• How “privileged” are you?

    Posted by on September 4, 2017

    Something I’ve been seeing gain steam in the last few years is talk of privilege – the idea, which grew out of a professor’s book in the 80’s, that being in certain categories gives you inherent advantages in life.  Example: being white means you won’t experience discrimination like minorities.  Same for straight over gay, male over female, etc.  You have to be an idiot or a bigot to deny historical facts clearly supporting this, like voting rights, positions of power and the like.  Where the concept has fallen off the rails for me is that it’s being used a club of guilt to bludgeon people with now; usually the wrong targets also.  The other thing is that, just like anything, everyone is getting greedy with it and exclusive also.  I saw, in my limited research on this, a small group was claiming “cognitive privilege” was being experienced by the smart.  Dumb it down, brainiacs!  Your privilege is showing.

    Again, I’m not denying that privilege exists, but I saw this quiz on a random post and it honestly made my brain begin to ooze out of my ears.  It was a very unscientific privilege checker.  From here out I’ll put the questions in quotations.  “I have never been called a fairy or other derogatory slur for homosexuals.”  Well, I have, but I’m straight…so does it somehow lessen my privilege that another straight guy in high school called me a queer while playing pickup basketball?

    It continues like this.  “I work in a salaried job” was a question right after “I have never been raped.”  So having a salary over hourly is the same level as being raped on the old privilege-ometer, everyone!  So that question is already odd, never mind the fact that being raped or not raped has equal points as “I don’t have student loans.”  So if you have a student loan, throw your arm around a woman who’s been sexually assaulted and tell her you’re in the same boat, after all.  Moreover, what if you got a full ride because you applied to a dozen scholarships?  What if you don’t have loans because you lived at home to save money vs. the student who wanted to party in a dorm and took on more debt?  What if you don’t have student loans because you didn’t go to college?  The last question I asked shows another hole – so having a student loan, which you didn’t have to sign up for, makes you less privileged than someone who, for example, went to be factory worker or truck driver, for example.

    More hits include “I have never worked as a waiter, barista, bartender or salesperson.”  I’m in sales now, so I’m less privileged?  “I’ve never been shamed for my body type.”  Well, if you’ve ever been to high school, you can’t check that one off no matter what body type you have.  Fat?  Forget it.  Skinny?  Forget it.  I was in great shape in high school, but my torso is longer than my legs, so I took a beating for it.  Does that reduce my privilege?

    I would go on, but you see what this quiz was, clickbait, but it was presented as very serious.  (I chose not to promote it, but it’s on Buzzfeed if you want to check.)  The biggest issue I have with the whole thing?  Now what?  So I’m privileged/not privileged.  Does that mean I should lie on the ground and cry from guilt/hopelessness?  Should I scream at someone five points ahead of me or hold someone three points behind me and tell them it will be OK?  Again, it’s a clickbait link – hell, I did the quiz, but what’s the end game?  If used as a tool to show people how isolated or difficult others have it, fine.  When it becomes a “Ooo!  Ooo!  I’m less privileged than Jerry!” it loses any point and I daresay, becomes a wedge driver that does more harm than good.  I picture two people from completely different worlds arguing with one another based off 100 questions, rather than on their life experiences and intellect.  I also can’t tell you many white people love to scream into the wind to other white people about privilege, which leads to this exchange.  White person 1: “Check your privilege!”  White person 2: “I had a horrible childhood, what are you talking about?”  Then it just goes right into the gutter and people block each other, stop speaking, unfriend, and so on.

    Of course, when I commented I thought the quiz was sad and divisive, it was later pointed out that I was straight and white and a man, so I guess none of this blog or anything I’ve ever said matters.  Well, poop, time to delete all my social media accounts and move into a cave in the hills.  Nice knowing everyone, sorry for existing!  I’ll just keep my yap shut and let people who have been servers claim the same status as people who have been ostracized from their families for their sexual orientation and rape victims.

  • Game of Thrones final season predictions

    Posted by on August 31, 2017

    Well, don’t read if you’re not caught up, cause this guy has some hot takes for the final season of Game of Thrones…when it comes out in two damn years.  Sigh.  Anyhoo, everyone has their fan theories, balancing the book vs. the show.  ALL WRONG.  Here’s what to expect.

    Possible spoilers, but if you’ve read this far, you’re either caught up or never will be.

    1. Arya makes a dragon mask and kills the Night King.  Didn’t see that fake dragon coming, did you?
    2. The wall was fake, like the one from the Road Runner and the Night King smacks into the real one full speed when it looks like a train tunnel, blames ACME for the mishap.
    3. The Mountain is actually Kane from WWE fame and the Hound is actually the Undertaker.  What a matchup we are in for!
    4. The next death associated with Game of Thrones is the person that says to me, “It was good at first, but one episode didn’t strike me as ground breaking so I crap all over it now.”
    5. Cersei Lannister gives birth to Ramsay Bolton’s bastard, creating the most hated person in television history.
    6. Since winter is here, not coming, the Starks have a vote for a new motto.  “Who let the dogs out?!” wins and no one is happy about it.
    7. Hodor the undead makes his debut and everyone is the saddest they’ve ever been.
    8. George R.R. Martin is still complaining in interviews that people want another book too quickly, then writes three pages in 2 years.
    9. The writers remember the Jon Snow’s direwolf Ghost again (oh, that’s right, we forgot all about him).  GIVE ME MORE GHOST!
    10. I spend the next two years or however long it is complaining that Game of Thrones isn’t here yet.

    I will go on record and say only 2-3 of these will actually happen, but in all seriousness, start filming please.

  • Backseat champ, no not like that, pervs

    Posted by on August 28, 2017

    This past weekend I went to defend my hard fought title at the Quiz Box (4th Friday every month at the Backstage Bistro – shameless plug in first sentence).  I am happy to announce that I was able to overcome a ferocious competition to win.  The first time, I won largely on my correct answers; this time more my humor.  So I getting dumber, but possibly funnier.  I don’t know how I feel about that.

    It was a great show and a ton of fun, plus co-host and world famous scorekeeper Nickey Winkelman managed to reveal her pregnancy via an Erik Tait question.  It was quite the surprise (good surprise, not oh crap I’m pregnant bad surprise) and made a show no one will forget.  It may have pushed me out of the limelight just a bit, but hey, I’m used to it.  When you’re single, people ask, “What’s new with you?”  Married?  “How’s your wife?
    Kids?  “How are your kids?”  Then, “How’s your wife doing?”  Part of the routine, plus apparently, people care about boxing again to two minutes, so ESPN didn’t even cover my moment either.  Stupid Mayweather/McGregor.  Anyhoo, we took a picture afterwards.

    “Who’s pregnant? Fat dad bod guy? HAHAHA, mock ol’ fatty!”


  • HGTV

    Posted by on August 23, 2017

    HGTV is a staple of most homeowner’s TV choices.  Not a fan, usually.  Modernize the kitchen?  Blah.  Landscaping?  Who cares.  Here’s some things that HGTV could put out that would grab my attention.

    How to install a trap door for door to door salesmen and people with petitions.

    How to put a pirate ship mast with a crow’s nest for using your spyglass to find the ice cream truck man from far away on top of your place.

    Building a Batcave by using your natural surroundings to mask the entrance.

    Brewing beer in five easy steps – and where to find the materials.  Lowe’s and Home Depot aren’t much help for this.

    Putting a pizza oven in your kitchen.  Shove your granite countertops; I want oven fresh pizza and I want it now.

    Constructing siege engines and gun turrets.  Your birdhouse is lame; I want catapults and trebuchets in case it goes down.

    Heated floors are nice, but what about cooling furniture/beds?  Come on HGTV, help me out here.

    That should do it for now, but I have to switch over the nature channels for how to raise bald eagles, so keep in mind how to build eagle’s eyries, HGTV.  I’ll be back.

  • When it’s over

    Posted by on August 20, 2017

    I was driving through a parking lot with my family this weekend and pulled near to a restaurant.  Suddenly, like a magnet, my eyes were drawn to a band of white around a man’s waist.  He was probably about 60, wearing a plain gray t-shirt, which was completely tucked into his bright, white underwear…which was pulled up over his belt loop by several inches.

    My brain became jammed, oh the jokes and thoughts.  This is probably a guy who complained about black youths “moping” just a decade ago.  I wondered what got him to this lowly state, then I realized just as quickly his wife was walking with him.  That means this behavior has been going on for years, if not decades, and she has either suffered it or let it happen.  I wasn’t sure whether to call some authority figures or blame her to allowing this man to walk around in public like this.  I called out to my wife to look and she began laughing.  It was all fun and games until I realized I FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE OF HIM!!!

    I yelled, “Hope!  Take his picture!”  She said, “Gracie has my phone watching Elmo.”  DAMN YOU ELMO!  I fumbled to dig out the phone, but alas, he was between two cars and out of sight.  I blew it.  Shame and regret washed over me and the moment was gone.  I think a little piece of me died this weekend.

  • The Klan came to town

    Posted by on August 15, 2017

    I get reminded of this story from time to time, especially after this past weekend, so I thought I would share.  When I was in college, which was about 1500 students in a town the same size, we found out the Ku Kluk Klan was coming to town to stage a public demonstration.  It was a buzz topic, but no one really knew the details, since the internet was pretty young (I’m not, if you can’t tell by that sentence).  Me and a couple pals had to make a beer run and we saw it firsthand.

    I hope you’re sitting down.  It was three people.  It was pathetic.  There was someone in a hood, a teenager and a fat guy with the front face part of the hood flipped up.  I remember him well, he was close and had a porn stache and glasses, with stubble on his double chin.  I didn’t even know those hoods flipped up, quite frankly.  They must have some mad skills in sewing.  It appeared they were passing out literature or collecting money; it’s hard to say.

    Well, I’m very ashamed to admit this, but my buddy and I contributed to their cause.  We grabbed handfuls of change and I yelled, “Have some pennies, fat boy!” and chucked a wad of change at him.  He turned sideways and threw his hands up as the copper pelted him.  My pals yelled obscenities and we kept driving.  There was a vigorous discussion about what else we could throw at them, but we were broke college kids and quite frankly, needed that money back to afford to buy anything else to throw at them from the UDF.  We drove back by, but they had moved back off the main road.  We lobbed some more comments and they never came back to town the rest of the time I was there.

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