Dear Well-meaning-fundmentalist-evangelical-who-perfectly-understands-why-I-don’t-believe-in-any-gods-unless-we’re-talking-about-yours,

What’s that you ask?

Why don’t I believe in God?

Let me ask you a series of questions and then we’ll come back to that.

Why don’t you believe in Thor?

Do you think that maybe it’s because you are angry with Him for failing to bring Storm and Thunder down on your enemies? Or water the crops? Or do you blame Him for giving your mother cancer?

Do you think that if you stopped being angry with Thor you might be able to love Him once more?

Perhaps you should come to my study group of the Poetica Eddas on Thursday (Thor’s Day—his holy day) night? We take turns reading His tales from the Eddas, and talk about the meaning the ancient oral tradition of Iceland has on our modern lifestyle, and how we can be closer to Thor and his compatriots. There’s also Spaghetti.

Why are you so bent out of shape that everything shuts down early on Thursday? It’s Thor’s Holy day; it should be spent in reflection and the slaughter of lambs in His honor. Speaking of that, I know it’s your daughter’s birthday on this Friday, but it’s the Full Moon in January—Thurseblot, we celebrate Thor and invoke his protection during these cold months so that spring returns in March. I can’t work that day. Please respect my beliefs.

In the Poetica Eddas, Thor speaks badly of the Giants who tried to trick him. These giants are feasting on mutton and Juniper berry wine. When Thor curses them, their wine turns to snake’s venom. This clearly illustrates his disapproval of Juniper, therefore I’m going to have to ask that you not display that cedar bush in your front yard; my family finds it disrespectful of our beliefs.

Also, Thor clearly states that a blood tested warrior may freely take a woman, who must cleave to him upon the vanquishment of her champion. So I need you and your wife to come outside so I can beat the snot out of you and rape your wife. You understand right? You must respect my beliefs. By the way, my friends and I are lobbying to make it law in this State that men must carry a sword at all times. Men who die without a sword in their hand can’t get into Valhalla, so it’s really your immortal fighting soul we’re worried about. Also it makes it easier to defend your wife from would-be vanquishers. Also if you don’t or can’t grow a beard, we’re going to find you in violation of the warrior ethic and nullify your rights as a man. Men grow beards. What? You can’t grow a fully lustrous and manly beard? I don’t believe you, that is a choice you made. Choose to grow a beard right now. Otherwise I’m going to nullify your marriage by raping your wife.

Have I made my point yet? Do you understand why I find your beliefs unfathomable? Do you understand why I when you ask me why I don’t believe in God I give you a slightly baffled look. Why the look of bafflement turns to full-on eye-rolling when you postulate I’m a non-believer because I’m just “angry with God.”

I am no more angry with God for killing my mother than I am at Santa Clause (you know, Odin?) for failing to bring me an Austin Martin for Christmas, or at the Tooth Fairy for failing to reimburse me for those wisdom teeth I had the dentist pull—I was planning on that money to help pay the bill.

Oh and in case you’re wondering why all the rape threats in my questions. It’s because rape was a normal event in the Poetica Eddas. That doesn’t apply to you, you’re Christian? Have I got news for you. Do you know how many rapes are in the Eddas? How about the Bible? Go count both, I’ll wait.

What do you mean that’s not fair, those were Old Testament rapes? So we get to ignore the Old Testament now? Including the parts that make homosexuality a sin? And the Ten Commandments—those are in the Old Testament right? No—no, “Yes—but…” Either the whole thing counts or none of it, you don’t get to pick and choose the parts you like and enforce those, and then ignore the parts that make you look bad.

Look, I’m not trying to attack your beliefs. I’m trying to challenge them; there is a huge fundamental difference. Besides, you’re challenging mine by demanding an explanation why I do not subscribe to the laws and teaching of Bronze Age goat-herders who got their butts kicked and enslaved by the Egyptians. I’m responding by asking why you don’t subscribe to the beliefs of Iron Age conquerors and explorers who discovered the Americas and established the first trading empire in the North Atlantic. I’m doing it not to mock you, but to illustrate we both reject them for the same reasons.

We are the same you and I.

You reject all gods, past and present, but your own. I just go one step farther than you and reject all gods, past and present—including yours. That’s it. That’s our fundamental difference. Seems pretty small doesn’t it?

We agree on nearly everything else. Help those less fortunate than ourselves, be kind to our neighbors, and treat others as we would like to be treated. No, those aren’t Christian values. For one, they appeared in many cultures long before Christianity or even Judaism made it on the scene. That’s because they are human values.  Religion does not get ‘dibs’ on the basic tenants of just being a pleasant person to be around. No, I don’t require religion to have morality. I’m a moral person without threat of eternal torture and damnation. Look I’ll prove it.

Stand there.

See?

See what? See, I’m not raping and murdering you. Without religious based morality I still am not an evil sociopath. Cool huh?

Without religion, I rape and pillage exactly as much as I want too—which is not at all. See, aren’t you glad I’m really not a worshipper of Thor? Then I’d have too, to assure my place in Valhalla.

This is what it’s like in the world of the non-believer, the skeptic, and the atheist.

We live in a world surrounded by people insisting we should follow the beliefs of ancient peoples; of mythology and legend, and who are baffled and personally insulted when we try to tell them not to bother us with it. We live in a world where baby boys have their genitals mutilated because some religion says it’s necessary. We live in a world where little girls are taught their gender is responsible for all the sin and evil in the world because the first of them dared to ask a question. Girls should never ask questions. Where by your own book, homosexuality is listed as a “don’t” right next to eating shellfish and getting a tattoo, but neither of the later are illegal, where as there are still 34+ states that won’t recognize the marriages of the first. That’s what I find baffling; most of you aren’t even consistent within the context of your own strange beliefs.

So no, I’m not irritated at your attempt to force my child to pray in school, or teach him that dinosaurs were in the Garden of Eden in place of science because I’m angry at your God. I’m angry because I don’t see or believe in your God; I just see you doing those things, and shifting the blame to your invisible friend.

But that’s okay, I guess. I am perfectly happy with you having an invisible friend if it gets you through the day. I don’t have to travel in your shoes. But for fucks sake, can you stop looking at me weird because I didn’t get my son’s penis mutilated when he was born? Also if you could please stop voting to restrict the rights of people who don’t share your beliefs, that would be great. You don’t want to live under Islamic sharia law; I understand, neither do I. Some parts of it are a little scary. But I don’t want to live under Jewish law either, so can you stop putting the Hebrew’s Ten Commandments on the courthouses we share? I think it’s creepy that coveting (thinking about) another man’s wife is right up there with murder as a capital offense, but child molestation and human trafficking isn’t mentioned at all. (Hell, some parts of your holy book encourage the later.)

So, why don’t I believe in God? I dunno, why don’t you believe in Santa Claus? Or Thor? Or Zeus? Or the Easter Bunny? (Which, by the way, is a Pagan belief you happily let your kids participate in, but then get offended when someone reminds you.)

Next time you want to ask someone like me that question, as yourself those questions first. Everyone will have a more pleasant day.

Advertisements

Dear Reasonable Conservatives

Normally, this space is reserved for my rantings and ravings, for private thoughts that I feel I need to ask someone, even if that someone is empty ether. But not today, today I have an open question. It is a serious question that has me baffled. It has many of my fellow liberals baffled, and frankly I’m sure it has a great many reasonable people completely baffled as well.

So here it is:

When did Republicans go so absolutely bat-shit-lunatic-crazy about being so radically self-centered and righteous that they can no longer discuss anything but the total deregulation of business, the idea that life begins two weeks BEFORE conception, that poor people and women are lazy, self-entitled, sex-crazed blights upon decent society, and that anyone suggests maybe the government has a role to play in helping take care of the sick, the unfortunate, and the working class is a GODAMN SOCIALIST, but thinks it’s TOTALLY REASONABLE for the government to tell us who we can marry, that a woman who wishes to exercise her legal right to chose has to have a piece of plastic shoved up her vagina for no good medical reason, that science and education are part of the liberal agenda corrupting our nation’s youth, and that Corporations are people.

When, the fuck, did Republicans decide that a democracy, “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” should be replaced by a weird lovechild of a plutocratic theocracy where Corporate entities have more legal rights than a homosexual black man, and freedom of religion really means freedom to chose between Methodist and Baptist?

That was a long complicated question, so let me put it a different way. When did Republicans go from being Eisenhower’s; who expanded Social Security, and sent troops into Arkansas to enforce desegregation, to Donald Trump, who thought that black children should get jobs as janitors of public schools? When did Republicans go from being Nixon’s; who created the EPA, to Bush Jr., who deregulated the amount of Mercury a company can spew into the atmosphere? When did Republicans go from being Teddie Roosevelt’s who created our national parks, created antitrust laws to help regulate business, and created “the Square Deal” which helped strengthen the middle class by taxing the wealthy at a higher rate; to guys that sell off those same national parks to the logging industry, and thinks the idea that those with 95% of the nation’s wealth should have more than 25% of the nation’s tax burden makes you a FUCKING COMMUNIST.

What happened to the conservatives who signed the document that said “we hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal.”? Where did those guys go, that they are now replaced by a breed of conservative that feels a child born into poverty is less worthy of assistance than a child born into fortune?

Republicans; Conservatives; what –the FUCK– happened to your party?

Because whatever it is, you reasonable conservatives; you moderate Republicans – You, the one who feels you have conservative ideals, but doesn’t think pornography makes people gay. You have to fix it. I can’t. I’m a Left Wing atheist who thinks biology class should TEACH FUCKING BIOLOGY, not religious metaphysics. I’m the godamn devil himself. They won’t listen to me. I want to steal the sweat of a man’s brow and give it to a black meth addict so he can father more poor black gang bangers. I think a woman should get paid the same as her male counterpart. I want to MAKE YOUR CHILDREN HAVE THE GAY.

They won’t listen to me. I’ve tried. I want to steal their money and corrupt their children. I’m coming for their homes and their church and their freedom to barbeque meat on the fourth of July.

But you. They invite you to the fourth of July barbeque; to eat meat and pray to God the damn teacher’s unions don’t make little Joey aware that fucking fags do fucking exist and their fucking each other’s brains out on prime time.

They might listen to you. You can tell them that Little Joey’s teacher teaching him that somewhere in the distant past, man and apes having a common ancestor doesn’t mean he’s a fucking monkey and is going to get monkey-AIDS from black people. You can tell them that going to church is alright, and that God loves all the little children, red and yellow; black and white. Not just the white ones whose parents are making more than ninety grand a year. You can also tell him that if darling Suzie learns about critical thinking in school she’s going to be a better adult capable of real decisions. And that if in the process of learning to think for herself, she thinks that maybe she is just as valuable as Joey, she’s probably right. You can also tell them that if little Suzie learns how to have protected sex, she won’t get monkey-AIDS from that black boy she’s seeing on the side, because he makes her feel like she’s smart, and worthwhile, unlike her parents.

While your at it, can you also mention that vaccines don’t cause autism, and that even a passing knowledge of how medicine works will tell you what a fucking dumb idea that is. You can also casually drop the idea that perhaps, PERHAPS, Corporate entities which exist solely to generate profit for their shareholders are not the best people to be deciding what a ‘living wage’ is for the rest of us. Also maybe the concept that while it’s okay to be Pro-Life, and feel that every sperm is sacred, they should probably extend the level of concern they have about saving sperm from contraceptives to the children who actually, you know, get born, and live in abject poverty less than five miles away? And maybe cutting their school funding and medical benefits, and the food stamps they rely on to, you know, eat, aren’t doing them any favors.

I don’t know, crazy ideas, right? But that’s that Liberal Agenda for you.

I know you’re a moderate Republican. I know you have conservative values, and you love your Second Amendment like your Football Sundays. That’s cool. You think that small government applies to not only your 10-40a, but to your bedroom and private life too. You think that the Patriot Act wasn’t very Patriotic, and that Freedom of Religion equally means Freedom FROM Religion. I get it. And hey man, I may disagree with you on the second amendment, but hey, we’re lock-step on the first. That’s something.

But when you go to your next Neo-Con rally, or whatever, and you mention that perhaps, we should be teaching science in science class, be careful they don’t revoke your pass. Because without you, they’re going to get even crazier.

He’s an Asshole, She’s a Bitch. Degrees and Acceptable Levels of Profanity and Their Gender Determiners.

Unless you are being particularly insulting, you do not call a man a “bitch”, unless of course, he is acting like a whiny girl, but then you are really insulting him by calling him a girl, and the profanity is just an emphasis on his girl-like behavior.

Likewise, you don’t really call women “Assholes”. A “Bitch” is approximately the same level of vulgarity as “Asshole” and is more gender determinative than “Asshole.” Similarly speaking, “Dick” is slightly less profane than “Twat”, but more masculine, so you wouldn’t really call a girl a “Dick” any more than you would call a guy a “Twat”. (Unless, again, your purpose was to insult his masculinity, in which case “Twat” is probably more vulgar and insulting than “Bitch”.)

Generally speaking, when referring to anatomy, and not the person attached to it, a “dick” is less profane than a “cock”, while “twat” is more vulgar than “pussy”. In casual company however, “dick” is preferable to “penis”, which sounds awkward and too political correct for casual conversation. “Cock” however is probably too vulgar, unless you are in the company of only men, at which point the words become equal and interchangeable. “Pussy” sounds less vulgar than “twat” when referring to anatomy; conjuring images of erotica on the edgy side, while the later sounds dirty and degrading. Use, of course would be determined by purpose and context. “Pussy” of course can be used as an insulting term, not just as as an anatomical reference, though it’s best use is for, again, attacking a man’s masculinity rather than referring to a girl. Though I suppose a suitable use for a girl would be as a descriptive in place of “slut”. (And probably less vulgar than “Cum-dumpster”, though the phrasing would probably be more awkward.) While “cunt” can be used to refer to a woman’s vagina, it is somewhat anachronistic to do so. Now-a-days, a “cunt” is more commonly a more insulting word for a “bitch” or a “twat”, and not a portion of the female body. (Please, don’t ever use the word vagina unless you are using it in the medical sense.)

When referring specifically to anatomy, refrain from such awkward words and phrases as, “Moist Taint”, “Sex”, “Man-Pole”, “Love-Missile”, and the like. Also, “Manhood” and “Womanhood” are suitable only in narrative and not spoken conversation, unless that conversation is taking place in an anachronistic setting.

“Balls” and “Boobs” are barely profane, though of the two, the former is more clearly vulgar. “Boobs” have become acceptable common non-profane profanity when referring to either female breasts or an idiot. Calling someone a “boob” is a bit old fashioned, however, while calling a set of lovely breasts “a nice pair of boobs” is more acceptable in most settings. “Balls”,”Sack”, and “Junk”, when referring to the male scrotum are also commonly acceptable except in the most polite of company. (I would feel comfortable using “Balls” or “Junk” in front of an aunt, but probably not my boss, or the Queen.) Likewise “Tits” are acceptable vulgarity for “Boobs” though it sounds more degrading when spoken. Like most anachronistic phrasing, please avoid “Teets” unless speaking in period dialects. Unlike “Penis” or “Vagina”, which should be avoided, “Breasts” and “Scrotum” are not so awkwardly polite that their usage should be avoided even in a setting where vulgarity is acceptable. It should be noted also, that when referring to a man’s “junk” it is generally accepted you are referencing the whole “Package”, and not just the scrotum.

“Fuck” is, as it has been noted in many other places, a word of such versatility and flexibility, that I will not cover it in any depth here. Simply know that it can be used as any part of speech, and freely exchanged with almost any other word in the English language.

Like most word-craft, vulgarity is an art that lends itself to creative combination of phrases. Adjectives should be freely used; adverbs sparingly so, as in all speaking and writing. The shock value of vulgarity is almost heightened by using it in a creative fashion, or as a stand-alone in an otherwise profane-free context. Likewise, the absence of vulgarity in casual conversation can be equally jarring, especially when the writer or speaker activity and awkwardly avoids it’s use.

Vulgarity and it’s acceptable level of use, as well as the common vernacular of profanity are, perhaps more than any other part of language, highly subjective to both social clique and region. You should always approach it’s use within a new social structure on the side of caution, until you gain an ear for what is socially acceptable in your current environment. When writing, this is doubly important, because the use of proper vulgarity is most often the truest test of ‘authenticity’ in dialogue.

Now, you little bitches have no fucking excuse for acting like twats and using the shit wrong.

Dear Fatties-who-believe-big-is-beautiful-and-anorexics-who-believe-skeletal-is-sexy

You are both wrong.

Healthy, is beautiful.

Also: No one is going to like this letter. This letter is going to call fat people fat, and skinny people skinny. It’s going to call people on their dangerous lies to themselves that their body shape is not beautiful. It’s not healthy. And it’s probably going to cause serious health problems. Like death.

This letter defies self-deception and calls being obesely overweight and alarmingly anorexic what they are: Eating disorders.

Yes, if you are more than 30 pounds overweight, you probably have a disorder of some kind. Even if that disorder is nothing more than laziness and lack of willpower. But I am not concerned with the people 30 pounds over weight – I am not even concerned with the people 40 pounds over weight. People who can fix their weight problems with a couple of months of proper eating and activity are not my concern. I am concerned with the people who are more than 80-100+ pounds overweight. You, the Morbidly Obese who don’t feel like you need to change.

Like you, the fat girl who can’t buy clothes with less than two X’s in them. The one who posted pictures of yourself to facebook and said ‘I am big, and I am beautiful, and I am the norm. More girls look like me, so therefore I am acceptable.’

You are not acceptable. You are fat. You are unhealthy. And you are certainly not attractive. Sorry. Get over it and fix it.

No, you don’t have to be a super-model. You don’t have to be a size 0. But you can’t be a size 20 either. Not if you want to live to see 50. Diabetes is not pretty. You die a horrible, slow, agonizing death that takes years. You go blind, you go deaf, you lose arms and legs and other bits. Your kidneys fail. The crystaline sugar in your bloodstream shreds your internal organs until they shut down and you die. Horribly.

And that’s just diabetes. Lets not even talk about heart disease and the other complications of your fattie-fatness. Joint-pain, being unable to breath because your lungs and diaphragm are drowning in fat and laboring to move, inability to walk like a normal person, excess fatigue, excessive sweating and body odor (yes, fat people stink), excess everything.

Ask a doctor, nearly any problem a person can have is exacerbated by being fat. It’s not a good thing, and it is certainly not beautiful.

Stop deluding yourself. Just because most American women look like you, does not make it okay. In fact it makes it worse. It makes it more socially acceptable.

Why is it socially acceptable to be slowly killing yourself? Why are you celebrating this? Now not only are you fat and unattractive, you are being stupid too.

And you, the fat guy who thinks the sweat he breaks out in from a rousing game of Madden or Halo is a work out. You are dying too. And you are bitter because the attractive, healthy, girls you lust after might smile and be friendly, but they’ll never have sex with you, and you know it. So you hate them. You hate them because it’s easier than hating yourself. But lets be honest, no normal girl wants to be crushed beneath your hippo-like body. You know this. but you tell yourself that you are a nice guy, and that should be enough.

News Flash, you are fat. And you are not attractive. And you really aren’t a nice guy either. You’re a misogynistic prick who thinks any girl who will have sex with your normal-weight friend but not you is a bitch. Sorry, no.  Quit whining and go outside. Take the competitiveness that serves you so well in  the world of pixels outside and join a sport. Any sport. Go shoot hoops at the park, go join a touch football league, go play some paintball. Look, real live Halo! Run. Be mobile. Use your damn body.

Oh, and stop eating a large pizza and a 2 liter of soda by yourself.  Jesus you fat fuck, have some self respect and self control. Your life will improve if you try.

Also, you, the girl who hasn’t eaten properly in a week because having three digits on the weight scale terrifies you. You are not sexy. You have no breasts. You have no figure. Bony is not beautiful. You look like a chemotherapy patient, and you probably have just as many health issues. You need to seek therapy.

Eat. Be active. The rest will sort itself out.

To those overweight people who know and acknowledge that they have a problem: This letter is not about you. You know you need to fix yourself. You just lack the ability or motivation to do so. This letter is not to you. Know that I support you, care about you, and want you to get better. Life sucks right now, but you know the path you need to walk. I only caution you on complacency. Never accept that being a size 22 is okay just because other people tell you that you should be happy with your body. It’s your body, You are the one that has to live an die in it. You are the one that has to look at yourself in the mirror when you get out of the shower. You are the one that has to suffer the shame when you buy food and the check out girl who’s a size 10 judges you silently. You’re the one who has to be lonely, or feel like she has to settle for any romantic interest shown, no matter how unhealthy it may be. You don’t. And you know it. It’s out there waiting for you to fix yourself and go take it.

Dear Democratic National Committee .. I guess I don’t have anything snappier than that.

As a registered member of the Democratic party, I seem to get a lot of surveys and mailings regarding what you are doing, what you might be doing, what I think you should be doing, etc. 80% of them I just delete, but, if I am not doing anything in particular at the time, I’ll fill out your surveys. Like today.

A short survey with lots of questions that I would think would be self evident: “How important is strengthening the economy right now? Select 1 – 5, with 5 being the most important.” (Is there a 6?) Or democratic standards you shouldn’t even have to ask me (Clean Energy, 1-5. Education, 1-5.) But the last question caught me off guard. An open ended question with a little text box.

Why are you a Democrat? (Optional)

Holy bat-shit batman, is the DNC really asking me why I am still playing for the left?

Why, thank you for asking, I believe I’ll tell you…

I became a democrat in the post-Bush Sr./Clinton years, and tend to be a social-liberal/fiscal conservative — but that doesn’t mean pro-corporation, it means smartly managing our assets and paying down the debt. It means investing our money in ourselves and our future, rather than in huge corporations on the hopes we might get some ‘trickle-down.’

My mother and grandfather were teachers for over 80 years collectively. Both strong union, both pro-education. I am a freelance writer by trade, and my son suffers from a form of autism. My wife works a part-time job where health insurance costs take sometimes up to 40% of her earnings. We live with my sister, who has a bachelors degree in zoology, and works for a local zoo, but she can’t afford to live on her own even with her degree and working in her field.

We are a young, struggling family, who are moderately educated (all of us have at least a two year degree except for my son, who is only 11) and still unable to make ends meet without food-stamps and living with my sister. Republicans think I should be grateful to the health insurance company that takes 40% of my wife’s income and offers almost zero coverage. They think I should be grateful for the struggling education system my special-needs son is trapped in, while they send their sons to private school. They tell me that when millionaires get tax breaks, my life is some how improved.

Republicans tell me they are for smaller government and protecting constitutional rights, but all I see them working for are limiting the rights of people who are different from them, and maintaining a status-quo of old fears and blind prejudices. All the while creating more laws to bury the rights of women to chose, and then cutting the programs that might save the children they insist must be born.

I don’t believe them.

I want to believe in a political system that knows I exist and actively works on real changes that can improve my life today, and my son’s life tomorrow. I want to vote for someone that addresses my needs, and protects my future, not a billionaire’s bottom line. I don’t hate rich people, but I think they are pretty good at watching out for themselves already, and don’t need my help to do so. It’s not a crime to be wealthy, but it is also not a crime to be poor. Not all millionaires are crooks, but not everyone living below the poverty line is lazy.

I am not a millionaire. My mother was a union teacher for 38 years. My grandfather grew up in the great depression and the second world war, becoming a teacher himself. I have a child with more educational requirements than: ‘have a heart-beat, pass a test’. The last time I got sick, my health insurance only covered 10% of the $8000 medical bills, yet we pay over $2500 a year.  I like trees. I like breathable air. I don’t think we all need to own automatic weapons.

Why do YOU think I am a democrat?

Also: Get the fuck to work.

Dear I’d-support-teachers-unions-except-for-all-the-lazy-teachers-they-protect-from-being-fired

I wonder sometimes why someone would be a teacher and not care anymore. My mother was a teacher. I saw through her what a shitty job it was. I met her friends, and they were all great teachers too. In fact, during the thirty-two years I witnessed of my mother’s thirty-eight year career, I never once met any of these “lazy, incompetent, teachers” that apparently plague our school systems.

But yes, I imagine there are teachers out there who have just given up. There are hundreds of thousands of teachers, statistically speaking a few of them have to be tired of the job.Ones who are tired of parents who insist their little angel is brilliant and generous and not at all failing math and beating up other kids at recess. Tired of parents who send their kids to school without informing the school that darling little Billy has a latex allergy, and then when he breaks out in hives during a birthday party where he rubbed balloons on his face – sue the school for half their budget and win, thus robbing money from other students and canceling field trips (and birthday parties) for the next four years. I imagine there are teachers out there who have bad days, like when little Suzy pees herself in her seat to get out of taking a test and then her mother calls – enraged – because Suzy said the teacher wouldn’t let her go use the bathroom, the teacher is put under investigation for abuse and neglect – I imagine that teacher probably doesn’t feel very charitable the next time Suzy says she needs help on her spelling words. (Though, most of the teachers I met in my life would still help her anyway.)

I imagine sometimes it’s hard to be a teacher. When you’ve been working fifteen years fifty hours a week, in addition to volunteering your off time to help the Science club prepare for the upcoming Science fair, and staying up until midnight twice a month to grade the papers of ungrateful, deceitful little brats who still can’t understand the Pythagorean theorem after working on it for two hours every day all semester. Then you go on strike with your co-workers to to ask for a Cost of Living pay raise, and have to sit through four hours of a city hall meeting where the parents of Angelic Billy and Little Suzy say ‘Why should I have to pay my hard earned dollars to give these lazy bums a raise when my little Suzy is still getting a D in math?’. I imagine trying to resist the urge to inform those parents that Billy and Suzy would probably do better in school if their mom’s and dad’s would take an interest in them and help them with their homework (or at least, make sure it got done) would be very tiresome. And I imagine there are teachers who are tired of people who work meaningless, irrelevant jobs, who say, every time the subject of teacher wages come up, “Man, I’d be more in favor of teachers if there weren’t so many bad ones leeching off the system.”

Yes, I can easily imagine that there have to be teachers out there who have given up after all that. I haven’t met any, but I imagine there are.

Dear Facebook Cause of the Week Status Copy Paster,

Please, get off your high horse and stop spamming me with your ‘Post this to your status if you agree’ cause of the week. You do not impress me with your high level of patriotism, or outspokenness on social issues you clearly only have a passing understanding of.

There. I am looking at one right now. “If you work for British Airways and are onstrike [sic] this week, next time you see a soldier who’s returned fromAfghanistan [sic]make sure you tell him/her about your awful workingconditions [sic], poor uniform and low pay!!!!! [sic] (Paste this in to your statusand [sic] leave it …posted for at least an hour if you agree)! [sic], [sic] and [sic]”

Really. So now unless you are a soldier in a war torn region of the world that has been war torn for the last three thousand years, and probably will continue to be so for the forseeable future, you are not allowed to protest your working conditions and pay? I’ll remember that the next time you deem to post another valuable status update lamenting your own woeful finances, crummy boss, and spiteful co-workers. I’ll be sure to remind you the next time you complain that you are not getting the pay raise you were promised, or the paid time off that was outlined in your contract, or when you got penalized for being two minutes late from lunch that you; that in fact, you are not a solider in uniform who has taken fire to defend the right of imbeciles such as yourself to post lame status updates, and that There Is No Complaining Here!

Sorry! We’re fresh out of sympathy or empathy for those who do not have it as bad as someone else! I don’t care how bad your life is, unless you have shot a terrorist, you have given up your right to voice a less than sparkling commentary on your life and career.

On the subject, (or rather off of it, as I am about to segway to something more offensive), why are soldiers more valuable than flight attendants and pilots? Is it because their life is on the line to defend us from the illiterate, under-educated, possibly-trapped-by-the-circumstances-of-their-life-and-doesn’t-know-any-different zealot? Seriously, I only can understand this line of reasoning if you never bother to look deeper than face value at the multi-layered complexity that is the global social structure we live in.

Haha. Wait, silly me, I forgot who I was talking too. I forgot you couldn’t look deeper than your obese fast food swollen navel to find the toilet if it wasn’t burned into your brain by rote.

I am tired of the notion that soldiers are the highest, most self sacrificing career path in western civilization. Or whomever’s cause you are supporting this week. Last week it was Firemen. The week before that it was teachers, or policemen, or honest Real American rural farmers.

Yes, these are all valuable members of our society, who in fact, sacrifice a great deal of their time and lives to making life easier, better, and healthier for the rest of us. Bravo, I am glad they do it. I would suck at being any of those things, so I am glad there are people that do it, so I don’t have to do it for myself. You have my gratitude.

But, wait, I have a question:

What about the bus driver than helps the teacher get to school, or her student’s get to class? Surely she is no less important than a teacher? Without her, the teacher would lack students, or the student’s a teacher. What about the guy who works for the municipal water company, and makes sure there is water pressure flowing to every fire hydrant, so the fireman can put out your house when it’s on fire? Without his essential input, the fireman would be less effective. Surely he deserves our thanks just as much? What about the guy who services police vehicles? Or files the payroll for the municipal water worker, or the guy who makes tractors for the Real American farmer? Surely all of those people help the shining members of our society perform their duties that keep the wheel of society greased?

Why stop there? How about the customer service guy who helps the police chief figure out the technical problems with the computer’s on police cars? What about the lady in human resources who had the foresight to hire the tech support guru, what about the grocery bagger who helped the human resources lady get to her car and loaded her six bags of Lean Cuisines into the trunk of her car?

What about the guy who worked in the factory that produces Lean Cuisines?

Surely the job of feeding the human resource director of the tech support guy who fixes the computer of the policeman who watches the home of the children of the water municipal worker who irrigates the farm of the Real American farmer who supplies the grain that go into the noodles of the lean Cuisine that the factory worker puts into the…

Crap, wait, I’m in a loop… Hold on while I figure this out…

One plus seven, divide the two…

Damn, my math says we are all interconnected. That in our modern marvel of a global society we need each other to keep going. Gone are the days of hunter-gathering and mere survival. Today we want progress, and that means relying on others to do the things you can’t, so that each of us, individually is more productive, and society as a whole accomplishes more.

So. yes. Salute the Afghan veteran, salute also the man who made his gun, and teaches his children, processes his sewage, bags his groceries, cooks his double cheese burger, and fixes his intrawebz.

Hello, cog, meet the clockwork society you live in. Be grateful you are fortunate enough to live in it. Be thankful to the fellow human beings who make it possible to live your life the way you do, and understand that you may not always see how it directly relates your your immediate surroundings.

Trust me, I am hoping like hell you make my world go round some how, otherwise you’re just cluttering up my Facebook wall with your spam.