This is the first Journal Essay of 2014 and I have decided to start things off with a bang. I am not going to tackle depression. I am not going to address my morbid obesity. We won’t be discussing what the local prostitute population on Craig’s List is up to these days. I am not even touching my desire to see Joseph Gordon Levitt naked.
I am breaking new ground this year.
I have spent the last few years refusing to talk about the two subjects most likely to make Americans start throwing punches and turn them into Internet Bully’s. I wrote a journal essay last year about all of the Duck Dynasty bullshit and it felt really good. So good that I wanted to do it again I am about to being giving my opinion about politics and religion. I know what you are most likely thinking at the moment.
“Big fucking deal Josh is going to start acting like everyone else and telling us what he thinks whether we want to hear it or not. Why can’t everyone just shut up? If everyone stops talking about it all of the annoying bullshit will go away and it will be the 1950’s and everyone who is white, male, and Christian will be happy. Josh do you really think this is good for yourself or America?”
What is my response to this train of thought whether you had it or not?
“You’re goddamn right.”
Before you fly off the handle and start hurling feces at me like a monkey force fed caffeine, allow me to explain myself. Being quiet and keeping my opinion to myself is not helping anyone except the people I disagree with.
These people seem by and large to be the people who scream the loudest and talk down to people the most. That is not to say there aren’t people on my side of the Berlin Wall who are complete jackasses. Fuck there are a few I would like to beat with a rotted salmon. But by and large there seems to less people willing to speak out for fear of backlash.
What are my views?
Well if you have been reading my bullshit and nonsense for any length of time you probably already have a good idea. If not be patient, I’m getting to it but I need to say a few more things about how and why this is going down.
I have a large extended family. There are so many aunts, uncles, and cousins in the family that I would be hard pressed to name half of them. I grew up surrounded by them but as I got older I consciously moved away from them drifting to the point where I really only associate with them at weddings and funerals.
I did this because as I got older I became less religious. My mother’s family has always been an extremely religious one. Also as I got older I grew more and more politically progressive. My family tends to skew much further right than I would ever be comfortable.
This is not to say I don’t like or love them. Far from it, I am very fond of many of these family members. But I didn’t want to fight with them I didn’t want the conflict. I figured if I ignored the differences my aunts anti-Semitism, my uncles anti climate change beliefs, and my cousin’s dark theory about Obama to name just a few things would be easier. For awhile it was … and then it wasn’t anymore.
Really I blame Facebook.
Every day I am witness to the statements of friends, family, pundits, and assholes on the other side of the country which make me want to bash my head in with a brick. Some of you might be screaming, right this minute even, that I should unplug and ignore it all. That I am paying too much attention to what people say on the internet. That I would be happier if I went back to the days of 7 day mail turn around and party lines in the burbs.
You are wrong.
First, I am an Indie Author and without the constant interfacing of social media my career would be deader than Kim Jong Un’s uncle. Second, I am sick and fucking tired of ignoring shit I passionately believe in and/or fucking loathe. Third, even though I tend to analyze what I read and hear many people don’t and I am really tired of watching lies and bullshit spread wily nily. I am also really pissed at so called people of faith using their god as a reason to hate and oppress people who’ve never done a damn thing to hurt them. Finally, I do not want this world regressing to a time where dad earned all of the money came home had a stiff drink beat the kids and raped mom.
Nope, not gonna have it.
So here we go, all of my years of never taking definitive stands and defending them end today. I am not going to argue semantics. I am not going to engage in pedantic debate. I refuse to be dragged into the minutia of part time constitutional scholars and internet butt plugs. I am merely going to begin commentating on what I believe to be right and wrong and if I am going to be 100% I couldn’t give a flying fuck if you agree with me or not. If I change your mind on something that’s great, if I don’t I really don’t care.
I did a whole essay on what I do and do not believe last year. But in that work I stated I reserved the right to edit, expand, and revise the list. So here I am going to give you a new list of the things I believe. I am not consulting the old one and there will be overlap. Shit there may be contradictions. I don’t really care because this is what I believe now and that was what I believed them.
I believe that everyone who has not been convicted of a violent crime has the right to own a firearm. But I don’t think any of us have the right to keep an anti aircraft gun in our front yard.
I believe there is no god in the sense religion portrays. But I believe everyone has the right to believe in what they want to.
I believe religion MUST be kept out of schools and government.
I believe race, gender, sexuality, and religion (or lack of) are never valid basis for discrimination or hate.
I believe everyone is too goddamn sensitive and they need to grow the fuck and learn to let shit go. (This includes me more than many)
I believe that the free flow of and access to information is a fundamental right.
I believe in Science even when I don’t completely understand it.
I believe we need a government to maintain society.
I believe sometimes people need a helping hand and that social welfare programs are NOT evil.
I believe in fair and equal treatment.
I believe that the current relationship between government, business, and the top 1% has resulted in a plutocracy.
I believe in the American people but not the American government,
Okay that’s it folks, watch this space for more ranting and monitor my social media for the growth of my new found public righteousness and indignation.