The Left and Right Have No Nuance Left

I am honestly so tired of watching modern political discourse.  Watching the news just tires me anymore.  All I see on my feeds anymore is my liberal and conservatives friends posting links to obvious click-bait that is beyond predictable.  The snowflakes on the left and the right screaming about their pet issues.  No joke, it’s exhausting.  I find myself getting tired of listening to the same arguments day in and day out.  Where is the nuance?  Where is the critical examination of issues on more than a “Trump is evil and his supporters are Nazis!” level?  Where is the examination beyond, “the left is trying to take away our rights to free speech!”  As I said, it’s exhausting.  Makes one not want to even talk about politics anymore.

The older I get, the more I realize that my generation is out of its goddamn mind.  I have ZERO love for Hillary and the DNC.  Their corruption was laid bare.  Whatever Russia had in mind with why they did it, Hillary made an ironic burn on herself when she said that Putin shouldn’t have been mad that she exposed that he rigged an election, but instead should be mad that he did it.  Her lack of self-awareness is amazing.  After all, NOWHERE in all the coverage of how Russia was behind it do they claim the info that proved she rigged the election against Bernie Sanders does she claim the info leaked is inaccurate.  Hey, Hillary, maybe instead of lecturing Putin on a pulpit, you can take some fucking responsibility for the horrible shill that you are?!  Maybe have the self-awareness to realize how hypocritical it is for you to call out ANYONE for corruption when there are thousands of leaked documents showing how corrupt you and your entire party I.

Meanwhile, I have ZERO love for Trump.  This dude is fucking bonkers.  No joke, he is totally nuts.  He can’t even keep his own party lines going.  Every time his cabinet says one thing, he goes on the news and says another.  His Twitter account makes me think of a clown smacking its head into a wall and asking us to laugh along with him.  His appointees are a joke, worst being his attorney general who wants to come after people who smoke pot.  Everyone was all like, “give Trump a chance!”  Fine.  I gave him one.  Now he can go fuck himself.  This guy’s administration is a joke.  I feel like I am watching America’s version of the fall of the Roman Empire.  You ever read some of the stuff about what my old teacher call the “Clown Town Emperors?”  There were some real loon in that lot.

But you know what bugs me more than all of that?  The real problem I have is that instead of us talking about these issues in a critical way, all it devolves to is people using buzzwords to attack the others.  It’s gotten to the point where I wonder if genuine political discourse is actually possible.  And we need genuine discourse.  We need to talk about the fact that the Democratic party is too corrupt to be sustainable.  Sure, if it’s Trump vs Hillary (she is already claiming to be starting a new PAC to run), she’s pretty much got it already.  Anyone who is watching what is happening can see that.  When you have conservatives going on Fox News and saying that Trump is an idiot, then you know you are done.  But why is it that I suddenly magically have to support that crooked harpy just because Trump is an idiot?  Do people not realize that I can be against both?

I can hear you argue – “Well then, Lucien, who do you want to see as President?”  I’m glad you asked.  If I could, I would LOVE to see Tulsi Gabbard make a run.  She has appeal to both conservatives and liberals.  She has a lot of Sanders talking points, which there were plenty of conservatives and libertarians who said they would support.  Not to mention she has years of military service which is another huge appeal to conservatives.  She’s the perfect candidate.  None of the political baggage that Hillary has, with talking points that voters were shown to actually support.  While assholes like Bill Maher claim that I didn’t vote for Hillary because she is a woman (I am one of the people who wrote in Harambe.  No joke, I actually did it), there is a woman who I would note on vote for, I would campaign for.  Or if Elizabeth Warren made a run.  Sure, she kissed Hillary’s ring, but she still does have genuine principals that I can get behind.  Either of those women would have my full support.  Glass ceiling that, Shillary. *rude hand gesture*

The Republican Party has now been pushed to the point that they can’t even begin to salvage their reputation.  Assuming all this stuff with Trump under investigation leads to impeachment, then who are they going to run next?  Ted Cruz, maybe?  If the other candidates had gotten out of the primary earlier, I am convinced that he would be the President now instead of Trump.  Part of me wonders if the left would still be using retarded hashtags like #NotMyPresident if that was the case, because these idiots don’t seem to know what democracy is or how it works.  Yes he is.  And he didn’t have to be.  If the other candidate wasn’t a corrupt bitch, we could have had someone with principals.  I know, crazy thought.

Throughout all of this, I try and look at both sides and really come to an objective side where I can actually examine the issue with some form of nuance.  I hate both sides of the political debate in this country.  Neither has the high ground.  It’s like watching hogs do battle in the mud.  Who is the better group?  I don’t know, because they are both covered in shit.  And I am almost to the point where I am tuning out and just enjoying movies and video games, because what is there left to talk about?  Please, I am all fucking ears.

Until next time, a quote,

“Very often, people confuse simple with simplistic.  The nuance is lost on most.” – Clement Mok

Peace out,

Maverick

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My Experience with a Gypsy, Part 2

A serious moment here, people – have you ever had one of those days when you know in your head that what you did was the right thing, but it doesn’t stop you from feeling like shit?  Yeah, that’s how I’ve been the last couple days.  It’s finally started to ebb, but for a time, it was pretty awful.  All of this began with a conversation with a friend about a game, Life is Strange.  True to form, that is still fitting.  The unfortunate part is that, while life is strange, it can also be pretty awful, sometimes.  Strange can be good or bad.  In my case, it started out great, then got really fucking bad.  Now, I am sitting here, hoping that everything turned out well.  I don’t know.  I doubt if I ever will.  Which is a genuine pity.  I’m going to have a candid moment with you, my audience.  Why?  Because maybe I just want to get this all off my chest, and hope that it doesn’t feel like crap in the morning.

The gypsy had left.  She left something at my place – her tarot cards.  It seemed a fitting memento.  Even after everything that happened, I still have those cards.  I hope that I can give them back to her, someday.  Hopefully when she gets herself sorted.  Don’t know if that will happen.  I genuinely hope so.  I don’t wish unpleasantness on anybody.  Not really.  Even people I genuinely hate, the most I can say about them is that I won’t shed tears if something bad happens to them.  I don’t actively wish bad things on any person.  And to be honest, while I think she has a lot of problems that need to be resolved, I do think that the gypsy I met is a good person.  She just needs to get some shit sorted out.

A couple days after she left, the gypsy came back.  It was 1 in the morning, and she came knocking on my door.  Told me she had nowhere else to go.  If nothing else, I wasn’t going to let her stand out in the cold.  I could let her come in and warm up, right?  Right off the bat, I knew something we up.  She had had several bags with her before, which were now gone.  Her hoodie, vest and coat were all missing too.  Her pockets had almost nothing in them, save a few things, that she proceeded to dump all over my floor.  One of which was a pamphlet for Narcotics Anonymous.  There is a story to be told in all that stuff.  One which I doubt I will ever know the answer to.

I had looked into stuff she sent me.  She friended me on Facebook, which I looked into.  Her story about being from Canada was true.  How she ended up here is a mystery.  So yeah, not a total con artist.  But with problems all the same.  Like that night, when she came here and was strung out.  For real, I know what drunk looks like.  This wasn’t that.  She was all over the place!  Her emotions were yin-yanging from one to the other on the drop of a dime.  She smelled terrible.  Like she hadn’t bathed in a long time.  She had told me that she spent some time in rehab, due to opiates.  This sounded like opiates.  My natural skepticism took what she said with a grain of salt.

So yeah, I’m trying to figure out what had happened, because she was wanting a place to stay.  I didn’t want that.  My cousin, who is still staying with me for the rest of the month, was even less pleased.  He told me not to let her in.  In hindsight, part of me is glad I did.  Especially if she can get the help she so desperately needs.  I tried to reason with her, to tell her that I didn’t want to burn her and I wanted to do the right thing (which was a wasted effort, as she didn’t even register what I said.  She was all over the place, mentally), she then went into my room and passed out on my bed.

This led me to one of those moments that we all get to have.  Those moments that define us as people.  When you have to make a really tough choice, and there is no technically right answer.  I had to really think about it, and it wasn’t easy.  Following about half an hour of thinking it out, I told my cousin what I was going to do.  I was going to call the cops and have them take her somewhere where she could sleep.  Somewhere like what he called “drunk-tank.”  It was the hardest thing I’ve had to do.  It was just me who could make this choice.  I made the call.  About twenty minutes later, the cops arrived.  Two guys and two gals.  The older gal cop was so in control.  She asked us some questions.  I guess she could tell that we were being straight with her, since there were two of us to corroborate the story.

They got my gypsy up and on her feet.  She was still all over the place, but much less so.  I guess she was frightened.  It was all over her face.  Made me feel terrible.  The cops had some trouble getting her to get her shoes and whatnot on.  But the lady cop was totally cool.  I guess she’s dealt with this before.  She got her to get her shoes and coat on.  Last I heard, they were taking her to the local homeless shelter.

I still feel terrible.  The gypsy just wanted to get back home to Canada.  Her people seemed completely incapable of helping her.  I would know.  She used my computer to chat with people, when she was here.  Got to see those conversations.  She was looking for someone to help get her home.  I truly hope that she finds her way, and then gets herself some help.  There is a good person underneath all those problems.  Judging from how she suddenly dropped off Facebook a year or two back, I’m guessing that whatever got her here started then.  I bet that the story is fascinating.  My inner journalist wants to know what it is.  To find her and her people and learn the truth.

My cousin thinks that she was playing me.  The cop warned me that homeless people do.  They might be right.  But what else was I supposed to do?  What else could I have done?  I don’t know.  I was skeptical of her too.  Believe me, I still am.  But I was able to corroborate some of her story.  So she isn’t a total liar.  And besides, if she was looking to rob me, she had had a chance to do so last time she was here.  For real, my wallet was literally right there, if she had wanted to fish through my pants pockets to get into it.  She didn’t.  I made sure.  So did my cousin.  She didn’t take a thing.  Doesn’t that say that this person might not just be a user?  Should I just assume that everyone who I help is a user?  Is that the culture we live in?  Where it’s all users and everyone is using or getting used?  I can’t believe that.  I won’t.  Because if it’s true, then it means that all my work to be a good person is a giant waste of time.  And if that’s the case, then what the fuck am I doing here?!  What is life worth if all you can do is just use and get used?

I hope that my gypsy finds her way home.  The last message I sent her was to tell the cops that she’s here illegally.  They would deport her back home.  If she is using, then I guess that’s that.  If not, then hopefully she is waiting for the long road of extradition from the US to Canada.  Things in the government are slow.  I hope I’m right.  I desperately do.

In the meantime, I still see those tarot cards, sitting on my bookshelf, by the TV.  I hope to see my gypsy again.  When she is cleaned up and back on her feet.  I can give them back to her, and find out what that story is.  I bet that it will be one worth telling.

Until next time, a quote,

“What are we holding on to, Sam?” -Frodo Baggins
“That there is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo.  And it’s worth fighting for.”  -Samwise Gamgie, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Peace out,

Maverick

Is There Morality Without God?

That is kind of the key question that a lot of theists come at atheists like myself with.  Is there a form of morality that exists without a supreme being to back it up.  One of the big thing that Christians seem to like is the fact that goodness is rewarded, while evil is punished.  They applaud this system as being so wise, while the rest of us secular people have absolutely no system by which we can claim we get our morality from.  This is a debate which has had many great minds weigh in on.  Here is my position –

I told my best friend Emily that I believe that I have no moral code.  I do not follow any particular code, because I don’t believe in having a code to follow.  I told her that my ability to empathize, and gut-feelings tend to guide my decision-making processes.  With this in mind, I believe that I do not have a moral code.  She contends that I do, because, while I don’t actively accept my system of deciding what is right and what is wrong as a moral code, it is all the same.

I respectfully disagree.  I get where she is coming from, but I think that a moral code must be something perceived, understood, written down.  For people like me, who generally don’t think too much about the moral implications, just operating on my ability to empathize, it falls a little flat.  What I understand about morals are that they are units of measurement, usually with two settings – right and wrong.  I totally discard that off-hand, because morally gray is such a vast area, as I have come to understand.

My views on morals is that they are guidelines.  Morality is a system of guidelines.  These guidelines are usually cultural, though there may be some slight differences for each person.  They can also be faith-based.  But the fact is that these guidelines tell you how to act.

Think about this – do morals stop you from doing bad things?  How many times have people done horrible things in the name of God?  How many massacres have been done in God’s name?  A lot of people look at Islam and talk about how violent their culture is, and there is a cogent argument to be made there, but think about this – what about all the horrible things that have been done by Christians?  Hitler did all of his killings in the name of God.  The Spanish Inquisition was a Christian undertaking.  Charlemagne killed 2,500 people for refusing to convert to Christianity.  This was all done in the name of their God.  A lot of people will say that their actions were justified.  Many will also say that they were horribly immoral.  The line that draws what is right and what is wrong is where?

The fact is that having moral precepts has never stopped anybody from doing anything.  Murder has gone on in the name of God.  Bigotry has gone on in the name of God.  Moral codes often validate these forms of activities that many would find unacceptable.  In the Hindu cultures, it is considered wrong to console somebody who is suffering, because they earned that suffering for their actions in a previous life.  According to Mormon morals, if somebody leaves the church, you are supposed to shun them, and disown them.  The same can be said for a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  These are moral values that guide the actions of somebody.

I live a life where I have no moral compass guiding my actions.  I follow my ability to empathize when it comes to internal debates about what is right and what is wrong.  I genuinely believe that it is better to be empathetic than to be moral, because it is clear that morality can be subversive to society, degrading, destructive, and oppressive.

That brings me to my next point – morality is ALWAYS a system of control, always.  Think about this – in wolf packs, there is an Alpha male and female.  They control the actions of the pack.  They are very quick to crack down upon behaviors that they don’t like.  Take a look at a moral system.  These systems are dictated and led by figures of authority.  The secular system that this country has is led by figures of authority.  The religious systems like Catholicism are lead by figures of authority.  Every single system of morality comes from a place of power, and is given to those without power, to get them to behave in a way that they see as correct.

Examining that critically, the fact is that morality has absolutely nothing to do with how you treat others.  It is a system that is given to mankind by those who want to have power over them.  Richard Dawkins believes that morality came from the natural urge to group together.  His idea has no basis in reality because his theory only pertains to altruistic behaviors.  But it is very clear that what humanity does goes well-beyond altruism.

The fact is that the true concept of morality is nothing more than a way for those with power to control those without it.  So I disagree with Emily.  I get where she is coming from, but the way I perceive what morality actually is inspires me to disagree.

So, can there be morality without God?  Well, that’s pretty easy – yes.  There already is.  Morals that came from God are just systems of control.  The systems that gave morals to the cultures that arose before Christianity were just as prevalent, and just as real.  Morality existed long before the Christian God, and it will continue long after.  It will continue as long as there are those in power who want to control other people.

That’s the ultimate truth – belief in God is nothing more than a system of control.  All the decent things that people do are the result of our ability to empathize, what I do every single day.  God doesn’t add any morals to the mix that don’t or haven’t already existed.  His system is no better than any other system.  But empathy, and trying to be empathetic, that is really doing good for the human race.  That is really the ultimate truth – if we want to really progress as a culture, ALL forms of morality need to go.  We have to embrace empathy.

Morality, Christian and otherwise, has exploited the best and the worst of all of us, and this is what I believe we need to do to be free of it.  Freedom, true freedom, comes from not following a system that tells you exactly how you should feel, and instead follow your ability to empathize.  For those who can’t, like sociopaths or those with Asperger’s Syndrome, well, that’s too bad.

Get rid of morality, ged rid of religion.  Embrace empathy.  Religion does nothing good for society, and morality is nothing more than a means to control people.  That’s my opinion, anyway.

Until next time, a quote,

“Morality, which has convinced even brilliant men like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris that it is here to help, when it is only here to strengthen our chains of bondage.”  -TJ Kincaid, The End of Morality and The Anarchy Of The Soul

Peace out,

Maverick