Are We Good?

No. No, we are not.

“But, can’t we all just come together and be one America now?

No.

Really? So much for being tolerant and kind!”

Yeah…that isn’t how this works anymore. Bygones can no longer be bygones, especially when Facebook, Twitter and now the off-brand version, Parler, continue to breed trolls who both covertly and overtly advocate for the harassment, injury or death of anyone non-MAGA. It appears we are now a country of Americans and MAGAcans, or MAGAs or MAGAricans? Either way, you idol worshiping, false flag waving, tacky Trump merch buying twats have drawn a pretty deep line in the sand. It’s your line, I will respect your wishes and not cross it…even to pee on you should you find yourself on fire. It’s a matter of respect of personal boundaries, you know?

https://www.businessinsider.com/arkansas-police-chief-lang-holland-resigns-parler-posts-threaten-democrats-2020-11

For 4 long years, the toll exacted by taunts, insults, and blatant threats of violence makes this request no longer reasonable or doable. Anyone on the receiving end of the massive shit sandwich that is 2020, coupled with the snarling vitriol lobed on the daily, would be utterly foolish to fall for this glaringly amateur manipulation. To use our kindness, empathy and desire to help others against us now that the reality show has been cancelled is really quite laughable. And you call us sheep? We aren’t the ones who fell for a spray tanned con-artist who is so vain he wears lifts in his shoes and has dried out cotton candy for hair. The same con-artist who presides over a family full of equally humorless cons that are just as eager to take advantage of their adoring cult followers and casually toss them aside when they are no longer necessary.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/11/ivanka-trump-was-my-best-friend-now-shes-maga-royalty

That increasingly uncomfortable “reality show” was setting the scene for rampant paranoia, unbridled anger and for every nasty human trait, and their possessors, to be lifted to a standard of respect they do not deserve. There is nothing respectable about a group of Americans chanting and cheering for violence to be committed against other fellow Americans. There is nothing respectable about a group of Americans turning their backs on facts, truth, science, human rights, civil rights, and basic human decency in order to march to the tune of whack-a-doo conspiracy theory bullshit.

And, there is definitely nothing respectable or decent about gleefully bilking taxpayers while simultaneously goading your rabid followers/dupes/marks into turning on fellow Americans. Nothing to see here! Now go “Yah, but” and gaslight the sane populace until they no longer know what’s fake or real, what’s truth or fiction or whether they are living in an alternate universe where everything is horribly backwards.

You stepped in the shit willingly and made it your new life. It’s not our job to help you scrape the shit off your shoes. It’s not our job to re-educate you. It’s not our job to re-humanize you. We tried, you mocked, threatened and dehumanized us so now, we are merely taking the not so subtle hint. We know you will turn on us again, in a heartbeat, and have decided to take a page out of your grubby rule book and build a WALL of personal protection. Snowflakes may be kind and gentle but they ain’t dumb…we paid attention in school.

I don’t have to smile, wave or respond to your now timid greeting if I feel my time would be better served attending to my own best interests. I still have the right to mistrust the untrustworthy. Isn’t that what good MAGA boys and girls would do too? Attend to their own and to hell with everyone else? I’m confused as to why my doing the very thing you ranted, raved and preached about would upset you now. Because it was really a, “Do as I say and not as I do” kinda thing? Got it! What’s good for the MAGA is good for the SNOWFLAKE now. Grasp page from play book and RIP!

“Oh, come on! I was only teasing when I said all Democrats, BLM supporters and civil rights protesters should be shot between the eyes.”

There is no going back to benign pleasantries. You reap what you sow and while this isn’t an eye for an eye, law of retaliation type of action on my part it is a refusal to associate, do business with or otherwise extend an extra helping of grace to those who wished literal harm to befall me and those I love. Keep flying your ridiculous idol worshiping flags and memorial signs of a campaign lost (fair and square) though. They will forever act as your mark of Cain so that all may see who you really are and what you willingly support.

© 2020-2021 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

You Are Permitted to be Angry…

With a few caveats of course.

For all my years of touting cute catchphrases like, “Say what you mean and mean what you say,” or expressing my resolute determination to no longer remain silent, I forgot one thing. The power of commiseration.

I don’t need you to use your sympathy voice every time I share something that makes me angry. I want you to be angry with me!

I GET IT NOW!

There is great power in numbers, as the current protests around the country have shown. I know this to be true. I talk about it, A LOT, within my professional space yet skim right over it in my personal space. And, for that, I am so very sorry. In this, I realize that I am no better than all the assholes I rail about, the ones without even a minuscule amount of empathy in their bitter bones. I, a person who has too much empathy at times, still forgot the therapeutic efficacy of a good bitch-fest. The legitimate airing of grievances, but without having to observe Festivus.

I will be angry with you.

I will listen to what you have to say without doing the, “Awww” face.

I will join your venting session, not because I’m mad at the same person, place or thing, but because YOU ARE ANGRY and I want to support you.

It’s okay to be angry because anger is an energy that can cause change just as easily as it can cause destruction.

I support your right to FEEL all the feelings that go along with being human.

Now, having said all of that, and I meant all of it, I just know there are miserable shit-stirrers out there itching to rail against those who express the desire to FEEL. You know? The FUCK YOUR FEELINGS dickheads. The rest of this is directed at you. Everyone with historically documented reasons to feel angry, you can grab some popcorn and relax for a bit. You earned it…

Yes, fuck my feelings! That’s so mature, so human, so kind of you! And, it’s exactly what I would expect from people who don’t think anyone else is allowed to be angry but them. What exactly are YOU mad about? Didn’t your whiteness provide, abundantly, everything all those other white male politicians promised if you supported their agenda? I know what everyone else is mad about but, please, tell me what’s REALLY troubling you. And, can you do it without calling me names or threatening me with violence? It’s a novel idea but try it, you might like it. And, while you are trying that maybe stop and picture what it really means to be the “good Christian” that you keep calling yourself. Are ya, really??? Can’t be Christ-like when you’re calling me a loud-mouth liberal bitch that needs to know my place. All-seeing God my ass, you don’t know me at all! Let me introduce myself, I’m you’re worst nightmare because I can see who you really are and that’s what you really hate, not me, not them, but yourself.

photo by Andre Hunter

It’s the truth about ourselves, the stuff we demand stay hidden, that really pops up in times of anger and strife, whether we like it or not. It isn’t hidden anymore and if the truly oppressed in this country can put up with your racist, homophobic, misogamist bullshit for centuries then I guess the LEAST I can do is get my privileged white ass up in their support. I stand with them because standing with you is limiting, exhausting, debilitating and completely on the wrong side of history and humanity. I will not side with vile hatred so stop trying to sell me on the garbage you keep peddling.

Yes, I believe Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, No Human is Illegal, Science is Real, Love is Love and Kindness is EVERYTHING! On the flip-side, to those who do not believe in the things I just listed? You are the real problem and you are the one stoking the fire of hate in this country and around the world. Lying, cheating and stealing are really your areas of expertise, not ours but you jump at slapping those projected labels on us, which is laughable. Don’t like what I just imparted? Let me use some of your own medicine on that burn…uh, fuck your feelings! Ah, that felt refreshingly satisfying.

I can guarantee one thing for sure, in this current moment and moving forward, if ANYONE directs hateful vitriol and violence towards anyone I love, I will rain the entirety of my FEELINGS of anger, disgust and rage down on you! I was subjected to physical and mental abuse as a child and young adult and can only keep that raging beast of revenge down so long you know? Count on me coming for you because, hey, when you dismiss my feelings of empathy and kindness what’s left? Yeah, just the NASTY parts, the ones you identify with most and you can’t fuck ALL of my feelings. Who’s got that kind of time?

Illustration by Sefira Ross

Oh, you don’t like that I’m expressing a desire to treat you as miserably as you treat others? Huh, it doesn’t FEEL good does it? Are you afraid of my rage? My words that I can freely express without the need of a gun to back them up? Or, are you really terrified of my ability to size-up your obvious inner conflict and verbalize the issues that I see standing in your way of being a decent person? No one acts the way you do without channeling some fucked up dysfunction from childhood that leads to the near debilitating self esteem issues you clearly exhibit. Do I want to be right about you being a shit person? No. But, 9 times out of 10, I am right and it hurts because I know humanity can do better.

You see, I am willing to listen to your angry outbursts, just like I listen to those I love vent. The only difference is that I know one of those complaint sessions will lead to greater self-awareness and inner calm and the other will lead to personal ruin. Without a willingness to see the pain of others, to listen, learn and actively understand why they have a right to be angry nothing will change. You will stay miserable and stuck. You will never be happy. You will never be a healthy community/society member even though you have this warped impression that this land is YOUR land and not anyone else’s, especially those with darker hued skin. To hold onto those ideals is to hold onto quicksand…your made-up “identity” is being exposed as you slide down, down, down.

I’ll offer you a hand if you want it. Do you want it?

Or, does going down with the rat infested ship seem more palatable than letting a dirty liberal offer you kindness?

Sad.

© 2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Company You Keep: A Tale of Constant Disappointment

Over the past few years I have come to the resolute conclusion that there is a very good reason people who were once childhood friends, co-workers, waving neighbors or even fragile family members grow apart. The saying that we are known by the company we keep was very true during Aesop’s day just as it is today. Look to the left and then back to the right. Who do you call friend, family, acquaintance?

Aesop’s Fables: An Ass And His Purchaser

The tale of An Ass And His Purchaser goes a little like this:

A man wanted to purchase an Ass and took him home for a trial. The Ass befriended the most idle of those the man already owned and so… Bye, bye Ass.

A man is known by the company he keeps.

I see your posts on social media. The lazy re-posting of propaganda. Yeah, this looks good…CLICK. The refusal to fact-check, question or even comprehend that what you just shared was an example of racism, sexism, isolationism, homophobia or any other repugnant, exclusionary belief. The refusal to acknowledge that careless words can cause great harm is illuminated like a TIKI torch at a white nationalist rally. “Oh, I will totally OWN them with this scorching article from a hugely biased news source!”

I see the venom, the bile and the disdain posted about those you feel are not as “good” or as “smart” as you. I make note of how you feel those people are disrespectful, dishonorable, untrustworthy, un-this, un-that and then the final dismissive pronouncement that when those people use their long ignored voice this equals whining. Does this mean your point of view is the only one that matters? Or, does it mean your point of view should matter more? It’s one or the other. You can’t have it both ways after all.

What do you hear in the voices of protest that bothers you so much? I ask because I truly want to know why the sound of life-long pain, frustration and grief triggers such dismissal and/or anger? Are they not deserving of fair treatment, equal rights or the same protections afforded to you under the law? If your answer is NO…why? And, can you look those people in the eye and bravely explain why they shouldn’t be as FREE as you? And, can you do it without sneering, condescending vitriol? Thanks. That would be great!

Now, back to the part about being known, or judged, by the people you choose to associate with. If you are pals with people who make disparaging remarks about people of color, women, non-Christians, LGBTQIA, people with disabilities, people with different political beliefs or anyone different at all for that matter and you LAUGH or LOOK THE OTHER WAY then that will be considered condoning or agreeing with their behavior. The key word here is CHOICE. You decided which side you were on without even saying a word. Silence was your choice. Like it or not. I don’t make the rules.

A riot is not quiet…

So, I see your condemning posts about those, whiny, lazy, ignorant and, weak liberal snowflakes and I always come back to the introduction, written with great authority by you. The original post may have come from someone else but you obviously agreed with it or why else would you share it? For shits and grins? To stir the pot? To purposely cause outrage? To mock? Oh, you may claim any one of these but I suspect it’s because you actually do agree with the sentiment embedded in that inflammatory meme, quote, shared article or video. It’s okay to admit it. I could even respect you, believe it or not, if you would just be honest for once.

I see it all and wonder how your definitions of GOOD, SUPERIOR, PURE, RIGHTEOUS and HOLY were formed along with the polar opposite of those five words. Did your views come from a highly edited history purposely designed to place you on top as the victor while everyone different is cast as defective, unbalanced or criminal? How did you come to the point in life where you currently stand? You appear angry. You also appear so certain to be right and also very certain I, and people both like and unlike me, deserve no audience to plead our case because our guilt was determined long before we were born.

Do you ever wonder if everything you were ever told about those not like you is a lie? I do.

https://theundefeated.com/features/being-black-in-a-world-where-white-lies-matter/

https://theestablishment.co/white-people-you-have-a-lying-problem-e991c3634493/index.html

https://milwaukeenns.org/2020/06/26/opinion-the-lies-white-people-tell-ourselves-and-how-they-haunt-milwaukee-today/

Currently, I am furious that a huge chunk of what was in my white grade school and high school history books was biased, unbalanced, revisionist propaganda written to purposely divide by race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, or disability. I am certain that there are other agents of division I missed but you get the point…right? History is written by the winners no matter how they achieved that status. Be it by theft, coercion, excessive force or editing. It’s the real FAKE NEWS.

REAL…fake news. Take that in for a moment. It isn’t the moronic bullshit, the twisted, spun and manipulative gas-lighting vomit broadcast via Twitter or Fox News. It isn’t the bizarre, braying jackass sound bites from unprepared press conferences or the never ending ego trips masquerading as campaign rallies. You mean nothing to the talking orange head. Your life experiences, trials and tribulations and worries don’t even register a blip on that schizophrenic radar. You get that, right?

I simply cannot believe that people just wake up one day deciding to be arrogant, insolent, heartless assholes. Something happened along the way. Someone, or a group of someones, taught them how to behave as if their particular hue is the best hue, their particular worldview is the best, most perfect, most tremendous one of all time. It has the highest ratings, the largest following and they will DOMINATE the world.

But, here’s the thing about reaching the top of the heap…getting there isn’t the true goal, staying there is.

And, if you continually get to the top on the backs of those people, never allowing them to SHARE the space with you, then to what lengths will you go to stay on top?

You don’t fear those you stand on. You fear retribution for the transgressions you and your ancestors committed while on the continuous journey to the top. THAT is the legacy of this country. Simply admitting it isn’t culpability, it’s true freedom. Cutting loose the “company” that no longer reflects positively on you isn’t a huge sacrifice. Losing your very life because of deeply ingrained bias and racism is.

Learn the difference.

© 2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Farewell to friendship in the age of Trump

Goodbye spirited debate! So long teasing! Forget about it, polite conversation! Take a hike kindness. You’re done! Finished! Finito! Every attempt at online interaction now is fraught with misunderstanding, defensiveness and paranoia. What did you say about me? What did you mean by that?!? You are so naive, ignorant, liberal, conservative, arrogant, brainwashed, deplorable, gullible…on and on and on. You are either one of US or one of THEM!

Wait…what?

Now, to get to the heart of this blog confession; I was recently unfriended and blocked on social media by someone I have known since high school. While this isn’t the first former school chum to unfriend me this one certainly was the most surprising. Now, granted, we haven’t physically seen one another in over 20 years and every attempt I have made to connect, face-to-face, since 1997 has been rebuffed but, I’m confident when I say I tried! I called, texted and messaged, all out of genuine concern for a friend I wanted to keep in my life because I had fond memories of them from a time period when things weren’t as complicated.

We used to be really good friends…once…a long time ago.

Everything is complicated now! And mostly because people make it complicated for themselves.

It all began with a series of half satirical, half personal opinion posts about the Orange Scourge. Then, it involved replies on other friend’s posts and then my own response to said former friend who was clearly trying to either elicit an affirmation of his world view or a negative response to posting a blurb about how those still “fearful” of getting Covid-19 should just stay home while everyone “brave” and “patriotic” goes back to work. This is the same person who would regularly pop into comment feeds with harshly cold comments bereft of empathy and dripping with condescension and then when rebuffed would also try to disengage by saying, “Oh, I guess I don’t understand how social media works”, “I thought we could have a discussion but I guess I was wrong!” But, wait! You claim to be a sort-of Libertarian scholar so don’t you know it ALL? Tell us more Professor! Psst….THAT’S sarcasm by the way.

Yes, yes you do understand how dropping a shitty comment into the middle of friends bantering back and forth will be received. Yes, you do understand that the people you are crap-bombing are all outspoken women who are very adept at expressing their views and who don’t appreciate being talked down to. Yes, you knew this and yet chose to proceed because…you knew exactly what you were doing. The need for attention, whether it’s positive or negative is still with you even after all these years. Such is the way of the perpetual adolescent, demanding attention and then feigning dismay when things take a disturbing turn. Not my fault! Uh, huh…sure. If not yours then whose?

And, so I felt compelled to respond with a truthful statement that indeed, I shall stay home because I am lucky enough to have an employer that values my safety and one who can allow me to work from home. I acknowledge that I am very fortunate and appreciative of how my life has turned out. It seemed to be a benign enough proclamation until other comments involved telling the fearful, in this person’s view, to file for unemployment if they felt too scared to work. Not. That. Simple. For an all knowing Libertarian I’m shocked they don’t realize that if a stay at home order is lifted then the unemployment payments stop. If an employee decides to continue staying home they can either: 1) Burn up their sick and vacation time or: 2) Get fired for being insubordinate if they still refuse to come to work and risk getting or spreading Covid-19. If the second option occurs you can bet that the unemployment benefits process will start all over leaving the “fearful” without money coming in for a period of time combined with the indisputable knowledge that profits are more important than human lives. *Edit: The most likely scenario will be the reasonably concerned employee will balk at returning and the unsympathetic employer will consider that an, “I quit” which equals-no unemployment.

The former friend’s response? “Well, YOU just stay home and you’ll be safe…” Is there a sarcasm font? No? You’ll just have to read that in your best sarcastic and dismissive tone. You understand what sarcasm sounds like right? Some are confused as to what that is apparently (cough, cough…Trump) and after receiving a reply that a snotty, privileged Karen would give I read it to really mean, “And…all the rest of us patriots, unafraid of some silly virus and unwilling to give up our freedom (to infect) will move about the world touching and coughing on everything while you stay holed up in fear.”

The actual typed words may seem harmless on the surface but I know this game well. I recognize the short response, the clipped phrasing of impatience and defensive deflection, the bubbling irritation I have gotten so used to. I will pat you on the head with these dismissive words, words I don’t really mean but words I choose in order to belittle and embarrass you online. Words I would never try in person because I’m not good with face-to-face conflict. So brave, right?

Having dealt with many passive-aggressive individuals over the years I clearly recognize that when a rebuttal begins with WELL the resentment tends to run DEEP. I have no idea why this person would feel resentful towards me or toward any other friends so I won’t even hazard a guess. It doesn’t really matter. I simply don’t tolerate this type of childish drama in my life anymore so I’m not hurt by the severing of social media ties. Keeping self-absorbed online nasty comment bombers on my virtual “friend” list has lost it’s appeal and no matter what our history together was it’s now time to let go. I have grown up, they have not and that’s okay. I will not lose any sleep over our ridiculous falling out.

What does concern me, however, is the suspicion that all is not mentally well with my former friend despite denials when pressed via private message. There is something off here, something that doesn’t make sense and even though I have asked if I can be supportive and be of service my assistance is not welcome. I can respect that. Again, I tried so now all I can do is wish them well, hope they are okay and leave them in the past.

Farewell friend! I knew you once but now, I hardly know thee at all.

© 2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Welcome to the New Abnormal…

I haven’t felt like writing for over a month. A feeling of doubt over what I was hearing and seeing turned into uncertainty which then turned into anxiety and worry about those I love. How can I protect them? How can I protect myself? I watched some news, tried to work from home, cleaned, checked my food and cleaning products supply and then watched more news, checked social media, looked at the dismissive posts and memes, looked at the doom and gloom posts and memes.

And then, the numbness came.

There is nothing remotely ‘normal’ about current events. We have turned a strange dark corner where we no longer recognize ourselves, loved ones, neighbors or friends as safe and secure…nothing is safe anymore. But, was it ever really safe to begin with or have we just been pretending all these years? Of course we always want to think nothing can happen here! We are so special. The chosen ones! Bullshit, all of it.

Everything is uncertain. COVID-19 outcomes scream frightening uncertainty and, that is terrifying for many. As it should be. This is not the “common flu” so stop calling it that you ignorant assholes! What the hell is the matter with you?

https://www.livescience.com/undetected-infections-coronavirus-widespread.html

Speaking as a formerly suspicious, anti-social Aquarius, someone who defiantly shied away from the hug of a stranger, someone who, rather than having to stop in a store and talk to anyone I knew would spin on a dime to walk the other way, this hasn’t been a struggle. Small talk irritated me and sharing feelings was viewed as a fate worse than death. I didn’t care one bit if I appeared ill-manner or unfriendly because what others could do without hesitation, I experienced great personal pain and anxiety over. If dying from embarrassment was a real thing then I believed it would happen to me.

But, after years of therapy and growth of wisdom through aging, I grew past those inclinations and learned a more personal way to connect with others and a more honest approach to interacting with the world at large. I evolved. Grudgingly at first, but I did it. And, now that progress must be put on hold for the foreseeable future and, I’m cool with that. It could save you and it could save me. And so, I will abide.

However, the thing that I cannot abide with is the blatant misinformation, false hope and lies, huge whopper lies that do nothing but put people in potential danger. Like, lose your life danger. The nonchalant, flippant attitude of those who are so used to lies that they no longer believe the truth even if it comes up and slaps an N95 respirator mask on their face and showers them in hand sanitizer. What will it take? Mass causalities? The loss of someone close to you? But even if that happens will they even realize they’ve been horribly duped? Nah, probably not. Too invested in the con I suppose.

God, what have we become? Where are we going? And, when we arrive at our final destination will we see sunshine or storm clouds in the rear view mirror of our lives? All of this over a virus or, was this comeuppance simply a long time in coming? I wish I knew so I could warn everyone I know because it’s not so much the vehicle that is driving this current panic that we should fear as it is the carnival barkers hawking the continued false narrative of ALL IS WELL! IT’S A HOAX! IT’S NOT THAT BAD! YOU’RE OVERREACTING!

FUCK YOU!

All is not well. It hasn’t been for a long time and if you turn off your televisions, tune out your racist relatives and paranoid former classmates who peaked in high school you just might hear a tune that sounds like crystal clear common sense dancing on the wind. It’s there, slow the hell down, utilize what’s left of your common sense and stop being an irresponsible idiot. It’s not all about YOU! There are other people on this planet you know?

So now, wash your goddamn hands, stay the fuck home and stop buying more shit than you need! Living the life of an asshole is no life at all but endangering the lives of others and taking from those in need is unforgivable. Do better! And to all the arrogant maggots who say things like, “We will all die someday”…eat shit. No one gave you the power to speed up another person’s “someday” just because you want to go to Walmart. Again, and I repeat for the dense pricks in the back…it’s not all about YOU.

STAY THE FUCK HOME!!!

© 2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The story of how. The story of why. The story of me.

Typically, I live by the Never Say Never principle but…here are some very critical exceptions:

Never apologize for being who you are.

Never allow someone else to write the story of your life.

Never allow people who continually say hurtful things about you to remain in your orbit.

No one knows the how and why of you…but you. Oh, people may insinuate that they KNOW you and get where you are coming from but unless they inhabit your head-space (if they do then call an exorcist immediately) they have absolutely no fucking idea what they are talking about. You are YOU and they are THEY. Never the twain shall meet.

Unless, of course you want to meet in the middle of the world divide. To come together and talk it out, learning from one another, benefiting from each others wisdom of ages, or compiled mistakes as it were. Whatever gets the job done. Whatever bonds or irrevocably breaks. It’s truly a crap shoot anymore.

Meeting people where they currently mentally and emotionally reside is a tricky proposition. Each day begins with new YOU’RE EITHER ONE OF US OR ONE OF THEM blasts, so much so that I take a hard look at people I was once acquainted with and realize I have grown to dislike what they’ve become. I wonder how I missed the vindictive, paranoid, insecure traits but, then I remember that I knew them as a child or a teenager. My experience of them was merely surface knowledge; I only saw the picture but did not read the book.

Now, in turning each page I recoil. How did such hate grown within the souls of these former pals, buddies, co-workers, classmates, lovers and family members even? The virus of misinformation, the infection or Stockholming, if you will, of people you once were quite fond of creates great pause and a suspicion that the signs were always there, you just missed them. The romanticized dream of the past is finally dead. There will be no resurrection.

Moving on is never easy but, flipping through social media rants, propaganda posts and bile-filled diatribes designed to throw barbs at anyone not in-line with the “party view” removes any guilt when formerly hesitant fingers finally hit the UNFRIEND, BLOCK and BAN buttons. It’s not the same as releasing a guillotine though, sometimes the head keeps talking, posting, tweeting. In those instances the best advice is to walk away with the certainty that those souls are irrevocably lost, forever doomed to wander the land of gaslight and chem-trail fed conspiracies. Khodahafez. Bedrood. Paka Paka. Adios and goodbye! Sigh of relief and close the door.

How did we get here? Many ask this without admitting they, in fact, do not really care. In my estimation I see it as someone pretending to be concerned about the current state of affairs while wringing their hands in calculating glee behind their backs at the chaos brewing outside. Oh, no! How did this happen? Here, drink this poison. It will make you feel better…well, it will make ME feel better. You? Not so much. Do I really care? {Fingers entwine behind back}…sure, sure I care. No, no they don’t.

So, in the spirit of the Never Say Never ballad, yes, believe in it in theory but, in practice…watch your back. Daggers can and will be thrown from all directions. Never forget that.

© 2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Hear my voice, my words, my story.

Sharing meaningful experiences with others has never been so hard. During the past few decades listening skills have diminished and empathizing with the challenges faced by those less fortunate or those unlike ourselves is mocked mercilessly and declared a trait of the weak or snowflakes. Such a stupidly weak attempt at bullying! And, the ones engaging in this ridiculous behavior can’t seem to recognize how cruel, and utterly stupid they appear.

Yes, I said it. STUPID! Call me a snowflake, liberal, elitist snob, stuck-up, or whatever jealousy and fear triggered catch phrase those with limited emotional intelligence and a baffling lack of curiosity employ when the truth fails them. Call me all of that and more but the fact remains, you are a scared, small-minded, insufferably stupid human being when you play the Us Against Them game. It’s WE, always has been and always will be.

The same color blood flows from our veins. Basic physical anatomy shows we are all intended to have two arms, two legs, two eyes, one nose=same. No opportunistically cherry-picked scripture will change that. And, even after all of that fact finding you still have no clue about my true position on certain flash-point topics. Not once did I declare my voting preferences or exact spiritual beliefs. I only declared what I see as asshole behavior and those who are ignorant assholes just assume and hilariously end up being wrong every time. Tricky huh? Not really, people simply don’t care to listen.

The notion that just because I don’t rant and rave like a rabid fool, constantly huffing and puffing about the audacity of “those people” that I see myself as better or elevated above those who wallow in self-imposed ignorance. Well, when it’s written out like that then, yes, yes, I do see myself as better than that! What reasonable person wouldn’t? It’s not like the foaming at the mouth narrow-minded jackals don’t readily crown themselves superior so fair is fair after all. And, if you notice, I’m talking about behavior not the individual. I don’t need to convince those who disagree with me to change because it’s a full time job sticking to my own intellectual guns in order to keep all the unnecessary nastiness in the world from changing me!

Okay, so now we come to the fork in the road where everyone has the option to see the humanity in all, no matter the physical, cultural, biological, religious, educational or racial differences or the choice to cling to bigotry, misogyny, mythology and misinformation. The latter being a recipe for certain madness and the former being a chance to evolve and let go of false narratives that serve zero purpose other than to stoke the flames of hatred. Without unchecked hatred control cannot happen, power cannot be maintained and upward mobility cannot be stopped or opposition squelched. YOU cannot go against ME! Uh, yes I can and yes, I will every single time bullshit flows forth from the mouths of inflexibly truculent trolls.

It’s okay…the dictionary is our friend! It’s full of amazing information and loves to have visitors. Go ahead, it’s spelled T-R-U-C-U-L-E-N-T and yes, I’m purposely being a smart ass, because I can. I earned the right.

I bet that triggered something inside the more insecure readers, or not so sneaky lurkers and again, it’s okay. Offense or anger is only felt if the insult applies so get to a mirror quick! The answer to the question of whose fault it is that butt-hurt was felt is right there in the refection. Everyone has the option to change so you still have time.

Hear me now, I am not in the business of dumbing-down anything for people uninterested in truly getting to know me as an author or me as a human being. Unless you take the time to study, to memorize the why of what I do and the how of the reason I came to my position in life that I currently occupy then please move right along. I am not for you and assuming you KNOW me will only end in frustration. Save your time, your energy and your certain anger. I have known who I am and why I believe the way I do for a long time. I did the internal work. Why haven’t you?

You have been told time and again how my point of view was crafted by painful experiences, the full confession of mistakes has laid bare my unapologetic soul to show all the hurt, the skinned knees, the bruised and battered heart. It’s all there for you to read, if you choose to take the time. I shouldn’t have to offer it up on a plate for those too lazy to inquire and too willfully moronic to understand the benefit that comes from learning from people not like them. We ALL have lessons left to learn. No one knows everything there is to know and, isn’t that exciting?

Change is good. Change is needed and voices that ring out the call for common sense, slowing the roll of unfounded bias and taking the time to get educated about FACTS are required should we really desire to continue existing. Did you think about that? That which cannot adapt cannot survive…again, FACT. My plan is to survive and to do so joyfully, with the knowledge that I did all I could to be the type of human being that actually deserves to be here. What’s your plan?

© 2019-2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I hate to burst your bubble…

Well, no, I don’t hate it. It’s inevitable and needed and the most positive aspect of being alive. Living in a homogenized bubble, filled with bias, myth, misinformation and ignorance of those unlike ourselves is a misery of our own making. And, proudly displaying prejudice and smug judgment are not good qualities. They just aren’t and never will be. Ever.

I am not like you and you are not like me and that’s a good thing. Do you hear that? Shall I turn this post up? Your life experiences intrigue me enough to prompt a discussion about how and why you believe the way you do yet, for some inexplicable reason, you don’t want to know the how and why of me. How come? You’re too good to learn new things?

Bubbles form, float and then explode. They were never meant to exist forever so why do some people cling to their need to stay in an “unlearning” environment? Barking on and on about snowflakes and safe space demanding wimps while also grousing about failed relationships and financial hardships. These are also things snowflakes and wimps deal with but, hey, why focus on similarities?

When the inflexible name callers refuse to entertain the idea that people vastly different from them deserve the exact same rights they, themselves, take for granted it says more about their character than the people they are fearfully attacking. It’s their way or get out of America for they have appointed themselves the judge of what Americans should be. Who said only one race, one sex, one religion should reap the rewards of social acceptability, personal freedom and success in life?

Who? I think it’s pretty obvious that the top white dog always makes sure they get the bone and everyone else can just lump it. To refuse to see that and only moan about reverse discrimination or every other nonsensical Whataboutism the tragically incurious vomit up is pure poison. It is the absolute definition of a life shortchanged, an opportunity to grow misused and outright lost.

But, do they even want to grow? Maybe not. Are they so afraid to step outside of their beige bubble because they just might find out they don’t know it all, their beliefs aren’t all correct and they are actually the greedy grabbers getting all the good stuff simply because of how they look. Bastards! Taking everything for themselves and leaving nothing for anyone else!

Me??? I’m not entitled!! How dare you!

If you are offended by being called a greedy grabber who demands everything for yourself because of the long held belief that you and those like you “deserve” the American dream more than “those people” then, good! What you are actually feeling is guilt not righteous indignation so learn from it. Guilt, after all, is a sign that something in your soul knows making derogatory statements about others doesn’t prove you are better than they are, it only proves you live in fear of retribution. It proves that you are small-minded and insecure. It also proves that hope still exists.

Tearing down those we fear doesn’t build anyone up nor does it create power. It literally activates paranoia and suspicion, the very stuff that slowly kills us from the inside out. I fear you, you fear me and eventually no one talks anymore because, god, humans are scary and learning to communicate honestly and effectively is a lost art. And, why should we talk to each other when posting false propaganda online is so much more fun? Right? No, it’s wrong. Period. Keep it up and it won’t make much difference because, you and the other soon to be extinct divisive dinosaurs will be gone. Guess who will take your place? People willing to evolve, people willing to learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of their ancestors. Crazy, right? It’s already happening.

So, before you wax nostalgic about the “good old days” when everyone stayed in their own segregated bubbles, no one challenged your bullshit and everyone just nodded in fake agreement so your fragile ego didn’t get shattered…stop and look in the mirror. Does the person you see still resemble the child you once were? The child who only wanted someone, anyone to play with and didn’t care what they looked like, what their religion was, what genitals they had, what gender they felt like inside, who they loved or what their socioeconomic status was…none of it mattered.

Just in case you need a refresher…and, yes, I’m being an over-educated snot here. Why? Because I can and it’s fun!

The DIFFERENCES did not matter! Can you hear that? Do you remember when it didn’t matter to you or…are you too caught up in the great War of Words? The Keyboard Warrior Challenge? The Comrade’s Crafty Psychological Experiment? The Their Facts Aren’t My Facts Fight? I could go on and on because so much of the shit both “sides” lob at one another has been manufactured and force fed to unwitting dupes looking for anything that might help them regain their tenuous grasp on both reality and a perceived place of acceptance and power. Remember, each time you toss crap the odds of getting poop back-splash are pretty good.

© 2019-2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lunatic fringe…

“I just have to share this video with you!!! It explains everything and contains all the facts you need to hear!!!”

Or…

“Let’s drive all the snowflakes crazy by posting this!!!”

What the hell is it with lunatic whackadoos and excessive exclamation points and typing in all CAPS? Are you so gleeful over insulting the intelligence of those around you or are you just manically obsessed with getting you POINT across?

Both you say?

Okay, Nutty McNutterson, here’s something to consider; if your shit-stirring posts don’t in fact “drive them crazy” and they instead ignore/hide/snooze did you actually achieve your objective or was it all for nothing and now you look ignorant?

My money is on them looking like an ignorant, isolated, narrow-minded twat waffle. And all for what? What is the objective? Online opinion posts mean nothing if you don’t have the guts to say any of that bigoted, isolationist conspiracy theory trash to said “snowflakes” face to face. I have yet to meet anyone willing to verbalize the shit they smear online in real-time.

Cowards feel pretty safe hiding behind their keyboards.

Also, do not…DO NOT…send me unsubstantiated claims, unverified “news” articles or videos from paranoid loons. When I see any of these annoyances in my private messages I know immediately that its either an arrogant attempt at mockery or, a very naive brainwashing attempt.

You obviously do not know me at all. I can tell the difference between fact and fiction. I don’t need you to tell me what to believe thank you very much.

At one time the newness of social media was exhilarating. Being able to talk with anyone you want, catching up with old friends and the prospect of possibly making new friends became a favorite pastime. Now, the saddest part is seeing how out of touch with reality so many people are. I mean, like tinfoil hat wearing, preper-in-training, white hood and burning cross devotee out of touch. Straddling the razor’s edge out of touch.

What happened to you?

Who hurt you? What happened in you life to make you such a scared and suspicious person? I can’t even call people like this “individuals” because there is nothing individualistic about towing the propaganda party line. You’ve been indoctrinated. You have lost your independence. You are controlled by a false narrative and can’t even see it!

Fear is what happened to you.

To be so fearful of change, so terrified of no longer being a majority member of society to the point where attacking anyone different, for no reason at all or a false, made up reason is simply sad.

You are sad.

And, even though I may feel sorry for you I still do not have to tolerate you. No amount of pleading or ridiculous attempts at “educating” those you feel are sheep will make me see things your way. I am not a follower. I am a searcher, a fact finder, a gatherer of information with mounds of empirical studies behind every claim. Hearsay is simply gossip and I don’t have time for gossip.

Just the facts ma’am.

Please keep your prejudices and your bigoted agendas to yourself and hopefully, if you can open your mind long enough to see through the fog of narcissistic bullshit, one day you will recover the humanity you have lost.

© 2019 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.