Wednesday, July 9, 2014

3 Wheelers: A Conflict of Numbers

Before I start this, I’d like to note that anything negative written in this blog post about three-wheelers does not include any 3-wheeler made in the 70’s or 80’s. So don’t worry, Scott Hall. As I’m sure you have a handful of those on your farm, I just wanted you to know that you’re safe.

Anyway, I was texting and driving like a normal person down the interstate, when I looked up just in time to pass closely by a three-wheeler, operated by a tiny woman. It was raining outside, and she looked miserable. As I passed mere inches from her, my only thought, besides “did I miss the exit for Taco Bell™”, was that maybe she should add a wheel to the Turdmobile™ she was driving. Also, maybe add a roof, and some doors to it as well.

Why are these a thing? Why do they exist? At various points throughout our life, we all like to reflect on our own existence. But now I’d like to call on you to direct those “reflecting skills” toward trying to figure out why anybody would be caught dead on something like this. I know the saying is “I wouldn’t be caught dead”, but  to tell you the truth, I would be ok if my friends saw my severed head on the seat  as long as I was wearing a brown grocery bag with eye holes cut out.

The “Can Am Spyder” is hands down, the worst invention of all time. Worse than fixies, worse than the Segway, even worse than Obamacare. I say this because it goes against everything good that humanity has to offer. Civility? None. Gumption? Nope. Good looks? Nay, it’s like the Quasimodo of street vehicles: While generally it means well and sounds like a normal machine, it falls a bit short and looks gross.

The website itself is pretty standard, nothing unusual to it, however on one of the pages it scrolls through, It has some interesting copy.  It says: “See how far Drew Brees is willing to go, to feel the exhilaration of a Can-Am Sypder.”

Ok. . . .

My first question is. . .
  1. Who is Drew Brees? (I don't know)
  2. Why should I care who Drew Brees is? (I don't know)
  3.  Is Drew Brees the bees knees? (Maybe to his mom, but not to me)
  4. How many bee knees does it take to make you want to care about Drew Brees? (7)
  5. How much cumulative honey could said bees make? (42)
  6. How much money does it take to convince someone “famous” to debase themselves enough to get behind something as ridiculously stupid as the Can-Am Sypder? (Hopefully a lot)
  7. Are the creators of the Can-Am Spyder aware of their own creation? (No)
  8. Are they embarrassed? (Yes)

They Should be.

I realize that this Frankenstein of an invention appeals to those that can no longer ride motorcycles, but seriously, have some respect for yourself. I know that the motorcycle is a type of “sanctuary” for you, but this is not the answer.

To the few people that cannot listen to reason, let me point out that the Can-Am Spyder starts out at $15,000, which is about what you could pay for a nice car that comes with a roof, an extra wheel, and some class.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Rape Culture: “I Am Not A Rapist” Is Exactly What A Rapist Would Say.

How unfortunate would it be if you were a woman and went your whole life assuming all men were rapists? Sitting at the restaurant, your server approaches you. Instead of thinking about what you want to eat, you’re thinking he’s probably a rapist.

“I’ll take a hamburger with fries and I’d like you to not rape me, if that’s ok.” The server stares at you, caught off guard. His blank stare, combined with shifting posture only reaffirms what you suspected. He is in fact going to serve you dinner and then rape you.

A recent article floating around Facebook insinuates that just by being a man, I perpetuate rape culture, which I findabsolutely ridiculous and insulting. After painfully reading the entire article, I didn’t come away thinking that all men perpetuate rape culture by being men. I came away thinking that the author is probably the type of guy who takes a women’s lib class in college specifically to pick up on women, and that he probably plays the guitar.

Here are some highlights from the article. . .

When I cross a parking lot at night and see a woman ahead of me, I do whatever I feel is appropriate to make her aware of me so that a) I don’t startle her b) she has time to make herself feel safe/comfortable and c) if it’s possible, I can approach in a way that’s clearly friendly, in order to let her know I’m not a threat. I do this because I’m a man.

Basically, I acknowledge every woman I meet on the street, or in an elevator, or in a stairway, or wherever, in a way that indicates she’s safe. I want her to feel just as comfortable as if I weren’t there. I accept that any woman I encounter in public doesn’t know me, and thus, all she sees is a man — one who is suddenly near her. I have to keep in mind her sense of space and that my presence might make her feel vulnerable. That’s the key factor — vulnerability.”

How about a) you don’t be “suddenly near” any person, man or woman.  It’s called not being a creepy asshole, and it has nothing to do with rape culture. When any person is walking in a parking lot, and somebody is walking toward them, it is instinct to give an ocular assessment of the situation, garner that he/she is not a security risk, and clear him/her from passage. An ocular pat-down if you will.

A woman who feels uncomfortable walking alone in a parking lot is going to feel uncomfortable, regardless of how “comfortable” you make yourself appear, because that is something a rapist would do.

The piece goes on to quote an article from Marshall University’s Women Center’s website, saying:

Rape Culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.

Which is 100% correct. Now, I didn’t have my glasses on, so maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see anywhere that said my existence as a man perpetuated rape culture. What I did read was a paragraph stating that rape culture is caused by people that don’t respect other people.

When the author talks about how he dealt with this sudden insight on rape culture, things take a turn for the weird.

“I approached a writer I respect. I asked her to write an article with me, wherein she’d explain rape culture to me and to male readers (you did that in the paragraph above. It was easy)She stopped returning my emails.

At first, I was annoyed. Then as it became clear she wasn’t going to respond at all, I actually got mad (because you felt she was entitled to respond to you?) Luckily, I’ve learned one shouldn’t immediately respond when they feel flashes of anger (if only all rapists could be as cool headed as you).

Thunder is impressive but it’s the rain that nourishes life (what?!?!). So I let that storm pass and thought about it. I took a walk. They seem to jangle my best thoughts loose.

Blocks from my house, in front of a car wash (why is this relevant?) it dawned on me. If rape culture is so important to me I needed to find out for my self what it is”

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the author you respect probably stopped returning your emails because you’re a jerk. You are what is perpetuating rape culture. You can’t believe that a woman wouldn’t respond to you because she just doesn’t want to, so you get upset. That sounds an awful lot like something we were just talking about.

I think what we really just need to talk about are douchebags with no respect for other people.

When something like #YesAllWomen occurs in our cultural conversation and women the world over are out there sharing their experiences, their trauma, their stories and their personal views, as men, we don’t need to enter that conversation. In that moment, all we need to do is listen, and reflect, and let their words change our perspective. Our job is to ask ourselves how we can do better.

Yeah. You’re right. We don’t need to enter that conversation. That’s the greatest advice I’ve ever heard. Sowhy don’t you go choke on a hotdog, stop assuming theworst in everyone, and read some quotes regarding your contrived POS article from small handful of women whoprobably don’t fall into the “glass skinned” category.

SB - Woahthat is a f*cked up assessment of the 21st century reality of women and men. That guy is a douche...and probably a rapist”

AK - "This is offensive to all the independent, adventurous, strong women who strive to live every day to the fullest. Regardless of gender, to view life from a place of fear or as a place full of fear is to foster and support the sadness/pain/inequality/turmoil/etc. that exists in our world."

AB – Hahahahahaha I'm dying! I love It's Always Sunnyin Philadelphia!!!!”

CT – That's kinda f*cked.”