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:

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:

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 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.)