All Bark and No Bite: Online Rants, Lies and the Spreaders of Misinformation

“How dare you say that!”

“You have your FACTS all wrong!”

RANT! RANT! RANT!!!

“I’m offended by you being offended!”

“Are you calling me a liberal, conservative, Christian, Muslim, atheist, sexist, racist, homophobe and ON and ON?”

Can we all collectively work together to make this shit stop? Please? I have literally hit my limit with the massive amount of utter bullshit I see posted on social media as FACT when it isn’t fact at all and the sources listed are suspect and quite likely faked on purpose. Gotta rally the base! Throw them some putrid meat to stoke the fire of inner discontent they all seem to have because after all, psychological manipulation works best on those easy to anger. Right?

WHAT IS A RELIABLE SOURCE? CHECK YOUR SOURCES HERE!

The truth isn’t outrageous enough I suppose so, now in the land of fake everything why not fake outrage, fake hurt feelings, fake intelligence, fake sources, fake news, fake approval ratings and fake crisis situations just to stimulate traffic flow to certain websites that produce propaganda filled articles and memes with the sole purpose of being shared over and over until they are believed. Life isn’t a goddamned reality show with ratings to boost…it’s actually REAL!

“He posted it on Twitter so I know it’s true!! I always go straight to the source for my information!”

No. It wasn’t true. It was PROPAGANDA! You got HAD sucker.

How liars create the ‘illusion of truth’

And, you cannot seem to sway these lie gobbling cult-like followers of fallacy because they desperately want to be right. “Oh, sweet baby Jesus let me be right and let these nasty traitor liberals be wrong,” and….second verse reverse from the first! Sing along! What if we are ALL wrong? What then?

Apparently we are supposed to hate one another now and if you aren’t batting for Team MAGA then you are raucously called everything but a child of God while the Other Side throws down the DEPLORABLE and IGNORANT gauntlet with great glee. In God We Trust needs to be removed from our new God…the almighty dollar and replaced with Passive- Aggression Or Bust!


We are a bunch of sad little keyboard warriors that only gather the courage to blast those we view as divisive and resistant in 280 character spurts loaded with grammatical errors and the blatant overuse of exclamation marks!!!!!!!! This is never done face-to-face because that’s too aggressive and personally exposing! Bark, bark, bark…type, type, type…rant.

Fuck off!

You are either ONE OF US or you are against America. Oh, and the flag, can’t forget the poor battered flag that has now been given the status of Saint Betsy Ross. It’s okay to wear this vestige of ultimate allegiance in the form of a bandana, shorty shorts, tank top or banana hammock but LORD, don’t you dare fail to stand at attention to it! Where are our manners?

Oh, how far we have fallen…I weep for the future of this country. I SERIOUSLY worry about the deliberate dumbing down of our populous. Give it a rest okay? It’s getting fucking tiresome and annoying. And, when I’m annoyed I just tune that shit out and offenders lose ALL CREDIBILITY. You are now a joke to me and I shall treat you as such.

Do you even know what you are ranting about? Does it make sense? Is it reality based or “alternative fact” based? Have you been manipulated into believing propaganda? It’s important to check your reality before shitting on others for their opposing views. AND, making fun of those in power is NOT treason you simpletons. It may be disrespectful and childish but, it’s FREE SPEECH and a protected form of protest. And…I can handle the “consequences” or social media blowback. I need to patent a lotion for all the thin-skinned out there!

The First Amendment reads as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

I AM TREMENDOUSLY AGGRIEVED!

The thin-skinned president who made it illegal to criticize his office

Sorry about your guaranteed public education, public transportation, fire departments, police departments, public libraries, every branch of the US military, public roads & highways, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, public, not private prisons & jails, public hospitals, Veterans Affairs Administration, public universities, public parks, public toilets, public drinking fountains, public parking and public everything that easily classifies as a form of SOCIALISM. You know that right?

And yet, you most likely have utilized many of these during your lifetime, as have your parents, grandparents or even great grandparents. Now, tell me again how you are right and I am wrong?

If the above list of “social” services our government provides to citizens is egregious to you then I guess you will have to opt out of ALL of them in order to stay a pure, non-socialist American. It’s only fair after all.

Carry on soldier. Enjoy!

© 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.

The Long Year of Silence: And Other Tales of Dysfunction…

February came and went. Silent to begin and silent still to end. To say that I’m entirely surprised would be a lie since I know how these family dustups go. I know that they linger like the annoying stench that clings to the bottom side of a trash can lid; hidden from sight but still funking up the air with the cloying scent of unresolved anger and delusion.

Last year, at this same time, I had a tremendous online, voicemail and text row with my younger sister over what? I’m still not sure what her intentions were when she publicly insulted me, my dear partner and my even dearer daughter online. “They aren’t welcome in our home,” became the flash point proclamation over a post about the senseless loss of children due to gun violence which she assumed was AIMED at her and her husband. It was not yet, here we are.

If you can’t find the energy to defend your actions then don’t expect to make it to the winner’s circle anytime soon…

Ah, assumption, the ultimate guess that certainly makes one look like an ass when one is incorrect. And incorrect they were but, the damage is done and a half-hearted apology will not cover this wound. I am still angry about the words my sister, brother-in-law and other unknowing siblings chose to assign to me, my daughter and my partner. Snowflake! College Educated Liberal! They Think They’re Better Than Us! I have a sinking suspicion that these words had been on their minds for a long time. Words that they didn’t and still don’t have the guts to say to our faces. Was it worth it?

The Psychology Behind Sibling Estrangement

The more I think about it now the more I see just how one-sided our relationship was to begin with. For years I tried to re-engage with both my sister and her family by visiting, emailing, sending cards or texting as much as possible. I sat and listened to her complain about our parents, our other sister, nieces, nephews and so on. In looking back I have no doubt that this scenario played out similarly on the flip side and I was the one that was being complained about but, that’s okay.

We were raised with an “every man for himself” attitude and the MAN that always bested us was our father. Or, rather, he contributed to our emotional destruction and continued destruction of one another. Why be loving and kind when you could be sneaky and manipulative? Did you hear what SHE did? No! Did you know that HE did/said this or that? It’s amazing that we were able to hold it together as long as we did given the monumental amount of shit we talked about one another.

How I would love to tell each party the things that were said about them while absent but, I won’t. What’s the point anyway? I most likely will never see them again so it would be a hollow victory and I don’t need that bile in my life anymore. Tired of the drama, tired of the hatred and tired of feeling guilty for wanting and finally achieving a happy life when so much wrong has gone on in their lives over the many years.

And, despite this, I still jumped in to defend those who were being abused by our parents still as adults only to be lumped in with the very people who created the damaged familial menagerie to begin with. Thank you but, no thanks! I jumped too far for too long and now I’m done. I have to be. What other choice do I have?

But, what will you do when your parents die or if something happens to the other family members you aren’t speaking to????????

What would YOU do? Would be bristle at being asked such a guilt laden question by someone who did not walk in your shoes like, EVER? Would you pretend to feel sorrow for the loss of those who literally wished out loud that you were never born? Would you mourn the loss of someone who punched you with full force between the shoulder blades on more than one occasion? The one who used a handful of your hair to pull you across the room to view a “mess” you didn’t make but were still being accused of? The one who used the bible to justify this physical abuse along with molestation?

No love lost. No sorrow to feel on the parental front for many other reasons but, I do feel sorrow now about the loss of contact with my younger sister, her family and my oldest niece. That loss was sudden and without warning so I am still experiencing the grief process over losing those relationships.

I was angry. I’m still angry and I WILL write about it despite how much this pisses off those who created the rift. Actions have consequences and all, you know? And so, I keep moving into this new year of continued silence. Will anything change? Not unless I make the move to do so because that’s how it’s “always been.” Courage is in short supply in this family while false bravado doth runneth over!

So, now do I continue moving forward in peace without them or take two steps back into a landmine? Sometimes choosing peace is the smartest move and hopefully that move will trigger growth, self-reflection and forgiveness on the other side. I hope…and that’s all I can do.

© 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.

To Agree or Not To Agree: What’s Your Position?

Quick! Everyone pick a side.

What?

Isn’t this how the world works now?

If you’re tired of being attacked for having an opposing view from family, friends, co-workers or random strangers online raise your hand. If you’ve unfriended, blocked or reported someone in any of the categories above, raise your hand again.

This reactionary, isolationist, gather-the-troops ideology seems to have increased over the past few years and while there may be MANY blame points people can point to for causation I’d like to focus on the initial “relationship” if I may.

Who are these people/groups that have fallen out of favor with you and why? If it’s merely an online group or someone you befriended via social media without the benefit of meeting face to face lower your hand. You have the right to disengage from virtual contacts anytime you like and for no expressed reason. Cool? Good.

Now, let’s talk about the people you have axed, banned, banished or otherwise forbidden to speak to you, either in real-time or virtually. Did you like them at one time in your life? Do you have a DNA or emotional connection to them? Did they make you laugh once? Did you talk about things you have in common and express joy over having them in your life? If the answer is YES…walk back 2 steps and ask yourself what is different now.

Did they not vote for your candidate? Did they express views that personally hurt your heart? Did they post sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic memes, articles or personal opinions online or espouse these sentiments verbally to you? If so, on the last sentiment, did you voice your thoughts on this either online or in person? How did that work out?

I know in my own case it “worked” out to where I no longer speak to my brothers, sister, nieces, nephews, parents and a few former high school friends. Some, because of rigid views posted online and a sadistic need to try to argue every point with me and others because of personal pain long ignored. Do I regret how things imploded? Yes. Could I have avoided all of it? Probably not because I have no control over the actions, ill-advised or not, of others.

Deleted phone numbers, returned mail, rejected friend requests, reported posts and profiles are all part of how we, as a society, relate to one another now. Tweet it, post it, meme it up every time someone insults, disagrees with or ignores us. YOU WILL HEAR MY POINT OF VIEW!!! I WILL ASSERT MY DOMINANCE BY PISSING ALL OVER YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA BECAUSE I AM RIGHT!!!

Nah, you’re just coming off as kinda nuts…

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/24/unfriend-unfollow-political-views-digital-dilemmas

Of course, these same people would never say the same things they post online to your face and most likely you also would not confront them in person but, fuming about it for days, weeks, months and years is somehow acceptable. Amazing huh?

Why is this a thing now? Why?

I recall a time when I liked people I met just because they took the time to talk to me. I liked them because they laughed at some of the same things I did, liked some of the same movies, books, food and we didn’t have time to compare politics, religion or socio-economic status. The only labels that mattered were FRIEND and FAMILY. I didn’t spend time worrying about those different from me because they were off living their own lives, laughing with their own friends and family like me and it was…OKAY!

Yes, I get that not everyone, different from me, had it all good at any particular point in history and I am not trying to be nostalgically “privileged.” I’m talking more generally here about what I knew because I cannot speak for anyone else. Spouting opinions just to create outrage was not something I considered nor something I actively sought to engage in.

Oh, how times have changed!

YOU are wrong! How could you believe that way? Why are you so ignorant, deluded, naive or any other assumption used to express displeasure with the knowledge that not everyone believes EXACTLY the way you do? Sounds ridiculous written out, doesn’t it?

It IS ridiculous. No one person is just like another person and to demand such is the grand height of arrogance. Get off your high horse, the poor thing needs a break! I don’t know how to fix this horrendous tear in the social fabric but I will try to change how I react to things I see posted online that I consider to be stupid, shortsighted, uneducated and reactionary. I will pause before I hit HIDE, BLOCK, REPORT.

This doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly going to be cool with racists, sexists, abusers, homophobes, xenophobes or other deliberate dividers. Odds are I will still boot you motherfuckers but as for everyone else? I will focus on the things I like/liked about you and will refuse to engage in purposeful fuckery designed to break my composer.

That’s a promise. Cross my heart. Please consider doing the same because the world needs a reset.

© 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.

Surviving in the land of learned helplessness

Have you have ever heard someone incredulously wonder, out loud or under their breath, “how have you survived on your own as long as you have?” Be honest. You have either thought it, said it or possibly had someone utter words similar about you even.

It’s easy to believe that this is a generational thing, only the young these days are helpless but, I have run into just as many individuals my age or older that can’t chew gum and walk at the same time.

Oh, they try to say their lack of progress in life is the fault of this person or that circumstance but I know it’s really because they like the attention they get, good or bad and/or they just don’t want to try harder. Some blame their parents, their boss, their teachers but once you hit a certain age that blame turns stale when nothing has been done to change the equation.

Why try when enablers abound and “help” can be extracted from even the most unwilling helpers simply because it’s easier to just fix other people’s screw-ups than to teach them how to be more detail oriented and self-sufficient. Even the best teachers can’t reach the willful woe-is-me crowd.

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-learned-helplessness-2795326

We live in times where adult children still live at home with their parents (nothing wrong with this IF they help out and pay rent). Or, they live on their own but still can’t function in the adult world without constant supervision and intervention. How has this happened? Is it because we want to just give up and blame depression, anxiety, lack of opportunity or personal resources?

The world is just against me!

No, it isn’t. It is YOU working against yourself, not the world. Also, please! You aren’t THAT special!

https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/learned-helplessness-seligman-theory-depression-cure/

Life is frustrating for sure. I experienced the disappointment, embarrassment, and fear when I was younger and literally didn’t have a pot to piss in. Hear this…you aren’ t the only one that has had this happen to them. You aren’t the first nor the last and in each case, the sun still set and came up again the next day.

Reset. Restart. Resolve to do better than you did the day before because if what you have been doing thus far isn’t helping do something different.

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/how-to-overcome-your-feelings-of-hopelessness/all

You are not a robot. You are not programmed to only function a certain way. And, no one can do this for you. Enablers aren’t helpers, they are hurting and expecting people to clean up all of your messes is inconsiderate, lazy and self-limiting.

So, here’s the point: Choosing to be helpless when you are fully capable of doing all the same things every other responsible, overworked, stressed, depressed, anxious person in the world has completed for eons is on you. Own it and choose to do better.

The world owes you nothing but dammit, YOU owe yourself the opportunity to see how good it feels to be reliant on no one but yourself for success and happiness.

Go get yours!

© 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.

Say hello to a new day!

Let’s forgo the “new year, new me” bullshit shall we? Granted, it IS a new year but odds are the same old you is dragging ass into 2019 just like in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and so on. How about we acknowledge that people don’t change overnight, it takes hard work and with each new day the potential to screw up yet again exists.

Work on avoiding screw-ups on a day to day basis.

Dear Diary,

Today, I didn’t fuck anything up. I got up, I smiled at myself in the mirror, I attended to my responsibilities and even had time left over for fun! It was a good day. Here’s to hoping tomorrow is even better. But, if it isn’t and it’s only the same…that’s still a win. I’m alive.

Being grateful to continue breathing air and being allowed to walk amongst all the other world’s inhabitants is so simple, yet many overlook this as they plod about doing the things they think are important. Are those things truly important or are they just busy work done with the express purpose of distracting ourselves from what a life well lived is really all about?

How well do you live? Are you grateful for the supportive people around you? Do you tell them how much they mean to you and how much joy they create? Appreciation only pondered within the mind yet left unspoken is wasted energy and entirely unfair to the person that may need to hear those words.

WORDS…to think but not say…why even bother? To me, if energy is exerted in order to formulate thoughts that then flow into meaningful poetic emotion why, why, why let that creation park in your brain only? Take it for a ride. Drive those words to the intended recipient’s house, pull up in grand style and honk that horn of exaltation and admiration because it might be so vitally needed! You have no way of knowing otherwise so why chance it?

Life is a matter of choices. Some good, some bad and some left to rot in the closet never to be attempted, for fear of being what? Embarrassed? Rejected? WHAT? And, does it really matter if you are embarrassed or rejected? Next! Last I checked no one has ever died of embarrassment but they have died of neglect, depression spurred suicide and even a broken heart.

Yes, you can die of a broken heart! Look it up. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-08/heartbreak-syndrome-and-takotsubo-are-real-for-heart-disease/9523662

And so, here we are, a different year has begun and an opportunity to decide if we want to continue dragging around all the same baggage from previous years. The burden is getting heavy, isn’t it? Can you at least ask yourself if letting go of maybe a quarter of that might feel good? How about half now? Work your way up.

We have time…as long as you acknowledge each new day is an opportunity to change and actually take some small steps. Baby steps count too. You didn’t get in the dark well of despair you are currently in overnight so don’t worry about sprinting out of the blocks each new day.

Now wave at the sky, say hello to the sun, say thank you to the moon even, anything that remotely sounds like gratitude will help the cause. YOU are the cause. Get it? Charity starts at home. Be kind to yourself.

Peace, love, and understanding,

Reverie

When the “helping” hand actually hurts…

I’m just trying to help...

I don’t mean to criticize but…

This is for your own good…

Here, I found a meme that sounds like what you are going through…

Ahhh, the helpers that don’t really help! It’s one thing to deposit mountains of written support online or via text and quite another to be the person known for physically showing up when human connection is needed most.

Newsflash: a meme can’t hug you when you need a hug.

This is the risk we all face living in a rapidly disconnected world. Oh, sure we are technologically “connected” but we are far from emotionally connected anymore. And, this disconnect has happened so fast many haven’t even had a chance to allow this truth to register deep into their blunted gray matter.

The more time we spend online, away from meaningful human interaction, the greater the chance we will experience gut-wrenching loneliness. Loneliness spurs on hopelessness and hopelessness hands over the keys of your life to potential debilitating depression.

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/the-digital-age-are-we-losing-human-connection/

Why do we risk our precious mental well-being by partaking in this onesided drunk dance with social media? Is there really anything truly “social” about it if all interaction is conducted remotely rather than face to face? How will anyone learn how to read facial cues or body language if we are only interacting with a written transcript and not a breathing, flesh and blood human being?

https://gulfnews.com/going-out/society/how-mobile-phones-are-killing-human-interaction-skills-1.2205044

The thought of never seeing that distinct look of surprise, happy excitement or even pain in the eyes of my fellow human again, because the preferred mode of connection is via text now is truly heartbreaking. How has this happened? Are we really this fucking lazy?

That day is coming quicker than we know…

Or, is it because we are scared? Has the fear of rejection, disappointment, and pain turned us into a sniveling lot of bemoaners rather than get-the-hell-out-there doers? I think so but that’s just my opinion and not verified by any case studies.

So, does it help to strategically place happy sayings and inane memes on the social media accounts of those who have stated they are struggling or does it further fuel the loneliness? Time certainly will tell and so will statistical studies of the increase in mental illness diagnoses and suicide attempts.

I guess what I am trying to say is this: why wait until the inevitable happens? Why wait until someone crying out for help hits rock bottom? Why offer a meme or empty words quickly typed out on your phone while waiting in the Taco Bell drive-thru?

Damn, we have become a selfish and oblivious bunch of assholes, haven’t we?

© 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.