Beware of Second-hand Opinions

I know this may sound strange coming from what is essentially an online editorial, but people like me should not replace your consumption of new media and new opinions – like ever. Much talk has been made of opinions, some of which I disagree with (namely I don’t hold to the ridiculous notion that opinions are all equal).  That said, there has been a rising industry that deals in opinions, editorials, and other subjective viewpoints, some of which pose as objective fact. 

To help promote stronger online literacy, I’m dedicating this blog post to helping spot second-hand opinion, and knowing when and how to deal with too much influence in your thought process. Remember, an independent brain is a terrible thing to waste. 

Continue reading Beware of Second-hand Opinions

Godzilla vs. J.K. Rowling

Recently, you (like me) may have been surprised and saddened by how much once-beloved rags-to-riches Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has been attacking trans people through uninformed and often hateful rhetoric on the internet. Now I don’t know if it’s a case of she can’t communicate well online (not like Twitter is a platform of incredible social discourse) or if she’s just a bigot and frankly I don’t care. Her actions are emboldening hateful people and she’s causing damage to an already oppressed group of human beings – that’s what matters.

But to counter that, I was even more surprised (but delighted) by this:

This charming stop-motion short was tweeted by the official Godzilla Twitter page, along with the message along with the message “Happy Pride.” So, whereas J.K. Rowling surprises with bigotry, the LGBTQ community and its allies can count Godzilla as a friend.

Continue reading Godzilla vs. J.K. Rowling

What White Privilege Means

I grew up in Abington, Massachusetts during the 1990s. My family home was not the standard. I didn’t really have neighbors. Yeah, there was a house semi-close to us but it only held an elderly couple – nice people but not the best playmates. On the other side of my house? A graveyard…quiet neighbors, really.

So I spent a lot of time in the woods, which surrounded most everything else. It was a great back then, the deer population hadn’t quite blown up yet so deer ticks were still few and far between. It was also fairly young, for a woods. Maybe 150 years old?

It used to be farmland and you could tell this as you walked through it. Stonewalls stood, long abandoned, cutting through the woods every few hundred yards or so. They’ve held up surprisingly well, despite not being cared for in over a century. While the landscape has definitely changed, these walls remain – as does the occasional farm antiquity.

When I walked in those woods – then and today – I am reminded that history does not have clear cut endings. Periods don’t end, get obliterated, and replaced with something new – not usually. No, instead the new typically grows over the old. It disguises it, but it does not remove it, not without effort.

Some of you may have guessed where I’m going with this. The woods I grew up in can be seen as society. They grow, they change. Species settle in and get pushed out (plants and animals). Vernal pools form, marsh deepens, only to have both dry in the summer.

But the bones of the land change much more slowly. The stone walls are still there and may very well be hundreds of years from now…unless someone makes the effort to pull them down.

stone-wall2

Continue reading What White Privilege Means