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.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Time for Intolerance

December has arrived! It’s the time of year where it seems to have become tradition to attack Christmas and Christianity through the guise of understanding and tolerance of others. This Age of Political Correctness seems to have given leave to everyone to feel offended at the very mention of something they don’t like, no matter how small, and suddenly cries of “Injustice” and “Intolerance” can be heard far and wide, giving these small-minded people their fifteen minutes of undeserved fame. I was actually surprised that last season, the attacks didn’t seem to be as widespread or as notable, especially when the previous few years they were ramping up and were getting much worse and ridiculous. I wait with bated breath to see how this year will turn out as now we are entering that joyous season will people will be more than happy to be completely intolerant in their reasoning to call out how intolerant Christmas and those who celebrate it are towards those who do not celebrate the holiday.

I am not a religious person. Nor am I an Atheist. We sent Erin to Catholic school because we felt that it offered her the best opportunity to get the best education possible without becoming completely overwhelmed in a school as large as the ones found in the school district in which we reside. The financial cost has not always been easy to carry, and there is always a doubt on whether it was the correct decision to make – there always should be doubt in decisions like this. So far, it seems like it turned out to be the right decision, especially in light of the issue Erin had, but only time will tell if we really did do the best thing for our child. Unfortunately, the financial burden of continuing a Catholic education for Erin, and starting Abby on her own are simply going to be more than we can reasonably offset. It’s another decision that comes with self-doubt and second guessing, but one that we must be made when weighed with the greater good of our family – like our plans to move to the Lancaster area.

Anyway, the point that I am getting to is that I neither believe nor disbelieve in the concept of God as he is written and described not only in the Catholicism, but many other religions as well. If we take the concept of God and break it down to its most basic form – God as the Creator of Life, then yes, I do believe in God since Life obviously exists. Beyond that, however, the form or function that this God takes is most certainly up for debate.

Many years ago, when I was building my website and fighting the good fight against the bad maths of the world during the supposed, and then actual, turn of the century and millennium, I had a conversation with a gentleman who was, as I recall, a Christian. I don’t remember the exact details of the discussions we had, but at one point, I was asked about my thoughts on the Bible, and the stories contained therein. My response was that I look upon the Bible the same way I look upon Myths, Fables, Fairy Tales and the like – interesting stories that speak of morality, always something that should be looked at in the grander context of when it was written. The Bible, and every other text that is the basis for the world’s currently practiced religions were not written by the ethereal hand of some all-powerful deity, but written by the hand of Man. As we all know, Man is fallible and prone to many faults, not the least of which is selfishness and self-interests.

All through history, mankind has believed in any number of supernatural beings ruling over the fate of Humanity. On numerous occasions, these deities have interacted with humans in some form or fashion through the years: transforming them into hideous monsters; impregnating them; saving their lives; communing through burning bushes; providing moral codes; etc. One can look back at history and see that the life of a Human is not an easy one. Sure, we have advanced as a society in terms of technology and intelligence, but the threat of violence, disasters, and death are still as prevalent today as they were thousands of years ago. Why then have not any single one of the deities seen fit to interfere with or aid the human condition since these ancient times? Hell, at the very least, with today’s technology we are capable of burning this planet to a cinder in a blink of an eye. To me, if I were a Creator of a world, I would most certainly be doing something about that! In the grand scheme of things, we as a race are still infants and our respective Deities have left us to fend for ourselves. That really doesn’t make much sense to me. So, with that in mind, I simple look at these religious texts as nothing more than a code of laws that our ancestors felt they needed to maintain some form of civilized society, just like the laws and constitutions we live by today.
Somehow though, we have warped these ideals into the belief that no one should ever be offended by something around them or that they should never get their feelings hurt. The only moral code, past and present, that I can think of that would remotely cover this topic is treat others as you would like to be treated.  Seems like we are actually pretty good at following that code as it pertains to the intolerance of someone else’s beliefs and way of life.

Those attacks on the Christmas holiday are as rife with intolerance as they claim every light on a Christmas tree is intolerant to those who do not celebrate the holiday or believe in the faith that leads to its significance in the world. To attack the phrase “In God We Trust” is in itself an intolerant act. America was founded upon the notion of being able to practice one’s religion without fear of persecution. However, most major religions have a history of persecuting those who do not believe in that religion, even if said religion is based upon a moral code of acceptance and tolerance. The Puritans murdered people in the name of faith during the Salem Witch Trials. The Spanish Inquisition oversaw the deaths of thousands of people. The early followers of Christ were persecuted by both Judaism and Roman beliefs. Obviously in the modern world we have radical Muslims murdering anyone under the sun in the name of Allah. This world has seen has seen the deaths of millions brought about in the name of some deity or ethnicity. Wars have been fought and continue to be fought over the belief that some random patch of dirt is more special than any other on this planet. It is patently ridiculous to think that any superior being capable of creating a planet would consider any part of that planet more special than any other, and allow his Creations to kill each other for possession of it on top of that.

We are an extremely selfish and intolerant race. That intolerance is bred from fear of those that are different from us. Therefore we must form collectives of like-minded others to protect ourselves from that fear. However, that fear never goes away, and hatred of that which is different breeds from it. Each collective convinces itself that it must turn the way of thought in each of the other collectives towards its own, or it must be destroyed. Examples abound in history of this – either wars of extermination or missionaries attempting to convert “savages” to the “True” way of life. We have had another recent example in this of a Christian Missionary traveling to a remote island near India with the express intent of converting their way of life to that of a follower of Christ. He was killed by the tribespeople for his intrusion. Some people have said he loved helping those in need and had a love for other people, including those on the island. Others have called him a martyr for the Christian cause. What a crock of shit. He is just another perfect example of intolerance hiding beneath the skin of love and inclusiveness.

First of all, apparently he did not tell anyone in authority of his intention to travel to the island. Secondly, if he truly did have a love for these people, then he would have left them to live as they have lived for centuries. They have no needs other than to live their lives as they have always lived. Did he even consider the thought of disease? History with the American Indian should have given anyone pause enough not to risk exposure to any illnesses that these people would not have any natural immunity against. He could have wiped out an entire group of people out of the false notion of love and tolerance. But he was selfish in his thinking. He wanted to prove himself to God and to others that he was a good Christian. Maybe he should have thought more about being a good human being and understanding the fact that they have as much right to live the way they see fit, within reason, as anyone else does. Every religion and every country was built upon the blood of those who believed differently.

It continues to this very day, with this New Age religion called Political Correctness. This hive-mind is the most insidious of all because it follows no deity, nor religious-like text. But the cults that have sprung out from this religion are as bad as those cults lead by those who fell into the basest of human nature, and are equally intolerant of anyone or anything that does not conform to their beliefs. If we, as a society expect to be able to continue to grow and thrive, then it’s long past time for us to wake up and start doing something about it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Conversations with Myself

It feels like I’ve been burning up the keyboard these last few of days. I think I’ve always tended to do certain things in spurts, writing being one of them. I do have to thank the Creative Force behind the new Star Wars movies for lighting that fire under my butt to finally get that jumble of thoughts that have been bouncing around between my ears this past year down on paper – in a manner of speaking. Now that the rumor mill is starting to fly with Episode 9, I finally had the gumption to get my second piece out about The Last Jedi. Bits and pieces of it have been sitting in a file on my computer for the last few of months as was my last entry about Internet Parents, as well as this entry and the next few that I am now vigorously working on – all culminating in my Magnum Opus of my forthcoming very un-Politically Correct views on Political Correctness and the #metoo movement and similar Internet mob movements.

Star Wars may have been the spark to get me motivated to write here again, but the real catalyst has been some conversations and situations at work and with some gaming friends over the last few months that really made me determined to finally start getting my thoughts out here in the Outhouse, maybe just so I can maintain what’s left of my own sanity. There’s a certain (what I call) Brilliant Incompetence to the corporate mindset which has manifested itself at work over the course of the summer and fall. Coupling that with the absolute shadiness of the Toys R Us bankruptcy and liquidation, I’ve found myself being more and more outspoken about the sheer idiocy I have witnessed in the corporate decisions we have been subjected to at work. But before I go any further, let me just say that the last several years I have been working in the retail environment after finding myself jobless from the tech industry have probably been the most rewarding in relation to the job stress vs. job satisfaction ratio. Which makes it all the more frustrating when I see decisions being passed down that lack any form of common sense or regard for the actual work environment in a retail store. In this time I have become more and more outspoken about them, and I have found that has translated more and more into my everyday life.

I’ve always been a shy and quiet individual, and only spoke my mind on few occasions in my young adult years … and no so young adult years. Most of the conversations I have ever had are usually with myself. For far too long I was always worried what other people thought of me and always wanted people to like me. Sometimes it got to the point where I put myself in situations where my happiness, and more, was as risk trying to please other people. So rather than offend someone, I just usually stayed silent, even if it was to my detriment. There are only a handful of occasions where I have regretted saying something I probably shouldn’t have – some of them when I had a few too many back in my drinking days. But I have lost count of the times I have regretted not saying something I wanted to say, or should have said in any given situation. I feel fortunate now, that with a little bit of age, and having more confidence in myself thanks to my gaming videos and livestreams, and of course this blog, that I have been able to shed some of that fear of speaking my mind, and I feel so much better now that I can just go without bothering about a filter. I used to hate people like the stereotypical grumpy old man yelling at the neighborhood kids to stay off of his yard. Now however, I relish the time I can say what I need to say and to Hell with what anyone else thinks.
Which brings me back to my work situation and the catalyst that set off Part One of my totally un-PC diatribes which will be released (I hope) over the course of the remainder of the year. During one of my rants one of my co-workers brought up the fact that I just say what needs to be said without a filter, and that took me back a bit, because this was said to me in a conversation I had with some of my gaming buddies in our chat app. It was also a topic of conversation between Shannon and I when talking about one of her co-workers at her new job, and she was kind of surprised that I compared myself to him because she never thought I was like that at work. The truth of the matter is, I have become so accustomed to being this way at work that I don’t give it a second thought. It does make them worried when we have corporate visits because they know I will call things as I see them and won’t be diplomatic about it. It would be one thing if I was off-base or just flat out wrong about the things I am pointing out, but no one has yet been able to find fault with them. What they don’t know, however, is that I simply just can’t be bothered to deal with the Big Wigs. They are trapped in the realm of Brilliant Incompetence, and it doesn’t matter how true my words may ring – even if delivered in a diplomatic and reasonable way, it just simply cannot change the corporate mindset. Quite frankly I have better things to do with my time – like getting actual work done.

Now, the situations that have come up within my gaming circle are a slightly different matter. At least with them, there’s still some semblance of plain ole common sense that gives me hope that humanity is not completely lost. At least we can have (somewhat) reasonable debates and conversations – and even change a point of view or two. Over the summer, there was a situation in the gaming industry where two developers who worked for a well-known and respected gaming company were fired for their on-line interaction with fans of their game. It sparked some righteous outrage as one of the developers (and the one that began the negative interactions) was a female. As this became a topic of discussion within my own circle, I began to notice our debates took on an air of ridiculousness as several people were searching out on the Internet for specific instances and information that would support their side of the argument, all the while ignoring the vast reams of information that countered their point. None of that was mentioned of course because, as Internet Warriors, it is our job to ensure the cause we support is the right one, so we filter out the information that does not hone to our ideals and raise our Sword of Righteousness in the fight for “Truth”, “Justice”, and the Politically Correct way.

It occurred to me then, but really hit home in the situation I described in my last entry about looking up potty training – just how much we have let the Internet and Social Media rule our lives and decisions on practically a daily basis. I can’t count how many times similar situations have come up either through overhearing conversations at work or through reading conversations in my chat groups on-line to the ones I described in the first part of this series. That day finally hit it home for me, that I too was slowly allowing myself to become Brilliantly Incompetent by thinking that the Internet is the place I need to go in order to help me solve my day to day trials and tribulations, all the while ignoring the people who spent years of their lives studying, practicing, and honing their skills to be able to help, teach, and cure.

That has been the catalyst. Ironically, the fire that Star Wars lit under my ass to begin having more of these Conversations with Myself in the Outhouse here and now has helped lift the mental pressure that has been building up inside me for many months now. Ah, Life, it never ceases to surprise me. So to all who are still reading this, be forewarned. Internet Parenting was just the start. This is the first interlude. I cast off my inhibitions. You may think me a dick; an asshole; a moron; insensitive; cruel; and careless. I don’t care. As I have always said to others in my Internet Battles and on-line interactions take whatever anyone has to say, including me, with a healthy dose of salt (especially on the Internet). Some of the topics I will be writing about in the weeks to come will undoubtedly piss people off, offend people, make people cry, and more than likely make them think less of me or even hate me. It will be your choice to continue reading or not. Either way I don’t care. I have allowed myself to be eaten away by holding my tongue for all of my life. I will continue to call out Bullshit as I see it, and I fully expect to be called out on my own Bullshit as is justified. I will continue to speak my mind as I see things through my perspective. Plain, Brutal, and Honestly. Take it as you will.

Don’t Be an Internet Parent

I begin this with a deep sigh. When I started this blog, I originally intended it to be a sounding board for myself when I saw or heard something that got me so riled up I just had to spout off about it. I realized that there is so much that I don’t think I could ever stop writing. Unfortunately, a lot of what I really want to say would offend and alienate a great number of people, so I ended up just putting off writing an entry until my ire dissipated and I had no passion to write about it any further. But I think I am doing myself a disservice by doing so. I am not a politically correct person, and strongly believe that the current PC climate we find ourselves deluged with is a big detriment to society. But like I said in my last blog entry, that’s a topic for another day.

I finally felt compelled enough to sit down and begin writing this because of my children, and something I did not too long ago as a result of still trying to potty train our youngest, Abby. I find it amusing that the biggest job on the face of this planet is the one that doesn’t come with a handbook or any extensive training beforehand – parenting. Sure I can go search on Amazon and come away with dozens upon dozens of books written on the subject of parenting, but therein lies the problem. With those books I would find dozens and dozens of different opinions on how to be a parent. Ultimately not very useful in the long run because the tendency we humans have is to only listen to the things that tell us what we want to hear – not the things that we actually do need to hear. What prompted this was some searching on the Internet I was doing on the trials and tribulations of getting a kid to go poo in the potty. Abby is a bright kid, and when we finally forced ourselves out of our routine to actively potty train her, she took to it right away. But there seems to be that age old issue of getting her to do #2, and nothing we have tried thus far has worked – even bribing her with her toys from her favorite show, Spirit Riding Free. So I went online to see if other people had this same issue and how they resolved it. As I should have expected, I got the Amazon search results. Then I realized I became the worse thing a person can become – an Internet Parent.

It’s actually quite easy to do, especially for me – having had some experience with technology and the internet in the past. But what I realized is that what I was becoming was one of those people in the Holiday Inn commercials, or the Medical Check-up commercials. You might be familiar with the ones I am talking about – a plane is crashing, and the pilot is passed out, but someone from the passenger section jumps into the cockpit and takes control. One of the Flight Attendants asks if he is a pilot, and the passenger replies, “No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.” The other one is where actors who play or have played doctors on TV stroll around a hospital encouraging people to get check ups, or something to that effect. They generally start out by saying “I’m not a real doctor, but I play one on TV.” And thus we come to the crux of this issue: parents who try to be doctors, teachers, or what have you by doing searches on the Internet and diagnosing and “treating” their kids with the information that is spewed out. And I was about to fall into the same trap.
There is nothing easy about being a parent and it seems it is more about error than anything else in the tried and true “Trial and Error” method. Somehow we make it through each day and just have to prepare for the next day. We do the best we can, and I am far from a perfect parent, and because of that, I always hesitate to judge what others do with and for their kids. We are all unique with unique situations, but there are times where missteps happen that are so obvious that you have to shake your head and wonder just what the Hell people are thinking. Unfortunately, in some of those circumstances, that only happens after a tragedy has occurred. Far too often anymore, I hear people say that they know what is best for their kids, or what is best for their family, but that is often a wrapping and an excuse for a decision that is so utterly selfish on the part of the parents, it makes you just want to get up and give them a good belt across the back of the head. The truth of the matter is, we don’t always know what is best for our kids or our families when there is the potential of medical or mental issues involved. But somehow, people think they know better when the start googling on the Internet. Somehow, those parents think that by looking for information on the Internet (and their continued searching until they actually come across that one bit of information that tells them what they want to hear all the while ignoring all the other reams of information that says what they want to hear is wrong), that they know how to diagnose and treat their kids, or teach their kids, or what have you better than any Doctor, Teacher, or other Professional that has studied and been doing their job for years. They have become Internet Parents, and their skills at such are no better than that guy who stayed at the Holiday in or all those actors who play the part of a doctor on TV. Yet, somehow they know better. What a crock and utterly selfish way to parent a child. And that’s the true tragedy.

Instead of the child getting the help or education that they really need, they get the Witch Doctor treatment. Because of this, what may seem like the right thing to do at the time ultimately ends up sacrificing the future of the child. Be it a mental issue that needs a professional’s diagnosis and care, or just the simple act of ensuring that a child gets placed in a special needs classroom, regardless of the stigma that parents selfishly fear it places upon them. Might as well give the kid a shovel and send him off to a farm to shovel shit the rest of his life for all the opportunity these Internet Parents are providing for their kids. At worst, we end up with tragic circumstances like Sandy Hook Elementary School and Stoneman Douglas High School. Kids that needed help and special needs and either the parents flat out refused to get them they help they needed or did not fight hard and long enough to ensure that their kids got that help. It’s certainly not an easy road to travel when one has a child with a mental or emotional issue, but being a parent is never going to be an easy job, and if someone is not going to fight tooth and nail for their kids no matter the inconvenience or cost, then they probably should not have been parents to begin with.

We had our own issues with Erin a few years ago. The Internet was useful in terms of giving us an idea of where to start to get her the help that she needed, but we realized right away that we did not have the knowledge nor ability take care of the issues ourselves. Regardless of the cost and inconvenience to us, we made sure to go to the right professionals and get Erin the help that she really needed. We will do the same for Abby as well. A parent knows when their child is not “normal” and the real test of character comes in admitting that there is something wrong, and not using excuses like “It’s the Terrible Twos” or “Boys will be Boys”. The act of a good parent is admitting that as a parent we are neither equipped, nor qualified to give our child the help that they need. That is a true act of selflessness. You can bet that at her next check-up, we will be asking the doctor about our concerns and following her professional guidelines and directions. If, as the future unfolds, it turns out that Abby needs continued specialist help, she will get it. If it turns out that she needs to be placed in a specialist classroom to get the education she needs, and deserves, then that is what we will do. We, as her parents, understand that we are not qualified to treat nor educate our daughter. Therefore we will turn to those who are and ensure we can give her the best possible chance to have the future she deserves. As her parents, that is what we are qualified to do, and Abby deserves no less. We refuse to be Internet Parents. Everyone else should too.