But, no, really, what is the matter with Kansas? Part 1

No place like Kansas? Umm… There are actually a lot of places like Kansas. . . .

Conservatives and Liberals, it’s time to take a seat

I’ve been back living in rural Kansas for the last 20-ish days having taken a 13+ year break from the sunflower state with a 3-year-stop in Chicago and decade-long stop in Colorado.

Many people, mostly people not from here (and several from my exact small town) can’t seem to fathom what has gotten into me. It seems strange, absurd, crazy to move back to an area that, to put bluntly, is dying from the inside out. A place that to an outsider, is staunchly and stubbornly conservative with no hope for redemption of any kind –spiritual, economical, physical, mental, etc.

But, I’ve always been down for a challenge. I only gamble on a sure-thing. I play to win. (You get the gist.)

I wouldn’t have moved back here if I thought it was completely hopeless.

Every time I’ve come back to visit I’ve driven through these small towns and I’ve thought, ‘Wow, what the fuck happened here?’ Downtowns deteriorating, plywood up over historic building windows, movie theaters no longer showing, restaurants no longer serving, even the bars are washed up dry in many places.

If they’re not dead, they’re dying.

I’ve often asked myself, can rural America be resuscitated?

Most economists say no.

But when have Kansans’ ever gave a fuck about what economists think?

What I’ve always loved about the people from this state is that we’re all a bunch of weirdos. We’re free-thinkers. We’re rebellious. We’re strong as fuck.

The people here have always been innovative, they’ve always been able to DIY EVERYTHING, they’ve been tough and wild and funnier than anyone really anywhere outside of here. Not only that, but they’ve been fucking kind as fuck. I mean, real thoughtful folk that will give you the shirt off their back if you ask.

And yet.

Here we are.

All of us here, fucked.

Tell me you’re not.

Come on. Prove to me that everything around here is going real swell.

I’m not here to go into some sort of political rant that continues the polarization of our community. That’s useless.

I want to know if the people here can get back to those traits that are so rooted in our blood? And can these traits of strength, DIY, rebellion etc. be used to their fullest potential for positive change?

I do not care about your morality.

I care about your reality.

What is your reality?

Fuck democrat. Fuck republican.

Liberal, conservative, something in between, or outside of that– your morality could in fact be in direct conflict with your reality.

Put that bullshit aside. Take a minute and reflect on what your issues truly are.

I’m only through part one of What’s the Matter with Kansas? And though the book is like 16-years-old, not much has changed, mostly if anything, it has just gotten worse. The most vital take-away thus far is to REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU COME FROM.

Take Populism as an example.

  • People v. The Elite
  • Marginalized groups v. dominant power structures
  • 99% v. 1%
  • Poor v. Rich

This section of the book stuck out to me:

“This is not far from how the Populists saw their movement: as a sort of revelation, a moment when an entire generation of “Kansas fools” figured out that they’d been lied to all their lives. Whether it was Republicans or Democrats in charge, they believed, mainstream politics were a ‘sham battle’ distracting the nation from its real problem– corporate capitalism.”

Could it be that the main issues people are facing here are financial in nature? Or is everyone who lives in Kansas secretly into being financially dominated* and role-playing as pay pigs to the government and corporations and anyone else who asks for money and I just missed the memo?

Are we really going to sit around and play the part of the masochist in this brutal BDSM scene?

Just because we can handle the pain doesn’t mean we have to take it.

It’s time to change the rules of the game. It’s time to own our strengths, our weirdness, our rebellious nature. If no one else is going to do it right, it’s time we DIY.

I’m ready to work on the actual problems, the reality of the situation we are all facing. I’d love to hear your stories, your opinions, what your action-plans / thoughts are for improvement / empowerment / resuscitation are. Or, if you think I’m wrong, bring it on. I’m open to dialogue. I’m also okay with being wrong, if that means more things are right than I realized.

More to come soon on:

  • How political polarization has infiltrated our daily capitalistic purchases
  • Fucked up yet badass Kansas historical leaders and what they can teach us
  • The best of the best crowd commentary + clapbacks

*Financial domination is a fetish in the kink community based on power exchange where people (mostly men) enjoy having other people (mostly women) take their money (large sums of money) from them. If you are one of these people send me all of your money, I deserve it more than you. I’m at least going to do something useful with it. AKA change the world.

Here’s the link if you too want to read What’s the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America

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Tits Out Tuesday: The Problem With Casual Sex

the problem with casual sex

Fuck Who You Wanna Fuck

or

Be Who You Wanna Be

I follow a bunch of random pages on Instagram. It pretty much runs the spectrum from hedonism to cute puppies all the way to new-age spirituality bullshit and of course, alien conspiracies. The other day I saw several posts come up into my feed that all centered around the same concept– that casual sex is an energy suck.

Most of the posts read something like this:

“Everyone is too busy just having sex for pleasure with no connection. They’re going to lose their chance to find someone real because of their sexual desires (demons) …”

The concept stems from the idea that when you give a part of yourself to someone who has no intention of returning anything you give–you are transferring your energy into emptiness and soon you will also be empty inside.

I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this idea.

I think for the most part this idea is bullshit.

Is there an actual problem with casual sex?

Yes.

The problem is people who have a problem with it.

If you have a problem with it, then it’s not for you and that’s okay. But, if it’s not your thing that doesn’t mean it’s not for other people. And the only way you lose your energy is by choosing to give it to someone else.

Is it possible to continue creating connections with people AND also participate in casual sex? Perhaps it’s only for people who are capable of separating the meanings of experiences. Not every sexual encounter is about intimacy or spiritual bonding. Sometimes it’s just about enjoying pleasure for pleasure’s sake. If people are going around ONLY seeking pleasure ALL of the time, perhaps they’re all empty on the inside. Or maybe pleasure is just easier for them? Maybe they haven’t gotten to the point where they’re ready for a deeper, closer intimacy. Is that wrong?

It seems like it should come down to communication. If you’re looking for a connection that’s more than just pleasure, discuss it. Perhaps don’t fuck someone who’s only about the physical act of sex.

When you’re on the same page, it shouldn’t be an energy suck or cause for concern.

One form of sex is not necessarily more real than any other. Of course, when you’re into each other it can definitely make the sex better, but it also depends on your definition of better. So, what I’m getting at here is that I disagree with this new-agey bullshit that says casual sex is bad for the world. I believe that everyone should experience more pleasure and within that pleasure, we will all have better experiences here on earth. Perhaps I’m wrong. I’m okay with being wrong. But perhaps shedding the guilt around sexuality would be more beneficial to our planet than continuing to make people feel bad for the choices they’re going to make.

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Am I More Liberal Than Actual Liberals?

goodbye liberalism

Goodbye, Liberalism. Hello, Open-mindedness.

or

What Does It Mean In The World of Politics Today?

According to pretty much every definition I could find on what it means to be “liberal,” it would seem that perhaps I AM liberal and people who say they’re liberal are NOT actually liberal. OR… we need to redefine what being a liberal actually means.

At its most basic, a liberal is supposed to be someone who is open-minded, someone who is willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own.

From where I see it there are a lot of people out there who claim to be a liberal, but then neither respect or accept behavior or opinions of other people who are not also “liberal.”

I know, I know, it’s HARD to accept that other people think women shouldn’t have abortions or have access to birth control or even basic health care.

I know, I know, it’s HARD to accept that other people like being able to buy a machine gun as easy (if not easier) as it is to buy some Sudafed from the grocery store.

I know, I know, it’s HARD to accept that other people HATE other people for no good reason except they don’t like the way they look or the things they do naked (or in leather and chains etc.) in the bedroom.

But even though those people are WRONG, we still have to ACCEPT that they exist and that they have a right to their own thoughts and opinions.

Stay with me here.

Conservatives think that abortion is MURDER. Buying a gun is a fundamental RIGHT. Homosexuality is a SIN.

If you believed something was murder or went against your religious (or other) belief systems wouldn’t you be a little ATTACHED to those ideas? Even if half of an entire culture disagrees.

A person’s belief system creates one’s value system and one’s value system is how people find connection, love, community, reasons to continue living etc.

So, if conservatives are right and liberals are right, wouldn’t that make EVERYONE wrong?

How can you even go about changing someone’s belief system, transforming someone’s values?

If you’re a vegan and you believe that meat is MURDER and you go around yelling at everyone to stop eating meat, how many people do you think are going to stop eating meat?

Not very many.

Because no one likes being yelled at.

How have vegans tricked so many people into cutting meat from their diet?

Scare tactics mostly.

But, most of the people who get scared into going vegan don’t stay vegan.

It’s only through rational conversation and leading by example does true change take place.

This goes for ALL beliefs, perspectives, etc.

It doesn’t feel good when someone tells you that you’re wrong when deep down you believe in the core of your being that you’re right. It makes you not want to associate with the person who makes you feel bad about what you believe.

And I know, I know, a lot of you are SCREAMING at me. You’re telling me that you wouldn’t WANT to hang out with a sexist racist homophobic conservative republican. FFIINNEE!!! Continue to NOT hang out with them. Whatever.

But we’re never going to get anywhere if we’re just sitting around yelling at each other on the internet.

Or if we all avoid confrontation with someone of different beliefs because it’s not a nice feeling to be wrong.

Not everything is nice. This shit isn’t nice. This shit is necessary. It’s necessary to have the conversations, to respect other people’s perspectives, to lead by example, to be right, to be wrong, to not feel guilty about the fact that you can’t get everyone in the world to believe everything you believe in… because maybe… just maybe… not everything you believe in is actually something you should believe in… and it’s not until you get with yourself and get with people outside of yourself, outside your group of not-as-open-minded-as-you-pretend-to-be-friends, that maybe we can repair some of the major damage we’re all doing to each other.

So, friends and frienemies, am I right? Am I wrong? Did this piss you off a little bit? Did it turn you on? Are you ready to have some ugly /not nice conversations? Not just with others but also with yourself? Tell me your thoughts. I’m OPEN to hear you.

Read my newest elephant journal article by going here: Why I’m No Longer Aligned with the Liberal Agenda 

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