Rhetoric

Rhetoric against rhetoric. people exclaiming words they have no true grasp of against others doing the same. What has my country come to? A bunch of loud mouth idiots getting mad at each other over beliefs and systems they grew up in without thought to the true implications or the veracity of what they believe. That’s not even the worst of it, it seems that it’s become almost a badge of honor to believe in and remark about something they have no idea about and you’re almost ostracized for having a well thought out, logical, and nuanced opinion on a subject you may actually know a thing or two about. People don’t understand that what they say and what they write, the words they use, have power. Actual power. Power to bring together or break apart. It seems, sadly, that more people are concerned with the latter than the former. It is truly terrible that an individual with a nuanced and thought out belief system, one which considers and adapts to new information, is a pariah, and outcast, an idiot among violent, mouthy parrots.

There is almost a fear, for the aforementioned reason, of being a nuanced and articulate human being, and a fear of nuanced and articulate humans. We are a tribal being so it makes some sense; no individual wants to be cast out of the necessary comfort of being accepted. One almost has to adhere to some rhetoric or another just to be accepted.

It’s laziness, people don’t want to or don’t have the time to consider a fully fleshed out new idea. They have other shit to do like take care of their families and work. They don’t have time to think for themselves so they latch onto rhetoric that is most similar with the ideals they grew up in. Circumstantially it is understandable, however when it is that persons job to be nuanced and considerate, such as a political pundit or writer then it becomes a problem. Normal people rely on them to tell them what is happening in their world so when a new policy or law is passed and then filtered through whatever rhetoric each particular “news” outlet employs and is then absorbed by the american public through whichever source they have for whatever reason adhered to they believe they know what their talking about and have the best most unbiased information they can. When in reality they are talking about the same exact thing only looked at through their own semi-chosen lens. Anger and distrust and even hatred will then stem from this.

It is particularly sad because it truly doesn’t have to be this way. If we were to get the full story or the true top down perspective of each issue we can look at its implications and consider for ourselves the true outcomes of each decision made for us by our leaders.

This is the most painful thing for me because people will stick to their given rhetoric or beliefs and defend them like their lives depend on it causing truly unnecessary pain and division. It’s almost like we are at war with ourselves being pitted against each other for the pleasure of those so far above this strife, the necessities of daily work and family. They don’t have to adhere to rhetoric, they create it. The saddest part is that like them we can also create our own rhetoric. Most people fear to because they may be wrong. That’s the beauty of it though, we can’t be wrong because there isn’t a wrong or a right, there is only cause and consequence. This means there are only things you do and the things that result from such actions. For example what happens when you punch someone. Depending on your strength you could cause considerable physical damage, this affects how they are now experiencing their life, with pain. Now ask yourself if you would like to experience life in such a way. If you said no then why would you want another to experience that pain? The same goes for our words and legislation. So next time a piece of legislation, such as a prop, comes up for a vote first ask yourself if you’d like living under that rule, even if it doesn’t affect you personally. If you said no, vote it down, if you said yes, vote for it. We live in a democracy where the rules are made by us, not some god or king, us. So be considerate because like it or not we are all in the same boat here.

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A Love Story, Part 1

Bananas, or My First Lesson

 

Everyday I take the same way home after school; go left out of the main entrance, walk three blocks, turn right, pass the zoo, and my house is four blocks down on the left. Its a simple route that my dad taught me when I was in 3rd grade and I’ve been taking it ever since. I’m nearing the end of 8th grade now and soon I’ll be in a new school, and I’ll have to take a different way home; maybe I’ll have to take the bus, maybe it’ll be miles away and there won’t even be a bus. As I was overthinking every possible danger of my new route I heard the familiar howl of my friend bananas.

 

“Bananas,” I call back with the name I’d given him the first day I walked home on my own.

 

“Where are you, I hear you but I can’t see you” I yell to him playfully as he bursts out of the trees and lands on the bars. He howls and screeches at me as if he’s catching me up on the events of his day. I pull out the banana I always bring to give him on my way home. He crawls down the bars to meet me at shoulder level and starts grabbing at the banana.

 

“No, Bananas, what did I tell you about manners? Now ask politely.” He complies and asks in his native tongue for his banana as I peel it, “here, since you asked so nicely” I hand him his banana then unwrap my own. We sit for a moment enjoying our fruit, usually I run my mouth when I meet up with bananas at the end of the day but today, I guess, I just had too much on my mind, or not enough. He just sits there, though, as unexpectant as ever. I’ve always like that about him, sometimes its nice not having another person around. They always expect you to contribute when sometimes you just want to focus on yourself.

 

“I’m going to miss you bananas, next year, when I’m off to high school. I really hope I can make time to see you, but my older brother keeps telling me ‘enjoy this time, you’re not going to have time to later.’ He’s an idiot though, he always tries to scare me with that stuff.” I pet bananas as I explain, he lengthens his body to extend the feeling of my hand on his fur each time I stroke it. “I don’t know, maybe he’s right, he always comes home and closes his door and doesn’t come out until dinner. Mom and Dad did just give him a computer though, he’s probably just playing with it the whole time. I can’t wait to get my own though, he says its the best thing ever. Well, he says the internet is the best thing ever, he never says why though, I mean I’ve used it before, it is pretty cool; I can do all my school work on it without having to go the library and carry books, but I’m always locked out of stuff on it.”

 

I continue absent-mindedly petting him, he purrs and closes his eyes, he still hangs on the bars, lower now as I’d taken a seat against the fence, and enjoys his banana. I take a bite out of mine. We sit again in silence. The only sounds are the common and usually ignored; cars passing on the street behind me, passersby patting the ground with their feet, and sometimes brief confused whispers between pedestrians as they pass by me sitting at the fence of the zoo as I stare glassy-eyed in no particular direction while I stroke my friend.

 

“You know, Bananas, I think you’re the only one that ever listens to me. Yeah, my parents always say I can tell them anything but its so uncomfortable talking to them about… stuff. Mom always tells me to talk to Dad, Dad always tells me to talk to my brother, and he just tells me to google it and when I do its blocked. I just want to know why Jenny makes me feel weird.” Bananas twitched drowsily while I continued to pet his soft little body. “I just get so… so weird when I talk to her now; like, my body tenses up, I start mumbling and forgetting my words, then, the worst part, my stomach feels like it’s fallen out completely and I feel like I might throw up all over her. I’ve known her all my life, and, I mean, we’ve grown up together. We’ve always been in the same grade. We used to live next door to each other and play everyday. I remember our moms used to wash us in the bathtub together when we came inside covered in dirt.” Bananas wriggled under my hand so I took it off and let him stretch, when he was done he laid on his belly, fully extended now in the dirt on the edge of his habitat. He opens one eye and looks up at me expectantly so I continue to stroke him. “We did everything together; made mudpies, played doctor, climbed trees. She’s my best friend and now I can hardly look her in the eye.”

 

“Who in the eye?” Bananas and I both jump out of our skin, he curls up and retreats slightly under a bush as I look around to see a familiar face.

 

“Jenny, hi!” The words stumble out of my mouth as I fall over myself to greet her.

 

“Hey I thought I’d find you here, I wanted to hang out with you after school but you left in such a hurry.” She says as I hug her. My stomach flips upside down and I can’t find anything to say to her.

 

After a pause she says, “Who were you talking to?”

 

“Just bananas, he’s my friend.” I reply, I really hope she didn’t just hear my voice crack.

 

She giggled even before I finished my thought, and it just made my stomach churn even more. “It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen him,” she goes over to the edge of the fence and begins calling him out of his hiding place. “Bananas, Bananaaas,” she repeats this a few times until he eventually crawls out from under his bush, “Hi, Bananas, its been a long time huh?” She croons to him.

 

As she bent over to say, “come here boy, come here,” my eyes, uncontrollably and unnaturally, run the length of her body. When did her skin get so smooth? Had her hair always been so soft looking? Then, when my breathless eyes finally ended on her chest I thought, what are those; had those always been there?

 

I catch myself before she does and step a little closer to her. She already got bananas to fully come out of his bush and was petting him gently but firmly.

 

“I think he likes you more than me,” I say as I watch my monkey wriggle and purr more than I’d ever seen him before.

 

She giggles again, like she wants me to faint, and says, “yeah, I think I have a softer touch because I’m a girl.”

 

“Yeah,” I say back, forgetting every other word I’d ever heard.

 

“Hey, Timmy…” She pauses, seemingly entranced by petting Bananas. I noticed he was fully extended on the ground, trying to feel her hand on as much of his body as he could. It looked as if he’d never felt anything so perfect in his life. Just as I began wishing that was me Jenny looks up at me and says, “I came here to find you because today was the last day of school and I just really wanted to tell you, I think I really like you, like, like you, like you.”

 

I feel my heart fly right out of my chest, my stomach, nowhere to be found. My palms start sweating and my face explodes with fire, I finally manage to say, “uhh… bluh… guh…” She just continues to stare at me while she absent-mindedly pets bananas into an absolute frenzy.

She stops immediately and jumps away in terror, straight into me, knocking us onto the ground. I just lay there dazzled by her sparkling green eyes, “I never really noticed how pretty your eyes were.” She smiles the biggest most heartfelt smile I’d ever seen and wraps her arms around me pulling us up. Her arms still holding me tight. I wrap mine around hers, but now It doesn’t feel so weird, now I just feel perfect; whole.

Money as a Contribution

The ability to exist in society, any society, is based on your contribution to said society. Money is earned by a perceived contribution to society and therefore money is a representation of your perceived contribution. Money is societies debt to you, a way of saying you did this for us here are the things we may do for you.

Now, perception is fickle, unlike reality, it can change at the sound of truth or lie depending on who said it and by how loud and how often. The common man is being swindled every day by the inflated perception of some people’s miniscule contribution. A creditor’s contribution, for example, is perceived to be more than a farmers but realistically it is not. A creditor lends money to people who don’t have any, creating a debt to society that the individual must later pay back after, hopefully, using that money to learn a skill that fills a need in society. So, a creditors contribution to society is allowing others to amass a societal credit. All very well and good it fills a need and drives the society forward. Another example would be a farmer, the stereotypically uneducated, uncivilized regular joe who grows nourishment and in essence allows everyone else to live. His contribution is society’s ability to continue living by being properly nourished and fed.

Whose contribution to society is greater in realistic terms? Well in my opinion the farmer, his life is spent growing and nurturing other peoples lives. The creditor’s only contribution is to give the ability to start contributing to society. However, sadly, the creditor’s contribution is perceived to be greater, they, therefore, are given a greater life.

the perception of money now is that it is the goal, not the means. It’s a way for you to track societies debt to you and yours to society but its not edible, it cannot protect you from a storm, nor can you cry on its shoulder. Money is nothing; food, shelter, and relationships are what’s real. Therefore the people in society that provide you with food, shelter, rest, or serve you in anyway deserve the best lives society can offer, not the people who hold on to or lend you thin paper shackles.