Do not adjust your Television Set

  This is just a test. I’m planning on using IFTTT a little more for social spread, and I kind of want to see what a post looks like through different output methods, and what formatting options I can use. This is also the first post from my new tablet, so it’ll be interesting to see what this process is like as well.

  I don’t have anything particularly interesting to say, but I want to see what multiple paragraphs look like in different output modes, and I’ll post once from each blog to test that out. This is my Personal Blog, so my pratter will be slightly uhhh… Personal? Like a conversation about my day, or sharing of events in my life. Right now the most interesting things in my life are work related… And I’m not feeling super chatty about that. I can say I’m exhausted… And only half of that is physical. ;?

  We’ll see. The main reason I have this tablet is because it was on a promotion for free with a data line at T-Mobile while I was adding Tahirih to my plan. I’d been considering a Data Line for a while now, and handing me a Tablet to sign up your one was too good an offer to pass up. In a ‘Hilarious’ twist of fate, my old tablet broke after I ordered this one, so lucky me for running into this deal? ;?

To Drug… or Not to Drug…

Ominous, I know. ;P But seriously, that’s the choice I faced recently… and against all my ‘better’ judgments, I decided to try drugs. Sertraline to be specific… though you’re likely to recognize it more by its ‘Street Name’, Zoloft. I’ve talked before about my personal struggles with depression, and the form it takes for me. I don’t get into it too often, as the story never gets any more interesting than that. It’s no fun, it makes life difficult when there’s no other obstacles, and I’ve dealt with it for as long as I can rightly remember. So recently I made a commitment to really do something about it. Now without a lot of money, and really… no time to commit to therapy, that was off the table (Not that I truly believe in the potential for therapy in my situation considering all the avenues I’ve already taken. Who knows… if this is unsuccessful maybe I’ll revisit it in future as I know quite a few people who have benefited from it, but for various reasons it’s a no go for now). So that left drugs.

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you’ll know that due to my childhood asthma, I illogically grew to loathe the use medication. The short story goes that since I couldn’t even run across a room without wearing myself out and risking an asthma attack (Thus the need to carry two separate inhalers 24/7), I formed a negative association with my inhalers. I know… they provided me the opportunity not to die… I should have loved them. Hey, I’m not defending kid me’s logic, I’m just telling it like it happened. ;P In any account, that irrational distaste led to an adult that doesn’t use medication unless he has to, which is far less often than you’d think. >.>

So back to my depression. It was hard for me to even acknowledge that it existed (Due in part I’m sure to the social negative stigma towards mental difficulties of any kind), and harder still to accept that it wasn’t something I could just will away… as much as I’d tried. Heck, I’d even read up on all forms of self help, therapy studies, etc. (I would sleep through Psych 101 at this point. ;P) and have tried the lot of them. Positive Manifestations, Exercise, Directed Thinking and Breathing… and so on. None of it worked. Sure, there were moments where I felt ‘better’… but there were always moments I felt ‘better’. That’s a far cry from feeling ‘good’ though (Or really… feeling anything most of the time), and during my low points… it’s hard to get anything done that doesn’t have to be done (And sometimes, even the things that have to be done get put off)… So something needed to change.

So here we are. I’ve made a decision not to let this define me, and though in the past I would have said taking medication is doing just that, I’m coming to realize that by doing so (Or at least trying it… there’s no guaranteed success here, and I may still be working from square the first), I’m giving myself what I hope is the best opportunity to succeed in that. Only time will tell. And hey, even if it doesn’t work… it can’t be said that I’m not trying everything. I’ll be trying as time goes on to document this period (And we all know how well that tends to go ;P) for reference… we’ll see.

In Memory of Lynx

  Sixteen years? Longer? I’m honestly not sure how long Lynx had on this earth. In the end, it matters not. What does matter is the quality of the life he had… and I’d like to think it was a good one. A little more interesting at times than he’d perhaps have wished… and maybe a little duller during other occasions… but overall good I’d wager, if the affection he continued to express to the very end is any indication.

 

  Do cats reflect on their lives toward the end? Are they even capable? Or is it only humans that sit for hours at a time ponderously going over the moments that compose the narrative fabric of our lives? If he were to reflect, what would he consider the high points? Finding a family as loving as it was loud and ramshackle after being beaten near to death?  A combination of people and animals that from afar held more in common with a farm than a family. Or perhaps after a long drive across the country, it was a high to discover a new home, where silence was more common than the raucousness he’d come to know.

 

  What would the lows be? As a kitten, coming close to death at the hands of… Whomever it was he escaped from before finding his way to us. Perhaps it was the week or two he spent wandering a neighborhood he’d only recently moved to, before finally finding his way back into the house. There’s obviously no way to know, as cats are notoriously bad spellers. But it’s interesting to ponder.

 

  It’s said that cats know when the end of their lives approaches… and in Lynx’s Case, that was obviously true. He had a cancerous growth in his throat that made it progressively more difficult to eat… up until he was down to a liquid diet only. And though he had to have been progressively hungrier, he never complained, or made his pain obvious. I can’t know whether or not that was for him… or for us… but to the very last night, he behaved as if nothing was wrong… weakness aside.

 

  I don’t remember any more the thrust I was originally writing this for… nor am I sure what the point of this ‘is’. All I know is that July 9th, 2014, Lynx found the end of his life… and I lost a member of my family. It hurts, and it doesn’t make any sense, as we all will eventually find the end of our lives… but I loved him unconditionally, and he seemed to love the same… and maybe that’s what I was originally going to comment on… the rarity of that kind of relationship between people… but regardless, ‘that’s’ also what was lost that day.

The Beauty of Fall

I hear about it all the time. As the summer comes to an end the wind begins to dance with the eldest of the leaves, and donning their finest hues, the leaves in turn descend playfully to the ground below, blanketing the now yellowing grass with their lively colors, and reminding us of the transitory nature of our lives. How not only are we never truly done, but even in the waning of our lives we are still full of the rich experiences that have brought us to where we are, and if we only but take a cue from the leaves that dance with the wind, we can share the beauty of our own personal tapestries with the world around us.

And just as no words can ever truly hope to capture the experience of Fall, I recognize how shallow my own attempt at sharing the poignant emotions stirred when I read a passage written by one of my friends. It’s funny the things that inspire, and stranger still the result of such inspiration. She described a leaf, alone in the slowly fading light, it’s colors ranging from the bright yellows, to the crimson reds, resting at the cross section between stone and grass. With the hard rough concrete of her walk brushing the still vibrant green yard of her neighbors as the backdrop, the leaf inspired in her an awe that she was reluctant to taint by trying to capture it with the rudimentary tools available within her phone.

And while so enthralled by the whispered beauty of the leaf alone, as it shouted it’s colors into the night, she was made aware of the neighbors, coming out from their home to observe the young woman standing at the end of their drive. Here she paints the scene surrounding the island of beauty. You have a young woman holding a long forgotten cigarette, wavering ever so slightly as she stands at the end of the drive. Eyes decorated by a wash of dried tears and old makeup, she is raptly focused on what to them, is merely the ground at the edge of their yard.

I think what struck me the most in this story was not only the obvious blow to the heart such a sight brought her, but the candid manner in which she shared this excerpt from her life. She identifies herself as the ‘Crazy person of the day story’ in the lives of her neighbors, and sets this as a bar of experience to which we should all aspire, a notion I could not agree with more.

Now it wasn’t ‘just’ the feeling I got from that post that I wanted to share. It also got me thinking about… well… life. In particular, I realized ‘why’ I love excerpts like this as much as I do. It’s a glimpse at a world I will never see. I’ve written before about being colourblind, and even suggested way in which it may have affected my life. But when I’m talking to someone about it, and they express their sympathy, I wave it off with an expression along the lines of, “I haven’t ‘lost’ my ability to see color, I never had it, so it’s not like I’m ‘Missing’ something. ;P”. It occurs to me that this is why I’ve never felt the loss.

In much the same way that reading an adventure novel allows one the opportunity to explore dark forests of indeterminable age, with massive trunks that bear the weathering of years, underbrush that catches at the legs, and trips the unwary traveler, vines so long in the growing looping from tree to tree with no identifiable beginning nor end. In the same way you can almost hear the rustle of the wind through the boughs above, and the chatter of creatures that dance just beyond sight. The same influence that allows you to smell the once living husks of trees fallen in unknowable storms mixing with the verdant life of the forest today… This same power allows me to see the beauty of the world, the richness of life’s tapestry as if I truly could see the colors for myself. And is the reason that I’ve never really felt colourblind.

She agreed to allow me to reproduce the original post here attributed to her:

So I was walking back to my house after grabbing some food, kind of lost in thought. I saw a leaf on the sidewalk that was the most perfect fall leaf I think I have ever seen. It was school bus yellow at the tip and faded in blazing oranges and pinks into an almost painfully bright red shade and was nestled into some of the greenest grass in the neighborhood.
I stopped short and just stared at it. I considered taking a picture of it, but realized that this would make me that person who takes pictures of leaves on the sidewalk (hashtag nofilter). It was one of those moments that let me know instantly that to try to capture it would be to diminish it. A moment where making it important enough to try and keep shatters the illusion.
I must have stood there and looked at this leaf for at least 5 minutes, because when I came back to reality my cigarette had smoked most of itself without my assistance. Coming back to reality was done because a lady and her kid had come out of her house to see a vaguely disheveled, mildly hungover woman with smears of last night’s eye make up still clinging around faded tear tracks, standing mute and still just staring intently at the lawn from the end of their very short driveway.
Just not living life if you’re not somebody’s crazy-person-of-the-day story sometimes.
It was a really nice leaf.
It has been a trying couple of days.

Lauren Bartle

And link to the Original for those of you that can see it.

I got shot…

Not really (Just a Flu Shot), but it sounds better than, ‘I’ve been idly thinking’, so I’ll go with it. ;P Anywho, life has been quite hectic in the last few months. Most of the chaos (As is the usual) has been of my own design, inadvertently or no, and so of course ‘sympathy’ (Which I’m no fan of in general on any account) is in short supply. Between money issues, an ended relationship, and miscellaneous personal matters that are better off not committed to the interwebs, it’s been a bit rough. Typically I’d smirk it off and continue on as if nothing had occurred, but to be honest, there’s quite a bit piling up at once, and it’s not as easy to smirk off as I’d like. I’m handling it, and I’ve got idea for how to transition myself to a better space, but as with all frustrating things, it’ll take time. ;?

As to the Flu Shot, I scheduled it for ‘right before’ work Sunday, and even called ahead to make sure I’d have time. Unfortunately, the gentleman on the phone (The Pharmacist as it turned out) failed to mention that they’d be closing at 1800. Which was a problem when I was planning on getting there at that time. When I walked back to where I was planning on being shot, the metal grate was down, and everyone gave me that ‘Uh, sorry Joe’ look. Thankfully, when I brought up the fact that I’d ‘just’ spoken to a gentleman on the phone about coming in, the Pharmacist remembered talking to me and not mentioning the close time, so he kindly took care of the shot anyway. Which was quite awesome of him. Go Bartell Drugs! ;P

On they way home from work, there was a car stopped on the side of the Highway again. I pulled off, went back around, and came up to them to see if they needed something I could help with. Unfortunately in this particular case he needed a jump and as you can imagine, that’s a little difficult on the highway. Neither of us had a jumper cable long enough to stretch the entire car AND reach the battery of the next. Maybe I should grab a longer cable for the future. ;? Anywho, he apparently knew someone who would be able to assist him, so regretfully I left him there on the side.

The only other thing worth talking about at this point (And on this Blog) is the roommate search that is still ongoing. With my ex moving back to her parents at the end of the month, we now have a space in  the house to fill. ‘Technically’ we can handle the cost ourselves, but why deal with extra expenses when we can mitigate them by adding another body to the household. We’ve interviewed a few people so far, and have yet to find a ‘fit’ yet. We’ll see how it goes.

As an aside, I must have slept on my neck badly last night. It’s aching on the left side.😕

‘Pro Thought’

So I was introduced to a thread on the Planned Parenthood Facebook Page where the conversation made every effort to avoid the question being asked by a chorus of “My Body, My Choice!” posts that neatly skirted the conversation the original poster intended. Baffled by this behavior (Though sadly not Surprised), I decided to see if I was correctly reading what was being posted by composing and ‘Epic Length’ summary of the conversation followed by some data on the subject. As I spent so much time on it, I figured I’d post it here for preservations sake.

Okay, so let me see if I understand this conversation correctly. There’s a lot of sideways talking, and quite a few assumptions being pulled out of the air. Perhaps I’m missing something. Here’s what I’ve seen so far.

Conrad starts the conversation asking about the implications of disability selective abortion on the future of disability treatments and rights. Sophie makes an apparently flippant remark bringing the idea of a defense based on a ‘Sense of Communal Identity’ (Her Idea, not represented anywhere thus far) into the discussion in an attempt to dismiss it, and then (Ashamed? Deleting your post says something about your confidence in your words…) decides to delete it while claiming to have done no such thing in a follow up response leaving Conrad’s response as evidence of her prior post. A response where he emphasizes that going down this road results in the casual elimination of a large segment of society, and pointing out that he lives in said segment.

In her follow up post the idea presented is that women should be able to perform the biological act of reproduction in such a manner as to produce a child, while maintaining the right to choose whether or not to murder the natural product of such coupling. She then insinuates that this should be done in that face of Conrad’s ‘Personal Preferences’, and alluded to the fact that she was somehow taking the high ground by talking to him as a person… [This does not address the Initial Post]

Kiel kicks in that killing people based on personal preference is wrong. Sharon M brings religion into the discussion by arguing for a faith based recess to educate oneself on a common word (Making her the first to bring religion into this debate). Sharon F brings up the point that choosing to perform the biological act of reproduction in a manner that would produce a child with ‘her body’ does not rob her of the right to murder that child before it fully develops. She then proceeds to insult Kiel for his viewpoint, quickly devolving to name calling and making assumptions about his person that are nowhere evidenced in his post (Along the way she is now the second person to bring religion into this conversation). After this she proceeds to start imagining things about both Kiel and Conrad, before devolving further into a rant about archaic systems that nobody has even begun to allude to. She then announces the century, and comments on the state of modern society insinuating as she does that these novel observations. [None of this addresses the Initial Post Either] (*A*)

Jessie states that if you aren’t likely to get pregnant, nor likely to be killed, then you should not concern yourself with the murders that others do. She then goes into a discussion about her personal strife before ending by advocating for the partnership of ‘Pro-Life’ women. Sharon F shares her sympathies for Jessie’s Strife and Jessie responds again on this tangent. [Still not addressing the Initial Post]

Conrad confess a disappointment in the level of discussion thus far exhibited by the Sharon(s) and points out that they have made huge leaps in their assumptions about his and Kiel’s characters. In an attempt to emphasize his initial point that has thus far been unaddressed, he adds that killing the majority of children with disabilities reduces the push for research on said disabilities and further ostracizes the remaining children not killed. Pleading for the right of children with disabilities to live while alluding to the decision to terminate said children being based on a perceived imperfection, he offers adoption as an alternative for parents unwilling to care for the life that they willingly came together to create (We’re not discussing rape victims as they account for less than 2% of abortion, thus making them the exception, and exceptions do not a rule make. That is a separate discussion that we can have in an appropriate thread). [An attempt at returning to the content of the Original Post]

Jessie comments that it would be difficult for her to raise a child with disabilities, adding that there are a number of said children in foster care. Conrad expresses an appreciation for her compassionate heart, but asks her not to erroneously associate having a disability with suffering, as while there may be overlap, one does not beget the other. Kiel kips in to say that not giving birth should not preclude him from discussing the preservation of life. [The Original Post is still unaddressed]

Jessie acknowledges Conrad’s points about the effect killing off the majority of the population with disabilities would have, but insists that ‘even that’ should not limit a woman’s right to choose whether or not to kill her unborn child. She then registers her support for women who do not make the choice to kill their children with genetic disabilities. After this she shares that she considers ‘her’ life to involve suffering, and informs Kiel that not being able to get pregnant precludes him (And apparently biologically incapable women, and elderly women under this logic) from discussing the preservation of life. She encourages him to ‘have sex with Pro-Life Women’ to prevent a coupling that may result in a woman wishing to kill her unborn child. She also encourages conversation about the potential result of a biological act performed in such a manner as to produce a child before engaging in said act (I couldn’t agree more!) and advises abstaining if both parties are not prepared for the result of said act (*Applause* Sound Advice). [On the topic: ‘Yeah, that sucks’.]

Kiel expresses a kinship with Conrad, and offers encouragement voicing the support of females from ‘his neck of the woods’. He then professes a commitment to protecting the lives of unborn children, emphasizing the need to keep children with disabilities from being particularly targeted. Sharon F begins talking about ‘her body’ and professes a disdain for adoption. She then begins a dissension covering the extremes of childbirth (Attempting to use an exception to make a rule…) and emphasizing the potential result of making the decision to have sex in a manner that would produce a child on a woman’s life (Key Here See *A* Below).  She then returns to name calling and attempts to place archaic views into the mouths of Conrad and Kiel (That have shown up nowhere in this conversation beyond her) before announcing that she discusses her medical decisions with her physician (Good Idea!) alluding once again that this is a novel idea. After this she spouts out un-cited statistics and announces that she does not wish to contribute to those statistics… [She has very soundly avoided the Original Topic]

Conrad expresses his point in relation to Jessie’s acknowledgement emphasizing that in the majority of disability selective abortions, the mother chooses to kill her child solely due to the disability, and not due to lack of interest in having a child. He again advocates adoption. He offers sympathy to her suffering but restates that having a disability does not mean you are suffering, and he speaks from personal experience. He adds that as the father was a part of the decision to perform the biological act that results in the creation of a child that would have been impossible without his contribution, he ‘is’ in fact entitled to an opinion. [An Attempt to steer back on topic while addressing a few points that rose outside of it.]

Sophie returns to question Conrad’s understanding of the words he has typed, and again tries to force an opinion not his own onto him. She expresses support for woman’s ‘right’ to choose whether or not to kill her child. Conrad reminds Sharon F what the topic is due to her response having nothing to do with it. Sophie acknowledges that adoption exists, and states her disagreement with a father’s opinion having an impact on the decisions of the woman that chose to perform a biological act that produces children in a fashion that would result in a child with him. She acknowledges that pregnancy provides the support of a new life, and speculates on a future with artificial means to support a new life. [Only covers secondary topics]

Jessie expresses a questionably biased opinion on the desires of parents approaching the adoption system for children before stating that because life may be more difficult for a child who is unable to walk, they should be killed instead. She also states that a father should be allowed to talk, but not have any impact. Sharon F kips in by stating that a woman should be able to choose whether or not to kill her child, disability or no. Jessie quickly adds that while she has no objections to the adoption system, she opposes legislation to prevent or restrict a woman’s ability to choose whether or not to kill her child. Sophie (In an assumed continuation of Sharon F’s earlier attempt at using and exception to make a point) informs Kiel that not allowing a woman the option to kill unwanted children is choosing the life of the child over the life of the mother. [Still ignoring the topic, but at least ‘On Conversation’… Sort of…] (*A*)

Sharon M insists that a woman have the choice to kill her child. Sharon F Follows by exhibiting a gross lack of understanding human biology (Let me help you out. An Egg becomes an Embryo ‘After’ the sperm joins with it. Before that, it is merely a ‘potential’ child, also known as an egg. The beginning of independent life hasn’t started yet. So yes, the ‘Eureka!’ Moment does in fact occur after the ‘Foreign Cells’ enter the body…) that is likely due to *A*, while claiming this post as a ‘source’ of mockery… After this Sophie discusses the uterus as if there are ‘Property Rights’ attached to it and Sharon M questions the pre sex discussions of adults (Me too!), though she indicates that a man’s input stops there. [Wandering the Weeds]

Dustin enters the scene addressing the fact that there are opinions being forced onto Conrad that he did not express for himself. He then calls Sharon(s?) out for violently avoiding the topic, providing weak argument based on the recitation of her belief, and being aggressively demeaning while enforcing the fact that (Hey!) there ‘was’ a point to Conrad’s Original Post. He then tactfully adds that you can have a conversation with someone you disagree with in a respectful and charitable manner. Sharon M retorts that she has not brought up religion and emphasizes (IN CAPS, SO YOU KNOW IT’S IMPORTANT!) that women should have the right to decide to kill their unborn children, regardless of their reasons. [Acknowledges the initial post!]

Kristine shows up to thank Dustin for his comment, and identifies her liberal / feminist political leaning. She then acknowledges that Conrad’s original post is more than can be addressed with a simple “my body, my choice” statement. She asks about the rights of divergent groups, and also identifies her standing in the “Disability Community”. Kristine then follows up agreeing that having a disability does not create suffering, and expresses an appreciation for the diversity that disability brings. She then wonders about what will be done to keep the children with disabilities from being ostracized in the future. She (Adequately) summarizes the opinions being expressed as “So What?” and feels insulted by the idea that ‘this’ is a win for Womanhood. As an aside, she notes that she’s not offering a solution but merely echoing the Original Post, and wonders along the same lines while taking a neutral stance. [Summarizes and continues to ask about the Original Post]

Sharon F is back in action, name calling and all, while accusing ‘others’ of trolling… Speculating on Conrad’s unstated political leanings, she acknowledges that her contributions are not civil (Or Constructive), and attempts to reinforce the idea that a woman’s ‘right’ to choose whether or not to kill her unborn child is a ‘Civil Right’. She admits that she is willing to disregard, in fact ‘loathe’, any concerns that infringe on those purported rights. Sharon M contributes a few expletives of her own in relation to the conversation. Sharon F claims association with the “Christian Left”, but expresses disregard for “Religious Dogmas”… [More aimless ranting]

Sophie attempts to pull a portion of a comment made by Conrad out of context and use it to force an opinion on him. Jessie acknowledges the ‘So What’ viewpoint and reemphasizes the fact that a woman should have the right to kill her unborn child regardless of the reason. [Does not ‘actually’ address the original topic.]

Kayla arrives to express a confused seeming contradiction being expressed by Conrad. She implies that the fact that he has both stated that killing children with genetic disabilities will prevent the research into disabilities that will potentially find a ‘cure’, and also that a forced reduction will deal a severe blow to the social regard for persons with disabilities somehow indicates that he’s split between curing disabilities and continuing to provide for the community. (If the culture is creating an environment where people are through research and other means able to live more full lives… then the culture by that same regard is preventing the disability community from being disadvantaged. It’s by creating a culture where disabilities are the ‘Exception’ to a ‘Normal’ birth that should be terminated that this social devastation is likely to occur.) She further states a support for the community of people with disabilities, but implies that preventing (Killing, in the context of this discussion) and curing disabilities are equally viable options, and as a result of combing these two unrelated ideas suggests that there would be a negative effect on the disability community regardless of which is chosen. Finally she makes the error of associating Conrad’s Comments with the comments of others by indicating that his goal is the preservation of a community and in this, attempts to put a woman’s ability to choose whether or not to kill her unborn child against the expense of said community. [A very poignant attempt at continuing the conversation and it’s even mostly On Topic!]

Sharon F states that ‘she’ was the likely target of Dustin’s previous comments and acknowledges a disregard for opinions that differ from hers. She then reemphasizes her opinion that other communities, and in fact everyone, doesn’t matter if she doesn’t retain the ability to choose whether or not to kill her unborn child. Andrew shows up to wish he was dead, and Sharon chimes her support for Sharon F. Sharon F then makes an attempt at ‘respectful charity’ where she compares policies to encourage safer health practices and potential accountability to sex selective abortion in foreign countries. She then cites several one off extremist viewpoints (Exception Etc….) and references a law that doesn’t target legally obtained abortions as if it somehow defends her point. After this she states an opinion that women are under assault due to their reproductive abilities. Finally, she thanks Andrew for his death wish. Andrew follows up by describing his disability. [Not ‘On Topic’ but at least some of it is a rough continuation of ideas presented]

Sharon F thanks Kayla for her post and then with her now expected name calling indicates that she thinks those with opinions that differ from hers are no longer continuing the conversation. Conrad expresses some sympathy for Andrew’s feelings of lack of personal worth (Feelings that a society that stigmatizes disabilities would only further…) and acknowledges once again that as hard as having a disability is, it doesn’t make death a better alternative. Sophie follows up by asking Conrad to address Kayla’s previous post, to which Conrad agrees once he is finished with work. [Not on topic, but on Conversation… sort of…]

Conrad then attempts to clear up confusion by pointing out the misunderstanding in Kayla’s post. He states that research does not damage the disability rights community as the communities purpose (In ‘his opinion’) is to support people with disabilities because it needs to. If somehow every disability ever had a cure, the movement would be unnecessary. This contrasts with simply killing off people with disabilities until there are very few left. He then asks for clearer questions if anything isn’t understood, after which he attempts once more to move past the “My Body, My Choice” being shouted, and back to the original question about preventing a negative societal impact created by disability selective abortion. He then poses a question about the testing itself. [An attempt at Clarity, and a return to the Original Topic]

Sophie retorts with the obvious and ‘easy’ answer. Just cure all genetic defects (Now why didn’t anyone even ‘consider’ such an option!?). She then reiterates that women should have the right to kill their unborn children regardless of the outcome, and points out that testing for genetic defects isn’t forced. Sharon F chimes in by showing a lack of understanding the ‘Royal We’ followed by a gross misinterpretation of the question posed. She answers her own question (With a failed reference to Gattaca… or maybe not if the intent was support…) and through that tangled mess she patronizingly states that if anyone dislikes the idea that a woman can kill her unborn child, that’s just too bad. [I don’t even know…]

Jessie answers with a confused definition of eugenics (Which by its nature cannot be ‘Accidental’) and asks if the goal is keep women who have made the choice to perform the biological act that produces children from then deciding to kill those unborn children. [On Topic, and then poses ‘The Big Question’ which isn’t on Topic]

Conrad thanks everyone for their perspectives (On and off topic as many were) and based on the conversation concludes that there is no ‘Pro-Choice’ position that takes into consideration the impact disability selective abortion would have on the disability community at large. He clarifies that eugenics cannot be accidental and that both that and the idea of ‘breeding out’ is a nice way of saying killing off. He then makes a historical allusion to the dangers of choosing which lives are more valuable than others on a large scale. [End Attempt at getting the conversation back on Topic]

James shows up to point out how people have been reacting strongly to things that have nothing to do with the original question before asking one of his own. He wonders at why Conrad believes disability selective abortion would affect ‘common’ genetic disabilities (Using Spina Bifidia as an example) in the same way it has affected Down Syndrome by claiming that he imagines cognitive genetic disorders and physical genetic disorders would likely be treated differently. Andrew pops in with a bizarre statement encouraging Conrad to somehow create a situation where he was married to a woman that he should then force to have children with disabilities… [On Topic! And a real attempt at engaging in ‘On Topic’ Discussion!]

Conrad cites research that does not conclusively show that Spina Bifida is facing the same percentage of abortions, but does adequately indicate a high percentage that is ‘estimated’ at 50%. He then reiterates that his question is ‘What is being done to prevent it’ and lays the burden of proof that it won’t occur on those that wish to create an environment where the problem would arise. [Still on Topic… A Record for this thread]

Andrew is confused by the discussion and asks Conrad to expend his personal money for families who have not decided to kill their unborn children. Conrad points out that his last comment was to James, and Andrew exhibits more confusion about the subject being discussed. Conrad informs Andrew that there is actually a system in place to assist parents who have children with disabilities, and points out that there is an option available to provide for children with disabilities when the parents are unwilling to without killing them. [Back to the weeds…]

—————–(A Divider that is Still within the post)

Did I miss something or am I on the right track? Do you feel that I’m ‘Mis-Representing’ your opinion? Do tell, please. I did make a few basic assumptions, and those are as follows.

We are all adults here so I decided not to dance around the subject, nor to mince words. I expanded the traditionally used ‘sex’ into ‘The Biological Act that Produces Children’, and where appropriate identified situations where a woman has willingly chosen to have intercourse in such a manner that a child would result. There’s an alarming misconception that seems to be growing where sex is just a thing that people do to pleasure themselves and or each other. No, ‘that’ is masturbation, and an entirely different conversation. As the two are so culturally confused, I decided not to use the word sex to prevent any confusion here.

I am also assuming that we all understand where babies come from, and are not under some kind of misguided impression that a child is magicked into a woman’s womb at X Months. Just in case the short version is that when a future mommy and daddy (Or male and female or whatever titles you wish to use) decide it’s time to put his penis into her vagina while stimulating the penis to the point of ejaculation without taking any measures to prevent the beginning of a new life, the male’s sperm will potentially unite with the female’s egg and the process that results in an independent life has begun. From this stage forward, unless some form of intervention (Natural or External) occurs a new human will eventually emerge from the future mother.

Now onto the concept of abortion, please look it up in the dictionary if the idea confuses you. Independent life has begun to form and abortion ends that, unless you would like to argue that eggs are not composed of living tissue. So from even before the sperm meets the egg the egg is ‘living’, just not independently, and biologically will be naturally terminated by the body during menstration, or will begin developing into an independent entity after joining with the sperm. Abortion enters into this process by ‘terminating the pregnancy’ thus killing the developing child so that the natural (And presumably willingly begun, again the 2% of abortions that are the result of rape are outside the context of this discussion as it’s foolhardy to define a broad regulation based on an exception to the norm. Rather define policy for the exception specifically) process does not conclude. The developing Child’s ability to self-identify, or even provide for itself, does not change its status as a living (If not at whatever point is chosen ‘Independent’) entity. To say that you can ‘kill’ a plant, but try and argue that you are not ‘killing’ a developing person calls serious questions onto one’s worldview.

So now we’re all on the same page hopefully. Adults can choose to have sex, choose to do it in such a way that a child is the result, and by the arguments being presented here, the female (And not the male) now should have the ‘right’ to choose to kill that child before it is born. This power over the life beginning in her womb allows a woman the opportunity to have sex with a male partner without the natural result of said intercourse thus giving women everywhere the right to masturbate in the same manner that some men do! Awesome!

(*A*) As to this annotation, it’s interesting to note how those who favor abortion are using a military psychological trick to encourage more people to adopt their viewpoint. Quite a bit of effort has gone into ‘Dehumanizing’ developing children. From outright claiming that they aren’t ‘yet’ alive (Living Babies are Magicked in Later Dontcha Know…), to carefully using ‘other’ words (Though accurate in some cases) to describe both the child and the process itself (‘Terminate the Pregnancy’ over ‘Kill the Developing Child’ and attempting to make a distinction between children and fetuses among other things) in a conscious effort to remove those discussing, and listening in on, the process from the natural associations. This is widely successful in times of war (‘The Enemy Combatant’, ‘The Targets’, among other colorful nicknames) to allow soldiers not to contemplate the lives that they are taking by their actions, so why ‘not’ use it when encouraging people to kill their developing children as well?

Now that that’s clear, none of this has anything to do with the question posed. The question asked what was being done to prevent disability selective abortion from having a catastrophic effect on the future of people with disabilities. This encompasses not only those who are still born with disabilities that are not aborted, but also those who, as has even been brought up in this conversation, develop a disability through some external force. I do not propose an answer as not only do I not have any insight, but I would begin the conversation even further back by asking what is being done to ensure that well-meaning adults are making informed decisions that do not result in a situation where they are confronted with the desire to kill a developing child in the first place. And that is most definitely outside the scope of this conversation.

——(That was the end of the Post)

  Yeah… I might need a new hobby… >,>

[UPDATE: The  conversation ‘Almost’ picked back up, and I later threw this out…]

Holy Cow! Sharon F Aside, this is as cognizant as this conversation has been for a little bit now! Thanks Justin for starting that.

  On topic… here’s where almost every one of your arguments (Those of you making this argument) fall apart. You are talking as if some ‘Higher Power’ has dropped this child into your body… but exceptions aside, the only way to get pregnant, is to choose to. So your arguments boil down to, “I’m allowed to create a new life, and then murder it, and nobody can tell me otherwise!” Under this logic, our parents should be able to kill us if they then decide we’ve not grown into the children they’d hoped for. Why not?

  Under the guise of claiming some kind personal right, you are directly affecting someone else’s life. Someone who you are actively claiming no respect for. What makes you think ‘your’ life matters more? The simple fact that you’ve been alive longer? So then you do believe our elderly get to make the same judgement calls about your life?

  And for the love of whatever source of logic compels you Sophie, please stop mis-categorizing Conrad’s initial query. He has said nothing about children with disabilities being born solely to bolster the numbers of the disability community. He has asked that for those who are behind the idea of genetic testing and subsequent abortions based on the presence of a genetic disability, what do ‘you’ (Those of you in support of this) propose to keep this from having a dramatically negative impact on the disability community at large. If this question is beyond your ability to answer you can admit as much, that’s fine. But trying to change it into a different question altogether ensures that your answer is irrelevant to the current conversation. Perhaps you’ve genuinely misunderstood the question, even though it has been reiterated a number of times. If so, please look again at what is being asked.

Random Ramble on the Modern Relationship and the Nature of Love

So a friend of mine recently shared this article (Short enough. Read for Context). And while I thought it was a cute ‘Reversal’ of the Problematic “Friend Zone” argument that men make… As a “Reversal” and not an introspective look at the problems related to it, it’s certainly not meaty enough to be anything more than a cheap laugh. That said, there was some interesting debate that followed it, and I’ll excerpt a few points for context (Names omitted as I didn’t ask permission to share their thoughts wide.😛 And G is the friend that Originally shared the Article.):

W Says: This is an absolutely valid perspective. 100%. However, as someone who’s been on the other side of this more than once, I can attest that absolutely nothing is more personally devastating humiliating for a guy than being rejected by someone, especially someone they value or who possesses traits they admire and respect. If you meet and build a link to someone who reflects your romantic ideal and they reject you, what does that say about yourself? Lower standards? Build an emotional callus and try again?
Attitudes about what men look for in a romantic relationship have dramatically shifted in recent times. The meek, submissive girl who exists for the hearth and is seen but not heard, does what she’s told and spends her time dolling herself up for The Man to come home from The Job and expect The Dinner on The Table have been exposed for being as silly and backwards as they really are. This shift in paradigm has led to men hunting for values in a partner that reflect them being an actual partner – the SO who’s as much a friend as a girlfriend is considered to be the ideal rather than as “uppity”.

Unfortunately, of course, this winds up stepping on legitimate friendship, and there really isn’t a clear answer to how to solve this problem because emotions aren’t really rational.

X Says:“I start to think that this one might actually care about me as a person. And then he asks me on a date.”

Fun fact! If someone asks you out on a date, it is not because they don’t care about you as a person. In fact, the exact polar opposite is true, they ask you out because they care about you a lot!

If you reject them and they stop talking to you, it still isn’t because they don’t care about you as a person or value your friendship. In fact, the exact polar opposite is true! It’s actually because they care about you a lot more than you care about them, and that hurts them inside and your presence becomes a source of constant emotional pain for them!

But I guess the author doesn’t give two fucks how other people feel. She just wants to do whatever she wants without empathy for others, and if the emotions of someone else inconveniences her wants, that person is an asshole. I mean how dare they have emotions different from what she wants them to have, right?

W Says: The only solution is to clearly turn down a guy and leave no room for a romantic future. If you’re not attracted, you’re not attracted. I’ve been in this situation on the other side and when I was told no, that’s not how this goes, I’ve respected that and steered clear of the romantic entanglement. It only became a mess when either A) I wasn’t mature enough to handle that, which I’ve worked to overcome, or the woman wasn’t mature enough to be clear on her intentions. I will completely cop to A, I’ve been This Guy before and had to develop as a person to respect this and understand this. Conversely, I’ve also dealt with the B scenario – in fact, twice, the girl reciprocated and changed her mind immediately leading to a severe emotional clusterfuck.

We’re changing as a society into a newer (and I would argue far healthier) model of what we look for in romantic partners, and that change is going to come with problems as we adapt to the new model. I would call this an unfortunate symptom of that.

@X: The problem is that women don’t like the fact that they’re thought of as dating prospects first. And guys who try to befriend a girl in hopes of dating them later are creeps.

X Says: Not every guy befriends girls with ulterior motives. I don’t think its exactly far fetched to assume that if a heterosexual man meets a heterosexual woman and they get along well and start spending a lot of time together doing things like [excerpted from the article]:

– going over to each other’s houses and playing video games together
– going to see movies with each other
– going on day hikes together
– finding similar tastes in music and going to see those concerts together
– spend time talking to each other, just finding comfort in sharing their problems and getting support
– having deep intellectual conversations about books they’re reading
– adventurously exploring new restaurants with each other
– going to small weird theatre productions together and having fun mocking them

SOMEONE is going to develop feelings. Those aren’t friendly encounters, those are dates, whether you call them that or not. If you’re spending that much time with someone and you’re getting along THAT well with them, feelings are bound to develop and grow. Interpersonal relationships aren’t binary, it’s not a facebook status that is either on or off. Friendship is a flower. It has many different stages and forms. If you tend to it and continue caring for it and putting work in to it and all the conditions are right, it will continue to grow. it doesn’t just reach a point and then stop arbitrarily.

A guy may not intend to fall for a girl when he first meets her, but if everything fits and you get along that well, the flower’s bound to grow.

G Says:Why are those things dates? I do those with my friends with zero romantic intent. I am out atm but ill write up a proper response when I get home

Also I disagree with the idea that its okay to abandon a friendship because they say no to dating you. If you are that close of a friend to someone, and you abandon them simply because they aren’t interested in a romantic relationship, that is incredibly terrible, on your part, not theirs. Saying you don’t want to be in a relationship does not make you a jerk, not speaking to someone anymore because they don’t do what you want is.

X Says: so you’d rather someone who has reciprocated feelings for someone else just bottle up their emotions and continue to suffer through emotional pain just for that other’ person’s convenience?

G Says:That’s a bit of a hyperbolic question, but yes. If you care about someone, you accept their choice and move on. I have been on both sides of this scenerio myself and I don’t see anything wrong with it. If you care about them, why on earth would you want to throw away your friendship with them? It makes absolutely no sense to me.

I guess I just don’t see how a friendship is some devastating purgatory

Y Says:Because lots of people don’t have the emotional fortitude to continue on like nothing has happened with someone they care greatly about, or the emotional maturity to treat them as just a friend and not make awkward jokes or hit on them constantly.

Not that I don’t sympathize with your position, I’m just clarifying the other side. I’m sure it’s frustrating to make friends with guys who, after they reveal their un-reciprocated feelings, either drop off the face of the earth or continue to awkwardly hit on you until you just come around. I know, because I’ve had this explained to me in detail by a few girls. I think this is one of those situations where understanding both sides doesn’t necessarily make it better, because feelings.

G Says:I guess I just honestly don’t comprehend the logic for the other side. I understand it’s painful, and I by no means wish to dismiss anyone’s feelings as invalid. But in my experience on the rejected side of things, if I care about someone enough to ask for a romantic relationship, the idea of losing that person entirely just seems like it would be a million times worse than the pain involved in crying for a week, eating a tub of ice cream and moving on. I fell for them because they were awesome, and awesome friends are a wonderful thing to have.

H Says: If some people have attachment issues and are turned down for being dated it can often be more painful for them to remain friends with the person that rejected them. Sometimes its just easier to move on and forget the person and close the book on that chapter of your life.

Not saying thats the right thing for everyone but it certainly suits some people.

Now coming into the conversation at this point, I came up with this… which I ‘think’ addresses some of the problems being discussed… (Tis a bit Rambly… but if you’re reading this… you’re probably used to that by me. >.>)

  Okay, so read the article and it’s funny, *Ba Dum Tish* , this is what the “Friend Zone” laments look like from the “Other Side”, but in choosing that particularly charged subject and making light of it in a self-serving fashion, it’s as broken as the “Friend Zone” lament. So taking it for the funny, sure, but taking it for ‘any’ real kind of meat is as futile as taking a ‘Friend Zone’ lament as meat.

  The dynamics between men and women are changing all the time. No longer are men the sole moneymakers, and women the housewife. This impacts far more than just the workplace though. Now men and women both are expected to be sussing out their personal futures, and in doing so planning their partners around this. The problem lies in that while women used to be more prone to socializing and networking around (And ‘sometimes’ as part of) their tasks, men used to be ‘Objective Driven’ (Work, Food, Mate, Relax) with networking as a secondary function, and generally only to accomplish objectives. Now that we’re all (A Process started with our Grandparents Grandparents) being set upon the same stage… we’ve got to relearn the blocking and work on our delivery.

  Unfortunately, we’re still too close to a generation where things weren’t as meshed as they are now, so large chunks of our social education are still rooted in another age, and we’re still likely another generation or two off of children being raised in an environment where women and men are equally expected to both work and socialize without judgment. (How would you think about the guy that sits at home keeping up the house whilst his girlfriend works and they make ‘just enough’ to get by? What about the reverse… ‘Should’ there be a difference?) During this transition, the ‘Dating Scene’ is likely to be a bit strange, and this is only exacerbated by ‘little things’ like difference in confidence and a variety of socially grown mental states that our culture is so good at breeding. ;?

  Touching on a few of the things mentioned so far, it’s silly to think that people interacting on an increasingly personal stage will not develop a stronger connection. As you bring someone into your life, and into the things that you’re passionate about, some of that passion is bound to slop out. One of the problems we have as a culture is in our confusion about the different forms of love (An NO I don’t bloody mean the Gift Giving, and Praising, and Touching, and whatever the bloody ‘ell else those books go on about… the idea that ‘Those’ are the forms of love is part of the problem… :?). Many people associate a strong sense of camaraderie with romantic feelings, and this is only complicated by the fact that we don’t culturally teach about different forms of love. Strong feelings? Not Family? Have Sex. That’s the path people tend to follow.😕 (And ‘that’ could be an entirely different conversation that I’ll only lightly touch on one aspect of… >.>)

  While I want to like the “Flower” Analogy, I think to use it you have to realize that there are many different types of flowers, and you can’t eat all of them, though many of them may look and smell quite nice. The problem is that we’re working off this model of relationships that doesn’t easily allow for roses and sunflowers, dandelions and flytraps to be a natural part of it. We’ve got plants, we grow plants, we eat plants, and sure there are some hippies that wear flowers in their hair… but they’re a little strange… And while it would be easy to say, “You should realize you’re being silly!” when people don’t grasp that you can love someone without sleeping with them, this is not a universal cultural message yet… and patience is unfortunately required on both sides during the transition.

  Friendship isn’t a ‘Purgatory’, but when people are raised to see love as a single continuum, it’s ‘Upsetting’ when they feel as if they’ve somehow failed to progress, or when they feel that they ‘have’ progressed only to be told that they’re wrong. Unfortunately, until the idea that love between non family can ‘truly’ be a platonic thing as naturally as it can be a physical thing, we’ll continue to deal with this rough spot. There are a lot of related issues that simultaneously need to be addressed (Sex and it’s relation to emotional connections, open ‘Emotional’ communication across both genders, education on these things and more!) before a real transition can happen… but we’re slowing crawling there.

 

So what do You Think?