Category Archives: Opinion

I’m from a shithole country, too!

Or is it a shithouse country? Does it even matter? One is an entire building dedicated to shitting, the other is the actual spot where one deposits their shit. One is only slightly grander than the other, but let’s face it, they both smell pretty bad.

If you aren’t aware (and really, how could you not be?), our ever-eloquent president Trump called some other countries shitholes–or, depending on what defense you want to use, shithouses–recently. If you didn’t know this… read this or this or this

Granted, that last one is the Secretary of Homeland Security stating she didn’t hear el presidento use that “vulgar” word. Seriously, Brownies, we have a problem here. Whether he said shithouse or shithole is irrelevant. Whether he said nothing at all is pretty much irrelevant, too. And this is kind of what I want to bitch about. You’ll have to read the whole thing to understand (probably), because I’m simply not that organized this morning.

As I see it, there are two issues at stake in this:

  1. That we believe our President is capable of using either word in an official immigration meeting
  2. That we have no idea, honestly, who to believe on the matter

Both of those ideas are rather scary, aren’t they? We can’t really trust our president to be, well, presidential. Or compassionate for that matter. Both of these traits are keys to being a good president. You may have hated Obama’s skin color or his policies or his super white teeth, but you never once had to worry he was going to tweet or use vulgar language or otherwise engage in activity that was contrary to being a respectable human fucking being.

And no, I don’t buy the whole “he tells it like it is” as a viable defense of this. There are ways to “tell it like it is” without using vulgar language or tweeting out personal insults to foreign leaders, entire countries, or our own leaders. A man i charge of a nuclear arsenal needs to behave more like an adult than a whiny little bitch-child whose schoolmate got a better grade than he did.

Yes, I can say it just like that and not be a hypocrite. You see, I’m not a world leader where the wrong language can plunge the world into eternal darkness and utter chaos. If I were el presidential, I couldn’t say that. Even a dipshit like me understands that.

My second point from above ties in very closely to the first. One year after Trump took office, we’re already questioning our own media. And while that should always be done to a degree, it’s at a breaking point now. The FAKE NEWS rally cry is pervasive and, unfortunately, it’s working. I mean, I don’t like Trump as our leader and I didn’t vote for him, but as I type this, I’m asking myself if la presidenta called other countries shithouses or shitholes. The answer to that question is “I don’t know.”

I don’t know if he did or not… some say he did, some say he didn’t, some can’t agree on the word used… and not even audio would help. Just look at the fiasco over the Kim Jong Un relationship statement. I don’t fully believe anyone in this situation, and I believe that we’re running out of unbiased news sources and, most certainly, honest men and women in Washington.

But I believe Trump could have said it, would have said it, and probably did say it. I mean, this is the guy who told us he could walk down the street, shoot a motherfucker, and still get votes. I know he said that because I heard him say that in a debate, and therefore I know it’s true.

That tells us a lot about the country we live in. Way too much, actually. It just proves that I live in a shithole country, too. We may have better transportation and communication, we may have an actual economy that produces millionaires, but we still suck ass. We really do. I could go on about the ways we suck (Flint, Puerto Rico, healthcare, homelessness, college tuition, minimum wage barriers…) but we all know this, even if we deflect it.

All that said, it’s horrifying we can’t trust our news nor our president. But we can trust each other and what we hear, see, and feel. Our emotions, whether we’re republican or democrat or something else, are valid. And we need to talk to each other, as much as we can, to continue moving this country forward in a positive way.

As long as we’re talking to each other, we can get through it, we can. But we’re trending toward an untenable dichotomy.

Fivers for Writing Outside the Home

I don’t think I can top last week’s Fiver from Todd, so I’m not even gonna try. I’ll put this one up here for you fine people to read and do what you will with it. Then you should go back and read Todd’s again.

Then drink.

And write.

Everyone knows that having a home office (or a spot inside your house/apartment/flat/whatever) is important. We spend the majority of our time at our homes (or offices, for those of you with corporate jobs), and therefore it’s important to break out. Here are five reasons why…

  1. Less Distraction. And by distraction, I mean the mundane things that you want to do or need to do, or in that rare instance, need and want to do. I’m talking laundry, dishes, cutting grass, video games, television, porn, sex with your significant other, kids, pets, picking zits, peeling dry skin. You know, those things that you do when you’re in the privacy of your house. These are the things you don’t do if you’re sitting in a café or coffee shop. I can’t help you with staying off the internet.
  2. Change of Scenery. My office, while I love it, gets boring after a bit. Staring at the same walls, the same books, just the same damn place. It feels like a rut and since painting the walls once a month isn’t feasible, getting out of the office is imperative. Yes, I could go upstairs and writing in my dining room, but that still subjects me to the usual “home” distractions (see above for a partial list…) and makes me that much more vulnerable to the “people” factor. The kids, the wife, the grand kids. Whoever happens to be around. But in the coffee shop, it’s different, right? You can sit in one spot this time, that spot the next time, and look at different paintings on the wall, or out a different window for a more interesting view. And the people. Always different (unless you go to my Panera, in which case you will smell Cologne Man almost every day), always unique, and always worth staring at, listening to, and sometimes, even, talking to.
  3. More Creative Happenings. Nurses talking, cologne-laden men in jogging suits, spousal fights (that aren’t your own!), kids running and screaming, spills, and even spells. These happenings, notated and stored away, are perfect fodder for adding a layer of realism to any scene you’re writing. Your characters meeting in a park? Drop in the squabbling couple sitting behind you. Are the characters in a hospital waiting room? How annoying would cloying cologne-man be if he plopped down right next to them? The beauty of people is they appear pretty much everywhere and they’re universal, and the people you observe while out writing can be put anywhere.
  4. Someone to wait on you.  A café will make your food, clear your dishes, and sometimes refill your coffee. If you write in a restaurant, then you have wait staff definitely doing all that for you. All this extra attention to your needs lets you get to the business of writing, observing, and being damn productive. Otherwise, at home you’re stopping every so often to get up and get a new cup of coffee, or to grab a snack. Dawdling around the kitchen is a sure way to waste many minutes that could be spent writing. Remember: Tip your wait staff and tip them well.
  5. Fresh Air. Even if it’s just for three minutes walking to and from your house to your car and then the car to the place and all that reversed four hours later, we need to get outside. Us writers, we tend to stay inside way too much, and we need every little bit of exposure we get to the outside. I try to walk my dog as much as possible, for instance, but if you’ve seen me, you know that “as much as possible” is really “almost never.” But every time I walk to my car, I feel invigorated… the smell in the air, the bite of the wind, reminds me that I’m still alive and that I have things to say with my writing.

And there you have it, certainly not as fun as drinking whilst writing, but not too bad, either. So get on up, get on out, and find yourself a favorite place or three to park you ass one or two days a month that’s not inside your home office. You’ll be better for it in the long run.