Relations & relationships

Relations & relationships

Many of the strongest and most rewarding relationships are formed by people who don’t agree on everything.

With a respectful attitude and an open mind, people with conflicting views can help each other grow and learn by assisting one another in seeing the world from a different perspective.

An expanded point of view is a good thing.

No matter how much the media wants to pit one group against the other, nothing is ever as black and white as it’s made out to be. The fact is, we’re all human, we all share this planet, and on many levels, we’re on the same side.

You will find that making peace with people is far more rewarding — and leads to far greater things — than waging battles with anyone who holds an opposing view.


Originally Published on: Dec 1, 2013 @ 06:10

Assclowns and bad news


We give assclowns and bad news the most press and then wonder why there is so much bad news and so many assclowns in the world.

Don’t support what you don’t want to see more of. Encourage what you do.

Lead by example.



If your source of news has a consistent opinionated narrative, it isn’t news, it’s propaganda.

True news delivers the details without spin.

It should be up to individual audience members to make up their own minds based on the information provided and not have opinions marketed to them in order to promote a particular agenda.

Stories can be easily altered by repeatedly focusing on a single point, perspective, or person or by not sharing or airing key details.

Learn to recognize when you’re being mislead, misdirected, and manipulated by the media.

Remember to fact check and don’t rely on only a single source of information (or meme).

Know that there is always more than a single side to a story and that repeatedly stating something doesn’t make it true.

Refuse to let the media pit you against people or causes you know nothing about except what they’ve told you.

Form your own opinions, don’t let your opinions be formed for you.

“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” — Abraham Lincoln

1. information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.



Solving the world’s problems

I don’t have all the answers — no one does — but I’m pretty sure the solution to the world’s problems is not to make enemies of your fellow earth inhabitants, cause them pain or hardship, or try to wipe them off the planet.

There are solutions that don’t involve harming innocents. There are solutions that don’t involve making more enemies in the process.

Find something constructive to love. Find something positive to be passionate about. Work towards a common good.

Educate people without putting a gun to their heads. Try to get along with the neighbors you share the planet with.

Try to set a good example. Show people a better way. Without threats, without violence, without overly aggressive behavior.

It should go without saying, if you wouldn’t like it done to you, don’t do it to others.

The answer to the world’s problems is not in hurting earth’s inhabitants, it’s in helping them.

The vast majority of people all over the planet, regardless of their race, beliefs, or skin color, would much rather make friends than enemies. Even if they don’t agree with you on everything.

Be kind to a stranger today because it’s good. And it sets a good example. Expect nothing. Because the reward for doing good is to have done it.

Don’t let the 24/7 coverage of bad news make you cold and hateful.

Be warm. Be tolerant. Be open minded.

And above all, be kind.

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” — Kurt Vonnegut



We are the human race

Broaden your mind and your horizons. Get out of your comfort zone. Familiarize yourself with the unfamiliar. And go to places you’ve never been.

It’s a big world with a lot of history. We’re all just visiting for a short time.

Take some time to get to know the other guests that you share the planet with, regardless of how different from you that they may appear at first glance.

We are the human race.

We have more in common with the other people alive on this planet today than any other species that has ever existed since the dawn of time.

We inhabit a giant rock that sustains us as we rocket through the vast expanse of space at 67,000 miles per hour.

We were all born on this rock and we will all likely die here as well.

Our time is now. Today. Here on this planet. The third rock from the sun.

This moment and every moment that passes is gone.


The future is guaranteed to no one.

Get to know your neighbors. Get to know your planet. Locally. Internationally.

Yes, it can be scary and the world can be a dangerous place at times, but so can a bathtub or the bottom stair in a dark basement.

And you may just find when you get out there that the world we live in isn’t always as frightening as the one portrayed on television. And that not everyone who doesn’t come from where you come from or believe what you believe is out to get you.

Most people wish to live in harmony here. Most people would rather make a friend than an enemy.

Some of the best experiences you haven’t yet had are out there. As are some of the best friends you’ve never met.

Friends that may look or sound nothing like you. Friends that may come from a different part of the world. Friends that may have a completely different background. Or friends that may root for the opposing team.

Be open to the possibilities.

Because your friends are waiting. And some of the best experiences of your life await you as well.


Clickbait can wait

You vote for what you want to see more of every time you buy, click, comment, share, and tune in.

Make sure your viewing, spending, and browsing habits are an accurate reflection of what truly matters most to you.

Enough with the cheap, the scandalous, and the superficial. Enough with helping mega corporations market products that provide no long-term benefit to anyone but their stockholders. Enough with everything being “this vs. that” and “us vs. them”.

Enough with the non-stop cycle of bad news.

We could all use a little more prosperity. A little more hope. A little more good news.

We owe it to ourselves to spend some time each day looking for the good and highlighting those making a positive difference. We owe it to ourselves to initiate positive change.

We owe it to ourselves to tell the media what we truly want instead of having the media and content providers decide for us.

You can’t be enriched on a diet of bad news and no substance.

Clickbait can wait.


RE: Clickbait
noun informal
(Mainly on the Internet) content, especially that of a sensational, superficial, or provocative nature, whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page which profits from visitors due to advertising.

A phenomenon now spreading to broadcast news headlines.


Yesterday’s heroes

Yesterday’s heroes:

Explorers, envelope pushers, record breakers, mind blowers…

They represented many of man’s greatest ideals. Integrity, honor, resourcefulness, respect, curiosity…

We believed in such things. We cared about such things.

Today’s heroes:

Millionaires, billionaires, corporations, celebrities, sell outs…

People who are more concerned with their status and their bank accounts than whatever it was that allowed them to gain what they got.

Yes, there are exceptions. They deserve to be seen. They deserve to be heard.

We deserve better than the status quo.

We deserve better than politicians who sell themselves to the highest bidder, regardless of the evils that bidder represents.

We deserve better than a media that cares more about ratings & spin and sponsors and the next election cycle than the truth.

We deserve better than corporations that sabotage each other and impede progress & growth to simply make their stockholders happy.

We deserve people with integrity that we can trust. We deserve companies racing into the future with advancements that will benefit all and not just the elite. These kinds of people & companies deserve the headlines every day.

Not some celebrity having a baby. Not some singer releasing a remix. Not some deranged killer. Not another unfaithful, outrageous, drug addicted, alcoholic, or corrupt politician.

Where are the heroes? Where are the people with integrity? Where are the people we can trust? Where are the people we can believe in?

Yes, they do exist, but we rarely see them because the press believes we would rather hear about celebrities acting badly than “the crazy ones” trying to change the world.

No wonder people are cynical. We are bombarded with the worst of humanity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sickness, greed, killing, war. A corporate agenda.

The fact that the McRib is ever back isn’t news. We should be appalled that it is.

The fact we are striving for Mars and the stars is news. The fact that some envelope-pushing companies could use your support is news.

We deserve organizations striving for peace and harmony, not trying to perpetuate wars for the military complex that profits from them. Yes, war is a business and business is good.

But not for us.

We owe it to ourselves to find better heroes than those who simply use our attention for profit rather than the betterment of humanity.

We deserve heroes that don’t need to highlight their accomplishments every time they make a media appearance for us to believe in them.

We deserve heroes that seek to inspire more heroes and not just inspire people to follow them.

We deserve better. We can do better.

Not tomorrow. Today.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” — TBWAChiatDay



The 2014 way of grabbing an audience

The 2014 way of grabbing an audience

  • Use sensational titles
  • Write lists. And more lists. And lists of lists.
  • Keep your content so short and with so little substance that it’s unnecessary to even write it well
  • Use profanity to represent passion whenever possible
  • Appeal to people’s emotions using cheap tactics
  • Create unnecessary or fake controversy
  • Manipulate facts to meet your agenda
  • Make it “this vs that” & “us vs them”
  • Bitch about something people can relate to

Combine all of the above as often as possible.

First it was bloggers. Then it was content websites. Now even (formerly reliable and esteemed) news sources are doing this, too.

And it works. It definitely works.

But it’s also a very quick way to lose the respect of people who realize you’ve abandoned your integrity and sacrificed the quality of your content to manipulate people & gain an audience.

Please avoid clickbait and sharing clickbait. Even if it’s “The one video you must see that will change your life forever.” or “You’re not going to believe what happens next.”

It’s cheap & manipulative.

Do you like being manipulated? Probably not.

But what if I wrote, “10 ways to know you’re being manipulated & 5 ways to fight back”?

That’s certainly a more enticing title than “Marketing and media manipulation“, isn’t it? I get it. And I still won’t play that game (unless it’s *not* a game).

I would suggest that unless you are strictly seeking entertainment (rather than knowledge), clickbait is a waste of your time. And you can do better.

And if you do like it, at least be aware of when you’re being manipulated instead of wondering why you find a source of content so strangely compelling (which begins with my list above).

[There’s definitely a difference between providing quality contributions and simply doing whatever you can do manipulate an audience into doing what you want them to.

Not all lists are “bad”, not all short content, not all controversial posts. But when that’s all a site has to offer, or when news sites start doing it, too, it should be a huge red flag and a sign to focus your attention elsewhere.]


We can do better

Liars. Cheaters. Drug addicts. Racists. Homophobes. Wife beaters. The selfish. The narcissistic. The willfully ignorant…

Just because someone is on TV or sells a lot of records doesn’t make them a good role model. And it certainly doesn’t make them “cool”.

Just because someone has a lot of money in their bank account — and is considered “successful” by that standard — doesn’t mean their life is a blue print worth following.

Yes, controversy attracts a crowd, but just because someone has a strong moral compass or leads a life involving little to no controversy doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of attention.

The folks worthy of emulating and drawing attention to are not those who do whatever outrageous things they can to get attention in order to put more money in their bank accounts.

They are those who live modestly and with integrity doing the right thing and whatever needs to be done regardless of who’s watching.

They could be your neighbor, a coworker, the founder of a non-profit. Anyone.

Stop simply accepting the commercially driven role models that are mass marketed to you. You’re playing their game. And they’re winning. Every time we give them attention, we give them free advertising and power. Power that is often abused.

Hold your idols to a higher standard than simply being famous for being famous. Find people worth admiring, whether they are famous or not.

We owe it to ourselves to have truly positive role models, not assclowns on TV and on the covers of the magazines in the magazine rack.

We can do better.



From the comments:

Eric: Now what the hell could you possibly have against sleeveless undergarments?!

Zero: “Girlfriend beaters” just doesn’t have the same ring to it…


We are surrounded

CONTENT ADVISORY: This blog post is a major change-of-pace from my usual fare and also contains strong language. Many people have applauded this post, but you may find it a turn off — and that’s fine.

It is complete bullshit that inauthentic assholes without an ounce of integrity keep rising, while others who try to do right are left to struggle.

I am so tired of seeing douchebags in the news and on the cover of magazines. I am tired of seeing people get famous for being narcissistic assholes.

I am tired of having my privacy violated from all directions as if it is for my own good.

I am tired of seeing the rich get richer and crooks get rewarded with bonuses.

Steal a fountain drink and go to jail. Rob millions of people of billions of dollars and get a bonus at the end of the year.

Get caught smoking crack, even McDonalds would fire you. But if you’re a high-ranking member of the government — where it is your job to be a responsible and trustworthy extension of the voice of the people? No problem. “Everyone makes mistakes.”

I am tired of seeing others get rewarded for cheating the system and playing into people’s fears or making promises they cannot or do not keep.

I am tired of “12 ways to get…”, “3 simple things you can do to…” and “Try this one simple trick…”

This is just manipulative and it’s over-the-top ridiculous.

We are surrounded by bullshit.

Why do we keep buying into it? Why do we keep rewarding the people and companies who do this?

There are so many truly good, truly talented people in the world who are truly worthy of promotion, and yet I need to see the fact that one of my friends “likes” that the (cancer-causing) McRib is back at McDonalds while others promoting health, kindness, love, and integrity starve for exposure?


Go seek out someone who hasn’t sold out.
Go seek out someone who appears authentic.
Go seek out someone who doesn’t manipulate people.
Go seek out someone who could use the exposure.

Go HELP THEM. Not the people or companies who sit back and manipulate you and keep getting away with it.

Stop rewarding the people and companies who abuse and take advantage of you.
Stop letting your life be dictated by a box or a product.
Stop letting people convince you that you need things you don’t. That you will be happier with more. You won’t.
Stop wasting your time following someone else’s idea of the ideal life.

Focus on your health and well-being.
Focus on becoming a better person.
Focus on finding ways to make a positive difference in the world.
Focus on finding truly positive role-models and heroes.

You have exactly one life to live to do everything you ever wanted. Stop wasting it caught up in things that don’t matter.


The following comic (XKCD 137) supplements this post nicely:

XKCD 137


Supplemental Reading:

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