Too Little, Too Late

President Donald Trump’s approval rating has reached an all time low-at 34% as of August 2017. The poll conducted by Gallup was a survey of 1,500 people- before the recent racial controversy present in the news.

After the recent news I can only read the following introduction of every other sentence and/or paragraph of a comment “too little, too late”. The criticism about his response is that it was too late that he has condemned white supremacist and other white nationalist. It was a major criticism during the 2016 presidential elections that the racism espoused by some of his followers was never dealt with properly. As well, the criticism comes after his seemingly late response, since he has time to watch popular television shows then to comment thereafter in the characterized display of his behaviors as the President. ‘It is a little too late’, the common consensus I have gathered.

Is this a fair criticism of his response, in time, considering that he recently made a response about the evil nature of racism? The event occurred a couple of days ago, he is only to comment now, days later. In comparison to former President Obamas’ speeches on similar incidents of controversy, I say the criticism are similar about timing. Both are criticized by those that oppose them for similar or equal prejudice perceptions of ‘doing a good job of representing our nation’. Some others, though they may despise President Trump, state ‘well at least he said something to not condone the thoughts, behaviors by racist’.

In reference to ‘too little’. President Trump did not say ‘too little’. In what he had stated was written down, displayed on a teleprompter, and seemingly rehearsed. ‘It did not seem like him’ according to those that oppose him outright. Once a president has loss the trust and perhaps a feel of being genuine, there goes the support. The public are in critic in how timely, the public is in criticism of what is stated.

Again, in comparison, are the comments fair? Once again, in comparison to former President Obama speeches, I will state that the comments are still similar or the same.


How does a president of the United States actually unite the nation? As I am too young to have experienced many former presidents. Though I was aware of former President Bush and his criticism as a child, then President Obama’s criticism as a teenager and young adult. I have yet to witness a president that dispels the division, unites the nation in times of dire circumstances and controversy.

How does one unite the nation? When the people who vote and voice their opinion are so divided that their criticism of one another, in opposition, are petty? That their criticism of a president is bound by party devotion, almost like a children’s club. In a time that it is needed most to bridge the gap, not to polarize, none are able to do so…

Thus the sentiment is reflected in their approval ratings. How then can the public judge any president that they have so elected, well a matter of discussion of how we elect them, as being a poor performer?

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Essence of Our Reality

Our brain and its stem is the essences of our existence. Without this central, vital organ what we are is nothing as related to living-or the classification of brain-dead.

Our bodies exist as a vessel, as a machine that carries out our central organ’s function and receptions.


Star Trek: The Next Generation, episode “When Dr. Crusher finds lust, not love, in a humanoid man of a special kind’

Every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) includes relatable topics that are commonly discussed, while including a twist of imagination or a ‘what if’ possibility. In this episode in particular- purposefully worded in such a way- a main character reasons about a relatable topic, or the difference between loving someone or lusting after someone. As well, learning to love or to not love someone after some sort of disfigurement has caused perception and reality to become muddled and undesirable. The ‘what if’ clause being that a ‘humanoid’ species- or think of a Neanderthal as referring to another species of human beings, if it may help-has a peculiar homeostasis.

The main character in this episode being Dr. Beverly Crusher, chief of staff and medical doctor aboard the star ship, The Enterprise. And then a humanoid visitor from another planet, whose name is left purposefully omitted for this essay. As the name does not matter, nor any other pronoun referring to one’s sex matters here. Though pronouns are included to reference the confusion as understood by the main character.

The story begins here,

First Scene

Dr. Crusher ‘falls in love’ with a visitor aboard the ship. ‘He’ is a nurse as well, visiting to complete an assignment. Dr. Crusher reveals her newfound love fascination to her friend, and another chief of staff. In discussion, Dr. Crusher tells ship Counselor Diana Troy about her newfound love. Counselor Troy, speaks as a friend and as her title, ‘are you sure that it is love?’ ‘How long have you known him?’ Dr. Crusher expresses that though it has only been a couple of weeks the mutual passion and drive is something she had not felt in a long while. A feeling most desirable as ‘he’ is conventionally attractive and stimulating.

Second Scene

The humanoid lover part ways with Dr. Crusher as he embarks on his irrelevant mission. Somehow a malfunction aboard the shuttle carrying the visitor causes equipment and structure failure, resulting in an injury of the humanoid’s body. ‘He’ is then quickly transported back to the Enterprise for Dr. Crusher’s assessment. Seeing that she was unfamiliar with the physiology of ‘his’ kind, the humanoid tells her of a relevant detail about ‘his’ body. Within the abdomen region of the body existed the humanoid. The visuals will not be provided here, but can you imagine our brain and the spine attached? That’s essentially what exist as the humanoid lover, as it explained. The body is merely a vessel, one unimportant to their existence other than to provide a symbiotic means of life support. If the body is injured, resulting in death in some cases, the life of the creature is far more important and in need of a replacement body.

Third Scene

Dr. Crusher is left with a dilemma here. Not only in how to preserve this now, creature of a sort, but how to continue on to love it-genderless, sex-less, without any physical attraction to keep interest. She will discuss this dilemma with her friend, the ship counselor. Does she love whom she had come to know so far? Does the physical sense of a person matter so much? Perhaps so in the initial phases of love. The ‘creature’ tells her  that she needs to provide ‘him’ with a body soon or else it may perish as well. Given limited options and time of arrival for the new body, as sent by the other planet-per usual circumstances. A call to make drastic and new decisions that will certainly become temporary and problematic is made. Fellow first commanding officer Lt. Commander William T. Riker offers his body as part of the stasis for the creature. Now for the act of love. Commander Riker, or rather the creature as the lover attempts to pursue its passion for Dr. Crusher again. What is the issue then? As she shys away from an embrace, a kiss, a voice of attraction and romance. The point here being that the face was that of another friend, another chief of staff and someone not like the humanoid man she had fallen for upon arrival. She demands to know why this part of ‘him’ was not revealed initially. As the creature reasons, well there are parts a human may not reveal as it is considered irrelevant, for instance, that she has breast.

Fourth Scene

In an attempt to be convinced, Dr. Crusher begins to reason. If she has truly fallen in love with the creature, then the physical appearance of its being is irrelevant. She loves the creature that she has fallen for a few moments prior to this confusion. Dr. Crusher embraces love again, to understand that ‘love’ is not so much the physicality of the emotion. As there are other factors that compose. What did she miss? What all the humanoid had done to please her and that too was mental stimulation. However, a complication arises, since the human body was not developed for this type of invasion, Commander Riker then rejects the creature. All is well, and everything just in the nick of time, the new body arrives. Her job is done as she transfers the creature into a new body provided by their home planet.

Here we are to the last scene, a humanoid woman appears in the doorway of  Dr. Crusher. Here again to profess love, though this time the doctor is not convinced. Still conventionally attractive and stimulating this new body may be, this is a woman. And as it seems, where the pursuit of relationships must end as it does in fact matter to the human of the sex and gender of another human, or humanoid in this case. Attempting to plead that the mental captivation is what matters, essentially, and that the body is essentially a necessary irrelevance. The creature must understand that the quest for love has ended. Dr. Crusher’s lust, too, has faded.


This essay is less about gender. Or how the show tackles transgender people, more like gender shifters, or more so about the irrelevance of sex in the quest for love. This is about the essence of our reality.

How the show directors, artist thought of and designed the creature as resembling our brain and spinal cord is purposeful for sure. The purpose being to express and to explain the essence of ourselves. As it is played over again, once confronted with new understandings of life forms-seeming to exist beyond the comprehension of the human space travelers. Who we are not the flesh and bones we have, but how each part composed of our physiology is meant to help navigate ourselves, the brain. A common topic discussed within philosophy, how do we know who we are? The philosophy of consciousness.

If you wish to learn more about the mental and/or representation reality discussions, then I suggest the Internet Encyclopedia on Consciousness as an adequate source in summary.

Dennett

Browsing through the book store, I stumbled upon a philosophical reading Consciousness Explained, authored by Daniel C. Dennett.

 

Dennett
1991

The text is inspired by his quest for ‘knowing’. The content is about the physicality of our consciousness and by what means do we understand our conscious-still heavily debated and open ended as even the previous source provided summarizes.

 

More relevant here, is in the description of consciousness.

Dennett describes within his first chapter about an ‘evil scientist’ wanting to wake a brain. He includes the plausibility, as well as the actual possibility of this act. What is more important here is to set an example and by doing so is to play with what is an impossible endeavor. The brain is wake, now for the sudden realization that it has lost its key functions for reception of external sensory. That being the eyes for sight, the ears for sound, and the hand or overall extremities for touch. Dennett plays with the idea of a person who has lost all sense of who they are, physically, though unaware. In this case compare a person who has had a limb amputated. The person unaware may still feel the limb initially out of surgery, others in disbelief may need to see that they have in fact lost a limb. As the brain still recognizes what is familiar, and what is now missing. An amputee may still ‘feel’ their arm, for instance, the presence and all others sensory that may occur. The ‘evil scientist’ then attempts to recreate mechanical sensory projections in order to trick and to test the brain function. Dennett likens this to be impossible endeavor considering the advanced technology that is non-existent, and the boundaries in which we may be able to recreate external senses to be received by our extremities. In his example, the ‘evil scientist’ attempting to project a sense that there is sand beneath the brain’s ‘fingers’. Though how to accurately predict which finger(s) will run through the sand, to equally match the projection tricked upon the brain is impossible. The boundaries that exist with the human function. The point being that the brain, the mind is what controls who we think we are in the physical sense.

What we know as reality exist within a boundary. We are limited in how we may sense something external, as we are limited in how it is perceived. The fascination here is how we perceive something. For instance, the trick of the mind of showing ourselves images of something that it isn’t there. Or to feel something that is not there like a limb. Only that we know what is to be in the absence based on familiarity.

How then, do we discern what is imaginary and what is real? How do we know how to pick something up, or when to point at something? All discussed further by Dennett within his first chapter. Attempting to reason which is first-the mind or the brain, or is there a factor of dualism.


How do we know who we are? How do I know who I am? How does a person know that they are conscious? A curious question answered by someone great ‘I think, therefore I am’. What are we, who am I? The curiousness that allows us to think more deeply on this subject, not simply accepting reality without question

Nuked

Waging war to achieve a mark upon history as the greatest nation ever to kill the most people ever, over an issue that no one would have ever thought was in need of a lesson.

You’ll See. Fire and Fury.

The call to wage war is still so primitive in nature. A cause to lose lives, both innocent or guilty; and those that are willing or involuntary participating in the act to fire at will to become forever scarred. For what purpose exactly, other than to avenge honor?

The Bush, The Clinton and The Obama allowed [them] to get away with everything.

All of this call to arms, the bigger the better. The strongest, most deadliest bomb one could master to achieve built and built again, as if one was not already damaging enough by simply existing. The matter now is only time and to call a bluff. The matter now is to call attention from the greater enemy determined by Commander and Chief long before the election date.

We will teach them a lesson.

And what lesson may the be in particular? That our leaders may willingly take away our lives to prove honor and blind patriotism. And no we are not the fortunate one’s-that song again about Vietnam. We may never see your sons and daughters enter battle over something senseless and inconsiderate. Hopefully the greater voting public may not be tricked into praising such dishonorable tactic to shift focus and attention from what matters in a peaceful, working society.

We are in need of affordable health care, however it may be compromised one day.

We are in need of affordable and quality housing. We are need of healthy solutions to our food alternatives; in need of better water supply; in need of a fair and just system; in need of a fairer wage; in need of funds for education not student loans; in need of relief of all other stresses causing a faction within our nation. Not bombs; a Korean… a Chinese person has never corrupted our system and caused stress onto our livelihoods.

We are in need of construction and unification-not dismay, rations, or a cause to keep the country on edge.

Public Bigotry and The Outraged

Concerning recent news of crime of another country or city, or the crimes committed by an individual of another culture or demographic- why must the public assume ‘all’ are at fault? Whether the media is to discuss India and its rape victims, Chicago and its murder rates; or Muslim men found guilty of sex trafficking, white person found to be racially insensitive in a debate, etc.. The presumption is always ‘all’, not a few and those individuals that have committed the crimes as individuals. No it is always, almost always, public bigotry and outrage attributing the cause to a collective rather than to the individual(s) or the perpetrators.

If a white person exhibits racial insensitivity then it is confirmation that all white people are racist. Or that this individual is a representation of their group-that being white America (a monolithic phrase attributed).

If a Muslim extremist decides a path to a rewarding heaven is by destruction of the livelihoods of others it is then Muslims as a whole that are barbaric in nature. Never the individual easily impressionable, and easily forgetful in the worth of self and humanity.

If there is a man obsessed with power, or one that expresses his insecurities and sickness aggressively on the innocent not consenting, the public assumes that it is men generally. Men are not to be trusted as they are all potential rapist, abusers or a danger waiting to happen.

These few examples are of major complaints that are read and heard throughout the news today, yesterday and tomorrow. To assume that ‘all’ are the case for danger, a reason for distrust rather than to aim at those that commit their crimes.

The underlying thought here is the obsession with assuming a collective understanding of how humans function in society. With the presumption that we all exist in our respective monolith, rather than as individuals first. The sudden urge to accuse the singular characteristic as the definition of all others similar-without consideration of the diversity that exist in what is thought to be sameness.

I am referring to terms such as ‘white America’. A collective, a monolith-that actually exist with distinctive identities and cultures. Though I’m referring to that white kid in class being assessed by the bitter, yet equally ignorant classmate. This kids heritage is assumed to be that of slave owners, though he may not have had any. This kid’s background of poverty is not related to the oppression or subjugation of others. A finger is pointed at him by the equally bitter and ignorant as the reason for the greater crimes committed by individuals, again, not related to him. However, since this white kid uttered something racially insensitive in class the argument then is about the racism, like his own, persisting in white America. An issue that harms the rest.

I’m referring to that comment made by Margaret and the other following made further down by John. A news story about men who appear not quite white and not quite black, yet they appear nothing like a Christian either. “A group of Muslim men”, they both snort and sneer. The news headlining that all men in the photo provided were charged with raping and kidnapping several young girls and women. It’s a common story of sex trafficking gaining interest among the media reporting something ‘new’ and forgotten. No one else may convince Margaret or John that all Muslim men are not deviant barbarians. No one may convince them-whether calmly in a thoughtful retort; or a call to shame through either mocking or carrying on back and forth in anger. Their thoughts are indeed ignorant and problematic, yet the comment thread has not gained a single light of awakening. “It is my opinion and I have a right to it”, as each reply or will eventually state. What do they say, then, when the Christian rapes and destroys the livelihood of others? Their thought is one of deflection. That  is an act of someone in-Christ like and that person exist as an individual; therefore not Christian. As to assume so would include both as having probability of committing a similar crime.

Lastly, I’m referring to those that believe a culture exist where men are free to rape without consequences. And that rape is a monopoly, held primarily among men-all men with the potential and intention to rape. “Not all men” is a phrase to specify the issue as an individual crime, whether grouped or not. The rebuttal then is that this phrase is offensive as it allows men thinking of self, to not consider the greater cause by the commonality of the victims perpetrators. Include ‘race’ and ‘religion’ to see how this topic becomes complicated. Talk about rape culture and black men and see raised concerns over the constant acquisition of young black men historically and presently accused of such a crime. It is then individual if one is black, to avoid racial insensitivities.

Why is it ‘all’ rather than a few or those individuals that have committed the crime in particular? Not much has changed with these continuing discussions of the same news, though with different details. Those that point a finger are set within their opinions, a wall built of continued anger and distrust. Nothing has been accomplished in argument assuming crime is associated to the groups most distrusted. No common understanding has been formed as such people wish to point and categorize.

From Mars, From Venus

A Google employee was fired yesterday amid outrage over his controversial statement about the differences between men and women in the tech field. The news summary highlighted the comment about ‘biological differences’ being the cause, the reason for the lack of women in STEM related fields. His comment also, carefully claimed that the comment was not meant to upset the cause for diversity in the workplace. Only that there are biological differences that give reasons for the discrepancies in the real-world demographics as related to tech industries.

The public is outraged and in debate!

Both men and women affirming that there are differences between males and females. Concerning the greater physical strength of a male compared to that of a woman. This much is true, however, what does physical strength have to do with using acquired knowledge of mathematics and software engineering-that requires years of study and brain power? As well,  both cited that males and females have differing interest because one thinks more deeply than the other. To the surprise of other commenters, a woman had stated that men think more deeply than women, since women are able to not think as much. Why, she said? Women are better able to multi-task whereas men need to concentrate more so on a single task before moving onto the next. There was an episode somewhere on popular television afternoon shows that attempted to prove this assumption: women are better able to multitask than men. However, are they better able to multitask because they are women or are they better able due to practice? The examples given on the popular television afternoon shows are housewives versus their husbands. More importantly, concerning the tech field in this case, does software engineering require a great deal of multi-tasking? If not, why is this mundane detail included in the attempt to confirm biological differences as the reason for the lack of diversity in the tech field?

Others liken ‘race’ as being the same ordeal with sex concerning the discrepancies in demographics of an occupation. There were a few that stated that black men are more dominate in football and basketball because of genetics. In reference to professional sports yes there is a dominate commonality in both basketball and football. However, does the commenter recognize that perhaps exposure to those sports in particular-or one’s environment in celebrating those two major sports more so than others-has something to do with the common interest? If simply genetics were the cause for black males being so great athletically, then why only those two major sports? Were black men specifically bred for those sports or are they only great due to exposure within their background since childhood? So on and so forth questioning why is biological differences claimed as a justification for the lack of diversity or the cause of a predominance of one demographic over another in a particular occupation?

Simply put, some people are not great in making arguments that are void of logic and contemporary empirical evidence.

Within the debate, women who happened to be software engineers, mathematicians of some kind or simply have an interest in STEM related fields chimed in. They took to their keyboards to comment on the anecdotal evidence of a few women internalizing sexism. Others took to list their qualifications to speak on the behalf of all women in STEM. Though, more importantly, they voiced themselves as women, the rarity, in STEM related fields. Their concern was addressed by others that disagreed with those ‘not great in making arguments’ as well. There are no biological differences between men and women that causes fewer women to pursue STEM related fields. However, what has been proven through empirical research is that there are sociological differences that causes more men to pursue STEM related fields, while discouraging women.

What is meant by sociological differences?

This simply means that how males and females, boys and girls, are raised in a society determines the outcomes of their interest. As well, this greatly depends on the environment, resources and anything else related that determines the interest(s) held within a society. And by society is referring to you and me, we are the people that determines the behaviors, the norms, the culture, the activities and other aspects and concerns within a society. This is all relative to the period in which we are referring to, and the history of the people that is being referred.

For example, at one period nursing was a male dominated field. Contrasted tot today, nursing is female dominated and often contributed to biological differences as being the cause of this discrepancy in demographics. I just made a point here. Today, biological differences are attributed to the cause of women being more predominate in nursing occupation, however, in centuries past men were predominate in nursing [or something similar in name]. What was the reason given then compared to today to excuse the lack of one gender? I’m regarding to a period in which “biological differences” meant women were so inferior to men that their place was not meant in places determined by men to be more of a masculine pursuit than others.

I may go further back in time. Agriculture, farming was once considered a female endeavor, while the men hunt. Though as the technology became more advanced and farming more complex, men assumed the role of being the farmer, while abandoning the hunter/gather lifestyle. This is true concerning the number of female teachers as compared to male teachers today. At one period men were the teachers, and boys were the students. Overtime, as centuries of activism called for the equal access to education systems and resources, we now see that there are more female teachers and more female students-the higher one may pursue in education.

The point here being that in each example given about nursing, agriculture and teaching was never about actual differences in biology- that made one sex more suited for an occupation. Instead this sentence here restates the topic:

“I’m referring to a period in which ‘biological differences’ meant women were so inferior to men that their place was not meant in places determined by men to be more of a masculine pursuit than others.”

That sentence is referring to the changes in social norms and the assumption of a task as determined by a man. As similarly compared to date, a change in social norms and the assumption of a task as determined by you and me. We determine whether girls are more likely to choose social work over astronomy. We determine whether boys are to become a doctor, rather than a nurse. We determine that STEM related fields are to be dominated by men because of the assumption that math and other related fields is best suited for males based, again, on a social norm or prejudice.

It’s the individual’s interest, but environment and society are major factors too.

Others within the debate will say that perhaps there is a difference not due to biology per se, though due to an individual’s personal interest. In that they state women are less likely to pursue STEM related fields as it requires [empirical] logical derivations, where men are less inclined towards socially inclined work. And by that they meant most girls simply like the color pink, whereas most boys like the color blue. Here I ask, how does one know of their interest if they have yet to have been exposed within their environment of varied interest? Here I state, we are inclined towards certain behaviors and interest still due to our nurture, rather than nature. For instance, how does a boy like most boys know that they like the color blue if they have never seen it? As relating to occupation, how does a girl know she prefers math if she is constantly encouraged to seek socially inclined task deemed more feminine? He does not know that he likes the color blue until exposed. As she does not know her preference since she is discouraged from one pursuit.

The greater question here: how are we to determine what boys and girls are more inclined to like or dislike, to pursue or to not pursue, when we do not raise them under equal terms?

The most important initiative of our time is equal access and equal terms. We are largely unaware of what an individual may like or dislike, without influences by society. We are not knowing what boys and girls would pursue if given the chance to become exposed to varied interest and pursuits equally. However, we do know that our interest and pursuits are heavily influenced by society and by exposure. What are the initiatives again? To reveal more women in the roles of STEM. Or to encourage programs that focuses on girls wanting to pursue STEM related fields as adults. In our time we are introducing them to an occupation.

That is all that is required to witness an increase in a demographic within a particular field. It’s not a simple matter of disinterest of the individual as, again, our interest are determined by societal prejudices and what we may be exposed to within our environments. It’s not even a matter of biology, as there is not a single DNA sequence that determines what we have determined and created within our society.

Woes of Womanhood

Woes of Womanhood
In the news today was yesterday news, about another country. Today BBC re-reported about at 10-year-old girl raped and now pregnant. The parents unknowing of the cause, and unknowing of their child’s term. They instead pacified her dark reality that her belly is growing due to a stone.
I sit here to read through the comments of concerned people, male and female, around the world. Those in defense of their country and others condemning the savagery of an act- not tolerated within more developed nations. Though this fact does gloss over that rape and forced pregnancy are a common occurrence around the world. Yes, rape and forced pregnancies are more likely to occur in some places more than others, but the point remains that it is occurs. And for it to happen to someone so young and innocent, though it is a matter of concern regardless of age and sex as well, is truly devastating.
The woes of being a woman.
She is told to be the backbone of the family dynamic. She is the house wife, the care giver, the cook and the mother treated as the same-a domestic animal; if not respected in some countries, and different cultural places. In some countries and places, around the world, this demand to become a domestic animal is introduced so young. At the age of 12 years-old she is a ‘woman’ without reaching womanhood. She is expected to be a mother though she is just a child herself. At the age of 9 years old she is told that her place is not outside, unless her culture demands all hands in the fields. Her place is in the kitchen or at the dinner table, mat or floor, her place is here. Her purpose is to serve and to be selfless while doing so. She is then taught to be the voiceless, compliant, master of her husband’s home.
Regarding sex she is not given any power or consideration that she too may enjoy pleasure, not pain. In some counties and places the power of sex is given to a male, who is taught to allow his desires to roam and to partake in several trials. She, then, is only allowed to be nonresistant. This too is true in more developed nations. Where the fault of her not consenting is within question of what she had worn that night or how much she had had to drink. In other cultures it is how tempting she may have been, so passively, to reveal her wrist. By this way women are taught that sex is power and that is what is given to the other sex. Then must we forget that women may enjoy sex too! She may be labeled a slut, a hoe in the process of her demanding attention as men demand attention. Or she simply enjoys the act of pleasure with her mate, preferably one that is respectful of her consent. In all what is forgotten through critic and debate, is that women enjoy pleasure.
These are a couple of vague explanations of some negative occurrences in life that impact a woman. No, as it impacts one it also impacts all. Whether we are to experience the negatives or not as individuals, we too understand the demands and dangers of it all becoming a possibility. And for others it is a significant chance of reality as they skirt through life in their environment always cautious of their surroundings.
And what is difficult to fathom here is how a child must forget being a child to experience these woes of womanhood. At 10 years old to experience a traumatic event, then to bring new life into this cycle of hurt. No, a ‘stone’ sits within her belly. What a curious way to explain the rape-as it cannot be described any other way-into her body, her mind as she carries this ‘stone’. For how long or how much longer she may think. How will this ‘stone’ may be removed? A natural cause, one by surgery or medicine? One could only imagine the difficult situation of either depending on the health resources available to her.
I can only imagine how she must feel, as her awareness of the world outside of child’s play is now stark. I’m not imaging her as herself, since a picture will never be provided. Instead I’m imaging her in different faces and facial features. Where her skin is brown, dark or white. Whether she has shoes on her feet or scrapes of cloth wrapped around, or even a sandal. The country where the rape occurred and where this child may live is not the concern so much, though only for her access to health resources. The skin color, genetic makeup of the predator, the rapist is not a concern here. The concern lies with innocence. The concern lies with a direct violation of a body. As it is something all too common in all places.

Rough Draft: A Reflection

Lisa S.

She claimed to have loved you. A simple statement covering all the mischaracterization and lies she wrote, to you, while in admiration. She claimed to love you for you. It was your smile that brightened her day. Your thoughts on the latest news, and all other topics concerning politics to religion. It was your beauty she grabbed, and mastered to then coerce your passions for her body and mind. All the physical and mental affirmation of love claimed to be faithful. ‘I love you’, Elia said straining to hold back. “And if anything happened to you I won’t be able to go further”. She only liked you when you were funny, not like this moping about. She only wanted to be around you because you’re different. And there is nothing more exhilarating than to add color to one’s life.

A young woman experiencing that new phase called love, yet she is already burnt out. What did Elia’s love mean to her in translation? “I love you because your mind is tormented and your life is not altogether”. PAUSE. “I love you because right now, you need to hear it”. A waste of breath. A waste of time and energy put forth to make the best of a toxic situation. Elia cares, but she’s heartless and self-centered. Lisa feels emotionally depleted, now. A love seeming to be the end of everything the future could promise in true love and affection. How to take her mind from Elia’s lies? She tried cursing her name. She tried a new love, yet that proved a pointless effort. Every new love a pointless effort.

Ear buds in, cell phone in hand, Lisa subdues the noise within her mind. Scrolling through her playlist to search for passionate anger and frustration about love. Searching for that song, and those lyrics about the troubles of love on a young heart. The song about that girl so trifling and dishonest about her character; deceptive about the cause of her love. She finds it, plays it. From the low taps of the drums to the shriek of the heartfelt singer she closes her eyes- Elia never loved me.



Elia M.

Elia lays with Dylan. Their love will be celebrated within a few months, so something right and special for him is being decided. Something right… Elia knows she will not find another guy like Dylan, as sweet and with patience so rare to find. He deserves someone better, certainly more attentive and sure of who she is and what exactly does she want. A woman that will treat him as the only person that matters most, adoringly and as a best friend. Elia has a best friend, the one isolate and always troubled and in need of comfort.
You love her dearly but not in the way that it is meant. You please her in every aspect, sexually too. Though in your complicated affair you cannot part from Dylan. To spare his feelings is never a contemplated thought as you love him. You cannot part from your friend as to do so would leave her so devastated, bouncing on and off her habit again. You’re not responsible but you feel obligated-to both. I mean Dylan is for your image, for your parents to accept you. For society to see that you too have conformed to what is right. All that fake exchange of pleasantries and then that dreaded presentation of a ring. What would you say if he asked? A sense of hesitation sits on your mind. To erase everything, shake your head, stand up and walk out. Making your way to the dining room you take your phone. Tell Lisa that you miss her.

 

 Writing A Book

To know how to read the student is taught to write. To know how to write the student is taught to read. 

The basics of the stroke of a crayon, pencil or pen in our early years tells us how to properly begin the story. They start with the article ‘The’. 

‘The boy’ as the subject. 

‘The boy ran’ as the subject doing something, in this instance [always] going somewhere in a forward direction.

‘The boy ran home’ as the subject going somewhere thought to be pleasant. 

The students are asked to write a forward thought as well. Why is the boy going somewhere pleasant? Is he anticipating something? Yes, he is anticipating to play, to eat, to do whatever that kid is concerned with more so than the lesson. Or so one may think as we were kids once but never overanalyzing kid-like thoughts. 

That’s the basic of how to write stories, and we continued to write stories that way until told otherwise. Or until told that the subject is someone else imagined. 
I’m typing this, rather, to explain my short trip to the bookstore. There I go to scan thoughts, phrases and ideas to soak in and to practice on my own. As well as I’m there I am always to read the preface, introduction or the very first chapter or sentence of the first or second paragraph of a thought. In those ‘firsts’ I gather the subject that the writer is to expound upon. As well, how the writer introduces the subject. 

I have come across that great stories or stories that are to mimic those that are great-it’s alright the first article ‘The’ was writen once before in billions of writings-begin either with a scene doing something or a person or thing doing something within the scene. 

For instance, the scene set in the time of marshes, raindrops left on the petals over night and fog is telling the story of a fantasy, of a crime or of horror. Some great writers write this scene to tell something about nature. What is its overall significance to the subject, the plot, or even the conclusion? Does this scene have meaning or is it simply the beginning? That all depends on how the writer describes the scene and how the writer writes-specific or overly detailed. Most importantly how well the writer may write.

The second instance being that the subject is either thinking, speaking, or the writer is speaking of the subject. Toni Morrison writes a poetic version of the writer speaking of the subject’s scene and viewpoint. Others like George R.R. Martin may write of a fantasy subject thinking then to explain why that subject thinks that way. Who knows what a ‘warg’ is and may do besides him? It’s the way in which the writer describes the subject that may captivate the audience to read more. 

The ability to imagine too, to identify with the subject or scene allows the reader to continue reading.

There requires no sophistication in word choice as the Victorian writers. There requires no complexities in sentencing structures, just the ability to connect with the reader. The ability to describe in a way that captivates your audience. 

The story simply has to be interesting to the imagination, intriguing to the mind. 

He Is Hero

‘In the beginning’, indicates a story that it is cliché and overdone. This will begin as others to tell the trope of Hero.

In the beginning, what inspired the common man- since women where often disregarded-was a Hero. A Hero was often born during mysterious, glorious, alien-like circumstances. It was his birth that predestined his good fortune, good looks and power and strength beyond that of the common man. Or simply put, someone did something so great that the common man thought to honor him- as it is usually a male- with the title of a ‘hero’. A common man witnessed another common man braver than himself, therefore the other more brave became a Hero. Or we can say that common man was much more sophisticated than we may give credit for sometimes, so a Hero was an imagined person. In regards to religion, or to gods, He or them are the imagined person(s). His purpose was to represent a figurative meaning of a few adjectives commonly associated with someone that has taken a risk or has made a (self) sacrifice for the greater good or in selfishness.

War or dangerous adventure is the hero’s normal occupation. He is surrounded by noble peers, and is magnanimous to his followers and ruthless to his enemies. In addition to his prowess in battle, he is resourceful and skillful in many crafts; he can build a house, sail a boat, and, if shipwrecked, is an expert swimmer. He is sometimes, like Odysseus, cunning and wise in counsel, but a hero is not usually given to much subtlety. He is a man of action rather than thought and lives by a personal code of honor that admits of no qualification. His responses are usually instinctive, predictable, and inevitable. He accepts challenge and sometimes even courts disaster. Thus baldly stated, the hero’s ethos seems over simple by the standards of a later age. He is childlike in his boasting and rivalry, in his love of presents and rewards, and in his concern for his reputation. He is sometimes foolhardy and wrong-headed, risking his life—and the lives of others—for trifles. Roland, for instance, dies because he is too proud to sound his horn for help when he is overwhelmed in battle.

Encyclopedia Britannica

The Hero to modern humankind is like the ancient definition- as revealed in super hero comics, movies and television. The Hero may also be one as described in Kung Fu films, anime collection films and television series. The Hero is someone that is strong, a risk taker and willing to sacrifice his life for others or the greater good. Though He or She is a conflicted character and may allow the more human emotions to overwhelm the mind. During this moment, as it is usually brief, self-reflection turns into selfish behavior that may cause greater damage to an individual or to an entire community. However, the Hero will readjust itself as good. And to remain forever timeless.

The most common, least forgotten form of the Hero is ‘God’. What is meant by ‘least forgotten’? No, ‘God’ is most often labeled as the Hero for modern humankind, but the meaning of that term ‘hero’ is often glossed over. A ‘hero’ is defined as a mythical person who is of the divine. This definition could also be applied to a warrior, or a soldier today, or just about anyone that exhibits such qualities like courage and bravery. In the sense of moral philosophy, the discussion here is the ‘God’ as the Hero that determines ethics. The Hero being part of a myth is one of divine creation by the imaginative common man (or men), in order to provide a figurative meaning of ethics for the common people.

In all tropes, either ancient or modern, there is a battle between good and evil. The successor, the one that triumphs over evil, is often regarded as the Hero. In ancient times this Hero overcame a battle either with the self or for a community of people- whether He was related to them or not. In modern times this Hero overcame a great feat often imaginary as it plays in superhero films and television. In the religious sense, every interpretation as ‘God’ or the Hero shows that He is the successor over what is evil- and that being the Devil/Satan in the Christian theology. What is evil? Evil is one that defies; a naysayer or negative thoughts and emotions; in opposition or question to what is good. The Hero then becomes an example to abide by and to follow by common people.

The purpose of these tropes are to exhibit good behavior or to have others obliged, for a common good. This purpose was exhibited in both ancient political and moral philosophy as a constant measure to ensure an ordered society, and well-behaved or well-ordered individuals. As for religious philosophy the same as true, though with an additional granting of immunity.

In the end, the Hero is simply a story of a moral code or something to achieve.

 


 

How to Explain Atheism?

The question posed to an atheist is often along the lines of ‘how could you not believe in God’?

The mindset that follows behind this question, perhaps, are along the lines of ‘you are denying your own existence along with everything else that exist’. Or, perhaps, the person or the believer posing this question may think that to not believe is the most ridiculous concept because of what the belief in ‘God’ offers.

A belief in ‘God’ offers sanity and hope. That is sanity meaning that the question of life existence is troubling to the human mind. In ancient philosophy, the undeclared atheist contemplated about how religion and the concept of the supernatural did not suffice in answering the greater question of life, especially that of human existence. Or in the case of Epicurus and Lucretius that thought if gods existed then they placed no importance on the lives of human beings, as they were absent and invisible. It is troubling to think what caused our existence and what gave us the ability to think and to question this fact. That troubling fact being one of insignificance, as I spelled out in ‘So They Believe’. And in hope meaning that there is an underlying purpose to suffering or to living on Earth. That there is some being out there beyond our sphere, well now beyond our universe, is our guidance and care-giver.

So, here I am to explain atheism. Atheism is the ‘lack of belief in gods’. This is not a ‘denial of god(s)’, as that statement requires a belief in god(s). This is not a belief system as its definition begins and ends in its initial statement. This term is not a religion as there are no doctrines, moral philosophy, and the sort attributed to the statement. There are two types of atheist: one that is gnostic and the other that is agnostic. Gnostic meaning to know something, or to know without doubt, or to know with affirmation. Agnostic meaning to be unsure of something, or to doubt, or to not know without affirmation. A gnostic atheist lacks a belief in god(s) because there is definitive proof of its or their non-existence. While an agnostic atheist are those like Epicurus and Lucretius expressing a lack of belief in gods, though not sure of that statement provability.

Therefore, to an atheist of either persuasion the mindset of a theist bears no weight on their mind. The argument that atheist are in denial of their existence, or in denial of their creator, ignores the point that an atheist thinks that the ‘creator’ was created by imaginative common people.

Then, depending on the particular atheist, the reasons in addition to their lack of belief is determined by how much that one person is convinced.


My Statement

I am asked often how and why I am an atheist. I tell them first that no liberal college poisoned my mind with liberal nonsense of the beginning or declining of everything. Actually, I first began to question the existence of ‘god’ after tattling on a younger sibling that expressed a lack of belief. It was only when I was a child that I questioned the imagery of this being, as well the purpose that this ‘god’ may serve in my life. As well, the lesson about there being different religions in the world proved to be a less convincing case for the religion I was indoctrinated into. So I told myself, though unknowing of the proper words at the time- that I will remain simply agnostic until I have read the holy text about all religions.

Over time I became simply an atheist. As a young atheist I never mocked the theist, only to question what all they stated as the exact meaning and purpose to every question and concern that can be conceived about life. I never got around to reading all of those holy text as they are many and most inaccessible to myself. Not even the Christian bible. I can only count on one hand how many times I have opened and read the Holy Bible. However, I took an interest in philosophy and the concept of religion as learned in the subject of history. As I graduated, moved on to college, I became a gnostic atheist.

How am I able to have a firm knowledge of something I have not read? To study the specific text(s) is meant to only argue the points made within the holy text(s). That was never my purpose since as a child. As a child I questioned the imagery and the purpose, not ‘what did Jacob say?’ Therefore, the confirmation and answers to the many questions I had kept silent existed in the origins of each religion. As I had moved onto college I wished to major in philosophy. Upon searching for the likelihood of making a living with that degree it encouraged me to choose history instead. Specifically, I concentrated on western civilization and that meant learning of the beginning of ancient philosophy and the philosophers, as well as the beginning of the major Western religions present today. In learning about something you learn about how and why it was created. Though the details of this topic is for another extended essay, I may state that my confirmation was found that god(s) and religion are human created.

My confirmation was not told specifically, but through several courses. This affirmation was told by Christian professors that had to explain the point of historical interpretation of religion as not being a denial or criticism of their present religious convictions. Though one could sense the discomfort in the room whenever we discussed the early Christian beliefs, as in comparison to their own as modern Christians. I was told this to be true when discussing the concept of ‘hero’s’ as told in epic poems or the history of a glorious time before the existence of writing by the ancients. This was never specific. There was never a confirmation that ‘yea all of this myth’ by professors or by the students, whom all or most are religious as well. This is simply a person, myself that came to the conclusion of all that I have been taught- and all that had been carefully worded as to not offend.


My Conclusion

What I have come to conclude: ‘He Is Hero’.

A combination of all of the courses, lessons, lectures have concluded to that specific topic. Now I admittedly failed at knowing the mundane, specific details of the epics; the purpose of Homer’s writing; the thoughts of Socrates; to actually read the text about the Jews and Christians under Roman rule; etc. All of which were disinteresting as my mind often went on a tangent about the overall idea, gathered without reading much further. My mind is primarily fascinated by concepts. I am moved by the general idea of something rather than the specifics, though the specifics like an event’s date may prove to be useful. Though not useful in understanding the underlying meaning of everything, or one specific topic and the purpose of it.

I have concluded here that He is in fact a Hero. My quest in knowing this fact was due to my thoughts and views on religion. What does Hero mean and what does Hero provide to others has always been a common topic upon my mind. And then whenever questioned about my inability to believe in a higher, supernatural being I vaguely reference that He Is [A] Hero.

A simple statement not conveying and justifying all that is known or could be known. However, in its simplicity answers a common question asked of an atheist. Here I gave my own summary of how and why I’m convinced.

A Heart That Is Gold

After writing Hashtag ‘Talk To Someone’ the thought occurred to me that I should share this fact to two people. I told my mom and I told my only associate. I told my mom that I have a strong desire to just simply walk away. I told my associate that I rather not waste time on another person again, expecting them to be honest and truthful about their nature or character. My mom called me to tell me that, of course, I’m not alone. It’s a mental illness that runs throughout our family, from a grand mother that suffered from a more severe mental illness. Depression is a common illness in my family, something I know my mom to have. She told me that she too becomes depressed, to cry at night. I know the source of her problems, one that refuses to just leave on his own accord. A selfish and self-centered human being, just as the individuals I have encountered throughout my life so far. She told me that she too will cry, only to roll over and to fall asleep. To wake up and to pray that everything will be better. She told me of her distractions too, one that I have been aware of and concerned about as I age. The two parts of the conversation that…when my mom told me that she will cry sometimes, I found it difficult to imagine. You see, in my mind and through my observations growing up, I have never once seen my mom, or my dad cry. Though every time the topic of depression surfaces my mom will tell me that yes, they are human too and that they too express a common human physical response to emotions. I still find it difficult to imagine that my mom is just as vulnerable as I am. Even if I have witnessed her sad, I have never witnessed her to cry.

She told me that yes, as I grow older the more my nature will become challenged. She has always known and accepted that her two children are different from other children. She has had to explain and to defend to her own family members why and how her children are different. Per society standards, as young black people, my younger brother and I fail to be loud, eccentric, or to ‘live in the moment’. We are so different because we both value intellectualism, idealism, concept knowledge, abstract thinking, an inclination to reason and to challenge established norms. All that is considered odd because we are black; all that is considered disrespectful in some cases. An important point to make as this a cause for our experience in being bullied and harassed, as well for others to misinterpret who we are. The greater point here is that we are both quiet introverts, something strange to a group of people that only understand ‘voices are to be raised and heard’. This is my nature, to live in a world that is so loud and demanding for myself to speak up and state your position clearly for us all to hear. What else did my mom tell me? She told me that I am sensitive because I care. And she’s right. I have always been sensitive. I have always been the one to care a great deal about how  others are in their nature.

When I care, I care to understand the purpose and point of it all. I am also inclined to apply logic to what is emotional. As I described within my article of confession, the source of my depressed state has always been other people. Not only the fact that people generally make me anxious and uncomfortable, as I am hyper-aware that they have the ability to judge. People, as individuals who are all typically self-centered, unkind, judgmental and rude. I grew up within an environment where the strongest individuals were those that are rude, seemingly uncaring of other’s emotions and careless with emotions. Though they reveal how truly vulnerable they are whenever they feel the need to take revenge on those that may mistake them as weak. That is to return hatred with hate. Or to not concern themselves with the disadvantages of others by forming an attitude whenever asked for a favor, because the thought of being ‘used’ matters more than a person truly in need.  It is along the lines of this fact and those type of behaviors that caused me to be sensitive and to care a great deal into understanding them. To understand why such forms of behavior are expected to be justified.


Love

I am to apply logic to what is emotional. If you do not love a person, yet you tell them so as an obligated response within a relationship, why do you do it? What compels you, a person with emotions, to lie to someone else with emotions as well? This may apply to your current partner, spouse, friend, or even child and parent. Why is it deemed an obligation to face another human being and to lie about how you may feel about that person? In this society, or as I’m referring to the United States poor cultural habits, we are to lie to a person in order to spare their feelings. We are to believe that initial honesty within relationships are to be forgotten and regarded as sensitive matter not worth the trouble to share and to tell. Though we are creatures with the urge to tell. Instead of initial honesty, some people may tell a person their true feelings in a more passive sense. Instead of telling the person ‘I do not love you’, the unloving individual will purposefully purchase an item different from what you asked for exactly. Instead of confessing one’s true feelings, the person may lash out in anger over something petty or insignificant. As there are many ways to tell a person that you love them without those exact words, there are many ways to do the opposite. For whatever reason the exact purpose or point of this behavior is not understood.

The question remains ‘why do you do it?’


Trust

The idea of trust is foreign.  Actually, Pew Research Center has found that U.S. Americans are unable to trust their neighbors more so now than before. This fact is associated to different environments where poverty and [apparent] crime are heavily concentrated and specific. This fact too remains as our society becomes increasingly more diverse and that our economy becomes increasingly dire. On the subject of relationships, we find it difficult to trust  another person. And whenever a person expresses a sense of distrust in others, not considering those that are in abusive situations, the attitude that surfaces proves to be damaging. The idea of a lack of trust in individuals initially is the fear that all others will prove to be damaging to the person. Then a vicious cycle has been created. One person refusing to trust may become agitated, rude and the like towards someone that may be honest with their emotions.  Then the one honest by their emotions may then become distrustful of others, because of their experience with people that are agitated and rude. So on and so forth until a large population of people warn their children, or to give advice to someone that is troubled-that this is simply how people are.

Then there are those whose fears are confirmed as they are left abandoned in their personal issue to trust. In their minds it is then confirmed that people are not only untrustworthy, but they are just as uncaring as expected. A misunderstanding is then formed as every relationship is either sabotaged or put to a test.


Judgement

The fear to be ‘used’ is a fear to be judged by others. It seems that within our culture we must display a hard surface that is not easily penetrated by others. This is to say, if we are ever to find ourselves in a situation that causes for the kindness of heart we are told to never let it bleed. If we are to allow the heart to bleed we may find ourselves stripped of our dignity; of our possessions, time, money and body. If we are to allow ourselves to be ‘used’ we may find ourselves weak and judged. The last association we should want to have to our name is that we are easy and vulnerable. And the last thought we wish to have is someone, either closely associated or a stranger, to judge us.

So in turn a person establish clear boundaries of what requests are okay. One may find a person reluctant to give another person in need a ride to work. The reason given that it is their responsibility to have their own transportation, so if I were to forget then oh well. They will know. Of course a favor that is offered is a favor given in kindness. However, this is deed is concerned by how others may interpret the action as being ‘too much’. And by ‘too much’ meaning too easy, too vulnerable, well then anyone can ask this person anything and they will give. The fear to be judged, as applies to this examples and others not mentioned here, trumps the act of kindness.

 

unsung hero
Unsung Hero Commercial

 


A Heart That is Gold

It is those subjects and others more personal that causes me to feel disheartened. It is those understandings I have formed that leaves me to be questionable and concerned about others. But my mom told me, too in this conversation-that I will certainly lose myself in them. She told me, encouraged me to find my happy.  As she told me about her distractions from reality, or what keeps her going and anticipating for more, I was thinking of my happy. I had written in my confession that walking and writing are my happy. If one ever writes something sad or discouraging it always best to end with something that is hopeful or that it is a remedy. I am truthful in what allows me to escape though. I find my happy in those activities and in exercise. Obesity in the U.S. is another anticipated writing, as it was my personal experience as well. I never knew that exercise, taking a risk to lift something heavy would excite me so.

As I partake in all activities that are my happy, the conclusion then is that I should focus on myself. As my close associate told me, it’s alright to focus on yourself now. Then when you are ready to open up and to allow a person into your life again it will be worth it. If someone cannot accept who you are then it is their loss- to forget someone worth knowing about.

I’m not in the belief that my heart is so pure that I am without flaws too. I understand how my nature can be off-putting; seeming to cause conflict with others. This is true that I am sensitive about the greater sense of human behavior, but as far as individual troubles I seem more bothered by the request to listen and to answer. Well, especially since I assume the person is wanting for an answer to their troubles that is based on logic, rather than to simply listen and to agree. I disregard social cues. I may even belittle a person for simply being human without understanding what all I am saying or doing to that person. I am always willing to add self-criticism in addition to what I understand to be flaws in human behavior. I am human too, of course. And I am guilty of assuming one of those subjects of behaviors listed above. My inability to trust as I deny any chance to have close association with others or to form a relationship of any kind. My attitude then becomes of rudeness and being overcritical of how this too may fail. All because of my depression, pessimism and the like.

My mom told me to find my happy, but to also form happy thoughts. The concept here is that if I accept the negative thoughts that only deepens my depression, then to assume positive thoughts will increase my level of contentment. In that time I may attract the same within my environment and with others to be happy, as my close associate told me. In that case, to find what will work is the ability to find a balance.