Laughter At Humanity Show

How My Experience as a 5 year old Mirrors the Trump Election Reaction

I’ve been watching a lot of you panicking about this election, and I’d like to help you, so please hear me out on this. To be honest up front: I’ve enjoyed watching the mass hysteria this election has started. I don’t like the reports of riots and physical violence obviously, but all of the panicking, all of the crying, all of the calls for impeachment and assassination s before the guy even gets in office, all of the fear and anger behind the riots, all of the despair and wailing about how the world is ending and we’re all gonna die; all of this has been among the most hilarious and satisfying entertainment I’ve had in a while, mainly because of the kind of people this is affecting. However, there are a few people I do care about that have also been swept up in this blender of emotional destruction so for those guys I’d like to share a story, which hopefully helps give you more of a sense of clarity:

I remember when I was around 5 years old, and the oven in the kitchen had this analog timer on it. And when the timer ran down, it would emit this screeching buzz that started pretty low, but would eventually get as loud as an oncoming jet engine (again, I was 5, though I did live under the LAX flight line). I was utterly terrified of this timer. Every time it went off, I would (sometimes literally) drop whatever I was doing, and either try to shut the timer off before it got too loud, or run screaming out the door into the backyard as far as I could get from the kitchen. And no amount of coaxing or yelling or threats my mom used could get me back in the house until the timer was turned off. I can still hear that sound to this day, it was terrible.

One Saturday afternoon my dad witnessed me running into the backyard after the timer went off. And what he ended up doing was forcing me to sit at the table in the kitchen and turning the timer on. He made me sit there for almost a full hour (I think that’s as long as it would run), and would not let me up from that chair no matter what. I of course was scared for around 10 minutes of it; thus was something that literally had me running out the back door after all. But after 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40, minutes, I started relaxing, my fear slowly being displaced by boredom and annoyance. By the time I was releases I was so happy I was allowed to turn it off, not because I was afraid of it, but because I couldn’t stand the sound of it any longer and I wanted to something, anything other than sit in a chair and stare at a fucking oven. And from that point on up until we moved, whenever it went off, instead of running outside, I ran to shut it off, and to this day if I ever hear it, just the annoyance factor will invoke the same response. In other words, my irrational fear of an otherwise harmless caterwaul was replacing by a rational displeasure of it.

Why am I telling you this story? Because for many of you, what you’re feeling right now is the result of the object you were told to fear should it come around is here. For the last 2 years or so, you were told that Donald Trump was every leftist insulting name they have. That he was racist against Mexicans, Muslims, and other assorted brown people. You were told he was a sexist asshole that assaults women. You were told he stole money, fucked over his employees and business partners, and doesn’t pay “his fair share”. You were told he was an inept egomaniac that is so unstable he would start a war over Twitter. You were told that anyone that supports him, even in passing, was as hateful as him. And should he become president, we would be the laughingstock of the world, we would lose all of our rights and social progress, the stock market and the economy would tank, the country would be destroyed, women would be raped and murdered, and you personally would be set on fire, in your underwear, in front of your loved ones, while they laugh at you.

And now that he has been elected, all of the people that believe all of this are losing their minds, because to them, the monster in the closet has come out and is now face to face with them, and they have no idea what to do. “Impeach him!”, they say. ” Shoot him dead!” “Move to Canada!” “Riot in the streets!” “Scream, make noise, shout down and attack anyone that supports him!” ” Do something, ANYTHING, BECAUSE IT’S DOOMSDAY AND WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!”

Look, I’m not telling you to like Trump. I’m not telling you not to dislike him either. What I’m trying to get across is that this reaction to his election, whether founded in truth or not, is completely irrational and outright dangerous. The things you were told were evil and destructive were told to you to evoke the emotional response you are having right now. What I’ve been telling you has been happening to you is coming out in front of your very eyes, and I’m here to tell you, today, this must stop. Much as I like watching you people squirm and scream, the more you allow this to continue, the more destruction you bring upon innocent neighborhoods and business, the more civil unrest you bring amongst your friends and neighbors, the more unhappiness you inject in the relationships you have with your loved ones and, worst of all, you continue to show that people can be controlled by negative speech and media spin and outright lies that appeal to your sense of emotion. And that, objectively, continues to make the world a much worse place.

I had to grow up at some point. It was unpleasant to say the least, but it was necessary, and I dare say I am much happier today than I was when I was 5. It’s time for you to grow up as well. Maybe all that you fear will come to pass; maybe the country will be a smoking radioactive crater that cannibalizes women and gays and minorities and immigrants to fuel the new war machine guided solely by Trump’s twitter feed, it could happen. But look at the people that told you that would happen, and what they told you that was proven wrong: they were wrong about him winning the nomination, despite almost every poll saying he would lose the election, and despite using every weapon they had to make him look like Hitler 2.0, he still beat them. And these are the same people that have manufactured your hatred and fear for him. Are you really going to let what they told you make you panic when for the past 2 years almost everything they said was wrong? Are you really so unwilling to take agency for your own thoughts, feelings and emotions, that you’re willing to accept the lies of the corrupt to write away the responsibilities of your actions and your mindset?

Like I usually say: I’m not here to tell you what to think. It’s your business how you take the news of Donald Trump winning the election. You are completely free to panic if you wish. I only ask you to look at what you’re giving up when you do. Like your happiness, your agency, the time you spend worrying when you could be loving your family, fixing problems in your life, and having a great time with friends. Chances are if you are panicking over this election, you’re someone I would care little before, but even people like you have people that care about you; don’t put them under that kind of pressure, they don’t deserve it. Again, I can understand if you dislike or even hate him; like I said, I still hear that timer to this day. But as much as I still hate that timer, I realize the fear I had of it was stupid, unfounded in fact and sparked irrational hatred that made that lowly timer a literal monster in my mind. I grew up from that. It’s time you do the same.

It’s time to stand up, face your demons. And when you do, look it in the eye and say “… What are you so afraid of?”

Whether it’s a real monster or not, isn’t that an answer you might want?  

How You Are Being Lied To

Just a heads up, or trigger warning for the pussies reading this: The reason I’m doing this is because of the 2016 election. I don’t like talking about politics in general, for all the obvious reasons; it’s an emotionally charged topic that gets heated quickly, it provokes arguments that often go nowhere and can split up otherwise good families and friends, etc. But this election has brought to light something I researched and even wrote about a while back, something whose simplicity is matched by it’s sheer power on human nature. That would be the manipulation of your emotions. Yes, it sounds simple, eye rolling so. But there are two parts of this you need to be aware of:

1. Humans generally have evolved to think in two different ways. One is logical, using rational evidence and critical thinking. The other is emotional, driven by primal instinct and reactions. They are two sides of the same coin, in many respects. One, if you think using logic, might say that thinking logically is the best wat to figure out a problem, because that is the best way to figure out the right solution to a problem. Today, that’s a smart plan, but the problem is that it didn’t work when humans were developing. Back when our problems were jaguars instead of Jenga, you didn’t have time to figure out whether that rustling of the leaves was either the wind or a predator; if you hesitated, you died. And if you look up the studies, when people are asked certain questions or put in high stress situations, the emotional and primal response in the human brain reacted way before the logical part of the human brain kicked in. In an evolutionary sense, logic is what you use when you have the luxury, while emotional reaction us what saved your ass; it’s what triggers the fight or flight response after all, therefore it takes priority in your brain. Keep that in mind, it is very important.

2. Humans teach using stories. We learn by emotion; you may have never seen a tiger in real life, but chances are you aren’t going to run and hug the first one you meet, because it’s a fucking tiger. The reason for that is that we can teach lessons using stories. This is vastly different from using scientific review; while the scientific method focuses on proving its point from logic (otherwise known as the slow way of learning), telling stories makes the problem and the solution to it relatable to the average person. It makes it a narrative, which can be entertaining on the surface, but like the stories our parents told us at bedtime, influence us on a level we many times never realize, meaning oftentimes, we don’t realize how we are being influenced. There are good reasons for this, one of which is tribalism: people back then didn’t have the time or patience to lay out the facts about why Tribe Grug was evil to Tribe Olaf, so they made stories about great battles and moral crusades to influence you on a primal level. When you are fighting for resources, your family, your very survival, you use the most effective weapons you have at your disposal, evidence and reason be damned! Again, this is very important, keep it in mind. And with that in mind, here’s the political part of this column. And though this will put me in a bad light for several reasons, though this makes me feel stupid for previous beliefs I once held, at my own expense, and your benefit, I will be as blunt and honest as I have ever been here:

I was wrong about Donald Trump.

In many ways, dead wrong.

Let’s make this clear: there are many flaws in his character. I know of several stories about him that make him an asshole, the eminent domain case of this elderly lady one of them. To counter that off the top of my head, there’s the 3 year old kid he saved by, without even thinking, having his private jet fly him to the nearest hospital when he was acutely sick, just because the kid’s mom asked him to please help. Look, he’s easy to make fun of, but he’s human. He’s one of us.

Do you really think he’s evil incarnate, indifferent to human suffering? Does he really value his own (in my own opinion, very high) ego over the lives or his own peers, family and neighbors? Well, if you’re in the media, that’s a huge yes.

When I say the media, I don’t mean just what is broadcast over the airwaves; many of us don’t get the news that way anymore. But we do get it from Facebook, from Twitter, from sites like Gawker, Reuters and Cracked and Daily Mail. We watch the Daily Show and the Colbert report get news from each other, from those outlets. They are used to tell stories. They are used to inform us by telling a narrative. And that narrative is to destroy Trump. He is their enemy, he threatens them, and they will stop at nothing to take him down.

Does that matter? If he is truly evil, doesn’t it make sense to use every weapon you have? Sure, if he was actively using a flamethrower to burn your family. In reality he’s a businessman running for office.  And yes, he has been a bad guy. But compare him to his primary opponent: Hillary Clinton. He’s been accused of many things that were important, such as bankruptcies and hiring illegals, that have since been debunked or shown to have been to be smart decisions. What she has been accused of is covering up her husband’s rapes, comprising national security, and other shady practices. Later on, the attacks against Trump have been rape and assault accusations, along with mean words he used; meanwhile Clinton has had many legitimate accusations either proved right or brought to light. The important thing to look at is that the attacks on Trump are issues that trigger a primal response, while attacks on Hillary, personal appearance aside, are treasonous ones that many people can yawn at. In other words, the atracks on Trump are scare stories; the ones on Clinton are factual and boring. What sounds worse, building a wall on the border of brown people, or enacting a policy that will provoke a nuclear power to attack the U.S.? What’s more exciting, hearing about how Clinton’s policies have doomed millions of people, or Trump grabbing women by the pussy?

Does that sound offensive to you? Are you offended that I’m defending Trump? If you are, why? Here’s why: the way he has been attacked was in a way that grabs your knee jerk reaction. Sure, you can have a debate about whether him building a wall is a good or bad idea, but its infinitely less rousing as whether or not he literally grabs women by the pussy. Him talking about bringing jobs back to inner city youth (black kids) and having negotiations with one of the biggest enemies of our nation’s lifetimes that was the Russian Federation pales in comparison to his criticism of beauty pageant women and his privacy about his tax returns. In other words: real issues that will make or break us as a people in our, and our children’s, future, matter next to nothing to what makes us angry in the here and now.

Is that you? Do you have a logical reason to hate Trump? Or does the mere mention of his name raise the hairs along your spine, making you bare your teeth at the thought of his mere existence? If its the latter(like most of you), you are the victim of the media. You are the victim of the type of historical story telling that programmed humans of yesteryear to fight against competing tribes, used to make you irrationally hate someone that, personal ego aside, might give more of a shit about you than they do. It is severely important that you realize how very important this is, because this taps into a shortcut in your brain that circumvents reason and goes directly to your emotions, which makes you react in a way you aren’t capable of defending against. Let’s make this very clear: Your ability to think rationally is being overrided by your primal urges to their emotional arguments. You are being told what to believe.

Here is where I usually have a million links to back this up. I’m not here to do that today. The info is out there for you to find and verify, and it’s been there for the last 3 decades; if you can’t or won’t find it, that’s on you. But understand that weakness is exactly why you can be tricked, lied to, and even controlled. If your natural reaction to hearing the preaching of doom is to immediately run away, it’s time to stop and think twice. That button of emotional response is almost irresistibly strong, and it’s being pushed to make you do their bidding. Do you like being manipulated like this? Let’s bring this back to politics, the reason I am writing this:

To be clear: I don’t like Trump. But I see Hillary as the catalyst of mass destruction. As much of an asshole as Trump is, you will die if Clinton is put in power. That said, I am voting for Gary Johnson. He’s not the perfect person, but he’s the best candidate, and though he’s got a flame’s chance in Hoth of winning, I stick by my morals and integrity. But I understand if you want to make your vote count, if that’s even possible today. If you want to survive, and only see Trump or Clinton, as much as it pains me to say, vote Trump. He’s your only hope.

Does that make you angry? Do I now sound racist for saying that? Am I now a misogynist, an illiterate, and other bad names, for saying that? Take a breath, take a walk. Clear your mind. And come back to these words:

I am not here to tell you what to think, but how to think, your benefit.

But what I will say, line my Instagram profile says and which I implore you to heed with deadly importance, is this:

Close your heart.

Open your mind.

You are being lied to.

Do not be controlled by those that do not have your well being in mind. If you do, you have no excuse of ignorance. You have no scapegoat. You helped cause this. You had the chance to help stop this and you didn’t.

You can make a difference. The opposition’s M.O. is to make you feel you have no chance to change things. Again, you CAN make a difference.

Learn. Do research. Learn to think for yourself. Learn to have faith in your side and your actions. Learn to believe you CAN do something to help. You, and you alone, have that intrinsic power to make the future possible. Don’t squander it. Your future, and your children depend on it. Don’t let them down.

I see the opposition say the reverse to control you, so I will repeat this:

Close your heart.

Open your mind.

You. Are being lied to.

Fall for it and doom yourself and your family.

Or take it on and arm yourself, your family, and survive.

The choice is yours. The truth is there. Which will you choose?

How To Judge Women You Date: An Objective Guide

Hey there. Its been a while. I’ve been on vacation, and had quite a bit to work on, one of the jobs being this. If you somehow have found this and were waiting, it is my hope this was worth the wait. This thing you were waiting for was a guide, and here it is!

You know, this might be a controversial topic. If you’re surprised I’d bring this up, Hi! I’m a dick! Nice to meet you!

 

Who this guide is for:

As simply as possible, straight males that want to date straight women, and want an accurate, structured way to choose the best ones. Additionally, this guide can be used by straight women who want to date straight men, and would like to improve her chances of attracting a suitable man. Dating will be defined here as a relationship that is sexual in nature, with a time frame from a one night stand or a casual FWB, up to an long term relationship or even finding a partner for life.

 

How it works:

It works as an overarching scoring system ranging from 0-4, 4 being the highest. Each of the four points represents 4 different categories, each category with its own point scale from 0-10. The four categories are Physical Beauty, Sexual Performance, Personal Relationship, and Financial Independence:

#1. Physical beauty

Yes, this is judging a book by it’s cover. Guess what? That’s what the cover is for; its advertisement. And like a good cover tells you whether a book is good, so too does a woman’s appearance tell you what you’re in for. No, its not 100%, just like nothing about humans is ever 100%; its merely a (very good) indicator of what you’re getting.

This is broken into 4 hard categories equaling 10:

Face(head), 3. Both are important, so the points are split between the 2:

Facial features, 0-1.5: From the “fat girl with the cute face”, to the “one that’s hot from the neck down”, this can make or break a body.   Facial beauty are fairly subjective, and different features look different on different races, but there are a few universal preferences, such as facial symmetry and straight teeth. For scale: 1 point for a good face, up to 1.5 for an exceptionally beautiful one, down to .5 for butter face and 0 for terrifying. Points off for excessive piercings, particularly tongue because that’s a red flag of poor oral skills.

Hair, -1 – 1.5:   Just as important if not more so, hair can either highlight a great face or serve as a red flag. Naturally colored or not, length and health of hair is key. This is graded on a sliding scale, starting at 1 point for shoulder length, to 1.5 for mid back and longer. vice versa for shorter length, from .5 for neck length, down to zero for a “pixie” cut. Shaved heads, partial or full, get a full negative point that counts against any points gained from good facial features.

Breasts: 2

Size, 0-1: Obviously within reason, bigger is better, a good set has enough to hang at least a little. Meaning the best cup sizes will range from a large B up to DD; sorry A and F cups; they’re just either not enough, or too much to play with. In regard to implants, they generally bring a more negative score, but execution is key. If they make an otherwise unremarkable B a great C or D, great. Otherwise, the more noticeable, the worse score. Yes, I realize cup size can change with band size. I’m assuming a bit of intelligence and running knowledge of breast on your part.

Shape, 0-1: Melon or pear, small or large nips, how they look in a bra, a shirt or by themselves: it matters. You could have the perfect sized D boobs: no one wants them to be 90% areola or hanging around your navel. A great way to judge this would be how they look in a shirt, in a swim top, and (preferably) how they look hanging free.

Ass: 2

Shape, 0-2: I was originally going to make size a factor, but unlike breast size, it simply needs to have a presence, but not an overwhelming one; proportional to body size is ideal. Firmness, as well as how it looks with a good pair of jeans (or panties) on, make even the smallest of butts look great. A classic example of a great ass would be the “apple bottom” shape, while one like Buffie’s (look her up) may not be ideal.

Body: 0-3

Body shape and symmetry, 0-2: This is basically how everything is packaged, with the classic hourglass/coke bottle shape being the ideal. Think ’90’s Selma Hayek, or for a more cartoonish  example, Jessica Rabbit. The closer to this shape(within reason) the higher the score, and vice versa. Meaning if you have a big gut, flabby arms, chunky legs, etc., those are points off. The score gets lower as well if you have rail thin legs, skinny arms, or are basically a stick (think make up models that fat chicks say are fat shaming them).

Excess body fat, 0-1: Women biologically will have a higher percentage of body fat than men, but its generally proportioned in different places, like their breasts. That said, you know when there’s too much; this is where the term ‘toned’ comes in in reference to body parts, like arms, legs, buns (ha), and stomach. Full points for a well toned body, though a little (a liiitle) cushion is good; there’s no need for everything to be rock hard muscle. Start shaving off the score the thicker the fat gets.

 

Sexual performance, 0-10

This really comes down to what’s on the table and what isn’t. And many times that changes as the relationship goes on, so this should be paid the utmost attention. Full points if there is total satisfaction, half if it could improve, zero if that part sucks:

Willingness to please, 0-4: simply put, does she love giving you what you want, or is it like pulling teeth to get it? I’ll make this easy to grade:

Blow jobs: -1 – 3: This gets the lion’s share because of one fact: this is the act where the only pleasure she gets is from how much pleasure she is giving you; it’s the selfless act of giving an orgasm. To grade: 3 points if she can’t get enough of your semen, 2 if it’s a strong part of your sex life, 1 if its kinda there, 0 if you have to ask for it every time, -1 if it’s nonexistent.

Other needs: 0-1: dressing up, sex in weird places, anal, etc. If you get this, 1 point.

Her sexual satisfaction: 0-3: Altruistic as this may be, the reality is that guys indeed get off when she does; we place a high value on our ability on her being pleasured, and fact is her body will feel much better when she’s turned on as opposed to if she’s a “cold fish”. However, while her enjoying it depends on what you do, a big chunk is dependent on what’s in her head. Meaning her upbringing, beliefs, and social beliefs about sex will affect her ability to enjoy an orgasm, if she can have one, leading to…

Vaginal orgasm, 0-2: Pretty simple, does she get off from how you fuck her or not? 1 for yes, 2 for multiple, 0 for none. This is important because the amount of pleasure she can get will directly reflect what she’s willing to give you, and how much she will want you to fuck her; someone that gets off on your dick will want it more than one that doesn’t. More pertinent: if she can’t have one, that’s a red flag for other problems.

Other kinks, 0-1: This could be as simple as her getting off to you going down on her, to liking wearing that nurse outfit, to being into your BDSM bedroom habits. If she’s in, 1 point.

 

Frequency, 3 points: How often do you have sex when you’re around each other? Neither of the above makes a difference if it never happens. This can be boiled down to 2 areas:

Her desire, 0-3: how much does she want it? If every time you are with her she’s pulling your pants off, 3 points. If you have to make a Herculean effort to get her interested in you, 0.

Availability, -10-0: again, she could give the most mind blowing head you could ever have: it doesn’t matter if it never happens. Meaning negative points count against anything in this category. 0 if you have access to her sex anytime you’re both available, to -10 if she’s never available.

 

Personal relationship, 0-10:

This is how you get along with and relate to each other. Some guys may not see this as important, but unless you’re paying a professional to fuck you (at which point you’re not exactly dating), chances are you’ll have to interact like human beings at some point. So I’ll break this down into 4 areas:

Private interaction, 0-2:

Simply put, how well do you get along when you’re only in each other’s company? 2 points if you get along most of the time in general, 0 if she’s constantly complaining or nagging you about things you do, or if you’re usually annoyed by her habits or demeanor. Anything in between that gets graded accordingly. I did give this a low score relative to how important it is, and that’s because the following two are a big part of this.

Activities, 0-2:

Do you two enjoy the same activities? For those you don’t, are you able to tolerate the differences? Activities here means whatever media you consume together (like watching Netflix or playing games), outdoor activities (hiking, parties, going to the bar, hitting the gym or shooting range, etc.), and any vices you may have (alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, crystal crack salts, or abstinence of them). Full 2 points if you can each enjoy what you do and don’t like in harmony, 1 if there’s friction between some of them, 0 if you’re completely incompatible.

Beliefs, 0-2:

Akin to the above, do you have the same beliefs, or are at least able to live with the differences? These can range from the major ones (belief or disbelief in religion, politics, do they like bacon/are they vegan, etc.) to the relatively trivial (which teams you root for, pancakes vs waffles, what her that dress really does make her look fat). And just like the previous one, 2 points for relative harmony, 0 for complete discourse, and anything in between for any overlap.

Social interaction, 0-4:

Unlike the previous three, this measures how she behaves when you are around other people, and how she treats you in a social setting. 4 points if she’s generally supportive of and complements you (she has positive things to say about you to others and backs you up when needed) is well mannered around others, and doesn’t cause you too many grievances in public. 0 if she does pretty much the opposite of this.

 

Autonomy and Independence:

This is how autonomous she is, along with how much of her own weight she carries, financially or otherwise.

Finances, 0-3: This would be the first sign you’d get of whether the woman you’re with has her life together or not. The more she depends on you to provide shelter, food, spending money, cash for her bills, etc., the lower the score. If she has her own place (or pays her half of the rent), her own transportation, buys her own stuff, and generally takes care of her own needs, the higher her score.

Labor, 0-3: Related to the above, how well can she take care of herself physically. Are you always being asked to carry her bags, open the door, fix her car and drywall, and make her meals? Then she’ll get a lower score than a girl that wrenches on her own ride, can figure out a door hinge, and literally carries her own weight.

Mental/Emotional issues, 0-4: A bit encompassing of a few things, this is how well she can deal with and make decisions, her ability to handle her relationships with friends and family along with her personal issues, and whether she has any actual psychological or mental disorders along with any substance abuse issues she (or her family/friends) may have. If she doesn’t depend on you to constantly help her deal with any of the above, that warrants a high score, and vice versa if you’re always tending to her choices of employment and dresses, what to do about her mom cutting her out of the will, and consoling her while she cries about how her lithium prescription makes it hard to orgasm. I gave this one a point above the others because it is this one that has the biggest effect, and if severe enough can and will affect many of the other categories, let alone this one.

A side note just to be fair: a willingness to take care of herself counts more a lot more than if she’s forced to. Whether you decide to assist her in any of these is your choice, and makes a difference if genuinely appreciated. It becomes a problem if she becomes dependent, or even feels entitled, to your help.

 

How to use this guide:

I put in quite a few checkpoints in each category, so you can be as thorough as you want using this; you can even simply use the Beauty one as a standalone if you want. But the idea is to pick the ones that score as close to a 4 as possible. That said, as barebones and simple as this guide is meant to be, it still requires a bit of time and information. Meaning that this is a progressive grading scale: the more time you spend with her, the higher the score should go. With that in mind, there are several ways you can use this depending on what you’re looking for.

One Night Stand/ weekend vacation fling:

Basically you’re just looking to hook up with someone for a night or two, maybe a 3 day weekend’s worth. As such, while you may exchange a few words and possibly pay for an Uber ride and a room, chances are you’re mostly interested in how she looks and how she fucks. So with her, your primary interests will be Physical Beauty, then Sexual Performance, for a scale of 0-2.

Casual relationship/Friend With Benefits:

Whether this is someone you get together with when its convenient for both, adding to your bullpen, or just someone you’re interested in spending time with outside the bedroom (or backseat), this is someone you’ll be around a lot more than the above. This is where the other two come more into play; the more you’re exposed to each other the more you’ll see how well you’ll get along, and how well she tales care of herself or asks for help. Its here you’ll be able to judge her on a full 0-4 scale with confidence, and really see whether she’s worth keeping around or not.

Long term/exclusive partner:

Whatever you choose to call it, this is a girl you’re with for a long time and therefore are more likely to have more of a commitment and attachments to, such as moving in together, sharing expenses and assets, meeting each other’s family, even something unnecessary like get legally married or procreate together. And since this is the type of relationship that spans the most amount of time, here is where this guide’s index really counts: like the above, here you can gauge her on the 0-4 scale, but more importantly you can now also gauge whether she’s gained or lost value over time and see whether she will continue to improve or get worse. If you’re searching for this kind of relationship and are worried about ending up with a woman with good “front game”, this is a great way to spot them.

 

Like I said before, this may seem a bit complicated, and in a sense it is, which is the norm when you’re gauging humans. Once you start using it, however, it becomes easy to implement.  Whether you want to be thorough enough to start using Excel spreadsheets, or just need a quick check to make sure things aren’t going south, this guide should fit your needs so long as you keep the four categories in mind. Which even doing a quick gut check should be pretty simple, and can be asked in question form:

Is she hot, or is she still as hot as before?

Is she satisfying in bed?

Do we get along with each other? And

Am I having to pay or work more than my fair share?

And for the women reading this, these are question you can ask yourself to make sure you’re keeping your man happy and satisfied with you, which I would hope is important to you as you’d want your happiness to be with him. And should this not help, there’s always the trademarked Tom Leykis 8 words for a woman to keep a man: Long Hair, Stay Slim, Sex Anytime, Shut Up.

Either one should do the job. Happy hunting!

 

A review of the $4 soda I was forced to buy

Writing rantings like this ones isn’t my job; in fact I don’t get paid to write any of this just yet. The job I have involves delivering, and in this case I had a soda in that order, which, being the rare case this happens, I dropped it. Naturally, I went back to the restaurant and asked for another one. The drink, called a Coco Rico, was $3.50, but ended up being $4 with tax.
Continue reading “A review of the $4 soda I was forced to buy”

American Mass Shootings are our Zombie Apocalypse

Oh boy. I’ve only written out the title, and already I get the feeling this is going to be a looong piece.

So, at the time this is being written, you may have heard of the mass killing in Orlando (if you’re reading this later, just sub in the most recent one). And everyone that knows about this has an opinion. I would hope that the majority can agree that what happened to the innocent people at that bar was a horrible bit of history.

So here’s my take. This is my opinion, which could be wrong. And I honestly hope I am wrong about this: mass killings like this are only beginning. This is, in part, humanity’s Apocalypse.

hy do I call it that? First, let’s look at the (informal) definition of zombie: ” a person who is or appears lifeless, apathetic, or completely unresponsive to their surroundings.” For the purposes of this article, I’ll adapt this into a definition of my own: “a person who is apathetic to and has malicious intent toward others, and  is functionally incapable of being reasoned with”. The thing about zombies is that people tend to dehumanize them, but in literally any pop culture reference out there, or even real life ones in Haiti or the Caribbean, the zombies are all physically still human, and had human characteristics before they were zombies. Whether it’s the undead and shambling like in The Walking Dead, the angry and fast like the ones in Left For Dead, the mutated juggernauts in Resident Evil; that’s what people generally picture.

The problem is that the above examples are fantasy; we live in reality. And the reality is that those that mean us harm are a lot more human than what you would see in the movies and in video games. They are in fact completely human, act human, respond like humans, etc. And in many cases, you don’t know they are zombies until they are killing people. I don’t speak for you, but in my opinion, that’s the most terrifying kind of zombie of all, because they’re the ones that you not only don’t see coming like in Resident Evil, but could be right there in  your camp, or your house. They could be your coworkers, the crowd at your local bar or autoshop, the people driving the bus you ride in, your fellow tenants. The zombies aren’t just people that used to be human, they ARE human.

Now let’s look at the definition of apocalypse, specifically this one: ” an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale.” You could use the one that describes the complete destruction of the world like in the Revelations section of the Christian bible, but reality is a lot more fluid than that and with anything human related, there is no concrete certainty. To be fair, all homicides are at a historic low right now (again, at the time of this writing). But while homicides of all kinds are down, the rise of mass shootings and mass killings are skyrocketing, with no sign of slowing down. And people, unsurprisingly, aren’t taking this lying down. They are trying to advocate laws against the weapons used with and stockpiling their own, while ignoring the root cause of the problem which has, in my opinion, the unfortunate side effect of only making the problem worse.

So where are these “zombies” coming from? People have different opinions that I don’t necessarily agree with, but mainly I believe they are those that don’t have any guidance in their lives. Little, if any, decent upbringing. A huge lack of social skills, a mindset that you’re alone, or that you’re unlike everyone else. A social disconnect with humanity as a whole. And, what I believe is the major reason related to all of the above: loss of purpose, agency, and identity (interpret that last one as you will). And if you look at any of those, these issues have gotten exponentially worse among humans in recent years; I feel safe in saying my opinion is that these are the causes.

You take all of this together; the sharp rise of”zombies” that, for whatever reason want to end a bunch of lives with no regard to their own, along with the sheer incompetent response we have in addressing this, we are heading toward a full blown human dystopia. And I don’t say this jokingly; I say this in the hope I am wrong, and things improve. If I’m right, all of the politics, the social attitudes, and laws we seek to implement are going to drive this problem to a near epidemic level. Not to the level as, say, a civil war, or a medical pandemic. But this, meaning mass shootings, or knifings, or the risk of being blown up in a theater, all of these will end up being a part of everyday life. A risk you’d have to deal with going to work, getting groceries, sending your kids to school.

And that’s the scary part. The apocalypse won’t be a black and white, good vs evil movie we want, where the good guys (you) have guns, morals and the law in your favor, while the enemy is easily identified lethargic target practice. The bad guys and enemies are also humans, can also wield guns, knives and bombs, look and mostly act like you, and are also protected under the same laws you are. You can’t just gather all of your buddies in jeeps and hunt down all the baddies, because they’re likely just working their jobs, playing with their kids, and fucking their spouses at the time. You can’t screen them out of your compound because they speak your language and bleed just like you. And when they finally do snap and decide to kill a bunch of people, unless you know them personally you won’t have any warning until you are staring their blades and barrels in the eye.

There’s no crusade that can just shoot these people until they don’t exist anymore. For that matter, there’s no quick solution at all for this. In my opinion (I’m saying that a lot today), the people that perpetrate this are already here. And even scarier, they’re breeding more people to keep this going, not for that purpose, but because they didn’t have the guidance growing up themselves and therefore may not be able to raise a child properly. Hell, I could be speaking to you, the next mass murderer, right now. And that’s the problem.

This is not going to go away anytime soon. You could ban any weapons you think will be used; they will be modified to kill multiple people anyway. You could try to stop people you think are mentally ill, only to be shot by Ned Flanders. Issue every citizen a bulletproof knife resistant flak jacket and make them wear it; watch a bunch of people in an office die of food poisoning. This won’t be stopped with one single action. You want this to stop? Address the cause of people wanting to kill a bunch of people in the first place. Take away the reason and motivation for people to accept suicide as an acceptable cost to make their point through mass murder. And while I will say I don’t have the expertise to tell you what to do, I will say that the usual methods society uses, like convincing them to invest their money here, or have children so they have a stake in their future, don’t work, because many of these zombies had these and DIDN’T GIVE A FUCK ANYWAY.

To the layman reading this: this will be a reality. It sucks, I know. It makes social settings scary, and since social settings make life worth living, it fucks up your standard of living. And its not going away in your lifetime(please, Time, prove me wrong. I don’t want to be right for once here). But you, like the human zombies who want to kill you, will have to adapt, and learn to vet the people you choose to hang out with, and sniff out the people that are trouble. That is a lot of work that could be the equivalent of a bachelors class in a real college, that you will either have to teach yourself through trial and error, or a course I may make here!

But there’s no sanctuary anymore, not here in the U.S. at least. We’re all in danger. The best thing we can all do is educate ourselves against this. To help each other, learn to socialize with everyone we come in contact with. To offer help when we can. To actually raise the kids you bring into the world with these values of social benevolence. To treat those you meet, especially those that may be ostracized and misanthropic, with kindness and understanding. People killing a lot of people, after all, are caused by the people’s desire to kill them. You can try to limit their ability to do so and watch them adapt to your tactics, since their also human. Or you can address them as human and help them deal with the issues that make them want to kill everyone they possibly can before they kill themselves. Continue reading “American Mass Shootings are our Zombie Apocalypse”

Bacon does not cause cancer, stop this myth

  • This is fairly old in Internet years, but its a subject that comes up all the time. And of course, since my name is Bacon, eventually I’ll have to bring it up. So to do this, I wanted to just post the rather lengthy article I wrote last year, but turns out I’ll have to write it out manually here. So I’ll paraphrase my own old work for your benefit. Enjoy!

I was made aware of this article I debunked by a good friend of mine on Facebook who (surprise!) happens to be vegan! Her exact quote is “You may as well be rolling your bacon & lighting it up & smoking it.” She’s a wonderful person to be around and I do value her as a friend, but of course she knows jack shit about nutrition, else she wouldn’t be a vegan. Also, she wouldn’t have said what she said, and here’s why:

“””If anyone has seen this link you know exactly why I’m commenting on it; it’s an article by IFLScience (an aside, I trust them because they’re usually on their A game, so this is disappointing to me personally) stating that processed meats, heavily emphasizing bacon, are now classified as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization, and you can read it here:

 

www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/processed-meats-classified-carcinogens-world-health-organization

If you don’t have much time to read much farther or are allergic to reading, here’s the short story: whole processed foods are generally bad for your health, bacon is not; so long as you don’t burn it, which WILL make it cancerous), it’s far better for you than the average vegan will let on.

Look, I understand the average person was told to believe that anything that isn’t green is bad for you, so stories like this tend to jumpbout and confirm that. And while I’m certainly not saying that processed food in generally are healthy or that vegetables aren’t, articles like this are very misguiding and only make things worse.

So what is it that makes people think bacon is bad for you? The main 3 reasons are usually its fat content, the salt used to cure it, and the nitrates to help preserve it. Let’s take those down one by one:

1. Fat content: When people bring this up, they usually mean saturated fat. Without writing an entire article about this, the statement that saturated fat is bad for you is a myth (I can go into detail about this later). Either way, that only makes up about 40% of it’s total fat content; the remainder is about 10% polyunsaturated and 50% monounsaturated, which youay recognize as the fat that makes extra virgin olive oil so healthy.

2. Salt: Its true that eating a lot if salt can temporarily increase your blood pressure,l, but unless you’re drinking concentrated salt Kool-Aid, there is no strong evidence that salt causes hypertension or heart disease.

3. Nitrates: This is something I talked about before. Nitrates/nitrites by themselves do not cause cancer. However, if the food with it is overcooked they can turn into a compound called nitrosamine, which is definitely carcinogenic. Some companies add vitamin C, which helps mitigate it’s formation. Takeaway message: don’t burn your bacon! And for that matter, it’s probably not a good idea to burn the veggies you eat either, since vegetables are the primary source of the nitrates used for meat preservation (don’t believe me? Look at the packs of bacon and hot dogs with natural preservatives; see if they don’t say they’re from celery or cherry..)

Something that should be noted: smoke is obviously carcinogenic, so if your bacon has been smoked (that would be many brands of packaged bacon)it may have more carcinogens and therefore is more likely to cause cancer. And if you’re concerned about having too much sodium in your diet (from perhaps a medical condition) you always have the option of buying uncured bacon. But to say that Bacon and other meat products, like pork sausage and ham, since salami generally doesn’t use nitirites for preservation) cause cancer is simply untrue.

With all of that said, why does the WHO (more accurately the IARC which is a part of WHO, but WHO is more easily recognized and generates more clicks) say processed meat is more carcinogenic? To putnit simply, the screwup is the classic confusion of correlation and causation. The people that tend to consume large amounts of processed meat are alsobthe most likely to smoke (cigarettes), less likely to be physically active, and all around more prone to live a less healthy lifestyle. To put it another way, the person eating a lot of Bacon probably isn’t eating it with eggs or asparagus, but rather in a McDonald’s cheeseburger with fries and a coke; the guy having salami isn’t getting it as a snack with aged white cheddar, but as a topping on a pizza from Domino’s. And since classifies it as “any meat that has been modified to increase the shelf-life or to improve it’s taste”, technically that means marinating your beef tenderloin in the fridge makes it a processed meat, and between that and the sausage links from Denny’s, it doesn’t take a genius to point out the difference between the two.

It’s counterproductive to just demonize processed meat when the problem is consuming large amounts of processed food in general. Specifically foods that contain large amounts of sugar, vegetable oil, wheat or trans fats. If your bacon comes on a burger patty that’s half soy protein and and oil, covered with cheese (excuse me, “pasteurized process food product”) mixed with corn oil, sandwiched between bread made with degermed and pulverized wheat flour, and served with fried cooked with partially hydrogenated canola rape seed oil, of course you’re more at risk for cancer, as well as every other disease currently reaching epidemic levels. But if you’re blaming the bacon, you’re blaming the least of your problems, because COME ON, DIDN’T YOU READ THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH?

One last thing I found particularly interesting is the type of cancer they’re blaming red and processed meat for specifically is colorectal (bowel) cancer, which ties in nicely with the standard demonization of anything that’s not plants. They included a link on this type of cancer as well:

http://www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/data-specific-cancers/colorectal-cancer-statistics

Thus website makes 3 lists of the top 20 countries that report colorectal cancer, one for both sexes and one each for male and female populations. Care to guess where the good old U.S. of A. ranked? 1st, right? Maybe 2nd? Surely not below 9th? How about NOT EVEN ON THE LIST? That’s right: GE fattest country on the planet doesn’t even rank the top 10 on even one of the lists, which again was linked on IFLS as proof that “Bacon is evil and causes cancer!!!!!”

So which countries were there? The ones ranked near the top were the Chech Republic, Slovakia, Korea, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands. And while there are differences between the average diet of these countries, one thing they all have in common is they all are low in red and processed meats, with the last 3 countries up there actually having a diet named after their countries’ region. So even in their website I could make a point the exact same way they did and say that processed meat actually reduces the risk of bowel cancer, since the countries where people that seldom eat them seem to contract this type of cancer the most, and potentially be wrong in the exact same way. (By the way: this is on top of the more recent data that says that even if your risk of colorectal cancer goes up 18%, that brings up your risk of getting that cancer in your lifetime from 5% to 6%. Yeah, eating smoked meats gives you a whopping 1% extra chance of getting a specific kind of cancer. And you compare it to goddamn smoking?)

 

Did I miss anything? Do you think I’m wrong or mistaken? Feel free to let me know! Though honestly speaking I doubt most of the people that would disagree will even get past the first link, let alone read to this point. So everyone that thinks eggs cause diabetes and I might as well roll bacon up and smoke it, I’ll be making the exact same point next week. See you then!”””

… Wow. That was written a while ago and I really didn’t have to change much if anything there, save for a few misspellings and some additions. I’m willing to bet a lot of people today, should they read this before the year 2020, will probably still repeat the mantra of “don’t eat too much saturated fat, its bad for you, bacon will give you cancer, etc….” Hey, that’s one reason I’m rewriting this: once mainstream media and science finally tells you what I am saying here and what other smart people have been saying for years, you’ll realize: I was right!

That’s all for now. Cheers!

 

 

The 3 ingredients that ruined fast food

Hey there! You like fast food, right? Let’s be clear here: whatever your opinions are about food, most of us would agree that the concept of “fast food”, where whatever your nourishment of choice may be can be made to eat faster, is pretty awesome. After all, nobody likes spending 5 hours to make something if they could get the exact same thing in 5 minutes. 

What fast food is today, however, is generally regarded as unhealthy, and for good reason. Most “fast food” is what you get in a to-go, drive through style, with places like McDonald’s typically being the figurehead of the industry. And the majority of people whose diets include copious amounts of fast food meals tend to have the most health related problems and mortality rates.

But what is it about fast food that makes it so unhealthy? Keep in mind that businesses go into business to make a profit. And one of the ways to do that, aside from raising prices, is to lower overhead; lowering the cost of manufacturing the product specifically in the example here. And there are 3 ingredients that stand out as the worst thing you could ever add to your diet.

To be open here: there’s a whole lot more to nutrition and dietetics that explains the health problems western cultures face today, but when it comes to pointing a finger at a culprit, these 3 ingredients are the biggest sources of your problem with McDoubles:

1. Sugar, specifically added sugar

When I mention sugar, I’m not talking about fruits and veggies in their natural form; those are healthy when eaten as they are. Think soda, cookies, condiments, “low fat” foods, etc. Most manufactured foods today have added sugar to make them tasty, particularly if they’re marketed as “healthy”. And yes, I do mean most: look at the ingredients list of just about any product: if it has anything of the following words: sugar, syrup, evaporated ___ juice, nectar, molasses, fruit juice, etc., it has added sugar.

2. Plant oils and fats, especially trans fats

Again, in their natural form, they’re healthy, like the fats you get in nuts and legumes. Also to be excluded from this list: oil from olives, coconuts, and avocados; these are some of the healthiest fats on Earth. I’m talking about cheap mass made oils from soybeans, corn, grape seed, safflower, peanuts, rice bran, etc., along with anything that’s labelled as partially/fully hydrogenated, as those are trans fats. Canola (rapeseed) and palm oil are often used as well, but aren’t nearly as bad.

3. Wheat

A small back story: wheat was once a healthy grain, and in some places it still is. The most common wheat today is dwarf wheat, which did help keep over a billion people from dying of starvation, is nowhere near as healthy as, say, einkorn wheat. Along with the way it’s processed to make it a cheap ingredient, makes it a terrifying ingredient. Such names are enriched flour (bleached or not), whole wheat, whole grain wheat, and other names for bread.

Again, this isn’t to explain why these are bad for you. I may tackle these later, but you can easily look up Kris Gunnars’ site AuthorityNutrition.com and read up yourself; he and his staff do a great job of showing the facts. What I want you to focus on is those 3 things, and look at how many of them, in their various forms, show up in fast food, whether bought ready to eat at Burger King, or at Safeway in the frozen aisle to microwave later, or as a snack on the go.

The funny thing is that many people demonize completely healthy things, particularly if they’re animal products like meat, cheese, saturated fat, etc. But look at that McDouble: cheap beef is supposed to be the killer(note: try not to eat cheap beef), but what about that white wheat bun, cheese filled with corn oil, and ketchup with corn syrup? That pepperoni on that pizza will kill you, not the whole wheat crust leavened with vegetable oil. Those eggs will give you diabetes, not the corn oil they’re fried in and the toast they’re served on.

Probably the worst example I can think of is the “healthiest breakfast”, which is finally being pointed out as completely false, that being breakfast cereal. Honey Nut Cheerios are “heart healthy”, but even without adding sugar yourself, the main ingredients are wheat and sugar. There are a million examples but just look at the back of the label; if a food is thought of as unhealthy (or even worse, if it’s a food marketed as healthy), see how many of those 3 ingredients in whatever form show up. Chances are they’re right there.

The takeaway from this? If you’re even slightly health conscious, you probably read food labels to see what’s in it. If you want a short cheat list to pick healthy food, look for these 3 things:

1. Sugar

2. Plant oil/trans fat

3. Wheat

If you avoid 3 things, you will be ahead of the game. The only problem is this means you will likely have to make your favorite things at home, like burgers, pizza, tacos, sandwiches, hot dogs, whatever you like to buy for less than $10 in 2010’s USD. Because the reality is that wherever you buy your food, chances are it’s made with the cheapest ingredients, and those 3 up there are the cheapest to use. That’s one of the main reasons fast food is dangerous to eat full time.

You dont have to believe me. Do your own research, use Google, ro again, simply go down the snack food or cereal aisle and ask for the nutrition facts at Jack In The Box and see how many times those ingredients pop up. Because those are the ones that are killing you. Just thought I’d point that out. Cheers!

“F**k your living wage!”, explained

(The following is a post I made last year. Its a very bare bones life experience, but I figured it would be a good fit here.)

 

“Fuck your living wage!” There, I said it. Why am I saying it? Because I’m an asshole, sure. But I do have a personal reason:

I spent 6 months at my first job as a supermarket clerk making $6.96/hr. working the longest schedules in between college, doing all the grunt work and paying a union half my check to do basically nothing. I worked as a baggage handler at an airport making $9/hr. to escape my first job, only to be fired with no explanation 6 months later. After a few months of unemployment I spent the next few selling knives on commission and doing handyman jobs for friends and family. After I finished college and got my aircraft maintenance certification, I hung out with some people that did stupid things and ended up with a record, but still landed a job assembling helicopter parts for a local company making $17/hr. I managed to last there 6 months before the recession hit, and half the factory was laid off.

I spent the next 4 months looking for work at literally any job that was hiring, until I finally got a job with a contracting crew installing fiber optic cables. That lasted a few months before that job dried up and I was unemployed again. I knew, with my record, I couldn’t apply to a normal job, so after another couple of unsuccessful months trying to sell knives again, I tried my hand at working for myself, first with personal training, then expanding to bike repair. Between both of those, working as a caretaker for my grandmother, and as a extra hand for a plumber, I made enough to get by, but I realized I would never make a good enough living in L.A. to move out, so I made several plans to leave the city. After clearing up my record and two unsuccessful attempts to move out of state, I finally settled with moving to a mountain resort area, with a partner, a job set up, and a lot of help from my family.

I spent the next 6 months working at the local ski resort for $9.80/hr., and the following summer working at the local bar restaurant for minimum wage plus tips. When the drought hit that year, it left most of the area either without jobs or barely any working hours. I was lucky enough to pick up side work helping a local fix up her house, and made plans to move again, this time out of state. So after the summer and fall working and saving as much as I could (with the last month living in my car in freezing temperatures) , I set up plans to stay with my dad, start working as a bike courier, and move into an apartment.

Things didn’t go quite as planned. The job I had fell through, and the apartment didn’t take my application because I was too new to the state, a fact that ended up with me sleeping on a couch for the next 5 months. After a month I ended up getting a seasonal job with a delivery company as a driver helper making minimum wage, which only lasted until Christmas. After New Years I started working at a warehouse 11 miles away by bike (my car wasn’t safe to drive at the time) for $10/hr. unloading boxes.  After a few months of this, I saw an ad for a delivery driver, where the requirements were that you had to have a smart phone and a working car. After I made the investment into getting a smart phone and my car into working shape I went for it, and it has paid off tremendously, enough that I was able to quit my warehouse job, move off my dad’s couch into my own place, and actually start planning a better future for myself.

The point is this: I spent the past 10 years constantly switching from employed to jobless, having enough to happily get by versus barely able to take care of myself. When living situations got bad enough where I was, I planned moving 5 times, succeeding twice. When plans and jobs fell through, I went for new one, better opportunities, and even created my own. I had help along the way, but I always made every effort to get by on my own resources. I’ve been prepared to work for minimum if I had to, but never planned on staying there, so it never meant much to me. Whether I was at by highest or lowest, I always kept my sights higher than where I was.

Now I look at a lot of people today that work at minimum wage jobs, shitty places, with uncaring management and terrible working conditions, much like I did for most of my adult life. Except these people are asking for a “living wage”.

Meaning instead of working their way up the ladder, they’re asking to live at the bottom of it. Instead of learning how to make themselves worth more than they are now, they’re asking to be paid so that, unlike everyone else, they don’t have to. They want the same hourly wage that people have gone to school for, worked their way up the chain of a business, busted their asses to get. After spending the better part of a decade fighting to get closer to the top, can you really expect me to sympathize with those fighting to stay at the bottom?

Honestly, if that’s you, Fuck you. You don’t deserve to be paid a “living wage”, because, truth be told, you’re not worth it. Whether you believe it or not, you get paid exactly what you are worth, and if your job is one anybody can do, you’re paid what anybody else would be paid. If your response to that is “Give me more money because I can’t make a living doing this.”, you don’t deserve to make a living, at least the one you have in mind. That might sound harsh, but I can almost guarantee that if someone like me, who worked for minimim wage and sometimes even less, feels this way, just about everyone else who earns a living wage today does too. Why should you get paid what everyone else works for?  If I had to bust my ass learning new skills, getting experience and moving to different places to make a living wage of my own, why should yours be handed to you?

Call me an asshole, but if you can’t even get a promotion or raise past the minimum, you either work for the wrong place or you’re too unskilled to go any farther; in either case, if you’re staying there, you’re getting what you deserve. And the only person that can change that is you. Make yourself worth $15 an hour. Hell, shoot for more! Why would you settle for less? Aren’t you better than that? I happen to think most people are, or can be. If you are, go for it! If not, if you think that the best you’ll ever do is minimum wage work,that’s fine too; we do need people like you. Just don’t ask the rest of us to raise the bar for you, when you couldn’t even bother to raise it for yourself.

(For legal purposes, I was asked to edit and post this for someone. They wanted their story known.)

The Empathy Tax

I had to deal with this today. And I have to deal with it at least a few times a week. And that is someone asking me for my money. “Hey, I need to eat, can you spare some change?” “Hey I need to catch the bus, do you have some change?” “I’m travelling between towns/jobs, can you spare some cash?” Speaking of which: I’m an unrepentant size XXL Dick; what do you think I said?

I live pretty close to and work in a major metropolitan city in the U.S. (I’ll let you figure out which city that is.) And in every major city in every state, or every major province if you don’t live in the U.S.A., you will run across the same kind of people: the homeless, the beggars, the mentally ill on the street, and the nonprofit and charity people championing for many people like them.

You may be prepositioned on the street on the fly by a person with a cardboard sign, or a pamphlet; maybe it’s at the checkout line at the local grocery store or pharmacy that has those paper blimps or hearts or other shaped posters you can write your name on if you give a dollar to the cause. Maybe someone will position themselves to approach you ‘naturally’ as you get into or out of your car or on and off your bike, to ask if you have some change for the bus, or that they’re hungry and just want a few cents to buy some chicken nuggets or fries from the local fast food place.

Maybe it’s a commercial, whether its on TV, Netflix, a YouTube ad, or anything like it, where it tells you the plight of some group of people, children, or even animals and pets, all of which are suffering. They also share how convenient it would be to send them money to help them out. “For less than a cup of coffee a day, you can help out the x_______!” “If you give your time at x________ volunteer center, you can make a difference in some kid’s lives'” “For $x___ a day, you can help get Sarah McLaughlin to stop making you suicidally depressed!”

Let me help categorize all of this time, money and energy spent in this way for you: its called the Empathy Tax. To give you a textbook definition: Empathy Tax: a part of your income you pay to people you believe need your money more than you do. If you live in the U.S.A., or any other place that demands a part of your income to pay for things, you should be familiar with this concept. In this case, it is directly dependent on your empathy for other people. It appeals to your sense of charity, and caring for other people, in a way that does not benefit you personally. It requires you to think about the well being of others and how you can help them benefit in the short term using your own resources, whether or not that takes away from your own welfare.

I’ll make this message plain: you NEVER need to pay this tax. Let’s make this clear: when you give your money away, you are giving away your time. Your time that you spend putting in work to earn that money, which you accept so you can use it to buy the goods and services that are made with other peoples time, in a way that makes your remaining time more enjoyable. When you give in to this tax, aside from that feeling you “helped” someone else, you are giving up some of your ability to make your life awesome, or even better, the life of someone else you actually care about.

Again, the empathy tax is not an official federal tax. You don’t need to pay this. The one thing keeping you from paying this are your emotions and, well, empathy (hey, that’s where the name comes from!) Your sympathy and empathy is what forces you to give that guy “some change”, or that Education Activist group a dollar on top of your grocery bill. It’s merely a cut of the income you have that you’re, frankly, coerced into giving away. Income you could’ve used to go to that national park, or that gourmet restaurant, or whatever you want to experience in your one shot at life. Or hell, money you could use to help family or friends you actually know that could legitimately use the help!

I’m not saying any of this to demonize empathy or kindness, or convince you to never be a caring person or donate to any cause; if I wanted to do that I’d talk about all the organizations and people that are charlatans and profitting off you. If you want to give someone your money, good for you. But at the end of the day, you have control of where your money goes, and unlike social security, or Medicare, you have control over this tax; whether you pay it is entirely up to you. Though keep in mind: unless you paid a specific organization and asked for a receipt, it isn’t even tax deductible. So if you’re going to pay people based on your feelings, at least make it a write off!

The financial costs of “growing up”

“Grow up.” “Take responsibility.” “Be a man.” Have you been told this? Let’s keep it simple: if you’ve gone through puberty, and particularly if you have a vagina seeking penis, that’s an overwhelming “YES!!!” You hear it from your friends, your family and parents, the media, social, mainstream and otherwise, and way too many other sources to list here. 

 

To put it simply: your everyday life, from the moment you are born until today, this message is pounded into your head incessantly, to the point that the average person of the average intelligence, and even some that have higher intellect, will accept it as the gospel truth, if for no other reason than that it’s broadcasted in pretty much every aspect of your life. And for the sake of simplicity, rather than go over all of them (because I’m certain I’d miss about 1006 of them) I’m going to point out the 5 main things people use as landmarks of adulthood and “success”.

 

Funny thing about this article: I originally was going to go into a bit of detail on these 5 things, but this took weeks to fully research, and even the minimum writing went way past the word limit set on my typing tool, so for this article I’ll simply cite the numbers, and cover them in later articles. Besides, if you’re the Average Idiot reading this, numbers probably don’t matter to you, and neither would any proof I have. Thanks for saving me a bit of work!

Anyway, here’s what I personally came up with:

  • The average person can be expected to earn about $35,000/yr., which given a 40 year work career adds up to $1.4 million USD over their lifetime. For the purposes of this article I rounded up to 1.5 million. Hey, sometimes I’m a nice guy! Keep this figure in mind, it’ll be important later.
  • Owning a new car: buying a new car every 6.5 years on average, at $33,000 each, paying over $9,000/yr. in value depreciation and other costs of ownership, even trading it in at a value of $13,200, you’re looking at a broad average of about $609,000!
  • Owning a house: the median sticker price is $214,000. You don’t have $214,000 in your pocket, so you’ll probably take out a 30 year mortgage to pay for it. At an average cost of $1,500/mo., this ends up being $18,000/yr., and $540,000 over 30 of them. Aside from this being well over sticker price for the home itself, it doesn’t cover the thousands of different expenses of owning a home that are covered when you rent (something to keep in mind when you see rent for $1,500 and think you’re “throwing your money away.”)
  • Marriage: let’s face facts: if you’re a straight guy, this cost goes way beyond the sticker price of marriage. But as for the marriage itself, the average cost is $29,858. And since most married couples get divorced, they also pay $15,500 for that as well. Not as big a number as the last two, but given shelter and transportation is necessary, this is a pure waste of money.
  • Having children: The minimum one kid will cost is about $250,000, just to raise to 18. Any parent that didn’t use the government to help pay for it will tell you this is grossly underestimated, with some estimates reaching $400,000. This goes up, obviously, when you have more, with my calculations reaching a conservative number of $577,374.20 if you end up with 3.
  • College: good lord! With all of these expenses, you certainly need a higher education to land that high paying job! With the average person going for at least a Bachelor’s, expect to pay close to $33,000 for it. Again, that’s conservative. There are people that get grants and government funding to pay for their degree, but there are plenty of horror stories out there of people with 6 figure college debt. A horror indeed if you chose a worthless major.

To be perfectly clear: I’m in no way saying you should never do any of these. If any of these are what you want, and you can afford it and are adequately educated for and prepared to deal with them, then by all means go for it. This isn’t to tell you to absolutely never do any of these. The point I’m making is that many of these are decisions people make because of, frankly, what other people said they should do. “You need to own a home!” “It’s time for you to get serious and get married!” “Why haven’t you had kids yet? It’s time for you to settle down!” “You’re still driving that old clunker? Time for you to get s new car!” “You don’t want to be a burger flipper at McDonald’s, do you!? Go to college!” Have you been told one of these? Some variant of it perhaps? Do you think peer pressure is a good reason to write a 5-6 figure check several times over?

Speaking of which, none of this talks about how much debt people go into to pay for this. The thing that boggled my mind was that the amount that the average person made in their lifetime ($1,400,000) wasnt enough to cover the expenses of taking all of these on (close to 1,800,000). Even taking into account that feeding, shelter and other living costs were factored in to at least the housing and children expenses, it didn’t really add up, as you can see here. However, the thought that helps explain it is that the average American is in debt. In debt from many things, but these are often the costliest. And the sad truth is that many people will never pay these debts off. Just taking the figures here, the average American will die with nearly 400K in debt, which has huge implications for the country on its own.

That’s not what this article is for though. This is about you. Objectively, you only have one life to live. You have these precious few years to enjoy mortality; even if you believe in an afterlife, its on a different plane than this one, in which you will no longer have any agency nor influence. In short: this is it. Is that what you want to spend your money on? Instead of, say, exploring different countries, eating great food, having awesome experiences, you borrow your way into the grave to finance other people’s desires? And if you care about the future, look at that figure above: do you really want to leave your loved ones, or the country or government you reside in, with debt you never paid back, leaving your descendants to pay it for you? 

This has gone way past the size it was supposed to be, but its a huge subject; this has to be said.

To recap: I’m not saying you should absolutely never do any of these. Personally, I say you shouldn’t, but that’s me. If you can have that new car, go for it. If you think you and your sex partner will birth the new master race and you can pay for it, jizz away. You want a piece of property to call your own, enjoy those property taxes and put up those “Get Off My Lawn!” signs. But, for Zeus’s sake, if you’re going to do any of these, at least make sure you’re doing them for you. Nothing is worse than paying the price other people told you to for something you may not have even wanted. Make your decisions wisely.