Category Archives: Pop Culture

This Was Your Life: Two Social Justice Warriors

This is the 30th episode in an ongoing series in which Loki and his supernatural friends taunt the recently deceased at the gate to the afterlife.  

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See who else Loki and his friends have taunted:


What should minorities do about Trump?

Before you listen to anything I have to say, you may be wondering what right a blonde haired, blue eyed, white descendant of slave owners has to give minorities advice on anything. In which case, I’m glad you theoretically asked.

Think about this. The truth of my words aren’t dependent on the color of any of my physical features. They would be just as true if Neil deGrasse Tyson said them.

If you don’t buy that because you’ve already judged me, the problem is you need to acknowledge that I didn’t ask for the colors of any of my body parts. The lottery of fate just shat me out looking the way I do. If you’re going to hold people accountable for the crimes of their bloodlines, you’d be more justified hating the actors in the video below for exterminating the Moriori than blaming me for oppressing American minorities.

The closest thing to slave owners in my family tree were French aristocrats who fled to America penniless during the French Revolution to escape getting beheaded by the poor, angry white people they exploited. All of my American-born ancestors were poor, just like me.

I grew up in barrios and ghettos where I couldn’t walk the streets at night because I’d get jumped for being white. Since graduating high school I’ve lived with at least seven African American housemates. Every single one has explained to me in detail how their culture views white people as the enemy, and I can corroborate their testimony by pulling up Youtube videos all day of minorities advocating killing white people.

Anything I say to convince people not to revenge-kill me over crimes I had nothing to do with is warranted, but that point pales in comparison to the following facts: We’re all human. We’re all family, and I have more in common with poor minorities than white people like Donald Trump. I might not get terrorized by cops quite as much as my darker friends, but that hardly makes me privileged if I work my ass off and still can’t afford rent because I can’t afford my car repair bills because I can’t afford my dental bills because I don’t qualify for the same financial assistance as other races.

I’m not a plantation owner telling you how to live your life. I’m a fellow wage slave pontificating on how we can solve our mutual problem.

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Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election by energizing disenfranchised white voters with a year’s worth of hate speeches against minorities. The results of the election surprised and terrified me, but my terror wasn’t mixed with surprise when I saw protesters rioting across America while Mexican Americans and Muslims posted blogs questioning if it’s safe for them to stay in America.

The circumstances behind Trump’s victory almost make me believe there’s a conspiracy to start a race war. At the same time as the Black Lives Matter movement has been burning cars and inspiring murder, the American government nominated a racist to run against the most famously corrupt and unlikable politician in America. Then the mainstream media legitimized him, and the Electoral College system determined him the winner before he lost the popular vote.

This absurd series of events seems too convenient to have happened by chance, until you look at the American government’s track record of screwing up everything it does. The chaos surrounding the 2016 election conclusively proves one thing. Americans can’t count on their government to do anything for them except make their problems worse. If the government keeps solving problems at its current success rate, it’s only a matter of time before the consequences of its failures spark more race riots.

I could be overly optimistic. The fact that rich business owners manipulated black and whites into hating each other by institutionalizing slavery 250+ years ago sets a historical precedent for the financial elite orchestrating racial tension among the common people. However, this just makes it all the more tragically ironic that some minorities are interpreting Trump’s popularity as more proof that all white people are evil and complicit in a grand conspiracy to oppress other races.

Black and white racists are unwittingly blaming each other for the exact same problems. Both sides are embroiled in a witch hunt for scapegoats that’s distracting them from uniting against their common enemy. Neither side sees what they’re doing, because they’ve been living in relative cultural isolation. If they weren’t too poor to travel, and could extract themselves from the trees to see the forest, they’d see the financial elite are oppressing every race.

Trump may be white, but his actions aren’t motivated by skin color. When he looks at poor people, all he sees are suckers to be exploited, and he has black, Hispanic and Asian friends in the 1% who view the working class with the same green tinted glasses.

The current president-elect is neither the first, nor the only color of, rich political candidate to pander to extremists for the guaranteed support they’ll receive. It doesn’t take a psychic to predict he won’t be the last.

Listed below are steps minorities could take to fight poverty directly in lieu of voting on the next rich asshole who represents the lesser of two evils:

Stop hating white people.

The best hope minorities have of breaking the chains holding them below the poverty line is to end the cold war they’re waging against their broke white neighbors and unite with them. Even without joining forces, this would free minorities from wasting their lives hating innocent scapegoats and empower them to focus their attention on the real culprits responsible for their suffering.

Protest in the 1%’s neighborhoods.

In March 2016 a rapper and Black Lives Matter advocate named Tef Poe, tweeted, “Dear white people if Trump wins young niggas such as myself are fully hell bent on inciting riots everywhere we go. Just so you know.”

Attacking people will only justify martial law, which will only lead to more suffering. The only affect it will have on the poverty creators is giving them something fun to watch on television. If you must protest and riot, don’t attack local business and ethnic diversity. Take your grievances to America’s richest neighborhoods, and protest there.

Show them the problems they’re creating won’t stay safely tucked away in the ghetto. Leave notes on their doors saying they can have their peace and quiet back as soon as they raise wages and lower prices at the business they’re sucking up the nation’s wealth through. This will probably get the National Guard called on you, but at least it will send a message to the right people.

Boycott economic oppressors.

Black and white businessmen and women have made fortunes convincing poor people to buy their overpriced brands. Instead of wearing gold chains, gangsters should wear nooses around their necks, because the rich are metaphorically selling them the rope to hang themselves with. Boycotting the rope-sellers will save poor people money they desperately need and force billionaires to switch to selling products that actually benefit their customers.

Every street corner in the ghetto has a liquor store, gun store and payday loan office, all of which bring nothing to the community except poverty. The government won’t stop the flow of economic oppression into the ghetto, but the people can by boycotting these businesses.

Convert gangs into legitimate business networks.

The reason gun violence is epidemic in ghettos is because resources are scarce. Gangs resort to selling drugs on the black market because it’s usually the most lucrative (if not the only) job available to young adults. To the individual, the risk analysis of selling drugs adds up, but the cost to the community outweighs the benefit. In the end, you’re selling overpriced poison to people with a crippling medical condition who are trying to ease the pain of living in poverty and numb the fear of being caught in the crossfire between you and your competitors battling to the death over market share.

So the only reason gangs exist, is because scarce resources drove street kids to earn money by joining illegal businesses, which sell products that are in high demand. This puts gangs in the perfect position to solve the problem that created them. All they have to do is sell their customers the things they need most instead of the thing they need least.

For example, if pizza restaurants won’t deliver to the ghetto, gangs could make a profit by filling the untapped pizza delivery market. Their slogan could be, “We sell food, not fear.” They could also provide a service like “Uber” to help shuttle people without cars to jobs outside the ghetto. It might not be as lucrative as selling crack, but you can make a living without worrying about earning a place in Hall.

Gangs could take this business model to the next level by purchasing crack houses, fixing them up and providing low income housing that keeps rent money in the community. In addition, gangs could build farms and sell fresh produce to customers who would otherwise have to pay extortionate markups for food at “convenience stores.”

If gangs don’t fill these needs, churches could. If clergymen won’t, then congregations should start their own churches that invest all their donations to providing members with the necessities of life instead of providing its leaders with expensive suits, cars and houses.

Improve education locally.

The biggest hurdle to escaping poverty is lack of education. It’s almost impossible for students to receive a quality education at dangerous, underfunded public schools, but gangs, churches and community organizations could solve this by providing security for students on and/or off campus.

Alternately, they could cut out the middleman by proving home schooling services right in the projects.

The cost of a higher education is so inflated, it would be impossible to give every street kid grants to attend college, but it’s not too expensive to send high school graduates to trade schools, especially if students have the opportunity to pay back their benefactors by working for them, providing plumbing, HVAC and other skills to customers in low income areas.

Source representation locally.

In 2016, African American voters had the “opportunity” to choose between two white presidential candidates who have never lived in a ghetto and are committed to increasing the profits of the ruling class. Neither candidate would have represented the will of the poor any more than Barack Obama, Herman Cain or Ben Carson.

Latino Americans had the “opportunity” to vote in the 2016 presidential primaries for Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, neither of whom represented anyone’s interests but their own, and who achieved what little popularity they had by channeling their archaic interpretation of Christianity into hate speech on par with Donald Trump’s.

 It should be obvious at this point that it’s futile to elect ethnically diverse members of the 1%. If minorities hope to be represented in government, they need to find, endorse and support the best and brightest minds from the streets.

Congress would be more representative of the people if seats were assigned according to race instead of state. That would also guarantee them minority representation, but they would have more representation than the current system that staffs the government with rich people who are good at pandering to the people they’ve made their fortunes exploiting.

Without solid leaders, race-based movements like Black Lives Matter, won’t accomplish anything other than inflaming racial tensions. So more than anything else, the call to action raised by the 2016 presidential election, should be for racial minorities to source their own leaders to challenge the status quo.

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Why did Americans vote for Trump?

On November 9th, 2016, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States of America. Now the rest of the world is wondering how it happened, what it means for the future and what the public should do now.

Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama both urged Americans to unite behind Trump and support his policies, but that advice is profoundly controversial, which is perfectly illustrated by footage of conservatives celebrating Trump’s victory in bars and auditoriums while liberals protested and rioted in the streets, shouting slogans like, “Not my president.”

Although 60 million people trusted Trump enough to vote for him, the stock market dropped the moment the election results came out as investors panicked. Around the world, non-Americans reacted with extreme degrees of fear, joy and confusion. How can so many people see the same man so differently? And what does it say about Americans that the majority voted for him?

It’s difficult to find useful answers to these questions, especially for anyone living outside of the USA. As an American who spent over 10 years living overseas, and who doesn’t identify with Trump, Clinton, Republicans, Democrats, conservatives or liberals, I can offer an insider’s explanation of American culture to outsiders, that isn’t clouded by reverence for the left or right.

The first thing non-Americans need to understand, before they jump to any conclusions about the American people based on Trump’s victory, is that he had the lowest approval rating of any presidential candidates in modern history, second only to Hillary Clinton, and he won with only 60 million votes in a country of over 300 million people.

Most Americans didn’t vote. So if you’re going to negatively stereotype Americans based on how they vote, then you can label about 20% of them as poor, rural, gun-clinging, Christian conservatives. About 20%, privileged, liberal, neo-hippie, social justice warriors. 10%, conspiracy theorists, anarchists and other reactionary idealists. The other half of America is made up of people who either didn’t have the freedom to take off work on election day, weren’t allowed to vote, or don’t give a shit about voting, because they have no faith left in the system. Based on that, if you must stereotype Americans, then label them oppressed and dejected.

Of those who did vote for Trump, most of them were older, white men who say they voted for Trump because he’s anti-establishment, and they’re tired of being marginalized by big government and naive liberal do-gooders. These statements may be true, but they’re not the whole truth.

It’s no secret that many people voted for Trump simply because he’s not Hillary Clinton, who has earned herself a reputation for lying, corruption, incompetency and malevolence for decades. If you only read American conservative news sources, you might get the impression America is divided into Trump supporters and Clinton supporters, but the percentage of Americans who voted for Clinton says otherwise. The paradoxical fact that Hillary lost to the least popular presidential candidate in modern history, just goes to show how much the rest of America dislikes her.

Some liberals fear her so much, they voted for Trump as the lesser of two evils, just to prevent the inevitable 4-8 years of standardized corruption she would bring to the White House. Why would they vote for someone they didn’t want? Because from their point of view, it was their patriotic duty. It’s a mainstream belief in America that voting for the lesser of two evils is less evil than not voting.

On a similar note, it’s fair to say that a major reason why some conservatives voted for Trump, is because he was the Republican party’s candidate, and not the Democrat’s. To be fair, Democrats are guilty of this too. Loyal Clinton and Obama supporters dismissed, ignored and made excuses for just as many of their leaders’ flaws as Trump and George Bush Jr.’s followers. Not all Americans are so closed minded, but this mentality is mainstream, because America’s two party political system has indoctrinated Americans to view political affiliation in terms of “us versus them.

In order to understand the conservative American mindset, you have to understand that the main source conservatives get their news from is Fox News and its echo chambers, which couldn’t exist before 1987, when the FCC repealed the Fairness Doctrine, which required media broadcasters to present fair and balanced political editorial. Despite Fox News’s claim to be “fair and balanced,” their journalism is patently subjective, one-sided, sensationalized, fear mongering and dubious. To be fair, all American news companies have become entertainment-centric, but Fox News is the only one whose CEO and reporters have openly admitted it.

Ironically, Americans still rank Fox as their most trusted news source. The inevitable result is that Fox’s most loyal followers trust anything Republican and vilify anything Democratic with intensity proportional to the sensationalism of the “news” they watch. This is why they defended Bush while he was doing everything they want Trump to fix, and why they smeared Obama for 8 years, even though none of their apocalyptic predictions about him came true. If Trump had run as a Democrat, or if Obama had done any of the questionable things Trump has done, conservatives would have run either of them out of town.

Blind faith in the conservative/Republican identity blinded many voters to Trump’s character, which partly explains why people who believe in family values support a misogynist who has been accused of sexual assault. People who believe in less government support a fascist who has repeatedly advocated oppressing minorities. People who want money out of politics support a billionaire who has admitted to bribing politicians. People who want a strong businessman support a CEO who has bankrupted multiple businesses, exploited legal loopholes and swindled his customers remorselessly. People who feel disenfranchised support a political opportunist who made a name for himself by disenfranchising minorities.

Not every Trump supporter has looked at these issues straight on and used logical fallacies to reverse engineer excuses for them. I’ve personally asked Trump supporters what they think about Trump’s failings, and they expressed surprise and disbelief, because it was the first time they’d heard of them. Some of these individuals were ignorant of this information because they’d never done any research, and others had done plenty of research, but they never looked at any sources outside of the conservative echo chamber.

The same can be said about many Clinton supporters, who only watch CNN or MSNBC, as well as foreigners who are trying to understand Trump and his followers by watching their local news stations.

Watching Trump’s hate speech and seeing Americans respond to it euphorically, it’s easy to stereotype Americans, or at least Trump supporters, as ignorant, racist, misogynistic, homophobic xenophobes who voted for a man who represents their bigotry.

I personally know people who voted for Trump and are none of those things. However, the internet is full of evidence that many bigots did vote for Trump because they were inspired by the racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic things he’s said and done. You can find other conservatives claiming to be egalitarian and peace loving, while praising Trump’s divisive policies using thinly veiled hate speech.

To say the conservative base doesn’t have a racism problem requires ignoring eight years of prejudice against Barack Obama. Not every conservative called him a nigger, but he got called that every day for the past 8 years.

It’s crucial to understand that conservative American racism is just a symptom of a bigger issue that was of paramount importance in this election. In the past 20 years, America has become increasingly more politically correct and tolerant of diversity. In the past 8 years, America got its first black president, legalized gay marriage, partially legalized marijuana, created laws protecting transgender people, embraced atheist celebrities, flirted with socialism and rejected American exceptionalism.

These are all signs that conservative Christians have lost their choke hold on American culture, and with it, the political power to force their values on everyone else. They view this as a sign that they’re being persecuted and America’s moral fiber is decaying, and Trump’s promise to “make America great again” is a euphemism for returning America to its conservative Christian roots. So when some people voted for Trump, they were voting to save their culture, and were so desperate for hope, they put their faith in Trump’s hands.

Given all the different types of people who voted for Trump, and all their nuanced reasons, if you’re not a little confused, you’re probably not looking at all the information. There are two things everyone who voted for Trump have in common though. They either ignored information that contradicted their preconceived conclusion, or they didn’t have all the information. Many people will take offense to that accusation, but based on the evidence, it’s frankly impossible to come to the conclusion that Donald Trump is the best man to lead America, especially conservative Christians.

This isn’t to say Hillary Clinton was preferable. The problem isn’t that Americans voted for the wrong candidate. The problem is America’s two party system is so flawed and corrupt, it weeds out politicians who aren’t corrupt sociopaths. The solution to a broken system isn’t to vote for the lesser of two evils. The solution is political reform. Americans shouldn’t have voted at all in 2016. Instead, they should have been protesting outside the White House for the right to choose their own candidates instead of waiting to see who the DNC and RNC let them vote between.

There are millions of other potential candidates who conservatives would have voted for over Trump if they were given the opportunity, and there are millions of candidates who liberals would have voted for en mass to defeat Trump, if they were given opportunity.

If Hillary Clinton hadn’t committed voter fraud, and if the DNC hadn’t conspired to help her defeat Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination, Americans probably would have voted overwhelmingly for him against Donald Trump. So if you’re going to praise or blame anyone for Trump’s victory, the people who deserve it most are the leaders of the DNC and RNC, who designed and manage the presidential primaries.

Those second most responsible for Trump’s victory are all the major news companies in America who gave him more air time than any other candidate, allowed the DNC and RNC to dictate how they covered the election, sensationalized their editorials and led Americans to believe the whole charade was completely normal and legit by going along with it and never questioning the rotten fundamentals that led to two of the worst Americans alive competing for the most powerful political position in the world.

The third group that tipped the scale in Trump’s favor is the far left: radical feminists, social justice warriors and all of Hillary Clinton’s supporters who refused to look at her flaws objectively. They were so concerned with getting a woman in the White House, they refused to acknowledge how deplorable the person attached to the vagina was. Their heart was in a good place, but their short-sightedness caused them to nominate the one candidate in America who could lose to Donald Trump. If Donald Trump had a vagina, they would have followed him to the grave too and smugly taken the rest of America with them.

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In my next blog post, I’ll discuss what Trump’s presidency means for the future of American, the rest of the world, and how that will affect the chances of Americans fixing their political system.

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Two Feminist Ladies #3

I’m not a chauvinist or misogynist, and I’m not against feminism. I am against radical feminism, which teaches negative stereotypes of men, especially white men, to use them as a scapegoat for the world’s problems. The comics below satirize common talking points expressed by radical feminist social justice warriors on social media.

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Tips on conversation: Part 1

Talking isn’t a competition. It’s an opportunity.

Humans have a tendency to approach conversations like a competition where the winner is whoever proves themselves the coolest, smartest, most successful, or most charming. But life isn’t a competition for social status. It’s nice when people like you, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. Nor are you under any obligation to like or impress anyone else. Think about it. How many times as someone completely changed your life after you impressed them in a conversation? Unless you’re married, probably never.

Trying to impress everybody is futile, because you’re completely incompatible with at least half of the people you meet. So you were never going to be friends anyway, and most of the people you do get to know will be gone from your life in a few years, rendering their opinion of you meaningless eventually.

There are more enjoyable and useful kinds of conversations  you can have than dick waving competitions. Use conversation as an opportunity to learn, have fun and connect with others. That’s what they’re for.

Nobody is out to judge you.

Nobody who cares about you will judge you, and nobody else cares enough about you to judge you. Ultimately, you’re just another face in the crowd who isn’t going to be around in a few years. Everyone is obsessed with themselves. When they talk to you, they’re only paying half attention to what you’re saying. The rest of their mind is busy thinking about their own needs and insecurities.

In fact, strangers are more likely to want to give you the benefit of the doubt, because we all want to believe we live in a good world, full of good people. When you meet someone new, don’t you hope they turn out to be nice and enjoyable? When you introduce yourself to someone, they’re most likely crossing their fingers, thinking, “Please, let this person be one of the good guys.” They don’t want you to impress them. They mostly just want you to not make their life harder.

It’s true, there are people out there who will judge you, but those people usually judge everyone. Habitually judging others is dysfunctional behavior that has more of a negative impact on the perpetrator’s life than the victims’. That kind of behavior fits the definition of a mental disorder. It’s not a sign of evil. It’s a condition that requires treatment. So when a judge-aholic looks down on you, don’t take it any more personally or seriously than you would someone with an eating disorder judging the size of your meal.

Nobody sees the real you. 

If society’s dress code required everyone to wear masks all the time, we would all be more confident. Hiding our faces makes us feel safer, because nobody can see the real “us.” The more anonymous we feel, the more permission we give ourselves to act as bold in real life as we would on an internet message board. This is ironic, because nobody will ever see anyone for who they really are. Everyone has a completely unique universe in their mind that only sound can escape. Trying to understand who a person is by talking to them, is like an astronomer trying to study the night sky using an ear horn.

Our internal universes are so unique and inaccessible, it’s impossible for us to accurately imagine what reality is like from anyone else’s perspective. Since we can’t see people for who they are, we fill in the blanks with patterns from our own universe. So no matter what you do or say, when anyone looks at you, they mostly see themselves. The way they treat you usually has more to do with how they treat themselves, than how you deserve to be treated. So take advantage of your anonymity to act outside your comfort zone, and don’t worry about what people say to a mirror.

The scarier talking to people is, the more you should seek help.

Talking to people isn’t war. Nobody wants your worst-case fears to come true. They don’t even want to think about it. They just want to feel good. Even if conversations do go bad, in the long run it doesn’t matter. Stressing out about failing in conversations is an irrational fear. That’s the definition of a “phobia,” specifically, social anxiety disorder.

Social anxiety exists only in your mind. You can turn it off like a light by thinking about anything else. If that doesn’t work, read some books on coping with social anxiety disorder and insecurity. If that doesn’t work, go see a mental health professional. Relief will only come as quickly as you pursue it.

The more you look at things from other people’s point of view, the less lost you’ll be. 

I learned some of the advice in this list from books, but I picked most of it up from watching people and trying to imagine life from their point of view. It’s easy, fun and enlightening. The more you understand where people are coming from, the better you can communicate with them. The less you understand them, the more lost you’ll be. If you don’t make a conscious decision to habitually look at conversations from other people’s point of view, you’ll always be lost.

Relax. We’re all apes here.

Some of my advice may seem contradictory, pessimistic or arrogant, but there’s a logical, impartial explanation for all of this. For example, I say people are unique, unknowable universes, but you can figure them out by watching them. I say people deserve love, but we’re all obsessed with ourselves. I say people are lost, ignorant and selfish, which raises the question, why don’t I live alone in the woods if everyone is so intolerably dumber than me?

Relax. I never said I was better than anyone else. The truth is, we’re all basically apes. We’re really clever apes, but our thought processes and motives are primitive enough to be predictable.

Apes are going to ape. That’s no reason to hate them. We may be goofy creatures, but we’re also cosmic miracles. The fact that we exist at all is reason enough to love us.

No matter how much better anyone thinks they are than anyone else, we’re all apes at the end of the day. There’s no reason to feel superior or inferior to anyone else. Nor is there any reason to stress over winning the approval of other apes. If someone ever throws shit at you, take it as personally as you would an ape throwing shit at you. If someone treats you divinely, cherish it. In the meantime, relax.

People would rather hear what they have to say than what you have to say.

When people talk to you, it’s like you’re standing behind an opaque mirror, and they’re talking to a reflection of themselves superimposed over a hazy outline of you. They’ve been talking to themselves their entire life, because they’re all they know of the universe. Being the only thing in their universe, their lives revolve around themselves, and they’re the most important thing in their universe.

People want to talk about what’s most important to them, which means anyone without social anxiety disorder probably wants to talk about themselves. Usually, they don’t even want to have a two-way conversation. They just want to talk about themselves and have you listen, smile, nod and compliment them.

The more you talk about yourself, the less they’re going to feel like they’re getting out of the conversation. After a few minutes they’re going to lose interest and spend the rest of the conversation impatiently waiting for their turn to talk or for the conversation to be over. Impressing people in conversation requires almost no talking at all. The only thing you have to do is find out what aspect of their life they want to talk about and ask them about it. The harder you try to blow their mind with what you have to say, the more likely you’ll convince them you’re an arrogant bore.

Flattery will get you everywhere.

People may be unique and unknowable universes, but making them feel good is simple. Just make them feel good about themselves. Give them the approval they so desperately yearn for. Flatter them.

Look at their wardrobe and how they present themselves. Find whatever they put the most thought and energy into and compliment it. Part of them doesn’t even care if you’re sincere or smooth about it. They just want positive reinforcement.

It looks desperate if you constantly praise people, but they won’t hate you for it. More likely, they’ll feel bad for you that you feel the need to impress your equals. However, you can stealthily give them subtle positive reinforcement by smiling, looking them in the eye, laughing and agreeing with them.

This doesn’t mean you should act like a Stepford Wife. If you’re talking to a violent racist, you shouldn’t be laughing and agreeing with what they say. But as a general rule, if you want people to approve of you, then approve of them. They wish you would.

Your name is the sweetest sound you can hear in any language.

Everyone is existentially lost in an incomprehensible universe waiting to die an unexplainable death. We don’t even know if we really exist or if this is just a simulation in a dream. Even living in a city, surrounded by people, you can feel utterly meaningless if nobody ever says your name.

Hearing someone say your name verifies your existence, and connects you to society. It makes you feel popular, important, and worth knowing. When you hear your name, for that moment, the attention is on you. You’re the belle of the ball. We all want to feel that, and we rarely do.

Saying someone’s name is more than just existential flattery. It’s the difference between a stranger and an acquaintance. The more you hear someone say your name, the more a part of their life you’ll be. To build a long lasting relationship with someone, you have to say their name.

Don’t constantly tell people your life story.

Very few people really want to know your life story. It bores everyone else. It also eliminates your mystery and anonymity. The less people know about you, the more they have to fill in the blanks with speculation. We tend to assume people are more perfect than they are. The less we know about them, the more we build them up. This is why teenage girls get so obsessed with boy bands. Since she’ll never meet the boy in person to find out what he’s really like, she falls in love with a mental construction of her ideal boyfriend. To far lesser degrees, everyone you know has done the same thing to you. The more they know about you, the more they see you as a regular, flawed person.

I’m not saying you should strive to be fake or aloof. You should have at least one confidant who knows your entire life story and all your secrets, and you should share your stories freely with the people you want to build life bonds with. But in casual conversation with acquaintances and strangers, you have more to lose than you have to gain by constantly spilling all your beans and cramming them down people’s throats.

Don’t constantly tell people your traumas, dramas and dark secrets. 

Nobody wants to hear about the best vacation you ever took. They really don’t want to hear about the worst things that have happened, are happening, or might happen in your life. All they want, is to feel good.

Hearing your horrible stories will force them to visualize unpleasant things. Then they’ll feel sad for you and guilty that they can’t save you. Then they’ll feel anxious as they try to come up with a solution to your problem. Then they’ll feel frustrated when you don’t take their advice. Then they’ll feel afraid you’re going to ask them for something. When the conversation is over, they’ll feel relief that you’re not battering their psyche like an emotional tornado. After they leave your company, they’ll continue feeling bad. If this happens enough times, they’ll avoid you.

Nobody wants to feel your pain. They want to feel your joy. If you can’t make people laugh, the least you could do is not go out of your way to burden them with your problems. If you need to talk about your problems, you should talk to a therapist.

Don’t constantly bitch about anything. 

Your life might be great, but there’s something else wrong in the world that pisses you off, like your government, immigrants, your lover, your boss, the opposite sex, young people, etc. Nobody wants to hear about it. Nobody cares that you’re upset. They care about making it through the day as happily as possible.

When you bitch about anything, you put a rain cloud over your audience’s head. You may be right about what you’re saying, and it may be important, but depressing the people you hang out with isn’t going to fix the world’s problems. It’s just going to earn you a reputation as an emotionally draining whiner.

Nobody wants to hear you brag.

You can impress people by bragging for a few minutes. The longer you try after that, the more it’ll have the opposite effect. You’d think people’s admiration of you would be proportional to how awesome of a life you’ve lived. But the more amazing your life is than theirs, the more your success highlights the shortcomings in their life. That makes them feel unfulfilled, which makes them feel guilty. Then they resent you for rubbing it in. Then they dismiss their emotional pain by blaming you and labeling you an arrogant brat who thinks life is a dick waving competition and always hogs the conversation telling your life story that nobody wanted to hear in the first place.

If you do have some really great stories that are genuinely interesting, wait until the most poignant time to share them, preferably when someone asks. Your stories will be far more impressive and digestible if you save them. Then people will be amazed you lived a more interesting life than they thought. Then they’ll fill in the rest of the blanks in your life with more positive speculation.

Don’t one-up people’s stories.

It’s painful enough to hear someone deliver a monologue about how much better they are than you. It’s even worse when they try to trump all of your stories. This is the fastest way to convince people you’re not worth talking to.

Be vigilant not to constantly auto-contradict people.

Having anything you say shot down is annoying. Yet many people’s default manner of speaking is to contradict everything anyone says. They believe they’re being smart by finding exceptions and holes in other people’s statements, but their efforts accomplish nothing. They don’t learn, teach or stand for anything, and it shows. Even if you’re right, your audience probably wouldn’t listen. The only thing they’re going to learn is that you’re impossible to talk to.

Don’t play the devil’s advocate.

Some people don’t realize they’re stuck on auto-contradict. Others make it a point to say things they don’t even believe because they’re on a mission to poke holes in people’s conversation. If you call them out on it, they may say they want to help stupid people correct their ignorance, which may be true, but their deeper motivations are sadism, self-centeredness and insecurity.

If your audience really is ignorant, then taunting them is like belittling a child because he hasn’t gone to college yet. Even if they’re too stupid to see what a misguided fraud you are, your actions still prove you’re a bad person in the greater scheme of life.

If your audience is smarter than you think, which they probably are, they’ll see through your shallow game. Even if they don’t, they’re going to remember how you made them feel. If you didn’t make them feel good, they’re not going to try to be a positive force in your life.

Don’t gossip or bitch about other people behind their backs.

It’s common knowledge that anyone who gossips to you, will also gossip about you. Every time you gossip, you’re convincing your audience you’re not trustworthy. And, obviously, you can only talk about other people so many times before it gets back to one of them. On the other hand, if you never do wrong by people, then that’s what people are going to say about you, and respect is going to come back to you.

Constantly bringing up negative information doesn’t help you or your audience achieve happiness. Sure, gossiping is a guilty pleasure, but it pales in comparison to the good feeling you get from talking about the positives in life. There are enough that focusing on the negative is like going to a rose garden and looking for dog shit to sniff.

 If you liked this post, you may like these:

Tips on conversation: Part 2

Advice on relationships

Advice on living


Two Feminist Ladies #2

I’m not a chauvinist or misogynist, and I’m not against feminism. I am against radical feminism, which teaches negative stereotypes of men, especially white men, to use them as a scapegoat for the world’s problems. The comics below satirize common talking points expressed by radical feminist social justice warriors on social media.

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two feminist ladies 19

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