Willfully Ignorant / Indignant

The overwhelming amount of ignorance surrounding the shooting at Stoneman Douglas and the resulting activism… it’s simply staggering. ๐Ÿ˜‘ It falls anywhere on the spectrum from people just not realizing that they’ve been misled, to people who are straight up morons. And most of them are really angry as well… like, so angry that even when people are expressing sentiments that are supportive of the students and their security, they’ll still attack those people if the thoughts don’t exactly parrot what they or the students are saying. ๐Ÿ˜  Free thinking has already become a much lacking trait in society, and boy does this movement demonstrate that over and over again.

I’m sure that I’m like a lot of people who generally support the things the students have been asking for, but who is also growing tired of being attacked by the people that we’re trying to support… so much so that their activism now feels more like a bunch of kids complaining and making noise, but not actually seeking solutions to the problems at the center of it all.

The point where the kids started to lose me was when a slew of new security measures were put in place at their school, to provide additional protections while the students continued to strive for bigger changes via gun control laws. Limited access points to the school buildings, student IDs, increased security personnel, new backpack/bag rules, etc. ๐Ÿ‘ฎ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Not only did the students not appreciate these changes, but they actively rebelled against them – and are still doing so to this day. Most of the complaints revolve around the bag rules, which prohibit anyone from coming into the building with bags or backpacks that weren’t issued by the school. And because they are clear backpacks, the kids and their supporters have lost their damn minds. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

A woman on Twitter, when I said that I supported the clear backpack rule and noted that Nikolas Cruz used a duffel bag to bring his rifle into the school, just replied to me: “Umm… then maybe ban bringing DUFFEL bags into the school??? An AR15 will NOT fit in a backpack. Good grief!”ย This is an example of that angry stupidity. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ The school is now banning people from carrying in bags other than the school-provided ones… something that could have prevented Cruz from even making it past the gate if the rule was in place back then. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But this woman was mad that I pointed it out, then called for duffel bags to be banned (which they are), and followed it up with a “Good grief” as if my logic was exhausting her.

But yeah, the kids are mocking the backpacks, saying that the increased law enforcement presence makes them scared, equating having to carry student IDs to being in prison, complaining that additional fences and barriers only give the appearance of security, saying their 4th amendment rights are being violated and people will be able to see their tampons in their bags now, and bitching because they have to show up to school a little earlier to get through security. ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป All the while complaining that none of those changes do anything to protect them, with several of them going so far as to say that all of these new measures should be removed – leaving their school in exactly the same state as when they were originally attacked. ๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

None of those changes, in their minds, provide any additional security. Instead, their minds are laser focused on banning “assault rifles” as the change that is needed. In interview after interview, you can see that these kids don’t even know what guns the term “assault” rifle should include, with some of them not even knowing the difference between a semi-automatic and automatic gun. I’m not faulting them for this, since they’re just kids, but these are also the people that we should be listening to for answers, according to their movement. The kids who reject any and all security measures as being a “false sense of security” while also believing that banning some semi-automatic rifles will make them completely safe.

In trying to have discussions with the humans on Twitter, I’ve learned that if you want to “be a supporter” of these kids and their goal of more safety, you can’t say any of the following: ๐Ÿ™Š

  • You can’t suggest that they try to understand that the new security measures are “better than nothing” while they continue to fight for gun control. They don’t accept the increased school security, so neither can people who claim to support them.
  • You can’t point out that the clear backpack rule, if in place when the shooting happened, could/would have prevented the shooting from happening since Cruz and his bags wouldn’t have been allowed through security. You’ll be told that an AR-15 can’t fit into a duffel bag. (It can.) You’ll be told that he’d have found a way in anyway. (So all security measures should be just thrown out as being worthless?)
  • You can’t tell them that mocking the new security measures may be off-putting to people who want to support them. You’ll be told that they don’t want or need your support then. They’ll say that they didn’t ask for the new security. They’ll say that nobody has a right to say anything to the students about their opinions. (YOU WEREN’T THERE! THEY WERE!)
  • Their goal, when it comes to gun control, is to ban assault rifles. But you can’t question anything about that goal. I support some of what they’re trying to achieve, but I don’t believe that banning one particular type of gun will make them that much safer than they are now. But to support them, you have to support their goal of banning a small subset of guns, because they believe they’ll be safer.
  • And even when you are suggesting things that could help them achieve their goals, you’ll usually be told that your input isn’t needed… not by the kids, but by other supporters. “I don’t remember her asking you for your opinion!” “He seems to be doing just fine without your help!” “Your generation didn’t help when it had the chance, and we don’t need it now!” And they wonder why they’re getting less support, less media coverage, and a more apathetic response from the public in general.

One more thing to mention… they love using the age of the student activists to manipulate the whole situation. When people are dismissive of what the students are saying because of their age, hordes of people will come forth and comment how they are almost adults, almost able to vote, almost able to join the army, and are more mature than most “grown-ups” are these days. But if you disagree with something the students have said, or just appear to disagree, you’ll be blasted with post after post of people being “shocked” and “horrified” that adults would bully these children, that you can’t expect them to not act like kids sometimes because that’s what they are, and that people should be ashamed for how they are treating someone’s child. Yeah, it doesn’t matter if they’ve thrust themselves onto the public stage, and it doesn’t matter how foul-mouthed and insulting they can be… people attempt to portray them as untouchable. โ™ฟ Like a kid in a wheelchair who verbally bullies his classmates, because “Nobody will hit a kid in a wheelchair.”

I even had people get mad at me the other day because I commented about the school newspaper putting out a memorial issue, featuring the names and stories of the 17 people that died that day. I said that it was great to finally have a resource like that with all of the information in one place, because despite the activist students being on TV almost non-stop for a while, I rarely heard them mention the names of the people who were killed or get to talk about them. Part of that is because there is a limited amount of time in a TV segment, so it logistically just couldn’t fit most of the time… but yeah, I was praising the students who produced the memorial issue. One fella just wouldn’t let it go. He was legitimately mad, despite me praising the newspaper and being happy that I could learn more about the people who were killed. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I imagine it was because he doesn’t like when something potentially makes “the people that he supports” look uncaring or whatever. So despite talking about something that 99.9% would agree with – being happy to learn more about the fallen… he just kept replying and replying, pointing out that the kids said the names of the dead at the march in DC. Yeah. They did. That’s fine. I’m glad they did. But as I pointed out to him – I didn’t say they never mentioned the people that died, I just said it was rare enough that weeks later I still didn’t know much about them. I’m surprised he didn’t start sharing YouTube clips where their names were said, or demand that I share clips where they didn’t. People are just fucking nuts, man…

I’ve never seen a group of people that actively tries to eat their own as much as this bunch of humans. ๐ŸงŸ๐ŸงŸ๏ธ Half of the people barely know what they are talking about, and half of them don’t even care if they are wrong as long as they are being loud and people are hearing them. ๐Ÿคฌ The whole goal of student safety / safety for humans in general has been lost in the cult of personality, with movement leaders wasting time on boycotts when someone hurts their feelings – even when not related to gun control or the shooting… and then when security measures are put in place to protect them, they reject it – and in a way that magnifies how immature they really are, while they shout at the world that “WE TOLD YOU TO LISTEN TO US!” etc. I know they’ve had all kinds of behind-the-scenes help when it comes to PR, finances, and organizing things, but someone is dropping the ball right now – and something that could have produced real, positive changes has a chance of being forgotten like every other tragedy. ๐Ÿ˜”

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What’s Wrong

People have far too much access to each other. It’s not that the access is bad, it’s that people don’t know how to properly use such a feature of today’s life. I’ve never seen such a culture of “I’m miserable so I’m going to make everyone else miserable too.” as now. So many humans seem to exist only to be a bane to other humans.

The most recent bit of bullshit that I came across was when a local festival posted a graphic of a sign that essentially said that no animals were allowed on festival grounds unless they were a certified service animal for a disabled person. So of course some jackass had to get butthurt, complaining that people with diabetes can have service animals, but they aren’t disabled ๐Ÿ˜ย and therefore use of the word was offensive. ๐Ÿ˜‘

The festival quite politely pointed out that the graphic came from somewhere else, and they were simply wanting folks to know that any animals on the property must be service animals, because lots of folks these days try to take advantage of that allowance without a certification for their animals. The same asshole responds with “I don’t know what you mean by ‘these days‘” Oh my God d00d. Are you fucking kidding me? You’re not that dense that you don’t realize that the festival is saying that people try to “fake” service animals quite often these days. (Fact. I’ve seen it online and in person myself.)

But back to access to other humans. I can only speak about the window from which I view the world, and my window is different than it was ten years ago. I’m no longer working, I’m single… so I no longer have a lot of things that would normally take up a person’s time, so I can spend a lot of time online. Researching things that interest me, discussing things with people, debating things… generally a little bit of everything… but that also grants me a ton of time to notice and recognizeย all of the truly horrible people and things in the world. ๐Ÿ˜ž

And this is cliche, but I do blame the Donald Trump presidency for some of it. He goes out in front of the world and acts like the blustering, politically-uneducated, loud mouthed, ignorant blow-hard that he is… and of course it subliminally encourages others, people like him, to do the same thing. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ So now there is a sea of truly ignorant people out there who will run their mouths about almost anything, yet only rarely know of what they’re speaking. Explain to them how wrong they are and it only makes their conviction (in their wrongness) that much stronger. It’s a bizarre and frightening thing to witness day after day after day.

Back when the world was normal, people who were unsure of something would get online to research and learn. But now people live in an echo chamber, where the ignorant people reinforce and invigorate the other ignorant people, so there’s eventually an army of these uninformed and/or misinformed morons. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿป People who do know what they’re talking about… they’ll try to educate the moron army, but the moron army will have none of it. In fact, they’ll get mad. Mad that you’re trying to help them understand something that they clearly do not understand. ๐Ÿ˜’

And so it goes, every day on Twitter… on Facebook… on Reddit… one mass of people against another mass of people. The intelligent people don’t back down because they’re aware that they are right. The ignorant people won’t back down… well… because they’re ignorant. ๐Ÿ˜ It’s frustrating to watch the ignorance grow, as these people spread their misinformation and sometimes blatantly made-up “facts” to the gullible. That’s a Trumpian thing to do – discredit good, factual information as being “fake” so you can replace it with whatever bullshit you wish were the facts.

Meh… those are just a few examples. Then you have fake people on Facebook, creating a bullshit image of what they want people to believe their life is like. They’ll call someone a friend one minute, then talk shit about them as soon as they leave the room. People who will see someone’s enthusiasm for something, and will then laugh or otherwise berate that person and their thing, simply because they don’t share that same enthusiasm.

Then there are the folks who couldn’t give two shits about anyone but themselves. Their entire motivation exists around their own gratification at whatever cost to those around them. Then there are the sad people who seem to require “likes” or “clicks” or whatever, as if that sort of thing validates their life and makes it “good enough” or maybe even better than someone else’s. ๐Ÿ˜ขย “Oh look, she’s talking shit but she only has 72 followers. *laugh*” And then the things that a lot of people would look at and consider to be worth noticing, discussing, or debating… it’s like those things don’t exist to a huge segment of the population. ๐Ÿ˜ง Some things you want people to notice and be shocked or outraged, but the shock and outrage is always saved up for some bullshit like “Did you see that Microsoft included an emoji of a hand “flipping the bird” in their latest update? Can you believe it?”

Granted, again, I know that this is because of the window that I have, to observe the digital humans and actual humans, because of my own choices and otherwise… but I sit here and wonder why, of all the people I know, that I’m one of the very few who are concerned with what’s going on in our government? Steve Bannon said that their intention was to get into office and totally fuck things up (I’m paraphrasing) and boy is that what they’re doing. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Many decades from now, our grandchildren are going to read about this time in their history books and wonder why more people didn’t say or do something.

Our President is an ignorant, narcissistic, bumbling man-child. He installs his daughter and son-in-law in top positions in the White House, despite them having equal political experience. (Meaning ZERO) Sebastian Gorka was a former Breitbart contributor with a penchant for racist hyperbole. Betsy DeVos was named Secretary of Education, despite having no experience in public schools, while lobbying for privatization. Dan Scavino is a conspiracy theorist who posts fake news, including allegations that Michelle Obama is actually a man. Scott Pruitt is a climate change denier who was named to head the EPA, despite suing the agency more than a dozen times previously. And then there’s Rick Perry, who heads the Department of Energy, while not even realizing what the department did until after he took the job. And Pruitt, he’s doing his best to eliminate transparency in the office, so much so that he’s already being legally challenged. Ugh… I could go on and on, because for nearly every Trump appointee there’s some “JFC” fact that goes along with them.

Whether by ignorance, inaction, or purposeful action – our government is literally filled with people who are doing a amazing job of destroying it from the inside, just like Bannon said they wanted. In their delusional bubble, I’m sure they think things are swell. Meanwhile, the more observant of us see that hardly anyone knows what’s going on, and the world sees that hardly anyone knows what’s going on… we’re losing even more respect, and it doesn’t help when our loud-mouthed President keeps making bizarre, almost dementia-tainted tweets and empty threats of war on Twitter. Oh, and did I mention that Trump hasn’t even nominated people for hundreds of vacant positions in his administration? Yeah… it would be nice if we had an Ambassador to South Korea, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, Yemen, etc. (Especially since we’ve already bombed Syria with dozens of missiles.)ย But rather than listing a bunch of other shocking holes in our government, just follow this link and see for yourself. People should be bothered by this.

But no. You used the word “disabled” when talking about service animals and not all people that need service animals are disabled and I find that offensive. It makes my fucking brain hurt sometimes, no lie. ๐Ÿ˜– And try to point out all of Trump’s documented failings and shortcomings to a Trump supporter… yeah… see how that works for ya. More than ever, the ignorant masses are digging in their heels and are simply not going to stand for any of these “so-called facts” anymore. What do you do with people like that? I mean, how do you communicate with them? Reason with them? It’s like this huge chunk of the population has chosen to remove itself from reality, so how is a thinking person supposed to process and deal with that – without getting so frustrated that they have to bust out ridiculously long, multi-paragraph blog posts in the middle of the damn night? ๐Ÿ˜

But yeah, that’s part of “what’s wrong with me” right now…

Implicit Necessity

This is kind of what I do. I do the blog, and then I don’t. And then I do again. It’s been this way since I started doing this… before the word “blog” was even a thing, yet I was still putting my thoughts out here for anyone that happened to stumble across them. I’m coming off of what was probably the longest hiatus that I’ve taken, but I think I’m good to go again. I give significantly less shits about how people feel about me and their opinions about how I spend my time, so that helps.

The new site design… meh… I dunno, right now it’ll do I guess. I customized one of the templates a bit, but honestly it was more about just “getting a place ready” for me to start barfing thoughts. So you mightย still see tweaks now and then during the next couple of weeks, but that depends on how motivated I get. (My motivation levels are low all-around, so honestly just getting this site up and running as-is feels like an accomplishment at the moment.)

But as it has always been, it’s going to be a crap-shoot when it comes to what you’ll find when you come here. It’ll probably be average, every-day “this is what I’ve been up to” type posts for the most part, but I’m hoping to throw in some opinion pieces more often as well. Lord knows I’ve become good at ranting about things on Twitter, so it makes sense that I’d probably bring some of that over here where I can actually expand on it beyond the 140 character chunks that are imposed over there.

That’s all for now… just wanted to dip my toe in.

EDIT: I’ve adjusted the options contained within the right sidebar. When you type “rubbertoe.com” and come to the main/landing page, every one of the options will be displayed on the right hand side. Links, search, about, archive, tags, translation, and tweets. However, if you click on the title of a specific entry, or otherwise end up at an individual post’s page, all of those options except for the links and the translate option will be hidden. Also, on a post’s individual page, I’ve added a link at the top of the right sidebar that will return visitors to the main page. This is mainly for folks that end up at a post’s page through a search engine or something, and can’t just click “back” to return to wherever they were in my site.