Aaaaah, the internet…

Facebook somewhat reminds me of the old BBSes we used to be on, back before access to the “internet” was public for all to spew, er…. see. When I first started on Facebook, it was all pictures of friends and pets and selfies and the like. There were hundreds of invites for silly games and stupid quizzes and cute pictures.

Wow, has that changed. Nowadays, it’s all snipping at each other for different beliefs that we ALL knew at one time.

Here’s my thing,… it’s time to get over it. We are doing NO good sniveling at each other when there’s no chance of changing other people’s minds. What will actually happen is that we’ll alienate those around us, both friends and family alike. We will also alienate those friends of friends, making us look a fool and making that friend wonder why they would be friends with people that would “bully” us, and use terms like “I’m just surprised you feel that way”, which, at least to some, comes across as “Wow, I didn’t know I was smarter than you!”. Or how about “your so-in-so supporting friends are idiots.” Bravo. At least you’ve gotten some people to agree with you, but your friend now has a bunch of people rolling their eyes… and possibly unfriending them so they don’t have to see your crap.

And it never stops. I re-followed someone on Facebook because I was told they weren’t sharing political stuff anymore, and 2 days after I started seeing their posts on my feed, there was a ridiculous political meme. If it was an article from a “reliable” news source (and, honestly, I don’t think there are really any of those anymore, but at least if it was from one of the big ones, ok), I’d have just scrolled on past. I’m getting rather good at that. But no, it was useless rubbish. So, back on the unfollow list they went. Maybe in another 6 months I’ll revisit the list.

But more just keep getting added. I’m over it. I don’t care what side it’s from, I’m over it. It’s all a load of bullshit. ALL of it, both sides. And I’m just not going to be subjected to it anymore.

Here’s a clue: No one except those that feel exactly the same as you care about your memes and political pictures and quotes and jokes, and even some of those people don’t care either. “Alternate facts” and Madonna and Mylie the crotch grinders complaining about Trumps lack of morals, and possibly being willing to unplug life support to charge a phone… And the more you complain about the “other side” while still posting this drivel because it’s “funny”. No, it stopped being funny a long time ago… As in, before the internet was even online.

At least if you have something to say, say it yourself. Don’t post someone else’s post with no comment of your own because you agree with “most” or “some” of it. Yeah, I share stuff… but you’ll notice that I have a comment to make about it, something I wrote myself.

And I have my blog. I’ve been using it more because it allows me to write what I want without completely covering everyone’s feed with what I think is important. It’s one little link that people can choose to click on or not click on.

As far as me only wanting to deal with people that think the way I do… My best friend and I are very opposed when it comes to political stuff. And I love her dearly. She will always be my best friend, I will always be there for her whenever she needs me. We have discussed politics on occasion, and then we move on to other things after we agree to disagree. We actually LISTEN to what the other person has to say, and sometimes we add our own views to it. But I don’t have to deal with “You’re obviously a racist because you feel that way” and she doesn’t have to deal with “You’re a special kind of stupid” (these are both paraphrased things I’ve seen written either in comments or in memes, nothing we have either said to each other).

So, think before you share that next meme or post or “news” story. Is that how you really want to be viewed by your family and friends? Do you agree with everything it says? How would you feel if someone made the opposite comment/joke about you?

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Now, if y’all will excuse me, I’m going to spend some time away from the computer and on more important things… like my shrink appointment. I have two this week. My mental stability is a little off at the moment, and I’m thinking a “vacation” might be in order.

The perceived pussification of the human male (American male?)

I’ve noticed a long running trend about men… they’re pansies, they leave their clothes laying around and won’t put them in the hamper, they leave empty plates laying around, they can’t handle being sick, they get the “man cold” which is a death sentence compared to what women get, yada, yada, yada…

I don’t buy it. Are there men out there like that? Sure there are. But I’m amazed at what gets shared/spread around the interwebs about men.

First, they’re chauvinists, they make rude comments about women, they keep women under their heal, they’re dismissive, they’re nasty. Any woman that says they haven’t had this happen to them are, of course, lying or clueless. Well, guess what. I’ve had the cat calls, I’ve had the comments, I’ve dealt with the rudeness, and I’ve survived. Why? Maybe because I dismiss it out of hand. I don’t allow it to control me. I don’t immediately get on Facebook/Twitter, etc, and tell everyone about how some man looked at my butt. That man (not all men) is a jerk, and I have better things to do than give him any of my precious time that could be better spent on jewelry, or art, or video games. But what if someone grabs me? They’re getting decked, plain and simple. I’m not a victim.

Second, this whole “man cold”. Oh please. I guarantee there are plenty of men out there that get up, go to work, take care of what needs to be done, all while sniffling into a paper towel (I have noticed they don’t always use tissues). Yeah, there are some that are babies when they get sick… and there are women that are babies when they get sick. But if “I” only report the babies, it makes ALL men look bad, and that, I believe, is the goal of this kind of thing. Same as any commercial or TV show that portrays men as bumbling, clueless, inept wastes of life. Disgusting.

What happens when a man posts something similar about woman? A woman being a baby and not getting out of bed because she’s sick? Oh, women are all on her side, saying she takes care of so much in the house, she deserves to lie down when she’s sick. How dare that man question her!

Sick of it. Just completely sick of it.

And if your man really does leave his stuff laying around, find a way to get him to help. Nagging isn’t going to do it. A simple “I would appreciate it if you’d make sure your clothes get into the hamper, please. It saves me the time to gather up everything”. And if he does it? Hug. Kiss. You notice he did it all on his own later? A hug and a “Thank you so much for getting your stuff in the laundry! It means a lot that you care about me that much!”

A relationship is a give and take. Learn to make it work

Holiday stress and other fun things…

I haven’t really talked much about my Mom, but I just need to get this out. This year will be my 3rd Christmas without my Mom. Three Christmases ago we at least exchanged gifts, but hadn’t verbally talked from before Bon died (in September, so I believe it was early September that was the last time we talked). The following year I was diagnosed with MS and I won’t bother to repeat what she told me when I emailed her about it, but suffice it to say I haven’t heard from her at all asking how things were/are going (although we did get a “Hope all is well with you” in the Christmas card last year).

Three years without talking to my Mom at all. Two years with our only contact being a very generic Christmas card last year. Don’t know what I’ll get this year, if I’ll even get anything.

Hurting a lot this year for some reason. Mourning the loss of someone that is still alive is very, very hard.

On top of that, I tested positive for the JC Virus, which could affect my treatment for the MS. This Friday will be another test and then in January I have an appointment with the doctor to discuss what our next step will be. For a little information, JC Virus is very common, but “Polyomavirus JC (often called JC virus) is carried by a majority of people and is harmless except among those with lowered immune defenses.” As I’m on an immunosuppressant medication (Tysabri), this is a concern as what can happen is PML or Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, and that’s not a pretty thing. More information for folks that are interested in the first and second links below.

Recently, I also entered a drawing in a “Rare Artist Contest” which is for folks somehow affected by a rare disease (MS is a rare disease). I entered just before the deadline, and thus likely won’t win the “popular vote” (it’s rather high for the first place art piece, and I would need everyone on my Facebook to vote, and have them all share it and have everyone on their Facebooks vote, and I know that’s a long shot). But I have put up a link for people to vote and share the link with the hopes that I’m at least in the running. I’m hoping that over the next few days (a person can only vote once every 10 days) the number that I have will go up.

But while winning would be cool, it’s not my only intent on doing the drawing and entering the contest. This is a very serious disease, as are other rare diseases. Having this new “JC Virus” hiccup has really thrown me for a loop. PML can be a really devastating thing to deal with, and I’ve known it’s a concern since I started my first treatment. Now that the JC Virus is a factor, it’s unnerving.

Because of all of this, I ask y’all for two things. The first is to vote for my piece if you haven’t already. The second is to take care of yourself. When you forgo treatment for a mental illness because you “don’t need it”, remember this: It’s not just for you. Your illness is affecting your friends and family, and it hurts them when you ignore that… and subsequently them. It isn’t just about you. If you want to have a relationship with those you care about and who care about you, get on treatment. Get help. Stay on your medication. Don’t think that you’re all better. You might be better, but it’s the treatment that is MAKING you better.

There’s so very much to lose when you don’t.

That is all.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Information Page

National MS Society information on JC Virus

RareArtist Contest “Special Snowflake”

Is the proof in the pudding?

So, there’s been another shooting involving a police officer and a citizen who was, of course, completely innocent. Do I know what actually happened? Nope, and neither does ANYONE else until the footage is released. And the saddest part? It won’t matter WHAT that footage shows, people will believe what they want to believe.

The biggest thing I have to say about all of it is this: All that’s happening with these “protests”, and I’m using that term VERY loosely, is that they are giving those people who say/believe that black people are violent, dangerous, animalistic, uncivilized, etc., the “proof” that they need to keep saying/believing so.

And if these “protesters” had any kind of sense, they’d realize that and it might stop at least half of them.

Nothing is going to change until the shooting stops. I will say that if I were a police officer, having seen how much violence has been pointed in my direction, I’d be jumpy and more likely to shoot. Mind you, I’m not a police officer and I haven’t had the training they have. But I can somewhat understand why it seems these shootings have gotten more prevalent.

But are they really? How much of it is the way it’s always been, but because of our social media environment we’re hearing about them, and getting “information” before any of the real facts can come out? Because once this stuff gets out there, people have already made up their mind about the “facts” so that when they actually do, they’re able to twist those facts to say what they want them to say. It’s this kind of thing that causes trials to be moved because they alleged can’t get a fair trial where the crime has been committed due to news and public opinion having already been set.

So, what does this all boil down to? I’m disgusted, and I know nothing is going to change until either the police stop trying to defend themselves against an enemy that has sometimes shown itself so they have to “jump the gun”, or the folks being shot start following direction when they’re stopped by police for whatever reason. One of the sides needs to back off… and, unfortunately I don’t see that happening.

And that scares me because it’s only going to get worse and worse… and we can’t afford to buy a house out away from everyone and put up a tall, electrified wall to keep anyone out.

Double standards

I’ve seen it time and time again. It’s ok to bash/flame/degrade certain groups, and people that do so often get defended when someone of that group tries to stand up for themselves/their group.

Why is this ok?

I want you to think of how many times you have said something derogatory about a general group of people: men, republicans, democrats, southerners, cat lovers… a group that it seems to be generally acceptable to be put down. Now, I want you to change that word to black, or mexican, or jewish… See how it’s suddenly not something to be defended anymore? Why? Why not be able to generally blame a nasty/vicious/stupid act on a group that you think shouldn’t be picked on? Where does the line get drawn?

When you’re not generally part of a group, and you only hear about that group from friends/news/jokes/anecdotes, why are you allowed to defend someone who has said something nasty or rude about that group? Sometimes going so far as to use another comment/joke/often talked about but maybe not as true as you think it really is to defend yourself/friend/person that you agree with?

I want y’all to think about that the next time you see a basher get called out on something. Before you defend them, would you defend them if they were saying something against a group you like?

Food for thought.

Racism?

So, I listened to a young kid the other day talking about his pet shedding all over the living room. And then the words that came out of his mouth stopped me in my tracks and sent me on an internal dialog that occupied me for a while then, and has replayed in my head quite a few times since.

“This isn’t racist. There was black hair everywhere.”

What? How does that even work? Are be getting so sensitive about this that the word “black” is going to be something we’re not allowed to say anymore without a caveat? That is just ridiculous if that’s going to be even something a few people try to make common practice.

I will never pretend to have any idea what folks of African or likewise heritage have been through. I’m about as white as they come, grew up in suburbs and rural areas, very little exposure to anyone that wasn’t of “European” descent (the darkest folks I usually had contact with were Italians). But are we really going to go that sensitive? To me, that would seem to be creating MORE of a rift between people rather than creating understanding and tolerance.

I’m not sure what the answer is, but I don’t believe this is it. Neither is taking away words from people. I know there’s a lot of “I’m offended by that word/phrase so you shouldn’t be able to say it anymore.” I wonder how many of those people would have been offended by it if they weren’t told to be offended by it from other people.

We’re headed in the wrong direction in my opinion. And the idea of anyone thinking that talking about their pet making a black furry mess on the floor could be construed as “racist” is a sad, sad state of affairs.

It’s a cruel, cruel world

I’m getting blown away with the world lately, and how mean we’ve gotten to each other. As I wander through Facebook, news sites, or just in the real world, I’m stunned at the stuff that people post/say/do that’s becoming the norm.

Obviously the election has everyone very polarized and I get it… but do we need the nasty memes to go along with it? The Pope smacking Hillary and making everyone in the stadium happy, retirees baiting police to keep writing tickets for a badly parked car because of Trump bumper stickers… and that’s not all there is. Posts celebrating someone squirting someone else with boob milk because she wanted her to move. Posts about revenge. Posts about how stupid people (adults) who play games are when it doesn’t affect you at all.

And let’s talk about real life. Almost no one on my street knows how to park to allow everyone else to park in front of their own house. Trying to pull out of a parking lot is impossible. No one will move over if you need to merge coming onto the highway (and there’s no one in the lane next to them so it’s not like they can’t move over), people cutting other people off, not moving over when you see someone coming down the same aisle as you at the store.

What happened to us? Yes, there’s a “anonymity” that comes with being online, but when your friends/family see you post this stuff? They know who you are. And yes, they’re likely judging you. And out in public? Gee, you’re in a car, of course you’re safe. But why be rude?

When I see supposedly “Christian” people bashing each other, they’re not actually Christian to me. I have respect for those that actually follow their religion’s teaching. Unfortunately, it seems like it’s becoming rare. The “Wiccan” philosophy (rede) is the same. Harm none. And yet it’s easy to bash Christians because “they deserve it”.

I’m tired and disgusted with way too many of my “fellow man”.

Spam, spam, spam, spam

The only good spam is that sung about in Monty Python, and then it’s really only the song that’s any good.

Way too often do people pass on crap that is false, redundant, stupid, virus laden or the like. While this can seem ‘harmless’, it really isn’t. The amount of resources that spam eats up can cause problems. There is a reason there are legal cases against spam. It’ s not just ‘annoying’, it’s very much a problem.

The costs, such as lost productivity and fraud, are borne by the public and by Internet service providers, which have been forced to add extra capacity to cope with the deluge. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_%28electronic%29)

There is also the annoyance factor. As a person with an email address, I get annoyed by spam, and while some of it gets caught in my “Junk Mail” folder, I do have to go into said folder on occasion to make sure there isn’t something in there from someone I want email from. This takes a little extra time. I also have to check my webmail, not just get it downloaded to my computer, because my ISP has their own “Junk Folder”. Sometimes an email will makes it’s way in there that I actually need to have. There’s a little more time. Then there’s all the deleting of spam that’s made its way into my “Inbox”, some from people that I want to still get email from but this is just another forward or hoax so I have to just delete it, and others that didn’t get caught by either “Junk Mail” box.

Spam originating from our servers can cause serious damage, not only to your website, but to all of our customers. Complaints due to spam can cause our mail servers, and hosting servers to be blacklisted by other ISPs, or by Anti-Spam Authorities. Sending mass emails can clog up our bandwidth and reduce the speed and performance of our customer’s websites. Therefore, we have a zero-toleration policy on our servers for spammers. (from “fast server” FAQ)

I also have a separate email that I use to sign up for things that might suddenly explode into extra spam in my box. This gives me another email to check and try to weed through what is spam (most of it) and what isn’t (what I actually signed up for).

And now… Facebook. I’ve missed updates from folks, and have had to resort to going through my lists, because of spam and forwards. Yet another waste of resources. Copy/pastes about viruses that don’t exist, more rumors that Facebook is going to start charging, that Facebook has changed privacy settings (most of which are either old or inaccurate), about groups that are started for nefarious purposes (and usually aren’t), people that if added will cause your computer to explode…. another waste of time.

The reasons for passing these on are as varied as the spam, but a simple search can show if it’s false or not… and ‘encouraging’ anyone to keep passing these on is just setting these people up to be a big joke to those that know better or take a little time to research things. But yet, it continues.

So, the rest of us get to spend our time sloughing through garbage in an attempt to stay connected with those people we have on our list/email. And I know I’m not the only one getting sick of the extra work.