You could post about puppies or a lemonade stand and sooner or later, it will turn it into a political divide.
I have a theory. Ego.
As much as people claim they hate labels, they don’t. People love labels so much that if these titles were human, they’d be whisked off to Vegas and married in a little chapel by Elvis. For the sake of this article, I’ll say “we” (but I kinda mostly mean you.) We define ourselves with a variety of tidy markers that make sense to us and others. Liberal, Conservative. Vegan, Paleo. Christian, Atheist. Straight, Gay. Actor, Builder. Mother, Father. Husband, Wife. And so on. Some people even allow their illnesses to define them.
Part of why a breakup can be devastating is because we’ve lost our identity. We’re no longer a girlfriend or boyfriend, stepmom or stepdad. We’re set adrift, left to gather ourselves. We can recover like a party animal or an athlete. Some jump right back into anything, immersing themselves in destructive behavior in order to avoid feeling lost. Others reassess and get healthy by leaving the hurt area alone to heal while working out other areas instead.
I digress. When a discussion on social media about ANYTHING turns political, it’s nothing but ego. This is a person asserting their label rather than “I” into the conversation. And depending on the tone, it often means, “YOU are the problem. I am not. I am better than you.”
The reason we get offended and engage rather than staying silent and/or rational? Because at some deeper level, we recognize that this person has insulted us. They’ve shit on who we’ve decided we are.
There’s an enormous difference between reacting and responding. Most of us lack the ability to step back and look at the bigger picture in a neutral, removed fashion. We lash out and cling to our beliefs because they ARE us. They define us.
But they don’t have to. It’s a choice. And if my theory is correct, you have the choice to recognize this next time someone turns a casual discussion about buying patio furniture into a split sided political argument.
There are 2 types of people: Those who want to know, and those who want to believe.
Everything is an exchange of energy. Currently, we’re a fractured country and we all know we shouldn’t continue down this path. Too many would rather be RIGHT than happy, which lends itself to the anxious and hostile energy many have been experiencing.
Hurt people hurt people.
If only one person gets something out of this, the time spent writing was worthwhile.
I write about things that inspire me, and anger/frustration is a primary source. I avoid the news for many reasons: To be happy, mostly. But the majority of it is there to fill 24 hours with train wrecks to keep us watching in order to keep advertising rates high. When rates dip, news channels go for the jugular. Fear is always a winning tactic.
As a journalist, you learn the tricks. The first thing we’re taught in school…
Crying moms = ratings.
That was written across the chalkboard on day one. Our job is to produce as much of that as possible.
I wrote this out of frustration (hence the caps and prolific use of the word “fuck”) after seeing so many repeatedly getting it wrong on Twitter and Facebook. I’m continually shocked by our refusal to get educated on a subject before we spout off. But it’s an epidemic now since we’re spouting off to others who are equally as ignorant…and the pot of shit just keeps swirling around with the communal wooden spoon of ridiculousness until it boils over and spills onto everyone’s cooktop.
This was written for Facebook to wake up friends and I’m sharing it here.
Here is why the wall and the shutdown is complete bullshit, no matter who you voted for:
If you build a wall, they will dig a tunnel. Actually, most illegals fly in on guest visas and just stay. We’re missing the real issue, the bigger picture here. WE DON’T NEED A WALL. WE NEED TO FIX IMMIGRATION.
I’ve been through it. It’s a horrible, time consuming, EXPENSIVE process for 1 person. A family of 4? Ha. Hahahaha. It took over 2 years and almost $2000. If you count a required trip to Vancouver for an interview with the Canadian government to start the process, then it cost over $4000. And we got in before America jacked the fees. Now many spend $10,000. The US lost our case files. LOST them. Twice. I learned this is common and they’ve attached GPS trackers to papers in recent years. You can’t leave America while everything is processing — for years — not even if your mom dies. It nullifies everything. You must be sponsored. While I don’t condone illegal immigration, I certainly understand it now.
Most people have no idea how broken our system is. If we fix it, we can make it affordable, vetted, tax paying and legal. We can allow those in at an affordable fee who will offer the country something: a skill, talent, art, business. Our wall will be Green Cards. THE GOVERNMENT — We The People — the ones who work FOR US, the public servants we pay — have a duty to fix a broken system for the better of us all. Instead, they squabble like 14-year-old children, throw out fake “stats”, focus on what the other party is doing wrong and divide our stupid country full of lemmings (yes, that’s what you are if you believe what comes out of a screen instead of doing real, credible research from a .edu or .org) rather than working together to use our valuable resources WE PAY INTO to fix the issue together. As the elected body they’re supposed to be – you know, as the elected body they’re supposed to be.
Ironically, this was the estimation when it was bothered to be done: Immigration reform would cost $18 billion dollars. It would GENERATE $48 billion dollars in new revenue for the United States, mostly through increased social security taxes, since most immigrants would be younger, thus paying into our system and not collecting.
In other words, legal immigrants would a) generate far more than they would take and b) not work cut-rate jobs under the table, thus allowing for a higher minimum wage and more (probably shitty) jobs for Americans (who might not want them, but love to fight about having the option.) By contrast, the wall is more accurately estimated to cost over $21 billion. It’s not rocket science.
THIS is why Americans should get their heads out of their asses and be upset over the wall and the shutdown. But most are too ignorant and uneducated to know what’s really going on. If one is ignorant these days, it’s a choice.Everyone knows the media is slanted one way or another depending on the channel. Therefore, everyone also knows the media isn’t correct and they need proper facts and information elsewhere.”Fake News” is a household term.
You should be fucking pissed. Frustrated. Angry. Not at people who are the opposite party, but at the fuckwits in office who aren’t doing their jobs they’re being paid for by the money taken from YOUR PAYCHECK. We are literally paying them to do nothing but divide the country and live on the government provided social programs they condemn.
We live in a cloud of ignorance, blindly accepting what’s spoon-fed to us from whatever screen we watch. We are either “cold-hearted cunts and lack empathy”…or we take to social media with too much outrage and “bleeding hearts” over something we know absolutely NOTHING about and have never personally experienced.
It’s never that cut and dried. NEVER.Life is shades of grey. Step back. See the bigger picture. Stop letting a screen brainwash you to the point where you alienate the ones around you. While not everyone can experience immigration (thank God), learn about it before you become a keyboard warrior based on a headline/screen blurb and nothing else.
A true opinion can only come from experience and education. It cannot be fed to you. That is called parroting.
We don’t need more hostility. We don’t need a wall. We don’t need Americans, who mostly live paycheck to paycheck, going without paychecks. We need people to get educated, stand up, and to demand that their government fix the REAL issue, immigration. As long as we’re divided and infighting, they can do whatever they want and spend as much as they please.
Rome was unbelievably ahead of its time. Infighting and divide are what destroyed it. We’re on the same path.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana
For the record, I’m of no political affiliation.
Thanks for reading.
April K. Hunteris a television writer, short story author, copywriter, blogger, and primarily writes thrillers and memoirs. She attends Full Sail University for her degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment. Her work appears in a variety of publications, including RxMuscle, Page & Spine, Medium, and European Journal FONT. Her first book, UNDISCLOSED DARKNESS can be found on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.
A model, cosplayer and professional wrestler, she’s currently a part-time superhero at geek conventions, Mother of Chickens and owned by one spoiled rotten corgi. When not crafting stories, she is learning something new each day or scouring the internet for funny memes while drinking too much coffee.
Recently, I wrote a letter to my younger self in one of my blogs. Now, here’s one for you.
I’ve lived many lifetimes and screwed up a lot. Oh…a whole lot. This is just a tiny bit of what I’ve learned. Hopefully, some of this resonates with you – or perhaps can even help in some way.
1. With so much to do, read, watch, learn and create, it is literally impossible to get bored. Only boring people get bored.
2. If someone is stupid & ignorant, it’s because they choose to be.
3. Time is worth more than money.
4. Being a good person won’t protect you from bad people.
5. Talk is so cheap, it’s free. Only effort & results matter. Effort is HOT.
6. Jalapeno salt improves almost everything.
7. Mediocre people tend to get deeply offended at advice from more successful people.
8. Barring race and some politics, the reason people who react (flip out) on social media (instead of responding) is because some of what’s said is truthful.
9. There are a lot of undiagnosed mental disorders and mental illness out there. (Game recognizes game.) I give a ton of credit to the people who get treated. Those who are working on themselves and fighting the good fight should be highly commended. I’m not just saying that because I’m one of them. It’s a struggle and it affects everyone around you. Refusing to accept there’s something wrong or to be treated is selfish. If there’s a common pattern in all your relationship/work issues, it’s probably not them. It’s you.
11. People over politics. If someone cares about us, who gives a fuck how they vote? Seriously. Having a variety of friends with different opinions makes life richer.
12. If politics are your whole life…you have no life. Unless you’re an elected official. Then, carry on, mate. Make the world a better place.
13. “Running for a cure” won’t do shit. Run/walk to stay HEALTHY. Illnesses make America way too much profit to cure them.
14. Here’s one no one talks about – you know how they tell you to put money away for retirement? Guess what? You need another savings account to save in order to not LOOK and FEEL like you’re headed towards retirement. With us a.) living longer and b.) on photos and videos all the time, looks and having energy does matter. Fighting it is gonna cost you. A fucking lot, too. From botox, filler, peels, medication, T therapy (for men & menopause), laser for face (and weird hair…this is aimed at the guys), more (gray) hair coloring, fighting hair loss, growth hormone, eyelid drooping surgery (I know several who have had to have them pulled back due to losing some vision in one or both eyes), CBD oil for all the aches and pains, random injuries that need rehab and cost us work, vision or dental issues…all of it. Unless you plan to just surrender…look like shit, feel like shit…or you have stellar genetics and incredible luck…it will cost you. Save NOW. Insurance doesn’t cover most of that. I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff, too.
15. Life isn’t fair. Deal with it. It’s up to us to make it a better place for everyone.
16. Helping people/a cause/animals and not talking about it makes you even more of a hero, albeit a karmic hero. 🙂
17. Young women; develop a healthy attitude about your body while simultaneously developing your wit, manners, and brain. You cannot get by on your looks alone (nor should you), especially with more and more females running the world. Additionally, if you have any doubts, I can assure you that you probably look much better than you think. You’re young. Enjoy it. Because you’re gonna get tired and fat one day. So fat.
18. Time destroys everything. Nothing stays the same. Know this, accept it. Savor the moments. Learn to adapt and change with the times. The waves will come. As some smart person stated long before I wrote this: You can either drown when the waves come crashing in – or you can learn to surf.
19. True intimacy comes from vulnerability; Letting your guard down, dropping your defenses and sharing what makes you, YOU. Whether it’s a deeper friendship or real romantic love, you can’t get there without it. Sex isn’t intimacy. Animals fuck. There’s no real challenge to it. Knowing someone isn’t having rolled around with them.
20. People can be fucked up. There’s nothing you can do about it, some just are. While you can’t control certain situations, you CAN control how you choose to react/respond.
21. Apologizing (heartfelt) and/or saying thank you can fix a world of hurt and some major issues. Never be too proud or too ignorant to do either. And know this…do you want to be right or be happy? Sometimes you have to suck it up and say thank you or I’m sorry when it’s not really your place to do so. However, there are two types of people in the world: Peacemakers and Peacekeepers. Peacekeepers go with the flow and avoid confrontation, which causes more issues in the long run. They allow a splinter to turn into septicemia. Peacemakers do what it takes to settle problems. They have boundaries, give, call bullshit, compromise, set people straight, and fight for what’s right. Be a Peacemaker.
22. “Your ego is not your amigo.” When you start to react instead of respond, step back and think for a minute first: “Is this my ego? Is this going to hurt someone for no reason? Is this necessary? In the big picture, will this help or hurt things?” Sit for 24 hours before you send that angry email or text. Wait. Trust Auntie April on this. I’ve had to repair a lot of flaming bridges in my lifetime over stupid stuff like…an email.
23. Your gut feeling is always right. ALWAYS.
24. Overthinking leads to anxiety and misery. Keep it simple. This takes willful practice.
25. We are all equal in that we each get 24 hours a day. How we choose to spend that time is what sets us ahead, apart or behind.
26. Happiness is not a right. It’s a point of view. It’s the way we chose to see things. Example: an NFL game. After the game, half the stadium leaves happy, half leaves upset. The game was just a game. Such is life. “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” – Henri Matisse
27 Books are sexy – and they don’t get destroyed when you drop them or some brat cannonballs at the pool.
28. Honesty is brave and requires huge cojones. While others may not like what you have to say, you’ll usually earn respect for saying it (if you say it the right way.) Use a velvet gloved fist. Say it without doing more damage.
29. Don’t send that email until you’ve looked it over twice and made sure it’s ready to send. Ditto for texts. 90% of court cases are won solely on emails and texts.
30. Speaking of email, texts and emails are easily misconstrued due to lack of tone. Key & Peele moments happen. If you are confused, simply call the person. Yes. Dial your phone. It can save relationships and friendships. Phone calls are like vintage Snapchat!
31. It doesn’t cost anything to be nice.
32. Put your fucking phone down. Wait – finish reading this, of course, but for real…put it down, walk away and leave it alone. Get an alarm clock and keep your phone in another room at night. Addiction of any kind is unattractive and you’re missing out on real life. Being owned by an electronic device is so lame. It’s a dog’s leash, a baby’s pacifier. #LOOKUP *There’s no long-term testing for smartphone damage. We are the guinea pigs. Doctors once prescribed cigarettes for digestion, claiming they were healthy.
33. The only two things guaranteed in life are death and taxes. Your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles…they’re only here for a certain amount of time. Be good to them. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. I say this as an orphan who wishes I could have my parents and grandparents back for just one more dinner together. I pissed that time away all too often instead of being completely present, sitting with my Gram in the evening, calling my dad or spending time with my Poppy when he was confined to bed. When I was 16, my social life mattered more than my grandparents. This is something I deeply regret, because my Poppy died likely thinking I was a self-absorbed asshole, and my Gram (who was my everything) lost her husband without me there to lean on. What was I doing? Trying to find the next party, chatting with my boyfriend and keeping up with the school gossip. Such important stuff that matters not one single bit now. If I could go back in time, I would fix that.
Call your mom, dad or grandparents. For me.
34. It’s never okay to crap on someone’s beliefs or lack of. What works for one person might not for another. If we were all the same, conversations would get stale in record time.
35. Having an open mind doesn’t mean you’re simply willing to hear another person’s point of view. It means you’re open to changing your mind based on the facts/story/evidence given. But being willing to listen to all points of view is a great start.
36. The word “thank you” changes your negative energy into positive. If you’re fed up or stressed, just say “thank you” over and over again until you get rid of that yuck.
37. People who aren’t outgoing or don’t socialize aren’t usually being antisocial. They just don’t have the energy or tolerance to deal with drama, fake people, traffic, and/or crowds. They’re introverts.
38. Choose your friends like you do your lovers. Stay away from the needy, the vampires, and the desperate.
39. Floss. Listerine for 2 minutes twice a day. Take care of your teeth.
40. Live below your means. Debt will make you miserable. If you’re in debt, make it a priority to pay it down. Work to live, don’t live to work. #moderndayslavery #fuckthatshit
41. Pro wrestling is more real than you could ever imagine. Yes, many of the endings are scripted for storyline continuation purposes, but the training, the injuries, the chops, the accidents, the mental bullshit, and the politics are PAINFUL, take a toll on you in every way and are valuable learning experiences that can leave you broke and broken if you’re not vigilant and careful. Every hard chop to the chest shocks the heart. Every time you’re slammed to the mat, it’s the equivalent of a fender bender. Throw your body into a turnbuckle slightly off, and you’ll have bruises and whiplash. There are the misses and accidents, working sick and jet lag. The flights alone can beat you up, as the majority of wrestlers fly coach until they acquire a name or miles. Name any other sport that goes year round without an off-season. Name anything else that’s drug tested like a sport, called entertainment, yet doesn’t get acknowledged by or receive any benefits from the Screen Actors Guild, such as like union & minimum pay requirements. Wrestlers are drug tested on Olympic standards. We can’t even take cold or allergy medication. I’m pretty certain NFL players can. Name any other sport where they have to pay their own travel – and get themselves there after a long day, working and fighting their way out of a crowded arena. No team bus in wrestling. There’s no team anything in wrestling. The cherry on the sundae: Wrestlers are terribly exposed through the internet. Anyone can find, harass, and stalk them since everyone knows their schedules. If they’re good at playing the bad guy, the chances of that happening increase exponentially. Some wrestlers have been stabbed by “fans.” Others have been in a bar having a few drinks and accosted by idiots challenging them. Even their children have been contacted, called names, harassed and abused. To defend oneself is tricky these days with an ethics code and expectations. We can grow to distrust and hate the very people who support us, as a few can ruin it for all.
Unlike other sports, if you’re injured and take time off, you can endanger your position. The show must go on. If you’re a champion or in a major storyline and something is torn/broken, you’re in that ring the next night and it’s written into the storyline. There’s always someone right behind you waiting for the opportunity to shine. “If you can walk, you can wrestle!” – Killer Kowalski. That’s why we work hurt and end up damaged long term. It’s why so many become addicted to pain pills. It’s also why there are so many early deaths in wrestling. It’s not the illegal drugs killing us, it’s the legal ones. You can only handle so many pain pills, sleep meds, and running yourself into the ground on a 4-5 day a week in a different city each night travel schedule before something shuts down. Steroids and growth hormone were created to enhance, speed up recovery, strengthen, mimic youth and turn humans into superhumans. That’s not the stuff that’s going to kill you…which why all the Mr. and Ms. Olympias are still alive and kicking. WWE has been working diligently to fix this, and they’re making great strides, but we still have a ways to go on this journey.
42. Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places.
43. No matter how big & badass you are, when a toddler hands you a toy phone, you answer it.