Most Men Do Not Understand Sexual Assault

First and foremost, salute to those brave women who are coming out and making the disgusting behavior by self-entitled men public. Bravo to the entire “MeToo” movement.

Now, with all of these sexual assault stories coming out, a sad realization has been festering in my mind lately; Most men do not know what sexual assault is.

The most recent catalyst to my realization is the story of actor, Aziz Ansari. His offense is less aggressive in nature compared to those of others we have recently read, but still disturbing. In short, he continued to coerce this woman to perform sexual acts on him even after she said she was uncomfortable. Despite Aziz’s clear lack of respect and restraint, I found the worst part of this story was in the comment sections. An overwhelming amount of boys/men left comments similar to, “If continuing to try and kiss a girl and trying to guide her hand places after she initially shuts you down is sexual assault then that means I have done it plenty of times.” Yes, yes you have.

The more comments I read, the more I realized the problem. Men do not understand sexual assault. Unless you have consent to put your hands on a woman, you should not put your hands on a woman. Simple right? Turns out, apparently not.

I hate that just because a woman wasn’t brutally raped, their stories are somehow invalid. Men need to listen to these stories and learn from them. Any sexual advance that makes a woman uncomfortable should be stopped immediately. The more comments I read, the more I found out how many men disagree with that statement. Somehow, throughout the years, the advice given to boys is that if she shoots you down, try again. How fucked up is that advice? These boys are growing up thinking they are entitled to a woman’s affection simply because he wants it.

Once again, I am so proud of the brave men and women who are speaking up and having this dialogue. I just hope the boys/men in the comment sections listen to the conversation.

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Thank you MLK

As you read the many inspirational quotes from MLK today, please do your due diligence and learn as much as you can from his life. Also, when you do hear of his struggles, don’t focus solely on his bravery. Instead, focus on the pathetic men and women who fought against him in order to stifle his voice of reason. Focus on the men and women who bombed his church and house. Focus on the misguided police who arrested him for peacefully protesting. Focus on the many people who believed in equality, but say silently on the sideline instead of joining arms. After you learn about them, condemn then loudly, for as MLK said himself, ” I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;”

Do not ignore oppression simply because you’re not the one being oppressed.

A Cloud To Be Forgotten

The ghosts of the last words dance in the winter air.

Oh! what envy they cause with their lack of care.

Together, they run with the will of the wind.

With each word spoken, away with them we send

mere memories, of the words that were once said.

A fog short lived, for the words are now dead.

Movie Review: Bright

Let’s face it, the only reason this Netflix original film has been highly anticipated is because of Will Smith. I think I speak for most Will Smith fans in saying that, if Will posted an hour long video explaining how to properly take out a second mortgage, I’d still check it out. That being said, the mythical creatures shown in the previews of this film deserve some credit for my early intrigue. I read some brutal reviews of the movie, but decided to give it a fair chance. I must admit, I was growing more and more skeptic and actually winced as I pressed play.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

Now that that is out of the way, let’s get to the movie. In the opening credits, we are shown graffiti tags that introduce us to some of the mythical creatures in this world. Some tags display Elves at the top in the social hierarchy. There are some paintings that show Orcs being beat down by human police officers. Right away, we are led to assume there will be some not-so-subtle similarities between Elves/White People and Orcs/Black people. It appears that humans will fall somewhere in the middle of these two classes, presumably representing the middle class Americans. Before the opening credits even finish, I have experienced dread and excitement. I am excited that maybe this movie will provoke some much needed dialogue in the race issues we have in America. The dread comes after seeing the words: Orcs, Elves, wands, and the Dark Lord. So… is this going to be Independence Day meets Lord of The Rings meets Harry Potter?

Will Smith’s character, Ward, is partners with the only Orc police officer. There are several scenes throughout this movie that align with the social injustices and prejudices we are surrounded by today. The creators of this movie obviously wanted to go above and beyond in showing how hard it is for certain minorities to fight through adversity to simply be given a fair chance. Even when the Orc police officer is “given his fair chance”, several other police officers conspire to kill him simply based on his race.

Now this is where the movie starts to become over saturated. Within a few scenes, this seemingly slow paced movie transitions into a full on war between: Good cops, bad cops, Good Elves, Bad Elves (trying to bring back Volde- I mean… the Dark Lord), Orcs, and a Mexican gang. It is a lot to take in.

The reason they are all fighting? Well the magical wand of course. We are quickly told that there are certain people who are called “brights”. Only they can possess a wand and not blow up. Most brights are Elves but they hint that there are very few human brights as well. From here, we all obviously, and correctly guess how the movie ends. Sure enough, Ward is a bright.

There are some badass fight scenes in the movie, all thanks to the acrobatic Elves. If you have scene Lord of The Rings, the Elves are nearly identical except they aren’t expert archers. Instead, they use guns, bombs, and their hands.

An aspect that I applaud in the movie is the fact that each race, though filled with evil people, has one good person representing them. Ward, the good human, fights his way through each group along side the good Orc, and the good Elvish teenage girl.

The climax of the movie comes as predictable as it gets, Ward uses the magic wand to destroy the evil Elves and stops the Dark Lord from rising again.

The movie was not as bad as most of these reviews are making it out to be. But it is also not as good as I had hoped. Perhaps after I watch it again, and pick up more details to rid any confusion, it will become better. To me, the overwhelming disappointment stems from the always high expectations of a Will Smith movie. It is the same disappointment that Eminem fans felt a couple weeks ago when Revival was not as good as hoped for. To me, this movie will probably fall into the category of movies that I will probably never watch again, but I am happy I watched it once. If I had to give it a rating, I’d say it’s a solid 68%.

Poisoning Ourselves

Why can’t we live without ingesting the poison?

Constantly seeking a solution in which we can take joy in.

It’s the carefully brewed potion that kills many souls.

We drink the last drop, while our loved ones dig holes.

The sweet nectar is only the first poison we’ve entered yet.

We seek pleasure so often, that we have sex with the internet.

Addicted, humans are all addicted.

Some so strong, they are conflicted.

Some so weak, they are convicted.

We hold poisons up to our lips, the fiery hell in our face.

This poison, makes us lose our grips, our lazy feet slip off base.

The more poison we ingest, the more we befriend the apothecary.

We don’t know what we’re doing, the decisions are arbitrary.

Yet we do, willfully take in these poisons.

Even the devout, will even sit back and enjoy sins.

If we even knew how to stop the poisoning, would we?

If he could simply unplug it from the wall, should he?

I don’t have the answer, maybe it’s about balance and moderation.

But failing to correctly mask the problem could lead to asphyxiation.

Maybe all we can do, is to stay true to ourselves.

Race towards the heavens, or live in our hells.

Steelers VS. Bengals , Monday Night Rumble

I am not sure how to feel about the game tonight. My first thought is that I hope Ryan Shazier is okay. He suffered a lower back injury and could not move his legs.

This was the hardest hitting, most injury inflicted game I have ever watched. This is not unusual for these two teams who have racked up quite a few concussions playing each other.

I love seeing a physical football game with hard hits but the hit that Steeler’s WR JuJu Smith-Schuster put on Vontez Burfict was tough to watch as a Steeler fan. I will admit that my first reaction was to celebrate because I love JuJu and I despise Burfict. But as I grow as a person, I become more aware that these are human beings out there and the safety of  ALL of the players should come first. It was immaturity at it’s finest and I hope he learns from his mistake.

Lastly, I am so proud of my Steelers for coming back from 0-17 to win the game. This is a special team. The Wizard of Boz strikes again for the game winning field goal. I hope all the players who were carried off the field today have a speedy recovery.

One last note, Andy Dalton is a true professional and who showed it during and after the game. Salute to you Andy.

Go Steelers!

My First Short Story

Readers,

I recently published my first short story on Amazon/Kindle. It would mean a lot to me if you would download it and let me know what you think.

 

Here is a synopsis of the book:

“After another dreadful day at his office job, Gabe encounters an older man who seems to know some personal details about Gabe’s life. Gabe is led by the man on a journey through the mountains in search for gold. Gabe experiences both discovery and loss on his trek. Sometimes the greatest discoveries come when we didn’t know we were searching.”

You can find the link to the book right here:

Thanks in advance!