Yeah, that title will probably get people sending hate comments without reading everything else I’m going to write, but I’m leaving it.
In case you’re part of my massive Amish following and don’t have access to the internet, let me recap what’s going on.
This is Bill Cosby.
He is an American comic who is best known for his roll as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the Cosby Show. At one time, he was the highest paid actor on American television. The next few facts are pertinent to the story that follows.
- A well known comedian made a joke about Bill Cosby being a serial rapist
- A few previously reported (but never prosecuted) sexual assault allegations resurfaced
- New allegations began surfacing, though every one was well past the SOL
- Enter the viral lynch mob
Look, I’m not saying I know the truth. Whether people are exaggerating or whether Bill Cosby deserved the number one spot on the sex offender’s registry, there is one simple problem with all of these stories.
That simple problem is that the American people adopted a well known maxim, and based our entire legal system on in. I’ll put it down in the original Latin, from chapter 4 of my old criminal law textbooks
cum per rerum naturam factum negantis probatio nulla sit
For those of us who don’t speak a thousand year old dead language, I slapped that into Google translate and this is what I got back
The proof lies upon him who affirms, not upon him who denies
Or to shorten it for all you die hard Law and Order fans…innocent until proven guilty. Look, even though that maxim sometimes allows bad people to go free, I stand behind it. I stand behind it because of this.
As a logical thinker, I know it’s virtually impossible to prove a negative. For example, I can’t prove that I’m NOT a terrorist. I could point out that I’m an American born girl who holds no extremist beliefs. I could point out that I have no affiliation with any known terrorists. I could point out that my knowledge on how to make both a pipe bomb and mustard gas results from research for my novels and I never intend to use any of this knowledge to hurt anyone.
In a country where ‘guilty until proven innocent’ prevails, that last sentence alone would be enough to convict me. After all, I can’t prove I’m NOT a terrorist, so I must be one. Otherwise, why would I need to know how to make a pipe bomb or mustard gas?
I don’t want to live in a place where logic like that is considered valid.
Right now, Bill Cosby is in the same situation. He can’t prove that he’s not a rapist…so he must be. Other than testimonial evidence, there is nothing. There is no physical evidence, no hospital reports, no lab collections, no security cameras, no eye witness testimony, nothing except for the first person reports of various women who waited more than 30 years to report a crime had taken place.
The women who are coming forward now are not going to fix anything. It’s way too late to have the man charged for these alleged crimes and it’s way too late to provide any real proof. Many of them are coming forward now, saying “I was too scared in the 1960’s, 1970s, 1980s, to come forward. Bill Cosby was a powerful man!”
Actually, he was a popular comic in the 60s and 70s, but he was by no means powerful. Let’s be honest, he was a black man in the United States during a time when people still used words like ‘colored’ and thought movies made in black face qualified as art.
Hell, when Kobe Bryant was accused of rape in the early 2000s people were damn quick to start organizing protests and demands for his arrest despite extremely limited evidence. Are you trying to tell me that people were actually more tolerant of the alleged illegal actions of a black man two decades earlier, when they had the nuts to put out movies like “Soul Man”?
Let’s admit that our country has a history of separating ‘the power of a black man” from “the power of a man.” Whether innocent or guilty, if a woman had accused Bill Cosby of rape and taken him to court, he would have been destroyed by the media, simply based on the color of his skin alone, in the 1980s.
So don’t use the excuse “but he was so powerful!”He was not a Bill Cheney, who could shoot a friend in the face, and then write it off as a hilarious drunk hunting story.
I know I sound aggressive and angry, and in a way I am. I’m angry because these women are turning real issues into an SNL punchline, while they do nothing for real victims, who had the real courage to stand up and face their real attackers when they could actually do something about it.
In the decades after their alleged attacks, didn’t they think, just once, that Mr. Cosby would be likely to do something like this again? Didn’t they think that maybe if they came forward sooner, when such a crime was still criminally prosecutable, even if they had lost, their case might have acted as a deterrent? They might have prevented Bill Cosby from allegedly victimizing another person.
Instead, they waited until it was far too late to do anything about it, far too late to prove their cases and far too late to stop it from happening again. Bill Cosby is 77-years-old for god’s sake and he hasn’t done anything notable since “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” He no longer has the power or the influence he once did. He no longer has the ability to victimize someone that he once did.
What the hell is the point now? If it’s closure, it’s a shitty, and ultimately selfish, goal.
Here’s my problem with our American rape culture; sometimes, men are innocent. Sometimes, a woman reports a rape, despite the fact that a rape never happened. And suddenly, our justice system turns from innocent until proven guilty to guilty until proven innocent.
Once a man is painted with the rapist brush, even if he is exonerated, he can never really clear his name. He might escape with no prison time, but he’ll always be dirty in the eyes of the public. “Sex offender” is a worse label than “murderer” in this country, even if you were never actually convicted.
If I had my choice, I’d rather be a convicted murderer than an accused rapist. The public would be more forgiving.
So yes, I will probably be accused of victim blaming, but I’m going to say it. I don’t think it’s brave to come forward 40 years after your alleged assault. I find it suspect and I think it’s an insult to real survivors, who did the right thing and bravely reported their assaults to the police, before facing their accusers in court and making them pay, criminally (not with a hefty monetary settlement) for what they did.
Reporting decades late, taking money from your alleged attacker, that does not make you look good. It does not make you look credible. It makes you look like an opportunist and it casts shades of doubt on every single woman after you who is really victimized.
If Bill Cosby really is a rapist, if he has recent victims who have actual physical evidence of their assaults, your 40 year old testimony is not going to help them. Instead, it’s going to make real victims look like women who just jumped on the “Bill Cosby raped me” bandwagon. You’re not helping anyone.
Both sides of the story always deserve to be told, but they need to be told on a timely basis. Witnesses die, memories change and old events become fuzzy. These women who are accusing Bill Cosby of rape 40 years after it happened aren’t helping anyone. Instead, they could possibly be smearing an innocent man’s reputation or a current victim’s case. We don’t know, but we continue to attack.
I’m a logical person. I like facts. The facts are this. There are none. We have no unbiased testimony. Instead, we have reports from women who may or may not be lying. We have reports of Bill Cosby settling cases for money. Let’s be honest. If I was a famous, family oriented man, and a woman accused me of sexually assaulting her, I’d probably pay just to keep my reputation intact. A criminal sexual assault case, no matter how unfounded, would have destroyed his career. I give a shit how powerful he is. We’ve seen far more powerful people be brought down by much less.
Monetary settlement is not admission of guilt. In fact, when I was an insurance litigator, we used to settle stuff for ‘nuisance value’, even when we knew the claim was bullshit, because it just wasn’t worth going to court.
On the flipside, if I was a woman who’d been sexually assaulted, there is absolutely no amount of money you could pay to shut me up.
To me, the evidence that is there is not enough. That means the Bill Cosby is innocent until proven guilty. The testimony of women who might have ulterior motives, who offer no physical evidence, is not enough for me. So no, I won’t villanize Bill Cosby and I won’t jump on the hate bandwagon just because some women are choosing to bring their cases to the media. In the media, the rules of court don’t apply. There is no jury and plenty of people are ready to accuse people of ‘perpetrating a rape culture’ just for disagreeing with them.
I like our legal system the way it is. I like the fact that I don’t have to prove I’m NOT something based on flimsy and circumstantial evidence, presented by people who might have a vested interest in my conviction. So you want me to jump on the Bill Cosby hating bandwagon, I ask only one thing.
Prove your case rather than trying someone in the media and expecting the opinions of 1,000,000 people who don’t know all the facts to argue it for you. Accept the fact that this is an innocent until proven guilty society. So report the crime when it happens, accept the backlash and keep the real perpetrators from victimizing someone again.
Rape isn’t a platform. It’s a crime. But reporting a rape that didn’t really happen in order to get attention and smear someone’s name is also a crime. It’s called fraud and it ruins just as many lives as rape. Just ask Bernie Madoff.
If you didn’t have enough faith in the intelligence of the American people 40 years ago, when you might have actually had some evidence to support your story, how can you really expect us to side with you now?
I won’t believe you because you’re a man. I won’t believe you because you’re a woman. I’ll believe you when you present some facts. That is the basis of our legal system and I stand behind that. It’s part of being a logical American.
I don’t know if you could all tell this from my posts, but I’m a very negative person. I’m not negative in that annoying ‘oh, my life is so bad’ kind of way. Instead, I find myself often being negative simply for the purpose of being amusing. If there is one life lesson I can pass on, it’s this;
If you’re going to bitch, at least make it funny.
As a massive cynic, I find myself complaining about just about everything. I have no right to. My life is good. I get paid to do what I love, have a lot of friends that tolerate me no matter how many times I drunk and text them, and a supportive family of enablers who will happily allow me to drink and smoke myself to death. I have a kick ass Wi-Fi connection, an unlimited weed supply, and access to a completely free, completely streaming porn site.
So why the hell do I complain so much? It’s time to start being grateful for things. That is why I give you, in no particular order, the things I am grateful for everyday.
I have a theory about minivans. I think if you get the lowest possible score on the driving test at the DMV (while still passing) they automatically assign you a minivan. This is so the rest of the world will know what a terrible fucking driver you are.
Whenever I see some asshole doing 35 in the fast lane, with their left blinker on the whole fucking time, they are in a minivan. Something about these vehicles was designed to say to the public at large “pass as quickly as possible, in the breakdown lane if you have to. The driver of this stupid looking vehicle is guaranteed to hit something in the next five minutes.”
So thank you minivan manufacturers, for telling us which drivers truly are idiots before we find out the hard way.
#2 The phrase ‘no offense intended.”
I love this phrase, because it lets you say whatever you want! Then, if the person gets offended, they’re the one who’s the asshole. Here’s an example;
Girlfriend: My mother invited us to brunch this weekend.
Boyfriend: I don’t want to go.
Boyfriend: No offense intended, but your mother is a fat whore.
See how easy that is? I don’t know who invented the phrase ‘no offense intended’, but I’m grateful. I’m also sure whoever it was, they were a massive asshole… no offense intended.
#3 Foreign content writers
As a freelance writer, I often find myself competing for jobs with people who bid $10.00 for ten 500 word articles. People who need writers will contract with these guys to save money. The funny thing is, these people never consider the fact that to make a living, someone would have to churn out like 50 of these a day. They always make excuses, like “oh, the cost of living is lower in (insert country client usually knows nothing about). That’s why they can charge so little.”
That’s not why. The reason they can charge so little is because they can write an article in about 25 seconds. Let me show you how.
Step 1 – Google the topic. For today’s purposes, my topic is ‘ass warts’
Step 2 – Pick the first article that comes up and copy it, word for word.
Anal warts (also called “condyloma acuminata”) are a condition that affects the area around and inside the anus. They may also affect the skin of the genital area. They first appear as tiny spots or growths, perhaps as small as the head of a pin, and may grow quite large and cover the entire anal area. Usually, they do not cause pain or discomfort to afflicted individuals and patients may be unaware that the warts are present. Some patients will experience symptoms, such as itching, bleeding, mucus discharge and/or a feeling of a lump or mass in the anal area.
Step 3 – Slap it in a spinner with no regards to the end product at all.
Butt-centric warts (likewise called “condyloma acuminata”) are a condition that influences the zone around and inside the rear-end. They might likewise influence the skin of the genital range. They first show up as modest spots or developments, maybe as little as the leader of a pin, and may develop huge and spread the whole butt-centric territory. Typically, they don’t result in agony or uneasiness to tormented people and patients may be unconscious that the warts are available. A few patients will encounter side effects, for example, tingling, dying, bodily fluid release and/or an inclination of a knot or mass in the butt-centric territory.
Step 4 – Deliver article and ignore all angry emails from the client. After all, what are they going to do? Sue you for $10?
Now, was that butt-centric or what?
So why am I grateful for these dudes? They’re making me rich! After the client gets all these terrible articles, they need to pay someone to fix the damage. This is where I come in and charge a butt-load (or anal-cargo, for you spinners) more to fix it.
There we go. A few of the things I’m grateful for every day. For all you minivan driving foreign content writers out there, no offense intended, but your idiocy is actually making my life better.
Today, something that most people call inspiring kind of set me off. Specifically, it’s the new Cover Girl, “Girls Can” campaign.
There are so many things I hate. I hate peas and cold weather. I hate fan fiction. I hate Kirk Cameron, the Taliban and people who clap when the plane lands.
But above all, I hate being patronized.
In case you haven’t seen this ‘inspiring’ new gem, it features a group of female celebrities, who normally, I don’t hate. These ladies spend the entire commercial talking about how hard it is to reach the top as a woman in music, business, and a whole host of other industries that are apparently allergic to vaginas.
This is all done for a campaign for a make-up company.
Now look, I’m not one of those chicks who hates make-up. I rarely wear it, because I can’t find a color scheme that matches my sweatpants, but I don’t hate it.
What I hate is that an industry that is completely dependent on making women feel like they’re not good enough unless they’re pretty has the balls to jump on the “girl power” train. What I hate is that a company that claims to be so women focused has a board of directors that’s 60% male.
I hate being patronized and I had the phrase ‘girl power’ or anything to do with ‘empowering woman’ because I find it entirely patronizing.
Nothing makes me want to smack a chick in the chops more than the phrase “girl power.” It’s usually spewed out after a bunch of shots of Jose Cuervo, after said girl just got dumped and has decided to “give up on men” and “just focus on me for awhile”.
Even though I give an agreeable smile and down my own shot, I get annoyed. Why?
Ladies, ask yourself this? Has a man ever done this? Has any dude you’ve even known shouted out ‘boy power” as he downs a shot and said that he didn’t care about picking up, he just wants to focus on himself? No?
Hold on while I recover from my shock.
Ladies, straight up; it’s patronizing. While you’re shrieking out ‘girl power’ you’re making it clear that you had no power of your own to begin with. When you say, “I’m just gonna focus on me,” you’re indicating that you weren’t before. And I know, two months from now, no matter how much ‘focusing on you’ you’re trying to do, you’ll have some unemployed douche bag living on your couch because you’re afraid of dying alone.
Because you’re not powerful. You’re just using a phrase that rich white dudes came up with to sell lipstick.
People who are actually powerful never have to tell others that they’re powerful. It’s obvious from their actions. When woman who are powerful say “I succeeded despite the fact that I’m a woman,” they’re not taking a stand for feminism. They’re simply making it sound like there’s something wrong with being a woman.
And when they start saying dumb shit like ‘girl power’ and ‘girls can!’ it sounds a lot to me like of case of protesting too much. It’s patronizing.
The fact is, some girls can’t. Just like boys, some girls are stupid and lack talent and would have never made it to begin with. It’s not because they’re girls. It’s just because they suck.
And yelling ‘girl power’ and ‘girls can’ all night isn’t going to change that, no matter how many celebrities you stick in your ads.
As you know, I frequent a little place called “Gas Station” for purchasing my addiction necessary items; i.e. cigarettes and beer. No, I’m not making the name up or changing it. This place is actually just called “Gas Station.”
I can respect that kind of marketing transparency.
What I can’t respect is you, new cashier. You have started playing the obnoxious dating game that I hate so much, despite the fact that I want nothing more to do with you than beer and cigarette purchases.
Let me give you the dating game in four stages, in case it’s unclear.
- Outright flirting “gee, your eyes are blue.” “I like your hair like that.”
- Passive aggressive flirting. “You’d look prettier in orange.” “Why don’t you leave your hair down?”
- Playing hard to get. “Oh, I can’t wait on you now. I’m busy answering my fucking cell phone.”
- Outright hostility. “Do you need to drink this much beer?” “Despite the fact that I see you 14 times a day, I need to see some ID.”
Apparently, new cashier, you have decided we’re in some type of relationship because I go to your store on a regular basis. I have been put through all of the obnoxious stages of flirting, from outright flirting, to outright hostility, despite the fact that I have no interest in you whatsoever.
Look at me. I show up at your fucking store in sweatpants with hair that hasn’t been brushed in a week and I bitch about period cramps as I slip an economy pack of tampons onto your register. I am making no effort to impress you. This is not part of the mating ritual. You are supposed to be my safe zone. I shouldn’t have to deal with your fucking mind games because I never promised you anything but the $4.23 a day it costs to support my nicotine addiction.
But you still manage to get offended by me refusing to date you. Really, you should be thankful. I’m a terrible human being. But you need to stop being offended, because you aren’t my type.
Let’s make this crystal clear. In order to even the playing field, because I’m Barbie with a brain, you must be one of two things to date me.
- You must be much better looking than me.
- You must be smarter than me.
I meet the guys I date by stumbling into shirtless models outside of Abercrombie and Finch, or by trolling Mensa meetings. I have never, and will probably never, pick up a cashier at the convenience store because he’s holding my beer and cigarettes hostage. I’m better looking than you (even on a sweatpants day). I guarantee I’m smarter than you, because right off the top off my head I can think of 11 different alternatives to working at a convenience store.
So stop with the bullshit. We’re not soul mates; we never even dated. I barely know you and I don’t give a shit about you.
I know you think that you have all the power, because you stand behind the register, but you don’t. There are at least 34 different convenience stores I could go to in a four block radius. I used to choose yours, because I used to enjoy it. Then they hired you, and they ruined it.
I’m not usually the kind of chick who makes complaints; I’m far too lazy to do that. But I’m seriously thinking about having your ass fired. Because when you think about it, who is management going to side with?
The totally replaceable dude they’re paying $6.00 an hour to, who makes his customers wait while he makes imaginary calls on his cell phone?
Or are they going to side with me, the chick whose beer and cigarette purchases are putting their kids through college? Trust me bro, I push it, you’ll be out of there faster than I can say namastē.
Save your novice college games for the girls who will actually play them and get me my beer and cigarettes without wasting my fucking time. I’m not at Gas Station to flirt. I am here to buy what I need to buy and move the fuck on. You want to play games, know that my game playing skills come in at the advanced level. Expect some slashed tires.
Every now and then I get a message from a dude from my past, who I was friends with, but never romantically interested in.
These messages all take on the same theme. First, they start out by asking how I’m doing. Then, they move on to dragging up the past. This dragging up the past usually includes a confession about some secret crush they harbored for years, but never had the ability to act on.
Then it turns accusatory. Along the lines of ‘I always wanted to tell you how much I liked you, but I knew you only dated assholes and I never thought you’d go for me.”
First, guys who do this, stop calling the dudes I used to date assholes. Yes, some of them were jerks, but many of them were perfectly nice guys with whom things just didn’t work out. These things happen and I don’t see the reason to pigeonhole them into the whole ‘asshole’ category. That category is reserved for actual assholes, like the guy who slapped me around or the asshole who’s behind on his child support.
Stop claiming that ‘girls only want assholes’ because we don’t go for your passive aggressive shtick. I’m so sorry that you spent years pretending to be my friend in some half-hearted attempt to get into my pants. Life must have been so incredibly rough for you…Seriously, those Boko Harem victims must have nothing on your pain.
You are not a nice guy. You’re just telling yourself you are because you feel like a failure. I know, because I’ve been in the same position.
A long time ago, I was crazy about this guy Dave. We went on a few dates but it never amounted to anything serious. Simply stated, Dave didn’t want children. I had one, so he shut any potential relationship we could have had down early on.
Initially, I was a bitch about it. I mean, I was perfect for him. Why couldn’t he ignore his own standards in order to make it work between us? We laughed at the same things and watched the same movies. We argued allot. He was one of the few people that could argue with me in a way that would actually shut me up. Let me tell you people, that is a rare quality for me to find in a man.
But we never really escaped the ‘friend zone’. Over time, I got mad at him. I was irritated with him because he didn’t want me. I started ignoring his phone calls and being a cunt to him.
Then, I remembered my friend Mark.
Mark was one of those guys that I had a ton in common with. We read the same books, watched the same movies and laughed at the same jokes. Despite the fact that Mark was an incredibly attractive Cuban guy, I was never sexually attracted to him. He just wasn’t my type. So when the inevitable came and Mark word vomited his feelings all over me, it made things weird. Mark got resentful because I didn’t feel the same way.
He disappeared from my life, despite the fact that we had a fantastic friendship. He threw that away because he couldn’t get into my pants, even though as he said , he was “such a nice guy”.
Then it occurred to me that Mark wasn’t really a nice guy.
He was a jerk who was only after me because he wanted to screw me. The fact that he wasn’t my type for a romantic relationship was enough of a problem to throw away 2 years of a good friendship. That made me feel utterly useless, like the only reason he laughed at my jokes was because he was trying to sleep with me. Like the only reason we ever hung out was because he wanted me to be a notch on his bed post. I felt used and hurt.
I thought we were friends, but we were only friends until Mark realized I wasn’t going to screw him, because my only apparent value to him was a sexual one.
Then I realized that I was doing the same thing to Dave. Dave was a good dude. We had fun together and he helped me through a lot of hard times. Was it really ok for me to cut him out of my life because he didn’t want to be romantically involved with me?
No, it wasn’t and I wasn’t being a nice girl. So I let that shit go and I accepted our friendship for what it was. A really good friendship. That is rare and there was no way that I was letting him out of my life over my own petty feelings.
To this day, me and Dave are still good friends. We don’t talk as much as we should; we both lead pretty busy lives, but he’s a good dude. He is one of the first people I contact when I’m having problems and he has helped me through more than a few rough patches.
He started seriously dating someone else, and I never even got jealous. By that time, I realized what he’d known all along. We weren’t really right for each other. He’s a type A conservative who has never smoked pot, hates kids and has an affinity for greyhound dogs.
I’m a type B liberal who loves kids, is secretary treasurer of a cannabis reform group and finds greyhounds creepy (their necks are just so skinny).
Once I was able to let of that romantic obsession I was feeling, I found true platonic love with Dave. I was able to be happy for his new relationships and tell him anything. I talked him through his depression and he talked me through a bipolar summer.
I would have never had that kind of friendship if I’d just decided to cut him out of my life simply because he didn’t want to fuck me.
Our relationship is good because we’re not friends with conditions. We’re not friends until one of us decides that ‘friends’ isn’t enough. Our relationship is good because we accept each other.
Boys, if you’re pissed because some chick that you’ve been passively aggressively seeing doesn’t want to take things to the next level, know this. She’s not the problem. You are.
You are the problem because apparently your entire relationship with that girl was based on manipulation. You weren’t being nice to her because you cared about her. You were being nice to her to see what you could get from her.
That isn’t nice and you are not ‘such a nice guy’. You are a manipulator and that is the polar opposite of being nice.
If you want to be friends with a girl, then do it. But if you’re only being friendly because you hope to get something out of her later, that’s not friendly. In fact, you’re kind of being a passive aggressive pussy.
Not everyone who you’re attracted to will be attracted back. That’s just a fact of life. But if you walk away from people because they don’t want to sleep with you, don’t want to date you, don’t want to have a relationship with you, you are limiting your own horizons. You are choosing your friends based on what they can do for you and not how you feel about them.
And you are not ‘such a nice guy.”
Today I turned 34. Now I must say my life is a lot better at 34 than it was at 24. Based on the fact that my happiness seems to double every 10 years, I’m pretty sure being 44 will kick ass.
But I need to put some plans in place if I want to make it to 44. So as my demographic changes from the ‘young persons box’ to the ‘adult’ box, I have made the following changes.
I will stop cyber stalking people that piss me off.
Seriously, there is nothing more I like in the world than starting a fight. Unfortunately, those fights seem to suck up a lot of my time. I mean, what’s more interesting? Writing a 700 world article on the benefits of RLSA in a paid search advertising campaign, or hunting down a hate mailer’s personal details and posting all his info on Craigslist with a discreet request for some hardcore S&M man-on-man action? Can you blame me for being immature and choosing the latter?
But I am a professional and I need to spend more time actually working as opposed to pretending to work while I hunt some poor internet douchebag down so I can call him at home at 3 am…14 times in a row. Jesus, I have got to stop drinking.
I will stop drinking…so much
I’m pretty sure I have 4 out of 7 of the early signs of liver failure. On the upside, I’m losing weight like crazy. 6 pounds in a week? Most cancer patients on chemo can’t brag about that much. It’s easy to lose weight when your diet consist of hops, barely and disdain.
So I will stop drinking so much. I will do the responsible thing.
I’ll switch to marijuana.
I will be less afraid of bugs
I have had the same dead roach on my bathroom floor for the past few days, because I’m afraid of picking it up. I’m not sure if it’s dead. To anyone who has ever dealt with a roach, you know the second you pick that thing up to throw it away, it starts twitching around and freaks you the fuck out. Seriously, they’re like the terminator. Just DIE already.
I’ll publish enough to live on my book sales.
Right now, I can live on the royalties alone. Hell, I sold 1509 books in the month of May, but that will taper off. I’m planning on living on my royalties for the summer while I expand my catalog. Expect to see the end of the Strangely Sober series in July, as well as the beginning of the Blue Suede series in August. Then expect my lazy ass to take a few months off while I roll around in a giant pile of money.
I’ll start brushing my hair again
Yeah, I haven’t in weeks and I don’t even have cute white girl dreadlocks anymore. Instead, my hair has congealed into a tennis ball sized mass at the back of my head. Before you call me out on my lack of grooming, you need to understand what it is to be a Floridian.
Namely, the second you step out of your shower, you already start to sweat and feel dirty again. Something like that will really kill your motivation to look pretty. Your only goal becomes preventing yourself from dissolving into a ball of humid goo. Hair-brushing tends to take second place.
That doesn’t work as well when your hair reaches your waist. So either I’ll start brushing it, or I’ll just get drunk and cut it all off, but either way, I will make a decision.
It’s amazing to me how much the past few years have changed my life. I haven’t seen the inside of a cubicle in two years and I’ve been avoiding my student loan officer for the same amount of time. I’ve gained a fan following, gained a following of anti-fans and might even have a hate site by now. I’ve written 6 books, pissed off men, pissed off women, pissed off everyone in my home town, learned how to buy weed on the internet and learned how to tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue.
I have a feeling that 34 is going to be a kick ass year.
***Author’s note: Hi people, just to let you all know, I did not expect this post to go viral, but it did. As a result I feel obligated to warn any readers who are not used to my writing style that it does include harsh language and profanity…so it’s probably best that you don’t share this with your 90 years old memere who is prone to heart attacks. If you’re curious about who I am, feel free to email, but I won’t share my real name on here. I mean, I did call my dad an ‘angry drunk’. By sharing my own name, I’d have to share his as well and that’s just mean. Plus, he’s gotten significantly cooler since I’ve gotten older. Finally, there is a good chance this post will piss you off. For that, I am sorry, but you hate most in others what you see in yourself. Before you get angry, consider that fact that the reason you’re angry is because you know what I’m writing is a little bit true. I usually shut down comments after 5 days, but will be leaving them open indefinitely so you can share your opinion. You don’t need to be respectful of me, but you do need to be respectful of the other people that post here. Deal with it.***
I will admit, I always had city aspirations. I never intended to live with you until I died. In fact, as I recall, I stated I was planning on leaving you before the ink on my diploma was even dry. And I did. I haven’t visited you for fifteen years. Much like an elderly relative with dementia, I doubted you’d notice if I never came to visit.
When I was in you, I didn’t like you very much. My dad was a mean drunk and my mom was too busy working to support me and my brother to pay much attention to us when we were young. For that, I resented you. I resented you for the fact that I wasn’t born pretty or popular, even by small town standards. I resented the fact that you never accepted what I was.
In my town I was too rich to be cool by the poor kid’s standards and too poor to be cool by the rich kid’s standards. I was a perpetual fence sitter.
I was lonely a lot growing up and I blamed you. I blamed you for limiting my horizons. Let’s be honest. You were Berlin, New Hampshire. You weren’t really the kind of place where diversity and being different was embraced. The first gay person I ever met still has scars from your small mindedness.
But you were still mine. As much as I hated the people who lived in you, I still had some good times with you. I remember walking the Dead River Park after school. I remember hanging out at the train tracks. I remember catching my first fish in you and I remember scamming my first kiss in you. I remember getting picked on by my brother’s friends and I remember learning how to defend myself in you.
I remember falling in love in you. I remember the trail behind the high school where I used to smoke pot. I remember the Milan loop that I would bike every weekend just to say I did. I remember seeing my first moose. I remember the way my mom used to take us for ice cream at the Dairy Bar and then take us moose hunting after that.
She was seriously a kick ass mom.
And in your prime, I’m willing to wager, you were a kick ass city. You were my safe haven for awhile. When a kid was picking on me on the bus, I decided to start walking home.
That’s when I really got to know you and really got to know how beautiful you were. I remember your winding trails in the woods and the way I never wound up where I expected to when I walked you. I remember riding my bike in the same circle over, and over and over again but never getting bored. I remember what you used to be.
It bothers me to know that interlopers have taken you over.
I saw a story the other night about a stabbing that occurred on your use-to-be harmless streets. Those streets that gave me refuge when I was a lonely outcast have apparently turned into the crime ridden streets of a brown town.
I know a lot of people blame the prison for that. Did you know that when giving out welfare benefits the amount is decided by the population of that town? When prisons come in, the city adds in an allowance for inmates, regardless of the fact that they are ineligible for that assistance. A program like that will cause bottom suckers to flock to your shores.
But Berlin, you don’t have welfare recipients only to blame for your problems.
Seriously, every time I see a small town go to shit, I immediate see the middle class people of that small town bitch about those on welfare and how they’re ruining it for everyone. That is a cop out. If you really think your next door neighbor receiving food stamps is the reason that your town has gone to shit, you have a lot to learn about the world. And I’m pretty sure I can tell you why your town has gone to shit. Mainly, you stopped taking responsibility.
You’re too busy looking for someone to blame.
That solves nothing. If you want your main street back, you need to start having a main street that people want to visit.
Get your movie theaters back. Movies theaters are for everyone. They are humanities common denominator. Everyone is equal in a movie theater.
They make no one feel excluded because they aren’t pretty or athletic. Shit people, why do you think I can quote every single Eddie Murphy movie since he made the Golden Child? Movies are for everyone. You don’t need to be pretty or athletic to watch them. A movie theater is where most fat ugly kids (like me) learn about love and laughter. When a town loses its movie theater, it loses its heart.
Organize a neighborhood watch. Make these new meth heads that have taken up dealing on street corners afraid to go out at night. When it comes to crime, you need to draw a hard line. Otherwise, it becomes a plague, ripping through your town unchecked.
Stop letting drug stores buy out every fucking building on the main strip of town so they can leave them empty. You realize that business owners are required to talk to city hall before they start monopolizing the city, right?
Also, stop electing the most popular old dude as mayor. Do you all really want Berlin to be known as the place old people go to die?
You have natural resources. You have a beautiful river, some kick ass hiking trails and a great set up down town. This should be all you need to make your city work again. But you don’t because you let the same tired politicians run your city and you wait for ‘your turn’ on the council.
Here’s the thing. If you want to fix Berlin, “your turn” is NOW. You can’t fix it with a couple of Super Sundays or Tombolas. You can’t fix it with bake sales. You can only fix it by finding a way to encourage business owners to come back and show the criminals that this will NOT be their brown town to sell meth.
Berlin used to be my sanctuary. The people there weren’t great, but the land gave me a peace that I will never be able to replicate. You all have a choice. You can take back your city by creating new opportunities, thereby making a place that people will want to visit. Or you can sit the fuck around bitching about how all the people on welfare are taking your jobs.
The fact is, you have everything you need to be successful again Berlin. But most of you are too busy bitching about the problems to see the potential.
Look, I’m a city chick now. I have been since I was 19. I know I’m not a local anymore and that shouldn’t give me a say…but Berlin used to be my home. I hung at the Hutchins street park, stole my first kiss in Brookside, and learned how to hopscotch at Brown School. I know it’s sentimental, but I’d hate to see it fail.
Simply stated, current Berlin natives, get busy moving…or get busy finding a way to fix your fucked up town, because I’m tired of seeing the place I was born hanging on life support. Either kill it or let it go, but stop letting it dangle somewhere in the middle.
My city deserves better than that.