As always, thank you for reading and sharing my blog! I am an independent poet, author, and singer/songwriter and I have my own ebay business to keep me as flexible as possible. But, writing takes time and if you appreciate what I do, if you have been moved or made to think by my writing, OR have just enjoyed something on my blog, please throw a buck or two in my tip jar! Your kind contribution may buy me a cup of coffee out at my next writing session. Click my easy paypal “tip jar” link that follows and THANKS! -Luke
Mr. Mortensen, I read that you’re endorsing Jill Stein
You may have friends, but now you’re no friend of mine
I’m the de facto American 2-Party System
And if you’re a REAL patriot, then you’ll only vote within them
I mean, there are a hundred arguments for why voting 3rd party is dumb
Just for whiny-baby ethics voters, sucking on their thumbs
But, aren’t you from upstate New York? Hell, that’s like being half-Canadian
And you’re voting like your Canadian half, not the half that’s ‘Murican
You must think that you’re smart, Viggo… reading Camus— speaking Italian and French
But in this Country’s political dialogue, your intellect doesn’t gain you an inch
Don’t you realize that your Stein vote is only a throw-away
And the right time for a protest vote DEFINITELY isn’t on Election Day
I read your published letter that endorses Jill Stein
But, “Speaking truth to power,” won’t earn your candidate Big Bank dimes
Viggo, don’t you understand the facts
And how a citizen in the voting booth should act
Trump supporters assert that 3rd Party votin’
Is basically just an indirect vote for old “pay-to-play” Clinton
And Hillary lovers say voting 3rd party only gives a bump
To their sworn enemy— the “racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, pussy-grabbing” Trump
So, basically, if you cast a vote for Stein or Johnson
You’re paradoxically, at the same time, casting a vote for both Trump and Clinton
Though you only vote for one, you’re somehow also voting for the other two
Making your vote, according to the pundits, only work against you
Mr. Mortensen, you better own up to the sad truth, though it’s tragic
Don’t you know, Viggo? In America, 3rd Party votes are black magic
My fellow Americans, tomorrow is the big day. Vote your conscience after considering all of your options in due diligence. Also, if you choose not to vote for some ethical position, that is fine too. This election has done so much to divide us. Never have I witnessed a more fractured USA in my lifetime. Let’s do our best to be kind to one another, even when our political opinions differ.
To Mr. Mortensen, thank you for taking an unpopular stand for your chosen candidate and presenting your reasons in a well-written, and dare I say, truly patriotic fashion.
To read the mentioned endorsement letter, click this link:
If you are not familiar with Viggo Mortensen, check out the following link as well:
As always, thank you to anyone who reads and/or shares my blog. -Luke
First as tragedy then as farce. The new “Religious Freedom” law has forced me into a comedy career in order to explain how a business, open to serve the public, should run in Indiana.
FINALLY all the people in this picture, who were up until now apparently persecuted in Indiana and deprived of religious freedom, in spite of the State Constitution and Bill of Rights of 1851, will be able to worship according to the dictates of their deeply held religious beliefs! Thanks, Darth Pence! You are the Moses of modern day Indiana, setting the captives free from bondage! (in a private ceremony paid for by public dollars) YAY!
Hilarious, yet informative.
As usual, the “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” team is on point. I don’t have much to add to what John Oliver covered other than a hearty, “Amen!”
The worst event in modern history has just happened… It appears that Facebook is not working. Not for anyone on Earth. In the short minutes since it has gone offline, there have even been videos posted about the issue.
Here is my advice. In the mean time, read a book, go out for coffee, catch up on my previous blogs… you know, whatever 🙂
I think it is a bit nice when modern technology takes a slight pause every now and then just for humanity to catch its breath. So my Facebook friends, enjoy the break and breath life in! 🙂
Kudos to the guy who published the video below. You were able to get a video up in less than 15 minutes by my count about the crash.
**UPDATE!! At approx 4 p.m. my time, Facebook is back up. Humanity is saved!
From the tame “Chubby Bunny” challenge to the uber-dangerous new “Fire Challenge,” social networking sites are teeming with “Internet Challenges.” What is an “Internet Challenge” you may ask? Well, it is basically just a dare, but instead of being done for a payoff of street cred with real friends you know personally, it is for internet cred with complete strangers. You are supposed to accept the challenge, video yourself doing it, and then post the video online.
I remember dares when I was a little kid… A buddy daring me to talk to the girl I had a crush on or jumping a really high and sketchy ramp assembled by friends at the trailer park on my BMX bike. Hell, sometimes we’d even jump over each other. There were regular dares, “double-dog” dares, and so on. Yet, for the most part, I wasn’t into dares, dishing out peer pressure, or giving into it. I carried that trend even more so into adulthood. What I want to do, I do. What I don’t want to do, I don’t do. You won’t bully, manipulate, or peer pressure me into doing some shit I don’t want to do.
So, when I now behold the trendy spectacle that has become known as the “Internet Challenge,” I stand amazed at the nincompoopery of it all. The first one that I ever noticed a couple years ago on Youtube was the Cinnamon Challenge. There isn’t much to it. Basically, you just eat a huge spoonful of cinnamon and try to swallow it. The result? Hacking, watering eyes, a nose dripping with snot, and instant regret apparently. See the video link below for a compilation of people doing the challenge.
One reason I stopped doing dares at a pretty young age was, once you start, you just can’t stop. If you gain your fame among peers for doing dares, the dares will never cease. Not only that, but they tend to increase in ridiculousness (and danger) as they go. Such has been the case with the Internet Challenge phenomenon as well. The Cinnamon Challenge became The Ghost Pepper Challenge, The Flour Slap became The Knock Out Game, The Ice Bath Challenge became the Fire Challenge, so on and so on.
Let us park there just for a moment… “The Fire Challenge.” This challenge is a simple, yet staggeringly moronic one. Basically, you dump flammable liquid on yourself and then set it ablaze. Yes, you set yourself on fire. As much as I’d like to rename it the, “Darwin Award Challenge,” or, “The Proof That I’m Incredibly Stupid Challenge,” that would only serve to confuse such an obvious title for the challenge. There is really only one downside to doing this challenge. That is, you end up on fire. If that isn’t enough to dissuade you from doing such a challenge, likely, no other reason I can provide will. See the following video for a good example of this nonsensical challenge. (language warning)
There have been many news stories done on these Fire Challenges gone wrong recently. In my opinion, since you end up on fire, they are all gone wrong. One of the most interesting things to me about many of these videos is, the participants seem really surprised the the fire is hot once lighting the flammable liquid. PEOPLE! It’s fire! Of course it is going to be hot! That is one of the primary reasons that you typically avoid catching on fire when it is under your power to do so. The sad thing is, this new challenge won’t be the last of them. Once the enamor and prestige of setting one’s self on fire has worn off, inventors of Internet Challenges (whoever they may be) will come up with something even more dangerous and stupid. I could presuppose some insane ideas, but I won’t for fear that someone would be crazy enough to try it.
That said, I would like to reveal the last Internet Challenge you will ever need to do, ironic though it may be. I call it, “The Ignoring Internet Challenges and Social Media Peer Pressure Forever Challenge.” This is how you do it… After committing to participate in my perpetual challenge, any time you see a new challenge pop up online, you totally ignore it. You say to yourself, “Self, this new challenge was probably invented by a moron with nothing worthwhile to do but come up with stupid challenges. I will not allow the foolish whims of a nameless stranger nor the potential praise of others on social media to manipulate me into doing something dumb.” That is it! So, please share my new, “The Ignoring Internet Challenges and Social Media Peer Pressure Forever Challenge,” and make the world a better, hopefully less nitwit filled place! If you would like to post a video of yourself doing my challenge, basically just record yourself doing anything but an Internet Challenge: eating cereal for breakfast, reading a book, watching TV, drawing a unicorn… whatever. 🙂 -Luke
In the “Information Age” we live in, we are confronted daily with issues, ideas, and news stories faster than our ability to absorb them can keep up. In days gone by (and I mean like two decades ago) the necessity for us to confront and formulate multiple opinions on so many things daily or even hourly didn’t exist. There may have been a “water cooler” discussion over some worthy topic at work, an important newspaper article to think about, or a story on the evening news to digest, but typically only a few a day.
Now, even when checking your home feed on Facebook, you are inundated with a host of earth-shattering stories and ideological challenges. Life on social networking isn’t all just cat pictures and Farmville anymore. Not only that, but the expectation of a response is as instant as the posting of the issue. When I scroll down my own feed at the moment, I see deadly protests in Venezuela, an article about the foolishness of snake handling churches, an article about people being buried alive, a treatise on the potential moral evils of the Judeo/Christian God, and varied responses to the recent “coming out” of Michael Sam and Ellen Page. That doesn’t even cover half of the pithy issues and stories that have been shared in the last day.
I, of course, share stories and issues as well. We all desire to inform and/or challenge our peers via our social networks about things that are important to us. Such interaction is a big part of what social networking is all about. Ironically, you will probably form an opinion of this blog entry, which addresses having to formulate opinions on articles, social network posts, stories, and blogs. That said, I want to encourage us all about this current reality in society; a reality where issues and ideas are constantly barraging us.
Here are some of the positives that result from this:
1. We are being tacitly encouraged to become faster thinkers and rely more on reason, evidence, and logic to ascertain good information and deflect the bad. If we cannot adapt to this social mode, we will be easily fooled and be reactionary to unsubstantiated claims. I chuckle when an “Onion” satire article inflames the sensibilities of a person who isn’t privy to such parody and “Poe” stories. I see this trend as a type of intellectual, “Natural Selection,” revealing the “fittest” for this new Internet driven world.
2. The Internet allows for us to be exposed to positive ideas, technologies, and relevant issues that we wouldn’t otherwise know about.
3. It is very hard for a person to be kept ignorant by those around them who would desire to limit their information access.
Here are some of the potential negatives:
1. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE can post anything they want and “trolls” are aplenty. Memes, photoshop, and slick looking, cheap or free websites can give the appearance of validity to an idea and the ability for people to share nonsense. Some of these are even dangerous. For example, when a person who needs effective medical treatment abandons such for the “essential oils” or “homeopathic remedies” they see in a meme or foolish article, they can actually die.
2. We can spend otherwise enjoyable time researching and formulating opinions on all the things we are exposed to. Ultimately though, it is on us to prioritize our time and shape our own online experience. If our exposure is stressing us out, we should curb internet time and/or rethink our “likes” and “friends list.” (I use the pronouns “I,” “us,” and “we” heavily as I consider these pros and cons because as we engage in online interaction, we are all in this new social world together)
All that brings me to an important consideration… Who says we need to have an instant opinion on everything? Who says we have to know everything? I think there is nothing wrong and everything right with asserting, “I’m just not sure. I’ll have to think about it and get back to you later.” Humbly saying, “I don’t know,” is also a glory in today’s world. In this modern Age of Ideas, intellectual humility and intellectual honesty is sometimes hard to come by. Of course, there are many things that you may have already considered and developed a position on. Share those positions straightaway of course, yet be willing to revise them if new data necessitates it.
Give yourself permission to take appropriate time to formulate an opinion or make a reasonable judgement regarding issues and ideas you think are worth considering. If you don’t have enough information at present, suspend judgement until you do. Then, you can do your due diligence to acquire sufficient data and/or perform needed philosophical consideration at an effective pace or at your leisure. You can also require those making certain assertions to provide their own evidence. It is not your responsibility to prove their ill-supported case for them or provide proof against a claim made sans evidence and reason. To quote Christopher Hitchens,
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
In temporarily suspending judgement, you’ll also be teaching those around you that you require time to consider issues of importance and lean on rationality over emotional, knee-jerk reactions. Be an example of effective intellectual methodology among your peers. Fostering a less emotionally reactionary society wouldn’t be a bad thing. Such an intellectual climate is even more desirable as society becomes increasingly dependent (if that is possible) on Internet social networking.
So, what are your thoughts? (Take all the time you need) 🙂
*The meme at the top of this blog is my creation, but feel free to use it as you wish.
I am in gleeful expectation of the full House vote on the HJR-3 Amendment, also known as the, “Gay Marriage Ban,” this coming week. Of recent days, I have been increasingly unsettled by the proposition that my fellow Indiana citizens (the gay ones) may be able to legally marry in the future.
This has been very troubling to me. I have been happily married to my wife, Angela, for 15 years now. Our anniversary is approaching in May. Though our marriage has been highly stable and we have five kids, I am afraid that if the gays were allowed to have legal unions, my wife and I may never see our 16th anniversary. There is something about the notion of icky gays marrying legally that I think would crumble my own traditional marriage. As a couple, my wife and I have made it through good times and bad, the deaths of loved ones, and seeing each other make it through close brushes with death. But, the weight of living in a culture where homos could have their sinful partnerships justified by legal marriage would be more than our marriage could bear. If that was the case in Indiana, I think my divorce would just be inevitable…
That said, I ask all lawmakers in Indiana that cast a ballot on HJR-3 next week to vote a loud, firm, and resonant, “YES!” Then, let’s get this thing through the State Senate and on the public ballot next November so all Indiana citizens can have their say! And their say should be, “YES! We vote against gay marriage! Because it’s already illegal here, but an amendment to the State Constitution would make it REALLY illegal!”
Yet, once we have that item checked off the list, we have so much farther to go for “traditional values” in Indiana. I’ve been reading my Bible a lot recently and there are some other serious matters that must be addressed. We need a few more key laws and amendments added that can help us navigate our way back to a more “traditional” and wholesome culture, guided by the Bible. Below is my personal wish list for traditional laws that I would like added to our Indiana code in the near future:
- Once we’ve blocked the gays from marrying, we need an amendment that solidifies the legality of REAL traditional Biblical marriage…polygamy. If one wife is good, then two or three should be better. If you are super-rich, like King Solomon, you can have hundreds, plus hundreds of prostitutes. Whatever floats your boat. Unless you are a lesbian. Then you can’t have any. (Ps. Make prostitution legal too. Without it, we wouldn’t have the Tribe of Judah that Jesus eventually came from)
- With all the pressure to make Indiana a more “business friendly” state, we need to reinstitute slavery. The Bible is very pro-slavery and even tells slave masters the right way to beat their slaves, so we can just copy/paste the Bible text into our state code to keep it simple. Obviously, we wouldn’t want to transgress the rights of our fellow Hoosiers and let’s not make this a “black-white” thing like the last time. Rather, we’ll do as our more moral and ancient forefathers did in the Scripture. We can just send people over to a bordering state (I suggest Illinois) and forcibly bring unfortunates back to Indiana to be our slaves. It’s good for corporations. And what’s good for corporations, is good for Indiana.
- Since we have a lot of over-crowding of our jails and juveniles, we should make more crimes capital offenses. If parents could just stone their rebellious and/or fornicating kids, problem solved. Also, go heavy on people who deny Yahweh (and we’ll toss in Jesus). Make belonging to a “false religion” a crime punishable by death again. But, let’s forget about the Sabbath thing. Closing shop one day a week can be bad for business. And, if you could be killed for picking up sticks on the Sabbath, how could you play golf on your day off? Also, go easy on greed, adultery, and lying. We can’t put a portion of our own lawmakers behind bars now can we?
(Please note: the above article is satire. Don’t hate me. Unless you actually like the article…then you can hate me)
Please make your voice heard by your representative before next week. I did. Follow the link below.