Don’t Try To Distract Me With Facts

For someone who likes observing the humans and the way they act and treat each other, Twitter has been quite the place to be recently. And like I mentioned to a couple other people I know… I realize that Twitter isn’t an accurate representation of the entire population of humans, but even with that understanding it’s still difficult for me to see so many people who operate so differently than I think people should.

Mainly what I’m talking about is people’s tendency to find a controversy, pick a side, jump to a conclusion that isn’t based in fact, logic, or critical thinking – and then scream and shout at other people who don’t share the exact same position as they do. Granted, I’m not exactly silent on a lot of issues – but I try to only speak from a position where I’ve educated myself on the topic, and saying things which (I believe) have facts and logic to back it all up. My problem: expecting the humans to function the same way, hoping that they can understand the difference between a fact and opinion or allegation.

Two “situations” where I’ve found myself trying to bring reason to conversations:

  • The allegations against Chris Hardwick by his former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra. She has accused him of psychological and sexual abuse during their relationship, and within days his various television shows have been shelved by AMC, his name was scrubbed from the Nerdist site that he founded, and he has lost future gigs hosting various things at different comic conventions.
  • Atari has started a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo to develop and create a new console called the Atari VCS… and there is a small but extremely vocal group of angry “game nerd” YouTube channels who are absolutely certain that the whole thing is a scam, and keep producing angry videos with all sorts of allegations – all in what seems to be an attempt to sabotage Atari’s console launch.

With Hardwick and Dykstra, I’m of the opinion that nobody knows what happened except for the two parties involved, so the public can’t come to a determination that’s anything more than just opinion or assumption. But on Twitter, there are thousands of posts from people who are loudly cheering that he’s lost his jobs and his reputation, despite the only “proof” being that an ex-girlfriend said some things.

These aren’t people who think that he did what she said. These are people that know, with absolute certainty, and aren’t hesitant to call him a monster and say that he’s getting exactly what he deserved. There’s a smaller group who are outright calling Dykstra a liar, and then there’s an even smaller group of folks like me who simply say that we hope that someone gets to the bottom of the situation based on the facts, and that it’s unfortunate that a man’s life is being destroyed based simply on an allegation.

For the people who are #MeToo activists, people who advocate that people “wait and see what the facts reveal” are the enemy. A majority of them make a comment supporting Dkystra, and then follow it up with “And I should know, because I’ve been through the same thing or something similar – showing that their view might be a little biased. Evidence is already popping up which conflicts with parts of her allegations, but hell… if he’s guilty, get him. But damn… the man has lost almost everything and has been declared a trash human by half of the internet – all because she said it was so.

With Atari, they put their crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo, which doesn’t require a working prototype before funding can be solicited. But angry YouTubers are screaming “THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE A PRODUCT!” as if that’s something that should surprise anyone. Why would anyone expect them to have a nearly complete product, when that’s the point of raising the money? And Atari, for whatever reason, delayed the launch of their campaign once last year – which is another thing that the video creators say indicates a scam. As if no other successful products have ever had delays in their design or production.

What the problem actually is, is that these YouTube creators feel slighted by Atari. They feel that Atari owes it to them, to contact them and provide them more information, or answer the questions that they have about the project. Atari eventually got tired of being badmouthed by this small group of angry people and pushed back against what they were saying, which obviously hurt the feelings of these “reviewers” and caused them to make even more outlandish claims. Most of these angry folks haven’t even backed the project, nor do they intend to, but boy are they mad anyway – because how dare Atari not contact them directly and answer every damn question that they have.

Atari’s project already has nearly $3M in backing, so apparently there were plenty of people who felt like the information on the campaign page was enough. As with any hardware, it will obviously go through all sorts of slight changes before finalized, and people understand this. The angry YouTube mob is furious that Atari won’t give them more information, but why should they have to? If they’re already getting plenty of backers, and it’s obvious that speaking with the angry people won’t make a difference, why would they? Are these folks also screaming at Sony and Microsoft, demanding that they be given more about their next consoles in development?

But the more that these people shout “SCAM! DUMPSTER FIRE! FAKE! LIES!” in their videos, the more that their followers start to get nervous, and end up drinking the kool-aid and repeating the same claims that are being made in the angry videos. If the creator has 100k followers on YouTube, and is spouting whatever… there’s a good chance that their followers will start spouting the same thing in the comments and elsewhere, even if just to look like they “think just like a video creator who has 100k followers.” It’s toxic and sad.

So yeah… whether I’m trying to convince people that they should hold their venom for Hardwick until the claims against him have been proven, or if I’m pointing out that all of the “signs” that angry video creators are using against Atari are just normal things that happen in almost every crowdfunding campaign… people just continue to rage. You’re expected to either hate Dykstra or hate Hardwick. No middle ground. You’re supposed to accept that Atari is scamming $3M from people, and shouldn’t dare suggest that it might not be the case. Hardwick might be guilty, Atari’s console might be a flop or a scam… but people’s eagerness to convict others of this or that, with only assumptions or “feelings about it” to back it up… it’s just bizarre, and the amount of people getting caught up in it only seems to be growing.

I know, I shouldn’t bother… but I wanna believe that under the surface, people really are capable of unbiased, critical thinking – and I wanna say or do things that encourage that, or try to bring it out of them. Every now and then I might get one or two of ’em… heh… but not surprisingly, the irate people who claim their passion-filled opinions as fact just don’t seem interested in considering alternate views of a situation. 😏 It’s still my method of escapism though, for when I don’t feel like thinking about anything in my own life, in those moments that I’m sticking my nose into other people’s thoughts… so at least I’m getting a small benefit from it all, eh?

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So Much Fuss

This is difficult. I have to go to court in about a week, in regards to the workers comp stuff that I’ve been dealing with for over a decade now. 😒 I have access to a crapload of documents that are directly related to this case, as well as information from past cases that may provide precedents that could either help or hinder the arguments coming from my side. 😐 But in this instance, for this appearance, all of that information that I could start digging into… it wouldn’t really do me any good, and that’s what’s difficult. 😣 Telling myself to just “let it go” because the attorneys are gonna attorney.

This particular phase has been elevated, because rather than just being about me trying to get a medication or treatment approved – this case is actually about whether all of the “powers that be” have been playing by the rules. 😯 I don’t want to get into too much detail, so it’s hard to explain it, but that’s why my input isn’t going to be needed. Because it’s more about making sure that every “T” was crossed, every “I” was dotted, and every rule was interpreted and followed in a way that should meet the court’s approval. 😬 There really is quite a bit riding on this.

So I could memorize every related case that came before mine, I could write an impassioned speech that recounts the trials and tribulations of this frustrating process over the entire past decade… but none of it would matter, because none of it is required. 😕 None of it would even be welcomed (at least as far as it seems to me) because this time it’s all about the proper administration of my claim. 👨🏻‍⚖️ To be honest, I’m not even sure why I have to be there at all.

So yeah, I’m a bit anxious… one of those situations where the cards have already been dealt, but we have to wait a week to see who’s hand comes out on top. 🙇🏻‍♂️ It’s really starting to look like this might happen, too. It’s been delayed a few times for various reasons on both sides, but with the information dump that has happened and the lack of anything promising in regards to a settlement, I think it’s actually gonna go down on the date as planned this time. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Time to tighten my belts and keep my hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times.

(Did I mention that the trial date is two days after my cervical spine injection? 💉😨 Yay? 😅)

Ranter’s Gotta Rant

Woke up today and checked Twitter to discover that Republicans and Trump supporters are losing their damn minds over an incident that Senator Al Franken was involved in about a decade ago. People are calling him disgusting, repulsive, a predator, a monster, and of course – almost all of them are calling for his resignation. This is the “blood in the water” that folks on the right have been waiting for, and they’re going to attack whether it is justified or not. And just like the accusations against Trump and Moore, it’s not up to me to decide whether or not the claims are truthful.

But what I will say, is that two of the main complaints from Tweeden are that he kissed her – while rehearsing a scene from a USO skit where the two would be (you guessed it) kissing… and that he “groped her” while she was sleeping, with her evidence being a photo where he was cheezing for the camera and acting like he was going to grab her and startle her awake. It appears that he wasn’t even touching her flak jacket, let alone “groping her breasts in her sleep” as she claims.

If she was actually asleep, and he thought it would be funny to do that pose, then obviously, if the two weren’t the type of friends where goofy shit like this was the norm, it was a bad idea. I only say that because I know plenty of people who pull tasteless jokes and gags on each other, but it’s never more than just that… a joke. I’m sure that I’ve joked like I was going to grab someone’s ass, just as I’m sure that someone has joked the same way towards me. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that when Franken wanted to rehearse, her reply was “Okay, whatever.” Why is he the bad guy when the skit was written that way and she agreed to rehearse it?

But anyway… it’s not so much that I’m trying to excuse the behavior, it’s that I’m finding it hard to equate the things that Franken is alleged to have done to the things that Trump and Moore are alleged to have done. (And in Donald Trump’s case, bragged about doing.) The GOP pitchforks and torches are now out for Franken… meanwhile President Pussy Grabber is in office, and the wagons are being circled around Roy Moore in hopes to protect that senate seat. They are both accused of preying on women or girls (and many of them), getting them in situations where there were no people around, and then forcibly touching their genitals or otherwise molesting them. There was no skit that was being rehearsed, there were no cameras around to cheeze for, and if the allegations are true – you know exactly what Trump and Moore were doing to those women. I’m sorry, but that’s significantly different from rehearsing a scene that involved a kiss and then taking a dumb faux “grabby” pic that never went anything beyond that.

I understand that right now the politically correct thing to do is to always believe any accuser/victim that comes forward. Especially if many of them come forward about the same person. That’s the way it is, because you certainly don’t want to be the person that doubted the claims of someone if they end up being verified as true. And if you believe someone, and their claims end up being false, you still look good – giving someone the benefit of the doubt, and then having become a “victim” yourself for believing them and getting played. But when someone claims they were groped, and not because they know or remember that it happened, but because they saw a photo of someone pretending to sneak up and grab them – you can call it tasteless, but I don’t see how you can call it sexual assault. It lessens what those words means for the women (and men) who have been through much worse. And when you’re complaining that someone kissed you without your consent, you can’t then say that the kiss was part of a scene that you were rehearsing and that you agreed to that rehearsal.

I know, I should just keep my mouth shut about all this so I don’t offend anyone myself… but hell, everyone is offended by everything now – to the point where people are afraid to say or do anything because of the social shaming risk involved. I’m sure more info will come out about the Franken incident, and there have already been unconfirmed reports that Tweeden was “in on the photo” at the time, and that it was some gag that they mutually decided on. That’s scary if it ends up being true… and again, nobody likes to doubt a “victim” but there’s always a possibility that even if he wasn’t being set up at the time, since she’s a frequent guest of Sean Hannity (Fox News) – so it is possible that something relatively innocent is being turned into something much more sinister for political reasons.

People really need to stop forming their beliefs based on political affiliation though. Investigate every one of these incidents that have happened, and punish people accordingly if the facts call for it. If you’re a Republican and you haven’t been outspoken about the allegations against Trump and Moore, then take it down a few notches with all of your outrage against Al Franken. And if you’re on the left and you’ve been vocal about Trump and Moore, you can’t just ignore the incident with Franken. And whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or whatever… you have to acknowledge that every “case” isn’t the same, that none of these things are black and white, and they can’t be treated as if there should be a “one size fits all” way of handling them. And you have to understand that if these folks truly believe that they’re not guilty, they are going to take a stand against the accusations – just as anyone would do if they were being falsely accused. It looks awful if you don’t believe them, but what choice do they have?

I probably wouldn’t have even bothered making this entry if it wasn’t for the dozens and dozens of sanctimonious politician assholes that are speaking out about Franken, with all of their hyperbole and incredulousness – as if all of them have been 100% straight shooters their entire lives, and have never done anything that someone might find objectionable. The “holier than thou” bullshit that everyone sees for what it is, just another way to further their party and agenda. It’s all fucking sickening.

But yeah, investigate the Franken thing… and investigate the Trump and Moore accusations with just as much enthusiasm. Let the chips fall where they may with any/all of the people who appear to have been caught doing whatever sketchy thing that they’ve been accused of – and if the facts dictate that they be punished, let the punishment fit the actions regardless of political party. Fuck… nobody should even have to say that last part, but sadly it does need to be said.

Alright, I suppose that’s enough rambling to give everyone a reason to angrily disagree with me. 😏

The Other Times

Last weekend’s little break was fun, but the rest of this past week was rough. It’s something that’s already factored in when I make “fun” plans, but I still never know exactly how long my physical/mental regeneration will take afterwards. It doesn’t help when I’m coming home to stuff that I don’t really wanna deal with, including some tedious BS from the IRS regarding my aunt’s estate. It’s killin’ me… I’m this close to getting this thing closed and settled out, but dumb shit like this keeps popping up. It’s not even because anyone has done anything wrong, just lots of checks and verifications and such.

The sludge that I’m walking through just feels noticeably thicker this week, but I think I’m finally breaking free of it. (Just in time for another fun thing with friends, as a matter of fact.) It does start to get old though. Having “the fun times” and then “the other times.” Meh… I’m not gonna whine about it, at least not today, because I’m just doing what I’ve always tried to do – figure out why I’m broken in certain ways, and then figure out ways around it.

I’ve still not found a way to prevent myself from getting worked up by the people that judge me, or think that they know me based on the glimpses they get into my life via social media. (Which is why I think of the blog as a good-yet-bad thing sometimes.) Nobody should have to feel like they have to justify when they are happy or having fun. Everyone that knows me is well aware of my disability, as well as my twitchiness, but any time I break free of those things and let myself live – I always catch hints of raised eyebrows or mumbled comments, as if I’ve somehow undermined the legitimacy of how I feel most of the other times. (Of course I’m going to share way more of the good/happy things than I am of the bad/sad things, you shit-leaking assholes.)

That’s why I’ve really been keeping to myself for the past couple of months, other than spending time with a select few people who don’t manage to make me feel shitty. I haven’t been posting nearly as much on Facebook… about the bad or the good things… and honesty it has helped. I love sharing things with people, I love getting reactions to photos or videos – but for whatever reason, even though 95% of the reactions are usually positive, the couple of percent that seem to judge or question me based on what I’ve shared… it affects me more than it should, and more than you’d think.

But yeah, I made one “good” post so I wanted to make one “reality” post as well, so at least with the fresh start that this blog has taken, people will still (hopefully) understand that despite the good moments, I still definitely have a shit-ton of not-good moments that tip the scales in that direction more often than not. And I don’t say this just for me, but for everyone that you interact with throughout your days… be kind, don’t judge… you don’t really know what it’s like inside someone else’s head.