fourth of july blow job

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Most people know that the Rant-ress isn’t a huge fan of holidays mainly because they’re an excuse for thoughtless—then reckless—indulgent actions instead of merrymaking. We’re a country of extremism; that’s not fun.

For me, no holiday epitomizes this like the Fourth of July. From the environmental impacts of fire-starting, spewing toxic chemicals by the millions of pounds into the air, waterways, earth, to damaging wildlife, frightening little kids and animals, spawning burns and activating PTSD in soldiers and others—what are we doing?

Environmental:

  • Total amount of fireworks used: 285.3 million pounds
  • Consumer fireworks used: 260.7 million pounds
  • Display fireworks used: 24.6 million pounds

Science editor Russell McLendon writes, “Fireworks get their flamboyance from a variety of chemicals, many of which are toxic to humans. From the gunpowder that fuels their flight to the metallic compounds that color their explosions, fireworks often contain carcinogenic or hormone-disrupting substances that can seep into soil and water, not to mention the lung-clogging smoke they release and plastic debris they scatter.”

Almost half the fires started around July 4th are firework related, which translates: we could have half as many fires if we didn’t replicate “bombs bursting in air.”

Social:

Fireworks terrify domestic animals and wildlifeWar vets struggle with the booms that trigger their PTSD. Males account for 74% of fireworks injuries. Insert Darwin Awards here.

Freedom:

And then there’s the issue of who was set free. Not women. Not black slaves. Not child workers. Not pagans. Not native Indians.

Black people didn’t get ‘freedom’ until 1865. The incomparable Frederick Douglass spoke on 5 July 1852, “What To The Slave Is the Fourth of July? :

“…your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast,fraud,deception,impiety,and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes…more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States.”

Women didn’t get the vote until 1920; they didn’t have the right to their own property or finances until around 1900. They may not have been bought and sold on a slave block but they were traded like chattel, often beaten and made to work long hours without pay. Sounds like slavery to me.

Simplistically, the Colonialists (pause at what that definition means) almost exterminated the native people of the Americas.

So while revering this jingoistic holiday in drunken, stoned, gluttonous glory, if  you aren’t a white adult male, remember that you have little to celebrate.

All we have are our stories. When those stories are based on lies and hypocrisy, they continue to harm. Let’s “green up” this holiday and not glorify war. Ditch the “bombs bursting,” and step into a more peaceful inclusive paradigm, one recognizing all races and genders—and their accrued pain—acknowledge other species’ torment and have deep consideration for Mother Earth at large.

 

 

 

“when he got there, I talked to him about it.” huh?????

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Our culture villianizes teenagers for narcissistic incoherence in communicating but I witness it in many adults. Why is there such difficulty when speaking, in journalism, on-line? Here’s a few communication muddles:

  • Use of  pronouns. My quasi-spouse loves them: *”They had what I needed and I picked it up.” As if I know which ‘they’ he’s referring to and what ‘it’ he bought. Or, “He didn’t like what I’d said.” Who?? What had he said? At least I knew who the ‘I’ was. The Quasi starts in the middle of a story—one that he’s having alone in his head.
  • Stonewalling is a refusal to communicate fully (or at all)—think of the stereotypical teen or husband grunting one word “answers” to questions. More men than women regularly employ this non-action in stalled relationships. No resolution can be had using this “technique” as no one knows what the stonewaller wants because…they won’t tell you. Lots of rationalization is given for their disinclination, but the bottom line: they eliminate any possibility of getting what they need.
  • Evasiveness. Pretty self-explanatory but here’s a subtle example: “Has everyone paid you what they should have?” “I have been fairly compensated by all.” The answer suggests that everyone did pay but it’s equally possible that “fairly compensated” is an ambiguous cover. A direct “yes” would have left no ambiguity. Why obfuscate?
  • Illegible writing and SIRI-garbled texts go together. Sloppy writing, sloppy mumbling to SIRI. If you’re attempting to leave a note for someone or send a text, read over what you’ve written or dictated. Is it legible to you? Does the text make sense? The object is transmission, is it not?
  • Passive-aggressive is more complex [see: how to deal with pass-agg aggro] but suffice to say that this one often involves all of the above and more, like: agreeing to one thing then doing another, being sullen, surly, defensive. It’s awfully thorny finding accountability with these slippery people.

What would help?

  • Start communications with details, with nouns. Set the story up whether you’re talking or writing. If you don’t—unless you’re an actual child—you’re just revealing your solipsism. Most of us like a good story but more often than not we’re subjected to boring ones.
  • Speak up and ask for what you want regardless of your perceived hopelessness in being heard. It’s logical; it’s effective—whichever way it goes. Otherwise you’re apparently choosing to be a martyr.
  • Give a clear” yes” or “no” preamble in answers, especially if you don’t like to “process” much. There’s little sense in being vague. Expound if you wish but without defensiveness (smells of martyr, too).
  • Don’t blame SIRI for getting your dictation wrong. “She’s” not god.
  • Write so legibly that a beginning reader can interpret it.
  • Most importantly, communication isn’t just about you. Paint your ideas, stories, dreams, fears, loves with all the palette colors so another can almost see them as you do. Others may not agree but they just might understand.
  • Lastly, don’t be passive-aggressive. Sigh.

*actual true conversation starting points

hell is still other people

You know how sometimes life feels unwieldy & “obese” because other people exist? Nyuck, Nyuck.

No, seriously.

Maybe I’m getting old, but this way that others have of deciding things about “you” or deciding what you meant and then hugging those hurts to their chest like a favored stuffed animal is turning me into an even deeper misanthrope than Sartre was said to be. But then, who said that? Did they just surmise it to be true? Writing down his observations of the human condition and philosophizing them didn’t necessarily make him a hater.

We all have our stories—and so what? The trouble comes when you don’t run the story by the people you’ve made up those narratives about, you believe they’re true, and then life becomes toilsome for the protagonist in your invented fiction. This bulls@#t creates a lot of gratuitous drama.

I’m of Italian descent; drama is my middle name. I love opera and plays, emotions and songs, poetry and art, and stories. But I don’t like unnecessary childish drama unless someone is an actual child/teenager. They get to have that; they’re children.

I’m not immune from the story-making machine. I recently put together pieces concerning a curmudgeonly and not very technologically interactive friend. I spent three weeks revising it, yet wondered if my inner tale had any actuality. So I sent him an email elucidating the specifics of my story using muscular verbs and shiny details. To my relief, it wasn’t true, and I quote, “Well, aren’t we a bit sensitive.”

Key difference here? I ran it by him before it imprinted itself to my skull as TRUTH. And—because I’m not attached to my story merely because I created it—I let it go. Maybe it’s easier for me to release it because of all the practice I get being a writer, I don’t know. I tell my students (Hello y’all!) to let their writing flow through them to the page, but be ready to cut, slash and kill “their babies” since they should be in service to their work, not applaud themselves as “writer.”

Whatever you invent, you’re responsible for the larger veracity, how it fits into the whole community not only your brain. Just because you think donuts are food doesn’t mean I do; both are “true.” Obama is not a socialist or secret Muslim no matter how many times a tea-partier says it. The conclusions you manufacture about my intentions doesn’t make them accurate in real life. It does mean there’s a misunderstanding that needs to be cleared up but that won’t happen in the solitary vacuum of your head.

Stop being afraid of external conflict and say what you think, ask clarifying questions. That’s the respectful, adult thing to do. The only realm where differences will be figured out is in the open air giving both individuals a chance to discuss it and find a whole, round, full “truth” that works for more than just one.