The Kathy Griffin Debacle: Yet Another ‘Everyone’s An A-Hole’ scenario

Do I look shocked? I’m trying to do my best ‘shocked’ face. No? Eh, whatever.
Source: TMZ

Well, I think I’ve let this issue smolder long enough where I can safely discuss it.

For those who somehow managed to escape the raging dumpster fire that is the current American political landscape (god, I envy you…), there was a big to-do amongst the bizarre political choices and ego-centric tweets when stand-up comedian, writer, and actress Kathy Griffin took her criticism to the extreme by posing for photos while standing with a blood-soaked head resembling that of Donald Trump.

Naturally, folks lost their minds. People immediately ran to verbally lambaste and defend Kathy in a flurry of unhelpful rage.

Let’s keep this short and sweet, shall we? I have absolutely NO LOVE for Trump as a light search on my Twitter feed will reveal. I think he’s immature, incompetent, self-serving, and rude. What’s more, he lacks the intelligence to run his own business effectively, let alone an entire country.

That said, what Kathy did was stooping down to his level in my mind. This was her equivalent of Trump’s “bomb the s*** out of them” line; an empty threat that she can’t possibly deliver on and served no purpose other than to get everyone pissed off because blind rage is more effective at getting a message out than gentle understanding.

Of course, there’s also the plaintiff cries of how, not long ago, we endured 8 years of similar threats to Barrack Obama and that those offended now are being hypocritical. Rest assured, those people do exist and are just throwing a temper tantrum about THEIR idol being mocked at best and genuinely horrible human beings at worst. But, just because “they” did it first doesn’t give “us” the right to be just as terrible. Don’t you hear how infantile that sounds when you describe it?

Besides, such thinking disregards those who refuse to condone such behavior and robs them of their voice in the matter. There are some people out there who would call Kathy AND the Anti-Obama folks out equally for being childish, barbaric or both… people like me, for instance.

I’m of the opinion that we should be living in a world where we are mature and intelligent enough to recognize such obvious hyper-inflated bombast through violence as the weak attempts at humor/social commentary that they are and not give such people the dignity of occupying valuable space in our brains. I, for one, put to much value on my thoughts to pay attention to idle threats and long to hear some actual, meaningful dialogue on the topic that can ACTUALLY fix the problem so that I and everyone else on this blue-green space rock that I love so dearly can go on living constructive and meaningful lives.

In conclusion, I offer this message to the world; put away your effigies and torches, calm your butt-hurt feelings down, and try to contribute to the discussion on how to fix what you – in all likelihood – helped to break for a change.

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What I Learned When I Called Out Of Work For The First Time.

The difference is I wasn't faking it. Source: BroBible

The difference is I wasn’t faking it.
Source: BroBible

So, this may be a shock to some of you, but I had never called out of work at ANY job I’ve ever had until this week.

I can put up with some pretty terrible stuff while working; wrenched neck, nausea, flu. I’d like to think I’m a Juggernaut of dependability in the workplace. But, I was forced to make the decision to call out this week due to unavoidable circumstances and learned a lot about myself in the process; Things like…

It takes a lot to make me give up on a task

For those who don’t live in the New Hampshire area, the catalyst for this bailing out of my duties was the massive go-f***-yourself nor’easter we got between Sunday and Monday that crapped out at least a foot and a half of fluffy white s*** over my house.

The storm was so bad that my town couldn’t keep up with clean-up detail. The net result – and the thing that ultimately cemented my decision to call out – was me being woken up at 6:00 pm (remember, I work third-shift) by the sounds of a fire rescue vehicle spinning out on my street.

Bare in mind that my mode of transportation is a tiny sub-compact. So if a fire truck can’t survive those conditions, I’m practically a quadriplegic man trying to tame a dragon by comparison.

In short, if I know I have a job to do, the heavens have to LITERALLY open up and rain death upon humanity for me to back down.

I hate admitting defeat

I spent the rest of that night brooding and sulking around the house. I didn’t want to talk to anyone and I didn’t want anyone to talk to me. I failed and I hated myself for it.

Of course, I’ve always known this about myself to an extent. I cuss out games when I lose and I get really competitive with friends. But this was different; this was pure, white-hot rage.

It wasn’t until my mother – the lovable, overly-caring alarmist she is – called to insist that I stay in that night that I understood my anger. Put simply, …

I worry about EVERYTHING… and my worry manifests as anger

I was legitimately afraid that I was going to lose my job because I couldn’t make it through the weather. And, emotional train wreck I am, I was taking that anger out on myself and people around me.

After a rational conversation with mom, though, I was able to think clearly. When Governer Chris Sununu tells everyone to stay off the roads, there’s a good chance you should listen. Plus, this wasn’t a ‘no-call/no-show’ situation. I left voice mail and texts to my boss letting him know what had happened and any action he took against me would be a fine reason to file a wrongful termination suit.

So, after milling about the house for hours, I was finally able to rest peacefully. And when I went to work the next night, I was surprised to see that…

My superiors are more reasonable than I gave them credit for

As a third-shift employee, I’m used to the idea of EVERYTHING being my fault on the grounds that I have to pick up the slack for everything the previous shifts may have missed. No surprise then that my image of my managers is less than sterling.

However, when I bumped into the assistant manager, I was surprised to see how calm he was. He totally understood my plight and told me that he had planned to sleep at work just to avoid driving in the storm had I not called out. The fact that he kept this cool even after covering for a friend of mine who had broken his hand recently made it all the more impressive.

I guess the lesson to be learned here is that you can’t be expected to work full steam at all times and that you will encounter failure at some point. So, there’s no real point in fretting over it. A child-like moral perhaps, but one that’s surprisingly easy for me to forget. You don’t need to be perfect; you just need to be willing to be better than yesterday.

And now, I’m going to go get ready for night’s shift and remind myself why I’m still the best they have despite occasional failures.

Three Things I Hate About Dealing With Depression

It's time to start mending myself... Source: Everyday Health

It’s time to start mending myself…
Source: Everyday Health

Oh dear, I’m in one of my funks again.

Normally when my depression hits on posting day, I’ll make up an excuse for being too overwhelmed to work and take the week off. But I made a promise at the start of this year; this is the #YearOfTheIronWoobie and I owe it to myself and the people that look to me for wisdom, inspiration, and simple entertainment to press on.

So then, to help others understand that depression is a lot more than just unexplainable sadness (as an unfortunately large number of people tend to think), here are just a few of the struggles that I deal with that have suddenly been getting on my tits today.

Feelings of Inferiority

You know that feeling where it seems you can never make anyone happy with you despite your best efforts and it seems that you are just naturally built to suck at everything you do and you lose the drive to even try anymore?

Yeah, that’s usually the first sign that I’m having another episode.

This is probably the worst part of depression for me since it means that I lose interest in the passions that would be perfect for pulling me out of the stygian abyss of my crippling apathy because I don’t think I’m good enough to do them right. It creates a downward spiral that I feel I can’t break out of. And when I do break the cycle, I’ll never know what I did to get me out when it comes around the next time.

Self-Hatred

I’ve made it a point of advocating anger as a motivator (when used properly) and I make a clear difference between anger and hate. But you want to know what the worst kind of hate is? Self-hate.

Hating yourself accomplishes nothing. All it does is urge you to metaphorically rip yourself apart when you should be rebuilding your mind and body.

It’s okay to be angry with yourself. Sometimes we just do stupid stuff and can’t believe we would ever do something that terrible for us. But depression helps it to linger and become toxic – preventing us from taking steps to rectify our mistakes.

Misguided Frustration

Remember when I said that the feeling of inferiority was the worst thing about depression? Well, I hate to contradict myself in the same article but, no; THIS is the worst part.

It’s bad enough that I’m being compelled to destroy my own sense of self-worth by an irrational force I can’t comprehend, but having that anger and frustration get thrown on to people I care about because they don’t understand how I’m struggling with my own emotional state makes matters even worse as it drives away people that could have helped me.

Of course, if people aren’t bothering to take the time to understand you and stay with you despite your rough patches, they hardly count as good friends. But that lingering guilt stays with you and makes it harder to move forward.

Wow, I feel a lot better already. Thanks for hearing me out, folks. And I hope you’ll hear out your other friends who struggle with depression as well.

The Agent’s Wrath (or How I Learned To Appreciate Small Moments Of Happiness When I Find Them)

To all of you comic book fans out there, you know why I don’t want to become this.
Source: Injustice: Gods Among Us Wiki

I have a nagging fear that hangs in the back of my mind. It’s a fear that many people have assured me is unfounded and all evidence is to the contrary, but it still bothers me.

I’m afraid of my own anger.

In a previous article, I’ve mentioned how anger can be used as a force for change when it is controlled, justified, and directed towards the cause of the problem proper rather than misguided towards innocents or the mere symptoms. The goal of that exercise was to illustrate how our emotions have no positive or negative force until we give it a purpose.

That said, one of the worst things you can do with anger is allow it to linger and become toxic. The longer anger lingers, the more likely it is – in my experience – to morph into bitter hatred.

This is a problem no matter how you look at it. While anger can and has proven its worth as a motivator, there has never been an instance in which hate has been justified.

As I define it, the difference between anger and hate is a matter of control. Anger can make you want to change a problem and can be quelled; hate will make want to destroy things that may not be the problem and can’t be easily halted.

Even as a child, growing up in a less than ideal environment where my teachers failed to look after us and the streets were hardly safe, I found a had built up a great deal of anger towards those that did me harm. And by do me harm, I mean I was sent to hospitals with broken bones and head injuries that were somehow deemed my fault despite witnesses to the contrary.

I admit to you all what I feel is my greatest weakness, I hate.

I hate dealing with co-workers that refuse to do their jobs and leave everything me.

I hate listening to people blame me for their inconvenience when the situation is clearly out of my control.

I still hate the people that hurt and tortured my friends and myself daily and made me afraid to go to school as a child.

But worst of all, I hate myself for not being better; for lacking the ability to rise above my hate and leave the toxic environment that helped to spawn it.

There is, however, one good thing that has come from my lingering anger. It has taught me to appreciate happiness.

Comedian Dennis Leary once said that, “Happiness comes in small doses.” In my experience, he could not have been more right. It is because true joy is so rare in a world of anger and frustration that we need to cherish them as much as possible.

It’s rare that I find happiness in things, but when I do, those are the greatest moments of my life and I try to share them with the people that I love.

What’s more, it’s the hope of knowing that another small happy moment will eventually come that gives me the strength to fight my hate for one more day.

I long for that day when I can play a game of cards with my friends or watch a live performance with family or even just get a complement from a total stranger. Because those are the moments that remind me that my life is worth living and that this world and its people are worth living for.

What I’m trying to say here is that hate and uncontrollable anger win out when we stop recognizing the joy, happiness, and love that exist in the world. In the words of Buddha, “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.”

The Power of (Justified) Anger

Normally, I’d add a witty remark, but this serves the purpose of setting the theme all on its own.
Source: happytoinspire.blogspot.com

While looking for weird things online to comment on, I found this article on The Huffington Post where a man conducts an amazing experiment in social behavior. Countless people confronted him and gave him a thorough dressing down for wearing a placard that read “F*** The Poor”, but not one stopped to help his cause when he changed his sign to read “Help The Poor.”

This, to me, illustrates an uncomfortable aspect of our society and in human psychology; we are much more likely to act on anger than on kindness.

We all know that it’s wrong that so many people who work hard to make ends meet and fail or want to work hard and aren’t given the opportunity exist, but it seems that it’s only when people are somehow directly offended by it that they are motivated to do something about it.

Now, this is a problem because it means that true altruism becomes a rarity within a society. In addition, anger is a force that is very difficult to turn off once it has been started and can become toxic when left unchecked.

However, it doesn’t take much effort to see that many changes for the better came as a result of the wrath and frustration of others. Women’s rights have made leaps and bounds because one group of 68 women (and the 32 men that supported them) were sick of not having the comforts and rights of men. Racial and ethnic minorities became more recognized when they called out their oppressors.

Obviously, I’m not saying that everyone should riot in the streets over the injustices that we face today. I am saying, however, that it seems that being angry enough at a problem to want change it is a necessary phase; messy and undesirable as it maybe.

To put it in the geekiest terms I can muster, the movie Network was right; before any change for the better can happen, you have to be mad enough to say, “I’m a human being, Goddamn it! My Life has Value!