Scarywhining.com

I don’t know why I bother to surf Scarymommy.com, when all the articles are trash (a combination of poorly articulated, superficially analyzed, self-righteous liberal propaganda, and mothers bitching and moaning about the pettiest of offenses), but occasionally I find myself wandering back in search of mild amusement. Most recently, the greatest offenses to be featured on Scarymommy.com:

Exhibit A

Woman bitches about people asking her if she’s had her baby yet, and how she’s feeling, when she’s past her due date:

If another person asks me if I’ve had my baby yet, I’m going to punch them in the face…

Another question I can’t get enough of is, “How are you feeling?” How the hell do you think I’m feeling?!? I’m huge, uncomfortable, haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in God knows how long, constipated, suffering from a raging case of heartburn, and want this baby out of me already. Shall I go on?

Oh, god forbid people are excited about the birth of your child, and are concerned about your welfare. Having babies is extremely commonplace; in the grand scheme of life, it is a mundane, ordinary, and utterly banal occurrence, so any woman should feel blessed to be surrounded by people who care enough to pester her about the baby’s imminent arrival, and her health status. The rest of her post is a tome of familiar complaints of being 40+ weeks pregnant (with which I completely sympathize – it blows balls), but you know, how dare people give a shit and actually ask me how I’m doing. Seriously, fuck the world and all its caring, kind people, right? Don’t they know what an inconvenience it is for you to be receiving these well-meaning texts and e-mails? Oh, the gall. Simply unconscionable. It would be so much better if you had no friends and no one gave a fuck. I want to tell her to please shut the fuck up but of course, it’s my own stupidity for wandering onto this website to begin with.

Exhibit B

Woman bitches about people’s creative and happy Facebook posts. I shit you not. She spends the entire post whining about how she cannot compete with other mothers who cook Martha Stewart level meals and make Pinterest-worthy crafts, and tearing others down for having the audacity to appear happy in their Facebook pictures.

We are so happy and laughing hysterically at this trendy restaurant where our children are behaving perfectly. Look at us!We are so happy and just in love with life at this park. Look at us!We ski. We vacation. We snuggle. We hike. We smile all f*cking day long.

Stop it now. Because no, no you don’t.

She admits a lot of her feelings are borne out of her own security – yeah, no shit. Maybe you should work on putting a check on taking out your deep insecurities on happy people. Horrifically, the people she’s talking about aren’t even women in ads or the media; they are her friends and acquaintances. I don’t come across people who like to shit all over other people’s happiness that often, but oh, hello there, here you are. I get that social media is often not a reflection of reality and can create feelings of insecurity, but jesus, get a hold of yourself.

If I could describe this website with just one phrase, it would be “White whine.”

Announcing Pregnancy

Everyone knows the 3-month rule. Due to the higher chance of miscarriage in early pregnancy, many, if not most, like to keep things under wraps until the second trimester. I did not follow this approach for a few reasons, however.

While the risk of miscarriage in known pregnancies is, according to Dr. Google, 10-20 percent in the first 20 weeks, the odds still appeared to be largely in my favor. I also considered the fact there are no known miscarriages in my family and I’m pretty healthy. Whether these are scientifically sound reasons for being optimistic, I can’t say, but that was my thought process.

I balanced these odds with the absolute certainty that within a week or two, I’d find myself at a party, uncharacteristically without an alcoholic drink, and would face questions about being pregnant and have to lie. I knew this with absolute certainty, because there was one occasion on which I attended a baby shower after a night of brewery hopping. As I had indulged sufficiently the night prior, I decided to take it easy on the alcohol at the baby shower. I was one of the earlier guests, and actually did help myself to a mimosa, but after that, I refrained with the exception of a virgin Bloody Mary, which is nice the day after drinking. Also, I hate vodka and love tomato juice, so I always drink Bloody Marys virgin, but I do not do this frequently, so not many people know this.

Subsequently, my husband received several text messages from his friends insisting they “knew” I must be pregnant, because none of the girlfriends or wives saw me imbibe alcohol at the shower, and in fact, saw me order a virgin drink. The texts were so adamant my husband actually called me on the way home from work to ask tentatively, “You’re not pregnant… are you?”

So I had a pretty good idea that any time I’m caught without alcohol, there would be questions. I am not a good liar and I could see myself being really awkward with this. Further, I’d have to make up a lot of lies if I was seeing people or being invited places over the course of 3 months.

Additionally, while you never know until it happens to you, I did not think I’d be the type to be completely devastated if I miscarried. Surely, it would be frustrating, but I suspected I would tell myself it was my body’s way of rejecting an organism not meant to be born, and doubted I would become a total emotional wreck. I balanced the relatively unlikely possibility of having to tell multiple people I miscarried with the absolute certainty of telling many awkward lies, and decided the awkward lies would be worse for me.

We told parents and family almost immediately, followed by close friends. Everyone else, we told if they asked or if it somehow came up. We did not go out of our way to share on social media or make any type of formal announcement. To be honest, for me, the beginning was characterized by a certain level of anxiety, and I didn’t want to feel like I had to put on an act for everyone about how exciting and joyous this all is. Maybe that makes me weird, but it’s the truth, and I was not inclined to put on a fake show. You can fool the world, but you cannot fool yourself, nor should you try to.

[Note: pictured above indeed is our little fetus, not a cat sitting on a plank, however appropriate that might be.]

The Biased Media

The media is composed of countless sources, created by innumerable individuals, every single one of whom has biases. But Trump supporters are fucking delusional if they think “the media” is particularly or especially based toward their President. I give you exhibit A, which popped up in my Facebook Feed today:

The title of this piece reads, Trump Just signed New Law Making Drug Tests Mandatory For Welfare – Look What Immediately Happened. The headlining photograph as it appears in a user’s Facebook Feed depicts Trump appearing to sign a law (Trump Just signed New Law Making Drug Tests Mandatory), juxtaposed with what might be a chaotic mob of angry protesters, presumably lazy welfare recipients who are enraged at the new regulation (Look What Immediately Happened).

I’m not even going to go into detail regarding the fact corporate welfare to gigantic businesses is also socialist spending i.e. WELFARE. Never mind that businesses, banks, farms, and pretty much the entire incompetent auto industry of America regularly receive subsidies, bailouts, and handouts, and plenty of the rank and file of those entities are snorting cocaine, drinking booze, and smoking weed, and not once have I heard Republicans call for lobbyists, employees, or board members of those subsidy-receiving entities to be drug-tested. But I’ll spare you of that today, and focus on this story, its title, and its editor’s unfortunate, and dishonest, selection of featured graphics.

If you by chance read the real story behind the photograph on the right, you’d recall – yes, there were in fact angry people involved in a protest.

Except here’s the problem.

The picture is from June 22, 1996, has nothing to do with welfare, and actually depicts an incident in which an 18-year-old black woman, Keshia Thomas, defended a KKK member against violence during a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1996.

I shit you not. See here, here, here, here, and here.

This photograph was taken in the context of people (rightfully) protesting the Ku Klux Klan. It captured an inspirational moment of humanity in which one individual went out of her way to protect a total degenerate loser who supports segregation, white supremacy, white nationalism, and probably lynching, because she felt it was wrong to threaten him with violence for his views – and the Trump media has used it out of context in a vile and reprehensible manipulation of truth and racial politics to imply the people pictured are rioting because welfare benefits are being threatened. Indeed, the absurdity is too much to bear.

So for all you Trump supporters who claim the media is particularly biased toward Trump – fuck your Zootfeed.com, fuck your Trump, and Fuck you.

On Violence, Social Media, and Freedom of Speech

Earlier this month, Jerad and Amanda Miller killed two police officers while the officers were eating lunch in Las Vegas, NV. Subsequently, there was no shortage of outcry against police accountability groups, who were accused of fomenting hatred and violence against law enforcement, and in some sense, encouraging the heinous actions of people like the Millers.

The concern is not entirely misguided; Christopher Cantwell published a nonsensical and egregious article on Copblock.org about how the killing was justified merely because the victims were police officers, and therefore members of an oppressive class. Shortly thereafter, Cop Block removed Mr. Cantwell’s article, as well as his access and privileges as an editor/regular poster. Several administrators at Cop Block issued this statement in explanation of the decision.

These events have raised a familiar debate with respect to freedom of speech and instigation of violence, and once again, there have been calls for restriction, bans, and/or regulations on freedom of speech. In the past, the target of such restrictions have been the written word, or soap box speeches; in the age of technology, the new target (scapegoat) is social medial.

While use of social media certainly poses concerns for instigation of violence, freedom of speech is a fundamental right. Even the Supreme Court (which is not infrequently the foe of liberty)  has upheld these rights subject to the test of whether the lawless action is imminent, intentional, and likely to be carried out. This concept is well-accepted because ideas are powerful but ultimately intangible; individuals are responsible for their own actions.

The use of social media for discussion and news is invaluable to freedom. This is particularly the case when major news outlets consistently publish the perspective of the hegemony on matters of politics, war, corruption, police crimes, social justice, etc. Rarely does one encounter a news product of the mainstream media that actually has interviewed the victim, the victim’s family, or even eyewitnesses to heinous police brutalityThe vast majority of articles reporting on police crimes paraphrase police statements and police reports with no apparent investigation. For this reason, social media such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook can provide an additional perspective on these matters, though occasionally, messages like Cantwell’s unfortunately make it into the mix.

Christopher Cantwell, the Millers, and their vile lunacy are a distraction from the issue. In looking to Supreme Court rulings on First Amendment rights, the cases are littered with similarly deranged individuals of all types – KKK leaders, communists, angry religious loonies ranting on street corners, etc. At the heart of all these cases was not whether their message was valid or just (in many cases it was not), but whether they had a right to express themselves under those circumstances, without restraint.

Society does not ban hammers, kitchen knives, or automobiles, all of which are essential tools for daily life, merely because in some instances, they cause great danger, injury, and even death. Similarly, there should be no call for restriction or regulation on social media merely because sometimes, some mentally unsound people, misuse otherwise legitimate and essential tools for a free existence.

Thus, the issue is not whether there might be some negative consequences of individual action that may or may not stem from influence by social media and the spread of information – because crazy people will always do crazy things, with or without social media. The issue is whether there will be any truth left in this world without social media as a platform for the expression of ideas by disenfranchised people, silenced victims, and by non-government-approved, non-corporate, non-crony, sources.