Category Archives: General Pop Culture

9 Reasons Foreigners Look Down On Americans

I was born and raised in the United States, but I’ve spent seven of the past thirteen years living in other countries. In that time I’ve had thousands of conversations with people of other nationalities about life in America. They didn’t all bitch about America all the time, but through the course of these conversations I heard the following reasons why non-Americans are underwhelmed with America:

1: The death penalty

America has always had the death penalty. So Americans tend to take it for granted, some people even celebrate it. There are a lot of pro-death penalty arguments that sound good on paper, but people who were raised in a country that doesn’t have the death penalty tend to be queasy about it. They view it as archaic, small-minded and an inherently counterproductive path to prosperity. They also see it as an overreach of government power because if a government has the right to kill its citizens then how can you really say citizens control the government and not the other way around? Even if American citizens want the death penalty that says something about the American public: that they’re bloodthirsty. You can disagree with this perception, but don’t blame me for its existence. I’m just pointing out that other cultures view killing as uncivilized and thus they view America as uncivilized for using much less embracing the death penalty.

2: Guns

There’s no doubt that America loves its guns. American gun advocates will tell you that the less armed a country is the more it will devolve into fear and chaos. There are a lot of arguments for gun proliferation that sound good on paper, but life in countries that have strict gun control laws (and a lack of gun-loving culture) is very different than the N.R.A. would have you believe. People raised in first world countries where there are strict gun control laws have never experienced the fear and chaos Americans live with every day where you can’t cut off another driver or shout at someone who bumps into you on the sidewalk without worrying about them shooting you. In other first world countries, you just go about your business and never worry about getting shot.

Sure, criminals will always have guns, but most people only shoot people they know. And the fewer people who have guns the less opportunity they have to commit a crime of passion. The less people who want guns the farther the statistics of gun violence fall. Countries that don’t have and don’t want guns are more peaceful, and they feel more peaceful. And the less afraid people are of each other the better they tend to get along. People who grew up in countries where this is the norm look down on America for celebrating weapons of mass destruction and thinking mutually ensured destruction is a viable path to prosperity when it really just ensures destruction.

3: Prisons

America bombastically claims it’s the land of the free, which confuses foreigners since America has more people in prison than any other country in the world. Not only that but American prisons are famous for being inhumane. If you go to an American prison you’re either going to have to join a gang or become someone’s bitch to avoid being raped and/or killed. That’s a simple fact of life for Americans but it’s not for citizens of every other first world country. This is yet another reason why foreigners look at America with pity and disgust.

4: Religion

Foreigners who visit America (particularly the Bible Belt) are astounded by the number and size of churches in America. The reason is because religion is mythology plain and simple. Just open up a religious book and you’ll find all the proof you need to come to that common sense conclusion. Yet a mind-boggling number of Americans celebrate their belief in easily-falsifiable fiction while despising reality and anyone who believes in it. Many Americans can’t imagine life any other way, but many foreigners can’t imagine living in a country filled with so many religious fanatics.

5: Anti-intellectualism

In America, the high school football captain and head cheerleader are at the top of the high school social hierarchy while the nerds are at the bottom. This phenomenon isn’t as bad as it used to be, but it was never this bad in other first world countries. In other countries, you’re viewed as a failure if all you can do is move a ball from Point A to Point B.

Even in the adult world American culture celebrates idiots more than smart people. Just turn on any reality television show to see more evidence of this. Granted, every country has its own share of morons, and television personalities in other countries even copy America’s idiots. But the fact remains that America sets the bar in anti-intellectualism, which makes citizens of other countries facepalm at us.

6: Propaganda/entertainment news

Possibly the biggest monument to American anti-intellectualism that foreigners facepalm at is Fox News. It’s a thinly veiled propaganda machine for the ultra-rich that employs shock jocks to use reactionary rhetoric and fear mongering to pit its fan base against everyone who isn’t just like them. People from other countries don’t get it. They think it’s satire, and it terrifies then when they find out that millions of Americans take it literally… as well it should.

7: Patriotism

North Korea is the only country in the world that currently rivals America’s sense of patriotism and sense of exceptionalism. America’s sense of patriotism is so strong that social scientists have referred to it as bordering on a civil religion. Germans in particular view America’s fanatical sense of self-righteousness with horror because they know all too well where the path of nationalism leads: it leads to blind obedience and treating others as inferior.

The grim truth is that America isn’t the God-blessed land of milk, honey, and freedom that it paints itself to be. It’s the world leader in prisons, shooting sprees and exporting war, which is all the more reason why foreigners scratch their heads at American patriotism.

8: Broken electoral system

The past two United States presidents’ approval ratings dropped to around 30% in the last few years of their tenure, and Congress’s approval rating has been even lower. The 2013 government shut down just goes to show how ineffective America’s leaders are, which just goes to show how ineffective America’s process of picking leaders is. Yet Americans continue to celebrate their electoral process while jeering the results it produces. And everyone else wonders what’s wrong with us.

9: Invasion of privacy

America, the self-proclaimed land of the free, sets the bar for invasion of privacy. This was common knowledge even before Edward Snowden handed the world proof on a silver platter that America has no respect for its citizens’ privacy. People from other countries have a hard time imagining living in a country where their own government distrusts and disrespects them so much. They have an even harder time imagining why Americans are so lackadaisical about being spied on.


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We Need To Talk About This Pants Situation

Today we have video phones just like all the 1980s sci-fi movies predicted. We sent robots to Mars. Laser weapons are being actively tested in live fire exercises. We don’t quite have the flying car or the hoverboard yet, but we did get mind-blowing video games that are connected through a global computer network. We might not have interstellar spaceships, but the future is now.

So what’s the deal with the pants? Why are we still wearing chaffing farm labor pants that require hard, constrictive belts to hold up? Soldiers don’t even wear blue jeans or khakis to battle because they’re completely impractical. So suburbanites surely don’t need them. Most of us just sit around in offices all day. Why are we all not wearing Star Treck onesies, pajamas, robes or maybe a jersey knit version of BDUs? Why are we not even wearing the really comfortable stuff we already invented?

How do people dress when their company has a, “wear whatever you want to work” day? They show up in pajamas and track pants. That’s what our instinct tells us to do. That’s what our heart tells us to do. Why don’t we let the spirit run free?

Come on. Shouldn’t we have taken care of this pants situation by now?

Picture of a pair of pants inside a red circle with a red slash across it


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13 Things I Won’t Say Anymore

13. I will not call a small cup of coffee a “tall” cup of coffee.

The reason Starbucks uses Orwellian doublespeak for its coffee sizes is because some marketing executives held a meeting to figure out how to manipulate people into paying $5+ for 10 cents of liquid, and they decided it would help to change the names of the sizes to sound hipper. Not that I would buy coffee at Starbucks anyway, but if I did I would refuse to act like a mindless consumer whore and give into their hollow marketing ploy. I certainly wouldn’t celebrate it.


12. I will not call a medium sized cup of coffee a “vente.”


11. Unless I’m in Italy or a Spanish speaking country, I will not call a large cup of coffee a “grande.” 



10. I will not say “bless you” when you sneeze.

That custom started because the Romans thought your soul escaped your body when you sneezed. At some point, the phrase was stolen by the mythology-worshiping Christians who replaced the mythology-worshiping Romans and everyone started saying it because it just seemed nice. In reality, it’s ultimately pointless. As polite a gesture as it may be, it still reveals one’s unquestioning complicity in holding onto obsolete customs. So if you tell me “bless you” when I sneeze I have to wonder what other dumb (and possibly sinister) customs you’re wasting your life with because your actions are defined by mimicking other unquestioning automatons. You may argue to your death that it’s not a big deal, but point in fact, the world would be a smarter place if we stopped saying, “bless you” when people sneeze.


9. I will not address someone with a Ph.D. as “Doctor so and so.” 

People with a Ph.D. will respond to this by saying, “I didn’t go to school for 8 years for nothing.” Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s cool that you went to school for 8 years, and you probably know a few things that I don’t, but that doesn’t obligate me to you in any way. I will not give you a mental hand job, and if you were really so smart you wouldn’t ask me to….since there’s no logical reason to.


8. I will not address a judge as “your honor.” 

I don’t care what job you have. That doesn’t automatically make you more honorable than me. For all I know, you may be a terrible person, and even if I do respect you because I know you personally, I still find no logical reason to place you above me.


7. I will not address anyone as “sir or ma’am” in a way that signifies their authority over me.

I won’t address my elders, my boss, a military officer, a police officer, a judge, a politician or anyone else with a “higher” title than me as “sir” or “ma’am,” because we were born equals. We’ll spend our lives as equals, and we’ll die as equals. If reason were a religion it would be sacrilegious to address my equals with a higher title than me. I understand that many people say (and believe) that we call our equals “sir and ma’am” out of respect…but it’s funny how the people who tell us to subjugate ourselves “out of respect” are usually in the business of controlling us.


6. I will not address or refer to a priest as “father.” 

Even when I was a Christian in high school I understood that Jesus called himself “the son of man” as a sign of humility and taught that “the lowest among you is the greatest.” He praised a girl who washed his feet with her hair and condemned the religious leaders of the day for putting on airs. So a Christian calling another Christian (who is not their biological father) “father” is sacrilegious. Now that I’ve grown up and understand Christianity is mythology and everyone is equal, the idea of calling a priest “father” is even more repulsive.


5. I will not call or refer to the Dali Lama “His Holiness.”

He’s not holy. He’s a pissing, shitting, aging, ordinary human like the rest of us. The only things extraordinary about him are how flabby his arms are from never having to lift his silver spoon to his mouth himself in his life and what an unconscionable liar and/or megalomaniac he is for pretending to be a reincarnated ubber man. I don’t care how polite he is or how resolutely he stands for peace and freedom (as if nobody else in the world felt that way). If anyone else expected to be called “His Holiness” for that, we would be calling a mental institute to take them to a padded room.



4. I will not call America a democracy.

It’s not. It’s a republic. This isn’t stretching the truth. It’s not meant to be disrespectful. Look it up. Would you call Communist China a democracy? No. You wouldn’t because it’s not. So why would you call America a democracy when it’s a republic? If you argue democracies and republics aren’t mutually exclusive, and America contains democratic elements, I would say those elements are so broken they don’t work like a functional democracy. The election system is rigged to concentrate power in the hands of the people who control the RNC and DNC, and those people work for their corporate donors. So America is more like an oligarchy or a corporatocracy than a democracy.


3. I will not say or type “LOL” in conversation.

If you can’t see how using “LOL” in conversation makes you look dumb, then you’re probably too dumb to understand the reasons even if they were spelled out for you.


2. I will not pledge allegiance to any flag. 

Flags aren’t more important than humans, and any virtuous ideals flags supposedly represent are virtuous because they empower people. When people subjugate themselves to a flag they undermine those values. Not pledging allegiance to a flag does more to promote truth, justice, freedom, and equality than bending the knee to an inanimate object that was pushed on you by the leaders of the country you were arbitrarily born into. I will not disrespect my brothers and sisters in other countries by letting a flag or the manipulative practices of politicians divide us.


1. I will not refer to September 11th, 2001 as “9/11.”

“9/11” is a hip media catchphrase. It’s a pop culture buzz word. September 11th, 2001 wasn’t hip. It wasn’t cool. It was a tragedy, and reducing that tragedy to the same level of vocabulary as “LOL” is a disgraceful insult to those who died.


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Why Are Americans So Violent And Unhappy?

Every time I turn on the news I hear more bad news. It might be hyperbolic to say humanity is sliding towards an apocalypse, but there are plenty of statistics and examples to build a case the world is not as it should be. Divorce rates are hovering around 50%. Shooting sprees and terrorist attacks are fashionable. Depression, unemployment, homelessness, drop-out rates, road rage, domestic violence, excessive consumer consumption and drug abuse are epidemic, and all of these problems are happening in first world countries.



Every day I hear more excuses for why these social ills are happening, and at this point I’ve heard it all: violent video games, angry music, the waning of religion, insanity, laziness and personal irresponsibility, etc. If you made a list of society’s problems, and then made a list of all the causes of those problems, and then tried to find common denominators across all of them, one of the most common factors you’ll find is stress. You don’t need a psychology degree to see this. Look at any individual who snapped and caused some terrible catastrophe in society, and I guarantee you’ll find that person was crushed with stress. The root of most stress in America is money problems.


"Infographic showing a correlation between heavy debt stress and severe muscle pain, ulcers, depression, migraines, anxiety and heart attacks."


The biggest cause of domestic strife is money problems. People in debt are more worried and stressed out about the future than people with savings. Debtors have less disposable income to alleviate stress, and they have to work longer hours. Plus, they have less time and disposable income to spend on the schooling/training they need to get a better job that pays more and will allow them to get out of debt.



Families who are in debt are constantly walking a tightrope, and every time they fail at anything, the consequences are catastrophic. Even if you can walk that tightrope, you can only go through life with a gun held to your head for so long before the stress wears you down and makes you impatient and grumpy. If you stay impatient and grumpy for too long, you forget life was ever any other way, and after you’ve accumulated a lifetime of memories of being impatient and grumpy, then your memories shape how you see reality for the rest of your life.



Go to any super-max prison and you’ll find that the majority of prisoners there had the most mind-shatteringly abusive childhoods possible. Most of the adults in regular prisons, and the teens in juvenile detention, all have life stories of being abused and abandoned. The most dangerous members of society are always those who have experienced the most stress.

In some ways, the prospect of succeeding in life is more stressful than the prospect of failing. At least if you die or go to jail, it relieves the fear of knowing you’re going to spend sixty years working at a job that treats you like a commodity by paying you as little as possible, working you as long as possible and giving you as few breaks or benefits the entire time, and in the end, you won’t have a pension or any savings. The smaller the light at the end of the tunnel, the bigger risks you’ll take to get off that train.



College graduates might be able to eventually get promoted into a position with a pension, but the only reason they get that perk is because they have leverage. Entry-level workers without a degree have no leverage. So they’re completely disposable. Employers can work them to the breaking point, throw them away and hire a new, unbroken kid to replace them every few months.

Employers expect employees to celebrate being treated like second-class citizens. When you tell someone they deserve to be treated like a disposable punching bag, and then treat them like one, and then they realize they’ll always be a disposable punching bag… they get really stressed out because they know their lives have value; it’s just irresponsible for them to expect to be treated like it. So they’re forced to use cognitive dissonance to justify their own mistreatment to themselves, which is psychologically traumatic.

When you stress-out and beat down dumb people, they find dumb solutions to cope with the abuse and hopelessness you’re heaping on them. So when you punish dumb people for being dumb, then you create a downward spiral.



That’s the world we live in. Most of the problems going on around you are caused by the stress of how inhumanely smart people have designed the social institutions we’ve created to help us fulfill our potential. As long as those institutions remain unchanged, society will continue on the downward spiral of stress.


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14 Ways American Parents Created The Children They Complain About

It’s no secret that elderly Americans are disappointed at the way the younger generations turned out. Ironically, they should be disappointed in themselves, because they groomed their children to become exactly like them. If parents can’t accept responsibility for their actions, it’s no wonder their kids can’t either.

1: Parents promised their children the American Dream.

Apparently, adults forgot they crammed the idea of the American Dream down their kids’ throats so thoroughly they effectively brainwashed it into them. American history classes, political speeches, holidays, pop music and television all repeat the mantra of American exceptionalism and entitlement to the point of nausea. Adults shouldn’t be mad when children expect to collect on the promise their parents made them.

"If you didn't want your children to believe in the American Dream, you shouldn't have promised them the American Dream."

2: Parents spoiled their children.

Adults like to rant about the good old days when students were punished instead of coddled. Adults also like to rant about how nobody can tell them how to raise their children or lay a finger on their precious snowflake. Who ranted at school PTA meetings and took away principle’s ability to discipline students? Who lavished children with birthday and Christmas presents every year? Who gave children everything they wanted every time they threw a temper tantrum? Who let children sit on the couch all summer? Who left their kids unsupervised? Who failed to teach children right from wrong? It was the same people who told their children they’re special and all their dreams will come true simply because God blessed them by creating them in the land of the free.

3: Parents let television raise their children.

Many adults may cross their arms and stamp their feet and insist they didn’t put these ideas in their kids head, but those same adults sat their offspring in front of the television for 3-7 hours per day for years. When you let your daughters watch 10,000 hours of Disney princess movies and dress them in princess dresses and tiaras, you shouldn’t be surprised when they act like princesses.

4: Parents let commercials raise their children.

Television commercials are designed to do two things: make you insecure and convince your buying a product will solve all your problems.  Adults made those commercials. Adults bought the televisions children watched 100,000 hours of commercials on, and adults sat their children in front of those televisions to get them out of their way. If you didn’t want your kids to be petty, materialistic consumer whores, you shouldn’t have let corporations brainwash them.

"If you didn't want your kids to be consumer whores, you shouldn't have let corporations brainwash them."

5: Parents discouraged their children from thinking. 

Children might have been able to think their way to sanity, but when they asked their parents hard questions, they got answers like, “Because I said so.” “Because the Bible says so.” “Because I’m the adult.” “Because that’s the way life is.” “Because you’ll get a spanking if you don’t.” “The rules are the rules.” “You’ll understand when you’re older.” “Don’t question my authority.” “Don’t talk back.”

If you punish your child when they try to understand things, they’ll stop trying. If they can’t teach themselves, they won’t grow. They’ll stagnate in the same puerile stage of moral development they were in when you trained them not to think for themselves.

6: Parents let clergymen raise their children.

70% of Americans claim to be Christian, but no American acts anything like Christ. Americans don’t follow 90% of the rules in the Bible because those rules were designed by a primitive tribal theocracy that wrote its culture into law. Half the rules in the Bible couldn’t be made into law today because they violate the Declaration of Human Rights.  Some of its laws are useful, but many more are irrelevant and useless.

But the Baby Boomers took their children to church to instill morals into them anyway. The first thing the church taught them was not to think for themselves or believe evidence when it contradicts doctrine. Since they never learned a relevant, useful moral code at church, they went out into the world half-conscious, basing their decisions on a half-formed, volatile combination of modern and archaic values. This is a recipe for insane and immoral behavior. If adults don’t like the taste of that cake, they shouldn’t have baked it in Hellfire.

7: Parents abused their children.

One Bible quote every American has heard is, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” Before politicians invented child protection laws that contradict the Bible, it was culturally and legally acceptable for a father/husband to beat the women and children living under his roof. The Baby Boomers grew up expecting to become the lords of their house like their parents were. They weren’t allowed to, but they still had a lifetime of bottled-up pain that needed an outlet. It should come as no surprise they took it out on their children.

Not every parent beat their children, but seriously, most of them did at least a little. This didn’t create hardened warriors out of Generation X though, because beating children into obedience only works if you have total control over their lives. Even if total annihilation teaches children to control themselves, it still breaks them inside. Since child protection laws limited how much control Baby Boomers had over their kids, they just beat their kids as far as the law allowed and then kicked them out of the house broken and undisciplined.

8: Parents molested and raped their children.

A study found that as many as one in four women surveyed at two college campuses had been molested or raped as a minor. This study isn’t representative of the entire country, but it matches what the women I know have told me about their childhoods. Other studies put the number closer to one in sixteen. Either way, I believe it’s fair to say that enough children have been sexually assaulted in America to constitute an epidemic. Not every Baby Boomer is guilty, but enough are to make history, and sadly, I don’t think Generation X is far behind. It’s too bad sex-ed classes in America never taught students about the psychological consequences of sexual assault. If they did, we wouldn’t be so surprised when our kids can’t seem to “get it together.”

If you wanted your children to keep it together, you shouldn't have molested them."

9: Parents raised their children in suburbia.

Old people brag about how they had to walk five miles to school each day, uphill in the snow both ways. They’re famous for reminiscing about the good old days, when kids worked at farms and they didn’t have fancy technological luxuries. Young people find it hard to relate to those stories since they were raised in suburbia, which is the world’s largest open-air zoo. If you stick a monkey in a room for 20 hours per day, they’re going to start pacing and losing their minds. You’ll get the same result with humans. Everyone in America has cabin fever. So you should never be surprised when someone finally snaps and goes on a shooting spree dressed in a comic book character costume.

10: Parents fed their children junk food.

Coping with sensory deprivation is difficult. Television and video games help fill the monotony so you don’t lose all mental connection to the world around you. Holding onto your sanity is nearly impossible when 15% of the food your parents give you is sugar.  In addition to being high and going through withdraw all the time, you’re going to get fat, which is going to make you lethargic and damage all the organs that are trying to build an adult brain. This isn’t setting your child up for success. This is putting a stumbling block in front of them and then acting disappointed when they fall on their face.

11: Parents doped their children up on drugs.

In the past forty years, American parents have been asking why their children are bouncing off walls and misbehaving. Instead of coming to the conclusion that they’re bad parents, they came to the conclusion their children had chemical imbalances in their brains. So they fed them Adderall and Prozac, and then shook their heads in confusion while half their kids bounced through the roof and the other half shut down into zombies.

12: Parents reduced their children to second-class citizens.

Children are literally second-class citizens because they don’t have the same rights adults do. Officially, children can’t vote, drive, have sex, buy certain products, determine where they live or enter certain buildings. Unofficially, children are dressed in cartoonish kid clothes, made to watch children’s television, censored from the realities of adulthood, pushed to the side and constantly reminded they’re too young, stupid and irresponsible to be allowed to act like an adult. You can argue subjugating children is justified, but let’s be clear that you’re arguing there should be second-class citizens, and you’re willing to accept the consequences.

Children who are raised in a second class reality, grow up into second-class adults. When you train them to identify as a child for 18 years, you shouldn’t expect them to act like adults on their 18th birthday, because that’s not who you trained them to be. That’s like sending troops to enlisted basic training and wondering why they didn’t come out officers.

13: Parents gave their children a broken economy.

The economy isn’t designed to give everyone as much security and options as possible. It’s designed to keep you broke, working long hours at a dead-end job until bills wipe out all your savings. This isn’t just pessimistic whining. The data is in. That’s how life works. The best kids can hope for in life is to upgrade their zoo cage for a while. It should come as no surprise that half the kids are obsessed with buying superficial upgrades to their life, and the other half has given up fighting a battle they can’t win.

"If you wanted your kids to be successful, you shouldn't have given them an economy that's designed to trap them in poverty."

14: Parents ground their children into a state of arrested development.

It’s astounding that adults have the nerve to criticize the children they raised, considering the epic amount of work they put into grooming them to become dysfunctional. To be fair, the Baby Boomers were set up for failure themselves. Their parents were even more abusive and old-fashioned, and the American government/economy set them up for failure by forcing them to live like cattle and work like slaves, conditioning them to condition their children to be good slaves. At the same time, the internet changed the world, rendering half of the Baby Boomer’s expertise on life obsolete.

Adults didn’t know what they were doing to begin with, and they couldn’t keep up. They were dealt a bad hand. The young are angry, but they can forgive and forget. That forgiveness would be wasted though if America’s elders don’t spend what little time they have left fixing the broken system they’re leaving as their contribution to humanity.


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You Might Be Depressed Because The System Is Crazy, Not Because You Are

Suffering from high anxiety or depression is a sign of bad mental health. If you see a psychiatrist, they’re likely to diagnose something wrong with you and prescribe you pills to fix the problem,  but most of society’s anxiety and depression stems from the fact that the political and economic systems we live in are insane. So if you’re a logical, reasonable person, then the absurdities and abuses you’re subjected to will drive you to anxiety and depression. Think about these points:

Work places have totalitarian control over your life while you’re at work, and America has one of the largest prison populations in the world, but we’re told we live in the land of the free.

All day long the television and radio churn out commercials encouraging us to buy wasteful junk, and then we’re told if we buy that junk, we’re irresponsible and destroying the environment.

It’s fashionable to get drunk. It’s unconscionable to get high.

If you feed your family poison over the course of several years until they die, you can get the death penalty. If you run a tobacco company that poisons millions of people over several years until they die, you get a golden parachute.

The stock market is designed to fund companies at the expense of the investors, but when investors lose their money (in the system that was designed to take their money) the investors are told they were foolish with their money.

Houses cost twice what they’re worth and are so confusing to buy you have to hire someone to help you navigate the paperwork, and we blame the people who got tricked into buying houses that cost twice as much as advertised for the mortgage crisis.

A higher education is necessary to earn a living wage, but if you can’t afford a college education you’re told the reason you’re not earning a living wage because is because you’re lazy and worthless.

People are killing each other over which mythology is the most loving.

We’re taught that slavery is unconscionable, but almost all of our clothes and household goods are made by slaves in sweatshops.

Poor people work the longest hours at the hardest jobs, but we’re told they’re poor because they’re lazy.

America spends trillions on the industrial war complex to protect freedom, but America is the largest exporter of war.

Janitors have to take drug tests, but political leaders don’t. In fact, they have diplomatic immunity.

Police cars are designed to look intimidating, but they have the words, “To protect and serve” printed on the sides.

Shows like South Park and The Sopranos come with warning labels that say, “For mature audiences only.”

A man can take off his shirt in public, but women are told their chests are immoral.

Bribery is called lobbying, and propaganda is called advertisement.

When goods in a store are only sold at a 1000 percent markup instead of a 1200 percent markup, we’re told they’re on “sale.”

Banks call their investors “valued customers” but they charge you with fees for everything possible, even for not having enough money.

We’re told there’s no cruel and unusual punishment for breaking laws in the West, but going to jail is almost a guaranteed sentence to get beaten and raped.

The tax laws are so complicated you have to pay someone else to do them for you, and if you can’t pay your taxes or you fill them out wrong, you’re a criminal.

Workplaces use performance quotas to push workers to the limits of human endurance, and if that stresses you out you’re told it’s because you don’t have a positive enough attitude.

Self-help books and religious books offer ineffective, fantasy-based solutions to real-world problems, and when they don’t work, you’re told it’s because you didn’t believe in them enough or try hard enough.

Fox News is considered “news.”

We’re charged the highest possible cost for goods and services while being paid the lowest possible wages for our work, and we’re told that wealth trickles down and that supply and demand justifies our exploitation as necessary.

The celebrities we’re encouraged to emulate churn out mindless, idiotic, formulaic art. People who actually take stances on important issues are told they take life too seriously and should lighten up. And we wonder why the world isn’t improving.

We’re raised from childhood to believe romance and wealth are the most important goals in life, and when we spend our whole lives chasing them only to find out they don’t work in life like they do in the movies, we’re told we were childish for believing what we were taught on television.

Western society is a labyrinth of smoke, mirrors, contradictions, misdirection and dead ends. The lies and falsehoods are so ingrained in our society you can’t escape them. If you even begin to wake up to the reality of how un-user-friendly society is, it will cause you deep anxiety and depression, and when that happens you’ll be told by the television, your boss, your co-workers, your political leaders, your mental health professions, your religious leaders and maybe even your friends and family that there’s something wrong with you. And just like the military, you’ll be pressured to conform to their twisted mindset or be rejected and even punished by the brainwashed individuals who have given up the quest for sanity and given in to the status quo.

Anxiety and depression can be signs of mental health when the rest of the world around you is insane. If you don’t experience anxiety and depression, then you should be very, very worried, because that means you probably aren’t paying attention or asking the right questions, and that’s not mentally healthy.


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10 Reasons You’re Surrounded By Idiots

Man laying in a hospital bed talking to a concerned woman says, "Doctor says it's because I'm surrounded by idiots."


1: Cultural Isolation

Great leaps in human progress have often come from the meeting of minds. The Crusades brought Europe out of the dark ages. Christianity would have never evolved out of Judaism were it not for the cultural diffusion the Romans brought to the Middle East.  The founding fathers of America based many of their political ideas on what they learned from thinkers all over Europe as well as the Native Americans.

The printing press made the ideas cheaper and easier to transport, and the internet has sped up the growth of human knowledge exponentially, but throughout history, our minds have been cut off from each other’s by physical, linguistic and political barriers… and they still are. If we had free energy, one language and no political barriers our knowledge would explode like an algae bloom in the ocean… but the people with the power to remove these stumbling blocks from our path fear change. So despite the globalization that is shrinking the world and bringing humanity together, all of our minds are still limited by the relative cultural isolation that remains.


2: Stress

The greater the disparity between the rich and poor becomes, the less wealth there is for the poor to fulfill their base needs/desires, much less achieve self-actualization. The harder and longer the poor are forced to work, the less time, energy, opportunity and motivation they have to turn their minds towards self-actualization and learning for the sake of learning.

Throughout history, the gap between the rich and poor has stretched and contracted in cycles, but the contractions have been few and far between. If human nature wasn’t to be so greedy, and the distribution of wealth had been more equitable all along, then the human race would have progressed at an exponentially faster rate, but since the vast majority of humanity has been poor and stressed throughout history, we’re suffering the compounded consequences of generations of ignorance.  Even today most people are still too stressed over their base needs/desires to turn their attention to becoming more complete people.


3: Peer Pressure

Humans don’t like it when people act differently than them. Our brains are designed to fear what they don’t know. It was a useful survival instinct for cavemen, but in modern society it mostly causes us to bully, insult, ostracize and find other ways to punish each other, for being different. One of the big reasons we’re all so dumb is because we’ve beaten the courage and inspiration out of each other.

Another consequence of fearing the unknown is that progress is by definition, deviant, which means humans tend to reject improving the status quo. History is full of examples of heroes who died trying to pull their fellow man out of the dark age, and humanity is still being dragged towards enlightenment kicking and screaming.


4: Media caters to the lowest common denominator

Mass media isn’t designed to enlighten its viewers. It’s designed to cater to its viewers most base desires: fortune, glory, excitement, sex, drama, and shiny things.  Mass media is puerile brain candy. If you always eat brain candy, and you never eat brain food, your brain regresses. The longer you stay in Stupid Land, the more you accept and defend stupid as reality.


5: Government doesn’t make education a priority

The world wouldn’t be so dumb if our governments devoted more resources to education than war. If we’d spent our entire war budget on education we could end the need for most of the world’s wars and prisons. Our leaders aren’t doing that though because it’s very difficult to exploit and manipulate highly educated people who are capable of solving all the world’s problems. The rich need the poor to stay poor, desperate and ignorant in order to exploit them. So they lobby our leaders to under-fund schools and over-fund the prison industry.


6: Academic philosophy has failed humanity

Ideally, school is supposed to teach students to be curious, to seek knowledge on their own, to ask questions and seek answers. Unfortunately, academia has suffered the same fate as any large, hierarchical bureaucracy that controls vast amounts of wealth and power. It has come to defend the status quo and ridicule, ostracize and punish deviant thinkers.

Universities rarely teach people to think for themselves. More often than not they teach students to think what their professors or the authors of their textbooks think. There are some good academic philosophy classes out there, but standardized tests don’t measure original thought. They measure memorization. So most curricula are designed to challenge students to study old thoughts and regurgitate them, which makes students experts at bragging about how much they know about the history of philosophy without doing much original or practical problem solving of their own.


7: Religion has failed humanity

There may be some force somewhere in the universe that fits some definition of the word God. There’s some evidence to suggest that might be possible, but there are mountains of evidence that all the religions humans have invented are mythologies. While these belief systems may make some good points and give people hope, there are catastrophic consequences to a single person, let alone entire world, of people basing their real-world decisions on a mythology-based understanding of reality.

History is full of examples of people hurting each other and discouraging progress in the name of religion. These aren’t anomalies. That’s what happens when you base your understanding of reality on mythology. That’s still happening, and it’s going to keep happening as long as people keep believing in mythology.


8: Our leaders don’t know what they’re doing, and they lie about it

Society is so lost we don’t even know we’re lost. This is true for the lowest street sweeper all the way up to the highest political leader. We have no idea what we’re doing, and we’re just guessing while putting on enough airs to make it look like we have it together.

In this kind of world, it’s natural to look to leaders for guidance, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing except that our leaders are just as blind as the rest of us. The only difference between us and them is that they’re better at lying. This causes two problems. First, when we attempt to emulate our leaders we end up emulating fools. The second problem is that our leaders are leading us in circles as our world becomes overpopulated and better armed.


9: Parents don’t know what they’re doing, and they lie about it

Nobody knows the meaning of life, and psychologists are still figuring out how what makes a mentally healthy human being. Most K-12 schools don’t teach philosophy, and I’ve never heard of one that teaches child psychology. Parents are mostly making up their parenting skills as they go along, but they still demand respect and obedience from the younger generation. So children are raised to look up to and emulate people who are doing their best at faking it until they make it. This haphazard approach to raising children into adults yields haphazard results.


10: Evolution has designed us to be stupid

All of these problems aren’t accidents or anomalies. They’re all inevitabilities considering how evolution has designed us. As surely as evolution gave us hands, feet, eyes, ears, and noses to help us survive it also gave us pain, pleasure, hunger, fear, love, greed and all the other emotions and base desires that steer us away from logical accountability. It also put shortcuts into our brains like cognitive dissonance, cognitive bias, schemas, trust for authority, fear of change, the fundamental attribution error and a slew of other mental processes that reduce our need to think about what we’re doing and encourages us to sleepwalk through life on autopilot.

The truth is ugly, but we have to face this demon in order to fulfill our potential. We were born to be stupid, and make no mistake, we are stupid. I don’t say this because I’m better than you. I’m no better than you. I’m stupid too. The big difference between me and the gangstas, rednecks, preps and religious fanatics that infuriate me day in and day out is that I’m afraid and ashamed of my stupidity whereas they celebrate theirs.

How terrified are you of your stupidity? Because the greater your terror is the more motivated you’ll be to do everything in your power to get unstupid. The more confident or even resigned with who you are the less critical of your own stupidity you’ll be and the more you’ll wallow in your own stupidity, infuriate the intelligent people around you (who you will have ignorantly mistaken for being stupid) and waste your life and lower humanity’s potential.


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10 Mistakes Future Generations Won’t Make

1: Religion

Yes, people will always want/need something to believe in and give meaning to their lives, but we don’t even follow the religions we have now. You know why? Because they’re stupid. People used to be afraid to talk about that, but not anymore. The kids of the future aren’t going to fall for the fear mongering of organized mythology because it is becoming so well established how stupid mythology is.

Picture of Osiris, Zeus and Jesus. Below them are the words, "MYTHOLOGY: Today it's religion. Tomorrow it's fable."

2: Marriage

The institution of marriage is not sacred. It’s a man-made social tool that causes more harm than good. Gay marriage is going to be legalized everywhere. Then polygamy is going to be legalized. The next step we take down that slippery slope won’t be to legalize bestiality. It will be to get rid of legal marriage altogether and just live our lives. This won’t happen in my generation because most of us still believe tradition is more valuable than reason, but future generations won’t make that mistake.

"Marriage - Betting someone half your shit that you'll love them forever."

3: Drug laws

Much like marriage, drug laws do more harm than good. Someday a smart kid is going to get into politics and figure out it’s completely insane to send someone to jail where they’re going to get ass-raped every night, only to be released from prison with their life gone, no job skills, and no hope for employment because of their criminal record… in order to protect them from harming themselves with drugs.

Picture of a serious looking police officer posing for a portrait photo. Below him are the words, "Drugs can ruin your life. So if I catch you with them, I'm sending you to jail and ruining your life."

4: Euthanasia

Morality isn’t even going to play a role in this. The world is going to get overpopulated. Then we’re going to need some people to die. Since Grandma and Grandpa have been begging us to kill them anyway, we’re going to reverse engineer some excuses and legalize euthanasia. Or maybe some smart kid will realize that if you want to die, that’s you’re business and you should be allowed to die instead of suffering and spending all your kids’ money. Most likely though, health insurance companies will start to lose too much money taking care of the dying Baby Boomers, and then they’ll pay the world governments to make euthanasia legal.

"Want to euthanize a pet that is suffering a painful and fatal condition? Everyone's cool with that. Want to euthanize yourself or a close relative that is suffering a painful and fatal condition? Everyone loses their minds!"

5: Corrupt Elections

Letting dumb people pick the most entertaining showman to run the country is not the best form of government imaginable, especially when the showman has no obligation to fulfill any of his promises to the voters, and his only obligation is to the corporations who backed his exorbitantly expensive campaign.

If you break down the election process like that to adults today, they’ll respond, “But it’s the best system we’ve got.” Yeah, well in the future some smart kid is going to bother to take the time to figure out a better system instead of mindlessly defending a crappy system that has fucked up the entire world.

A man and woman walk past a sign that says, "Political fundraiser reception and dinner." The woman says, "I'd love to give them my two cents' worth, but they won't listen for less than $10,000."

6: Consumerism

We were told owning the biggest and best crap will make our lives better. We fell for it and spent more money than we had on junk. In the end, it all broke, and we threw it away anyway. But we were left with crippling debt for the rest of our lives.

While there’s something to be said for knives that can cut through Coke cans, in the end, all our expensive crap brought us more misery than happiness. It’s too late for us, but our kids will learn from our mistakes, and they won’t buy a bunch of crap they don’t need.

Four pictures of mice running frantically through a circular maze. At each turn is a sign that says, "Happiness is just around the corner! Work harder. Earn more money. Buy more things. Keep going."

7: Television

Stupid people like stupid things. That’s why television is so popular. In the future people won’t be so dumb. Thus, they won’t like television. So television will have to stop being so stupid or it will go out of business.

8: Fast food

I hate it when people ask me, “Do you know how many chemicals are in that cigarette you’re smoking?” Yeah, about as many as are in that Big Mac and Coke you’re shoving in your soon-to-be-cancer-ridden face. Fast food=death. Someday when we’re smarter we’re going to be as condescending towards people who eat fast food as we are to people who smoke…because eating fast food is as stupid as smoking.

There is a picture of a pack of cigarettes with a dead man on it, next to a McDonalds Big Mac box with a picture of a fat man on it. Above the pictures are the words, "Evolution of warning labels."

9: Love

No, we’re not going to be stoic, emotionless Vulcans. In fact, we’re going to treat people better in the future, because stupid people are mean, we’ll all be a lot smarter. When we pull out heads out of our butts, we’re going to stop believing that the greatest accomplishment in life, and our greatest responsibility, is to fall madly in love with the one person in the entire world who was created just for us.

In the future our kids are going to prioritize self-actualization over locking themselves into a codependent, parasitic, unhealthy fantasy world bullshit fairy tale that is going to rob them of their potential to dream any dreams of their own much less accomplish them because they’re stuck with an ungrateful, resentful, nagging, soul-sucking partner they have nothing in common with anymore and should have left 12 years ago but won’t because they feel some kind of twisted sense of obligation to this stupid fantasy they saw in a stupid cartoon when they were little kids.

"My love is like a candle, because if you forget about me, I will burn your fucking house to the ground."

10: University degrees

Today we have to work under bosses who know less than we do. The only reason they’re the boss is because they spent less time working and more time going to school. And their boss thinks the less time you spend working, and the more time you spend date raping sorority bimbos and doing keg-stands, the better you can manage people.

But your boss doesn’t know how to be a boss. So he compensates for his ignorance by being a dick. He figures nobody will notice he’s useless if he’s really loud and constantly talks about getting things done. This is stupid, but we’re not going to let go of it, because we have a chance to be the boss someday even if we’re not qualified, because nobody has to be qualified to be the boss. But someday our kids are going to realize how much money this costs the world and how miserable it makes everyone, including the incompetent boss. Someday our kids are going to figure out a better way to do business.

Picture of Jim Belushi from the movie "Animal House," wearing a shirt that says, "COLLEGE" and chugging a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey


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10 Signs You’re A Sheeple

Pictures of a cave man morphing into a sheep, with the words, "The evolution of blind acceptance"


10. You own an expensive vehicle. 

You don’t need a $40,000 vehicle to get from point A to point B. The only reason to own a $40,000 car is because you want one. Why do you want one? Because you were told to want one… and you obeyed.



9. You watch the top 10 highest rated television shows.

This wouldn’t be the case if the top 10 television shows were beacons of genius. As it stands, the top 10 television shows are beacons of petty ignorance because stupid sells better than genius. The reason stupidity sells so well is because people who don’t think flock towards stupidity because it’s familiar and safe. It reinforces their egos without ever challenging them. If you’re confused as to whether or not you’re a sheeple you can check to see if any of your favorite television shows are on the top of the Neilsen ratings.


8. You believe that the music you listen to and the clothes you wear make you unique and/or rebellious.


Photo of a bunch of sad emo goths who all look the same, with the caption, "CONFORMITY: The harder you try to show your individuality, the more you look like everybody else."


Music and fashion are mass produced consumer goods no matter what label they fall under. I don’t care if you’re hip/hop, grunge, indie, metal, emo, punk, hardcore, country, death metal or classical. There’s somebody else out there listening to the same music as you, wearing the same clothes that were made in the same sweatshops, congratulating themselves for being unique just like you. But you’re not unique. You’re defining your identity by associating it with mass-produced consumer products that you’re going to stop listening to/wearing when it goes out of style. I’m not saying you can’t listen to music or wear clothes. Just don’t assume any of it makes you a rebel.


7. You don’t read or you only read popular fiction.

In order to grow and change you need to learn. In order to learn, eventually you’re going to have to read a book. If you’re not reading then you’re not learning much outside of the pop culture you’re bombarded with every day.


6. You get along with pretty much everybody.

On the surface, it sounds noble and virtuous to get along with everybody, but most people are stupid. Stupid people are afraid of ideas. Smart people have ideas. If you’re smart, stupid people won’t like you. If you get along with everybody you either don’t have any ideas to offend their stupidity with or you’re not standing up for your intelligent ideas, and if you’re not going to stand up for what’s right then you’re stupid.


5. Similar to #6: You automatically disagree with people all the time.

If you do this you probably don’t notice, but it’s pretty easy to spot when other people do it. So think about this. Non-thinking people don’t weigh pros and cons logically. They just defend what they already believe and automatically reject everything else even if it’s mundane and trivial. If it doesn’t already have a place in their mind already it’s not coming in. So they constantly disagree with other people. They think this makes them smart because they’re so “good” at coming up with arguments and playing the devil’s advocate. The more they shoot down other people’s ideas and shut them up, the smugger and more genius it makes them feel, but all they’re really doing is building a higher and higher wall around their mind.


4. Your best friends are stupid.

We hang out with people we’re comfortable with. Now be honest. Are your best friends stupid? If they are, then the reason you’re friends with them is because you’re stupid.


3. You have no philosophy or your philosophy is vague to the point of being useless.

Here’s a simple sheeple test in one question: What’s your philosophy on life? Don’t have an answer ready to go? Your mind is empty. You’re following the herd.

But don’t take my word for it. Go do a survey. Go ask everyone you know what their philosophy on life is. Most people won’t have an answer. That means they don’t know how to live. So all they can do is just follow the herd and convince themselves that whatever they’re already doing is novel and ideal. But what they’re doing is neither novel nor ideal.

A thinker would be able to immediately give you a summary of their philosophy and tell you a long, arduous story about how they came to that conclusion, and they would go out of their way to make the disclaimer that their answers aren’t conclusive, their journey isn’t over and they’ll have more to say on the matter every year.


2. You believe in religion.

All religion is mythology. It’s just stuff humans made up and told their descendants not to question. Believing something that isn’t true and refusing to consider the evidence is the definition of a blind follower. Don’t get mad at me for calling people who worship mythology sheeple, get mad at Jesus for comparing himself to a shepherd. I’m also not saying that being an atheist makes you smart and independent. There are plenty of pop atheists who have rejected religion just because it’s trendy, and that makes them sheeple as well.


"If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people." Gregory House


1. You don’t think you’re a sheeple.

I don’t say this hypocritically. I say it self-deprecatingly. Every one of us is a product of the environment we were raised in. Our most basic assumptions about life, existence, and our own identity are interwoven with the fabric of society so tightly it’s usually impossible to tell where society’s ideas end and ours begin. The world simply can’t be divided into sheeple and nonconformists. We’re all sheeple.

If you don’t think you’re a sheeple you’ll never have any motivation to analyze your beliefs and behaviors objectively to decide if you’re doing anything stupid or herd-minded. However, once you admit you’ve been guilty of following the herd your entire life then you’ll be motivated to tear yourself apart looking for the disgusting stains of society within yourself. And when you do that you’ll also find the good parts of your personality that society helped build within you.


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Trending Topics
Movies, Music, and Television
Food and Drinks
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Baby Boomers and The Younger Generations
Racism and Xenophobia
Conspiracy Theories and Theorists
My Tweets About Pop Culture

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