Boys Can Be Just as Bitchy

I watched Mean Girls the other day, because I am a huge fan of Lindsey Lohan’s boobs.

They’re like two perfect melons, sitting next to each other in a hammock

They’re like two perfect melons, sitting next to each other in a hammock

This time, I didn’t laugh as much. I actually got a little annoyed. Let me explain why.

You might not know this, but the movie was loosely based on a self-help/psychology style book called ‘Queen Bees and Wannabes.’ The purpose of the book is to examine how girls interact with each other, and how deep down we’re all catty backstabbing bitches. Allegedly, unlike men, we engage in psychological warfare in order to fit into our respective groups. Apparently, men are immune to this incredible phenomena.

You ever hear a guy say this?

I’ll never understand chicks. When girls are pissed, they start all this drama and the fight drags on forever. When guys are pissed, we just punch each other a few times and then we let it go.

Bullshit? This is Essa calling. We need to talk.

Boys can be just as bitchy as girls, both to their own gender and to the opposite sex.

As most of you probably know, I have an older brother. Much to his frustration, I mention him regularly in this blog. Today will be no different. Sorry, bro.

In high school, my brother was extremely popular and he had many attractive friends. One of those attractive friends had the hots for my extremely attractive best friend. They dated for a bit, but it didn’t work out because she was into someone else.

Instead of just ‘letting it go’, the guy started talking about her behind her back and got all his friends involved. He and his friends called her some incredibly unflattering names, spread rumors about her and even wrote an offensive song about her. As I recall, it was called ‘Cum Dumpster.”

Yeah, it was super clever in the way only high school boys can be.

All of the supposedly non-bitchy boys participated, despite the fact that she’d never done anything to them and was in no way anything like they described her. Even the guys who didn’t know her got involved. The only thing no one did was defend her.

Much to my eternal shame, not even I, the queen of clever one liners and scathing insults, helped. Anyone who tried suddenly became the target and I had been the target for so long, it was nice to get a break and be able to fit in.

In short, these ‘straight forward boys’ who are so very good at getting over things, at ‘letting it go’, were actually one of the bitchiest groups of mean girls I’ve ever met.

On the flip-side, around the same time, I fell for one of my brother’s hot friends. When our relationship (i.e. occasionally screwing in the back seat of his car) didn’t work out (because he was occasionally screwing other girls in that same back seat), I didn’t enlist the help of my friends to mock him and make his life hell. I didn’t spread rumors or write stupid songs about him.

Instead, I dropped the dude with one incredibly sweet head-butt to the face and actually let it go.

Ok, to be honest, I still occasionally masturbate to the memory of the way he dropped to the floor and started crying like baby, but I’d consider that more creepy than bitchy.

My point is “who’s the bitchy one, again?”

Guys participate in the mean girl mentality too. They find the weak guy in the herd and torture him endlessly. They bully him in the locker room, give him wedgies in the cafeteria, and talk about him behind his back. Boys have cliques. They have alpha males and beta males. Betas suck up to the alphas to fit in, and they are just as likely to participate in passive aggressive behavior as women.

Trust me, I was once the only female in a platoon of 25 men; guys can be cunts too.

They certainly don’t ‘just throw a few punches and let it go.’

They might do that with their best buddies, but they don’t do that in their cliques. The truth is, boys are just like girls when it comes to friends.

They have their best buddies, the guys they help move and have as the best men at their wedding, and they have their ‘kinda friends’. Those are the guys that they only sort of know, and pretend to like, while they talk about them behind their backs. Don’t try to deny it boys; I’ve seen it in action.

Girls do the same thing. We have the girls that we would defend to the death (like I should have done for my high school friend) and we have the ones that we sort of know, who we don’t feel that guilty about talking about.

It isn’t the mean girls mentality and it isn’t the mean boys mentality. It’s human nature. We all want to be at the top of the pack. Unfortunately, some of us believe that means climbing over a few people to get there. We ALL fall in line, because it’s easier to be liked by a group of people you hate than it is to be the target.

Along the way, we wind up betraying people we care about in order to make that happen.

Even 20 years later, I’m still ashamed of the way I acted when the mean boys were making fun of my friend. Sure, I never said anything about her, but I didn’t stop it and that was wrong. My inaction made it seem like it was ok, and it wasn’t.

To my BFF from high school, know that I’m sorry I fell into the ‘mean boys’ mentality all those years ago. I wasn’t the same girl then that I am now.

Time (and a few near death experiences) has a way of changing you into the kind of person who no longer cares about fitting into cliques. I only wish I could go back, but as who I am now, because I would gleefully headbutt every single one of those assholes in the face.

I guess time also has a way of making us all a little more straight forward, regardless of gender.


Life – An Exercise in Futility

The other night was a lot like any night for me. I couldn’t get to sleep. See, I am one of those people who likes to save all my worries for bed time. Most of the time, my worries are simple and stupid, kinda like this. 

Essa lays down in bed. She scratches her boob. “Is this lump on my nipple a pimple? Or is it a cancerous tumor? Holy shit, it’s the beginning of a nipple hair! Fuck, I’m never getting laid again. What dude wants a girl with nipple hair? Sure, I can pluck it, but I’ll always know it was there….”

But the other night, my thoughts turned a lot more serious. Every year of my life has passed faster than the last despite the fact that they all feel the same. I’ve finally reached that age where you actually start to notice your age. I’ve finally reached the point where it feels like the clock is ticking down, rather than ticking up. I’ve finally reached the age where I realize that it ends.

To me, death has always been an abstract matter. Sure it happens to other people. Hell, it happens every single day. But it was never something I considered for myself. Much like the color orange, hip pockets and ruffles, I never thought that death was something that fit me.

But it’s going to happen, either tomorrow when I get run over by a car in the parking lot, or sixty years from now, when I die during a coke fueled orgy with a bunch of man whores.

When I think about dying, I get mad. Why the fuck am I trying so hard? Why do I care about my weight, how much I drink, how much I smoke, what I do for a living? It’s all going to end anyway.  Someday, I am going to disappear from this world like I never existed. That alone is enough to make me wonder why the hell I get out of bed every day.

My recent preoccupation with death drives most of my friends crazy, especially the older ones. “You’re still so young. You have years ahead of you.”

I wonder if John Ritter’s friends said the same thing to him. “Stop thinking about the end, John. You have 50 years left in you easy. ‘8 Simple Rules’ just got picked up for another season….”

And pop went the aneurism.

Life isn’t fair. The fact that death happens at all proves that. You can spend your entire life building something, or you can spend your entire life doing nothing; either way, you wind up the same.

Organic matter.

This is the reason that I have always stayed away from atheism, despite being staunchly anti-religious.  The last thing that I want to consider is that if I die, it’s just all over. I need to know that something more happens. That it doesn’t just all stop. I need to believe that somehow, someway, my end isn’t actually my end, but an entirely new beginning.

Because the sad fact is, if the atheists are right, my life has been an exercise in complete futility. Sure, it was a good way to waste some time, but I’m not that important. If there is no higher purpose, nothing I did ever really mattered.

If the atheists are right, I am the human equivalent of a game of ‘Fruit Ninja’.

5-sensei._SL210_V155067902_

I really don’t want to believe that. I’ll be honest. If I died tonight, the world wouldn’t change that much. Sure, some people would be sad for a bit, but then, I’d turn into a sanctified memory. The people who were reading this post after my death might find me a bit more fascinating because I was dead, but that still wouldn’t make anything I did matter.  

My dog would find someone else to follow around the house. My readers would find another blogger to follow. The books that I wrote would be worth more and someone would hire a ghostwriter to finish off the rest, like what they did with VC Andrews. My death wouldn’t give me permanent fame. I am midlist at best. People don’t remember midlist commercial fiction authors. They remember best sellers. There is really nothing about me that would be that memorable. I am neither a particularly good person, or a particularly bad person. I’m just Essa, living somewhere in the middle. The perpetual fence sitter.

Despite being a significantly better person, I would matter less than Joe Valachi or Jeffrey Dahmer. My name would never be famous or infamous. It would just disappear.

And the fact that the end is as inevitable as a hanging pendulum makes me wonder “should I have been braver?” Have I been ballsy enough? Should I have quit that job sooner? Should I have bitch slapped that girl who cut me in line like I wanted to? Should I have had more kids? Should I have gotten married?

Should I have kept up that old meth habit?

The end is nigh, people. This depressing post isn’t just true for me. It’s true for all of us. Life is nothing more than an exercise in futility. When you’re lying on your death bed, if you failed to say everything you wanted to say or do everything you wanted to do, you will have regrets.

If the atheists are right, then my best possible goal is no regrets. So let me say a few things I have been dying to say, but have avoided saying, simply out of some outdated feeling of decorum;

  • Most of the people I have known who have quit smoking would have been better off sticking to the habit. Seriously, I would have rather you all stayed thin, happy people rather than turned into fat, judgmental bitches.
  • Most men have no idea what they’re doing in bed and I have no idea why you all can’t find the clitoris. It’s a giant pink button in the center of the vagina. It couldn’t be more findable if it had neon arrows pointing at it. The only orgasms I’ve ever had have been 100% relating to something I did. If you’re reading this and you slept with me, know that I was faking it so you would leave me alone and I could go to sleep.
  • On another note, I lose all interest in a man the second I sleep with him. Not sure if it’s due to the lack of orgasms or some deeper psychological issue.
  • Dr. Smith, I lied about how much I drink. When I checked off ‘4 drinks a month’ it should have been ‘4 drinks a day.’
  • If we are friends, know that at one point, I was almost 100% sure that you were retarded due to something you said or did but said nothing out of politeness
  • If you are one of my female friends, know that I am 100% sure you talk about me in an incredibly unflattering way behind my back. Rest assured, I am not offended…because I do the same thing to you. It’s just part of being a girl.
  • Dark haired dude that I used to work with, I’m pretty sure we were soul mates, which is a rare statement for me. Feelings, emotion and the idea that my life could ever potentially be a harlequin novel makes me flinch…which is probably why I was such a cunt to you. It is so much easier to reject someone in advance than wait for them to reject you. It was a bitch move on my part and the biggest regret of my life. Rest assured, you got off easy. I’m a fucking train wreck anyway and you were too good for me.
  • Marijuana made the majority of my life tolerable. Even when you thought I wasn’t stoned…I was.  
  • I am fully aware that I would have made a fantastic lesbian, but I’m not. Aside from the few occasional same sex dalliances, I much prefer the fruit of the banana to the fruit of the fig.

Life is short, life is cruel and life is fleeting. But it is also beautiful. My recent obsession will go away and I will go back to giving you all tips on how to buy weed on the internet, but rest assured, I haven’t forgotten the lesson. Say what you want to say now. Live how you want to live now. If the atheists are right, you don’t get another chance.

And Fruit Ninja is an AWESOME game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Look Back on Your Life as an Algorithm

The Facebook nostalgia video has officially gone viral. It’s called the ‘look back’ and it is designed to tell you what was really important in your life thanks to how many of your friends halfheartedly liked something.

Of course, because the vast majority of my friends are idiots, my video is nothing more than a pile of loud garbage. Generally, the drunker I am when I post a status update, the more people like it. Despite writing approximately 5,000 articles for various news outlets, publishing 3 books, raising a kid, changing careers, getting my masters degree and all the other life changing things I have done, this is apparently the most important thing I have had to say in the past 10 years.

Facebook video

I genuinely hate my Facebook page. As far as I can tell, it’s nothing more than a digital exercise in rejection. Even someone as together as me gets a little bit hurt when I post something that I think is pure genius, and no one likes it. When someone does like it, I think that they only clicked like in order to get me to go to their page and like something they made. I can’t help it, it’s pure psychology.

So I’ve decided to fix the problem by encrypting all of my Facebook status messages using PGP.

 PGP Facebook

Now, I will truly know who actually cares what I am posting, as these people will be forced to spend 15 minutes hunting down my public key, and then another 5 decrypting it. In addition, I will only respond to comments that have also been encrypted using PGP.

As an awesome side effect, it will ensure that any future ‘look back’ videos created on my behalf come out as pure gibberish.

**In case you were wondering, this encrypted message says “haha fuckers, good luck making a video about this.” A valuable resource put to good use just to piss off my Facebook friends. I truly do have far too much time on my hands.***  

 

 


Smoking – A Star Crossed Love Story that Kicks ‘Labor Day’s’ Ass

I hate being a smoker. I hate waking up in the morning and wheezing. I hate looking at every canker sore that I get and comparing them to mouth cancer photos on the internet. I hate the waste of money, the waste of time and the way I always smell like an ashtray.

But once upon a time, me and cigarettes were in love.

user2197_1157735960

It all started when I was 11. The guidance counselor pulled us all out of class into the gymcafetorium (it’s gym+café+auditorium in white trash speak, for my fancy readers). We watched a video about the dangers of smoking. In that video was a section on why people smoked in the first place.

One of the ladies in that video said she smoked to stay thin.

“Thin?” My pudgy 11 year old self thought. “I could be thin?” At the time, I was an outcast. Overweight, bad teeth, worse clothes and a complexion that resembled the greasiest thin sliced pizza in New York. Anything that could magically make me prettier was considered a blessing, no matter the danger.

That night, I swiped the first cigarette I ever smoked from my father. It was a GPC, (aka Generic Price Cigarette) regular. It tasted like ass and it make me vomit.

But after the vomiting came this amazing feeling of euphoria. It was the first time I’d ever caught a buzz on something and it would be a feeling I would chase for the rest of my life.

I kept smoking and a few months passed in a haze. Before I knew it, I’d lost 20 pounds and my greasy skin had dried out from the nicotine.

I went from being hideous to marginally attractive overnight.

After a while, it was impossible to keep stealing cigarettes from my dad, so I started buying them at a store with very lose age restrictions. One day, I was stomping out of the store when the coolest chick in school saw me packing a new pack of smokes.

“You smoke? That’s cool.”

I had no idea it was cool too! I thought I was just trying to stay skinny. Soon, me and the rest of the bad assed 12 year olds were heading off to ‘the trail’ on a daily basis to smoke cigarettes and bitch about our parents,

I had to keep up the cool persona. My dad’s cigarettes weren’t enough and the dude who used to sell them to me got fired. So I started stealing them.

I remember the first time I stole a pack of smokes. This was back when they kept them in the isles, as opposed to behind the register. I stole that first pack and all the blood rushed to my head. I was sure I was going to pass out right in the doorway. My hands were shaking so bad I could barely get them in my pocket.

But I did. That first theft increased my confidence. Soon, I was stealing 4 or 5 packs a day and selling them to the kids at school. I became the go to chick when you needed a nicotine fix for those under 18.

In short, cigarettes turned me from an overweight misfit to a marginally attractive badass with some badass skills. If it weren’t for cigarettes, I would have never developed a little skill called confidence. Hell, I’d probably be some 33 year old overweight loser working in a convenience store getting yelled at by a boss with an associate’s degree.

Cigarettes didn’t just get me physically addicted; they got me emotionally addicted. They define who I am today.

Need a break from daily life? Go have a cigarette. Got into a fight with an idiot? Go have a cigarette. Conversation making you uncomfortable? Go have a cigarette.

Hell, I even use it now as a negotiating tactic.

“We’re only willing to pay 30 cents a word. “

“I charge 50.”

“We can find someone else…” the threat, that should hang in the air and make me uncomfortable is null an void because I no longer care about making the deal. I just want to get outside to smoke.

“That’s cool.” I reach into my back pocket and smile as my full pack reassures me. “You need to do what you need to do.” I race out the door, ignoring their protests, as my nicotine craving calls to me.

10 minutes later as I’m chain smoking a 305 menthol on the sidewalk in front of the building, I get a text. They’ll pay my rate.

My cigarette tells me to up my rate to 60 cents a word, because they wasted my time.

Smoking made me. It made me brave. It gave me confidence and it made me do things that I never thought I’d be capable of doing. When I started freelance writing, 30 cents a word was an offer I would have jumped at. But my cigarettes know me better than that and they know that I deserve more. If it wasn’t for smoking, I wouldn’t have the friends I have today. I wouldn’t have done half the ballsy things I do. I wouldn’t be me.

I’d probably be some sad, overweight WalMart cashier who never got to experience the joy of telling a boss to go fuck themselves.

Smoking is more than a hobby. It is a life calling. It is a definable attribute. Just like I have blue eyes, just like I serve angry quips and cynicism, just like I have balls the size of watermelons, I am a smoker. It is part of who I am. It is not just some nasty habit. It is me.

So understand that asking me to quit smoking is like asking me to give up a part of myself.

I heard once that smoking is 1000 times more addictive than heroin. Now, I’ve tried heroin and I have to admit, I didn’t find it addictive at all. I found it nauseating. But that is because heroin is physically addictive. I can avoid physical addiction easily. Hell, I haven’t eaten solid food for four days now.

But smoking is an emotional addiction. It isn’t just something I do. It is part of me. It played a huge part in making me who I am.

And turning my back on it now feels a hell of a lot like a betrayal.

 


I’m Average…and You Can Be Too!

I often get compliments on my intelligence. Many of my friends assume that I am incredibly smart, because I know that the gestation period of an elephant is 2 years, that standard anthrax isn’t as dangerous as man-made streams, and that the arsenic in your apple juice probably won’t kill you.

Here’s the thing people; I’m not that smart. If I had to track myself on a scale, I would put me at average, to minimally above average. But people get the wrong impression, and attribute genius abilities to me because I know how to research and code.

Wanna hear a secret about coding? It’s not that hard. In fact, it’s nothing more than adding and subtracting in series of 10s. I don’t know any average intelligence person who will get the question ‘what’s 20 + 10?’ and have to Google the answer.

You know what makes people think I’m smart? My sarcasm and clever quips. When it comes to sarcasm and clever quips, I’m fucking Einstein. I assume this ability comes from a higher than average sense of humor quotient, coupled with a complete lack of any kind of moral filter, inborn cynicism, and significant quantities of alcohol and mind altering medications.

It is indeed, delightful to be me.

But no, I am not that smart. I can’t look at an algorithm and know the answer immediately. I can’t hear a composition played on a piano and copy it. Hell, I can’t even do that Rain Man shit where I count the number of toothpicks on the ground.

Only one thing separates me from the masses, and that is my ability and desire, to ask questions. And when I ask those questions, I know how to get answers from the right people. Let me explain.

A long, long time ago, I met my first boyfriend. After a day of riding around on one of those bicycles with a giant wheel, and pulling each others powdered wigs off, we started to get hot and heavy. As he desperately rounded third base, I stopped him. He resisted.

“I have blue balls. Did you know those can cause cancer?”

Indeed, I did not. This of course, is pure bullshit. However, here is where most teen girls make their mistake. They either give in to the idiot entirely, believing his factual medical advice, or they ask one of their idiot girlfriends. Of course, their idiotic girlfriends always knows a girl, who knew a guy, who said his cousin’s sister’s husband had that happen to them.

But I was born a cynic who knows how to ask questions and who has no shame in approaching anyone to get those question answered. So when Mr. Blue Balls told that to me, I didn’t go to my best friend for verification.

I went to my best friend’s dad, because he was a doctor and he would have some actual, factual knowledge on that shit.

When he finished laughing his ass off, he explained to me that this was an age old excuse, used since men started walking upright, to get laid.

And I had my answer.

Look people, I’m not that smart. I just know how to pull up a browser and cipher the fake from the real. It’s kind of like how you tell a set of fake tits from a set of real tits. After a while of looking, you just know.

I do something unique. I form my own opinions. When I hear a news story, due to my inborn cynicism, I know that it is impossible for anyone to report news purely based on the facts. They all have their own slant.

So I ignore their slant, I take in the facts, and I let them swirl around in my head a little bit before I make a determination.

  • I don’t assume something is true because someone tells me it is.
  • I don’t assume that something gives you cancer because some TV doctor tells you it does
  • I don’t assume period…I evaluate.

What makes me so smart isn’t some kind of inborn intelligence. It is my ability to ask questions in the first place. I don’t see some news story about how latex causes cervical cancer and throw out all my condoms and stop fucking

Instead, I ask three questions;

  1. Is this fact too ridiculous to be reasonable?
  2. Does the person sharing the fact have any reason to be biased, one way or the other?
  3. How knowledgeable is the source?

This is actually a pretty easy method to learn. Watch as I break it down using the Mr. Blue Balls story.

  1. “Blue balls give you cancer.” The fact is too ridiculous to be reasonable. If this happened regularly, it would be all over the news, with newscasters urging all women to start giving blow jobs to strangers.
  2. Mr. Blue Balls was 100% biased. No way around that one.
  3. Mr. Blue Balls was a 19 year old boy with no medical training. In no way at all did he qualify as a ‘knowledgeable individual”.

This tells me that the opinion of Mr. Blue Balls was not a valid opinion.

That isn’t intelligence. It’s just logical reasoning.

You too, can be average like me. You can make logic based decisions relative to the evidence you’ve seen. You don’t need to accept anything at face value just because someone tells you it’s true. You can make your own determinations. That doesn’t make you a genius; that just makes you an average person who refuses to have their opinions spoon fed to them.

And that is nothing to be ashamed of.


A Love Letter to My Internet Stalker

When you ask someone what they think of as the most romantic movie scene, you can generally expect a pretty cookie cutter response. They might mention the prow scene on ‘Titanic’. They might mention Harry’s speech in “When Harry Met Sally.” They might mention Noah scaling the Ferris wheel in “The Notebook.”

For me, the most romantic movie scene I can think of occurs at the end of ‘Hannibal’.

hannibal

Clarice finally thinks she has Hannibal cornered. The cops are on their way. With sirens screaming in the background, she handcuffs Hannibal Lector’s wrist to hers. But Lector has one last trick up his sleeve. He pulls out a meat cleaver. It raises high in the air…fade to black over the sound of one distinct chop.

In the next scene, we learn that Hannibal did escape. We assume that it is because he cleaved off Clarisse’s hand in an attempt to free himself. Then we see him on a train, sharing a boxed lunch with a small boy. The camera pans down and we see his left hand is missing.

Hannibal cut off his own hand, rather than hurt Clarice. Now that is fucking love.

In case you can’t tell, my opinion on love can be pretty extreme. Chasing me down at an airport, singing a stupid song to me, or sending me flowers isn’t going to win me over. If you want me to swoon, you need to be willing to sacrifice a body part.

I always assumed that my extreme nature would result in my dying alone. Then I met you, internet stalker.

We met about a year ago. I’d just posted an article that included three pictures of me. You sent me a long rambling message. You said you were a fan. You told me I was pretty. I thanked you.

The emails kept coming, and they kept getting weirder. One spanned paragraphs and paragraphs. It was long, rambling and incoherent. I have to admit I didn’t understand much of it, but I got the general gist. You loved me…and you wanted to wear my face as a mask.

It was the nicest thing that anyone had ever said to me.

Most women are freaked out by stalkers, but I’m not most women. I spend a lot of time alone. I have nightmares about dying in complete obscurity. I have dreams that I disappear and no one ever notices. Those nightmares go away when you send an email.

Because as long as you’re around, I know there is one person out there who is obsessed enough with me to want me dead…and who fears my death like the apocalypse at the same time.

To me, that is just fucking beautiful.

As long as you exist, I will never cease to matter. For one person out there, I am their whole world. I am the love of their life and a ‘soul sucking, bitch, whore cunt’ all at the same time.  I am the girl sending you coded messages in all my posts. My eyes really are looking right at you in my gravitar picture…even though it’s a profile shot and I’m actually looking somewhere off to the left.

I heard somewhere that stalking isn’t about love. It’s about power. I don’t believe that, internet stalker. The balance of power in our relationship is purely one sided. I am the sun by which your universe revolves. You are the guy that sends me weird obsessed messages that actually improve my self esteem. I ignore the threats and I accept the compliments.

Internet stalker, our dysfunctional relationship might be the healthiest relationship I’ve ever had. Know that in my own way, I love you. I don’t love you like a lover, or like a brother. I think I love you in the same way Jodie Foster loves John Hinckley Jr. Through his obsession, he made an average looking girl with subpar acting skills a household name.

He made her Clarice…not the one in Hannibal, but you get my drift.

So thank you internet stalker. Most people would tell me not to engage with you, but half the reason you love me is because I never listen to people. You make me feel good. You make me feel relevant. For that, you deserve to be recognized.

And if you ever hit the Orlando, Florida area, there is an empty apartment right across the breezeway where you can see right into my bedroom.

Leaving the blinds open for you,

Love Essa


Must Have a Sense of Humor…

I think sometimes, people don’t really understand how special a real sense of humor is…

I see this phrase get thrown around a lot. I see it in internet dating ads. “Looking for a sense of humor.” I see it in employment ads. “Must have a sense of humor.” I even see it when I’m looking for new ghostwriting projects. “Need a writer with a sense of humor.”

Do you all realize what a generic requirement that is? Everyone has a sense of humor. There is no person out there that has lived past the age of 3 and not laughed one time. Honestly, senses of humor are like assholes. Everyone has one.

And every one is different.

To me, a ‘good’ sense of humor is the ability to laugh at something, even though it might offend someone or even you personally. Let me tell you a story about one of the finest senses of humor I’ve ever seen.

It’s summer in Sierra Vista, Arizona. Me and my friend Tina are on gate guard duty at the back gate of Fort Huachuca. It’s a boring duty, but we make the time pass by making fun of the tourists that pull up, after mistakenly pulling off the highway too soon on their way to Tucson.

A blue Sedan with Nebraska plates pull up. Inside is a middle aged white couple. They make immediate eye contact with me and avoid Tina entirely.

Let me explain why. I’m white as the day is long, not very big, and extremely non-threatening. I’m soft, squishy and harmless looking. Tina is a midnight black, daughter of Africa, 150 pounds and 5’8” of pure muscle type. When it comes to nervous white people, there’s non threatening black, like Will Smith, and there is threatening black, like Tupac. Tina is Tupac black with extra neck tattoos. Tourists tend to avoid her, especially the white ones.

The Nebraska couple cracks their window a quarter of an inch and screams to me for directions. Here’s the deal, I blow at directions. At this gate, I’m bad cop. I’m in charge of telling tourists to turn around. I’m not the nice one who gives them directions.

Tina is.

She walks up to the car and I literally see the woman in the passenger seat flinch away from her as she leans over the cracked window. She gives them directions and they drive away. She walks back to where I’m standing, shaking her head.

“They good?”

Tina nods. “Yeah, but I can’t wait for the letter the commander is going to get.”

“Letter?”

“Yeah,” Tina looks ready to piss herself laughing. “The one that says what a nice, eloquent, colored girl I am.”

That, my friends, is a sense of humor.

When you advertise for a ‘sense of humor’ you might as well advertise for some who ‘knows how to paint.’ Everyone can work a paint brush, but there is only one Picasso.

When you’re a dude looking for a girl on an internet dating site, who has a sense of humor, what I read is ‘I’m not that funny, but I’m not that attractive either. I need someone to tell me I’m special by laughing at my dumb jokes.”

When you’re an employer who tells me you’re looking for a good sense of humor, what I’m seeing is “my last secretary wouldn’t screw me. So I made a bunch of mean jokes at her expense. Then she sued me. I’m really looking for a bitch that will just take it and not fight back.”

A good sense of humor is a special thing. It’s like having a special palette, where you can taste all the flavors of something, even when some are weird. It’s like having the eye for detail that allows you to create a special dress design, which is both flattering to a woman’s body and aesthetically interesting.

A good sense of humor is rare. Stop advertising for it like you’re looking for typing skills. Generally, those of us with a true ‘good sense of humor’ would rather die than work in a cubicle anyway.

Does that mean never getting offended over anything? Hell no. My friend Tina was probably extremely offended the day those people treated her like she was about to car jack them. But she found a way to laugh about it.

Does that mean being intentionally offensive? Absolutely not. I’ve never found Andrew Dice Clay funny. It’s not because I’m an uptight bitch. It’s because his act wasn’t funny. Nothing he said was actually humorous. He was just being offensive for the point of being offensive. That’s not humor. That’s just being a dick.

As far as I’m concerned, George Carlin was the only human being with a sense of humor sophisticated enough to pull off a rape joke.

When you are a truly funny person, offending people is a side effect of your act. It isn’t the goal. You make your jokes and you hope they land. But you accept the fact that eventually, somewhere, someone will get offended. When they do, you brush it off.

Because you know not everyone has a good sense of humor.

Look, I’m never been one of those ass sniffing artists who talks about my ‘art’. I don’t write angst filled poetry or paint pictures of my anger at my father, or some other such bullshit. I’m never going to be literary. I’m never going to win a Pulitzer. I’m cool with that. But I am a god damn artist. I have a true good sense of humor, and it’s a bit rarer than you all think. If you question how important a good sense of humor is, I strongly recommend you check out “A Modest Proposal.” Never underestimate the power of funny.

A good sense of humor isn’t a given…it’s a god damn gift. Stop advertising for that shit when you don’t really mean it. Generally, you can get any idiot to laugh at anything.  But only the truly gifted can laugh at something that upsets them.

And only the artists can make a good joke about it in the first place.

 


Pullin’ The Race Card

I tried to watch Key & Peel tonight. I really did. FYI comedy writers out there, if you want to make a shitty sketch show that never gets canceled, no matter how bad the ratings, focus it around one thing; the race card.

Race-Card_02

I’m all for stereotypical humor. I’m all for inappropriate humor. What I’m not for is focusing on race as the entire premise of a show.

In Key & Peel, they might as well call the show, “Hey, Look…We’re Black. Now Watch People Treat Us Badly Because of That.”

You know what Key & Peel, fuck that and fuck you. I’m tired of feeling a little bit guilty every time I tune into your show because of something people I never met…did something bad to people you never met…50 years ago. I’m letting go of my liberal guilt because I’m not a liberal. I’m a Libertarian and I consume enough marijuana to never feel guilty again.

I’ve had everyone from 20 year old Native Americans; to 50 year old black people say to me “Essa, usually I don’t like white people. But I like you.”

To that, I respond every single fucking time, “Fuck off racist.”

I’ve called out feminists. I’ve called out manosphereists. I’ve called out everyone in between, but I rarely call out people that pull the race card. I rarely call out people who respond to one of my posts ‘well, I’m Hispanic, so I think I have a better grasp…”

You know what? Fuck your race. It would be widely inappropriate for me to go to a Republican convention and say, “well, because I’m white, I think I have a better understanding of deficit control and fiscal responsibility.”

Your race doesn’t give you knowledge and intelligence. Your genetics and your schooling give you knowledge and intelligence.

Also, in regards to statements like; “I’m (insert race here). You don’t know the struggles my people have faced.” You know what assholes? You didn’t work in the cotton fields. Harriet Tubman did. You didn’t get assassinated for your beliefs. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King did. You do not get to take credit for their works, and take advantage of their suffering because you share the same skin color.

So you have faced issues in your past because of how you look? Welcome to the club.

Every time I go to an auto shop, everyone in the room thinks ‘trophy wife’. It doesn’t matter that I have never been married. It doesn’t matter that I am lower-middle class at best and I grew up in a place where most of the time, I was lucky to have running water.

Instead, they see ‘trophy wife’ because I have blonde hair and blue eyes. They see that and they think ‘some well-to-do husband is paying her bills”. When I say what the problem is, they pat me on the head (not joke, this happens regularly) and treat me like a child

I’m not a trophy wife. I grew up poor in a small town where everyone was poor. I wore my brother’s hand-me-downs. I had a choice between being a welfare mom and a convenience store cashier. Writing a novel was beyond my realm. Gaining a Masters was beyond my realm. They were beyond my realm because I was born poor white trash. I was trailer park girl. I was dirty. I was the girl that wore her brother’s hand-me-downs. But I would not let those labels define my future.

I joined the military. If you can believe it, I never experienced even one iota of sexism while in. My fellow soldiers respected me in a way that my small town neighbors hadn’t. I grew into someone better than my appearance.  I fought for this country. While you were all watching the news regarding 9/11, I was there. I was an enlisted soldier dealing with terrorism. I fought and killed for this country. Many of you, black and white alike, watched it on your televisions and never truly understood the absolutely desperate significance of that day. I did. I saw it all. I saw how racism could twist the mind. Then, I saw how people of all races could come together for a common good.

And people choose to treat me like a child because of how I fucking look.

So yeah, I don’t know your struggles. Maybe a cabbie refused to pick you up one time because of the color of your skin. Maybe you get pulled over because of the color of your skin.

But I am not that racist cabbie. Nor am I that racist cop. I am a simple white girl, with blond hair, and blue eyes. The world should be mine on a silver platter, right?

Not so much. Most people treat me normally because normal people are not nearly as racist as you all make them out to be. For those who don’t, I deal with men twice my age or triple my weight hitting on me. I deal with creepy dudes following me until I turn around and show them what I have in my waistband. I deal with having to send four idiots on their way when they try to give manly advice on my car troubles, when I already know what’s wrong.

Simply stated, I deal with ignorant people who think I am stupid and helpless because of the way I look…when all I really want is to be left alone.

We all have our struggles. We all have to make people accept us at more than face value. Part of the human condition is finding acceptance somewhere. When you choose to hang that acceptance on the color of your skin, you’ve already lost the battle.

When someone pats me on the head, I gently remove their hand and warn them that the next time they touch me without permission; they will pull back a bloody stump. When idiots come racing to my rescue on the side of the road, I wave them away and handle my own shit. When predators think I’m weak (FYI white girls are the most common targets of serial killers), I make it clear I could take them in a fight.

I don’t get bitter. I don’t pull the race card. I move on with my life and smirk at the small minded idiots who think I can’t take care of myself, simply because of the way I look. I make those people out there that think they can take advantage of me reconsider their actions. I rise above how I look, to who I really am.

Race card pullers out there, you don’t get to pull the race card with me. You don’t get to email me that “you’re the one white person I like” and think that I am flattered. Slavery ended a long time ago and I had nothing to do with it. We all have to deal with preconceived notions. We all have to accept that some assholes out there will see us on the surface and nothing more. Your color doesn’t matter. Either, you can assume that the racist person you meet was an anomaly, or you can assume that everyone you meet of that race will be the same.

Just a hint; when you take the second option, you miss out on a lot.

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” Those are your choices. You can confront the world like an adversary. You can assume that everyone is going to think about you in a certain way because of the way the you look. Your goal in this life isn’t to yell at the ignorant assholes that do that. Your goal in this life is to change the way they think entirely.

You can’t do that when you’re pulling the race card.


Stupid Platitudes

I hate platitudes.

This is not to be confused with Platypuses. Platypuses are awesome.  It’s a mammal that lays eggs and spews venom. As far as I’m concerned, Platypuses are the most highly evolved of all creatures and if we’re lucky, someday, we’ll all get to be Platypuses.

No, what I hate is platitudes. Platitudes are inspirational bullshit that is supposed to make your life better, but in reality, just highlights how shitty it is. Usually, a platitude comes in the form of a Facebook post, superimposed over a beach. Kind of like this;

gahndi beach

People love quoting Gandhi in some attempt to sound smart and deep. Maybe Gandhi’s sayings make them feel better about their own shitty lives. But if you’re looking to Gandhi as a way to improve your life, I have something sad to tell you. Gandhi actually had a pretty shitty life that most of us wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy.

Gandhi was forced into an arranged child marriage at the age of 13. He had his first child when he was 15 and it died 2 days later. He spent the majority of his teenage years abstaining from meat, promiscuous sex and alcohol. He never got to grieve for his mother’s death, because his family kept the news from him because they thought it would keep him from passing the bar. He got the shit beat out of him on a train when he was 24, because he refused to change seats. That beating wouldn’t be the first beating he would take. Gandhi spent his life getting the shit beat out of him, while at the same time, preaching love for his fellow man. He lived a simple life. He never had a 401k or drove a Lexus. For all his hard work, he was assassinated at the age of 78.

Listen, people who keep sending me fucking Gandhi memes; Gandhi’s statements were not about your own individual selfishness. Gandhi wasn’t trying to make you feel better because your 401k went down 5% or your car broke down. Gandhi’s statements were about you sacrificing your own creature comforts for the benefit of the whole.

In short, Gandhi’s life was meaningful, but it sure as hell wasn’t enjoyable. Stop taking the man’s work and turning it into some dumb fucking meme on the internet so you can feel better that those skinny jeans didn’t fit you at Forever 21.

While we’re at it with the stupid platitudes, stop with the ‘___ saved my life”. Like “Yoga saved my life” or “Music saved my life”.  I’ve been guilty of this one myself and I just head butted myself in my own face for it. Yoga and music don’t save your life. Chemotherapy and defibrillators save lives. Yanni playing the jazz flute does nothing to save your life. You either decide to off yourself, or you don’t. Personally, I’m still on the fence…especially when I think about Yanni.

Also, ‘money can’t buy you happiness.” You know a rich motherfucker made that one up. One time, when I was uber-poor, I didn’t even know how I would get through the weekend. I was getting ready to do my laundry with dish detergent, when I pulled out an old pair of jeans. In the back pocket of those jeans was a $20.

That probably is going in my memory book as one of the top 10 happiest moments of my life. The fucktards who say ‘money can’t buy you happiness’ will never understand the joy that unfolds when you unfold a $20 you forgot about.

As I’m writing this, approximately 40 people are sending me idiot platitudes on Facebook. I’ll probably get forty more platitudes in the comments. It’s only a matter of time before I get an ‘it’s only a matter of time’ or ‘time heals all wounds’.

Well, today, I’m announcing my own new platitude. Feel free to paste it on a meme…preferably of Platypuses.

“It’s only a matter of time before an idiot who has nothing important to say claims that everyone is entitled to their opinion.”


Semantics Are Gay

When I first got to in-processing when I joined the Army, there was a minor physical test I had to take. Everyone takes it. It’s mainly done to prove that the person is physically ready for the athletic feats required in basic training. Those who failed the test wouldn’t be kicked out, but they would have to take some additional physical training before they were allowed to move onto actual basic training.

Anyway, I took the test and I passed easily. It was very simple. Complete a mile run in under ten minutes, do 10 sit ups and 5 pushups. No joke, only the comatose would not be able to pass that test.

Following the test, we all got herded into two different groups. As is frequently the case with me, I got a bit confused and wandered into the wrong group.  My squad leader came to get me.

“You’re with the wrong group,” she informed me.

“Why, are these the people that failed?”

She gave me a condescending look and let out a sigh. “No, they are the people that could use a little bit of extra help before heading off to basic.”

That was one of my first experiences with obnoxious semantics. Apparently, ‘failure’ was too harsh a word for people who were about to become trained killers for their country. Instead, they were ‘people that could use a little bit of extra help.’

Back then, when I was still a flaky pot head turned soldier, I simply nodded and moved on. Now, I say this. I was right when I called those people failures, because they had failed. They had to pass a test and they failed. Changing the way we addressed that failure did not change the fact that it was, in fact, a failure.

Words are words. They hold no true power. The only power a word holds is the power that we as individuals give it. Changing the way we address something doesn’t change the underlying condition. In fact, when we do try to soften the blow by softening the language, it usually just comes across as condescending.

Semantics is the study of meaning. It focuses on the relation between signifiers, like words, phrases, signs, and symbols, and what they stand for, their denotation. That part is from Wikipedia.

Semantics are bullshit. When you are trying to find hidden meanings behind the words being used, you don’t gain any higher understanding of the individuals around you. You only gain incite into your own preconceived notions about those words. You can never truly know what another person is feeling when they use a certain word. You can only know the way you are affected by those words. Arguing semantics does nothing but undermine an individual argument. That’s part is from the Essa Alroc dictionary on how to not be fucktarded.

In case I’m getting too high-brow, let me give you an example. ‘That’s so gay’.

Generally, this sentence is used to describe something ridiculous or stupid. “2 broke girls is so gay. Harem pants are so gay. Obama’s opinion on Syria is so gay.”

I bring this up because I’ve seen a recent movement in the liberal community. They want people to be ashamed of calling things ‘gay’. They think that referring to something as ‘gay’ makes it ok to discriminate against people who are gay. Mainly, they’re arguing semantics…and they’re looking like douchebags while they are doing it.

When you tell other people what to say, it’s only a small jump before you start telling them what to feel. To me, ‘gay’ can mean many things. It can mean someone is happy. It can mean someone is homosexual. It can mean something is stupid or ridiculous.

And when you get pissed off because I say ‘that’s so gay’, because you assume that I’m using this phrase to discriminate against gay people, based on your own personal feelings about the word, you’re actually undermining my opinion.

Simply stated, I don’t tell you who to love. Don’t tell me how to talk. It is not up to me to change the way I talk to fit your personal opinion about what is appropriate. Just like it’s not up to you to change your sexual orientation so other people will find it appropriate. To me, ‘gay’ can mean stupid or ridiculous and it doesn’t have any relation to homosexuality. You can’t change your sexual orientation and I’m not going to change the way I view a simple word. So stop with your marketing campaigns. The world has bigger problems then teenagers saying ‘that’s so gay.’

To quote Inigo Montoya “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

If you want to see how to truly deal with a word that offends you, take a tip from black people and the word ‘nigger’.

Yup, I just wrote nigger. Watch as I do it three more times. Nigger, nigger, nigger. No, I don’t go dropping the n-bomb on a regular basis. I just want the shock value to wear off, because I’m going to be using the word nigger quite a lot in the next few paragraphs and I don’t want it to become a distraction.

Nigger actually descended from the base Spanish form ‘negro’, meaning black. It was initially a neutral term that very few people were offended by. Of course, this was during the days of slavery, when black people were considered second class citizens. The term nigger became more and more offensive over time. After a few years, it was considered slang, used by only the lowest of the low crackers. As a result, the gentrified American white people started using ‘colored’ instead.

Yeah, because that was so much better.

Over time, nigger went from being a neutral term to a vulgar term. The classy whites wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole, but the crackers still used it to excess.

Then came the Emancipation Proclamation and black people started getting their identities back. Nigger no longer meant black. Instead it meant slave.

And it became verboten.

Nigger would have just been considered a forbidden word, if it weren’t for the forward thinkers out there, who refused to be swayed by semantics. Instead, black people started to use it as a way to refer to themselves or their friends. They used it freely, but they kept it for themselves. It was totally kosher for a black kid to call another black kid ‘his nigger’. But if they flipped it, and a white person uttered the phrase, shit was on. It became their word. No longer a racial slur, it actually became a term of affection. They took the power out of nigger by making it their own.

If you read my page, then chances are, you know me pretty well. If you know me, then you know that there are two people I admire on the planet above all others. Those people are George Carlin and Richard Pryor. I admired their abilities to take the power from something by making it a joke. They gave me words to live by.

Never underestimate the power of funny.

But there is one area that I will always disagree with Pryor on. It is when he said this, following a trip to Africa;

“{I am} regretting ever having uttered the word ‘nigger’ on a stage or off it. It was a wretched word. Its connotations weren’t funny, even when people laughed.”

Pryor had an opportunity. He had the opportunity to take the power from a word. He had the power to turn that word and use it against the people who created it in the first place. Instead, he let semantics influence him. For me, that was the day he lost his power.

A word or phrase only has the power you give it as an individual. It’s not about what other people think. It is about how you feel about it. Semantics don’t help. Instead, they make you ashamed of using a word because you don’t want to offend people. Using the only the words others deem appropriate doesn’t make you politically correct. The ‘appropriate’ words don’t prove that you’re not a racist. Using only the appropriate words all the time just makes you a coward. When you focus on the words, as opposed to the message, you lose the message.

Don’t say ‘could use some extra help’ when you mean ‘failure’.

Don’t say “is below average on the intelligence scale” when you mean “retard”.

Don’t say ‘that is stupid or ridiculous’ when you mean ‘that’s so gay’.

We as individuals give words their power. When we read into what is being said and decide that it is offensive, even when the overall message isn’t, we give those words a power they don’t deserve to have. We undermine our arguments by arguing linguistics instead of arguing real issues.

The real issue isn’t ‘nigger’. It’s that black people don’t have the same rights as everyone else. The real issue isn’t that ‘that’s so gay’ is offensive. It is that gay people don’t have the same rights as everyone else.

We don’t choose our color and we don’t choose our sexual orientation. The only thing we choose is the way we react to the people around us. When you get offended over a simple line that someone else uses, you give them power over you. You give semantics the ability to make you happy or sad.

No simple word should even have that power. Listen to what people say, as opposed to the words they use. You might just learn something. And remember;

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

 

 

 


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