Family

I want everyone reading this to stop and picture if you will for a moment what mid-April looks like in the US. Bills have come due and utilities get cut off while everyone is still tucked away in their homes trying to get a handle on the virus situation. This happens because not many can get to work and that little one-time government check of $1200 wasn’t enough to cover the cost of living in America. Panic and anger take over and people here and there start snapping. We’re talking the beginning of civil disobedience as desperation starts prompting people to take matters into their own hands for survival. Now picture if you will what May looks like as more and more people start openly breaking quarantine measures, the virus starts getting worse as the number of infected starts to skyrocket in the face of people’s defiance and looting and other small skirmishes start breaking out. By June places like New York start looking like the images, we all saw in Hong Kong during the protests in 2019.

Times like now are nothing any of us alive today have ever experienced, and honestly, I have no confidence in our leadership in seeing their answer to this crisis. Many states were waiting for the order to come from the federal government and it never came, so the states started taking their own measures to head the problem off while everyone in Washington was trying to figure out what pet projects they could exploit the immediate need for aid to the people to get through and a package was made that many would argue is completely out of touch with the needs of the citizens in this time of crisis. It was with this in mind that I started a petition through Change.org which I will link below. It’s clear to me now that the best option for the people is to look out for each other because we can’t trust our leaders to have our interest at heart. Throughout this entire ordeal, there have been things that could have been done that would have already set the minds of the people at ease for the weeks ahead and I fear that if something is not done to effectively do just that, we could be looking at genuine riots in a time when that would be the last thing we need.

We are facing an unprecedented crisis with the global COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our states are on lockdown in an effort to stop the spread of the disease, preventing many of our citizens from being able to work and support their families. In this time while Congress is fighting to reach an agreement for some manner of an economic stimulus package to alleviate the stress on the people, we are faced with the question of what happens when we can’t pay our bills. With the current state of panic, the American public is in I strongly urge Congress or the President to immediately make any disconnect of any utility illegal during this state of emergency in order to prevent any chaos that may ensue as a direct result to having utilities disconnected when many are powerless to do anything thing about it as we try to pull together in a concentrated effort to protect our nation. The people are doing their part, we need our government to put aside whatever ideological differences they may have so that they can do theirs. Infuse the utility companies as necessary to allow them to continue to operate during this time, but prevent them from being able to disconnect any service to any citizen during this crisis.

Urge Congress To Make Utility Disconnect Illegal Across The Board During Emergency.

This is meant to be a lighter post than normal, but ironically I seem to have put it off until again I have to inform you that ten hours ago crowds were being broken up on Bourbon Street in New Orleans as the restrictions tighten up in the interest of squashing this bug that has swept in and taken the world by storm. Everyone knows it’s serious when Twitter, which is normally a political battleground between “Conservatives” and “Progressives” has seen most of everyone turn their attention to a far bigger enemy to the world than a reality TV star public official and on some level for that I am grateful. It’s almost like this thing is forcing us to break down certain barriers that have kept us going at each other nonstop for almost four years. As of yesterday it’s been reported that Louisiana has had 77 cases of Corona with a single death resulting from that. Bourbon Street being shut down makes things seem far worse than they are, but I feel it’s important to remind people that these are preventative measures at this stage. I wanted to note this because getting this information out there as fast as this virus spreads is likely to be as important a factor in bringing this historic mess to a close as making a vaccine. Here is the link to that recent news story. Cantrell Tweets Big Crowds Being Broken Up, Hash Tags Bourbon Street As Restrictions Tighten.

That’s it for the spooky news of current affairs. How about something a little more fun? A few weeks back I had decided that it was time to make my presence known on YouTube as I am getting back into the swing of things after a long hiatus and I had a little performance piece in mind when it was brought to my attention that Mardi Gras was happening the following week. Now I don’t know how many out there are aware of the term busking or what it entails, so I will tell you that it is the act of either performing on the street or posing with people for pictures that garner tips from those who appreciate giving them a memory to take with them. New Orleans has always been one of the biggest places for this type of activity and it was my thought to go during its biggest celebration of the year and try my luck at something I have never done before.

Setting out at 6am.

Getting in touch with an old work friend from one of the times I was down here before moving, I managed to get a ride all the way into New Orleans on Lundi Gras, The Monday before Fat Tuesday during the Mardi Gras celebration. Both as I entered the downtown area and I was left, I was met with the very sobering sight of the collapsed Hard Rock Cafe Hotel that’s debris still harbors the remains of two of the workers since there has been no safe way to retrieve them without putting even more lives in danger. It was quite the sight and not exactly what I would have wanted to see first thing as I was rolling into the biggest celebration of the city. I know I said no more spooky stuff, sadly it is unavoidable in life, but I promise, the rest is just good old fashioned fun…..After a while anyway..

By 9:25 am I was on Bourbon Street where I came to realize there were not many people at all. I had forgotten that, between the night before and the early morning clean up of the street and alcohol restock trucks that I would have a bit to wait. My intent in coming here was to make a little money, but not five minutes in I had already given a homeless lady a dollar she had asked for and another twenty minutes saw me cave into the restrooms for paying customers only stipulation of the few places opened that actually had one. Thirty minutes in I was already down thirteen dollars, it was not looking good, nor would it for the rest of the day. My mission failing, I decided let’s just take in the whole experience and not worry about the business aspect. From there the day went pretty well.

Near empty streets during Mardi Gras was not what I was expecting.
New Orleans bookstores remind me of Diagon Alley. They also remind me of what a fire hazard looks like.
Look Ma! Fake White Castle!
The Rarely captured backside of the St. Louis Cathedral, Where artists come to draw inspiration.
The fine window shopping fashion of The Trashy Diva. LOL
The world-famous House of Blues.
There the people are finally. From about 11 am onwards the streets started filling up.
But then I found it. The house in New Orleans, they call The Rising Sun….And that was it, I was RUEENED!!!!RUEENED I SAY!!!! Like the song tells us.
It’s not every day you get to watch a brave elderly lady celebrate her birthday……By riding a mechanical bull. It’s a good thing it was happy hour and I had a few Corona (The Beer of our Neighbors in Mexico, not the virus.) to adjust to what I was witnessing.
One of the many parades.
I could have sworn I had a better shot of the plastic five-gallon bucket drummer. Everyone has a gig in The Big Easy.
The face you make at the end of your half-successful day when an older lady who was a spitting image of Talia Shire grabs your backside and pretends to talk on her phone. Yo Adrian! What the Hell?!?!

So that was my day in a nutshell. I went with a dream of making some cash, left with far less than I came in with, but I saw a side of things that I don’t usually get to see. All in all, I can’t complain. It was a much-needed change of pace to my normal too quiet life. In afterthought, I could have done far worse, I could have come out of it far worse if what happened last night was any indication. And I think it will help to show everyone an idea of the normal we are seeking to get back to. It’s always good to know what you are fighting for.

Every single election we go out to the polls. We do it with grievances. We do it with a sense of hope. We do it because we expect the people we elect to office can be responsible enough to make decisions that impact our lives and the lives of our neighbors. That is NOT an unreasonable expectation to have given the levity of the positions we put these people in. I have been noticing however, an ever growing and disturbing trend among our leaders.

This trend, is really nothing new to the game of politics. I have stated previously that watching election ads is rather akin to watching a pro wrestling promo. The patriotic music in the back ground, the testimonies of other well known politicians vouching for the candidate, the “What I can do for you that the other person can’t”…or in a lot of cases, the smear that dares to ask, if the opponent is really someone you want representing you. It’s SPECTACLE, and it doesn’t, nor has it ever been confined strictly to elections. Part of the problem many voters note is how politicians will talk a big game, but then fail to deliver on the goods.

There are many reasons for this. In a lot of such cases if the action would center around a hot topic of debate that has voters divided, there then becomes a risk to the all important seat of power for a political party. Any solution could put that seat in jeopardy for the number of voters who would be against it, and so they TALK a BIG GAME and put the minds of one section of voters at ease on the idea that their representatives actually are thinking about the issue that concerns them, while keeping the other section at bay by not actually DOING ANYTHING about it. As of late that natural element of SPECTACLE in politics has started reaching, in many cases, new LOWS.

Now that I have set the stage of the topic at hand I want to take you back a few months to, a post I put up here in April. In full transparency of my previous take on the topic, here is the link to that post for you to view.

HB481 Georgia vs Hollywood:The Heartbeat Bill

In the course of that post, I stated that, in the past, I had tended to side with the Pro-Choice side of the argument and I stated why. I will not repeat that part here. What had earned my approval of this bill, were couple points.

First, it addressed many points from both sides of the abortion debate, which I found impressive because, unlike standard political fare, it was willing to tackle one of those HOT DEBATE TOPICS with actual policy. With the current mentality of zero tolerance, or compromise, I found HB481 to be something people could look to, if shown in practice, that could walk back that destructive mind set.

Second, While there was an intent based in moral, the bill itself followed far more of a scientific stance. We saw the bill utilize reasoning based in medical science. We saw the bill offer an additional incentive in the form allowing the expected mother to claim an unborn child for tax purposes, which has the potential to really help financially at a time when it would come in handy, something that could not be done without law recognizing an unborn as an individual.

Like most things in politics, it was prone to the SPECTACLE. Already gaining the ire of Hollywood celebrities, within days of being officially signed into law, many other such bills began springing up in different states across the nation. These bills, in virtually every case, failed to consider the argument from both sides of the debate. The end result was what appeared to be a massive push to eradicate abortion and encourage the overturn of the Roe v Wade decision of the Supreme Court. This decision, I might add, would have the potential to prevent abortion even in cases where the mother’s life is in danger and without gurantee of the child’s survival. In other words, every extreme that has always made me side with the Pro-Choice end of the debate.

Even in that flurry of bills that surfaced, I stood in defense of Georgia’s Heartbeat Bill, often arguing the points where it was greatly different from the others that it was being lumped in with. What I started noticing, was that my own sentiments were not being mirrored, as far as I could find, from the state of Georgia itself. While it is perfectly understandable for a state to not come across as telling other states how to run, doing so would not be a requisite for explaining how your state’s bill is different from those it is being mistaken as being similar to. This, one would think, would also be a wise move, if your intent had in fact been to find the working balance in a hot debate topic in the form of policy. Again I state, if there was such an occurrence, I wasn’t finding it and the SPECTACLE, became that of a great push to eradicate abortion.

HB481 is now law, along with other new abortion bills that have no interest in hiding their intent. My faith in Georgia was shaken, but it actually was not until this very morning, the morning of 7/21/19 that would encounter, what was for me, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Remarkably, though not surprisingly, it was another instance of SPECTACLE in politics, that had nothing to do with abortion, though it did involve a representative of Georgia’s State government.

Enter the seemingly endless fight, between Democrats and Republicans at the Federal level. For weeks we have Democrats squabbling among themselves, before a series of Tweets from the president created yet ANOTHER SPECTACLE. A SPECTACLE, that has seen the people who despise him, once more call out the dreaded war cry of racist. A SPECTACLE that has his supporters giving him praise for the “CLEVERNESS” of drawing attention away from the Raise The Wage deal introduced by House Democrats to raise minimum wage in America, while keeping the focus on the progressive lot in congress, who are keen on creating their own SPECTACLE around their own social media campaigns while that campaign and any investigations they do, ultimately FAILS to bring anything to the House floor in the form of policy, even as the president recently signed into being a change in Asylum policy that would prevent people from passing through other countries that offer asylum to come seeking it in America. Sounds convoluted, I know. What it does not change is the fact that even if you wanted to claim that it was racially motivated, a deterrent for seeking Asylum from those passing through multiple countries, would in theory decrease the number of people to be detained by stripping them of their reason for trying and thus alleviate the inhumane conditions caused by overcrowding.

There it is folks, agree with the change in Asylum policy or not and what it does not CHANGE, is that, as POLICY, it is a more solid move towards decreasing the inhumane conditions of detainees at our border than MONTHS of investigation and propaganda pushing on social media. I might also add that in spite of months of investigation and social media ranting, we saw it take only 2 days for this progressive lot to present a resolution on the floor of the House urging congress into action over the president’s string of tweets. Clever I will admit. There is however another stark and grim reality around it and we saw that in the form of a “Send her back” chant from the crowd at one of the president’s rallies a couple days back. A chant that had THE PEOPLE at each other’s throats. A chant that even many of the president’s own party refused to support, which in turn saw the president denounce it….Even as he stood smiling throughout it’s duration. It’s the X-Factor in political power plays through SPECTACLE and the manipulation of what we see and know and react to as a people. It is the EFFECT that SPECTACLE has on the people themselves.

Following that rather chilling display at the president’s rally, a Georgia State representative, Erica Thomas hits social media with a claim that a white man told her to go back where she came from. A grim look at how SPECTACLE inspires the actions of The PEOPLE. That was yesterday, amid a slew of Tweets trending the hash tag #IStandWithErica on Twitter……..This morning a different story is being told. The man, who, considering he and Erica were standing side by side arguing on camera as the story unfolded, was apparently the ACTUAL MAN from the altercation. A Cuban- American, Democrat and claimed staunch Anit-Trump person. The altercation, as it turns out was a simple dispute over the use of the express checkout line at a store and apparently no racially charged comments were used….. SPECTACLE….Feeding off of SPECTACLE.

So, a blatant lie. A Hate Hoax in a year that has now seen TWO such incidents, this time by a member of the Georgia State government. I have to tell you in all honesty; when I see a member of any government, just basically promote a sense of civil unrest among the people for the sake of it, through SPECTACLE, I lose trust in that governing body and it’s decisions.

In a country where there ARE people screaming “Send Her Back” and people having melt downs at the sight of HATS…. An article of clothing. A country that I fully expect to see more fist fights at polls during the 2020 Election than at any point in our history on account of the emotional instability all this SPECTACLE is causing, It all begs the question. What is this, ANY OF THIS, doing FOR the American people? What does making factually erred Tweets for attention and presidential candidates urging big tech to silence political rivals REALLY DOING FOR US? I will close on this note. If WE don’t start doing more to COUNTER all of this SPECTACLE in politics, it will DROWN OUT EVERYTHING, we were always taught to be proud of and everything we have always been taught people made grave sacrifices for in the CACOPHONY of the NOISE and the QUAGMIRE of the FALL OUT. It will drown these things out, as assuredly as it has whatever the ORIGINAL INTENT may be behind any of these TACTICS.

Hey It’s been, I don’t know, a week or two since I last posted? Want to look at that post that includes petitions regarding Children’s Healthcare click here BURN IT DOWN! An All Out Assault Against Society Weakening Ideology. Before I get into today’s topic I’m going to need you to do something. I need you to believe in something that more and more these days seems IMPOSSIBLE. Can you do that? 😀 Good. You ever have those moments when you feel the need to ask yourself what would John Quinones do? For those who don’t know who this is, he is a journalist who did a show called “What Would You Do?” It was the perfect mixture of prank show and genuine social experimentation. Actors were hired to go out in public and create scenes, depicting acts ranging from race bashing, to abuse scenarios. They even had someone go out twice both as how they really are and in a fat suit with kick ass make up to see how people reacted differently between the model and the fat person. I mean you name it they were running a scenario for it and sometimes doing the same one in different places. Noting from hidden cameras, both the people who ignored what was happening and those who stepped up to act against it. They would always interview the ones who reacted to find out why they did. As far as reality television goes, this to me was one that had real educational value to it.

Well I think we have seen just about every real world scenario there is to be seen, whatever “What Would You Do?” hasn’t covered Tom Green certainly did back in his early days and while that was comedy it did push the limits of seeing how everyday people react to just ridiculous circumstances. That said Debate is a Lost Art, and I know there are going to be people out there who will read that and scream Debate Teams, Election Debates, The one’s you have seen between scientists and Christians and the thing is all of these are essentially COMPETITIONS and the Winners are determined by others viewing it’s very STRUCTURED RULE SET. I’m talking REAL DEBATE what we want to call debate today when compared to it is like the difference between Kendo and Genuine Sword fighting. First off in REAL DEBATE it is NOT about winning. When both sides are RECEPTIVE ENOUGH it is about each expanding their ideology through the EXCHANGE OF IDEAS. There is such a resistance in this age to the notion of exchanging idea’s. It’s like everybody wants to believe THEY ARE RIGHT. Let’s look at some of the reasons. First: It’s a matter of having a fixed and set belief system, this is something people cling to even during the times it does not make sense or even apply to the situation. It’s just easier to stick to your guns than adopt an idea from another person….especially if you disagree with most everything they say. Second: FEAR of anything that goes against your grain. FEAR is one of those things that exists to trigger Survival mode in our minds to make it easier to overcome obstacles, but it can also be it’s own obstacle when left unchecked.When we fear the result of being “WRONG” we become resistant to ACCEPTING the idea’s of others. Third: I have basically already covered in saying that we have twisted the idea of what debate is into being a COMPETITION, when you think DEBATE you automatically go into defense/offense mode in the belief that it is something that you can or have to WIN. When we do this we forsake accepting the ideas of others in the belief that as opponents their ideas are something to be BEATEN, not adopted.

One more thing before I go into the particulars of my little social experiment. In light of it being the holiday season and a time of gifting I will leave a few links to where you can find the albums of the band whose music played a key role in it. As you will see I give them Hell, but everyone is has the right to FORM their opinion and honestly my Biggest reason lies in the fact that you can’t run a social experiment without openly stirring the shit pot to get the ball rolling on it. If my results are any indication of the type of people this bands music inspire, believe me when I tell you I would see it all go triple platinum.


https://www.amazon.com/Could-Do-Whatever-Wanted-If/dp/B00BQ1DC16

https://www.amazon.com/Fuck-Your-Emotional-Bullshit-Snowing/dp/B00GMVGEHY

https://www.amazon.com/That-Time-Sat-Pile-Chocolate/dp/B01E84E2PC

It started with just the right search of words on Youtube about a week ago. I happened across the EP Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit by an emo band called Snowing.  2 minutes in and I’m shaking my head trying to discern the lyrics over the cacophony of sounds that just bombard you when you are listening to this. SO I Google the lyrics and what I found was some fairly smart points regarding the sort of things that both cause strong emotion, but also beat people down into a state of emotional numbness. Okay, so for me it was sort of like Nirvana. Some of their songs you could follow what was being said some of it I had to wonder if there was even real words in there when I listened, but if you look at the songs as they are written it is exactly what everyone says it is…Genius. So naturally this is what I commented. (Click Images to see in full size)

 

With the open challenge issued all I had to do was sit back and wait for the responses, if there would be any, to come in. The first did almost immediately and I was impressed by what was actually just a fan who stated his own opinion and that was it. No fight, nothing more than a trade of opinions. So I’m thinking, Alright there are people who get it. People who don’t take such things too personally. I’m cool with that.

The second response came the next day and truthfully it was of a type that I expected, because it is  a very common type of response when someone says something that someone else does not like.

The Third response came the day after. this was one that I had expected sooner in the chain, more like first or second, because it is becoming more and more common a response in this day and age. It is the response I call The Care Bear response and I know if you have read much of anything I have written in the last four years then you know my take on The Care Bear response. And not to my surprise this one actually became an exchange. Because I am a Debater and as such I push the envelop, this makes me like oil to this type of person’s water. They tend to be the ones I ultimately rub the wrong way the most. This is also one of the best type of responses to start switching gears on to show a different side to the argument that you present.

Things went eerily quiet after that for a few days and for a moment I allowed myself to think that my little experiment had run it’s course with little real success. I was wrong. The fourth response was exactly what I had been most expecting and I was glad that it was actually the fourth in line because I had already sewed the seeds for changing up the argument altogether. As you will find what came AFTER this response was EXACTLY the thing that had made this a success. What you see here is the ANGRY RESPONSE. You will note that mine comes back even more harsh. The reason for this was so that if he looked back over how I responded to the others he would see a distinct difference in my demeanor versus how I mirrored his own. Keep an eye on this guy because he will show up later as well.

Remember when I said that I have a way of rubbing those with The Care Bear response the wrong way? Well guess who popped back up. and with that a new exchange was begun until it was suddenly stopped cold……Not by me and not by the guy with The Care Bear response, but by the one who initially had The ANGRY RESPONSE. Check it out.

There, RIGHT THERE was the moment my whole reason for stirring the shit pot. Suffice to say from this point forward My responses to others took on a different tone altogether. It makes no sense to continue being the person who stirs the shit pot once you found someone with a sense of reason who is capable of listening and learning from what others have to say. Doing so would then become COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. So it was when the fifth type of response came around The Innocent of any real insult, but questioning of how someone can stir that shit pot so willingly I honestly found how the girl put it hilarious and so I decided to take the path of adding to the comic relief.

Last came the type of response that I actually had hoped for but had not expected at all. This one came out swinging with an actual argument against my original statement, and a fairly well thought out argument at that. It all comes down to what a person takes personal, and in my own response I point out a lighter side to taking criticism and an appreciation for the thought put into coming back at my arguments.

Now for the point where I ACCEPT a few things of my own. Admittedly it I still find this music a bit of an acquired taste, but if we are being honest there are MANY reasons to come to really like something. For me I have to say this music offered an experience for me that I was not expecting through just the pure diversity of the people and their mind sets who listen to it. They are cool people. And this band are some real bad asses for bringing that together, I haven’t yet listened to the rest of what they have done, but knowing myself…I have Taylor Swift songs that I like…….I can’t STAND Taylor Swift, no offense to her. LOL It is very unlikely that I will not find something of theirs that I listen to repeatedly. With that I became the 873rd person to like their video…You know, the one I bitched about.

….. Why did I do all of this? It’s simple. Get online, any social media outlet, watch the news…..All 15 versions of it, listen to the people around you. What have we heard lately? A mess of LABEL THROWING, Left wingers, Right wingers, We protest this, we’re boycotting you because you protested it. It seems like we are living in a society that is dead set on being divisive, with a lack of OPENNESS that can’t help but make you wonder if there is truly ANY HOPE of repairing the rift. and you can say, at least Americans can, that it’s our current President’s fault and while he has been a huge factor, we were getting that way for a long time already, even before he decided to run for office. Partisan politics, are only a symptom of the REAL PROBLEM. Hell I have a page on here thanking Eminem for his music and what it did to keep me motivated and moving forward, but I don’t really listen to that much now and the reason is because he recently chimed in with a freestyle rap against the president. I agree with most everything he said in that freestyle, I laughed about a lot of it and then he did one of the dumbest things. He laid out an ultimatum to the people who listened to his music……. You can’t side with one and the other, you can’t walk the fence. In that moment the DUMB SON OF A BITCH BECAME THE SAME PROBLEM AS THE OTHER GUY. He essentially fed into the DIVISION of our people and THAT I am SO NOT COOL WITH. If your idea of fixing the problem is just setting people up like chess pieces for a battle you refuse to find, Hell to even bother to LOOK for an alternative path to, it’s on you too. I did this because with as IRREPARABLY DIVIDED as people seem intent on staying in this day and age it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to show, even in such a small form, that  as UGLY as OPEN DIALOGUE can be in it’s beginning stages, when people are OPEN ENOUGH the EXCHANGE of IDEAS is integral to our GROWTH, both as a person and as a people. Happy Holiday Season to All.