Tag Archives: Observation

Male circumcision is genital mutilation: the sharp unconcerned gender disparity as written by news media language

circ-egypt

Frogtown, USA–I never really thought about the topic of circumcision much, especially in relation to change or making change within–I think my fate is sealed, was sealed before my brain could function enough to say perhaps “no, sounds painful”.

Maybe once in high school though I thought about it being a private matter.  The idea of male circumcision and what it meant.  I still don’t understand much about it, however many males in America are circumcised.  I think the act could be because of religion or because of hygiene, it could be.

You see, I won’t research that.  I don’t care if it is because of “religion” or “hygiene”, they why doesn’t matter.

The matter at hand is that male “genital mutilations” or “circumcisions” happen and there are limited media reports of them in comparison to female “genital mutilation” stories.  I find it odd that a prevalent practice performed on one gender (male) is considered normal while a similar practice performed on another gender (female) is considered a news worthy, and possible criminal charge.  And, as a self-identified male, I find this a bit unfair.  (But that doesn’t fit into the Narrative.) download

I do not believe female “genital mutilation” or “circumcisions” should make the news if, at the same time, a majority of male “genital mutilations” or “circumcisions” do not make the news in an equal capacity.

And yet, why is there little concern that “most adult men are circumcised“.  Does this not concern the media or the activists that wish to protect human rights.  Also, why is male “circumcision” not considered ubiquitously as male “genital mutilation”?

Recent news stories focused on female “genital mutilation” prompted me to delve back into the topic of “circumcision” in males, that, and the experience of having a baby boy.

As a parent I have to decided the fate of my child’s physical dimensions.  There is no cry from protesters or the pundits when it comes to this private and personal decision at the hospital, not view as damage or irreversible harm but rather as an “option” to think about before birth.

So, think about this, as from above most American males are “circumcised”, or have experience “genital mutilation”.  In recent years, however, male circumcisions in America are on the decline.  Why is this?  Perhaps because male circumcision is actually male “genital mutilation”, period, and the mainstream media doesn’t care.

They play with terminology when it works with their ideology, but cutting flesh from one person is the same as cutting from another, no matter race, creed, or gender.  images

In conclusion, the decision to “circumcise” or to “mutilate” not is a highly personal decision, and a final one.  Accordingly, I believe that not only do we need to reconsider how we change our bodies but how we change the bodies of the future.

Moreover, I believe we need to understand and keep meanings and definitions in relation to words and genders equal, especially within news media language and context; we observe male “circumcisions” or  “mutilations” as somehow not as equally alarming as female genital mutilation.  Perhaps the lack of concern shown to one gender over another by mainstream news is the actual shocking news story that everyone wants but no one wants to hear.

As a self-identified male, I haven’t heard of any bills being made to save our (fore)skins, pun intended, in relation to “circumcisions” or actual male “genital mutilation”.  Alike, I think all “genital mutilation”, in relation to all genders, is mutilation, destruction, and potentially a crime which disfigures the human body.  Reconsider this when the idea arises in local reports or national breaking news.  download.jpg

Language is the key to this matter.  You call something “circumcision” and then you call something “genital mutilation”, on the grounds of gender, and you assume a bias in the language you use to describe an action.  Which is which?

That is the crux of this biscuit, the matter at hand.  If we use the somewhat necessary innocuous and accepted language to describe an horrendous act, is that act then acceptable, and should that act be called something different depending on who it is done to?  Because that happens now, today, on the topic put forth above.

***

I am no advocate, activist, or professional on the topic “genital mutilation”.  I am merely stating concern over the potential bias within the media coverage of one agenda over another, one gender over another, through language and terminology.

These are my views.  I am open to free discussion and open dialogue on the topic of circumcision/genital mutilation, please comment as necessary.  Thank you for reading.  No hate please, I try to stay positive.

 

 

How everyone is making a killing off of Millennials in the 2017 housing market, here is my plight

housing market - screen shot.jpg

A screenshot of the 2017 housing market, Twin Cities, MN. 

Twin Cities, MN —In recent weeks, through home searches, online and afoot, as a Millennial, I have become obsessed and mentally defeated by the prospect of buying a house to call my home.

My seemingly novel never-to-end socioeconomical crusade has taken place in a seething market that has been nothing short of aggressively “seller’s”, as those in the know dub it, and one that might be the figurative death of me financially.  And the wheels keep turning, the lights don’t go off at keep looking.

From my semi-consummate home search I have learned a number of very important things for those searching. Mostly that it is a difficult task buying a house in this market, in this year, 2017.  Yet I have no other reference.  And two, perhaps, that everyone is making money off of Millennials in this housing market, a lot of money.

And here in my own wordy words–which I hope are unbiased and as objective as possible–from a post-modern interpretation, which may not be possible–I offer you something of my experience.  I hope this helps inspire you and build your confidence in your endeavors, if not simply to allot an entity of an easy target for you to blame your failed searches on.

Let’s jump right in, when searching for a house in the Twin Cities one will notice that houses leave the market shortly after they are put on the market. (So, be prepared.  Get pre-approved, because if you are only pre-qualified your offer means dick and you have no edge.)  These home listings are a magic trick in reality; in the best locations performed, a home that you love in your price range is gone!  Abracadabra!  Search the same home listing you descried yesterday and the once “for sale” designation will be in “active contingent”.  Strike one, bummer dude…

This means your prospect home is off the market fast, post-haste, nowish, and it is no longer for sale to you. Feels good, don’t it?  Most times, in 24 hours your new home will morph into someone with money’s home.  Better up the price on your range, boss, or search a new area entirely.

If your ideal search area is anywhere near a nice neighborhood in the Twin Cities, or in proximity to efficient transit (say, the Green Line, a decent/good bus route) there is no hope. Your home search might commence like JFK’s secret service in Dallas, the opposite of well.  Rental agency want your ideal and your cash, and they have amassed money.  It’s called dollar bills and they are on fire in their trousers for something you like.  Because there are thousands out there like you ready to pay high rents and not buy especially in the metro area.  Good deal!

That seems like round one for my home search.  And obvious after the fact.  All that, and I still put my feet on the ground and went.  I started to notice that realtors were driving the prices by saying in effect that you must get on the train ere it is leaving the station, once it get’s moving you won’t get on. Juicing seems right, sort of emotional about it. Still it went, nothing short of impossible, in a bubble, as MPR has suggested.  And now realizing that the ones that get OK’d by FHA cost more, they must be decent!  Never in a good area.

I will say this, from seeing it firsthand, one of the main reasons the prices of homes are driven up is because of those in control of the market, the ones with the documents nd the keys to show the listings.  These are the people behind the curtains twisting the levers.  FHA restrictions, thorough inspections, the flood of those looking to buy, these are great sales pitches for price increases.  I want in.  Of course location, quality, and size are also important, but that is a side note from the real estate industry marketing.

Throw in pre-closing costs, underwriting costs, appraisals costs, closing costs,and you have an industry that depends on these houses moving and to the highest bidder.  I write for free, mostly, this underwriting mortgages sounds nice!  To give you a feel, I have spent $2500 so far and I don’t have a house, and I borrowed money for a down payment, and nothing is certain until it is.

To me, the whole housing market scheme is to make money, naturally.  That is no surprise.  But how aggressive.  And the higher the price, the higher all will make in the end.  Let’s not forget, we must pay the realtor for finding the house and pay his buddies to tell you whatnot about the property.  They don’t just want to hang out with us in a strangers home.  Everyone get’s a cut; the higher the price of the house, the better for those involved save the ambitious buyers.

The other reason that houses in the Twin Cities are so expensive and going so fast is surely because the market is flooded with property management companies looking to buy houses cheap, with their vested agencies and commanding authority, and turn them into ad hoc rentals.  Also, to note, flippers are prevalent too.  Renting makes money.  Flipping might make money.  And the renters pay the the owner’s equity unawares.  it could be yours.  And perhaps flippers do cheap obvious work, shoddy.

Not only does buying property for rentals drown out first time homebuyers looking for an inexpensive starter home, it can lead to devaluation of the community, surrounding properties, and areas in which they are in, that’s redundant of me.  But you get the point, it’s an opinion.  Try living next to a rental home; you never know who your neighbors will be next year, every year.  I might be a good neighbor who likes to trim his grass weekly, or I might not.  Maybe I like to party and you like to go to sleep at 7 PM on the weekends because you are tired.  We live next door.  I don’t care… etc. 

All that said, we live in a capitalistic society where sleeping and partying and property management and home ownership are real… I think of French in The Departed, “… This is America, make more money, if you don’t make money you’re a douche bag…”  I am not complaining, I am just letting you know what I have seen.  That’s it, everyone is out there to make money.  Millennials are getting killed in the market by Generation X and Baby boomers and foreigners with money, and by everyone else too.

There is still hope though.  Apparently winning and getting a house in this market really depends on picking an area that will be good in the future, not picking in a good area now.  Grow a vision.  Get your brain to work better.  Become a psychic.  Things change, areas get better.  I was told about Grand Ave. in St Paul.  Imagine it ten years ago.  It wasn’t like it is today.  Beautiful.  So maybe North Minneapolis, far North, will be good in ten years.

This motivation to switch my demanding search area preference might work out actually, though we haven’t closed on the deal yet.  I have seen some promise, less bidding and more realistic prices.  I saw inspiration for this location change in a comments section of one of the numerous “house bubble” articles I read about some crybabies being sad about the housing market because wah!

Let me preface by saying I am not sad, I am jaded.  The commentor remarked that the market wasn’t as bad as people made it out to be, and that those looking (as he dubbed, and I quote, the “white hipster dorks” of the Twin Cities) just wanted to live in unrealistic areas that were trendy and expensive right now.  They wouldn’t even think about buying in North Minneapolis or in East St Paul because they were basically scared, or craven.

I rather became obsessed with that title “white hipster dork”, it’s hilarious and exact, and this fear about living in certain areas we pervade only having merely heard stories about, legends, tales, beliefs, lies, etc., it means a lot to me having read Moby-Dick unironically twice.  I kind of put that label and its baggage on myself and thought of how I didn’t want to be motivated by fear, I am no WHD, as this great muse said.

Why not?  Things change.  Areas become safer.  Neighbors make neighborhoods.  Homes and properties gain value elsewhere.  The sun also rises in the north and in the east.  People say bad things about me and it might not be true.  Everything became so topical and relevant.  Find a house I want in size, in quality, in feel that I like and not worry about the area at first.  Not be a wimp or motivated by portent fancies.

Becoming so fed up from what I had heard about safety, about bus routes, about price and what we should have and shouldn’t–what others want for us, what we don’t want, I thought on and kept thinking.  I don’t tell you what to do, don’t tell me what to do.  Maybe I recommend boxers and you recommend briefs; I don’t want to wear the underwear you pick for me, and vice versa.

I came to the most logical conclusion that the safest place to buy a home in Minneapolis is La Crescent, MN.  The safest place to buy a home in East St Paul is Hudson, WI.  (Though, I am no good at geometry, so forgive me about the locational inadequacies.)  I wanted to know what everyone thought about the commute and how safe it was to live there, so I could pretend I cared.  I usually make decisions for myself, usually.

But I won’t move there yet.  No, but I have lived there and it is nice, La Crescent.  May retire there later on.  Most likely will move to the most northern part of North Minneapolis and become better at DIY home security.

Though, I will live in a house more our speed.  I don’t want to live in a house that is cheaply redone by flippers–the kitchens all look the same–in an area that will turn to shit later.  Same soon-to-be dated backsplash in the same small kitchen with the same cheap craftsmanship looking tacky.

I’ll take the original 1949, untouched, nothing done to, rambler style, ready to have the carpet torn out of.  It’s that old.  So I can make it my own.  Do something better than what everyone else is doing.  I don’t care about trendy.  Like buying a house in a great neighborhood today.  Accordingly, while I do the repairs, I will think of how it has come to this and blame only myself.  The other area will fail.  No one else did it for me.  These briefs do wonders for my thighs.  Go fish.

In my exact experience, FHA will require an appraisal, that costs money.  I have done two home inspections at average cost of $400 each, and one radon test, at $125, these cost money.  A lease must be resigned by June 1st, by birthday, rather resigned, this might cost money.

Moreover, if we don’t get lender approved because of a bad appraisal or because of our financial situation, we lose both our rental and the prospect home and become homeless, this probably costs money.  If it get’s approved we have to repair the paint on the house before closing date, which gives us a week, and pay an extra $100, only to have more costs incurred.

So all in all, things are looking up.  Never been happier about being where I am.  Maybe won’t rent again.  Maybe have my own place.  Those are the prospects from someone who has been diligently going after their dreams, the American dream: own a home.  I know more about how bad my math is than ever before.  I read about 28/36 and I am not sure if we qualify.  It might happen and the edge might get taken off.  Or not.  Got to go forward, right?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for reading my piece.  Leave a comment.  I would appreciate it.  Also, thanks in advance for sharing my story.  I love writing!  TS_

 

Posting obvious information on neighborhood social networking service found to give community members generally good vibes

Though their presence hasn’t made quite as much of an impact globally as crafting an obvious Facebook post, posting obvious information and content on neighborhood social networking services has been found to give community members generally good vibes, and has been known to impact people positively, progressively, for the common good of the immediate neighborhood and its awareness.

Recently, an American consumer relations information website study of a random sample of various individuals from diverse community neighborhood social networking services of North America, in and around the greater Midwest, has found that posting obvious informational information, and content that may seem obvious, ironically, somewhat vaguely, is found to give positive feelings of relation to those reading said obvious posts.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, if it weren’t for these community members posting and contributing on neighborhood social networking services rather than on their Facebooks, the neighborhoods where they reside, and hibernate, wouldn’t be nearly as enlightened or relevant. Posts relating to trash day delays, urban gardening, space heater dangers, zero waste initiatives, cutting cable, dog poisonings, grown from seed plants, and package thefts would not reach a local audience with such tangible impact.

So, rest assured, when you receive 10 – 15 email updates in your inbox in one day from those Next door, it is for a good cause, one which gives your community the feel of a progressive and positive environment, all from the relative safety of the internet, cathartically through persons on a couch or a futon. These notifications are not nuisances, they are paramount, and proven to spread good feelings far and wide on your block. It is time we thank those who share common sense as if it were a new scientific breakthrough, and keep the good vibes alive, one obvious adage at a time.

Online Petitions (as Pennies in a Wishing Well)

“Everything that is beautiful and noble is a product of reason and calculation.” -Charles Baudelaire

St Paul, MN- In my opinion, petitioning everything we find disagreeable on the internet, that takes place in the United States of America, is like posting a new status on Facebook, or any other social media platform, it becomes useless.  To me, this action does very little, because those forums are monitored and controlled, like throwing a penny into a wishing well–it takes the intention out of the actor’s perception, it takes the accountability out of the petitioner’s (wisher’s) hands and puts the issue in a free fall of liquidity, placing the issue on something larger and misunderstood.  I guess I miss the reason, intention, and calculation of speaking to deaf ears.

Petitioning so visibly against matters on social media creates the same sort of sentiment that one sees when one throws a penny into a wishing well. The shiny object, the cent, goes away from our observation and into certain darkness.  The viewer of this spectacle finds that the actor in this setting has hope, has promise, has a wish with meaning. The penny falls and that is that. There is that nugget of hope left at the bottom of a wishing well. Accordingly, the petition is sent out, put forth, and left on the interwebs away from those with the ability to make change, and there it sits.  (I will attest that these petitions seem a spectacle for the mainstream media to make pennies off of as well, generating a story, while stoking a teasing interest.)

In relation to this metaphor, I aver we do something different for change, instead of a spectacle for others, we create a spectacle for ourselves.  Instead of casting a penny away, as an idea, or as a concern for a concept by writing or signing a petition, that may or may not get seen by eyes with authority and the ability to create change, one must, perhaps, write legislature, or run for office themselves; make the change they desire by becoming this change. Create the change you want by following your wishes or petitions to the top, to the office you aspire to. So often ideas become clouded by group-think and the initial principal becomes diluted, creating very little change.  With an individual seeing this principal through to fruition, those outside forces may be hampered.

The real matter at hand with petitions and pennies, perhaps, may be the level of accountability the person doing the signing, or throwing, or writing cares to do and be responsible for. We sign things all the time, this act is commonplace autonomous. I sign for coffee, I sign for sandwiches, I sign for others, I sign for packages, and I sign for beer. You do too!  How is this any different in a serious way, signing for something that is entirely important or unimportant to me? (Is changing the system important to you?  And how important?)  I find in order for change it must be a step above that kind of signing, a bit more convoluted, this giving up autonomy and comfort for belief.

Signing a petition on the internet for something you believe wholeheartedly may feel good.  You may feel you have done your part, but what part? Does this signing lack fervor though?  And how much will that well-meant signature do? To make change there must be the same amount of initiative or action or motivation as in the thought that caused it. Putting a status update on social media takes a few clicks, signing your signature is a swipe of the wrist–conditioning at this point–perhaps, neither of these actions are revolutionary (singularly alone). With them, there is only a wish and an idea thrown away, as the penny in the wishing well.  So how important is your status update or your signature for petitioning change in comparison to every other one placed in a universe of texts and signatures?

***

On the video at the top of this essay, and the “Faithless Elector” movement (I didn’t watch it, the thumbnail was nice.  So I used it.) Further, we knew about the electoral college and how it worked many years ago, perhaps it is as old as the American republic.  I will cite, as John C. Dvorak of the No Agenda Podcast pointed out, where some of the inspiration for my piece comes, and I paraphrase–I hope I do justice, change the system, change the law!  Again, I paraphrase, but the gist is there.  Change the way we do things, the system, and change the law.  Hear more from him at No Agenda Podcast.  And if you perceive me wrong, I guess I am witnessing the forest for the trees, I am missing their timber.  Change may take more effort than an online trend, spectacle, or people holding well-made signs.

Hot and Cold Medium: How to Turn Your Phone Off in Class!

Sometimes (this happened today, but I have other examples) when I sit in class, or at home, or in church (which doesn’t happen), or in the living room at my ma’s house is Southeastern Minnesota, or at the St. Paul campus libraries, I’ll be focusing on something other than what I am supposed to be focusing on (real-life)…

Essentially I’ll be daydreaming, and then right when I am at the most relaxed part of that unconscious illusion–near a meditative climax, almost to the point of sheer pleasure, that moment will be completely destroyed by someone’s cellphone ringing, or vibrating, or notifying them that they need to feed the monster that is constant interconnectedness…

Then I awakened, and know that I am truly in reality, and that nothing is so serene and peaceful and unrealistic as that static calm unconscious buzzing world stolen away by modern technology.

***

I am pretty sure this is a cold medium, but since I cannot respond for/to said media communication it may be hot…

‘There is no right to be offended’; The Similarities in Groups

06THRushdie_jpg_1229038g

“Of course, that’s true. Moral and cultural relativism is a very dangerous phenomenon. What you routinely hear from some extremist Muslim pundits, whether religious or political, is a discourse that is anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynistic. The same Leftists would not tolerate that coming from any other group. But somehow people turn a blind eye to it because it is coming from this group.” -Salman Rushdie

This passage in particular, although the entire article is well written, sticks out to me as extremely powerful and poignantly relevant to American society today.  I feel that in America this hasty generalization also exists between race, political, and gender groups, and there is no end to the propagation of oppressive institutions by their moral movements.  These acts, prejudices, assumptions, create and ignite a new brand of hatred and separation between a group of individuals that should be united as one, come together to resolve–that is not so different.  I feel that any progress to resolve such conflicts is squelched by the use of stereotypical labels, afforded by those, individuals or groups, who feel slighted, wrong, or subjected to injustice.  The characteristics, actions, and makeup of one person within a group does not absolutely define the group as a whole entirely, no matter which other group suggests this as fact.  In order to work for a positive and peaceful future as one, we must stop using hateful tools of the past in order to create anew, all of us.

Some people are too focused on the differences to see the similarities.

See Article: “There is no right to be offended”