Category Archives: Webthings

The treat is in the trick

Becca showed me the second of these videos yesterday, and I have to post them here because I could not for the life of me believe what I was seeing.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YQpbzQ6gzs

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOlpdd7y8MI

Now, I get that from the ages three to eight there are few things worth living for besides a stash of candy begged off people’s doorsteps on Halloween night. But that is NO EXCUSE for these children to scream, cry, flail limbs, throw things or beat their mothers, as it were, just because they think they have been deprived of the sweets and calories some of them clearly do not need (see the 2:18 mark in the first video).

That said, some of them did seem quite docile about it, like the last four children in the second video. The rest I just want to beat against a wall. Repeatedly.

Spun sugar and unicorn farts

I came across this posted on Twitter by Amy this morning, and it is one of the most raw, cut-to-the-quick articles I have ever read. Even though this is set in the U.S. and written by an American, I love it because it applies to every single person I know, myself included.

You’re Not Allowed To Have Feelings

by Mila Jaroniec

You’re not, because this is America and you have things. You have more things than other people have. In some cases, a bunch more things. And because there are people out there who have fewer things than you, this clearly means that you should stop having feelings about things totally unrelated to the things you have. Seriously. The fact that you have things automatically renders all your negative feelings about anything ever null and void, so just stop with the feelings. Stop publishing the feelings. Stop writing about the feelings. Stop having them. You having these feelings is obviously not helping anyone, it’s just getting ridiculous. Seriously, stop before something actually goes wrong.

If you have a car, a job, a house, some combination of the two or all three, your life is a dream made of spun sugar and unicorn farts and you have no right to ever be sad. Even if you just found out your fiancée is cheating on you with your best friend and rumor has it there are mutual feelings involved, you have no right to want to leap off a roof and flatten your cranium against the concrete. What the hell, asshole? Think of your job. Your car. Think about all the ex-engineering majors who work at McDonald’s and live with their parents and all the liberal arts graduates who routinely sell off their eggs and sperm to make rent. You want to be like them? No, you don’t, because you drive to your comfortable salaried desk in a Prius, you smug bastard. Those engineering majors don’t know a damn thing about your life but lord knows they would kill to have it, so quit crying. Feelings are for people who take the bus, not people who hail cabs — you know which one you are.

If you have a car, a job, a house, some combination of the two or all three and you are 22 years old, you automatically lose the right to have an opinion about unfulfilled hopes, dreams, aspirations, and all of that other sensitive bullshit. Double if that opinion is about your own unfulfilled hopes or dreams. What’s more, should you ever dare to publish an essay about them on the internet, expect to be skinned alive accordingly. No one cares about your dreams because as far as they’re concerned, you’re already living the dream even though you’re still basically a fetus. Never mind that it’s someone else’s dream. Never mind that you feel uneasy and out of touch and restless; it’s pretty unacceptable that you feel that way to begin with but it’s way more unacceptable to come out of the closet with it. You, drama queen, have 90% more things than 90% of people your age; therefore, your feelings of isolation, personal failure, and ennui are baseless and unmerited. Go glaze a cake or something in your post-grad stainless steel kitchen.

Also, if you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or some other person who is in a meaningful relationship with you of their own free will, who texts you during the day to see how you’re doing; who regularly gives you orgasms and doesn’t mind doing it, who you can ugly-cry in front of, eat takeout on a couch with, who will stroke your hair at night and apply your hemorrhoid cream; seriously, if you have a person like that in your life, shut the fuck up and go sit in a corner. Everyone knows you’re no one until someone loves you and um, hello, you have another human being there who not only loves you, but also holds you at night and thinks you’re an okay person. What else, bitch? It’s all right there in front of you. You are not allowed to ever feel like something’s missing, or feel doubtful, or feel like you’re “not getting enough space,” or question your feelings, because there is a multitude of single sadsacks out there this very instant, shoveling raw cookie dough into their mouths while watching Dear John and crying. Just calm down and leave your trapped-single-girl pseudo-soul searching to the people who do it for a living.

And seriously, if you have a checking account, or a house plant, or two parents, or one; a best friend, healthy cuticles, the correct number of limbs; if you have a liquor cabinet, secure WiFi connection, a decent white blood cell count or a MacBook Pro; semi-manageable credit card debt, two nipples, and a roommate who doesn’t try to steal your underwear, you are living the high life and you better start to appreciate it. Just look at all these things you have! Look at the things. Do you have any idea how many people would give up their firstborn for a MacBook Pro? Do you know how many have to freeze their asses off in a Starbucks parking lot stealing the WiFi, because they can’t afford to buy a drink so they can sit inside where it’s warm without looking like a freeloading douche canoe? Do you know how many are forced to drink Four Loko on park benches while you drown your lofty privileged sorrows in champagne with diamonds in the glass? How many left-handed calligraphers are made to forever sit in right-handed desks?

No, of course not, you moldy first-world beet, because you only think about your own whiny emotional concerns.

I drive a Prius.

To child or not to child

“I know who I am and what I want in life, and know without a doubt children do not fit into that equation.” – Jessica Copeland

'Sex and the City's Samantha Jones, who has become the poster child for women who are not afraid -- or ashamed -- to admit they would sooner choose their careers over children

I knew I was on to something when I decided years ago that having children was just not for me, and that I would be better off without any, and this article proves it. It’s only Afham who thinks I’m insane, and in all likelihood just not normal.

Don’t get me wrong; I love children. Well, alright, I just love my godson. But the part about wanting or needing to have them is just not who I am. Whether it’s because I realize I am reaching an age where having children will no longer be possible, or because I simply cannot visualize myself with a mini-me on my hip, I do not believe that children are the be-all and end-all of life, and the women — and some men, even — who think so are the ones who also think that they (a) need to be married in order to validate their lives, or (b) need to have children who emerged from their vaginas because they would not be able to love an adopted child the same way (monsters, these people are). And tragically, I actually do know some such women.

This article, however, states that personal happiness and satisfaction need not be derived from procreation. Even though the studies mentioned were conducted in the United States, I believe they can be universally applied, especially in Asia, where the abysmally backward culture perpetuates the dogma that women were placed on this great good earth to do nothing but spread their legs and spit out the little runts.

Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness looked at several studies and found that children give adults many things, but an “increase in daily happiness is probably not among them.”

He says that psychologists have found parents are less happy interacting with their kids than doing activities such as eating, watching television or even exercising.

“It’s such a counterintuitive finding, because we have these cultural beliefs that children are the key to happiness and a healthy life, and they’re not,” said Simon.

“From the outside you see the detrimental effects of what our cultural beliefs cause, yet there is this group of people telling you children are the best thing that will ever happen to you,” said [Jessica] Copeland.

Copeland, an army military wife for the past year and a half, said she never felt any pressure to have any kids, and her family has been supportive of her choice.

Outside her inner circle, however, the reception has been different. “The typical reaction I get is of dismay and pity,” she noted.

But Copeland, an only child, is far from feeling dismal and finds it ironic that people in her life with children often complain about their lifestyles.

“I always find it interesting how parents complain about their kids, yet follow it with a statement pertaining to how fulfilling their life is,” she said. “I have yet to meet a parent that does not have an almost daily story of how their child has stressed them in some way.”

I have no doubt that there are women who are genuinely never happier than when they are surrounded by human beings under three feet tall — and they’re not necessarily the validation-craving ones, either (although they may be the ones who are to proud to succumb to the pressure and admit that they’re having a hard time making their children behave). But I know for a fact that there are as many, if not more, women who are genuinely never happier than when they are working hard at something that they love (that doesn’t involve diapers and trainer wheels), and they should never have to apologize for it, no matter what others may think of this lifestyle preference.

In the meantime, the article states, Copeland says her marriage to her best friend and “the man of my dreams” is the only family she needs to create in her lifetime. She trusts her gut and her decision. She encourages others to make their own choices, and to respect hers, too.

Penelope Trunk a.k.a. my hero is proof of that.