Monday, May 6, 2019

The Uncleared Path

A long time ago, when I used to work at a bowling center during the day when the senior citizen leagues were run, I used to chuckle to myself at some of the “senior moments” they used to have. I just couldn’t understand how you could misplace your glasses or keys when you literally just set them down on the counter not five minutes ago. And then I got old and now I realize just how damn easy it is. That’s kind of where I am at right now. I wanted to start this entry off with a story back from my grade school days, but for the life of me, I can’t remember exactly what grade it was or the specific school I was attending at the time. The one thing I remember distinctly was sitting in the lunch room of that school one day with a couple of my buddies as we hatched out a plot that (unbeknownst to us at the time) would actually be the catalyst to effecting some change at the school.

I think this was around my Intermediate or Junior High school time – 7th or 8th grade maybe, but it could have been earlier. Regardless, the plot we hatched that day was to minimize the amount of homework we were getting at the time. Obviously, things are a bit skewed when you are that age, but I seem to remember that we were frustrated that there appeared to be no communication between the teachers of various subjects on the amount of work each one would assign on any given day. Thus we were getting several hours of work that limited, or eliminated, any of the free time we had as kids between the end of the school day and bed time. So, we ended up coming up with a Declaration of Independence from Homework (or something to that effect). What we wanted was for the school to put a limit on the amount of homework that was assigned in any given subject so that we could balance that work with still having some free time as a kid. We wrote up a petition and started passing it around during lunch time for the rest of our classmates to sign. Of course, me being who I was, I had to be the first to sign, and make sure my signature was the biggest, just like John Hancock. Within a few days we had three or four pages of signatures. Not too bad for a group of kids that weren’t part of the most popular cliques that are typically formed by school kids.

The most amazing thing was that the school officials took notice and actually acted upon what we really thought was a pointless whim. They saw the dedication we had to this particular issue and our ability to showcase it enough to have many of peers agree and sign the petition. So they made some changes to show their respect to that dedication and even shortened the school day by 15 minutes as a result. That may have been the first instance where I truly learned the value of speaking one’s mind, regardless of who may or may not like it.

That was kind of reinforced this past week as my mother brought over an essay my sister wrote for a class assignment back in 2002. The essay was to write about a person that had a profound impact on her life up to that point. Naturally, she picked me! (Just kidding *insert proper emoji here*). The purpose of her choice was to point out that I tended to be a “non-conformist” back in my youth and not let what other people thought or said to influence my thoughts about myself, or my beliefs. I guess I was just born to be a rebel. I think I lost sight of that along the way of growing up and being more adult after my early 30’s, when she wrote that essay, or maybe she saw something more in me that I didn’t even realize I saw in myself at the time. She wrote that I “have always been the type of person who will not allow the spoken word to interfere with what he deems worthy or necessary.” That I have “always been willing to take the different perspective, even at the risk of peals of laughter and resistance.”

“He has always chosen the ‘uncleared path.’”

Maybe I’m just turning into a Grumpy Old Man, but I feel like a lot of my frustration of the last few years has been because I have allowed myself to lose sight of those qualities that my sister saw in me almost 20 years ago. I think that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to start this blog several years ago, but allowed myself to avoid using it for that purpose until recently. I think last year I finally woke up and had my “Mad as Hell” Network moment. I can’t point to any one thing that got me mad as hell, but I think just any number of things that in no way in any level of hell should be accepted, we have come to indeed accept as society . Most of all, I think I was mad at myself for not going to the window and screaming at the top of my lungs at the fucking lunacy we have devolved into as a society.


Erin’s Regional Competition track meet held yesterday (May 5th) was another case in point. This was the second weekend of completely piss poor weather to do anything outside. Sort of the perfect bookend since the first week of season turned out the same way. My gut feeling on both those days was just to say screw it and keep Erin home. There was absolutely no reason for either competition to be held on either of those Sundays at the level these kids were competing at. But I ignored my gut feeling and trusted that those in charge were making the right decisions. I compromised my values, and even worse, didn’t really speak up about it after the first week, like I initially wanted to. That made me pissed at myself even more. I lost sight of what it was about me that my sister wrote about all those years ago. So I think the last few months of this blog has been me making the course correction to start clearing that uncleared path once again. It is also the same reason I wrote an e-mail expressing my feelings on the matter and sent it out to the coaches and parents. It’s something that I felt needed to be said and everyone involved needed to hear it, because I got the impression that a few other people felt the same way. It was about time someone stood up and said it. I did it because I was absolutely furious at myself for not doing the right thing by staying home on either of those days, regardless of the commitment we made when signing Erin up for track this season, and trusting someone else to make a decision for me and my family. I hope what I said gets a lot of other people mad as well – whether they agree with me or not. It’s long past time for us average, everyday people to stand up and start being heard just like the fringe elements of society have been doing for far too long now, even if we don’t necessarily agree with one another.

In fact I hope that us average, everyday people don’t always agree with one another. It’s the discussions that can come out of that disagreement that can bring about the change that is necessary in our society instead of letting the others do it for us. We have been letting them do that for far too long now as it is. So whether it’s getting necessary changes in some dinky CYO athletic event that keeps the health and safety of everyone involved as the main priority or finally getting people into public office who have an ounce of common sense (and common decency – and no I am not just talking about Trump, but every single elected official in the United States and beyond), each and every one of us need to start picking up a shovel or hatchet and start clearing that damn path.

I get closer to knocking on Heaven’s Door every single day, and I have wasted a lot of my previous years lost in the woods hoping someone else would find that path for me because I was too afraid to say I was lost, and then do something about it. I’m not going to go to my grave with that regret on my shoulders. I’m going to do something about it. I will continue to say the things I think need to be said. If people agree with me, then that’s great. If they don’t then that’s great as well. Let’s get a discussion going and bring some actual progress to the topic. I’m damn tired of walking around in circles and having to keep my mouth shut for fear of pissing someone off. It’s about time that a lot of us got pissed off and started saying it.

I’m picking up the shovel and getting back to that uncleared path I abandoned long ago. Everyone else is welcome to pick up a shovel and join me. If you disagree with my choice of tool or which direction this path needs to take, then by all means let’s discuss. It’s long past time to get mad as hell and start making the changes that need to be made.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The New Unnormal

How would you define normal? Without looking at a dictionary, could you define normal without using an example from the world around us? I’m not sure I could. At best I suppose I could go with “something usual or expected” or “not out of the ordinary.” But even then, what is normal? Can we even apply that to everyday life? I know we do without even thinking about it, probably dozens of times a day, but can we really have anything on this world that is “normal?”

It is normal for the area where we live to be cold and maybe even get snow in the Winter season. That would be unnormal in Australia, however. In the summer, we would expect hot weather and no snow. Yet, the last time I went to Pike’s Peak (during a summer vacation) there were patches of snow and ice on the ground. One would think that having snow on one day in March or April, and two days later having 60 degree Fahrenheit temperatures to be a bit unusual, but it such variances in temperature aren’t really all that unnormal in the Spring and Fall.

As humans we have an instinctive need to categorize things and to give order to what tends to be a chaotic existence, including ourselves. As I said in one of my recent previous entries, we have an instinctive mistrust of anything that is different from what we consider ourselves to be. Anything like us is “normal.” Anything not like us is unnormal. And as such, when we find ourselves more unnormal than not, we seem to have an incessant need to try to be normal, no matter how different from “normal” we are. It seems we even get to the point where we try to change the definition of normal.

In Science, we have developed, or discovered if you prefer, certain rules that govern how the universe and everything in it works and is supposed to behave. However, we have also discovered instances where these rules simply do not apply, and we still have yet to be able to explain why. These parts of existence are unnormal and our current level of understanding does not allow for us to have any explanation for it. It is simply beyond our current level of comprehension as a human race. Does that mean we just give up on trying to find the solution to that problem? Certainly not. Scientists are currently striving every day to come up with answers to those unanswerable questions.

Why then, if we can continue to strive for answers and solutions in the greater Cosmos, can we not do the same for ourselves as people? Like the Universe, us mammals have certain rules that govern our existence. We have biological rules that allow us, and all other mammals to live our lives and to continue to exist as a species. Without being able to adhere to these rules, we simply would not be able to exist. The two biggest rules of mammals are that we are warm-blooded and we reproduce sexually. In the case of the latter, it requires a male and female to mate in order to produce offspring and continue to perpetuate the species. Without the ability to reproduce in this fashion, the species would cease to exist. There simply is no other way for a mammal to reproduce except via intercourse between a male and female member of the species. That is something we would categorize as normal. Therefore anything that does not conform to that rule, by definition, would be unnormal.

As humans, we have evolved to be the most complex mammal on this planet. Therefore, we are able to understand concepts such as normal and unnormal as they apply to the basic rules of science and biology as we understand them. Yet, it seems in this new era of Political Correctness, we are hell bent on making something unnormal into something that is supposed to be natural and normal, even when it goes against how we understand science and biology to work. We absolutely insist upon it, and if anyone dare question it, they are ostracized.
I am a human male who is attracted to human females. I’m normal in that sense, however, I know I am unnormal in other senses. My wife is a human female that is attracted to human males. She has some unnormal things about her as well. Both my female children are normal in some ways and absolutely unnormal in other ways, to the point where we have needed, and may continue to need specialized assistance to understand what is unnormal about them and treat it, if possible, to make them more “normal.”

When children are born as conjoined twins, we consider that unnormal, and if at all possible, perform operations to separate those children to give them more “normal” lives. When children are born with Down Syndrome, we consider that unnormal and understand that they need to be treated and taught differently to be able to live and exist in the world. We used to call things like this birth defects. I don’t really know what the current PC terminology is, and I don’t really care. We have people in this world who suffer from all manner of physical and psychological issues. They are not “normal” as we would think of an ordinary, average human. That’s why for centuries, Medial Science has worked to find cures and solutions to many of these problems, so that these unnormal people can live more normal lives. For some things, like addictive personalities (alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual addiction, gambling addiction, etc.) we haven’t found a cure, but have found methods of treatment that can control such unnormal behavior. We haven’t given up on helping people with these issues. Why then have we seemed to not only have given up on people who suffer from some form of Gender Identity issues, but we have now in fact tried to make such afflictions part of the definition of “normal” when the very rules of biology say otherwise?

If someone is Homosexual or Transgender they are not normal by the very rules that govern mammal biology. To say any different is complete bullshit. That’s like saying the child with Down Syndrome has no issues whatsoever, so let’s treat them like everyone else. That’s like saying the alcoholic really doesn’t have a psychological issue that affects his or her behavior, so let’s just buy them another drink! Just imagine what would happen if we take every paranoid schizophrenic in the world and tell them, “Ah, you’re fine, nothing wrong with you. Yeah, sure that painting on the wall talks to everyone” and send them on their merry way. Does anyone with a single ounce of logical thought think that’s in any way how we should treat a mental disorder? Yet, here we are as a society, treating a large segment of the human race as if there was nothing wrong with them at all. So what that two males or two females can never possibly procreate and perpetuate the species. It’s all good, extinction of a species is, after all, normal, right? It is just mind-boggling to me that as a society we have gone into complete denial of the serious psychological issues that a good portion of the human race suffers from.

If I were to walk into a doctor’s office tomorrow, and tell them that “I just don’t feel right in my body. There is just something wrong deep down inside me – cut off my arms and legs so I can feel normal,” they would think I was completely insane and immediately begin the process of trying to find out what was wrong with me, and ensuring I would not be able to harm myself. However, that’s not how we treat transgendered people. You can collect every meme for “Mind-blowing” that exists on the Internet right now and it still couldn’t match my complete bafflement of what we have done as a society up to this point. We might as well be back in the Dark Ages, when bloodletting was the cure du jour.

As a society we have tried to normalize a great deal. By doing so, it allows us to ignore any real issues that lie at the core and deal with them. As a human race, we have become proficient at sweeping things under the rug because the truths are inconvenient to our everyday existence. The truth of the matter is that the more we try to normalize the unnormal, the more we do a disservice to everyone in our society. Just scratch the surface and it’s easy to see that there is nothing normal about any single one of us as individuals. We all have our various quirks and idiosyncrasies. For the most part, they don’t interfere with us being able to live “normal” happy lives. But unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone. In those instances, it is our duty as a society to cure what ails our fellow members of the human race. Failure to do so is a failure of society, and can only eventually lead to our own demise as a civilized society. The solutions are not simple and will not come easily. But just because we haven’t found a cure for alcoholism or drug dependency doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop trying to find one with all our power. Just because we build ramps for people who are permanently disabled and require the use of a wheel chair doesn’t mean we need, or should, stop trying to find a cure for their disability. Nor does it mean we need to stop acknowledging that they are in fact disabled. In all reality, without that acknowledgment, we really wouldn’t have any reason to find a cure. I would find that very troubling.

For the LBGT+ community, that means facing up to the fact that they are not normal in a psychological sense. That also means society has to understand and accept the fact that they are different, as each and every one of us are in our own ways, and continue to find actual treatments and cures for this disorder as we do for any other mental disorder. So it is our duty as a society to, instead of ignoring the disorder by attempting to normalize it, accept it for what it is and ensure that those in the LBGT+ community can have access to the metaphorical ramps in life so they can live “normal” happy lives like the rest of us unnormal folk, until those true treatments come within our reach.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Identity Crisis

This seems to be an ongoing theme here throughout the years I have been writing this blog, but man how the time does fly! Take a month off for the holidays, and suddenly, it’s almost three months later before I sit down to finally get something written down. I haven’t been totally quiet though. Obviously still doing my gaming streams and videos, but rotating back to engaging in some interesting conversations elsewhere around the Internet, which brings us to this point. My original plan for this entry being pushed off for later because of one of those interesting conversations. But first ….

It’s interesting how things can come full circle, I suppose. In my last blog entry, I made mention of how I don’t blindly believe people who claim (rightly or otherwise) to be victims in situations where I have no knowledge of the events that transpired. I prefer to wait for the facts to be uncovered or otherwise present themselves. And now here we have one of the very situations where this comes to pass with the recent episode involving Empire actor Jussie Smollett. Many people, including other actors and politicians were quick to jump on the Social Media bandwagon and induce rage about hate crimes and modern day lynchings. It’s funny however, now that the truth is beginning to come out how these very same people doing this within hours of the incident being made public are now refusing to comment until “all the facts are known.” Hypocrisy at its finest! Thank God the chief of the Chicago Police Department isn’t afraid to call bullshit when he sees it. Props to that man, and the entire CPD for coming out in this climate where doing so is only inviting being ostracized and dragged through the mud slinging media. I shudder to think of the absolute disaster this incident could have caused if Smollett has staged this incident with white men as the attackers.

That being said, this does bring us to the point of today’s piece, which may not entirely be unrelated to genuine hate crimes.  During my internet travels over the last couple of months, I was perusing one of my favorite gaming news sites and came across an article from one of the writers that really fired up the gaming community, me included. Essentially what was said in the piece was that we, as in people who enjoy playing games, cannot identify as Gamers because “Gamer” is not a real identity. Meaning I can identify as a White American Male, but I cannot also qualify that with Gamer. Needless to say there was a lot of back on forth from the community in the comments section on this issue, partially stemming from the fact that the writer made a very poor attempt at defending his argument in the piece itself. At the end of the day, most of the community came to the consensus that the writer was full of shit, and that Gamer is indeed a valid identity one can use to describe oneself. However, during the debate process there was a distinct overtone that sure we can identify as Gamers, but that identity is not as important as a racial or sexual identity. Part of the reasoning for that argument was that there are certain things about who you are that are unchangeable and as such are meaningful identities.

While I agree with that on some level, I had an issue with the way some of the arguments were being made.  Now some of the issues arose from the fact that Gamers are not a marginalized group like the LBGT and African American communities are, and that’s perfectly true. But along with that, many people were trying to invalidate what we as Gamers have personally experienced in our lives. And I would go even further to other groups – like the Native American, and the Chinese American. These are two other groups that have been as marginalized, if not more in some cases than the “Big Two”, yet there is hardly mention of any of that. Yeah, slavery was very bad, but what happened to the Native American in this country, much of which was instituted by the American government was at the very least just as bad. Yet, because the Native American community doesn’t bitch and moan like the others, all that is easily pushed aside and forgotten.
I’m just wondering at what point does a crime become a hate crime? The Smollett incident showcases this perfectly. Here’s a guy that is allegedly attacked for what he is – black and gay. We have laws on the books that now make this type of targeted attack a hate crime, and thus the resulting punishment is worse than your normal everyday mugging in a back alley. He was attacked because of who he was; because of his identity. Five years ago, a tech blogger was attacked in a bar in San Francisco while she was wearing a Google Glass (yup that failure of a consumer device, but that’s beside the point). She characterized the attack as a hate crime, which many questioned at the time. Why wouldn’t it be though? It is highly doubtful that she would have been assaulted had she not been wearing the device. Some expressed a concern about the recording features of the device, but what if it was her cell phone? Everyone has a cell out nowadays and doesn’t think twice about the possibility of being recorded. It’s doubtful that the assault would have transpired if she had anything else but the Google Glass.

I myself was the victim of no less than three assaults during my grade school years. I was one of the shy, nerdy kids and because of this was one of the easy targets by the more popular and athletic crowd. One time I was entering the bathroom and, as I opened the door, was grabbed and thrown to the floor by another classmate. In another incident, on the last day of the school year, just as we were leaving school to get on the bus to go home, I was punched squarely in the stomach by another classmate and left reeling for several minutes as others walked by, unconcerned. I was hit so hard, I couldn’t even breathe properly due to the pain and had in fact lost hold of my report card which was in my hand at the time. It took me another few minutes, after I had finally recovered enough to stand and look for it that I finally found it several feet from where I had been assaulted. A third incident involved a group of classmates essentially beating and kicking me one day for what seemed like several minutes until a teacher was able to intervene. Each one of these attacks was prompted solely by who I was. A white, shy, nerdy kid. Does that qualify as a hate crime? Other people had similar stories of themselves or friends being attacked simply because of their Gaming proliferation. Just a few months ago, down in Florida, there was a mass shooting that targeted a Gaming convention and resulted in the deaths of at least two Gamers.

Again, Gamers are by no means a marginalized group, but does that mean attacks against us are any less hateful than those against minority groups? Some argued that since we can choose not to play games, that we can’t use Gamer as an identity as opposed to those unchangeable identifiers like our race, gender, and sexual orientation. But if that’s the case, if I have to identify as a White, Hetero, Male because that’s how I was born and that cannot be changed, doesn’t that mean transgendered people can no longer identify with the gender they prefer to be and can only identify as the gender of which they were born? The fact of the matter is that, as far as I know, our race is the only thing we can’t change about ourselves right now, and even that may be likely to change far in the future with scientific advances. If I were to get a sex change and become a woman, what would my identity be? I am a male and feel quite comfortable being one. I am attracted to women and enjoy the company of my female wife. If I were to surgically become a woman regardless of that, what would my identity be then? I would still be attracted to women, so at that point I guess I would then become a Lesbian, would I not?

In truth, I could stop playing games. I could stop streaming and making videos related to my passion as a Gamer. But truth be told, my identity as a Gamer is so ingrained within me as a person that it would be no different than me getting that sex change and becoming the world’s ugliest Lesbian. I could change my gender, but it wouldn’t change who am I deep inside any more than not playing games would stop making me a Gamer. Some people say “It’s just my job, it’s not who I am” by way of saying that their professional choice in life doesn’t necessarily define them as a person. I agree with that to some extent in that my current job is certainly not one that, given a choice, I would choose to do. But in the end I think that everything we do does make up some part of our identity, and no one part of it is any less important than any other part with how we ultimately identify ourselves. And no one’s identity is any more or less important than any other identity on the face of this planet, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or passion.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Cult of Feminism

I am a White, Middle-Aged, American Male. I would qualify that with proud, but I don’t know if that would be the right word to use. I don’t feel pride in being white, middle-aged, male, and American, at least not in the sense when I feel pride when my daughter does well on a math test at school or did an awesome job in her Cross Country Regional Championship meet. I also don’t feel all that much pride in being American, but that’s a blog entry for another time. I guess the best way to say it is:

I am not ashamed to be a White, Middle-Aged, Male who is from the United States of America.

I say this because apparently I should be not only ashamed to be such, but I should be flogging myself on a daily basis because of it as well. I should be doing this because I believe that Doctor Who should not be played by a woman. I should be doing this because I believe groups like the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts should remain gender specific. I should be doing this because I, as a gamer, am part of a community that apparently harasses women on the Internet. I should be doing this because I do not support the Cult of Feminism.

Now before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, I am in full support of women getting equal pay for being equally qualified and doing equal work to that of a man in any job they wish to perform. I most certainly would like to see more women in fields that have been traditionally dominated by men, like games and comics. And I am certainly opposed to anyone or anything that orchestrates an effort to demean, harass, or otherwise threaten women in the workplace. However, the Cult of Feminism is not about equality. It is about tearing down anything that opposes the self-serving agenda of those who are a part of this cult, regardless of the truth or any evidence stacked against them.

The Cult of Feminism, like any other cult we have seen come and go over the last couple of decades is about brainwashing the members into blindly following those who set themselves up as leaders under the guise of trying to guide society to change to the benefit of all involved in the cult. The reality of the situation is that the cult is there purely for the benefit of the leaders, and to allow the leaders to exercise their power over the members and use those members to allow the leaders to begin exerting their control over society. And like those other cults, you are either with them totally or you are against them. There is no middle ground. Face them with facts, and you get cries of “Lies!” “Sock puppets!” and outright denials of any errors or wrongdoing on their part.

You might have heard of Gamergate. It was a hashtag allegedly created by Adam Baldwin from a controversy that was brewing in the annals of the Gaming Industry. What the controversy was actually about depends on who you ask. Indie (Independent) Developers and Gaming Commentary websites claim it was an orchestrated movement designed to harass and threaten women and other minorities in the gaming community. What Gamergate was really about was the reaction of the community in response to collusion among these sites to publish opinion pieces on the same day essentially calling out all white male gamers as misogynists and racists and declaring that “Gamers are dead”. What concerned the community the most was the biased reporting of games that are a result of a “relationship” between the developer of the game and the writer of the review or op-ed piece centering on the game. However, since this collusion between review site and developer were mutually beneficial, obviously neither party was really interested in journalistic integrity and had no desire to see the relationship end. So they deflected the criticism by focusing only on the small subset of the community of true misogynists and racists and orchestrated a campaign that lead everyone to believe that the harassment and threats that these miscreants were spewing out reflected what the greater community as a whole believed, and those who supported Gamergate in particular – even though there were a great number of women and minority groups involved and in support of what Gamergate truly stood for and was trying to highlight. There were concerted efforts across the Internet to shut down any reasoned opposition to what the media was trying to claim and in having a reasoned discussion about the merits of Gamergate. To this day, the campaign against Gamergate continues as major sites, like Wikipedia, have been edited to show a heavy bias in favor of the views of the gaming “journalists” involved in the dispute.

The women and minority groups became so frustrated at the response not only by the gaming media, but the general media as well who began to pick up on the story, that they created the hashtag #NotYourShield to show solidarity in the fact that they did not want to be used by the media and devs to further those groups’ own agendas. Of course this posed a problem for the Cult of Feminism because the mentality of the cult is such that any minority, or oppressed group, would have to support their Righteous Cause, otherwise those ideals are could be seen as fallible. Therefore those in the #NotYourShield group were seen as, and called, self-haters.
We can see more examples of this practically every day, with this recent fiasco with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the #MeToo movement. Now there certainly can be no doubt that many women have been the victims of harassment and assault through the years, and thanks to the #MeToo movement we finally see society empowering women to finally speak out about their ordeals, and we have seen troubling information come out as a result on just how widespread this has been in segments of the media, Hollywood, and yes, the Games and Comic book industries. However, something troubled me about all this, and the point was driven home by a news blurb about a Senator who had to leave a restaurant because of the harassment he received from a group of people supporting Christine Blasey Ford’s position and statements. One of the protesters was holding a sign that read “we believe the victims.” I find that sentiment very troubling. You see, I was not at that party 38 years ago where Ford claimed it was Kavanaugh that assaulted her, so I don’t know what happened. Apparently, there are quite a few people who were at that party who can’t remember the details either. So all we have to go on are the testimonies of the people involved and the evidence surrounding the incident. As such, I prefer to live by the statement of “I believe the facts.” Far too many innocent people have been hurt or lost years of their lives because facts were ignored in favor of unreliable eyewitness accounts, or through the belief in someone’s righteousness. Unfortunately, the Cult of Feminism doesn’t care too much about facts.

The Cult of Feminism isn’t about gender equality; it is about pushing an agenda. Gender equality is allowing Girls to join the Boy scouts, and Boys to join the Girl Scouts. Gender equality is about allowing women to play and compete in male only sports leagues, and men to do the same in female only sports leagues. Gender equality is being able to criticize a woman's (or Feminist) work or ideas when warranted without it being labeled misogyny. But we don’t have that now, do we? It’s about taking something that traditionally has appealed to the heterosexual white male and stripping away the core things that made whatever it was appeal to the white male. However, don’t dare do that to things that appeal to a female, or any minority group, because that would be insensitive. I guess White Men are simply devoid of emotion and feelings, or if we have them, they are certainly not worth consideration in the slightest, at least compared to the consideration for every other classification of human on the planet.

There’s been a lot of (deserved) criticism leveled at the most recent Star Wars Saga film (The Last Jedi). However, because of the strong leaning towards feminist ideals in the movie, the Cult of Feminism sees any criticism of the movie as an attack on women and should be dismissed out of hand because is it simply the white (Nerd) male upset that their patriarchal views have been demolished. However, what the Cult fails to realize is that the traditional Star Wars male fan doesn’t have an issue with women playing a dominate roll in the movie. They conveniently forget that the Rebellion of the original trilogy was under the command of two very strong women. That concept carried over (or at least it tried) into the Prequel Trilogy, which suffered its own issues unrelated to feministic ideals. I’ve outlined the core issues with the movie in my previous blog posts – none of it has to do with SJWs, and all of it has to do with poor writing. It happens sometimes, I am sure that if Stephen King were attempt to write a romantic comedy, that novel would turn out to be pretty crappy too. But because the Cult of Feminism is trying to push an agenda, the facts don’t really matter.

It’s the same concept with Doctor Who, the longest running science-Fiction television program in history. Recently, in the newest season, the title character is played by a woman when throughout the show’s nearly sixty year history, that role was traditionally given to an elder gentleman. In no other manner was this given any sort of precedent in the show’s history, except for the modern era when the arch-nemesis of the Doctor was also played by a woman for the first time. One of the former actors to the role made a comment that he was saddened to see this as a loss of a role model for boys (this is taken out of a longer statement that showed support for the change and the actress who had been given the role). He was absolutely vilified for that one part of the comment. Peter Davison left his Twitter account behind after being raked over the coals in social media because of his comment. I find it ironic that people who disliked the comment said that the new Doctor can still be a role model for boys, but if you turn that around on them, and say that for the past 60 years, the male Doctor could have been a role model for girls, and having that continue would not change, that belief causes you to suddenly be sexist. Enter the Cult and its Agenda. It’s funny how girls don’t seem to have any role models, although I could probably think of dozens among sports, movies, and television, that somehow it was necessary and “about time” that the Doctor be changed into a woman.

To paraphrase Colin Baker (another actor who played the role), I find that to be absolutely rubbish. Like the wheel, some things simply do not need to be reinvented. But yet, if it involves a white male, it is not desirable and must be changed for the greater good. There was nothing wrong with the Doctor being a male for the last 60 years, and wouldn’t be anything wrong with it continuing for the next 60. Personally speaking, if people felt such a need to see a female Time Lord/Lady, then I would be very much in support of bringing back Romana (a female version of the Doctor introduced during the '80's) and giving that character her own show. That would be gender equality. That probably would be the one thing to bring me back into the fandom of Doctor Who I left behind in the 90’s and with the current iteration of the program. No old dinosaur bones about it! But again, it’s not about equality – it’s about tearing down the while male whenever and wherever possible, and don’t any of us dare make an attempt to speak out about it. Funny how the Cult of Feminism claims that the white male is nothing but a misogynistic pig who loves nothing more than to harass and threaten women on Twitter until they delete their accounts, yet they have proven to have no problem doing the same thing in pushing their Agenda. That was never more evident over the summer when a member of the Cult who worked for a gaming company insulted one of the company's fans, and attempted to unleash an internet mob on him because he disagreed with something she had posted on Twitter in relation to her work. But that’s OK, he and Peter are just white males – not important at all.

I support the ideals of equality in this world, for all people. But I will not support changes to institutions that traditionally appeal to your ordinary, average, every day white male just because it doesn’t appeal to anyone else. That’s bullshit. We have every right to enjoy our forms of entertainment unmolested by Cultist Agendas just like every minority person has a right to earn the same dollar for the same work as everyone else, and enjoy their forms of entertainment without being harassed for who they are. I am part of a gaming community (two really, counting Extra Life), that comprises a virtual melting pot of people of all types - women, men, minorities, transgendered, et al. The amount of harassment that many of community members receive simply for being who they are while they are doing something they love to do is simply astounding, and at times can be overwhelming. However, we also must realize that these are "people" on the fringe of society and the Internet has given them leave to do what they do almost with impunity. It in no way reflects what the vast majority of people I have had the pleasure of interacting with do or believe. But again, facts aren't of the primary importance when one is attempting to push an agenda - regardless of which extreme side of the fence one is on regarding any particular issue.

As a white, middle-aged, American male, I can never know the experiences of being a women who has been harassed on the Internet. I can never know the experiences of being an African American who has been on the receiving end of racism. I can never know what it is like to be a member of the LBGT community who has been treated like a pariah because the gender they were born with is not the gender their inner spirit tells them they are. I can only speak of the things I have experienced as a white male who was routinely picked on and bullied at school on nearly a daily basis. I can only speak about being so painfully shy as a kid that I would have to hide behind pieces of furniture at school whenever someone was walking down the same hallway as me. I can only speak on things that I remember happening to me as a child that I would rather forget that have had a psychological impact on my entire life, whether I want to admit it or not. My experiences and feelings are not any less valid than anyone else's experiences and feelings just because I am a white, middle-aged, American male. Perhaps we should spend more time listening to and understanding each other's experiences and feelings rather than blindly giving credence to the cultist fringe agenda of those who are too self-serving to think of others.

I started this piece by saying I can't claim to be proud of what I am. But now at the end, I think I have to take that back, because while I am not female, black, gay, or transgendered, the experiences I went through have (I hope) made me empathetic to those who have been put down or harassed because of what they are on the outside instead of the person they are on the inside. I am proud of who and what I am because it has made me a person who wants to help others in any way I can - my efforts through Extra Life being one small example. It has made me be a person who fully believes that everyone (except those that would do harm to others) has the right to be who they want to be and to enjoy the things that make them what they are.