3 Words Our Family Hates (And 1 We Use Frequently)

I’m a largely tolerant person. Not for myself, mind you. I’m ruthlessly harsh on myself. However, everyone else is entitled to their own beliefs, no matter how stupid they are. The beauty of freedom is that everyone can openly believe the dumbest stuff in existence without risking life and limb for it (though they still risk public shame).

With that said, my Shnoogy Wiggles and I have learned to develop a strong distaste for a few words in our household:

1. Empowerment

Empowerment means “authority or power given to someone to do something”, but what does it really mean?

For one, it seems to imply the word “women’s” in front of it rather often. So what, pray-tell, can a woman receive authority or power to do in a country where women have as many rights as men?

The answer is simple: women in this country are often regarded as more powerful than men. I’ve heard a theory kicked around that it’s to fully equalize (see: compensate for) the inherent biological advantages of manhood, but that’s only on the premise that men and women are biologically inherently different, and only uneducated people would believe that.

2. Awareness

There’s quite a bit of money in awareness movements these days. I may create an Awareness Campaign Awareness movement just to cash in. All I need is to sell an overpriced brightly-colored rubber wristband, call a low-holiday month “Thing Awareness Month”, a website that uses enough jargon to obscure actionables to the average person beyond donating, and a thing nobody could ever disagree with kinda sucks to have.

Why do we need awareness of things? I’m fairly certain most seven-year-olds were already aware of breast cancer, autism, abuse, and welding workman’s comp underpayments.

The answer, again, is painfully simple. Awareness addresses the problem without providing legitimate solutions. For example, I’m a strong supporter of autism awareness, but I believe someone with mid- to high-functioning autism has answers beyond a government check and public defamation.

Sadly, many folks buy into this flavor of slacktivism, and shame on you for not supporting their support of [unfair thing].

3. Victim

A victim is “a person harmed, injured or killed because of a crime, accident or other event or action.”

Technically, by that definition, everyone is somehow a victim. I’m a victim of McDonald’s, for example, because an employee took too much time on my order and made me late to where it harmed my reputation for timeliness. My Goober Noodles is a victim of a small child who continually steps on her bare feet with his poor foot-eye coordination, damages property from poor hand-eye coordination, and makes our eardrums bleed from poor ear-mouth coordination.

Being unfairly harmed by others is obviously an unfortunate place to be, and declaring yourself a victim is a healthy start on the path of self-awareness. However, professing victimhood is the start, and not the end, of your journey, since it will never make you happy.

If you are hurt by another person’s unjust behavior, you are absolutely correct in identifying it, but if you want to move into something meaningful you have to look inside yourself and to Christ, not to anyone else, to find meaning from it.

However, imposing victimhood on others has been the vogue recently, and that’s for one clear reason:

1. Leftism

Conservatives hold to varying degrees of equality, but believe an inherent uniqueness between people and status. Complementarians, for example, believe men and women are different and those differences contribute in their own ways to complete each other.

Conservative values also believe in the general “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra, which is why old folks seem to lean further conservative and why conservative is usually considered the opposite of “progressive”.

Liberalism believes in equality. A man and a woman may have differences, but society should view what they do as equal irrespective of who they are. Oppressed minorities need advocates, unequal pay should be rectified, homosexuals should legally be allowed to marry as much as heterosexuals, and so on.

In many ways, solid Christians believe many conservative and a number of liberal ideas. We all have different stations in life, but God made us all equal in His image. We may reap our actions, but nobody is responsible for what they were born into.

Leftism now travels farther beyond the pale than conventional liberalism. It has moved down the spectrum into audacious defiance of any common sense.

Leftism believes society should only identify people by their demographic background and never on their individuality. Leftism treats a Muslim Arab woman who murders three white men with her car as profoundly different than a white man who murders three Muslim Arab women with his car.

Left thinking believes every ailment of society comes from the majority oppressing the minority, and heterosexual white males (especially the wealthy ones) are the largest cause for any injustice. Donald Trump, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg are the exact same level of criminal, the United States was formed to oppress blacks and women, and so on.

Now that leftism has a world stage, it can politicize everything. I’m currently writing about a personal philosophical view on a hinky little blog, but if I got enough views I’d make myself onto the left’s unofficial blacklist and reap the wrath of the leftist media.

To be clear, leftism is distinctively anti-God. It hates every boundary God created. It employs Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to feed into dissatisfaction and unhappiness toward a financially profitable political end. They have a relatively predictable formula, but that’s another story for another day.

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Chronic Deconstructivitis

As the sun sets on another terrain-unobstructed Iowan landscape, I came upon a profound realization. It’s been nearly one month since I’ve expressed a non-analytical creative thought for public consumption (all the analytical ones are here).

Sometime earlier this summer, Facebook made a server update severely sever one of my final tender links with them. They implemented an integration update that only allowed auto-posting for Pages but not for profiles.

If you are an undying fan of my personal life (which Facebook implies we all need for social wellness), you probably noticed my lack of personal updates through Facebook the past few years. I never expressed a “I had the most OKAY spinach leek dip EVER at Mortimer’s party last fortnight!” and mostly shared ideas like “Organic juice cleanses purge your digestive system AND your wallet!”

Since I like an uncluttered life, I auto-posted my random inanities with Buffer and Hootsuite. Facebook’s update, along with one of the most retarded arguments I’ve had in a while about the #metoo movement on May 12th, was the last California straw.

Social networks distinguish themselves by the nature of their media. Tumblr engineers itself as bite-sized blog posts. Twitter revolves around ideas and responses to ideas. Pinterest revolves around ideas encapsulated in photos. Snapchat is a secretly archived quickly deleted messaging service. Reddit is…something.

Unfortunately, the Facebook/Instagram behemoth revolves around people. Sadly, the average person doesn’t have many interesting things to say. I blame a lack of literacy mixed with poor decisions for consumption, but however it develops most frequent Facebook posters seem to love talking about things nobody else cares about.

Even though taking photos of your lunch has fallen out of style, the mass-production of habitually publishing pettiness has moved its domain to Facebook. If you’ve ever seen a Facebook ad, you’ll likely see the type of demographic they aim for, and it’s an exercise in tedium to sift through the silly and boring content to find out what people are actually doing with their lives.

In some ways, Facebook has set a new paradigm. If you don’t desire to stay in touch with others, you can always watch what they do on Facebook. Sadly, so many people are fearful of change that I find Facebook depressing when it doesn’t bore me.

Individual people must adapt their lifestyle to accommodate how trends change. My Tamagotchi died, I did not catch ’em all, my music player isn’t a separate device from my cell phone, and I’m now numbered among Facebook users that almost never post.

I have a theory that the reason we don’t like to start a change is because it pulls on a carpet thread of associated ideas that can radically redefine our worldview. In turn, the more changes we see the more we’re likely to change, which forces other changes to create a sense of equilibrium.

My emigration from Facebook has merged with adapting to Iowan life and fun changes from our little Honeydew. My Gluey Sniffers and I have been raising Cantaloupe for over a year now, and it now knows how to gesture and make poor attempts at human language. It imitates us and sees all.

Since we’re in the Changemas Spirit, Gummy Droppers and I are redefining our lives as well. The conventional lifestyle of an apartment suite a mile from a fantastic job with room to grow a family and a connection into a healthy Christian community confuses us, to say the least. We’ve been so accustomed to abnormal lifestyles ranging from living in cars to RV’s to strange roommates that doing what normal people do feels pedestrian by comparison.

If you’ve grown accustomed to change long enough, you’ll find a lack of change discomforting. Success may require changing, but when taken too far the love of great change can compromise one’s ability to appear normal, especially when surrounded by average change-adverse people. Since I’ve added Epsilon Theory to my list of Things To Read When I Can Remember To, attaining an image of normalcy is vital for our ability to succeed as a weird family.

Nevertheless, we press on in changing inwardly, which creates many fun opportunities to debase things we once held dear:

  1. My Woofy Mewers hates Vicky or Victoria or any other variation of the name outside of Tori, and therefore my Wifey Poo is now named Tori Stucky.
  2. Saying “if you can’t find who owns the cat, we’ll take care of her if you need” usually yields nothing, but we’ve gotten a friendly black cat out of it.
  3. I’ve come to realize that life’s glorious moments come in microscopic victories that nobody else sees. The outward moments that create awards, heroism, and recognition are merely byproducts of the small investments made when times were tough, life sucked overall, and things were stupider.