Step on the Woo-Woo Train!

Oh where to begin with this one..? Maybe I’ll start with my “redneck” uncle and aunt, who persistently link dubious stuff onto Facebook concerning health. When it comes to the topic of diets and such, I don’t feel a need to comment, since no matter how ridiculous I find the post, it is really none of my business. But when it comes to antivax posts, I really need to control myself in order not to go on a ranting rampage. I would do it, but since I really like them, I don’t want to cause unnecessary friction between us. But it is painfully evident how uneducated and gullible they are.

During a heated discussion on the forums I moderate, I (and several other members) clashed heads with our resident antivaxer. I cannot call it a debate, since his best line of defence was a satirical site and a bunch of testimonials. In order to save face he tried to settle the matter by saying how we should respect each other’s opinion and leave it at that. I just had to put my foot down then and there, and I scolded him for not realizing that opinion does not have any room in this discussion, that it’s a matter of knowledge versus hearsay. Unfortunately that point went straight over his head.

Now, I appreciate the right everyone has to decide about their own bodies, be it food, drugs, fetuses, implants, tattoos or whatever, as long as no one suffers for it. But fact will always trump opinion, so I honestly think that people without the proper understanding cannot refuse to vaccinate their children. It might be callous, but I don’t care if Mike, age 34, goes abroad and gets hepatitis, because he felt that vaccines are bad. I might even do a Nelson, point at him and go “Haahaa!”, because stupidity should hurt. But that a child, who should be protected by its parents, might die of something so easily avoided as measles, whooping cough or, Loki forbid, smallpox, is abominable. Health care is not something that should be left to the uneducated, but to those with the knowledge. Once again it proves my point that source criticism needs to be on every syllabus all around the world.

The silver lining of this whole thing was the hilarious Twitter incident with Jenny McCarthy’s #AskJenny. Some of my faith in humanity was restored when reading through people’s comments. It’s reassuring to know that some people still have some sense in them.

Big, Black Ball of Bitterness

I don’t want to talk about depression. It’s such a huge part of my life after all, that I could fill this blog with depression related post, and I don’t want that. Everything that takes my mind of the bleakness within, is a good thing. But today I can’t escape my black dog (

For me it has been a gradual thing, I have probably had depression ever since sixth grade, but the symptoms have been somewhat mild in the beginning, and have then gradually gotten worse to the point when in October 2012 I fell into a dark hole I couldn’t crawl up from on my own. If it wasn’t for my terrific family, I would probably not have made it. Their support means everything to me. 

I can’t properly explain how much I hate days like these. Spring is on it’s way, the weather is gorgeous, I just had a lovely, multicolored sandwich with all my favorite veggies as toppings, a nice cup of green tea, and yet I feel like crying. I want to crawl under my blanket, roll up into a little ball, and wait until my surroundings fade into nothingness and I can be safe in my cocoon without any stimuli from the outside world. I want to forget that the world moves on without me, that others take leaps forward, when I am basically in the same spot I was two years ago. I want to lay down and sleep until I feel refreshed and positive again. 

I wish is was as easy as just deciding that today I’ll get better. I long for the day when I can look back and know that I got through it. But today is not the day, today is the day I wallow in self-pity, not seeing tomorrow, because I simply don’t have the energy for it. It’s like the sensible me has been locked into a small room in the back of my mind, trying to give my brain sensible input, but my neurotransmitters are fucked up and the message won’t get through. How the hell am I supposed to battle a war of chemicals within?! During days like these it seems like such a daunting and impossible task. 

But eventually I will get better. I will! 

…just not today.

Equality and Equestria

I just finished watching “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony” and got loads of material for this rant. It was a really sweet and heartwarming documentary about Bronies (duh!). I must confess that even though I have been aware of this particular fandom, I was not versed in what Bronies was about. I was actually quite surprised to learn that they hold a lot of values dear, that I myself subscribe to. Odd though it might seem, Bronies are humanists.

As an otaku I am familiar with the disdain you might be regarded, if you are open about your hobby. Fortunately for me, most of my friends are into manga and anime, so I have never faced the problem of coming out, as some of the protagonists in the documentary had. Which leads me to to wonder (once again) why some hobbies should be more respectable than others.

Doing what you’re passionate about and love (as long as you don’t harm others) should be something everyone should strive for, yet these people found their niche and some were getting a lot of shit for it. It’s like the gay “debate”, if you’re not into it, just let it be. It’s none of your business what others do with their spare time. Why do some perverted human beings get sick pleasure out of mocking others, who are inspired by such a benign thing? Is being altruistic really such a threat to somebody, that (s)he feels the need to e.g. bash up a car, just because it has MLP decals in the window? To me it’s unfathomable.

It’s in instances like these that I lose faith in humanity. The odd thing is, that most of the ones opposed to subcultures like the one of Bronies, are highly individualistic and frankly egocentric. It’s the American Dream Nightmare  in action. Despite being all about the individual being the smith of his/her own happiness, reaching fame, riches and glory without the help of others, it’s also the most stifling one to actual individuality. You should be a quarterback/cheerleader (that’s decent!), don’t stand out in a crowd (ugh, you’re such a freak!), conform to the norms (or we’ll smack you back into the line)! Bronies seem to be precisely the opposite. No matter how “freaky” or “normal” you are, there will always be a place for you in the herd. The Brony community seems to be the place where real individuals come together to build a world to counter bleakness, oppression, hate and intolerance.

Is that a message that has been forgotten in the world outside of Equestria? Has humankind actually become so cynical, that kindness has no place in it? If honesty, kindness, laughter, generosity, and loyalty are naïve concepts with no foothold in the real world, well, then I never want to grow up. I don’t want to find myself ten years from now, bitter and alone, without a shred of regard for others. If we forget these things, then humankind isn’t worth defending anymore, and that thought saddens me.

As for the parents, who were abhorred about their sons’ interest in MLP, I have one thing to say. Be proud. Most of the young men in the documentary seemed like sensible and thoughtful people, and who wouldn’t want a kid like that?! Some of them faced their worst fears through their hobby and came out stronger for having the guts to challenge themselves. I don’t see anything wrong in that. I think it’s high time to stop compartmentalizing people and realize that the world isn’t black and white, it has lots of fabulous shades and colors and you’re not bound to a certain set because of your gender, nationality, cultural background etc. Even though labels are handy and occasionally useful, it’s well past time to look past them and realize that none of that matters, but the person within. And Bronies seem to personify that. This to me is the perfect measure of equality, nursing and encouraging differences to fit the individual’s need within the larger community, no matter who you are or were you came from.

Rumbly Tummy

“Everyone should be vegan, it’s sooooo good for you!”

Yeah, I have some vegan friends, and even though they are of the wonderful variety, who only discuss this when proper, I still get the feeling that they would force veganism on everyone they know, since it worked for them. And why shouldn’t they? It’s a form of perverted love, the dietary choice worked for them, made them healthier and now they want to spread the goodness, whether you want to receive it or not. But dining with my vegan friends and occasionally cooking for them got me thinking.

Recently I watched the documentary “Forks over Knives” on Netflix, which I actually found somewhat decent, especially due to credible sources. I told Scruffy this and his immediate reaction was: “Is it British?”. I laughed and agreed that it was rare to see an American documentary being done with such a subtle bias, it was quite refreshing. Being the curious, I had to follow this up. I started going through research regarding animal proteins as carcinogens, and I was not surprised to actually discover that matters were not as black and white as the documentary would have the watcher to believe. (They focused a lot on nigh vegan diets, when all of the papers I plowed through mentioned fiber as the actual key to cancer prevention.) I was satisfied however, that trying out a month of drastically reducing my animal produce intake could have a significant and positive impact on my health, my main goal being weight loss.

I have to say, after a week into the project, it’s a lot easier than I thought. I have stocked my kitchen with stuff that I can and should eat, and cravings haven’t been a problem so far. But my stomach… Oh dear! My farts have become inhumane! People with pets will understand this, one toot from Rover can clear a whole room, and my digestive tract seems to be aiming to manage the same. And unfortunately, with the smell comes the noise. I can’t let one rip by just adjusting my position slightly and no one would be any wiser. Oh no, now I’m loud enough to wake up the dead, just to kill them seconds later with the biotoxic gas I’ve been harboring. “Soooo good for you” my ass! I did not sign up for this!

Learn to Listen

I am fortunate enough to have mostly kind customers. During my three years at the pharmacy, I have had only three indecent customers. However, there are some small, but at times annoying situations that I could live without. Many seem to have a huge problem with listening to directions or advice.

Now, I know that I am somewhat handicapped when it comes to proper communication. My sister has known me for the whole course of my life, but we still struggle at times to understand what the other one is saying. We are vastly different inside and out, so reaching that point of mutual understanding can be tedious, but after we got aware of the matter, we’ve learned how to best guard against misinterpretation and usually when something goes wrong due to us not understanding what the other party desires, we have a good laugh at it.

Realizing that what I have to say might not be interpreted by others in the manner I wish has been a valuable lesson, so at work I put it into practice and try to be overly clear as to avoid any misunderstanding. Despite this there are persons, who just seem to be incapable to listen to other, while asking a question. I have had plenty of people asking for directions to find the product they were looking for, and the scenario plays out something like this:

“Where is product x?”

“Follow that wall [the wall being clearly indicated with pointing with my whole arm], walk further into the store, and in the very last shelf on your right hand side, you will find the coughing syrups.”

In best cases they find what they are looking for in no time at all, but then there are the annoying ones, who leave before I’m done explaining and start shouting from the middle of the store that they can’t find it. (Big surprise…) Then there are those, who I thought listened, but alas, they storm off in the opposite direction, getting increasingly frustrated.

Then there is the wonderful and delicate procedure of checking your items out. Even in this age and time, there are people, who have a hard time using a chip reader. Fully knowing that even though I’m intimately familiar with the contraption, for every single customer it’s a new experience, so I stay calm and patient, helping the ones who need it through the transaction, and usually it goes really well without any hassle at all. But then there are the ones, who for some reason or another, freak out and start doing everything wrong, even with my assistance.”Leave the card in the reader, please.” can trigger the most intriguing reaction in this particular group of customers. They start pulling the card out, force it back in, pulls it out, puts it in, huffs and asks me why it’s not working. Or when I ask them to correct their PIN digits by using the yellow button, they either pull the card out of the machine or start pressing the red one, which nulls the whole transaction. There have been such extreme cases, that I have had to put my hand in front of the slot and card, asking the customer not to touch anything, before I tell them to.

So today my beef is with people asking for help, but refusing to listen to the answer. I can help with managing the chip reader, I can tell you where a certain product is, I can even sell you ear wax remover sprays or reading glasses, if it’s due to a deficiency of your senses that you are unable to take in directions. But I can’t help ignorant, inattentive idiots.

“You just have to read this!”

Ever heard that phrase? Yeah, I bet that I can’t be the only one. When it comes to books it’s a phrase I’m usually glad to hear it, but in certain instances, e.g. on Facebook, it usually tickles my facepalm bone. I’m too curious for my own good, I click on the link to the article, blog post and (once) open the book, and usually I immediately regret it.

What can I say, people are stupid (yes, me included). I am fortunate enough to have a lot of friends, who like to think and link clever stuff, either thought-provoking and/or funny. Then we have the acquaintances, who unfortunately seem to be a bit… lacking in the critical thinking department. I recently was redirected to a blog post written by a feminazi. Having earned a ban in just ten posts from the A+ forums (without being overly provocative or rude, I just couldn’t play by their rules), I tend to tread carefully around the Cunt Jong Ils, since they explode faster than a chunk of potassium in water. Anyhoo, the post was an atrocity from beginning to end.

Firstly, there is something wrong with Swedes, they simply do not know how to write proper Swedish anymore. Secondly, I didn’t actually think that the writer was insightful in any way, actually she came across as pompous and shallow. Thirdly, she stated a lot of things as fact, but comprehensive failed to  actually provide any proof. Fourthly, trigger warnings… What the fuck? Have it really come to this that you have to slap trigger warnings on everything, because someone might get uncomfortable with the topic? I am not so insensitive that I don’t understand that many have gone through unimaginable hardships and that they don’t want to repeat and that it’s courteous to put up a warning sign. But a trigger warning about weight? Come on, that’s just ridiculous. Fifthly, and the thing that perhaps irked me the most, was her wonderful statement that all unapproved topics and comments won’t even be published. Now that’s something that I fail to understand. I understand that one’s blog can be a haven of sorts, but if you start spreading your shit out in a public forum, why not being prepared to discuss? I hate censorship, especially this kind. It’s a perverse from of self-gratification and pleasure seeking to open up about discussion worthy topics, but then limit the responses to only the ones you want to hear. I find it sad and amusing at the same time that someone who labels her blog to be “the place where anti-feminists come to die” isn’t even willing to partake in any conversation that might stem from her post, because it just might make her uncomfortable and someone might challenge her point of view.

So today I want to flip the bird to all who label their stupid shit as “worth reading”. Fuck you, you just wasted ten minutes of my life with bullshit.