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Going Clear and the Obvious Narcissism of L. Ron Hubbard

4 Apr

Tom Cruise Scientology Cover Photo

I just finished the new HBO documentary Going Clear, and all I can say is: my, oh my.  This terrifying documentary exposes more about Scientology than I ever knew.  What is most clear to me is that Scientology, as a whole, is a product of narcissistic abuse.  If I were to hypothesize anything about its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, it’s that he most likely qualified as someone suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder of the cerebral variety.  Hubbard, who started as a pulp fiction writer, eventually wrote Dianetics, which would become the basis of Scientology and an exploration of what Hubbard called “the modern science of mental health”.  This man made the presumption that his book could overturn centuries of development in the arena of mental health.  When that did not happen, he invented his own religion.

In the last year or so I have been in deep research mode of Narcissistic personality disorder.  The reason for this is because I was in a romantic relationship with someone who I very much believe to be a narcissist.  Within the first few minutes of this documentary, we hear excerpts of letters written about L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology by his second wife, Sara Northrup.  Sara asserted that she only married Hubbard because he had threatened suicide.  This is a very common manipulation tactic for narcissists to use in order to get their way.  She also detailed an account about how Hubbard awoke her from her sleep because she had been smiling, setting him off into a rage because he took it to mean she was thinking about another man.  After they had a daughter, Hubbard took the little girl with him and called Sara to tell her that he had chopped their daughter into tiny pieces and thrown her into a river.  It doesn’t get much more abusive than that.

Going Clear also touches on how the church’s two most famous members – John Travolta and Tom Cruise, became so involved with Scientology.  John Travolta was extremely young when he became involved, and he linked his success in acting with his involvement in Scientology.  The use of “auditing” also becomes very important in the case of Travolta, as it appears that the Church of Scientology threatens members with the release of their deepest secrets collected in such sessions.  Obviously the Church of Scientology has something pretty big on Travolta that keeps him there.

Scientology’s biggest star and supporter is Tom Cruise.  Cruise’s marriage to Nicole Kidman is a major focal point of his story in Scientology.  The documentary mentions that Nicole Kidman’s father was a prominent psychologist in Australia, which David Miscavige, the head of the Church of Scientology, viewed as a threat.  Any psychologist or mental health professional, or any person associated with a mental health professional is deemed to be a “suppressive person” by Scientology.  Scientologists therefore aim to “disconnect” from these suppressive people, of course at almost any cost. Nicole, therefore, was deemed a suppressive person, and her divorce from Cruise was apparently orchestrated by the Church of Scientology.  I have heard further rumors that Cruise’s marriage to Katie Holmes was staged and under contract, but the documentary goes no further than discussing an arranged relationship between Cruise and an actress named Nazanin Boniadi.  There were also rumors that one of the reasons why Holmes divorced Cruise was her fear of their daughter Suri becoming involved in Scientology.  Going Clear also notes that Cruise was not really involved in Scientology during his marriage to Kidman, but in recent years, he has been the absolute most treasured asset of the Church.  Cruise is one of the biggest movie stars of all time, if not the biggest, and Scientology depends on him in many ways.

Going Clear is a truly terrifying look at how Scientology is essentially the result of an egomaniac’s own desire to control others.  This documentary is one of the first looks at some of the extreme abuses allegedly committed by David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology.  Perhaps what is most revealing about the Church of Scientology is its financial value (over one billion dollars) and its real estate investment prowess.  I have driven by the Church of Scientology on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, and it is a menacing sight.  A few people I know have gone inside to take the prerequisite personality tests “as a joke”.  After watching Going Clear, I can say with certainty that there is nothing funny about Scientology and its abuses of its members.

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Apparently People Do Not Understand What Feminism Really Is

14 Jul

There appears to be a vast divide between those who comprehend what feminism is and what it aims to do, and what some people appear to think what feminism is.  Last night I saw one of those Buzzfeed compilation lists titled “14 Women Say Why They Don’t Need Feminism”.  Never in my life has my brain twitched so badly.  Pulled from a Facebook group page called “Women Against Feminism,” each photo features a woman holding up a written reason for why she does not “need” feminism.  Talk about misunderstanding and lack of appropriate education.

Feminism is nothing more than the belief that women should have equal access to those things that all others may have access to.  This includes the right to vote, the ability to get an education, working a job with a living wage, and being able to drive.  All of these examples are a direct result of the hard work of our feminist sisters of years past.  However, there seems to be a misinterpretation of the word that associates feminism with man-hating and women somehow inhibiting the rights of men.

Here’s are some examples of posts found on the Facebook group “Women Against Feminism”:

Screen shot 2014-07-20 at 11.30.47 AM

Screen shot 2014-07-20 at 11.39.51 AM Screen shot 2014-07-20 at 11.40.24 AM

Yikes, these are all bad.  It’s amazing how some of these women think that feminism indicates some sort of non-equality.  This points to an obvious lack of education on what the concept of feminism is, and what the word means.  The truth is that if any woman takes advantage of her ability to work for a living wage, vote, or drive, she is a direct beneficiary of the work of feminism.  Feminism is nothing more than the belief that women should have access to equality and be able to experience all those rights enjoyed by men.  It is not an affront against men, and those extremists who are labeled “man-haters” are not the best representatives of feminism.  Hopefully the stigma against feminism will begin to evaporate as a new generation of women come into their own.

 

If You Don’t Use Wet Wipes, Then You’re Disgusting

11 Jun

Everyone’s best friend.

I must comment on a debate that took place last week on Gawker.  John Cook came out in opposition to the use of wet wipes following bowel movements by grown adults.  This position automatically makes me assume that John Cook is a disgusting person who does not take any pride in his own cleanliness nor does he likely understand that women often use wet wipes, especially when they want to be fresh for ahem, extracurricular activities.

Really, a wet wipe is man’s best friend.  If you are not using them after pushing your digested meals out of your you-know-what, you are probably disgusting and no one wants to touch you anyway. So there. So suck it up and buy a cute little pre-packaged box of personal wipes. You need them.  Do not fool yourself into thinking that your two ply bulk toilet paper from Costco is good enough to keep things so fresh and so clean.

This message is especially important for all ladies.  Summer’s Eve and Always both make amazing feminine wipes to keep everything legit downstairs.  I’ve heard stories form guy friends about things that can go awry with ladyparts if one does not use wet wipes. Do not become a disastrous hygiene story that lingers for years. Wipe your shit! Literally and figuratively.

Team wet wipes forever.

This message is brought to you by indignation toward poor hygiene.

EDIT:  This post is primarily about using wet wipes after one takes a shit. Apparently, some feminist is upset that this post seems to be referring to women only using wet wipes. NO. Men, women and children should all use wet wipes to clean up after a movement. If you cannot understand this, then just go away.

Things That Will Break Your Heart: Chris Arnade’s Faces of Addiction

10 Feb
Prince spends his time salvaging scrap metal.

Prince spends his time salvaging scrap metal to get money for heroin.

The other day I stumbled upon a Jezebel article detailing an ongoing photo essay by Chris Arnade, called “Faces of Addiction”.  Viewing this photo essay should be mandatory for everyone, especially spoiled millenials who think that their lives are terrible. Looking through this photo series made me realize how incredibly lucky I am to have lived my life. Really, I have nothing to whine about at all. I’ve been blessed with so many amazing things: a solid mind, a world-class education, writing ability, attractive looks, designer clothes, trips, meals at nice restaurants, etc. I am blessed in every aspect of my life.  Unfortunately, as the internet and various social media networks prove, whining about anything and everything is the new marker of a narcissistic and selfish society.

Here are some examples of things that people often believe are real problems, when in fact, they are not:

“I cracked the glass on my iPhone!”

“Why is Starbucks out of bacon breakfast sandwiches this morning?”

“OMG! Why is the N train out of service on a Saturday night? Now I’ll never make it to that beer garden at a decent hour!”

“Dave Matthews isn’t coming to my city this year! WTF!”

People, these are not problems. After reading through a bit of “Faces of Addiction,” you will learn what actual problems are.  “Faces of Addiction” chronicles the lives of drug addicts and prostitutes in Hunts Point, Bronx.  For those of you who are not familiar with New York City, Hunts Point is the poorest neighborhood in all of New York City. Heroin plagues the neighborhood, ripping a cruel path of utter destruction in its streets.

Many of Mr. Arnade’s subjects have been addicted to heroin for years, if not decades.  Their faces show an indescribable sadness, eyes peering from behind weathered masks of who they were.  Sonya, who told her story to Arnade, gave up her family and stable life in Rhode Island to move to Hunts Point with a man who introduced her to heroin. Her description of what her life is like now is chillingly paradoxical: “I am happier in some ways than I’ve ever been in my life. But I’ve lost so many things. I want to get out of my addiction but in some ways it’s made me grow a lot. And I think I know now how to live more than I ever have.” Prince is a young man who suffered sexual abuse as a child. He is the oldest of seventeen children, and he spends much of his time scrounging the streets of Hunts Point for scrap metal, using what little money he gets to buy heroin. Arnade noted how positive Prince was, in spite of the life he leads.  Prince graduated high school and states that he hopes to finish college as well. Prince’s photo shows a young man dragging an air conditioner behind him, the composition of the photo offset by the bright colors of a graffitied wall.

Sonya, brought to the edge of addiction by a man named Erik.

Sonya, brought to the edge of addiction by a man named Erik.

Perhaps the most gut-wrenching stories (for me, at least) are those of women who were sexually abused from a very young age and thrust into a life of pain, addiction, and sex work through no fault of their own.  Egpyt’s story especially affected me. Raped by her own father since the age of three, Egypt tells Mr. Arnade that the only man who never treated her badly was God.  For someone who’s been treated so badly her entire life to still have some semblance of faith is simply amazing to me.

Egypt, a longtime victim of men.

Egypt, a longtime victim of men.

Arnade’s photo essay is a must-read for anyone who’s ever passed by a junkie or prostitute in the streets of New York, or any large city for that matter, and wondered what brought them to that moment in their lives.  We tend to go through life glibly, not realizing just how great many of us have it.  Chris Arnade’s message is a much-needed revelation in such selfish times.  If you can look through these photos without wincing, or almost shedding tears, then your heart simply needs some work.

Let Us Discuss Los Angeles

31 Jan
Sunset

Sunset on Santa Monica beach

The city I live in now, if one can call it that, is a complete dump compared to Los Angeles.  I went to LA for my birthday and to explore the city in preparation for my move.  I was completely and pleasantly surprised by my experience. Here’s some of the great things LA has to offer:

1. Gorgeous Scenery

The stereotype is that LA is a smog-filled wasteland consisting of nothing but cement buildings and gang members. This is so far from the truth. There are trees and mountains, a blue sky, and fabulous sunsets that overflow with orange goodness.  Sure, there are less pretty areas of LA, but overall it gets a thumbs up for looking good.

The view of Hollywood Hills from the LACMA.

The view of Hollywood Hills from the LACMA.

2.  Thriving Arts Scene

Young people flock to Los Angeles with hopes of making it in music, film, comedy, and more.  Really, only two cities are important when you’re trying to do artsy fartsy things (No, the other one is not Austin. Shut up about Austin, hipster people.) As someone who hopes to write for television and film and pursue a stand up career, it is the perfect place to be.  LA is also home to some amazing art museums. I recommend the Stanley Kubrick and Caravaggio exhibits at the LACMA.

3. Hot Men for Days

Colorado Springs leaves something to be desired in the men department.  First off, the guys in Colorado are not men. They are boys. Second, Colorado boys seem to have no real ambition – at least the ones I know.  LA offers hot single men on every street corner and in every bar.  Not only are they hot, but they are super-confident and will talk to you. Then you will get asked out three times in three days.  Amazing.

4. Friendly, Interesting People

I bet you’re surprised by this one. I was too, at first. I expected everyone in LA to be a shallow bag of dicks. People were so overly friendly that it really sealed the deal for me.  It’s amazing how people will strike up a conversation with you on a whim in LA.  I am so down for some positive energy and vibes, and the people seem to have this down very well.

Venice Beach

Venice Beach – photo by me!

5. Actual Things to Do

I have spent the last three years of my life wondering what the hell I should do all day long. Why is this? Because there is nothing to do in Colorado Springs.  LA has museums, clubs, parks, restaurants, bars, theater, comedy clubs, and way more to offer.  If you need something to do, go to LA. That’s where I’m going to be.

Here's me at Red O on my birthday with a phallic-shaped bottle of tequila.

Here’s me at Red O on my birthday with a phallic-shaped bottle of tequila.

Things I Almost Tattooed On My Body (Thankfully I Did Not)

8 Jan

Ah, youth. The sweet sting of broken hearts and the beginnings of alcoholism. Living it up while you’re young (see, YOLO) is a major part of American society, as is making the commitment to allow another human being stab permanent markings into your skin with a sharp needle. Tattoos are fun and by god, they will help you show off your awesome personality and the things you loved, even for a moment in the turning gears of time.

There are several tattoos I’ve considered in my short lifetime, and all of them were really stupid ideas. Here, a list of the things I almost allowed a stranger to stab onto my body in permanent ink:

1. Drama Masks

Photo from DeviantArt.com

Uh-oh. This girl was not so lucky.

When I was in high school I was extremely involved in theater.  While I still love theater, my former favorite activity has taken a backseat to my goal of writing for film and television.  It’s a good thing I did not get this tattooed on my body not only for my personal interests changing, but also this is the kind of tattoo that can really frighten someone when they see you naked for the first time. I mean, what is up with the sad face? It looks like a Dali painting gone wrong.

2. Flower near my crotch

I used to think it would be kickass to have a tattoo of a flower right above, well, my flower. This was a dumb idea and it also did not come to fruition.

3. Lady Gaga lyrics

I went through a pretty serious though brief Lady Gaga obsession a couple of years ago.  It was around the time that Gaga released the song “Bad Romance” off of The Fame Monster. The lyrics in question? “I’m a freak bitch, baby”.  Why did I think this was so awesome? I though it would look pretty cool placed on my left hip wrapping around the area where my underwear would hit.  That way guys would see it and feel super lucky to be with a “freak bitch”. Seriously.  This was a rough time in my life and I would prefer if you withheld all judgment.

4. A Colorado flag

Photo from Westword.

What does this even mean? When did the great flag of Colorado take a beating?

I grew up in colorado and although it is an amazing place full of natural beauty and old friends, I really hate it here now. I do not want anything associated with this place on my body. Thanks but no thanks. I doubt the flag of the Centennial State would have held its shape if I lived for a century.

5. “Shhh…” on my index finger

OMG Rihanna, we get it.

Sometime in 2008 or so a few celebrity ladies started getting “Shhh…” tattooed on their index fingers.  Rihanna was one of them. Lily Allen was another one. It was stupid and I have no idea why I thought this would have been a good idea.  Young people are silly.

6. John Mayer tribute tattoo.

John. John!!! Why are you so weird and have to say weird dumb things in magazines that make people hate you? why can’t we go back to those wonderful and simple times where I cried myself to sleep listening to “Room for Squares” and dreamt of marrying Leonardo DiCaprio (the Gangs of New York version, specifically)? I really wanted to tattoo one of your album logos on myself. Let’s go back to being a musical genius. Yes?

And that was a brief overview of the things I almost tattooed on my body. Let’s take a moment of silence to reflect on those who were not so lucky and chose to memorialize their love for things like Limp Bizkit and tootsie rolls in the form of tattoos. Those people deserve our sympathy.

A Case for the Liberal Arts

11 Nov

Several recently published articles exploring STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and math) majors in college and their supposed “value” have truly rubbed me the wrong way. In each of these articles, the author argues that STEM majors are clearly the “best” and “most valuable” choices for young students today.  I believe that by promoting such nonsense, many young people are being wrongfully influenced to follow the dreams of others.

Many people like to mock people who chose to major in literature, history, or languages in college.  I still receive snorts from those who hear that I am a literature and history double major.  They generally turn up their noses, chortle at my life choices, and ask, “And what is it that you plan on doing with those majors?” The negative connotation that seems to be following the liberal arts as college becomes more expensive and good-paying jobs become more rare is highly unnecessary.  What people seem to forget is that not everything in this life is about making tons of money (though that does help move thing along), and while you are here, you should probably pursue something that both interests you and inspires within you the natural drive to succeed, no matter what your chosen field.

I know several peers who chose to study STEM majors in college. A few of them studied engineering, a field that seems to receive endless acclaim from those who think it is the ONLY thing to study. All of the young people I know who went on to become engineers absolutely HATE the field of work they went into.  Of course there are engineers who likely love what they chose to do, but some kids end up being miserable in such fields. Why is this? More than likely, they were trying to please their parents. This is the biggest mistake any young student could make, and should be avoided at all costs.  My parents kept telling me to be a doctor, but I knew I did not have the inclination toward science to achieve such a thing. Instead, I followed my gut, and studied the subjects I loved.

In an article titled “College Majors Matter,” author Catehrine Rampell states that student “should…be thinking about whether the specific college degree they’re considering is marketable.” But what is marketability? Aren’t creative thinking skills and an ability to read, analyze, and create valuable skills? These are things the liberal arts major learns in school, and they are a dying art form.

A New York Times commenter who goes by the name Snacktastic made the following observation about college majors:

Well, this directly reflects on how we view society, work and the value of education. There is plenty about the liberal arts that allows people to develop a certain level of cultural and intellectual understanding and critical analysis that can not only help them challenge aspects of social norms but also is transferrable to other types of work and training. It also provides the kinds of social capital that allows people to enter into critical dialogs with people in power positions, allowing for some transmission of ideas from the bottom up rather than solely from the top down IF we find that diversity among scholars is an important value.

Unfortunately, at this period in our capitalistic economy, we are saying that more and more that this critical kind of understanding should remain the provenance of the elite who can afford to enter into these types of intellectual environments and as a result, will shape intellectual thought and dialog in this country. On the other hand, the average Jill and Jack should get the message that our worth to society should be predicated solely on our ability to function and feed into capitalism without any type of reflection of the problems of dominant social values and how that functions to maintain the status quo.

It’s easy to mock liberal arts students and to laugh at people’s debts, finding them stupid. Of course, we’ll pay the price as a society, if for nothing else, we’ll continue to look at every failure, blip and inequity as evidence of someone’s personal failures (Why didn’t they major in science? Why didn’t they go to a cheaper school?) and never question what is going on in society, in that we are commodifying everything. It’ll further diminish the kinds of critical dialog in this country or the idea that there is something wrong with the citizen worker model. Nothing will ever change until we have the ability to look at how problematic this Horatio Alger idea of hyperindividualism and a slavish devotion to strict versions of capitalism is.

Another commenter, Mr. Pointy, offered the following:

This new conventional wisdom that one should only major in something potentially lucrative is bumming me out. Also, it completely contradicts my lived experience where the only millionaire I know personally was an Art History major and now directs a department of a major auction house. I was an English major and make $90K in my arts-related job. My college friend who was a Women’s Studies major runs her own business (that has nothing to do with Women’s Studies, and she is a shining example of your major not determining what you end up doing in life). Her partner who was an art major? Runs a media company. Another friend who majored in linguistics? Works for a marketing firm and leads their team in charge of naming products and makes six figures (the second highest earner in my social circle after the millionaire Art History major). I have a musician friend who has a composition degree and now works for Apple on the iTunes team analyzing music (his job has something to do with the Genius algorithim but I don’t really understand it). I also know a handful of other art students who now work for Pixar, ILM and WETA. They all make decent livings. The folks I know who have been laid-off and are currently unemployed? Lawyers and MBAs, and one scientist. So much for conventional wisdom, huh?

I suppose it’s possible that I live in some kind of bubble/alternate reality where people with “fun” degrees and creative jobs are doing well and the people who went the “practical” route are struggling but I kind of doubt it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is choosing a major based on perceived practicality is no guarantee of future success. Likewise, choosing what is considered a “fun” or frivolous major is no guarantee of failure and a life of crushing debt and disappointment. If you have a vision of where you want to go, and drive and ambition, and know how to work connections, you can make anything work. Part of me fears all this talk around “practical” degrees is part of the brainwashing of the 99% — an effort to make sure we don’t dream or create, think only in practical terms, and conceive of ourselves only as cogs in the machine with narrowly defined purposes and set tasks to perform. We train for a job, we do that job, we buy stuff and do/say/think nothing to challenge the status quo.

What should a young student learn from these comments? It’s simple. Follow your heart and your dreams, and success will surely follow.

Everbody Dies, Even Steve Jobs.

5 Oct

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Steve Jobs died on Wednesday, a day after the latest iPhone incarnation debuted without his famous black turtleneck and friendly smirk by its shiny side. Jobs was a veritable innovator, visionary, and, in my opinion, a genius.

Steve Jobs was born in 1955 in San Francisco, California to Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Syrian Muslim immigrant, and Joanne Schieble, though later adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, California.  While in high school, Jobs attended after-school lectures at Hewlett-Packard, where he would eventually land a summer job and meet his future business partner, Steve Wozniak. Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, though he dropped out after only one semester. He continued to audit classes while sleeping on the couches of his friends, and one class he audited, a calligraphy class, would help Jobs to shape the creative vision of Apple, Inc.

Jobs founded Apple Computer, Inc. on April 1, 1976 in Cupertino, California, alongside Steve Wozniak and the little-known Ronald Wayne, who would voluntarily sell his share in the company for a mere $2,300.  Jobs and Wozniak built their first machine, the Apple I, to fulfill an order made by a local computer store known as The Byte Shop.  The original Apple I sold for $666.66, and would lead to the creation of several innovative machines that would change computing forever.  The Apple II and Apple III debuted in 1977 and 1980, respectively, but many Americans would first encounter Apple computers when the Macintosh debuted in 1984.

As a young elementary school student in Kingwood, Texas, I recall learning how to use a computer on a Macintosh. I first typed on a Mac, played Oregon Trail on a Mac, and accidentally hit the escape button on a Mac. After moving to Colorado, all the computers in the schools I attended continued to happen to be Macs. When I entered NYU as a freshman, Apple, Inc. dominated the education world – though really, just the entire world.

In 1985, Steve Jobs left Apple to co-found Pixar.  When he returned to Apple in 1997, nothing in the world of computing would ever be the same again.  After Apple, Inc. introduced the multicolored iMac in 1998, the new Apple revolution unfolded.  In 2001, Jobs introduced the iPod, which would lead to the creation of the MacBook, iPhone, iPad, and a new series of iMacs.  The founding of the Apple Store in 2001 would cement Apple as a technology powerhouse.  All of the new products introduced by Jobs would continue to boast an increasingly simple yet beautiful design aesthetic. As a college student who had the honor of working as an Apple Campus Rep on the most Mac-friendly campus in the United States, the Apple revolution was underway.

In 2004, Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.  Though pancreatic cancer typically has a very poor prognosis, Jobs continued to work for Apple, appearing at keynotes to introduce new products. Wearing his signature St. Croix mock neck turtle and Levi’s, Jobs introduced every major new Apple product with a signature style that no individual will likely replicate in the future.

When Steve Jobs died on Wednesday, he left behind a legacy that is both beautiful and controversial.  He was the purveyor of simplicity in technology, yet he was also the head of an empire that many may view as the source of evil. The controversy of how Apple products are made – primarily in Chinese factories at the hands of young laborers – will likely continue to grow in the wake of his death.  However, Apple, Inc. is now one of the most profitable companies in the world, with a revenue of $65.3 billion in 2010.

I could not imagine a proper life as a creative and artist without the help of Apple. Most of my peers in the creative field depend on Apple as a source of help with their work, and I intend to continue my use of Apple products for years to come.

Steve Jobs made a living doing what he enjoyed, and it is this simple action that will guide any person to success.  As Jobs described the search for one’s “dream job”: “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”

Pour one out for Steve Jobs.

News Flash: Good-Looking People Are Rude-Ass Bitches

16 Aug

As long as this planet exists, “science” will continue to fund “studies” that make you think “no shit”. The latest study providing us with obvious answers is an article by The Observer asking the question, “Are beautiful people ‘selfish by nature’?” According to the results of a study, “people blessed with more symmetrical facial features, which are considered more attractive, are less likely to cooperate and more likely to selfishly focus on their own interests.”

I consider John mayer to be the best looking man on the planet. But is he also a d-bag? Some evidence points to yes.

I can agree with this for a few reasons. I cannot think how many times I saw a super-hot guy I wanted to get to know but soon noticed that he was a douchebag from hell. There’s one guy in particular at my place of work who looks as though he stepped off the pages of GQ, but I soon found out from others that he has a snobby, holier-than-thou attitude that makes me no longer interested in seeing what he’s storing in his pants. Perhaps the real question that the article should pose is, “are hot people with bad attitudes one of the biggest turn-offs ever?” Survey says, fuck yes.

The theory that better-looking people think that they themselves are better and/or more deserving than their less attractive counterparts is nothing new. It is also stereotypical to assume that because someone is good-looking that they always have to be mean. From personal experience, I have to say that attractive mean people outnumber unattractive mean people by two-to-one, but it must also be understood that neither quality is mutually exclusive.  Being aware that you are attractive is one thing, but holding that over someone else’s head is quite another. I myself know that I am not anywhere near being ugly, and that I likely am considered attractive by “science,” but I really do not hope that I am perceived as mean because of this. If I am ever mean or less “cooperative,” as the article discusses, it’s probably due to someone’s bad attitude.

Very recently, a good friend of mine drunkenly sprung the following declaration upon an unsuspecting female victim: “I don’t know if you know this, but I’m hot.” How embarrassing. Perhaps the most troubling thing is that I’m friends with this person! Gross. Sorry boy, but if you are actually that hot, you probably don’t need to go around saying such poppycock.

One of the questions I want to ask is: what about people who think they’re hot (but they’re not) and subsequently go around proclaiming said hotness, all the while treating other people like shit? What can be said about those people? I suppose they are simply delusional in two dimensions, both about their looks and their sense of entitlement. However, one of the meanest people I know is also one of the least physically attractive, so perhaps that is an example of poetic justice in nature.

What have we learned today, children? There are only a few things worse than a pretty person with a poor attitude: accidentally pouring hot sauce onto an open wound, foreclosures, and the food at Applebee’s. This brings us to the next topic to be explored on Fixed Air – Bravo’s latest reality show, Most Eligible: Dallas. It’s about good-looking people who are (surprise!) rude-ass bitches. Lates.

Lesson Learned: What the Death of Ryan Dunn Taught Us

25 Jun

In case you have not yet heard, Ryan Dunn, star of Jackass and Viva La Bam, among other classic MTV offerings, died very early last Monday morning when he crashed his 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 in Pennsylvania. The passenger in his car, Zachary Hartwell, also died. The accident happened after a night of drinking by Dunn and friends at a local bar, and many are placing the blame for the accident on Dunn’s reputation as a daredevil with a disregard for self-respect or for the lives of others.

Many of the comments I heard about Dunn’s death are extremely self-serving and opportunist. There’s quite a bit of talk of how he “wasted” his entire life only to selfishly take someone down with him.  I cannot agree with this sentiment. Dunn made a living having fun with his friends, and I am quite sure that many of the young people who have decried his death probably watched Jackass a time or two.  Additionally, the fact tat Dunn’s passenger also died presents multiple issues regarding responsibility.  The passenger chose to get in the car with a driver who drank.  The likelihood of some sort of lawsuit emerging from this horrible, fiery car crash is inevitable. However, the truth is that Dunn’s demise is the fate of quite a bit of young people who disregard laws about drinking and driving.

A post on TheDirty.com (I cannot believe I am referring to that site) has a poster proclaim, “Ryan Dunn deserved to die”. Really? Does anyone ever “deserve” to die? I cannot say that I have ever thought someone “deserved” to die. I do recall a student I knew in college who was quite mean to me. He ended up dying in a horrible electrocution accident on a film set just a few months later. I remember telling my boyfriend at the time what had happened, and his only response was, “karma is a bitch.” Shocked at this statement and touched by my Catholic guilt, I went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and lit a candle for the poor boy. Surely he did not deserve to die.

So what did we learn from Ryan Dunn’s death? Do not drink and drive – a lesson that people should know by now but sadly have not. Do not get in a car with a friend who’s been drinking. Stop them from driving. Do not drive your Porsche 130 mph on a winding road – this could surely be a mistake for anyone, sober or not.

Perhaps the most startling thing about Dunn’s death – for me, at least – is the very young age at which he died. I am always put off by hearing stories of the young dying, especially those with loved ones and friends who will live decades after their friend.  A television interview with Bam Margera at the site of the crash showed the true pain of a young death – a grown man crying profusely at the loss of his best friend, weak and defeated.  My discomfort at seeing Margera cry in turn caused me to cry. Margera will now live without his best friend – someone he considered his brother.  This is what people should consider when recalling Dunn’s demise. Through actions he chose, he left behind those who love him.

What can you do to prevent accidents like the one that killed Ryan Dunn? Make safe driving arrangements on a night of drinking. For those living in the Colorado Springs area, I recommend using the services of No DUI Colorado Springs. This is a FREE service offered at the most popular bars in Colorado Springs. Some of the bars they service are Copperhead Road, The Hatch Cover, The Mansion, Meadow Muffins, Phantom Canyon, Tony’s and Dublin House. You can visit their website at www.noduicosprings.com.