10 Annoying Things People Say

1. “I hope you don’t get offended by this but…” You are about to say something that is going to make me want to punch you in the face right? I never understood why people feel the need to say this. It must be due to a weak backbone because they normally follow this phrase with something highly offensive. “I hope you don’t get offended by this but… have you gained weight?” Why yes I have and thank you! I am not offended at all!

2. “When I was young.” I seriously think you have to be holding a cane to say this. I actually had a boss once say this to me and when I asked him his age he was younger than I was. Dude… shut your mouth, when you were young indeed.

3. “I’m the type of guy/girl that…” Why don’t you just show me instead of telling me? Honestly if you need to tell people “the type of person you are” you must not be living the real you or they would ALREADY KNOW. And if you are telling this to a new acquaintance just know it is annoying as shit unless you are famous and even if you are famous you better be Anthony Bourdain interesting. Half the time the people actually will do that thing anyways…

4. “How’s it going?” I don’t know why people say “how’s it going” when you pass them in the hall at work. I feel like a jerk if I don’t say a “same shit different day” phrase or something more than “hey!” Maybe I am just anti-social.

5. “You wouldn’t understand.” Is it because I am Korean? I am stupid? I am male? I am tall? I am skinny? I am looking in the wrong direction? God didn’t love me? Why? Why???

6. “I am really good at Starcraft.” LIES! YOU AREN’T KOREAN! I am offended.

7. “I am so tired. I never get any sleep.” Unless you have kids, work two to three jobs to make ends meet, or are in Law/Medical/Architecture school you don’t know tired. Even if you never have kids I still think this is a stupid statement, ask a parent with a couple children how tired they are pumpkin.

8. “Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL.” I hate you.

9. “I am sooo offensive!” You see I never claim to be offensive and in fact I think the whole world should love me. People that say this statement are generally as mild as the yellow packet of sauce from Taco Bell.

10. “America thinks they need to police the world and stick their nose in everyone’s business.” Yea, but you guys sure love to ask us for loans right? How are my tax dollars working out for you? I wonder if our Presidents get slapped in the face before or after we hand out these checks. When is it going to end America? Let the world kill itself.



Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter


She comes into your life and brings nature’s blessing. And with her entrance comes a curse of wanton passion. The grass is still alive as it blazes in the sun. The chorus of our laughter floats gently in the Spring breeze. We are the definition of love and our hands are linked as we dance amongst the growing and the grown alike. We enjoy timeless sunsets on picturesque settings creating canvases waiting to be painted at each moment. We love.

Time works wonders and bonds grow firm. We resolve to walk quietly into the night together. Hands held tightly against the shadows we once faced alone. We pick each other up in the heat of the Summer, against the blazing sun and humanity’s punishment. We turn as one, in unison with one another’s needs. I am your need and you are mine. And like an oak tree we grow together.

The rain has come and we have weathered storms. We still touch… but sometimes our hands Fall like leaves from our tired limbs. The chatter of children running around our base keeps us united, we are still united with finger painted signs and chalk figures. But some nights are cold and the moon shines two shadows upon the ground.

It snows here in Denver. The Winter seems to be most of the year… at least lately. But even with the constant ice, it does melt with the strength of will. A will we share each morning and return to each night. The seasons form a timeless ring that hardens into a golden promise. They touch each time our hands unite with infused emotion. Regardless of what emotion that is the presence of feelings means that we still care.

Jason Cushman

-Opinionated Man


Random House

Our rooms are painted with emotion as we live our life within them. We play our parts well under sun and stars. No script is needed as our hearts spar daily with one another. So passionate is the act our shadows join in the dance. They smile maniacally back at us as they observe the scene of the day. Random House… you present both ends of the essence of feeling and tie our humanity in a knot. Our hands meet and pause while we consider the mood of the moment. Moments spun together presenting life, the life found within the Random House.

Goodnight WP,

Want Views? – Pump Your Posts!

It is very hard for your article to get noticed if you simply send it out into the WordPress world and sit back and hope it gets seen. I avoid the “hope” part by actively pumping my posts before and after I publish them. This is a way to create “interest” in your article even before it hits the board. I pump my posts by pushing my blog towards groups I think will either like or hate a previous post or a future post I am about to write. I then count on timing for them to actually see the post I hope they get to read. It is from that single connection that a blogger can try to build a relationship with the reader.

Imagine WordPress as a River and not an Ocean. The river that all posts go to from bloggers on WordPress is always filling up and even more importantly those posts are being shot down a single line. The river image is perfect actually because you are counting on readers that are lining up on either side fishing for posts by tag. A blogger should keep this mental image in mind to understand how hard it is for a “random reader” to see a single post by you. The number of articles submitted each minute is astronomical and even “topic specific tags” are quickly overwhelmed.

The great thing about WordPress is that you can send a post down the river again if it is missed the first time. The frequency in which you do this will depend on you as a person, your motivation, and possibly your blogging ethic. People shouldn’t be worried about republishing old posts though because they are your articles, your work, and your words to be proud of.

I have said before that I make my own articles viral. I tested this out actually and I know it works. I was able to “pump” my original Women are Crazy article to close to 150,000 views in 3 months. That was active work done before and after the article was published. There are ways to ensure your work is seen. Whether you want to use those methods is really up to you.


An Introduction to Powerblogging – Part 1

There is a reason why I have waited this long to write this post and also why I have shared articles on blogging this past week. They were leading to this point, one which many bloggers will hate. That is the price you pay when you share information freely, especially about topics people dislike. If you were to browse the tags “blogging, bloggers, and blog” right now you would find countless articles on blogging and how to successfully make a blog. You won’t find many people writing on powerblogs, except in the most general way. That is because the term “powerblogger” was given as an insult to label those of us that WordPress and Blogger deem to be all about the numbers and audience. The insult is in the assumption that we also don’t care about our writing.

This post will be longer than usual for me and I plan to cover what I have learned about powerblogging this past year. Yes, you heard correctly, I have only been a powerblogger for a year and ironically I have only been blogging for the same amount of time. Success is a distant marker that we each get the freedom of chasing. I did not wait for someone to tell me the “rules” I made my own. I didn’t wait to learn “how everyone else was doing it” because I have often found that people have very “small minds” when it comes to ideas and execution. The human brain can often not be bothered to think outside the box, thus what we readers get are blog after blog of regurgitated, politically correct crap.

We blog for different reasons and I can confidently say that I blog differently than most of you… probably all of you. Some of the following will be known, but I hope some of it is new and might open your eyes to what a powerblogger is and does.

When I began HarsH ReaLiTy on January 3rd, 2013 I had no real plan other than trying to get my writing seen. That was the number one goal, “how do I get people to read my stuff?” It was only later on that I adapted the “wish” for comments as well, because to be honest a view is a view. Period. There is no “fake view” or “fake follow” the bloggers that claim that are idiots. Did a person not have to see your blog title to press like? Did we not have to read at least a word of your article to like and follow you? If you judge your popularity by “likes and follows” then you will have a fruitless writing career. I don’t pay attention to those numbers, they mean shit other than providing a basic understanding of daily traffic. This understanding can ONLY come from studying your numbers and seeing what gets viewed and why. Many might find this boring, that is understandable, but if you are serious about self-promotion, business, and selling those damn eBooks then you might want to start paying attention to your stats and dashboard. That IS your link to the outside word for your blog.

I value every view, regardless if someone follows me, comments, or presses like. I also don’t “like” any article I have not read. I will generally “follow” a person off the reader, so that connection will show up in their email notification as a “like and follow” by me. In truth I have not pressed “like” on that article. I followed a person because I skimmed their post, liked their title, or I see they are an active blogger. I then will wait for that connection to be returned in many cases. Is this a game of “I follow you and you follow me in turn” like I have seen post after post about? No, it really isn’t, because I am not studying the number of followers. I am waiting to see if a person that just visited my site has gone on a “reading binge” and has “blitzkrieged” my website. That to me is the indiciation that a REAL connection has been made. The “handshake” connection is actually where someone reads my about or bio, likes it, comments, and then disappears. That is STILL a view, I still value that interaction, but it is set in a different category from a habitual visitor.

I have repeatedly said that powerblogging is more than just “randomly” clicking on websites in hopes that people will visit you back. If it were indeed that easy, everyone would be doing it AND successfully, which is not the case. “Following” people is a large part of pushing your website out to the public. You will read and hear endless posts and comments on how bad of a practice this is. “It is insincere” or “I think every blogging connection should be a real relationship and not a ploy for business.” If you powerblog you WILL get these comments. You might even make it to the “big time” and will “randomly” happen upon those awesome posts about you while browsing WordPress. The awesome part is because they will be directly about you and your blog, they will name you, and they will villianize what you are and what you do. If this bothers you or if negative feedback causes you hesitation, powerblogging is NOT for you. You will need to be made of tougher stuff than that. Currently I could rattle off a dozen posts just this past month about me. I can also name many bloggers that think what I do is pathetic and a “low” form of blogging. You will have to decide whether or not public opinion matters to you and if it does you might want to reconsider taking any of these pieces of advice.

Generally I follow about 500 blogs a day. On a good day or perhaps a day from last year where my motivation was much higher, I would follow or connect with around 2000 blogs a day. My hope for a “return” on this practice has always been the number 750. I set that as a buffer number, because it is just high enough to push me but not to burn me out. I seek 750 new eyes on my website every day. To an author or someone that is pushing their business or books, this is where I say the marketing really IS. With every follower or every glance at your website you are realizing a “possible sell.” THAT is the name of the game and anyone that says differently is a fool and you should NOT listen to them. But if you instead write “for yourself” and are happy selling your books to only your friends and family… by all means listen to “Cindy and Jack” your kind supporting friends that will never tell you a negative bulletpoint. These people are not helping you though in the long run and an attitude that thinks that they are is the wrong attitude for self-promotion and success.

I listen to no one when it comes to self-promotion. There is so much bad advice out there. So many people with wishful thinking and sugary thoughts of “success will come when it is meant to.” FUCK THAT! I go out and I search for success because success is in all reality the ultimate mythical hart that every hunter seeks. Those that say they don’t care about success, all the while they pour their hearts into their words and product, are not only lying to you but to themselves as well. Living a lie can sometimes be the best remedy for failure. If that is your poison have fun foolishly enjoying it.

You cannot randomly click “follow” and hope to create a powerblog. There is so much more to this “art” then it appears. I say art because the process itself is an art. Anyone that has blogged on HarsH ReaLiTy and has seen my stats knows I am speaking the truth. They have seen my numbers and even more they have witnessed the fluctuations. Not an hour ago I was asked “why have your numbers fallen since last July and can you explain the bell curb?” Of course I can, it is the product of effort and lack thereof. I have not clicked follow or pushed my blog nearly as hard as I did last year and for good reason. They are my reasons. Last year I was actually “following” and actively pushing my website to the number of around 2000 clicks daily. That is not an exaggeration either. What a person must realize is there is a percentage to explain everything in life, especially a blog. Numbers don’t lie and if you know how to read them they can actually reveal the “heartbeat” of your blog. When I was actively pushing my blog I would have over 750 new visits a day and the retention rate of those visitors was higher as well. My content also has a large amount to do with this rate. Removing an offensive title and tagline would be an immeasurable help in gathering followers, but I refuse to change that. A Good Blog is Hard to Find is actually my new sample test against this theory. I can firmly say that it has shown me I have lost A LOT of potential followers because of what HarsH ReaLiTy now “stands for.”

The amount I blog on HR has fallen this year because I always intended it to be so. I never really planned on devoting more than a year to HarsH ReaLiTy, but I have also adapted that plan slightly. The problem with HR is that it has capped in many ways. I still gain followers daily, but the issue is when you get to a certain size people stop seeing you as an attraction. You gain a label and an outlook, regardless if your practices stay the same. When I say practices let me elaborate on what I mean by that. Last year I received anywhere from 300 – 600 comments daily and much of that is due to the fact that I posted on average 5 times a day. I want to reiterate here that “over posting” doesn’t exist, but pushing out tons of posts ALSO won’t gain you tons of followers. The reason being is that you will find few bloggers that actually read ALL of your posts. I have a few people like that, but it is rare and it basically takes time to find a reader such as that. They are what writers seek though. I spend a lot of my time responding to comments, reading blogs (yes, contrary to popular belief I actually read around 200 blog posts a day), and writing articles. The addition of the comments and emails adds considerable amount of work. I work four days a week in Information Technology and have the luxury of being able to blog at work. I therefore spend around 8 hours daily on my blog and often this includes weekends. I sleep very little and because I have kids I force myself to do a lot of my writing at night. This is neither practical nor possible for many people, but I am trying to provide a full picture of what I do.

7 days a week I was on my blog last year. It has only been recently that I have started to take weekends off and my guest bloggers will attest to the fall in stats because of this. I don’t care because I KNOW what drives stats and views. There is no “dormant stage” for a blog. There is either motivated blogging or lazy blogging to me. I hate laziness and will never entertain the thought of being called lazy by anyone. I have had this word fielded in my direction and honestly, it didn’t deserve the snort that it got.

Powerblogging is about money and making money. Whether you are pushing a product, sharing your writing, or basically trying to create a business for future ventures powerblogging is where you want your website to go if you are truly after numbers and success. Writing is a skill and something to be treasured, thus I have time and time again tried to present the difference to my readers. I take writing and blogging seriously, but I separate them. I always have and always will and this post should share why I do. Blogging is the business and traffic aspect of pushing my website, the writing is something I am always working on and trying to improve. As one commenter said, the reason I post so much is because I am not hindered by public displays of negative feedback. That is why I am writing, any review is welcome. To pick and choose is to pick and choose your followers and that to me is a mistake in principle.

I wrote an eBook back in May of 2013 and I shared my blogging principles and methods. This is a much larger elaboration and I have more still to share. The irony is that this post is probably more in-depth than the eBook, but I have also learned a ton since last May. Well, that is debatable, but I think I have.

Mirror blogs and secondary blogs are becoming more common. You will see many current “powerbloggers” (some of which don’t meet the description to me) hosting mirror sites in which they are simply refunneling their previous posts. While this in itself is not a bad practice, nor is it a bad idea, there needs to be some clear understanding as to what, why, and how this is done. There are some bloggers that will reblog themselves to gain views. The issue I have with this is when they reblog their own post… ON THE SAME DAMN WEBSITE. Who wants to see you reblog yourself? If you have been blogging for years and think you have posts hidden at the bottom of the pile that people might genuinely enjoy “again or for the first time” then simply repost that article. Don’t reblog it and make it obvious you are recycling your posts. When a singer lip sings do they make it obvious? No, they try to play that shit off because people don’t want to think that YOU “think” they are fools. Treat us like adults and instead just repost that entry and see if people like it again.

You will find many bloggers are using “separate” mirror blogs to push their current blog. This is a GREAT practice that has been in use FOREVER! People that think this is a new idea are either not in marketing or failed out of marketing 101 in college. Business owners and strategists have been using the “wall theory” forever. Bouncing ideas off a smaller target or “sample audience” OR simply using a secondary website to get eyes on a topic or issue. There is nothing wrong with this, WordPress isn’t going to run out of room because you decide to make a second website. Anyone that tells you that making new websites is “clogging WordPress” is OBVIOUSLY the best network engineer in the world…

Another thing some powerbloggers do is they create a second website that is completely unaffiliated to their first. They will then “rehash” their previous year’s materiel onto their new blog and by using the scheduling features they are essentially able to create a blog with no new materiel and one that is ready for a year. It is still their writing that they are proud of and are trying to push in front of the public’s eye, so fair is fair when it comes to motivation and even more importantly dedication to promoting yourself.

I don’t schedule my posts, but I have before. I enjoy writing “real-time” and allowing my audience to feel and understand what I think of the moment. I also don’t try and cram every single thought for my day into one post. Many bloggers create well thought out, scripted posts that read like a novel. That is great for them and all and they deserve the recognition and likes people give them from doing that type of task. For me I don’t think a post has to be perfect. When I press publish on this post, an article that is about 7 times longer than most I write, I will probably have a ton of grammatical mistakes that will be obvious to the reader that cares. The thing writers need to remember, especially writers of a blog where they are pushing their thoughts out every day, is that there will be just as many readers that don’t care and will still read. They will also come back and read more, as long as you are putting out new content. If you sit there and second guess your worth and the readability of your articles, you will only filter your website down to a point where it is no longer you. It is a filtered you and who really wants to read that? You should also take note that finding people that are writing about similar topics is the best practice in finding bloggers that “might” like your website. This is particular telling when you actively find people writing about your subjects, even as your topics change daily. This provides a mixture in viewers that will pay you back.

I post lots of times in a day, but each post is generally directly related to a singular topic. I don’t try to carry my readers on some long epic journey through multiple layers of thought because blogging is a “quick fix” type of enjoyment. People read blogs, instead of books, often times for a fast read. Under 1000 words and they really don’t want to think too hard. This is not the case for all bloggers, but understanding the existence of this predominate group will help you when considering what to write, how to write it, and how to present it. If you bury your audience in tireless posts and an overwhelming amount of imagery and mental pictures… you will lose most of your audience.

Titles are everything if you are a writer. If you run a photography or art blog, your titles “might” not matter as much because pictures will show in readers. I don’t post a ton of pictures, actually I rarely do, and because of that I must hedge my bet on a catchy title. But the title won’t make or break your article, it will simply go hand in hand with the percentage that you gather while writing it. It is thus harder on a “true writer” in many ways to gain an audience. This is also why I don’t stick to one topic, theme, or type of writing. I try my hand at anything and that “unpredictable nature” is also a bullet point in my “how to blog” manual. Humans are creatures that grow bored faster than any other animal on this planet. Keep that in mind when you are wondering why people aren’t returning to read the “same type of post” you have been doing for years.

WordAds is a great feature for WordPress users to see at least “a little” monetary gain from their efforts. Why write for free? Also, if your followers aren’t paying the price tag, why should it matter to them if you have Ads? I once had an “Ex-Follower” (yes, we powerbloggers actually get “ex-followers”) who claimed that it was shady of me to gain anything from my followers. I responded with a wake-up call. You do realize that you are paying someone every time you log into any website right? Gmail, google, and EVEN WORDPRESS ITSELF makes money off your usage. Don’t feed me this crap of “it is bad form to make money off anyone” because EVERYONE is making money off EVERYONE. Wake the Fuck Up!

This is getting long and I may come back and add to this later or write an addition. There will be many bloggers and powerbloggers alike that will absolutely hate this post. They will hate that I share this info, or that I do it in such a nonchalant way. As if I am supposed to care about what other bloggers think of it. Unfortunately for them and perhaps fortunately for my audience… I could give a shit less what other bloggers think of me or my methods. To prove this, I will even post this article on my new blog and see if it runs any new followers off. If you are always worried about what others think of what you are doing, saying, or thinking then blogging for an audience is not for you. Save yourself some heartache and instead take on knitting.

-Opinionated Man



I still feel new here

I still feel new to WordPress and probably feel that way because I am. I have only been blogging for 18 months and that is a very short time compared to many of you. I don’t really know how long I will blog, it was never my intention to actually still be writing this long. But I have found a give/take love with blogging, especially here on WordPress, and it is nice to have “an outlet” as so many have said.

I am not here to “perfect my writing,” but rather to try new things. I think that is the difference in my blog from a “writing blog” where the author or aspiring author is really working hard to create a particular voice. Or they are sticking to one genre and only focusing in on issues related to that subject. See that isn’t how I blog and never will be, so I can’t really claim this as my training ground. I like to think I push myself to write whatever I wish… to show I can. Poetry, infomatic articles, blogging articles, flash fiction, personal posts, parenting, and dare I say I think I write the woman’s point of view remarkably well. There won’t ever be only one type of topic found here and that is how I have kept my audience. I have only a few readers that actually read everything on this website and I am still amazed that people return for a second visit. That was never factored into my business model.

When I first started WordPress I immediately found the reader and Freshly Pressed tabs. I happened upon an article on Matt Walsh and decided to visit his blog. I was amazed at how many shares, comments, and likes his work got and I decided I would like to have that many people “at least” look at my words. I figured out how to do that which I have shared in detail in my blogging/powerblogging articles. Others may have their own theories and models, these are simply one guy’s thoughts on how to successfully build a powerblog. A powerblog is whatever you want it to be, just like a blog is whatever you want it to be. I have visited many blogs and that obviously includes the “larger blogs” out there. Many much larger, successful, and obviously corporate in comparison to my own. I don’t envy other blogs and instead use them as motivation to keep pushing my numbers. I left comments in my early blogging days on many of these large blogs asking questions. Guess what I got in response? … …. nothing…

Shouldn’t surprise me and I am in turn very happy when people ARE surprised at my responses to their comments here. It is much like the twitter purge I did, I believe there has to be a balance. I can’t visit every website that subscribes to me and I never intended to. I have had countless complaints about this and I find it silly, but I suppose some bloggers need a reason to be mad daily. I instead put a portion of my time and energy into writing blogging articles “for free” for those that read my website. I hope people realize I am writing these for you guys… they aren’t for me. They are mainly what I have learned in blogging and they are the answers to the questions certain assholes never responded to me about. It is ok assholes, I am sure you are very interesting people.

To sum up this obviously well thought out blog post, see this is another reason I don’t consider myself a writer really. I edit once and publish and never “plan” things out much. But whatever, the point I was making is that numbers are just numbers. You don’t always know how they got there. I worked for mine, but many get their numbers “handed to them” through corporate relationships, connections to TV stations, and other mass media feeds. Hell I haven’t even been Freshly Pressed and I am certain that staff has my blog labeled with a big X. That is cool I never needed anyone’s help and I certainly won’t start in the virtual world. I know I am offering $50 consulting now, but I ALSO answer countless emails with questions from random bloggers. Some who probably don’t even read my website and want free info, but I still reply. Regardless of what you have heard about me I don’t bite… if you have a question send it and I will respond. It may say “that is easily found in the WordPress forum,” but I will at least answer. Like I said, I do this because there was a time (18 months ago) when I couldn’t beg a response off someone who obviously “knew what they were doing.” I try not to be an asshole at least one day out of the week.



The Daily Opinion – Purest Bloggers

There is a point of contention between some bloggers about purity of method when it comes to blogging. Do you hope to connect only with those that “love” your work and through those connections do you hope to build an audience only of like minded people? Or are you like some bloggers (me) that would rather see their work in front of a million faces and hope that a percentage of connections comes from it?


Guest Post – Ruins and Ruminations

As part of my virtual tour through the southern parts of India, we come to a place which has ruins written all over it with lots and lots of history and religion going into this place.

Dhanushkodi, a small place at the southern tip of Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu state (my home state), is the closest point to Sri Lanka. It is said that Lord Ram (of Ramayana, one of India’s greatest Epic) went to Lanka by building a bridge of rocks from here, to rescue his wife Sita who was imprisoned by Lord Ravana. This place was destroyed totally during a 1964 cyclone and is now considered a ‘Ghost Town‘ now. Only a few fishermen live with their families there, relying on the tourism and fishing for their income. And the entry to this place is only via registered Jeep and only during a specific time interval because the water sometimes cuts the place off from the main land. During the Tsunami in 2004, it seems like the locals could see the destroyed parts of the city when the water went almost 3-4 kms inside and this place was surprisingly unaffected by the Tsunami.


A Ruined Church


Yesteryear’s Railway Station


Post office and other government buildings

This place reminded me of this quote : “The sight of so many ruins destroys any desire to build shanties; all this ancient dust makes one indifferent to fame.” ― Gustave Flaubert.
– KG

Guest Post – I Don’t Mean To Annoy You . . .

I hope this doesn’t offend you, but do I look as though I have gained weight . . . I am almost as big as you. For jimminy sake my friend, I thought we were friends, why you want to start off by calling us fat?

You know when I was young I never put on weight like this. Come to think of it, isn’t it common for us to grow out a little as we grow older?

You know I am the type of guy that is easily influenced by the opinion of others. Yeah right, everybody’s opinion matters . . .

So, how’s it going? Before you respond with that, “Same shit, different day” line, you do realize that by asking that question I really do not give a crap about how you are actually doing, I just had to say something and didn’t have anything reasonable to say to you.

Of course I would not understand. I am old, you are young. Nothing in the years I have lived has prepared me for the problems you may face during your life. Just wait until you are older and realize you could have come to me to resolve your little drama issue, because I have already “been there, done that.’ No, I am not Korean. I am just old.

But wait! I really am good at StarCraft and I am not Korean!

I realize you are really tired. But, let’s establish what the reasons for your diminished alertness is not. You are not tired form working a 10 to 16 hour day to put food on the table, washing the dishes, doing the laundry, walking the dog, feeding the cat, taking out the garbage. doing the shopping, flushing the toilet, picking up the litter you leave in the yard every time you come home. or answering the ringing telephone. But, I do understand how much energy you use in whining and sniffling every time I ask you to do something. Take your lazy tired ass to bed, you need a nap I guess.Oh by the way, your buddy called. He wants to know if you want to go . . . I’ll call him and let him know you are too tired to go . . .

Wait just a minute! Isn’t Tom Brady an Architect? Wasn’t he the father in that show from the 70’s about marrying a gal who had a bunch of kids and so did he? They had a maid named Alice, I think.

Maybe you believe you are an offensive person. Maybe there are others that agree with you. But you cannot be anywhere near as offensive as you believe, because I let you talk to me.

Yes, America is the world’s policeman, because every time your little piss pot country does something stupid, you cry to us for help. For once, handle your own crap and leave us out of it. We are your ally, not your mother. Damn!

( OKay, so I could not help it. OM put it out there and I had to play with it for a minute. I hope I don’t offend you . . . Wait, already been there . . .

Visit me at http://richbrunelle.wordpress.com

Reference – Speaking To A Larger Audience

Opinionated Man:

I love stats! So thank you for sharing some of your numbers. I had hoped someone will. Maybe the next referral will share their graph as well! -OM
Note: Comments disabled here, please comment on their blog.

Originally posted on Contortum Designs:

I believe that, as bloggers, we all desire a larger audience for our work.  We are here for a reason, we have strong and beautiful voices, and we want to be heard!

If you are like me you do not know the ins and outs of SEO, which is one of the most important aspects of gaining a larger audience.  I came across a fellow blogger who just happens to be an expert in this area here on WordPress, Jason of A Opinionated Man and A Good Blog Is Hard To Find.  Jason’s writing is phenomenal, I faithfully follow both of his blogs and recommend you do the same!  So, when Jason recently began advertising his services I jumped on it!

When I contacted Jason I had 48 followers.  Within minutes of him beginning his work I had more views and comments than I ever had before!  It was 

View original 220 more words

Reference – Doing It By The Numbers

Opinionated Man:

My first client and first review! Thanks! -OM

Originally posted on Unload and Unwind:

Hands up who enjoys interacting and chatting, debating and dueling and all the fun activities you discover when you join the blogging world. [pause for a hand count] Ok those of you with your hands down I think that if you’re like me you started this as a venture to talk about things you were interested in, explore writing in various forms and to connect with others who enjoy the same things.  I love writing and always have but I have fallen hopelessly head over heals in love with blogging.  It’s crack baby – that rush when someone responds for the first time to a post, that OMG moment when you see [cue heavenly choir] you have ‘A Follower’ all of it is an affirmation that your work has value and interest to at least one other person.

faith in abilitiesThere has been a lot of debate about blogging for ‘Purity of…

View original 487 more words

Guest Post – A little R & R

After the last post, I guess it’s time to rest and relax a little bit. Wanna go to a beach, have a beer 1-IMG_9551

and watch the sun set with perfect harmony or would you prefer a little chaos. You can get all that and more in Goa, the smallest state of India and is very popular with the foreign tourists. 1-IMG_9709

When I went there for a week’s vacation, I wasn’t very sure if it was my kind of place. But then I just fell in love, may be because it was slightly before the actual season started (around August – September) and it wasn’t that crowded. It has its own history being in Portugese rule for a long time. The cathedral in Old Goa is one of the largest churches in Asia (as they say). And all the beaches are very well maintained. I did a sort of a video with the photographs using a Tamil song that talks about this place.


Hope you are enjoying your virtual journey so far :)
– KG

Memories 1… 2… 3… and another

Those things we do. I have many vivid memories of obvious mistakes I have made in my life. Some were major and others minor. I suppose my project has put me in a reflective mood, so I thought I would share a few.

“You want my autograph?” – I remember hearing my name. “Jason!!! COME UPSTAIRS NOW!!!” I of course proceeded to climb those stairs as slowly as possible. You never want to rush into things you know are a bad situation and anytime you hear your mom use that high pitched, shrill sounding voice you know shit has literally hit the fan. Like any other seven year old I had a number of things I “thought” she might be angry at, but I wouldn’t know what it actually was till I saw her. “Did you write in sharpie on your brother’s window sill” my mother immediately asked upon my arrival. I did what any other boy my age would have done. I lied. “Nope, wasn’t me…” I said confidently. “THEN WHY DOES IT SAY YOUR NAME?” Oh… oops…

Betrayal At Krondor – This was my favorite PC game as a kid and it was light years ahead of other rpg games! Unfortunately at the age of 14 I did not have a PC of my own… this was back in 1995 in case you were curious. I solved this problem by formatting my mother’s hard drive so it would fit the 9 hard disks required for downloading the game. How was I to know that format meant – remove forever! I remember thinking at the time, while being yelled at, that it was a serious flaw to place a self-destruct button on a machine that was so valuable.

Dogwoods in Memphis – The first home we lived in on Stonewall had two beautiful dogwoods in the front yard. They were a kid’s dream for climbing and also beautiful to behold once their blossoms opened. I thought at the time that it was a shame that the only thing ugly on that tree was the bark. So I decided to peal it off. I was probably around the age of 8 and I was so proud to show my parents what I had done. It became apparent I had made some type of miscalculation from the look of horror on my mother’s face. My father was furious… it wasn’t like I had cut down a cherry tree or something. In my defense those trees survived and no one ever hugged those branches for dear life like I did.

“Dude Jason… I think we had a wreck…” – We were driving home from Nashville after a night of partying when I fell asleep at the wheel. It had never happened before, but fortunately this time I didn’t hit a car. What I did do was tear up five yards of guard rail, hit a bridge column, and the car ended up catching fire and being destroyed. Did I mention that it happened to be Father’ Day morning and it was possibly my dad’s car…

“Well that doesn’t fit… dammit!!!” – Recently I have discovered I suck at home repairs. I should not be allowed to do them. I decided to surprise my wife by switching out the back sliding door handle with a locking handle instead. Well it helps if you look inside and see what type of door it is. Unfortunately I tried to put a normal lock on a latch handle opening. For those that don’t know, that is kind of like the square peg in the round hole scenario. Needless to say, my wife was pretty pissed at the large hole I had drilled for the handle that didn’t fit.


2014 Wish List

I have a wish list for 2014. I will number them.

  1. I wish for 2014 to be the year no one writes about me. Either positive or negative. That would be awesome.
  2. I wish for more sleep. I ask for this yearly and fail yearly to have it granted.
  3. I really want a BMW. It doesn’t have to be new, just “newish.”
  4. I hope this is the year THEY come finally.
  5. I would like for my kids not to get sick as much this year.
  6. I want to write more, get better at writing, and work on dialogue.
  7. I wish less people would actually touch me this year. Today a guy randomly patted me on the back after a brief conversation at a store. That is cool and all… but I almost melted from human contact.
  8. I wish less people would have abortions.
  9. I just want a Super Bowl win! Who do I have to pray to for that? I am not above sabotaging a team bus…
  10. I wish more people would consider the stupid shit they say in public that everyone else is forced to listen to. You have every right to be as dumb as you like, but please don’t torture my ears and sanity with your drivel.
  11. I wish everyone in America had to retake the drivers test and actually pass this time… I want to see the test scores too. There is no way some of you actually took a legitimate test. Maybe a go-kart test or something.
  12. I wish the news would be less bias. All channels.
  13. I wish reporters would get their facts straight before reporting stories. News stations and reporters DESERVE every dollar they are sued for when they falsely report shit. Do your job right, stop cutting corners, and stop ruining random people’s lives assholes!
  14. I wish you were all real people. Granted, you are very talkative machines…


These People Should NOT Read My Blog

I created a list of people that shouldn’t follow my blog. This was prompted by a comment by one of you. I will number these to make it easier to digest.

  1. I don’t think depressive people should follow my blog. I have struggled with depression myself throughout my life and you know what happens when two depressives get together right? Ice cream, Sex in the City reruns, and boxes of tissue right?
  2. People that are easily offended shouldn’t follow my blog. I have said this repeatedly and even have a nice tagline as a warning…. And still people think I am joking. It amazes me!
  3. North Koreans and possibly the Chinese. I know I make a lot of jokes at the expense of other Asians. I would apologize… but that would just be a lie.
  4. Dennis Rodman – Dennis if you are reading my blog get the hell out of here asshole and go back to North Korea!
  5. People that have had an abortion probably will hate my blog. I get that and I wish you the best. I won’t change my words or views simply because there are “nice people” out there that have made mistakes. I have done bad things as well and I expect judgment for them.
  6. Trolls or groupies – I am not wealthy. I am married. I have a wife and two kids. There will never be an “I love you” in a message from me. Some of the emails I have received lately strongly suggest that some people have not read my bio. Read my bio. 2014 is the year of the anti-troll system. It is working so far.
  7. Clown lovers – I really hate clowns. I really do.
  8. Ultra-Religious Types – I am going to guess that my blog and views on religion won’t fly with most people.  I am ok with that… are you?
  9. If you hate generalizations – you will hate this blog.
  10. Feminist – Now I personally don’t think I have done anything to offend the feminist in the world of WordPress. Unfortunately the memo has been sent out that OM is a misogynist bastard. At least they got the bastard part right. To the feminist I have offended so far I have two words. Opinionated Man.
  11. Patriots Fans – If you love the Patriots and Tom Brady you probably will hate my blog. If you don’t… I will try harder.
  12. Real Writers and Authors – I know my punctuation and grammar suck. You probably want to save yourself the torture and just read a Tom Clancy novel or something… I get a mental image of “real authors” reading my blog and *snorting* saying “why the hell does this guy have so many followers?” Ouch…
  13. Poets – My poetry isn’t really poetry. It is more like random lines made to rhyme. I am certain this annoys real poets; you may want to just skip my blog.
  14. Serious Sussies (This is not referring to a real person) – Super serious people might want to read CNN instead. My blog is awash with lame, humorous jokes that most people don’t find funny other than me. It is like a comedic hell in here!
  15. Freshly Pressed Staff – I make fun of your choices a lot. You probably don’t want to hear me bash your hard work, but sometimes I can’t help it. Margaret Cho is the most “progressive” Korean-American??? REALLY??? UGH…

At least it has been said so if you do choose to stick around… well you have been warned.


WordPress Meet and Greet #3 – All Bloggers Welcome

Well this is the third post I have done like this so far and I have seen some great connections. I’ll keep doing these off and on and I think they provide a great way for “active bloggers” to network.

All bloggers are welcome to use this post as a “Self-Promotion” thread for their blog, projects, causes, writing, books, eBooks, food, fashion, or whatever you are into. You may post links, book covers, or whatever you like and feel free to revisit and leave a new comment as this thread will quickly fill up.

Hopefully some authors, photographers, painters, writers, and bloggers will take the opportunity to push their work. Please keep promotional comments on the posts dedicated for that purpose.

Feel free and re-blog or share this post. Thanks!


Memories 1, 2, 3…

*Marlboro lights – You remind me of Mary. I miss her dearly. She was a great friend, a confidant, a shining light in my life during a time I needed some light. Taken too soon from us, you will be missed.

*Kids on bikes – I am reminded of when I was younger and still living in Jackson Mississippi. I had a small dirt bike, a hand me down from my brother, and all my friends had nice new “multiple speed” bikes that were just coming out. Needless to say I lost every race. I recall often times throwing my bike into a dirt ditch in frustration.

*Dirt ditches – Anytime I see a street or neighborhood without a sidewalk I am reminded of Jackson, MS. Many of the neighborhoods in Jackson don’t have sidewalks and I get a familiar tingle when I see the same thing in other cities. Ever felt like you were walking down a memory?

*Throwing Stars and nunchucks – I get a vivid memory when I think or see these words. It reminds me of Knoxville, TN. My Asian friends (and the token white dude) were in the parking lot of one of the dorms on campus hanging out. My Filipino friend decided to show us his nunchuck skills. I will say here that he was pretty good. To this day I do not recall any glances of fear or alarm from those passing by, but someone obviously called the cops. A cop car screeched into the parking lot and two white sheriffs stepped out with guns drawn. “Get your hands up and drop the weapon!” We looked at each other in confusion, but of course complied. After making sure we were not a threat, we were left with one last memorable statement. “You boys don’t have any throwing stars or knives do you?” Nice…

*Captain Morgan – Cigarette thrown, angry Korean, guy gets a bloody nose, more rum.

*Wendy’s after midnight – Knoxville, TN we pulled up and ordered almost everything on the menu. As we got to the window we decided it was an appropriate time to spark up. The lady at the window looks over her shoulder for her manager and then says “give me a hit and the food is free.” Win!

*Seattle Washington and stupid buses – So I arrived in Seattle in the summer of the 2000 for the motherland tour to Korea which I write about in my adoption story. I arrived a day earlier so the other people going on the trip were not yet there. One girl was and she invited me to go downtown to the mall to meet some of her friends she had not seen in some time since she was not from Seattle. I agreed and we saw a bit of Seattle and I quickly fell in love with the city. When it was time to go she decided to hang around and I told her I was fine getting a bus back to the airport hotel we were staying at. The problem was that at the age of 18 I had never actually ridden a city bus before. I figured it would be as simple as walking to the opposite side of the street and getting a bus going the opposite direction. How was I to know, I was from Memphis, TN where you don’t ride a bus unless you have to… ever. Needless to say I did not get to my destination and I was forced to ask a police officer, like the orphan that I was, how to get to the airport. Embarrassment

*Scottsdale, AZ – One of the few memories I have of my father and I spending time together. I don’t begrudge him, he  is my role model when it comes to providing for a family. He was always busy, but as a chief physician and a teacher at medical schools that shouldn’t be unexpected. It is to a kid though. Scottsdale was beautiful and my father was giving a talk at a place called the Phoenician, which was a Ritz. It was my first Ritz… I will remember forever the mother of pearl swimming pool there. Amazing

*San Antonio, TX – Basic training. Getting a post card 3 weeks in from my family on an Alaskan family reunion cruise. Miserable

*Cracker Barrel – This place is really white and even though I am with white parents I never belonged there. One of the few restaurants I have ever felt that way. I don’t go there anymore.

*The 3 – My two friends and I as kids were the 3 forwards on our soccer team and we kicked some 10 year old ass back in the day. Those fools never knew what hit them…

*The Year Off – My transition from junior high to High School was funny because the inner city schools in Memphis, TN have never had strong soccer teams. When my friends and I entered into the “system” many city soccer coaches took notice because there was literally a “team” of us in the same 2 grades. I remember as we were getting ready to enter High School that I met my future coach, a real pompous braggart that was one of those soccer coaches that dresses as if he is a player too… give it up. He would even try to show us techniques, which was amusing considering most of us played competitive soccer since the school soccer was really just amusing to us. That was the year I “took a year off from soccer” to play golf. The High School coach was not pleased, he wanted us all on his new “super team.” Tough shit Sherlock, I don’t regret it to this day asshole.

*Pre-AP English – “You won’t ever be a good writer. Many people aren’t great at writing, try something new.” So motivating…

*AP English – “Mom I got a 4 on the AP English exam! Can I go shove it in Mrs. ___ #@$%#@%@#$ face?”

*12th grade Art class – My first in school fight that I got caught for. In my defense… it was self-defense. Memorable line from the Principle “we punish all offenders equally here!” My mother “well that is the stupidest shit I have ever heard!” Love…

*2008 – You are released from service Airman. “OMG… OMG”

*The King and I – I was one of the Emperor’s children in a traveling Broadway production of The King and I in Memphis, TN. That was one of the greatest memories of my childhood.

*Boy Choir – I miss my voice. I was a soprano till I was 16 years old. I got made fun of, but I didn’t care. Now I sound like a mortician.

*HarsH ReaLiTy – “This online journal should be a fun and relaxing way of writing a diary…”

Some Personal Retorts – By: OM

“You eat meat? You murder animals.” …I hate baby elephants…

“Do you know how many calories are in that?” The same amount as there was when I ate it yesterday?

“Are you throwing that away? There are starving people around the world!” Did you want me to Fedex my leftovers or something?

“Hate is such a strong word. You shouldn’t say you hate people.” I hate you.

“All you do is write your opinion. You don’t ever debate or allow others to share theirs.” Ok, are you finished yet?

“You are going to hell.” Been there. They kicked me out…

“Koreans are horrible drivers.” Good, I will have an excuse when I run your ass over.

“All Asians are good at math.” That is because we are all smart enough to buy calculators… stupid.

“Chopsticks are so hard to eat with! I barely even get a bite!” Why do you think Asians are generally so skinny? Even we hate eating a whole meal with chopsticks. Where the hell is my spoon?

“Are you worried about when the time comes for your daughters to date?” I am only worried about having the energy to dig that many graves…

“You are such a misogynist asshole.” Pure butter baby.


For Males Only – 10 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Every year I try to cater to my few male followers and write an opinionated article for Valentine’s day. This is a long standing tradition running a year now. I couldn’t think of anything witty to write this year other than my previous post “Why you are alone on Valentine’s Day” so I decided I would write a list of gift ideas. Take what value you can from it guys, it has served me well.

  1. Buy her a tree. You can decide what type of tree or what size, generally a smaller tree will work, but I never understood why men get caught in this monotonous routine of buying rose after rose. What ends up happening is you will get the same smile and the SAME sex. Get her a tree and sparks are going to fly. Trust me. You can even plant it, but trying to pass off a tree that was previously there is really going to depend on how much she drinks.
  2. Guys if something is wrong with you and you actually like buying women’s clothing then at least do it properly. Figure out what size she wears, clothing has this thing called a tag inside that has numbers on it. You write the numbers down and ask the nice fake smiling lady behind the counter where the so and so is. If you find yourself embarrassed trying to say what you are looking for, describing is acceptable merely by pointing at the different regions of your body, but please abstain from pointing overly at your groin area. This can cause possible law suits or police intervention. Also, to the fathers out there, bring those kids shopping! I don’t know what these “other dudes” are talking about, but kids are CHICK MAGNETS!
  3. I feel a second gift advice is needed for clothing. If you are feeling Indiana Jones adventurous and actually buy your woman a shirt or dress buy a size down at least! Every guy that has been dragged through a mall by a woman, I read recently some Asian guy during Christmas Season literally threw himself off the balcony at the mall because his wife wouldn’t stop shopping, knows that different brands mean that the sizes can technically also be different. Even if the number is the same! Hedge your bet, buy a size or two down and keep the receipt. If she gets mad, which by the way her fury over this will be miniscule compared to her RAGE over you buying a size UP, then you just take it back and try to look puppy dog sorry.
  4. Buying chocolate is a horrible idea and what if you “accidently” get a low-fat chocolate bar. God, Your Life Is Over… and please Youtube that Shit! If you insist on buying her candy get her gum. I never saw a woman that complained about getting a stick of gum. Big League Chew is also a good option.
  5. I think that if you are Korean you might consider inventing a riding vacuum cleaner. I do a lot of vacuuming myself and I think a riding vacuum cleaner would kick ass. Especially if it had a drink holder.
  6. A Man-Shaped Punching Bag – Now this might exist. I am far too lazy to check amazon.com for this, but I think inventing, making, or finding and buying a man-shaped punching bag would be epic! I do caution that if you decide to surprise her with it and hang it in the garage… actually that is a bad idea. And if it is a girlfriend she is probably going to dump you for being a creep.
  7. The “Show me only what I want to see” Camera – If you can make this next Japan please consider inventing a camera that only takes pictures of what women “perceive” they see. And not actually “what” they see. This is for all us husbands that must sit through picture sorting sessions. I hear North Korea uses a similar practice for torture.
  8. Happy Liquor – I wish they could invent a liquor that ONLY makes women happy. No sadness, depression, melt downs, or thrown boxes of Valentine’s day chocolate. Just Happy… [plays Pharrell’s new song HAPPY]
  9. Stress balls that resemble a pair of men’s… jewels. This might seem like an odd or pornographic idea, but think about what a win-win it is men. They get to squeeze something of value in more ways than one and you in turn get to watch those stress lines disappear. You know the ones that appear around the eyes right before “tiger mode.”
  10. A mood ring that works. I think this would also serve as an “emergency response signal” to forewarn us of inclement weather in the near future.
  11. 1,350 Books. This is a great idea for those of us that have multiple sports seasons we love and must watch. If you are married to or dating a book lover get an endless amount of books for them so they won’t hog the television with their awesome channel selections. Trust me, it will work.

Well that will about do it. I am going to just say that the writer of this article, me, takes no responsibility for advice taken or badly followed. Best of luck men in the battle to come. Go Joe!

-Opinionated Man

10 Ways to Make Your Day Awesome!

1. Play “Eye of the Tiger” while you shower. That is a magical experience. Seriously try it.

2. Convince the spouse to have sex in the morning. Everyone has sex at night… boring! Morning sex really is awesome. Awesome.

3. Tell the woman at Starbucks that your name is Superman/Superwoman. Hearing your name or seeing it written will make you feel crazy good. Crazy good!

4. Eat a burger at Outback Steakhouse in America. If you are from a foreign country… well it must suck not to be American. I got lucky and was drafted from Korea.

5. Drink a morning beer. I don’t know what it is with connecting the image of an alcoholic to morning beverage consumption. On average a fridge presents very few options mostly consisting of either orange or apple juice, milk, and a various selection of beers. It is therefore a rational human response to grab a can of bud lite. Everyone knows it is just like water… plus a few nutritious ingredients. What the hell is the problem here?

6. Buy a number one from McDonalds and don’t you dare use location as an excuse. Everyone knows there is a freaking McDonalds in every country except North Korea.

7. Hear the words “I love you” from anyone, even if you have to give $10 to the crackhead on the corner. An “I love you” is all about feelings.

8. Tell someone at work you are dying. It is amazing how nice people are to you, honestly amazing…

9. Say “OM” in the morning. You might even make a wish and if it comes true I take full credit.

10. Call in sick to work. Honestly is there any better feeling than calling in sick to work?


Guest Post – Why We Shouldn’t Be Proud of Gay Pride

The Gay Pride festival took place a few weekends ago in the City of San Francisco. The LGBT community in the Bay Area is large enough and demonstrative enough to have prompted Oakland to host its own Pride Festival in September for the past several years. Thus, the millions of us who live here are reminded at least twice a year of the prevalence of homosexuals in our area and in the country at large.

Personally, I think it’s a disgrace. To my mind, there is absolutely no reason why the gay and lesbian community should still, in the twenty-first century, have any reason or need to hold a festival in order to discourage feelings of shame in being gay.

I mean, really, people. Homosexuals have been around for thousands of years that we know of, and probably since the beginning of humankind. Clearly they aren’t going anywhere. Get over it.

And people are getting over it. Like non-whites and non-Christians, non-heterosexuals are gradually becoming a part of mainstream America. They’re not just drag queens and theatre actors anymore, but musicians, politicians, and athletes. They’re characters on television, and in movies; characters with depth and style, not mere stereotypes of what homosexuals were once popularly supposed to be.

Yet there’s still a difference in the way gays and lesbians are handled in the popular media, and this, to me, is the crux of the matter, the yardstick by which we know that the homosexuals have not yet gained acceptance as an “ordinary” minority. Because it’s still big news when a celebrity comes out. And because so many of those roles that feature homosexual characters are not about everyday people who happen to be homosexual, but about their homosexuality itself.

And that’s a crucial difference. Living where I do, I’ve met many gay and lesbian couples and the reality is, apart from the fact that they prefer to go to bed with members of the same sex, the majority of them are essentially indistinguishable from heterosexual couples. In my experience, most homosexuals don’t actually fit the “types” you’ll see featured if you attend the Gay Pride festival. Most of them are perfectly assimilated into a mainstream American lifestyle, and many more of them would be if the heterosexual community would simply let them. Being gay doesn’t mean they have different customs and values; if it did, they wouldn’t be fighting so hard for the right to marry. Shouldn’t we be applauding their desire to make permanent commitments to their selected mates? Doesn’t that make them more like the majority culture, not less?

Yet people continue to argue about homosexuality as if it’s a moral or behavioral issue and not a biological one. For once and for all, let us please stop debating whether homosexuality is a choice. It can’t be a choice. Because if it were, who would choose it? Who would willingly volunteer to spend their lives being mocked and scorned and beaten and abused if they could help it? Who would choose to live with that fear and contempt, to spend their lives in clandestine love affairs or risk ridicule and censure? There’s no overcoming the sexual instinct. If that were possible, babies wouldn’t be born out of wedlock and prostitution would be a dead profession. If heterosexuals can’t conquer their sex drives, why does anyone expect the homosexuals to be able to?

Minorities will always be minorities, and to a certain extent, they’ll always stand out because of that. Indeed, this “melting pot” that we call America was basically founded as a haven for differing minorities, and the astonishing variety of individual cultures that have made a home here will only continue to increase as the decades pass. But the day will eventually come when non-heterosexuals won’t have to be defined by their sexual orientation. When they’ll be able to be people first and gay second. When they’ll no longer need a Pride festival to champion homosexuality. Because no one will even give a damn anymore whether they’re gay or not.

I’d like to attend the Pride festival several decades from now, when they make the announcement that it’s to be the final one. And if the LGBT members of our community don’t show up because they’re all at home with their families going about their own business, then I’ll know it’s time to celebrate the acceptance that they’ve finally achieved.

Lori Schafer

Guest Post – The Human Races: Do We Think Differently?

I recently saw an episode of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman which dared to address a very delicate topic: whether there are biological differences between the races that go beyond skin color. It’s certainly obvious that those differences exist. No one can dispute that the average African is taller than the average Asian, or that fair-skinned peoples are more susceptible to skin cancer, or that redheads are more likely to be Irish than Latin. But there’s a certain discomfort level that comes into play when we begin exploring the brain function of the different races, and this, I believe, is because no one wants to give the impression of being a racist by arguing that the brains of the various ethnic groups may actually operate differently from one another. But why wouldn’t they? It’s almost crazy when you think about it. If our bodies differ, then why wouldn’t our brains as well? Because the brain, just like the body, is bound to evolve to adapt to its particular environment. And historically, the various races have evolved in distinct parts of the globe. In fact, it would be a darned shame if the brains of the diverse peoples of the world were all the same; that could only mean that nature isn’t doing its job.

Here’s the crux of the matter, in my opinion: no one wants to say that someone is different because they think it implies judgment. And for some people I’m sure it does. But what those people are forgetting is that there is no objective good, better, best when it comes to humanity. There is no right path and no wrong path, only paths that lead to survival and paths that don’t. The best possible human for one environment may be ill-suited for survival in another. And at the rate at which our environment is changing, it would be difficult for anyone to predict what sort of human will be best adapted to life in the next century.

And this is where the ideas presented in the show begin to make a lot of sense. It examined hypotheses, for example, in which conditions like ADHD have been posited as natural developments in peoples who may have had a biological advantage in remaining constantly on the move. In other words, it wasn’t necessarily a mental defect; it could have been an adaptation. Opens up fascinating possibilities, doesn’t it? What if it turned out that obsessive-compulsive disorder actually derived from chaotic, filthy environments in which rigid controls and excessive handwashing were advantageous behaviors to the people engaging in them? I could almost see it. Like the tonsils or the appendix; we know they must have been useful at some point in human history, but we can no longer imagine why.

And, like the victim of the obsolete but nonetheless inflamed appendix, people with ADHD perhaps don’t function quite as well in modern society, which requires a lot of focused sitting. It makes one wonder as to the source of the current autism epidemic, for instance. Is the condition really just better diagnosed in the 21st century, or is it actually more prevalent, and if so, why? Consider this study, which found that the children of parents who work in technical jobs are more likely to be autistic – suggesting that the qualities required by modern-day white-collar positions are akin to those of autistic individuals. Disease, or adaptation gone awry?

But then why should intelligence be any different? Why do we assume that every race of people should have a brain that operates in precisely the same way as every other?

It’s been demonstrated, time and again, that, on average, blacks and Latinos have lower I.Q. scores than whites, while Jews and Asians have higher average scores. Now it’s been argued for decades that I.Q. is not a fair measure of a person’s intelligence, because the tests may be biased in favor of people with certain socioeconomic backgrounds, and I would certainly agree with this assessment without hesitation. First of all, the questions on an I.Q. test are essentially little puzzles, and, particularly when a time limit is involved, a test-taker who has been exposed to these types of problems before will grasp the intent of them more quickly and thus have a better chance of solving them. Even the most brilliant kid is going to need some time to figure out how the questions work if he or she sits down to take the SAT blind, and it’s a simple fact that the children of parents with money are more likely to have gotten an education that will have better prepared them for this type of exam.

Second, in spite of arguments to the contrary, there are or have been questions on these tests that have nothing to do with intelligence, but rather with exposure to facts. I saw a question on an I.Q. test once that related to the books of the Bible. The trick, it turned out, was to pick the New Testament one. Now how could you possibly do that if you’re unfamiliar with the Bible, which, let’s face it, even a lot of modern Christians are not? I have also seen numerous questions that relate to things like the names of cities. Me, I’ve driven cross-country fifteen times, so I feel pretty confident that I can differentiate the name of an American city from a foreign one, but that would not necessarily be true of someone who’s lived in one place their entire life.

Finally, brains or no brains, some people, I’m convinced, are simply better test-takers than others. They can answer questions quickly without getting frazzled, they learn or develop strategies for making the best use of their allotted time, and they’re not easily distracted by other test-takers, the tick of the clock, the announcements of the proctor, and so on. This, too, may be an evolved trait.

So I agree that there is bias in the I.Q. test, as much as in other types of standardized tests. However, it seems unlikely to me that this alone accounts for the racial differences in scoring, and that the main issue is that it simply isn’t politically correct to say that one race is less intelligent than another, even if it’s demonstrably true. But I say, so what if it is true? Since when is the “book-smart” kind of intelligence the ultimate measure of a man? Does intelligence make one happier, healthier, and more fulfilled? I mean, Ashkenazy Jews rank highest of all on the I.Q. scale. Oh yes, everyone envies the Jews; their intelligence has brought them such good fortune. Of course, it might also be argued that the Jews had to develop a higher intelligence in order to survive the challenges of a world which has often been hostile to them. No doubt, there is truth in that, even as there is likely truth in the presumption that native Africans were not required to develop that same type of intelligence in their own environment. They developed other qualities of equal or arguably even superior value.

Let’s set I.Q. aside for a moment and think seriously about this. If only roughly thirteen percent of Americans are black, then no one can deny that blacks are impressively overrepresented in professional sports, particularly basketball and football, and it seems fairly obvious that the reason is biological rather than socioeconomic. And let us bear in mind that sports are not only about strength, endurance, and build. Most modern games require strategy, the ability to work as part of a team, to plan several moves ahead, and to change course in the face of the unanticipated. None of which are qualities that could ever be tested for on an I.Q. test. And all of which are qualities which one would expect to find in a people who, until very recently in geologic terms, were hunters. Should the rest of us take offense if the blacks are, on average, proven to be better athletes?

And what of the overwhelming presence of African-American artists in popular music? Coincidence, environment, or adaptation? It was not the Emancipation Proclamation, and not the Christianization of the black community, but the music of African-Americans that secured them a permanent and highly valued place in American culture. White Americans were grooving to jazz and the blues in an era when segregation was still widespread, yet they found solid reasons to appreciate black talent in spite of the racism prevalent at the time. But why so many popular black musicians in the first place? One may argue that the black musical tradition dates back to the days of slavery – although in reality, it probably dates back to the time before. One may argue that art is derived from suffering and struggle. But then why do we not see as many successful African-American authors and painters and filmmakers as we do musicians? Perhaps it’s because black people, on average, really do have more rhythm and more tone. Perhaps it’s hard-wired into their genes because it was a necessity of their native lifestyles in ways that were not true of Middle-Easterners or Europeans. And what’s wrong with that?

This is not to say that intelligence should not be prized, too; rather that is not the be-all and end-all of human worth. When I open my browser to read my email, I don’t see the latest news about modern-day geniuses; I see gossip about celebrities and sports figures, the true heroes of our day. If we really place such a high value on intelligence, we have a poor way of showing it. Why then change the rules when it comes to I.Q.? If we don’t think it’s so important in real life, why does it matter what the statistics say?

No, the problem is not whether there are natural differences between the races, or whether it’s acceptable to acknowledge them, the problem is us; we don’t seem to be able to reconcile ourselves to the idea that what is generally true of a people is not necessarily true of an individual. If the average Latino has a lower I.Q. than the average Jew, that doesn’t mean that if you meet a Latino and a Jew together, you should assume that the Jew is smarter, or the Latino more adept at soccer. You shouldn’t assume that the six-foot-five black man is better at basketball than the mid-sized white guy because that’s what the averages say. And if you do make such foolish assumptions, you can make one sure bet in regards to the intelligence of the people involved: you’re the dumbest.

What is perhaps most interesting is that this approach to racial differentiation supports the idea that the United States of America could, objectively speaking, actually be the greatest country in the world. Nowhere else is there such an intermingling of races, and the strength of each race is increasingly present in our children and our children’s children. Isn’t it even possible that, biologically speaking, our bodies have recognized the advantages of being multi-racial? It’s not only the U.S. that’s become diversified, after all; you see it increasingly in most of the other nations of the world as well. I read once about a study that was done in which women were given men’s sweaty shirts to sniff. The scents they found most appealing were those belonging to men who carried different immunities from them. Maybe we, too, are seeking other immunities, other qualities that are more highly developed in the various races of our fellow men.

It’s foolish to judge mankind by his intelligence. The dinosaurs didn’t exactly represent the height of intellect, and they were far more successful than we will ever be, and probably lasted a lot longer than we will, too. What it all boils down to isn’t smarts or strength or compassion or beauty, but the unique combinations of qualities that exist in all humans that make them fit to survive. And in a rapidly changing global environment, the race will go perhaps not to the swiftest or the brightest. The fittest humans of the future may be those who are quickest to adapt.

Lori Schafer

Guns are not the issue, People are the issue

Guns are not the issue. There are a majority of civilians daily that use guns legally and are not shooting up towns. They are responsible and have a right to bear arms. I am pro-gun ownership and always have been. My father is a doctor and a priest and is against weapons. I understand why he is and he would not even allow me to own a pocket knife when I grew up. Now some of you might be snorting and saying mentally “a pocket knife? Big deal!” Well let me tell you it WAS A BIG DEAL to me and it was a source of numerous arguments. It was in fact the number one argument up till I was 16 years old… and gave up.

All my friends had knives growing up and BB guns. They didn’t stab anyone either… just thought I would point that out. I even had a few friends that got in numerous fights and guess what? They didn’t stab anyone either or shoot anyone and most owned rifles by 16. See the thing about weapons is that people want to blame the weapon and its presence and that is ignorant. It is the person using that weapon that causes the most harm in this country. Yes, I know we have seen the school shootings, the children that find daddy’s gun and accidently shoot themselves, and the other few stories that are plastered across social media. Did I just use the words “few stories?” Intentionally so and that is because it is a FEW CASES where legal, law abiding gun owners are involved in such news articles that seem to hold everyone’s attention.

The recent kid in California was obviously a bit off. I watched his video and you can as well. You mean to tell me no one ever thought “this kid is a bit crazy.” Are we to believe that suddenly he decided “well fuck it… I am going on a killing spree.” There are always signs and those signs show us that this individual should never have been allowed to purchase a gun. But how do you create such a law? Our justice system is so convoluted and messed up that you can’t get a solid policy against any individual thing anymore. So what ends up happening? You end up with groups attacking the subject broadly and in the process injuring our personal rights.

If you don’t like guns, great. That is your right. I know plenty of families, women, men, kids, and even a few grandparents that love shooting skeet or firing off weapons. It is a fun thing to do down south and they do it responsibly for the most part. But we don’t show videos of the numerous annual gun festivals with participants having a great time do we? No, no guns are only on the news lately when they are used for harm and violence.

Do you ever stop to wonder why we might need weapons? Why it might be a good idea for the civilians of this nation to hold their right to firearms and self-protection? Are you so faithful and trusting of your government that you will forget what this nation was founded on? Protecting our rights is American.

Let us not forget what will happen when the aliens get here. And they are coming. Are you really going to try to run to Wal-Mart or the nearest “guns & amo store” when those giant robots or our self-created zombies start killing everyone? Don’t you watch current television?

I served briefly in the military and I understand my rights. I cherish them and those same rights for my family. I also know the hard facts and that includes the extended “wait time” most of us have to endure for police to show up. Ten minutes? Do you know how much could happen in ten minutes? Let’s see, a bullet per second, carry the one, subtract the eleven here, and what we have is one dead fucking Korean. No thanks, I don’t want to be the next news article. Instead you will read “Korean went out like Scarface. He totally missed the intruder, but the wall was destroyed during the gunfight.”


Homosexuality and Michael Sam

The hard part about this post will be that I am not gay so in a sense I will never understand what Michael Sam is going through. Currently there is an article on Freshly Pressed in which the author is asking Michael Sam why he decided to “come out” at this moment. I have a response for the writer which will be more thorough than the silly comment I left.

I don’t know Michael Sam and some new readers might be surprised but I actually don’t support homosexuality. Those that have been reading my website for this past year do know this. I do, however, fully support Michael Sam in what he has done, what he is doing, and I will explain why. I relate to Michael Sam in feeling alone in something. As a Korean growing up in Memphis, TN, life wasn’t easy. It was especially hard going to a predominately black school most of my life and having white friends and a white family. All this equated to an almost fabric thin support group that could neither relate, nor really sympathize with what I was going through.

Michael Sam probably went through a massive amount of anxiety before coming out to his teammates earlier in the year. It took a lot of courage because you know what? I might just have been one of those guys that felt uncomfortable by him telling me after we had already been showering and sharing the same facilities together. He knew that and still he spoke up. Here is where the writer on Freshly Pressed missed the whole point, possibly because he has never gone through something equally as traumatic himself, I don’t know. The point he missed is that Michael Sam told his teammates earlier this year when he was ready and confident in himself. We don’t know his mind, we are forced to assume he is some tough guy because he is a football player. I would be the first cynical asshole to say something like that, so believe me when I say I see the other side in this issue.

Why did Michael Sam decide to come out to the media and the world prior to going to the NFL? Well probably because he has a brain and just knew some asshole would make a huge deal about it AFTER he got on a new team. We all assume the NFL players are all equal, because they are all NFL players, but recent news about bullying within the league should have opened our eyes to the fact that there are “rookies” and “outcasts” in every scene. It doesn’t matter how “tough” that scene is. I imagine Michael came out when he did to the media because he had just witnessed something that encouraged him and he also knew he had the support of the school. He came out when he did because he had the support of his teammates, his other family, and that to me was the smartest decision of all.

-Opinionated Man