Education Media Sexism

Thought Leader

I hate that all this Bizarro World shit is becoming “normal.”

I hate that the lessons I was taught aren’t common sense anymore. What happened to “question everything” and “check facts?” What happened to scientific theory and civics and digging for truth?

What happened to being able to trust the news, for the most part? That’s out since Reagan, I know, but we’ve reached a low I am having trouble wrapping my head around. Nobody should even give crazy shit like this WikiLeaks tweet below a second look, yet people seriously argue the validity (without lifting a finger to check) of this as well as drivel they see at Breitbart and InfoWars and Fox while simultaneously telling me that real news sources are clearly wrong. In the age of information, after we’ve already learned what propaganda is and how it has been used to harm in the past, people choose ignorance. They fight for it. They fight me for it. They are proud of their ignorance as if being stupid is some kind of virtue. This shit floors me.

Wikileaks tweet (seriously - I know, right?!): Leaked emails reveal how Sony, Obama, Seth Rogen and the CIA Secretly Planned to Force Regime Change in North Korea.

How can a racist, incompetent, rich guy who is clearly swindling Americans get elected president? How does a crazy Christian religious extremist get to be vice president? I don’t mean the “he’s a Catholic?!” kind of different. I mean won’t-be-alone-with-a-woman, cigarettes don’t kill, conversion therapy for homosexuals, no women in the military, no rights for transgender people, proper burial for your maxi pads kind of crazy extreme. This guy is dangerously extreme and he’s next in line once we put the racist con artist away. Pence should be laughed out of the public eye and yet he’s VP?

How is it that America, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, is happily handing over the keys to hate, to crazy, to thieves and scammers. . . to Russia, for chrissakes? We’re proud to be proud. Proud to be stupid. Super proud of our ignorance. We don’t want to know the facts. What is wrong with us?!

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

We’ve set our standards way too low, for our elected officials, for ourselves. Remember that saying from economics class? “there is no such thing as a free lunch?” It applies in life. Even if you’re only giving your time, your time has value. Don’t waste it on bad people, on bad information, on bad food just because it’s “free.” It costs you. Everything has a price. Reading this, you are giving me your valuable time, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it. I hope you find value in what I offer you in return. *hugs*

Okay, so this is my blog where I gush about cool stuff/whine/vent/work out problems/share joy/send out my wishes to the universe, etc. I’m a writer because that is what I’m doing lately. I’m old and have some stuff to say, but I’m not claiming to be any sort of expert or guru. I’m writing and sharing publicly and I hope other people like what I write. Maybe I can even help people find words for things they’re working through or maybe they will tell me why I’m wrong so I learn. I’ve only recently gotten onto Twitter, and there is something I’m finding unsettling as more people find me and follow me. Perhaps it’s because we’ve had long periods of high unemployment? Perhaps we handed out too many participation awards? Have we, at some point, removed curiosity and critical thinking from our schools? Maybe it’s just a symptom of this (proud) ignorance problem I’m observing every day. This unsettling thing is all these people, and they are fucking everywhere, who have set themselves up as various “experts” in all sorts of fields, but who don’t appear to be anything special in those areas.

There are handsome-ish white guys who are “encouragers” and “motivators.” They range from the very young (like aw, c’mon Dad, you said we could do my drivers test today) to their 20’s. Their dad also told them they can be anything, and let’s face it, they’re white, they’re men, they’re young; they likely will get to try anything they want to. When they want to. Failure is going to hurt when they actually work, but for now, they will pass along their “expertise” from Mom’s basement and give you some participation awards just like the ones they have “earned.”

There are entertainers who want to entertain. Their words. I don’t find any of them entertaining, yet, but it could happen.

The religious and spiritual people who perpetuate the idea of ignoring reality and living a pious life crack me up but also scare me a little. They’re probably part of the problem. Hard to say when so much of our social media is immersed in various fantasy worlds with competing goals (other than to get their hands on your cash).

Kids who advertise themselves (not adults, kids) as entrepreneur, music aficionado and even music promoter. The old fart in me says “listening to music and buying tickets to concerts is not promotion, you little shit. Now get off my lawn. I mean feed.” Good try, though.

Life is going to be very disappointing for these (future alcoholics) when they finally have to go out into the real world and work, when they find out they’re special just like everyone else.

Let’s see. . .Had a kid the other day, looked about 12 or 13, selling himself as an “influencer.” I shit you not. I hope he influences some homework.

We have cute little girls who post sappy, silly “relationship advice” from their phones because they are totally the ones to help you since three boys asked them to the dance/kegger so clearly they know what it takes to make a long-term romance (more than one menstrual cycle) work.

Let’s not forget the internet marketers. You can’t swing an old cat meme without hitting a dozen or more of these digital geniuses with fewer than 136 followers each. /eyeroll

And, of course, there are the numerous “news” sites that either make stuff up or just repost from real news sources. Check sources; check facts. I can’t repeat that enough.

Don’t get me wrong; there are some truly talented and interesting people out there, and if you search you will find them. Be picky. The hacks are fucking wall-to-wall so you’re going to have to dig to find the kind of quality that is worth spending your money and valuable time on. The important thing is not to settle for people who tell you what you want to hear. Insist on people who offer you accurate information that makes you think, that challenges your own ideas, people who teach and inspire you. Learn how to be wrong; it’s essential to your growth.

I dealt with a “relationship blogger” today who was utterly and completely unable to step out of his own mansplaining shoes to see how something he posted that said that to give without getting something back is to “chip away a piece of yourself” might be selfish and perhaps poorly timed (considering we have a lot of people who need help and will have nothing to give in return – hurricane victims, victims of nazis and other bigots, DREAMers, etc.). Now, to be fair, I can’t say he has no idea what he’s talking about. Literally every human being on this planet has relationship experience except maybe some person who is born in the woods and then their mother dies, and they are raised by wolves. Almost all of us have or had at least one parent or guardian. We probably have friends, neighbors, other family members, co-workers. We might have a lover or spouse or exes, maybe children. So we all have relationship experience. I’ll be honest, I didn’t dig far; this guy’s “advice” is ridiculously obvious and lacks the insight of a person who has made important mistakes and learned from them, a person who’s truly lost, who’s sincerely apologized, who’s known rejection, who’s had to nurse a broken heart and move on. I’d be curious to ask his spouse if he is as self-absorbed and trite as he appears, but alas, he’s single. Huh. My boyfriend came home and saw his post and laughed “does this guy have a ledger he uses to track every person he has a relationship with?” It was good to know I wasn’t imagining it since Captain ObviousMansplainer tried to convince me I read something other than what he wrote. I did gather from a brief conversation (yes, I gave him some of my time) that he was referring to romantic relationships and that he still doesn’t understand why his post was misunderstood. He was so concerned that I missed his point (couldn’t have, it was loud and clear and ridiculously obvious – don’t give unless you’re getting back) that he wouldn’t see how it would be taken, wouldn’t see my point.

This guy isn’t special, though. The internet is crawling with young, inexperienced people who’ve barely tried, who haven’t fucked up, yet, but are eager to tell you how to do it, whatever “it” is, from dieting to music promotion to romantic relationships.

The relationship experiences of a young, single, handsome, white man will be little help to a person who has made commitments, lost, perhaps who is trying to get by, raise kids. Relationships are not all pretty people going on weekly dates in lovely restaurants with maître d’hôtel and wine lists. Relationships are made up of people with battle scars and passion and opinions and baggage. We have jobs, worries, needs. We want love, and we want to give love, but we don’t all have the same vision of what love is. It’s nice for internet guy to remind another guy to open the door for a lady, but that’s the easy part. And let’s face it, if he doesn’t remember to by now he won’t get in the habit of opening doors. What help are these “thought leaders” going to be to a husband who’s under stress because he lost his job or a woman who’s trying to balance a shit job, babysitter woes, and an abusive spouse? These are the people I want to learn from, the people who have taken those chances, who’ve learned about red flags and users and abusers, people who’ve tried couples counseling and separation, everything before they had to give up and mourn the loss. I want to learn from the people who survive hardship, who are able to heal, live with their scars, and who are courageous enough to try again/keep trying, to take what they’ve learned and succeed.

Don’t confuse experts, people with education and experience, with these yahoos who snap a selfie of their pretty face and put up a digital shingle selling themselves as “thought leaders.” Their intentions might be good, but their credentials and advice are crap. You deserve better; insist on it.

 

Would we rather have simple but wrong answers or complex but right answers?

(Perhaps I should be some kind of “Lifestyle Thought Leader” where I suggest we cut the crap and be who we are. Oh, and check sources, check facts. Nah, the only credentials I have are impatience with bullshit. And that I know there is a lot I don’t know, yet.)

Link: Horseshoe Theory (VERY IMPORTANT DOCS №9) – video by Peter Coffin that I highly recommend. It’s a half hour well-spent. I mean it.

Link to original tweet from WikiLeaks. Check out Rogen’s response.

#ThoughtLeader

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