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Double Standards

As someone in high school with a Facebook, with many high school girls as friends, I’ve encountered many, many double standards in the dating world, some of them fairly popular, (even outside of high school girls) many of them not so much:

  • Guy cheats on girl, its his fault. Girl cheats on guy, its his fault.
  • He better not flirt with anyone else; he better not have a problem with me flirting with other guys
  • He will NOT have a password on his phone, I need to get in there; he better not even think about looking into my phone

To name a few. Now, the last thing I want to do is imply that I think that only girls come up with these double standards– I just happen to encounter them a lot more often. Probably as a result of the circles I hang around in.

Those who know me, know that sometimes I come to a conclusion and get excited about what I’ve figured out, even if it might be obvious to other people. This is one of those times:

There are many reasons double standards aren’t good, but I figured out yesterday why they logically do not work:

Man cheats on woman, it is the man’s fault. Makes sense, because it was the man’s responsibility to be faithful to the woman. Logically, this should extend to: Woman cheats on man, it is the woman’s fault– but this double standard says that it doesn’t. Woman cheats on man, it is still the man’s fault for not satisfying the woman adequately. Logically, this would lead to: Man cheats on woman, it is the woman’s fault. But it doesn’t.

You could go on like that forever, because logically, double standards do not work.

The Power of One

The Power of One

Many people, maybe even MOST people, don’t think they can make a difference. Take a look at this photo. This is a picture of the current protests in Turkey. Consider, if you would, the number of protesters relative to the number of police. If ONE of the protesters in the front decided to charge, you can bet your ass two more would join him. And two more would join each of them. And pretty soon, several thousand people would be coming down on..maybe 50 police officers, and armed as they may be, they would not stand a chance. Even that truck would have some significant damage. Yeah, they would almost certainly retaliate, but the point is: That one guy in the front knows he isn’t alone, but he has NO idea how not-alone he really is. And if he could somehow figure out that there a few thousand behind him, and 50 in his way, he’d know that he could absolutely make a difference.
“They have the guns but we have the numbers” ~ Jim Morrison
[Photo Source: Reddit user monopixel, though he didn’t take it, not sure where he got it, unfortunately)

A brief, slightly amusing anecdote from the 2012 presidential election

I live in a small, Republican town in Nebraska. Last Halloween, just a week or so before the election, my friend and I went trick-or-treating. This, of course, was the same time that Bob Kerrey, a Democrat, was running for Senate. One of the houses we went to had a Kerrey yard sign. When we knocked on the door, an elderly lady answered, and I complimented her on her sign. Her response was “We had to bring our Obama one inside or we’d lose it,” which I thought was funny.

It also upsets me that having a yard sign or bumper sticker that disagrees with the mainstream of your area, gets your property vandalized or stolen. Much akin to the fact that, with exceptions, most would be hard-pressed to find someone with a Darwin fish car decal, which is the first one they’ve bought, and both the decal and the car are in good condition. No dents where the decal is, no torn decal, no keyed car.

I’m sure this is the case in reverse, too–in, say, Massachusetts, Romney yard signs were probably stolen—– is what I said before remembering that Romney was the governor of Massachusetts. I would have just deleted it, but I thought it was funny, so replace Massachusetts with like, New York, or Michigan. And I’m sure that in a particularly atheistic town, (in Sweden, because there wouldn’t be one of those in America, unfortunately) there have been Christian bumper stickers vandalized. Which upsets me just as much as the atheistic or Democratic stuff being vandalized.

… Okay, maybe not just as much, haha, but similarly. People really should be more open-minded and tolerant of out-of-the-mainstream ideas :/

Slavery and Rip-Offs

At my school, we have this group called FFA. I can’t remember what it stands for, but it has to do with agriculture. They do like, land judging, and stuff like that.

Anyway, their biggest (and only) fund raiser is a labor auction. (used to be called a slave auction, but they figured that was politically incorrect) Most of us still call it the slave auction. What it is, is people can bid on people for a day of labor. I’ve been told that the highest this year was $875, but most people get “bought” for about $250.

Assuming that one day is eight hours, which is a pretty safe assumption:

$250 is $31.25 an hour. Kinda up there, right?

Well, $875 is $109.38 an hour. When I worked at McDonald’s, it took me two or three days to make what they’re making (Well, making for FFA) in an hour.

In 1850, an American slave cost (adjusted for inflation) about $40,000. On average, they lived to 21 years old and started work at, as a low estimate, 5 years old. So lets say 16 years of labor. 16 years comes out to about 5,840 days. $40,000 over 5,840 days comes out to $6.85 a day.

A modern slave costs $90, and has a lifespan (after purchase) of 7 years, or 2555 days, Which comes out to 4 cents a day.

So, to recap:

FFA “slave:” $250- $875 for one day

Slave in 1850: $6.85 per day

Slave today: $0.04 per day

Why would I pay almost $1,000 for a day of labor, if I could pay less than $100 for someone to do absolutely anything I want?

I do realize how ridiculous this sounds, I just thought it’d be funny to look at

How Something Small Made a Very Big Impact

Sometimes when you’re in a very bad place, reassurance can come from the most unlikely of places. For me, that place was Pocket Planes, a Tycoon-type game I play on my Nexus 7 tablet.

For those that don’t know, Pocket Planes is a game that originated on Apple, then made its way to the Android market. The premise of the game is simple: You own a small airline, and you have to turn it into a big airline. If you’re interested, there is more info here: http://www.polygon.com/2012/11/14/3590214/pocket-planes-guide-how-to-build-the-best-airline

In the game, you can be part of a “flight crew:” There are certain events to fly things to certain places, and your flight crew is the group that you participate in these events with. In the menu, you have access to your flight crew’s ranking against other crews, and your personal ranking within your crew.

Now for why this matters to me: As I only got the game a few days ago, this is the first event I’m participating in. My crew, Reddit, is number 7 in the world, currently with 4,691 jobs done. I am number 15 in my crew, with 108 jobs done.

“So why does this matter?” I hear you muttering to yourself. Well, it probably doesn’t. However, the number 8 flight crew in the world has 4633 as I write this, meaning that without my 108, the Reddit flight crew would be number 8 in the world, instead of number 7. Is this a huge deal? No. But as someone who lives his life with clinical depression, who feels like he doesn’t really matter to anyone a lot of the time, it becomes a huge deal.

Those 108 jobs I’ve completed, and my being the difference between my team being number 7 in the world, and number 8, are not terribly important. However, in a world where I spend a lot of my time feeling completely insignificant, they are a big deal; and are just one more thing working with me, when it feels like most things are working against me.

So, my challenge to you, the reader, is this: If you see an opportunity to make someone feel important, in no matter how big or small a way, be sure to take it. I’m not saying to go out of your way to make every single person you meet feel extremely important, though– as great as that would be, it would start to become time-consuming and stressful, and the things you want to do would start taking the back seat. This would not be good, because we as humans need to put ourselves first, (evolutionarily, this is because food was scarce for almost all of the evolutionary life of Homo Sapien, so for awhile, if you let another person get the food, you probably didn’t eat for awhile) else we’ll get super stressed and our mental health will suffer. I’m just saying, try to make it a goal to make at least one person per day feel important. You never know how much of an affect that’ll have, even if it was something very small.

Thank you Mobage, developers of Pocket Planes among other games I haven’t played yet but plan to, for providing this opportunity. Consider me a loyal customer, although you already could have, because Pocket Planes is my favorite game right now anyway.

The 911 Call That Changed My Life [Part 2 – My Experiences]

See part one here (https://noelephantsinthisroom.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/the-911-call-that-changed-my-life/)

A couple weeks ago, I posted a 911 call that I found particularly disturbing, yet also enlightening. This call contained a little girl, no older than 10, who had just discovered that her brother shot himself. Needless to say, she was hysterical. See the post above for more information

I also talked about the impact that had on me. I talked about how, me being suicidal, that makes me think about the effect it would have on other people when my mind wanders to that area of thought. [Part 1 is much more in-depth, I just didn’t want to post the same thing twice]

I also said that I would post a part two, telling you all about my experiences in this subject, which is what this is:

Mine aren’t nearly as severe as some: I’ve never attempted, and I’ve never known someone that succeeded, but I feel it shareable material nonetheless.

We’ll start with me: I’ve been depressed and suicidal, the roots of which started in 7th grade, and which reached its culmination towards the end of my freshman year. I started going to a therapist the summer after Freshman year, and this past October (My Junior year) we decided to start me on an antidepressant, Lexapro. I’ve mostly had fantastic results; but the “May cause an increase in suicidal thoughts and actions, especially in teens and young adults” did apply to me one day. I found myself writhing in emotional agony in the McDonald’s bathroom, with my pocket knife to my throat. Thankfully, that’s as far as it went. Oddly enough, it was the day after I saw this video. O.o The weird part of this wasn’t that I was more suicidal, but that it made me more suicidal for one day. Not even a full day, really. Like, an hour. Anyway. Other than that, I’ve been much better, though not where I’d like to be, since I’ve started my Lexapro.

Now my friend: (I’ve changed her name, for obvious reasons) Joan hasn’t led the best of lives. She has (in her words) a deadbeat whore of a mother, and her father can’t hold a job, so they’re not exactly well-off. It seems to me that she’s pretty depressed, maybe bipolar, even. (not a professional diagnosis, obviously, but I would call it very likely, based on my experience with both of them) She had attempted suicide many times in the past, before we had met. She talked to me about doing it, but hadn’t attempted since we met. But then one night, she was talking about it, and she seemed really serious. Then suddenly, she stopped responding to my texts. So I was faced with a decision: Trust that she’s okay, or dial my local emergency number? (As I am in the US, its 911) There shouldn’t have been much of a decision to make, but I thought there was. I decided to call 911. Roughly an hour later, I find out that she is, indeed, okay. She was naturally pissed off at me. While she isn’t mad at me any more, we never regained our relationship completely, and I never found out about another attempt until afterwards. While this is so, I still don’t regret calling, because I know I couldn’t bear it if she died because I didn’t.

I forgot what the point of this was. But I said I’d post it, so here I am, three weeks later, posting it.