It Amazes Me How Many Stupid Men Are Out There…

Now, I don’t want to single out women as causing all the problems. They certainly don’t, and they certainly aren’t. As anyone who is familiar with me knows, I tend to shake my head, and quietly say, with unbelief in my tone, “Jesus. Men really are that stupid, aren’t they…”

I have a friend. She’s cute. Pretty smile. Pretty eyes. Lives in the UK. And it amazes me that not one guy over there has decided she’s his best friend. Not one! She’s smart. She’s creative. She’s fun to talk with. And yet, not one guy in the UK has found her, and decided, “She is the friend I’ve always wanted! The one I’ll take to the movies. To the football games. For walks along the white chalk cliffs. To look at the flowers somewhere. She’s the one I’ll sit next to on the sofa, and watch BBC News as we talk about how insane this whole Brexit thing is. And we’ll just be best friends!”

Why? Why hasn’t some guy in the UK figured this out? Why isn’t some guy in the UK doing this with her?

Because.

Men really are that stupid, aren’t they…

I have a friend. She’s a knockout. My God, that woman is gorgeous! But. I love to chat with her. About things. About stuff that goes wrong, like when someone brings in a computer for repair, and goes off the deep end when they learn the Manufacturer’s Warranty does not cover a cracked screen. About how the day went. Was it good? Did the physical pain from the chronic illness let up today? Did you get any rest? About doctors, and how they don’t know all the answers, despite all their years of training, and practice. About books, and authors, and how great some of them are. And how some of them should never have made it into print. We talk about everything. Including family cats, and dogs, and even turtles.

And I find it infuriating to me, how many people no longer talk with her. How she got physically ill, and can’t work, and spends her days at her home, wishing she didn’t have to feel the pain she lives with, didn’t have to hurt like she hurts.

And I wonder why other guys don’t talk with her. Don’t spend time sending her messages. Yes, she’s married. That doesn’t mean no one should talk with her. Yes, she’s chronically ill. That’s no reason to ignore her.

Why? Why haven’t other guys figured out she wants friends to talk with. To simply spend time communicating with? Why haven’t guys figured this out?

Because.

Men really are that stupid. They are. Holy crap. It’s unbelievable.

I’ve lost count of the number of divorced women I know, and I count them as good friends. I wonder sometimes, what the fuck did the guy do that she left him? How could the guy be that kind of special stupid that she left him? How could he be so blind to her feelings, her heart, her soul, the things she dreams, and wants, and needs. That she gave up on him, and left.

But, there’s more to it than that. There’s other guys that are now divorced. Because. They treated her like a possession. Something they own. Like a frickin’ car, or truck. An object. Not a person. Not a human being with a heart, soul, and emotions. It because, “Now that I’m off from work, which frustrates me endlessly, and there’s nothing I can do about that, I can go home, and let all my emotions out, and unload on the wife.”

What?

Seriously?

What?

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard such words. Terrifying words. “Well. He owns a gun, you know. So, even though I didn’t want to, I did what he wanted. Because. Well. He owns a gun, you know.”

“Yes, he hit me. It’s better that he hit me the our little girl. I have to protect her from him?”

I’m like, “Wait! Isn’t he her father? And he’s a threat to her? What the fuck is wrong with him?”

And what the fuck is this dick pic shit all about? Guys. Seriously? Seriously? Sending pictures of it to strange women, or even women you work with, or know? Without them asking for them? That’s a special kind of brain damage, isn’t it?

I’ve been learning about mansplaining. And gaslighting. And I find they further illustrate the level of stupidity men have embraced. Guys. Explaining astrophysics to an astrophysicist when you barely got that Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing is like you’re three year old son telling you how to write a novel. And it makes you look every bit as intelligent. Innocent, and flat damn stupid. And you know it.

There are reasons too many guys are frickin’ divorced, and living lonely lives, searching the internet and fueling the growth of the porn industry, and the human trafficking market. Because.

Men. They really are that flat damn stupid.

Mark.

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Time For Me To Fight Back

Let’s talk who is to blame, here. No. Really. Let’s talk who is at fault. Who did NOT do what they should have done. And let’s start with the infamous case of Brock Turner, of Stanford University, in Stanford, California.

Am I to blame for the actions this disgusting individual took? I’m asking an honest question here. Because there are plenty of voices, almost every one of them women, who have informed me that I am. That I’m a white guy, and so I’m partly to blame.

So. Let me put this realistically. I live in Virginia Beach, VA. Brock Turner did his antics in Stanford, California. If I start right now, and drive non stop until I get there, Google Maps says I will drive 45 hours and something minutes, and over 3 thousand miles before I get there to stop Mr. Turner from doing whatever he decides to do on the spur of the moment.

Clearly, there was no way I could have stopped him once he got started. I’d have arrived about two days after the fact. So, saying I didn’t stop him makes as much sense to me as saying I didn’t prevent Donald Trump from saying the magic words, “Grab her by the pussy.”

I didn’t stop either person. I physically could not have. At the time they did what they did, I was hundreds, of not thousands of miles away from them. Hell, I never heard the name “Brock Turner” until he turned up on MSN news. I never even knew he existed. And if not for the news, I would still have no idea who he is.

But, apparently I’m at least partly to blame for what he did. So says the logic of the argument that’s been used to beat me over the head.

I did not raise him. I did not teach him. I did not live anywhere near him. I had no influence on him, or his development. I had no contact with his parents. Or any of his relatives. I did not attend any churches he attended. I did not attend any social activities he attended. I did not work with him. The man, very literally, did not exist, as far as I am concerned, until his name showed up on MSN News one day.

But, you see. I’m a white guy. So, clearly, I contributed to his behavior, and I certainly didn’t do enough to condemn it.

Let’s talk blame here. Seriously. Let’s talk who is responsible for the behavior of Roy Moore. A white guy. And an apparent pedophile. Roy Moore is 70 years old. That’s 12 years older than I am. Clearly. I was not involved in raising him. Nor was I involved in teaching him how to behave. The man was a high school graduate when I was a six year old boy in first grade.

Let’s go further, why not? I first heard of Roy Moore after Donald Trump was elected President. That’s right. I never heard of Roy Moore prior to 2017. I should also say it’s very likely I would not have heard of Roy Moore at all if it wasn’t for Donald Trump’s election. Because, that election precipitated the events that lead to Mr. Moore making national headlines for his indiscretions with underage girls. I should also mention that those indiscretions occurred quite a few years prior to the headlines of the past few months.

But, it would seem, once again, that as a white guy, I’m at least partly to blame for Mr. Moore’s actions. Either because I didn’t stop him. Or I didn’t visit Alabama to straighten his ass out. Or I didn’t show up on his doorstep with a gun, and an arrest warrant when he thought with his dick, and not his brain, however many years ago it was.

Let’s keep this process alive, shall we? Yes, it’s clearly pissing you off. Because it’s clearly blowing holes all through the argument that I’m to blame for the actions of other white men.

Let’s talk about someone who was once on my Facebook Friends list. They had a rough time. I know that. I didn’t know they were having a rough time when it was happening. Let’s be honest, here. The only contact I’ve ever had with them is through text exchanged through Facebook, and Twitter. Outside of that, they may as well live in Agrabah, the fictional Disney city of Princess Jasmine, from the movie Aladdin. Because I have never encountered them outside of Facebook and Twitter. And now that they’ve departed the United States, the odds of me having my foot run over in a parking lot by a snooty dude driving a Maserati are better than the odds of me meeting them.

Turns out they had an ex husband. One who owned a gun. One who wasn’t a nice guy. One who abused them.

Turns out, somehow, because I’m a white guy, I’m partly to blame for the actions of that guy, their ex husband.

Yeah. I can’t figure that one out either. Hell, I don’t even know who the guy is. Or where he lives, other than to say he’s probably somewhere between the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mississippi River, in the United States.

But, you see. I didn’t teach him how to behave. I didn’t teach him how to be a real man. I didn’t teach him how to treat other people, especially women. I didn’t teach him to respect the wishes of women, or their privacy, or their needs. I did not teach him when to physically approach a woman, and when to back away from one. I did not teach them to go out of his way to illustrate to a woman that she is safe, and will always be safe, around him.

So, it seems I’m partly to blame for the things he did. Because. I’m part of the system, you see. Part of what’s wrong with US Society. I’m a white guy. And that’s all there is to it.

As a person who has asked, more than once, and more than one woman, “Am I doing anything wrong? Am I doing something I shouldn’t do? Have I done anything that made you uncomfortable?” Having declared I wanted them to be safe, and if it helped I’d keep a wall, a desk, a partition, a table, or other hefty physical object between us, so they would know I wasn’t a threat. Having shoved my hands in my pockets, and backed away from women, more than once. Having completely left, completely removed myself from someone’s presence, permanently, to keep that someone safe, and to guarantee they would always feel safe from me.

Having done these things.

It’s so very apparent it’s my fault that other white men have grown into slimes who need to be staked out in the desert to learn what true sunburn is, and to experience just how bad sunburn can get.

You want to know why I’ve become an angry white man?

I just told you.

Read this again.

Then tell me I have no right to be angry. And tell me how ALL men are responsible.

And just remember. It’s because you endlessly beat me over the head with declarations of my guilt, and declarations of my responsibility for the truly disturbing things that happened to you, and declarations that I needed to be put in jail (No. Literally. That’s been said to me. More than you know. Far more than you know.) just because I’m a privileged, racist, sexist, misogynistic white man. And made to pay for all the crimes of every white man.

And all this, despite trying everything I know to try, learning everything I can learn, and doing the best I can, to keep women safe around me, and around others?

You want to know why I’ve become an angry white man?

Read this again.

 

#ThursThreads Week 294 : I Will If You Give Me A Chance

At 0630 hours, they arrested Julia. She was putting on her makeup when they destroyed the door to her apartment, and charged in, without any warrant, without any legal reason. “You’re under arrest for assault on two white men.” The officer who spoke pulled a gun, and pointed it at her.

I threw the officer through the apartment wall. “No violence, children. No violence.”

Every gun was drawn, and searching. Trying to find me, trying to find where that voice came from.

“I’ve already said, if you hurt someone today. I’ll kill all of you.” The officers started shooting holes in the walls, ceiling and floors.

“Congratulations, Officer Scott. You just shot a man who was sleeping.” Officer Scott emptied his entire clip as he shot everything in sight.

“Congratulations, Officer Aron. You just shot a two month old baby girl, and her mother. Sitting at the kitchen table. Nursing.” Officer Aaron screamed as he shot everything.

“Gentlemen. If you will give me a chance, I won’t kill you.” They kept shooting at everything. One placed his gun against Julia’s head, and pulled the trigger.

I stopped them. Not because I wanted to. Because the shooting had to stop. There were enough innocent lives lost already.

The sound of my gun was deeper, louder. Officers Scott and Aaron stopped shooting. Officers Franks, and Simmons didn’t. I stopped them too. “For the needless murder of innocent civilians.”

“Next stop. Jail.” And there would be more dead bodies. That I already knew.

250 Words
@mysoulstears


Yet another part of the ongoing Armor 17 story. It’s Week 294 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read.

To Those Who Are Concerned…

There was a time. Years ago. When my world burned to the ground, and left me with nothing but ashes, and bare dirt. There was a time I spoke the words, “To those who are concerned.” I will not debate grammar rules, and whether this should have been “whom” and not “who”.

I will, however, repeat what I said then. This is for those who are concerned.

I have tried to explain. I have tried to find the words. I have expended all my strength. All my energy. All my courage. Endurance. Patience. All of it. Trying to explain that which I see. I have said (check my status history on Facebook, if you doubt this) countless times there is no right or wrong, no left or right, no good or evil, no just or unjust, no us or them, no ethical or unethical, no moral or immoral.

I stand by that.

And I stand, as I have always stood. By myself. Misunderstood. And treated as guilty. Because.

I am white.

I am male.

And I will no longer listen when you say to me, “It’s ALL men!”

I will no longer listen when you say to me, “ALL white people are racists!”

I will no longer listen when you pronounce, “Of course you don’t care! You’re a White Man! You can afford NOT to care!”

I would say, instead, the following.

Before my 40th birthday, in 1993, yes, 24 years ago. Before my 40th birthday, my primary care physician said these words to me. They are burned into my brain cells forever. I can never be free of them.

“On those mornings you wake up, and you ache. You know those mornings. I know you understand what I’m saying. On those mornings you wake up, and you ache. Take your naproxen.”

I was 34 years old. 34.

And this morning, I woke up. Not because I was rested. Not because I’d had enough sleep. Not because I felt wide awake. I woke up because.

Some invisible man with a crowbar was shoving that crowbar under my right collar bone, and trying to pry it out of my body.

Some invisible man with a baseball bat was pounding on my right hip.

Some invisible man with a nail gun was hammering nails into my right ankle.

Some invisible man with a wrench had clamped that sucker down on the right ligaments of my left knee, and was twisting that bitch for all he was worth.

I woke up because.

I fucking hurt.

And yes. I fucking took my naproxen.

There are more words to say. Many more.

I remember my days at Old Dominion University, from August of 1977 through May of 1982. I remember more than once, screaming at the gods, at the universe, how it could allow someone as priceless as her, my friend, to be hurt in that way.

I used to do as she asked, you know. I walked with her. All over the place. Countless places I had no interest in going. Places I went, and did nothing. Why? Because. It helped her feel safe. Period. Seeing all six feet two inches of me, next to her, seeing the physical presence that is me, next to tiny, delicate, fragile her.

Guys left her alone. She told me that. “I said goodbye to you, while I stood you in the doorway to the class. And since that day, the guy that was harassing me, bothering me, wouldn’t leave me alone. He’s left me alone, and never bothered me since.”

Don’t tell me I don’t understand!

1984, in the halls of Dam Neck US Naval Base. When I stepped between my friend Denise. And the chaos that was a male sailor, who’d failed an exam yet again, and was lashing out, and being chased by the Military Police. And was physically resisting. When I placed her behind me, without hesitation. To keep her safe. To protect her.

From him.

Don’t tell me I don’t understand!

I understand so very well. I know what happened in 1996 through 2001, when I took Aikido classes, three times a week. I know what happened in those classes, every time a new behemoth male showed up to study. Either as a visitor from another dojo, or as a new regular at ours. I remember how I was endlessly singled out to partner with those individuals. Because.

I’m six feet two inches tall. And everyone in my Aikido class knew, including the instructor. I was tough as nails. And those behemoths were not a significant threat to me. It kept others safe. It reduced the risk of injury to them. It reduced the amount of pain they felt.

Don’t tell me I don’t understand!

I can speak countless stories from my 58 years of life. Am I perfect? No. Have I made mistakes? Yes. Do I have regrets? Yes.

And I will no longer accept blame for not being able to stop the independent actions of others. Do you get that? I will no longer nod my head, and say, “We must all stand up to the worst of ourselves, and stop them.”

I have learned, you see. I can change another, change another’s beliefs, another’s learned behavior, another’s sacred religious faith, another’s response to this world. Every bit as much as I can change lead into gold. Every bit as much as I can bring my four dead cats that I miss dearly back to life, and spend time with them. Every bit as much as I can tell the heavens, “There’s a drought in Phoenix! They haven’t had rain in 90 days! Make it rain there!” And have the heavens listen to me.

I cannot change another human being. All I can do is lead by my example. And pray, and wish, and hope, that other human being learns.

Monday, 12 December 2017, I logged out of my Facebook and twitter accounts. Because. Because of everything I just said above. Because. In the eyes of social media, I’m a guilty, privileged, racist, sexist, misogynistic white man. And I’m hell bent on defending the status quo, and keeping all my privileges.

You want to know why I shut down? Why I walked away.

I just told you.

If my reward for caring. My reward for changing myself, and for talking of those changes with others. My reward for defending women from men. My reward for supporting the rights of non-white people. My reward for standing for the rights, and freedoms, and even recognition of the right to exist, for people of non-binary gender. Is to be called, relentlessly, a privileged, racist, sexist, bigoted, hate filled white male, who can’t understand, and deserves to have every last shred of his existence taken from him, and should be placed in a prison camp, and made to work until he falls over dead from exhaustion, and gets raped endlessly by other, bigger male prisoners. If that is my reward for supporting others.

Then I will no longer support them.

And I will no longer care what they have to say.

And I will continue with my life. As best I can. As best I can learn how. Using what limited skills, and talents, and intelligence the universe granted me in this world.

To those who are concerned.

I’m done accepting the blame for the things I have not done.

And now, I’ve silenced you. I can no longer hear your words. You may scream at me all you wish. But so long as I do not exist in your world. I won’t know. And I will be free from your judgment of me.

And to those who can’t understand what I’ve just said. And how I can be so angry. Now you know. Now you know where all the angry white men have come from.

You made us.

Mark.

#ThursThreads Week 293 : You’re Better Off Here With Me

It was 0530 hours, and the police arrived at the front door of Samantha’s home. They didn’t even pretend to be polite. They arrested Samantha’s parents, and took Samantha with them, to put her in protective services. One officer tried to keep them safe from harm. “You’re better off here with me. I can protect you from them. And whatever it is that’s blowing shit up.”

Samantha looked around, and saw nothing abnormal. But she spoke anyway. “You’re there, aren’t you. Watching.”

A voice from nowhere answered, “Yes.” The officers drew their guns. “I’m watching. And if you, or your parents are hurt. In any way.” I paused. The officers pointed guns at Samantha.

She nodded, “I know.”

I didn’t speak for a moment. The air was still. The neighbors watched, peaking from their windows, and standing on their front porches. “If they hurt you. I’ll know. And I’ll kill them all. Every last one of them.”

“Please,” she whispered, “hasn’t there been enough violence. Enough shooting. Enough dead people?” She waited a moment for me to answer, “Wasn’t what happened to Michelle enough?”

“They want everyone dead.” The officers swung their guns everywhere, looking for my voice, looking for me. “Even you, Samantha. Even you.”

“Why?”

“Because. You’re different.”

The officer next to Samantha spoke, “Who are you?”

“I am the violence.” My voice came from nowhere. “Birthed by blind hatred. That hatred dies, I go away.”

They never found me. No matter where they looked.

247 Words
@mysoulstears


Yet another part of the ongoing Armor 17 story. It’s Week 293 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read.

Wednesday, 06 December 2017

How do I change? How do I move me forward? In any direction? Can I do something, for once, that is not destructive? That’s what it comes down to, isn’t it? Me. Figuring out who I am, and who I want to be.

I do NOT want to be a typical success. Success as defined by the social system I’m stuck living within is soul destroying. So, I don’t want that.

I want to write, but I don’t want to write. I want writing to be something I choose to do. Not a job. Because. When something becomes a job it becomes corrupt with money, and society, and expectations. I don’t want any of that to happen to my writing. There’s a very fine line here. Very fine.

“You never finish anything!” I need to kill that voice. Those words. I finish lots of things. Because I learn what I set out to learn. I don’t have to publish a story to finish it. That’s the words of this world. That’s not the truth.

See. I know this truth about life, and what our society has done to life, and how it has warped the truth. How it has tied success to money. To material possessions.

I write to find me. I write to gain understanding of me and how I see the world. I write to learn what I feel, what I think, what I believe. What I am.

I don’t write to sell a story, or a book. I don’t write to have others read. I don’t write to “be a writer”. I don’t write to make a product that I get paid for, and that makes other people money.

I write to answer the simple, obvious questions. Who am I? What do I believe? What do I feel? How do I learn, and grow, and make me better than I am?

I have much to think on. And much to learn.