this awful monster that is the anti-vaccination movement. It is a movement founded upon the single-digit amount of medical documents that suggest a correlation between autism and common childhood vaccinations, and upon masterful advertising and marketing by the leaders of the movement, like the nutritional company CEO’s and minor celeb’s – many of whom probably don’t even believe in the junk that they’re preaching, they’re just preying upon easily influenced, susceptible, gullible people, who will follow and do exactly as their favorite celebrity says because they love them so much. It is such a strange phenomenon that is this movement, and how it has grown into the cult of brainwashed dolts that now identify themselves with the movement. It’s all about the money; cha-ching, cha-ching.

 

This entire philosophy, the one by which someone decides to downright deny scientific facts and the proven wonders of modern medicine and technology, is, while ridiculously frustrating to bear witness to, is ultimately not detrimental to society as long as those who believe in it are not in a position of power over someone else’s medical access and treatment, like, say, a parent. Up to the point of its affecting other people besides oneself, this simply moronic philosophy begins to become completely insane and utterly dangerous to those it can affect. If a man or woman decides to identify with the anti-vaccination movement, and chooses not to vaccinate themselves, as long as they don’t sicken other people, I guess that it is ok to do in that it only affects them, but the moment that that man or woman becomes a parent and then, when their child falls ill, denies that child the right to a doctor, to contemporary medicine, they are essentially depriving said child of their life, as seen in the original article referenced. It just seems terribly unfair that, as a child, you are at the mercy of your parents, no matter how level-headed or insane; no matter how responsible or moronic.

 

Essentially, what I’m trying to say is that the fact that so many people are willing to succumb to such foolish ignorance really crocs my socks.

 

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The Conspiracy Conspiracy

Although I will be discussing the similar topic of ignorance and borderline insanity exhibited by the anti-government, anti-logic lunatics of the world, this time it is more specifically about many people’s negative responses to tragic events, and how countless people are truly terrified of the spontaneity and unpredictable nature of the world, and refuse to believe that any tragedy could occur, that they all must be orchestrated by some higher person or organization, a prime example being this, and this, and this. It is widely believed that everything happens for a reason, but, when something occurs for seemingly no reason, many of us tend to completely refuse that possibility, and jump to assigning a grand perpetrator in order to establish a sense of control over the matter. If no one is given the blame for these tragedies, then that would mean it happened randomly and without reason, which just isn’t acceptable (to them).

On September 11, 2001, four planes departing from Northeastern states were hijacked by members of the terrorist group, Al-Qaeda. Two of the airliners were crashed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center, with all of their passengers still onboard, helpless, while a third plane was crashed into the Pentagon, collapsing a portion of the mighty structure, again, with all of its passengers still on board, helpless. The fourth plane, headed for the White House, was fortunately diverted from its target location by its passengers who had overtaken the plane from the hijackers. On this day, 3,000 people died, and another 6,000 were wounded. It remains the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the country, and has changed the world forever. But, that couldn’t really have happened, right? There’s clearly no possible way that such a terrible, tragic, sporadic act of violence could have been committed, and without any way to prepare. There obviously had to be some sort of mastermind organization that orchestrated this attack, because the pure spontaneity of this all is just so outlandish. There just has to be someone in control. Always.

I’m going to be honest: I never really knew that this was actually a relatively widely adopted theory, but I was unpleasantly surprised when I found out it is. In the aforementioned videos linked above, the host discusses the awful events that occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, but not with a feeling of sorrow and mourning for those who were affected. Instead, this man goes on to clearly inform us that the Sandy Hook school shooting was, in fact, a staged event, conspired by, yes, the federal government, with co-conspirators in the form of major news networks covering the event. These people who believe in the ‘Sandy Hook Conspiracy’ fall into the exact same category as those who believe in the government-choreographed attacks on the U.S. Again, it stems from a desire to assign a figure to an event in order to eliminate the possibility of a random event – without reason – that lacked control. Many of us are uncomfortable in the face of the unknown and the nonexistence of control, but there are those who just take it to the very extremes.

While I whole-heartedly agree that the world can be a terrifying place in all its spontaneity and unpredictability, and that the events that transpire can truly shake us all to the core, I think that it’s even more terrifying that there are so many people who, not only refuse to believe that these tragedies really happened, but that they assign the blame to some organization or figure (e.g. the Illuminati, the government, private organizations, fictitious organizations, etc.) in an attempt to satisfy their need to rationalize everything with some sort of orchestrator or puppet master.  

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Corey in the [crack] House

It is a sad, sad time for not only America, but for the entire world. No, I’m not referring to the massive surge of terrorist attacks in recent years, or the terrible political climate in this country, or the racial divide splitting our people apart to a degree greater than anything since the Civil War. No. I’m referring to thisIt’s hard for me to discuss this topic, as it is very dear to me, and I hate to see this in such a bad light, but I have to. This video contains some of the saddest cases of a midlife crisis I have ever seen, and of no one else, but Corey Feldman. Yes, the Corey Feldman. One of our favorite childhood actors of all times, if not our actual favorite. This is Mouth from The Goonies, Teddy from Stand By Me, and so many other iconic roles from our youth, or, more specifically, our parents’ youth, but you get it. In this performance, Corey and his ‘Angels’ present his new hit single, and make an absolute mockery of themselves, doing the strangest seizure-like dance moves and Voldemort-esque singing. He makes us weep for the charming boy that we have lost, and the strange, Michael Jackson-ified man we now have.

Corey Feldman, like so many other childhood actors, had succumbed to the grasp of childhood fame long ago, but it has reached a new low as of one month ago with his performance on The Today Show. The topic is not strictly Feldman, but, rather, the effects that his early fame had on him, and the effects that it has on several other people in his situation. Feldman is by no means the only person to be going down this road, or, already being so far down it. We’ve seen this a countless number of times with dozens upon dozens of actors, such as Macaulay Culkin, Shia Labeouf, Lindsay Lohan, Frankie Muniz, Aaron Carter, Amanda Bynes, and so many more. Corey’s case is not a unique one, but it still crushes a tiny bit of our childhood to see him like this.

 

It’s a cruel game that child actors play. Often times, they never even experience a real childhood because they get so caught up in their work and their fame, and they never know what it’s like to be what their title implies: a child. Fame at a young age comes at a consequential price, and it tends to deprive children of the childhood that is so crucial to a healthy development. In the case of Corey Feldman, he talks about how he was “literally famous before he even knew his own name”, referring to a McDonald’s commercial he appeared in when he was three years old. When kids become so famous at such a young age, their entire lives are redirected to accommodate for their work, and whatever else comes with it. This restricts kids from attending a standard school – or a school, in general, in some cases – which results in a drastic decrease in interactions with other children, and only increases interaction with adults (e.g. agents, directors, caterers, other actors, studio execs., producers, etc.). In many cases, these child actors can develop a large sense of self-entitlement and become rather pretentious, which can further drive other children away from them, again, resulting in a serious lack of same-age interaction and experience. When a child only socializes with adults, most of whom are only doing so in order to make money off of said child, they never understand how to act with their  own age group, and they develop a sense of loneliness and a desire to belong to something, although they usually can’t due to strict schedules and/or contracts made without their full knowledge.

Once these childhood actors go through their fifteen minutes of fame, and their agents have moved on and their managers off to the next client, they don’t know what to do with themselves. They had been living their growing years for, basically, the benefit of other people, instead of themselves, and now that those people are gone and the cameras have shifted away from them, they’re lost. The aftermath of a dense childhood acting career is never pretty. The pressure that had been put on them for all those years finally catches up with them, and they can very well grow mentally unstable. The two most common effects of a childhood actor’s downfall are: drug addictions, or a deep desire to return to that fame at whatever cost, and then a drug addiction. For instance: Macaulay Culkin, drug problem. Shia Labeouf, drug problem, and attempts to reclaim fame, and god knows whatever else went on in that man’s head. Amanda Bynes, drug problem(s) in addition to reclaim fame.

 

It’s unfortunate, really, what these kids go through in their acting careers, it really is. Now, should we prohibit all children from acting because of the injurious effects it can have on them? Should we try to prevent these kinds of things from happening anymore? I don’t know. All I know is that no one is going to give Corey Feldman a lickery kiss any time soon.

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Extremism is Extremism.

As my last blog post discussed the topic of free humor and how easily everyone can get offended nowadays, this one will be addressing the hot topic of extremism, from all ends of the spectrum, not just the most easily apparent form of extremism that one may think of when they hear the word, and by this I mean Islamic extremism, which is a very controversial subject currently.

 

As I was going about my life one day, I was unfortunately introduced to this cesspool of a website, Barenakedislam – BNI for short –  by a friend. It’s essentially an anti-Muslim blog site used as a congregation spot for like minded Islamophobes who share their bigoted, racist, and ignorant views on… well, minorities, in general. Being subjected to this site only further solidified my philosophy which states that extremism is extremism, and there are no two ways about it. No matter what a certain form of radicalism is promoting, they’re all the same in that they support ignorance, division, and hate amongst us all. Radical feminism is not feminism. Radical liberalism is not liberalism. Radical Islam is not Islam. Radical conservatism is not conservatism. And so on. Extremist ideologies are nothing but perverted iterations of their parent ideology.

 

If you were to take a look at the ‘About’ tab on Barenakedislam.com, which I strongly advise against for you may lose brain cells or contract some undiscovered contagious mental disease , you can see their opening paragraph which states, “Most people are simply unaware that Islam is NOT  just another religion but a totalitarian political cult-like ideology, which compels its followers into blind obedience, teaches intolerance, brutality and locks all Muslims and non-Muslims in a struggle deriving directly from the 7th century  nomadic, predatory, Bedouin culture,” which is just hard to read, honestly. I’m not sure if one could find a more ignorant, obnoxious response to a culture and its philosophies. This site is exhibiting clearly extreme conservative views, which are barely conservative once stripped of their radical nature. The difference between extreme conservatism and normal conservatism is that standard conservatism is more of a political methodology that revolves around self-governing and capitalism and things of this nature, but the extremists have managed to misconstrue this into an ideology centered around bigotry, pride, and elitism, and then they use these tenets as a justification for violence and hate speech. This is one of the many flaws with extremism and how it only exists as a warped interpretation of actual philosophies.

 

Another prime example of classic extremism is this video right here, which has recently taken the internet by storm. Like the last link, I’d advise against actually viewing it for the same reasons (with that being said, this one is more humorous and less aneurysm-inducingly, mind- numbingly ignorant). This woman, who may very well have been drunk, berates her Lyft driver for sporting a Hula Girl bobble-head on his dashboard, claiming that he’s defiling the Hawaiian culture and disrespecting women as a whole, especially because he’s a “cis [straight] white male”, which is treated as some sort of original sin in the world of radical feminists. This video, being the piece of radical feminism that it was, again shows the flaws with extremism of any mindset, even though the repercussions of her actions are far less violent than those of BNI’s.

 

You aren’t a truther or skeptic if you believe that jet fuel can’t melt steel beams, without understanding how the weakening and bending of metal under duress works, and you aren’t a feminist if all you do is get mad at white males for existing, and you aren’t an activist if all you do is promote hate and violence. Everything exists within moderation within itself, and something to an extreme really isn’t that something at all, it’s just extreme.

 

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If we can’t laugh, we can’t heal.

As I browsed through the plains of YouTube one day, a few years ago, on my regular weekly spree of talent show videos, I stumbled across this video of a boy with cerebral palsy, by the name of Jack Carroll, who came out onto the stage, in his walker, doing an original stand-up routine. Aside from the fact that this brave kid decided to present himself with his disability and all to the entire world and perform for millions of people, he based his routine on himself, constantly jabbing at his disability and his supposed disadvantage. This, especially, stuck with me long after watching the video because it really showed me that anything, no matter how seemingly dark, or edgy or inappropriate can be turned into comedy. Although this wasn’t necessarily the message he clearly stated he wanted to convey with his performance, I still managed to gather this from him in my own way.

In this day and age, one in which everyone has their own voice and opinions and also an easy way to express said opinions to the world, I – along with many others – have found that we can all get a little too caught up in each other’s opinions, constantly worrying about upsetting the person next to us and catering to everyone’s needs. It seems to be extremely hard for us to just lighten up a bit, in short. Nowadays, everyone gets offended by something, regardless of whether or not it was meant to be offensive. I must say, I do find it to be a bit ironic how we are told, “Laughter is the best medicine,” and yet whenever we may make an attempt to evoke some laughter out of themselves or another, there will always be someone who will be offended, or who will tell you that you went too far, or mentioned something too soon. I don’t believe there is such thing as too far or too soon, not to sound like a heartless sociopath, or anything of the sort, but I feel there is always something to be laughed about. I do believe that that phrase is true, that laughter is, in fact, the best medicine there is, but there seems to always be someone who will tell you otherwise.

I have never been one to get offended by jokes easily, especially if they’re not made about me, personally, but I am human, so I have been offended before, it’s no surprise. But, when I do get offended, I don’t begin to flog the offender and shame them and everything they believe in, but instead, I keep it to myself, and I move on with my life. It is a bit of a shame to me that we can’t all just have a little more fun in life, and remind ourselves that we don’t need to take everything so seriously. I’ve always felt this way, but watching that video of Jack Carroll made me truly solidify my belief in the silly and the humorous, and not all of the earnesty and the solemnity of life.

Many of my favorite comedians tend to make unbelievably inappropriate, dark, terrible jokes, and I find them absolutely hilarious, even if it hits home for me and can somehow manage to relate to me and/or any situation i may be a part of. The way I see it, either everything should be joked about, or nothing should be joked about. There are either boundaries on everything or no boundaries at all. Saying certain things are free to be made fun of but others aren’t is an unfair and unjust method of censorship that only exists for the sake of the censor’s gratification. If we can’t laugh at our darkest, lowest moments, what justification do we have to laugh at our highest?

One of my favorite comedians, Anthony Jeselnik, is known for being extremely offensive and for saying the most unbelievable misogynistic, racist and darkest things one could imagine and I happen to find him hilarious, not because I think the Holocaust is such a funny topic or because I think that women are subservient to men or anything as outrageous as those things, but just because I get such a good laugh out of them that spurs from the pure absurdity and audacity that comes along with these jokes.  

So, yes, I still agree with you all: 9/11 was a tragedy, and the Rowandan massacre was an incident I hope never repeats, and the slurs used by American troops during the Vietnam war were objectively horrendous, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t and can’t be funny. So, people, just don’t get your panties in a bunch.