Monday, April 29, 2013

Doggone It, People Like Me!

Back on February 9th, 1991, the first "Daily Affirmation with Stewart Smalley" skit aired on Saturday Night Live. Future Senator Al Franken played an unlicensed self-help guru with questionable self-esteem who's catch phrase involved him staring into the mirror and saying, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!"

It was a fun skit that led to a book and even an SNL movie. Even though Stewart Smalley's self-affirmations are no longer with us, many people have taken his advice to heart. Self-affirmations blossom far and wide across e-mail chain letters and Facebook, proudly proclaiming who people are and why they and others like them should be proud.

Pride is a funny thing. Publicly proclaimed pride even more so. I personally read public proclamations of pride the same as I would read public self-affirmations, as signs of insecurity of some kind. Sometimes people rightfully feel oppressed by society and are declaring their pride in that aspect of themselves that society at large does not respect. Other times, or sometimes even simultaneously, that pride can take on this stubborn "my way is the right way" tone that lashes out at against others in ways that may be questionable.

Seriously, I hope these people are able to achieve a decent self-esteem, but... here is the part where we take a look at some examples!

Thus begins what is a huge category of these Facebook self-affirmations: People who need me to give a shit about their tattoos. Somewhere around 60% of the people I see socially have tattoos. They are not, as a rule, any more or less interesting than anyone else. This particular picture is nothing egregious, but just getting warmed up...

Here is a sad "Hey, we're special!" self-affirmation if I ever saw one. Does anyone really believe this kind of shit? I mean, let's think about this... Who is this person that is not good enough for tattoos? Am I good enough to get a swastika tattooed on my forehead, tear under the eye? Are we forgetting about the legit white supremacist covered in Nazi tatts here? There are all sorts of awful people who have tattoos. Presumably whoever would post this kind of trite garbage just isn't thinking about it at all. Some brainless self-affirming bullshit. My message to you, self-affirming tattoo person: I am totally not judging you for your tattoos. That's not to say I'm not judgmental...

Here we have the combo affirmation. The good ol' "You're awesome because you have tattoos" (sorry, possession of a tattoo is in itself a neutral factor in your awesomeness :-( bummer!). Then we have another large category of affirmations: Those intended to make women feel good about themselves. A large trend in those is to rip on skinny, non-curvy, or athletic women, so we can all celebrate "real women with real bodies". Again, your body type is a pretty neutral factor in how awesome I consider you, so sorry. Athletic women are kinda awesome, just like athletic men are kinda awesome, but the athletic look doesn't always capture all of the people who actually are athletic though...

When you get into these self-affirming posts for women, it really is a minefield of fucked up. Some of them are made by women and shared with other women, and others are made by men in some kind of support for women. This one was shared by a woman. It feels like there is this tension between "I'm beautiful and sexy!" and "Women shouldn't be judged so exclusively on their sexual attractiveness to men." I'm all on board with that second point in particular. It is annoying as fuck to hang out with dudes (and on some occasions women) who feel the need to comment on how fucking hot or not some woman is when she's a fucking virtuoso astronaut MMA fighter scientist. Some guys seem to think it is mandatory to pass their judgement, and as these self-affirmations seem to show, there are a lot of women who can't help but care.

As for the picture itself... yeah, it is self-affirming garbage. You are showing me your insecurity. The words, taken at face value, make no sense at all.

This contains all of the hallmarks of a shitty self-affirmation post. The classic "Most of you won't re-post this" is the ultimate sign that you are about to read some garbage on the internet. It also contains a huge blinking warning sign that for me says "Hey, remember that public drama post you made a few days ago? Here's your goddamned perpetrator!" There are a million variations on this one. This is the Sheryl Crow "Are You Strong Enough to Be My Man" of self-affirming social media trash. At root, my question is, "Why are you telling me this?" Why? You are so goddamned lazy you didn't even write this yourself! You just took someone else's words and posted them to your wall as if they were your own. You are trying to tell me how special you are by putting someone else's (a person who you've likely never met's) words in your feed. It's like feeling a personal connection to your horoscope in the paper. Ultimately, your self-affirmation failed, because the number of people who think you suck has increased by one.  Congratulations.

P.S. You're worthless.

I could go on with these forever. They infest the internet like locusts, you know, like, when there is a plague of them. Try reading the Bible sometime.
Anyway, yeah... umm, my point is, there is no limit to just how vague and unremarkable a feature you can possess and make a self-affirming post about. For example:

I do have brown eyes! OMG you guys! This is so true!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A God-Awful Situation

Last week I had another local person send me a Facebook friend request. I recognized his last name, he's local, a couple years younger than me... nothing else to go on. Now, as you are about to see, the first post I see from this Einstein is indeed... disappointing. I had such high hopes for this guy... Facebook was going to connect me with another human being. I could have formed a real human connection thanks to the power of the social web!  That would be really awesome, actually... I feel that Facebook has let me down in this regard. In fact, I'm starting to suspect these guys are just in it for the money.


Anyway, this guy's post is only the initial madness which illustrates a deeper problem. Before we get to all of that, let me tell you about the Anti-Christ:

must see

Obama Mocks And Attacks Jesus Christ And The Bible/Video/Obama Is Not A Christian
I just thought everyone should know about this because it is so alarming. President Obama is a pretty twitchy guy in this video, but he's clearly taking Leviticus and Deuteronomy out of context. Fortunately the person responsible for this video was careful to take Obama's comments in their full context. "Fair and Balanced" I believe would be the words.

OK, so yeah, I'm an atheist. Let's see what we have here. I think my favorite part is the "Crime Stoppers"/"Unsolved Mysteries" 80s/90s soundtrack. A soundtrack that feels about 20 years out of date is a sure sign you are dealing with either an industrial or corporate training video or some shitty amateur scare-mongering bullshit. Not that this video makes these claims, but another fun religious conservative thing to watch is the whole... Muslim/Atheist/Radical Reverend Wright Christian mystery. I think that is the real Unsolved Mystery here, and I would like to see some hard hitting investigative journalist get to the bottom of it! Also, if you go to this video on YouTube, I would direct your attention to the related videos linked on the right...

Yeah baby! All of the Anti-Christ, Illuminati, and Prophecy information you need! Also, the Truth about Oprah Winfrey, as if you didn't already know. (Hint: Think 'Press Secretary for Satan')

Honestly, I would guess Obama is a liberal Christian, though I don't think it is impossible that he is basically a secular person. It would be kinda crazy to drag your children to attend Christian services regularly if you were really a big anti-christian, but hey, politician?  Also, yeah, writing laws based off the specific injunctions of Leviticus, etc., would be absolutely insane and most people on some level realize this.

I will have to ask my historian friend if, "Most historians agree that the Sermon on the Mount contains the most spiritually inspiring words ever uttered by Jesus Christ or any other religious figure". I've heard that historians have been doing a lot of work trying to determine if this is actually true.

So, sure. That Facebook post from this new "Friend" didn't particularly raise the level of national dialogue, but not everybody can be expected to. I wonder what this guy does for a living?

"Ministry Leader at Mount Hope Church"

A quick check of the rest of his feed shows me he is keenly interested in keeping his guns, bad things that happen to people who defy God (seriously scary "They defied God and died horrible deaths" stuff!), bringing children to God, supporting families, honoring policemen.

Here we have it. This is where it gets really depressing. I'm sure this guy is actually doing some good things for people. As a Ministry Leader... I'm sure there is a community of people who look to him for advice. In some sense, he is a leader... that people come to when they need guidance in their life.

That is so absolutely fucked.

Have you ever seen this scenario?: You know someone who could either be really cool, or he could just be a dumb-ass fuck-up. Whichever way he is, he's doing something in his life that is messing it all up, be it partying too hard with the drugs and all of that shit, or crazy relationship dramas. Eventually, he just drops out of contact, then when he returns he has been saved by some back woods, primitive old-timey authoritarian, xenophobic "God, Guns and Soldiers" bullshit? 

As much as this person sucks now, you are forced to admit to yourself, "Hey, I mean... I guess he isn't throwing up in an alley every Saturday night". If you remember times when he was cool before, you start to question the authenticity of all of your conversations. You look at them and it gives you an unsettled feeling like that part at the end of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".

Likewise, if you personally have your shit together, there are people that will assume it is because you've taken that step up the ladder from "Ridiculous youth with no impulse control" to this particular vision of a "Responsible, firm church going man/woman". They are wary of whatever the hell it is you actually are, and have a pretty strong suspicion that whatever it is... must be a more sophisticated version of "Ridiculous youth with no impulse control". I feel like I'm about to bullshit about some kind of moral/social development theory here, so I'll stop!

"I think you are a good influence on my son/husband".
"He is over 30 years old, for fuck's sake!"

Friday, April 26, 2013

Double Damage: Poor Reasoning and False Attributions

This next example of the Social Catastrophe strikes even closer to home than the previous one. Due to a shared Facebook account (which I think is a terrible idea, wives and husbands sharing the same account) I don't know exactly who is responsible, but... it's not good, folks!

Have you ever seen these invented dialogues, and then at the end they ask "And do you know who said it?" Depending on if you are supposed to love or hate the contents of this made up dialogue, they'll say it was Hitler, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus Christ, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Mother Theresa, Gandhi, a particular politician or... you get the idea.

The awful dialogue I am about to post today also has some other hallmarks of the style. It is a pro-Christian, conservative writing that uses the foil of the Imaginary Obnoxious Atheist Professor. As we all know, academia is full of Obnoxious Atheist Professors who hold students hostage in their classrooms, berating students for their belief in God during whatever the hell it is they teach, often spending significant parts of their classroom time on the subject. Before we get to the main show, let me post a classic example of the genre:

A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist and a member of the ACLU.
One day the professor shocked the class when he came in, looked to the ceiling, and flatly stated, “God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I’ll give you exactly 15 minutes.”
The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop.
Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, ‘”Here I am God. I’m still waiting.” It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him, knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold.
The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked, stunned, and sat there looking on in silence.
The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, “What the heck is the matter with you? Why did you do that?”
The Marine calmly replied, “God was too busy today protecting American soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid stuff and act like an idiot. So, He sent me.”
So yeah... many of us have already seen that one. Sadly, I think my own father received it and keeps it somewhere in his "funny stories" file. I'm an atheist myself, so naturally I find peoples' smug satisfaction with this invented story creepy as hell and completely alienating. Its glorification of violence against atheists. All of the logical wrongness about God being too busy protecting righteous American soldiers, and the creepy in-group vs. out-group tribal nature of the whole thing. The idea that the ACLU and their defense of civil rights is somehow... anti-American. That people are so genuinely taken in by this comically caricatured image of the atheist liberal "villain", some people actually believing it is a true story and not just a convenient straw man.

When it is just vaguely "people out there" passing this stuff around and enjoying it, it sucks, but isn't so bad. When the people reading and enjoying this are members of your own family... that sucks pretty hard. It destroys something. Another Social Catastrophe. On to the next example, taken from Facebook only 1 day ago:

Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son ?
Student : Yes, sir.
Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?
Student : Absolutely, sir.
Professor : Is GOD good ?
Student : Sure.
Professor: Is GOD all powerful ?
Student : Yes.
Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn’t. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?
(Student was silent.)
Professor: You can’t answer, can you ? Let’s start again, young fella. Is GOD good?
Student : Yes.
Professor: Is satan good ?
Student : No.
Professor: Where does satan come from ?
Student : From … GOD …
Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student : Yes.
Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it ? And GOD did make everything. Correct?
Student : Yes.
Professor: So who created evil ?
(Student did not answer.)
Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?
Student : Yes, sir.
Professor: So, who created them ?
(Student had no answer.)
Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?
Student : No, sir.
Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?
Student : No , sir.
Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smelt your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?
Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.
Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student : Yes.
Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.
Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.
Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Professor: Yes.
Student : And is there such a thing as cold?
Professor: Yes.
Student : No, sir. There isn’t.
(The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)
Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?
Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, well you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?
Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man ?
Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Professor: Flawed ? Can you explain how?
Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD. You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.
Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)
Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?
(The class was in uproar.)
Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?
(The class broke out into laughter. )
Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.
Student : That is it sir … Exactly ! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.
I believe you have enjoyed the conversation. And if so, you’ll probably want your friends / colleagues to enjoy the same, won’t you?
Forward this to increase their knowledge … or FAITH.
By the way, that student was EINSTEIN.
Just fucking kill me. The level of discourse in this one reminds me of a young child pretending to play house, except a child usually has a more accurate view of how a household runs than the author of this has of philosophical debate. Aside from the fact there is a 50/50 chance this is my sibling posting this... I mean... The tragedy about this level of dialogue is that, on one level it is insulting to our collective intelligence to even spend the time going over each part and how wrong it is. On the other hand, the fact that these keep popping up, from people we know and fucking love, proves that it is not obvious to people very important in our lives that this is such bullshit. The easy response is to think this is funny, and to fall back into mocking these people while huddled with your sane pack of friends. All of that is a coping mechanism.

You are my family. I want to respect your brains. I don't want to cringe at this foolishness you are stating in public. Maybe I've crossed the line in even talking about it. Fortunately, I found something on the internet to put my mind at ease.
It's okay, man. Everything is gonna be just fine. -- EINSTEIN
Thanks, Al. That helps a lot.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Public Drama: Aspect of the Social Catastophe

In today's entry to the Social Catastrophe we discuss Public Drama! The kind of drama I am discussing is the variety we all encountered in High School, or perhaps at a drunken party, or a mother/father dealing poorly with an unruly child. Sometimes people think their drama is private on the internet... but you can never rely too much on that, as this hilarious recent example shows:

Michael Shannon Reads the Insane Delta Gamma Sorority Letter

We all have emotional difficulties in our lives, but how you react in public is going to affect your reputation. Social media has the power to change what may have been an ill-advised outburst witnessed by few into one noticed by everyone you know, on to the internet at large.

With that in mind... let's see what my next door neighbor is posting!


Oh my! Someone's teenage daughter is very angry. Well, emotions run high when you are an adolescent and we all had our share of embarrassing emotional outbursts. Luckily for us older folks, we didn't have the internet there so everyone could witness us losing our shit publicly like this! Wait a minute though...  My neighbor is a grown woman in her mid-30s. She has a 16 year old daughter of her own?!?! Jerry Springer reality. Now, admittedly, this Facebook post was from quite a while ago. Let's check in and see how she is doing this week. With age comes wisdom, they say:

RUMOR IS: I got my A$$ beat Sat.......... Sorry, but when someone Cracks a bar glass over the back of your head unexpectedly that is a COWARD move. Never saw it coming. Then the B**** tells people she cut her hands on the dishes, PLEASE. You want the truth, i have it!!! Stop Talking smack!!! To the B**** who was on a "date" at the bar when you have a husband and kids at home!!! KARMA KARMA KARMA

Clearly we have some improvement here! Let us count the ways:

  1. This post is not in all caps. I think we can say that represents an increased sophistication, and an expressive dynamic range that was lacking in the first example.
  2. There is some effort to self-censor the swear words in this post. That adds a touch of class and maturity.
  3. Has she found Hinduism or Buddhism? We find a trend of increased interest in the concept of karma. Perhaps she has taken up a meditative process, and that is responsible for her dramatic gains in self control? Interesting hypothesis!
This is another member of my community. She lives within easy walking distance of my house. Each person I find like this in my community contributes to the Social Catastrophe. The Social Catastrophe is that I want out. An increased sense of alienation, alleviated only by retreating to an oasis of sanity for a few hours, maybe 1 or 2 days a week. I would love to feel like I lived in a sane world, in a community I was proud of nearly every day.

That would be awesome.

Gun Rights and Wrongs

Earlier this week I got a friend request from someone who shared 7 mutual friends with me on Facebook. I'm sure I could find her in an old high school yearbook if I was so inclined. I wonder what change her presence will bring to my Facebook feed? It could be anything! It could be beautiful and amazing! Is this that long lost person from High School who has gone on to greatness? Maybe they are witty and make quirky observations. I'm always up for a bit more of that in my life.

Oh, wait...
Oh no...

"Your new friend shared Patriots 4 Gun Rights's Photo"

Oh my... I... I... No. I... umm...

This inaugural case so perfectly captures the Social Catastrophe. Before the prevalence of social media it was easy to tell myself little lies. Something like this isn't normal. This is the kind of thing that is freakish and would show up on the ol' Jerry Springer show. The rest of society has its quirks, but hey, we're all somewhere in the ballpark of rational, right? I'm going to presume that is the case, and that way we can all respect each other and our differences of opinion, knowing we are each grappling with the world the best we can. Now I feel differently. Jerry Springer wasn't a freak show. We live in a Jerry Springer reality.

So, not everyone reading this may necessarily know my views. Let us proceed to Break Down Time!

I have opinions on Gun Control, but they barely factor into the horror that is this picture. If you must know, there are gun control measures I think are silly and for show, yet others I think could reasonably help. I would love for the U.S. to have a non-crazy rate of homicide compared to other countries, and if that can be done with programs addressing underlying issues and we don't need any gun control at all, great! Also, my default inclination is towards maximum personal liberty if at all reasonably possible.

That out of the way, some basic facts...

  • The Native Americans suffered a massive genocide, at least this picture isn't denying that. This is perhaps the only positive thing to be said.
  • Given the date and number of casualties mentioned, this seems to be referencing the Wounded Knee Massacre. This massacre did not occur in a school.
  • The government ordered their weapons relinquished and burned. Most but not all complied.
And now... why is this completely nuts?
  • I'm just going to say, co-opting the genocide of a race for your pet political issue is... well, I don't like to say "offensive", especially as I am not Native American and don't need to take offense on someone else's behalf, but I think I can at least say it is tacky as fuck! I could probably come up with an equally offensive analogy in an attempt to show you just how tasteless this maneuver is, but: a.) I am not convinced you would find it offensive and b.) The mental exercise would be damaging to my sanity.
  • The idea that the reason the Native Americans suffered genocide, and were victims of the Wounded Knee Massacre was because they gave up their guns is in itself completely bat-shit insane. The Native Americans were decimated by disease and faced a technologically superior opponent. By the time of this massacre, they had been herded from one reservation to the next. They did not have a war machine where they were manufacturing arms and ammo to resist the U.S. Government. The fact that I'm even having to say this to an adult with a functioning brain is a devastating commentary on the sorry state of our society. North America was once 100% Native American.  It is now less that 1% so.  There were Native Americans that tried to fight. It wasn't even close. 290 Native American men, women and children vs. 500 cavalry in the U.S. Army in 1890 was never going to change that.
  • The other implication of this image is that, if we give up any right or agree to any compromise on the use or ownership of guns, we too could suffer just like the Native Americans did. I'm sure there is a reasonable point someone could make that is somewhere near the universe of this implication... but no reasonable person is going to be able to unravel the fucked up logic, odd-ball conspiracy theory, confused cluster of wrong that riddles this awful, awful analogy.  You might as well be talking about the Tibetans vs. the god damned Illuminati you fucking fruit-cake!
And so... I could go on and on about how wrong this all is, but sometimes there are so many level of wrong it is hard not to be shocked into silence. Total "Oh my God, What the Fuck?" silence.  I believe that rational debate about the Gun Control issue is possible. Posts like this are so credibility destroying, however, that it just deals staggering damage to your side of the debate.

Also, on a personal level, I can only think "These are the kinds of people living in my community." Honestly, that shit scares the fuck out of me. Please, someone, make it better.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Welcome to the Social Catastrophe

I remember 1994. It was the year of my High School graduation. My senior year began with the "September that never ended". While my father had connected to a couple BBSs in his time, this was really the beginning of the internet for so many of us. I've loved the internet ever since.

The promise of the internet... to connect you with people who share your interests around the world, to house the world's knowledge, to let you track down and buy almost anything your heart desires regardless of how niche it is. Wikipedia, Google Maps, Amazon, YouTube,, Massively Multi-player Online Gaming, On Demand streaming of all of the music and movies you could ever want... it's all been pretty amazing and great. Then, individuals with their great opportunities to express themselves thanks to Blogs, and then later... Social Media sites such as the old MySpace and Facebook.

Your enjoyment of Social Media is in large part determined by how well you curate your list of "Friends" on these sites. Also, just the format and structure of these sites has a pretty strong influence on the types of dialog you'll find people engaged in. I currently have GPlus, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and on two of them I have been pretty selective in who I've added as a contact/friend. The other one is Facebook. On Facebook I accept friend requests from anyone that can in any way be traced to me through people I may know. This gives my feed a local flavor, as it consists of a variety of people who went to my High School and branches out from there, and I still live in the same town.

Before the internet, depending on how social you were, you tended to know a certain selection of mostly local people and had a feel for their opinions, but generally people apply a filter in face to face interactions that moderated this effect. On the internet people are often more open with their opinions, but you are free to select what sources you are getting your news and opinions from. This can put you in a cocoon where you are shielded from the absolute insanity that is "normal, everyday people". My Facebook feed has taught me a harsh lesson:

People: We are fucked.

I know I am far from alone.  Daily, we put faces to palms and despair. This blog is my therapy. Sometimes I feel buried and alone among a sea of wrong and pitchforks, trapped in a nightmarish Twilight Zone reality until I get the opportunity to let go with friends on the weekend.  Here I analyze, vent and wonder just what the hell people are thinking.  How did we get here?

Welcome to the Social Catastrophe.