Stop Acting Like Your Political Views are “Superior”

Hey, quite frankly, I could care less about whom you support for president. We live in the United States of America — everyone is entitled to free speech and religion; this includes political views, too. But every day I seem to encounter certain people who are so “sure” that their political views and favorite presidential candidate are unrivaled. In their shallow, weak minds, these people will actually perceive you as an enemy or a threat to the world, and most importantly, to themselves, if you disagree with them.

You know the type I’m referring to: They think their opinions are facts, they tirelessly argue with you, they attempt to change your views, or they’ll call you unintelligent, a racist, a feminist, a socialist, a bigot, a xenophobe, a communist, a capitalist, a Marxist, and the list goes on. None of them can sit and have a reasonable political conversation without foaming at the mouth — like rabid hyenas — viciously attacking you for daring to support a different party or candidate than they do. It’s gotten so bad that I’ve been telling people I’m an independent, undecided, and probably won’t vote at all. (This causes the least amount of controversy, I figure.) Is this what the state of politics has become?

It never used to be like this when I was growing up. I can fondly remember many Christmas dinners during my teenage years where my family and friends would have logical, respectful, intellectual conversations about politics and which candidates we supported. And while we didn’t all agree with each other, there was a factor from those times that’s missing from today’s society: tolerance. And with that tolerance, we respected each other’s views — aside from the occasional tussle or two — without all the flamboyantly arrogant tirades that have become a staple in the modern world. Here’s a couple of examples (selected from the cringe-worthy comments section of certain media outlets and YouTube.com):

1.Your candidate appeals to the low educated uninformed moron voters of the right. Your racist verbal diareah “just as much as the entire minority population had a right to re-elect Barrack Obama in 2012” puts you in the low intellect quotient of the right. Get this straight, America voted unanimously for Obama both times. America voted out the party of hate, racism, failed economic policies, failed foreign policies and the ultimate failure..911. Minorities did not vote Obama to office, the informed American voter did.”

2. “Thats fucking pathetic. Bernie has been very clear on what he wants to do, so now you are telling people to check his supper secret backers  If you cant find anything in the real world creat a fiction in you head right?? Childish and dishonest…  This is Sanders plan in a nut shell 1) end the 250,000/yr cap on SS tax,     to save SS.  2) raise the maginal tax rate to income over     400k to 39.9% raise the marginal tax rate for incomes over  2mill to 50% This will be used to create and fund infrastructure projects 3) stop offshore tax havens to pay off the debt 4) Impose a 0.5% fee on stock trades, 0.1% fee on bonds and a 0.005% fee on derivatives To create tuition free college  Plus the supper secret undercover stuff, thats funded by the reptilians overlords as part of the satanic desire to control humanity.”

Phew, that was a mouthful, eh? I didn’t bother spell checking or editing any of these maniacs’ comments (albeit I probably should have for better readability) — especially the one about how the reptilian overlords are controlling humanity! Oh, boy. This is what politics has become in the United States: Meaningless, provocative, ad hominem attacks on personality instead of sharing different views like PEOPLE do, not animals.

I have friends who are democrats, republicans, conservatives, liberals, libertarians, independents, and so on. And while I don’t agree with all of their political views, I certainly would never judge them based on those views or based on what candidate they support. And you know what? They are the same way to me. We have mutual respect for one another. We don’t plot ways to burn each other’s houses down if we disagree. Our eyes don’t bulge out of our faces looking like Charles Manson. It’s called being a civil, mature human being that understands there are other views — other than one’s own — in today’s world.

You’re not intellectually or morally superior because of your political party or views. You’re not more informed than everybody else because you like a certain candidate or viewpoint. Your opinions are not facts. You don’t have the right to threaten others because they disagree with you. And you’re certainly not the bearer of all political knowledge.

People have a right to support whoever they feel is best prepared to become president, and they shouldn’t have to fear being intimidated by others for having those political views.

-Anthony

Dainty Devils

Dainty Devils

They dance among us, ever gleeful
Like dust or dew above the grass
Clinging closer as we shuffle
Whispering darkness in our ears

They don’t abide by laws of man
Or ill-fed conceptions of right and wrong
They want for nothing but our destruction
Written in blood across the lands

No sea, mountains or plains are free
Of places where these dainty devils be
Hiding in among the common folk
Growing louder with passing time

You may run, hide or falter
But no matter the distance, time or reason
There they’ll be, clung to your shoulder
Whispering darkness in your ear

Try as you might to ignore them longer
They know your every want and fear
They plague your dreams
They haunt your nightmares

These devils come in every sort
Hooded, masked or fiendishly bare
The only way you’ll ever know
Is as your mind watches them grow

In that window, mirror or cup
The slightest light that gives a glow
Until you’ve finally given up
Then you’ll notice where they show

Unexpected Beauty

Unexpected Beauty

Whirlwind of passion
Never noticed until now
Your spirit stops my mind
Only dreaming of a vow

It’s hidden from us all
Disguised by such upheaval
As though you barely realize
You’re the farthest thing from evil

I wish I could of said
Like the way you did to me
Separate from this sphere of reality
Here’s my heart and take its key

I’m standing here enchanted
Even through the stormy weather
I hope one day I’ll know you
And we can truly come together

You touched me, inspired me
Gave me hope passion is still real
It’s hard to walk by and reminisce
How beautiful you make me feel

Darker Me

Darker Me

What I seek is in the dark
Hidden behind masked hearts
Lit aflame by a single spark
This, you’ll note, is where it starts
The beginning of my lasting mark

Torn apart like a twister through winter
A feeling so cold and ever sinister
Deeper I smile as your heart does splinter
To the end, of your doom, I am the minister

Want not for what lies in the dark
Hidden beneath these bleeding hearts
Forgiven not for being baron and stark
You’ll be leftwith nothing but my mark

I’m not evil, not truly though
You might ask how I know
It is simple really, and I will show
Hidden in memories of long ago

Nature is harsh, cruel and unwanting
Heavy and burdened, ever daunting
Given no rest as life continues taunting
Like vengeful spirits, forever haunting

I merely embrace this fickle place
The vision of life, dark without grace
Forbidden and foreboding, a scary face
I mirror the world in this rat race

So, judge me no more without cause
Don’t tote your flimsy rights and laws
My will I abide without pause
Moving forward from what was

Life eternal, harsh and cruel
It truly plays us all the fool

What Would You Do If You Weren’t Scared?

I’d tell my first love how I really feel, how she still haunts my dreams and inspires me to be everything I am

I’d stand up for myself and never let another person tell me how to feel or who I should be

I’d say “yes” to that amazing job offer and never look back

I’d train to become a professional dancer, never to worry if I was good enough

I’d find my twin flame and laugh at the doubters

I’d go get singing lessons from the best U.S. vocal coach Brett Manning, try to become a star

I’d finally start that business and cease the unsettling feelings of failure or getting sued

I’d sky dive off the coast of California, and invigorate myself with the bliss of nature

I’d finally work up the courage to go off gigantic snowboarding jumps

I’d get a masters degree in psychology, so I could counsel and help others

I’d speak in public flawlessly, and actually enjoy expressing my thoughts in front of an audience

I’d travel to Ireland, France, and Romania—engulf myself with their rich, mystical culture

I’d stop caring about what others think of me, politely tell them to fuck off

I’d become a YouTube star and start a vine, and not worry about the comments section

I’d start my own charity and try to save the sick, weak, and poor

I’d lecture about world peace, and try to stop the evil in this world

I’d finally learn that beautiful song on my piano, play it effortlessly and sincere

I’d stop being afraid to commit, and explore the wonders of a real relationship

I’d stop hiding, stop taking cover, stop worrying about everything that’s unnecessary.

I would be the person who I really am. I would be me.

-Anthony

I Love Being Honest, Why Doesn’t Everyone Else?

Ever get that uncomfortable feeling when a friend/acquaintance wants to do something with you, but you’d rather tranquilize yourself with a warm cup of coffee and your favorite show? Ouch. You then proceed to fabricate some kind of gibberish out of thin air to excuse yourself from the arduous slog known as compromise. It’s hard to tell our friends we wouldn’t want to spend time with them—after all, a friendship is about compromise sometimes, right? I think we’ve all been in this scenario before. Most of us choose to compromise, but sometimes, we do make up excuses.

I have a problem: I value being honest whenever I can, but it’s incredibly difficult when it’s at the expense of someone else’s feelings. Growing up as a child, I was taught to tell the truth—anything else was gratuitous and usually had consequences. But as I’ve aged, I realized that people in our world, especially America, are overwhelmingly sensitive. They feel as though they must evade criticism or run when they are told to perform better. It’s this ideology which makes it distressing for me to tell a person how I really feel—sometimes, but not all the time.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m the Editor-in-Chief of my local college newspaper, which carries with it the burden of quality assurance. I say “burden” not in the respect that quality assurance isn’t something I value, but rather something that I’m required to enforce—otherwise our publication would look like a watered-down version of The Onion. Nevertheless, writers and journalists seem to be particularly fragile. In a job where there’s no option but to be honest (otherwise the quality suffers), I’ve had more than my fair share of confrontations with certain individuals. Some people were incredibly stubborn that I’ve worked with, and absolutely refused to listen to criticism. It’s as though when they pursued creative endeavors, they become perpetually locked into the mindset that anything better than their work was inconceivable.

There was an individual I worked with who would actually verbally attack me every time I let him know he wasn’t doing something correctly. This asshole was about 10 years older than me and thought because of his age, he could get away with anything. I can vaguely remember a time when I assigned him a very easy story to write; a day went by and he handed me complete garbage—no interviews, no sources, no organization, and extremely cluttered. It was nothing of what I had asked for. Since he gave this to me during deadline (while I was producing the paper), I didn’t have time to give him precise reasons as to why I was forced to change his work in the way I did. Fast forward to three days later when the paper was published, and he comes charging into my office like a hyena on steroids.

“You’re a fucking asshole, you ruined my whole story and made me sound like a conservative douche bag. Fuck you.”

There was one part of me which was uncontrollable laughing on the inside, while the other part was mortified by his outright lewd, immature behavior. Instead of choosing to engage this pest and persevere through an irrational argument, I said one thing to him.

“I’m the Editor-in-Chief and I made the executive decision that your original work, quite frankly, was unpublishable. If you have a problem with that, then don’t become a journalist.”

He then stormed out my office like a child and instead of reflecting on how he could improve, he chose to have a hissy fit and tell me I was wrong. In all honesty, I wish him the best. I really hope that one day he will fucking grow up. I can’t imagine anyone would want to hire someone like that, but hey, maybe he’ll get lucky. If Kesha can be considered an actual musician, then why shouldn’t he be able to get a job? Exactly.

It wasn’t easy to be honest with him and say his reporting was essentially lousy—I cringed when I did so. I knew the way he’d react. Now obviously, this person was an extreme example, but it’s a cumulation of incidences such as these which have conditioned me to sometimes hesitate when I have to be entirely honest.

I truly wish that society would change. Telling someone you don’t like their work, don’t like the way they did something or whatever it may be, shouldn’t be taken personally. It’s a natural part of being human—we’re always improving to better ourselves. As long as you’re saying criticism in an honest and polite way—why the hostility? It truly boggles my mind. But I certainly will continue to be as honest as possible either way.

-Anthony

Let It Out

Let It Out

Words set a light like burning oil
Scorching deeper inside every day
Etching their insignia into a worn out heart
Causing coursing blood to boil
Getting harder and hard to keep at bay
So my demon grows and tears me apart

Tear to pieces the beasts outside
Rampage across the disgusting lands
Leave no place for depraved souls to hide
Soon they’ll feel the pressure of my hands

I watch it, helpless, from inside
It’s devastation far and wide
I watched as it stole and lied
At first I wondered how I could abide
But now I just watch from inside

Crush them under foot and hand
Lay to rest every fear that betrayed
Worse than anything he could have planned
Once every foe I have slayed
Then perhaps I’ll find my sleep
For a time, just to watch him weep

When it’s all said and done
I’m not sure what will be left of me
But this I promise beyond all doubt
Standing with a smoking gun
In shadows, where you thought I wouldn’t see
I’ll turn you inside out

Just remember when the fires return–
You set the fire deep inside to watch it burn
But now, now it’s my turn

Customer Disservice

I have worked a few jobs that focus, in varying degrees, on making our customers happy. This isn’t any kind of unique experience in our day and age. Most jobs, in one way or another, involve customer service. This is probably one of the main reasons etiquette is so strictly beaten into us as we grow up.

As i’m sure many other people who have had the “opportunity” to work in the more direct forms of customer service have noticed, customers, as a whole, are horrible. This isn’t to say that I think all of them are horrible people, just as customers they are horrible. I like to imagine there is this little switch inside a person’s head that lie dormant during most of their daily machinations. When they get it in there head that they are going to buy something or inquire about a service they have, the switch flips and the seal breaks.

Where the once regular, average joe stood now stands a confused, angry and self-important little monster with a frightening roar.  This little cretin throws around it’s tiny weight like it were a 16-wheeler going 80 on the expressway. The thing that really defies reason, however, is the fact that our society teaches us from birth that we are supposed to cater to that monster. It’s the little things; “Kill them with kindness”, “You have to be able to hold your tongue to work with people,” and my personal favorite, “The customer is always right.” We are taught that it is O.K. for a person to act like that when they are a customer and might buy something from us or our employer. Basically they are paying not only for the goods or services rendered but for the opportunity to treat another human being like a lesser being. But that is acceptable. If it were in any other context, the majority of the same people would consider the same behavior wholly unacceptable.

So, on we all smile and offer them our most gracious and helpful appeasing gestures. After all, we need their money and support to survive.

But, let’s step away from the reality of it for a moment. Have you ever received really horrible customer service before? I’m talking about the really, really atrocious kind. You tell the waitress that you asked for no cheese because you’re lactose intolerant and they scrape it off, in front of you, and hand it back.A cashier messes up your order and starts swearing at you when you ask them to fix it. Now, imagine what those people’s work lives are like? They out up with 100s, if not more, angry oppressive customers a week (or even a day). They take all that flak day in and day out for months or years. Eventually anyone would grow numb to it and stop caring. It still isn’t acceptable to treat a customer like that, but in a certain light you can at least see why.

Now, just imagine if society as a whole taught a mutually respectful practice of customer/consumer relations? If everyone knew that it was mutually as intolerable to treat a worker disrespectful as it was for them to treat you that way. Perhaps if everyone treated the workers and servers who are there, making it easier for you to get what you want and need, doing their job like equals they would like their jobs better and provide better service.

This is, of course, a fanciful thought. Even if society as a whole did change it wouldn’t account for certain all too common “outliers.” No matter how we are told to act, some people just won’t care. This would stand on both sides of the counter. Some customers would still come in and take out their days frustrations on the poor, unassuming wage workers. Some of the service workers would still treat the customers poorly. The only real difference is that it is significantly easier, and more likely, to fire a worker for acting disrespectfully than it is to ban a paying customer for it. Perhaps just adopting the “Golden Rule” as a business practice would improve things. They treat you like second class citizen, you do the same back.

Wouldn’t that be interesting…

You Are Still My World

You Are Still My World

A hallway of broken tears, I thought I’d left behind
Shattering desperation, and with you I was blind
No word nor poem, could truly depict how I feel
Just to feel your touch, it was nothing short of surreal

I never forgot a moment, every one of them was ours
How your eyes shone upon me, brighter than all the stars
That way you always smiled, and glowed from head to toe
You changed my life forever, I wish I could let you know

Why did you leave me? Why did you never act?
Endless opportunities, and not one of them left intact
Our hopeless fable of love, it writes itself on this eve
I will always wait for you, and have no option but to believe

Someday you’ll know me, and chase me from way afar
My everything has been stolen, I loved you for who you are
I’d have given you the world, I never wanted to say goodbye
You’re the one who did this, and had a child with another guy

But tonight for one night, you broke free from his chain
Entrusted my will to save you, and hugged me through the rain
Think of us together, all the things we could of had
But your reality parts our ways, it’s really just too bad

Competition is redundant, I simply want what’s mine
Two hearts so deeply connected, touching to combine
You have no right, attempting to pretend and forget
I love you with all my heart, and for that I have no regret

Beauty in the Dark

Beauty in the Dark

If I could only explain to you
My every view and passing thought
You’d be left wondering who
Could have left me so distraught

If the world were colors bright and dim
Painted forth on a child’s whim
That would explain how life is grim
A story of bodies and mangled limbs

With the blues of winter and the frost
The chilling sound of lovers’ silent cries
The shades of waters in which we’re lost
Remember bleeding hearts and love that dies

In the reds and passions of passing days
We set the world alight to watch the blaze
And stupidly seem surprised by what it razed
Everything our loved ones once did praise

There is beauty in the colors here
Perhaps hidden beneath dust and blood
Covered and coated, protected from fears
Beaten and broken in blackened mud

Just try to see the light  and love in this
Hear the whispers of wistful word’s kiss
Despite my most dark and dreadful list
Somewhere out there is your bliss

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