Archive | January 2013

My essay for the legalization of gay marriage (Pre-writing class)

I know I’m due for the part two of my previous post about a suicide, but I figured I’d let that wait, and show you guys what I’m currently working on. I’m taking a writing class in school, and we were tasked with writing a rough draft for an essay for/against the legalization of gay marriage, which we will then edit throughout the semester. To showcase my progress, both to myself and to others, I wanted to post the original tonight, then the finished product in May. (Well, I presume in May. Maybe not) So without further adieu, here it is: My essay for the legalization of same-sex marriage (rough draft)

Same-sex marriage; or, as I like to call it, marriage; has no business being illegal anywhere except a far right theocracy, such as Iran. In Iran or Saudi Arabia, they can get away with outlawing something because it goes against their religion. That’s kind of what a theocracy is. But here in America, not only are we not a theocracy, and do not have an official religion, but according to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which states “Congress can make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” the “so-and-so is against my religion!” argument cannot be used to justify keeping same-sex marriage illegal, nor anything else. This would be akin to a bunch of Jews or Muslims trying to outlaw the production, possession, and consumption of pork; or, better yet, some Hindus trying to outlaw the mistreatment of cows in any way, shape, or form. There would be public outcry, would there not? How dare they try to shove their religious beliefs down our throats??

A bigger argument, not only for the legalization of gay marriage, but why the argument against its legalization has no real substance, is simply this: If they’re not harming you, why should you care? A common rebuttal to this might be “They’re harming me mentally!” which has a very simple response: Why let them? The only time gay marriage harms anyone in any way, is when it is allowed to cause harm. If Tim is married to Jill, that affects nobody but Tim, Jill, and their immediate friends and family, almost never negatively. How does that change if Tim is married to Al? It doesn’t. Why would anyone be so against something that affects them so minimally?

Remember when the big issue was interracial marriage? The big arguments against it were religious, interracial marriage being legalized leading to the legalization of bestiality and polygamy, etc. Roughly half a century later, the same arguments are being used against same-sex marriage. If nothing else, this says that these things didn’t happen, making it significantly less likely that they will happen this time. (Sources: The Atlantic Wire, Virginia Law, Vermont Law) This being for a couple of reasons: The illegality of polygamy comes, at least quite a bit, from the complication that tax forms and other such paperwork would be in a legal, polygamist marriage. And nobody is going to move to legalize bestiality; because there is a reason most of us do not have sex with our dogs—that reason not being the law. Even so, for either of these, as stated above, who cares what your neighbor does?

We need to legalize same-sex marriage. This isn’t just about marriage—it is about civil rights. Religion is still holding progress back in a country whose Constitution claims to separate the church and the state. People think someone else’s relationship affects them a lot more than it actually does, and they’re using the same arguments, recycled from past marital issues, to argue their point. This needs to be done, and we need to do it now. “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” ~ John F. Kennedy

The 911 Call That Changed My Life

The Call [WARNING: Read first paragraph before clicking!]

I don’t want people to have to listen to this to know what I’m talking about, as it could be very disturbing to some, so first I’ll explain what’s going on in the call: A little girl, couldn’t have been older than 10, has just discovered that her big brother shot himself. She was the first one in the house, along with her sister. (whose age is not stated in the call) We don’t hear anything from the sister, just the little girl and, later on, the father. The hysteria, terror, and confusion in this girl’s voice is just..mind-boggling, and, to me and probably a lot of people, extremely disturbing. On the link to it I found, I saw a comment from a 911 operator, who said that this call is used in training 911 operators to show them the kind of thing they’ll be exposed to, and help them detach themselves emotionally from the calls. If you think you’re up to watching it, please do, its life-changing, especially if you have suffered from suicidal thoughts and actions. But, please, really think about if you think you can handle it, it is extremely disturbing.

Now, why this video touched me so: For the last few years, I’ve suffered from what was recently diagnosed as “mild clinical depression” (My heart goes out to those with severe depression– if this hell is mild, I can’t begin to imagine how bad severe depression must be. Good luck to all of you in getting through it) With my depression, both before and after treatment started, also came suicidal thoughts. And an action or two. I often think that nobody would care if I died, so I may as well just get it over with. This video, combined with some other things I’ll discuss later, possibly in a later post, made me think of all of the family and friends I have that would care. I, like pretty much everyone else, have a lot (well, maybe not a lot–but quite a few) of people who care about me, probably more than I would think of if asked. This video made me think of those people, and what it would do to them if I killed myself. Especially my little sister, and my parents. Much as it may not feel like it sometimes, they, and others, would be deeply hurt, if not devastated, if I died, especially by that method.

So I guess that’s the point of this post: Remember that there is always someone who cares. Expect a part two to this–containing my experiences in more detail, and with a new point/moral– by next week, probably tomorrow or the next day.

Insomniatic Ramblings [World War II and the Female Liberation Movement]

I was thinking tonight, and I believe that if not for World War II, the Female Liberation Movement would have happened very differently. Now, stay with me here, because I’m going to go backwards before I explain myself. Hitler came to power largely on account of the horrible outcome for Germany in World War I, and their awful deal in the Treaty of Versailles. Therefore, since one of the biggest causes of World War I was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria by Gavrilo Princip, (and five other conspirators, but ultimately Princip was the only one that was successful at all) one could make the argument that if any one thing in the life of Gavrilo Princip up to that point had been different, its very possible that the Female Liberation Movement wouldn’t have happened, or at least would have happened differently, and probably later on. (Princip is as far back as my knowledge of history can take this for me, but I’m sure I could take it a lot further after some research, if I wanted to)

Okay, now I’ll explain what I mean. Up until World War II, there were very clear gender roles: The man worked, the woman stayed at home. Nobody even really questioned this. (Well, they did, but they were a very small portion of the population at this point) Now, here comes along America’s involvement in World War II, in 1942. The amount of men sent overseas is unprecedented, and we lose quite a bit of our workforce, while also needing more workers for military production. People start thinking of women as viable options for out-of-house work, such as in airplane factories.

Now a larger portion of the female population is thinking that this whole ‘working out of the house’ thing is pretty sweet. The men are naturally opposed to this at first, but then they realize that this means more money coming into the household, so they’re okay with it. Which is where the economic boom of the ’50s possibly came from.

….. I forgot where I was going with this. Something about daycares, and MRS degrees, and such.

Hope for Help

Hope for Help

Hi all. My friend recently started this Facebook anti-bullying group. I’m not sure what they do other than provide a place to share stories and vent (Which I suppose is great by itself) but I know she’d like it if she got some more members, maybe suggestions on other stuff to do, so if you guys would go join, maybe contribute, I would really appreciate it! 😀

Self-Pity

Self-Pity

First off, I’d like to apologize for the absence of a post yesterday, December 31st, and the extreme tardiness of a post for today, January 1st. (I guess it’s the 2nd now, haha) Next, I’d like to talk about the comic I’ve posted here.

This is a comic about self-pity, hence the title of my post, haha. Though, it didn’t start as a comic, if I’m not mistaken– its a quote, by British actor Stephen Fry. In this quote, (that doesn’t sound like the best way I could have put that… Oh well) Fry says that a person’s most destructive vice is not pride, the number one cardinal sin, but self-pity. He says that it destroys anything good in life, fulfills all of its prophecies and leaves only itself. He says that it’s easy to view yourself as the victim: That you’ve had a bad life, by no fault of your own. He says that he once wanted to publish a self-help book, simply stating “Stop feeling sorry for yourself and you will be happy.” He also admits that while it seems so simple to stop feeling sorry for yourself, it is, indeed, a “bloody hard” thing to do.

This quote really speaks to me. Probably more than any other quote I’ve ever heard, in fact. I have struggled with self-pity for years. (I’m getting there, this blog was actually my first step in actually doing something worthwhile!) I’m not going to assume anyone’s age that is reading this, but if any of you, guy or girl, are after high school age, I’m sure a lot of you can remember a similar experience. (Or maybe I just tell myself that to feel less abnormal 😛 ) There was probably a specific aspect of your life that your self-pity was focused on– maybe your athletic ability, your weight, or the amount of money in your parents’ bank accounts– for me, its girls. Social life in general, really, but mostly girls. Which I can’t imagine is a very rare scapegoat to pin one’s self pity on, haha.

I know I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself. I know there’s probably a lot that I could do to help my situation. I know I’m a great guy, and that at some point, I’ll find myself a nice girl. (The feeling of abnormality because of my inexperience is a big part of it too, but that could be a whole post of its own) I know that I’m not the only guy in the world that can’t seem to find a girl. But that’s the tricky thing about the human mind…

You can logically know the hell out of something, while feeling something completely different. Logically, I know I deserve a great girl, and that I’m not the only one who can’t seem to find one. But emotionally, it truly feels like I must not deserve one, and it truly feels like I’m the only guy on the planet that can’t find one. Another, smaller, example: I almost quit at McDonald’s, because I’ve been asking them to train me on front counter since at least late September, and they had not yet done so. (this being about a week and a half ago–They started training me on it yesterday, and I loved it so much I almost can’t accept their money now!) Logically, I knew there was almost certainly a good reason they had not yet trained me on it, but it felt like I was just being ignored.

I feel that this is what Stephen Fry meant when he said that it’s “bloody hard” to stop feeling sorry for yourself: No matter how well you know something, its damned difficult to transfer that knowledge into feeling differently about it, sometimes.

Do you have a story about self-pity, or similar life trials? Feel free to share in the comments, if its something you’re willing to share!

[credit for finding the comic (not sure who made it, don’t believe it was him) goes to user kyles0623 on Reddit.com, posted to http://www.reddit.com/r/GetMotivated 4 days ago]