All Shook Up-Wise Project 2018 #TenaciousTuesday

I have been having a hard time focusing on a single thought to play off of for this week’s blog.

Honestly there are so many ideas and events swirling around in my brain right now, who could pick just one?

atencao

I have been spending a great deal of time on Twitter lately and as punishment for that I have to go back to my Chiropractor today to get them to work on my trick neck. I tell myself I like the news and the debate but I often question how much of my ego gets involved in these Twitter discussions. I try to keep things as civil as I possibly can, but I find more and more that people are ruining people for me. The unintelligent, insincere individuals who are seriously lacking empathy are always the loudest and that is a difficult thing to walk away from.

Wizard Of Oz Brain GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

For two days Twitter has been obsessed with “who bit Beyoncé?” while I have been arguing to the point that my head almost explodes with someone who lacks every single quality that is important when having an in depth debate. I truly have this belief that sometimes we need to listen more, this pertains to me as much as anyone else, I believe that everyone, even those with differing opinions have something to offer us if we are willing to put our ego on a shelf and attend to the conversation without the ultimate goal of being right. The world would be very tiresome if we only spoke with like minded people. Listening is a super power and if we learn to do it correctly we can open our hearts and expand our minds in ways in unimaginable ways.

Fresh Off The Boat Mind Blown GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

That being said, I got involved in a conversation that actually started when a friend shared an article about how the Parkland shooting survivors called out the media for their response to their fight for gun restrictions and noting that though the mainstream media has devoted a vast amount of time to their cause, similar student led anti-gun violence movements in black communities have been largely ignored. David Hogg, one of the Parkland survivors noted a great deal of racial disparity in the way the shooting and the events after have been covered. Not surprisingly, a white male from Western Alberta jumped into the conversation in an all-knowing, my word is fact sort of way and shook me. Until that point I had only watched the conversation from a distance but at the point that he tweeted that the shooting death of 17 year Trayvon Martin was justice for his community because he was a “punk kid” something inside me snapped. However, I calmly asked questions, I am genuinely interested in knowing how people’s brains work so I can understand the world we live in better and try to reconcile how we ended up in this place of heightened Us vs. Them mentality and the quickly diminishing sense of shared humanity. I fully admit that my ego gets involved often but I do genuinely want to learn and I like healthy engagement. What I cannot stand is people presenting their opinions and calling them fact. There is a huge difference between opinion and fact.

Opinion:

A view that somebody takes about an issue, especially when it is based solely on personal judgement.

Fact:

Something that can be proven to be true, to exist or have happened.

Most of us hold our beliefs to be true, we are fairly firm in our beliefs, that does not  make them fact and that variance is often the difference between calm, cool and collected Michelle and the other Michelle, ‘Oh hey meet crazy bitch!”

I have a lot of words to describe the person that I debated with on Twitter, it would be wrong and careless of me to use his real name and the other names that quickly come to mind are just way beneath my level of maturity, or at least I will pretend they are for this blog post. I am going to call him Gary, because I met a sleazy car salesman once that reminded me of this guy. I apologize in advance to anyone named Gary.

So, for the next day Gary continued to try to educate myself and others using what he called facts, which were actually just really horrible opinions to justify the death of 17 year old Trayvon Martin. His dialogue was not clever, it was void of empathy and his logic was completely non existent. He continued to tag me in his muddled, haphazard ramblings and I continued to respond. At a certain point I lost my cool and called him a fucking buffoon. (I stand by that statement) and I also used his love of Nickelback as a weapon against him.

So, I guess the point is I didn’t accomplish anything with Gary. I am not better from having had this conversation; in fact it consumed some of my energy and left me with an aching neck and a general feeling of disillusionment.

That being said, there were other people involved in this conversation that gave me hope; some intelligent, eloquent, funny, even angry people. I often imagine being at a party with these people and wonder who I could have the most fascinating conversation with. I appreciate people are passionate and not afraid to be heard. Though I would like to find a favorable balance on the internet I am not about to allow people like Gary to suck up all my energy. Nor am I going to get small and quiet.

I have a huge issue with people putting shitty information out into the world and calling it fact. It happens way too often and I think we have all been guilty of seeing something on the internet and sharing it because we “Assume” it is true. We talk all day about fake news while sharing fake news. I think it is wrong and I think it takes away significantly from things that should be newsworthy. We are all responsible to change that.

I am willing to accept that we will not always agree and I am willing to accept that our experiences are different and even though we could be involved in the same exact same incident our perception of that incident will likely differ.

What I will continue to be vocal about is injustice, truth and perspective and I will continue to support people that are passionate about causes and tirelessly fight and shine their lights every single day. These people are the lighthouses that we need in this often dark world. When the world gets to me and my own light is dim and my spirits are dampened it is these beacon of lights that keep me from crashing against the rocks and getting swallowed by the vicious waves.

If I can ask one thing of you today it is to be vigilant in what you post and share. If you are sharing information designed to create and heighten fear or discredit people fighting for change you are part of a huge problem. If you believe strongly about something there are a thousand ways for you to get involved, that doesn’t have to include hating on the people going out and fighting for the causes they believe in.

If you cannot do that one thing just do nothing. If you cannot help, do not harm.

 

Shit No Bricks

shit no bricks courtesy of URBAN DICTIONARY

Dec 21

An exhortation to be calm and take things in stride – akin to “get a grip” or “chill”.

E.G. Well, the Republicans won the Presidency again, but shit no bricks, my fellow Americans, Socialism is on its way.

Photo courtesy of http://www.yourstellarstar.com

Staycation is making me boring, unable to form strong convictions about anything that lasts for more than a fleeting moment and then I am on to the next thing. Things that would regularly annoy me bring little more than a half-hearted sign and things that would normally excite me perhaps a half-smile at best.

Admittedly I am a Facebook user. In fact I use a lot of social media and probably spend a little too much time on my phone flipping through them. I do enjoy keeping up with you and knowing that you are doing well, I am happy when your kids win a game or an award or your significant other brought you flowers. I even OCCASIONALLY think that the picture you took of your lunch looks tasty. I often read the stories you share but though I like to know what is going on in the world I can only handle so much bad. I am the kind of person that can get buried pretty quickly in fear and disillusionment so I prefer your stories of the good that happens in the world, look around you, there is still beauty and goodness all around us. It is all in what we choose to see.

One thing is certain though FACEBOOK has turned us into a bunch of pansy assed passive aggressive whiners!! Now I don’t mean all of you but truthfully you all have that friend that posts the vague status update designed to make their friends ask “Are you alright? to which they reply “I don’t want to talk about it” if they reply at all. YOU FAIL AT FACEBOOK. You should use the phone a friend (or therapist) option.

What about the one who posts statuses complaining about their relationship daily and complaining they are done. Five minutes later they are taking selfies with the hastag #loveofmylife! You can delete the bad things you say from your timeline but you cannot erase it from our minds. You become “that friend”! The one who likes to complain for attention. Find another hobby. If I told Facebook every time my husband pissed me off I hope someone would tell me to grow up. I feel it would be hugely disrespectful to both of us and our relationship.

It is your Facebook though and you can say and do what you want. That is all I have to say about that!

My Take on the Phil Robertson Scandal.
I never caught onto the Duck Dynasty craze as quickly as everyone else but after everyone started talking about it I admit I watched a Marathon on A&E one day and I laughed. My take on the Phil Robertson scandal is really that I don’t have a strong opinion on it either way. For one, I think they are Phil’s opinions as a Redneck Louisiana Christian and his interpretation of the bible. Being as that he is on a reality show and as such keeping it “real” shouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. On the other hand he does represent the A&E Network and they have every right to decide how his “opinions” affect their branding and if they want to continue their association with him. I think the Duck Dynasty franchise would suffer greatly without Phil though and I admit that I probably interpreted his comments much differently then some of you. I don’t think he was comparing homosexuality to bestiality, I think he was naming sins and those were among them. In his thinking both are sins, not one better or worse than the other…just illogical sins. He also didn’t speak for all Christians, he spoke for himself. I dare say that many Christians would have a similar opinion and some would vary greatly. Perhaps on a different day I would feel differently but today I feel that his opinion doesn’t affect my life and you could say “Why should it? you are clearly not a homosexual!” and you would be correct. However if I am happy with my life and feel like I am living it well and not hurting anyone why would a stranger on TV’s opinion matter to me? I know many happy, well-adjusted Gay and lesbian couples and I am fairly certain that they are enjoying their Saturday night with very little concern for how Phil Robertson views their relationship. I think Katy Perry and John Mayer say it best….”You love who you love….”

OK that will probably get me hate mail but it is just the way I feel….right now at this moment. I was reading some threads on the subject and interestingly Heterosexuals seemed to be very up in arms about it and Homosexuals seemed to take it in stride, even making jokes. Now if Phil Robertson was Jesus Christ almighty or the president or a lawmaker then I would definitely have a stronger opinion but let’s face it he is a god-fearing Louisiana Redneck with an opinion, that is all!

I believe in God. I believe the Bible is years of interpretation (and often misinterpretation) I do not believe Homosexuals are going to hell. I actually give very little thought to hell unless it pertains to people who commit crimes against children and humanity, unspeakable crimes. Homosexuality in my mind is not a crime. I could go on and piss a lot more people off but the truth is my opinion shouldn’t matter to anyone but me and anytime you put God and homosexual in the same sentence you are bound to stir up a heated shit-storm so I am going to back away gracefully! Every one has the right to love and be loved. Love yourself, love god, live a good life and forgive those who do not understand.

I need to get my nine-year old away from the TV. She is watching Dance Moms and it is a terrible show, it will fry her brain. My opinions are my own.

One last thing, My friend Shaz over at For The Love of Sass is celebrating her one year Blogiversary and she touched my heart with a really nice message to me. Head on over and show her some love and say Happy Anniversary! http://4theloveofsass.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/1-whole-year-of-blogging-bliss-happy-blogiversary-to-me/

xx
Michelle