More than one social critic has pointed out that the justice system in America should maybe be called ‘the revenge system’ instead. Whether you agree with the way the country treats criminals or not, you have to be pretty short-sighted to disagree with this assessment. We talked about how no behavior exists in a vacuum last week, in ‘Bullying a bully is still bullying’; let’s go into it a little more deeply here.
Social pressure is a strange thing. It makes for some very pretty diamonds, but it crushes a lot of perfectly good souls along the way. We can’t say we don’t know what life would be like without civilization, since modern day life exists on Earth right there alongside what we would call primitive life. Yet somehow we don’t understand what we give up when we leave that life behind completely.
No, I’m not suggesting a nomadic return to the plains or the caves. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #037 – Some Rehabilitation Actually Works!”
The most ridiculous thing I could start out saying here is that I don’t enjoy violence in my entertainment. Many of my favorite television shows and movies and books have some pretty epic gore in them, and I don’t really see a problem with that. I even enjoy crafting those scenes, when a book I’m writing calls for them. You don’t have to press me to admit that I like watching the baddies get murdered by the goodies, or even tortured under special circumstances. Hell, I’ll proclaim it proudly. This may be the result of me growing up where I did, and having the options to click through that I did; but I wouldn’t know anything about that.
They don’t call it programming for nothing, after all. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #036 – Bullying a Bully is Still Bullying!”
The legend of Robin Hood may actually be a myth, so far as verifiable history can tell. Even if the story is real, it still lives more as a legend in the modern mind. The only real difference between a myth and a legend is that the origin story has some truth to it; otherwise, both are mostly if not entirely made up. So is the case with Robin Hood. You probably already know that he wasn’t a fox, and that he didn’t speak with an American accent; but did you know that pretty much every other element of the story is made up as well?
Nobody called him ‘Robin of Locksley’ until centuries after the man himself had died. That’s because he most likely wasn’t nobility at all. Friar Tuck and Maid Marion are later additions to the original story as well, although nobody tells the tale without including them these days. All we really know about Robin Hood is that he was a skilled archer and swordsman, and that he had quite a beef with the Sheriff of Nottingham.
The rest is pretty much made up. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #031 – The Robin Hood Saying is Wrong!”
If your life has always been and still is ideal in every way, you have no need for self-help books. You get to sit around and smile all day, or do whatever you want, because you were born a master of life. Since you already have everything anyone could ever possibly want, what more is there to strive for? If you are truly one of these people, then good for you. You have no reason to read this…or anything, really; so I’ll go ahead and address everyone else. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt to Think #019 – If I can do it, so can you! (Theoretically)”
There are a lot of people out there that seem to think that they are selfless, or that many of their actions are. That kind of thinking can be as harmful as it is delusional, and it’s important to realize that most productive and intelligent people have a healthy view of their own selfish nature. It’s also important to realize that it isn’t just muddled thinking that leads to selfish people viewing themselves as selfless; this country has always been a little shaky on the definitions of those words. It’s no wonder that so many Americans are confused as to what these words mean, when they get used improperly so often.
Most dictionaries tell us that selfish people act in their own best interest, with little or no thought given to the consequences of those actions. I was a little shocked when I first read something like that, since one part of the sentence is totally contradictory to the other. Anyone who has ever deliberately endeavored to act in their own best interest knows that consequences always have to be considered. If you don’t consider the consequences of your actions, you aren’t acting in your own best interest; the two are, quite obviously, inextricably connected. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt To Think #009 – Everyone is Selfish!”
There’s that old saying, that says it takes a village to raise a child. There’s another assumption about villages, that each of them has their own idiot. I think we can agree with that, if we concede that each village likely has its own genius as well. The genius is probably a man, which will hopefully delight men; but the idiot is most likely a man as well, so maybe that’s one for the ladies.
I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter.
What does matter is that very few people live in villages these days. It’s easy to assume that we can modify that old saying, and say it takes a town or a city to raise a child, but what if we’re wrong? What if the people that made up that saying in the first place were not cautioning us against raising our young in a familial bubble, but that they were warning us against the dangers of raising kids in densely populated areas? Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt To Think #007 – It Takes A Village!”
It’s hard to collect information without also picking up some misinformation. The open mind has to learn to be discerning as part of being open, and the curious individual needs to be on guard against filling their heads with things that sound plausible but are actually untrue. One would think that we could get accurate information from sources like the news and the government and scientists. Since they deal mostly in information, they must hold truth above all else, right?
Don’t laugh at me; I’m not really that naive. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt To Think #001 – Studies Show Statistics Are Wrong!”
One of the first things honest things I learned from an adult was CYA. That’s ‘cover your ass’, for those of you fortunate enough to have never encountered people who shirk responsibility and avoid accountability rather than step up. The principle differs for some of us, but it still applies to all of us. Even when we’re making friends, or having a chat with one we’ve already made, we might amend or add something to what we just said after having said it. In conversations, I playfully refer to such pronouncements as ‘disclaimers’.
In books, it’s a bit different. You’ve got to jump right in with a few words about what the rest of these words will be about, to grab the interest of the readers you’re after and push the others away in one carefully worded passage. This blog will be compiled into a book, and the foreword will read a lot like this introduction.
But this is a blog, so we’re calling this post the introduction. Continue reading “Thoughts That Hurt To Think #000 – An Introduction”