Sunday, February 7, 2016

Will I vote for Hillary if Bernie is not nominated?

First of all, why oh why are you asking me this question when it hasn't happened yet? Let's deal with the current contest before we move on to the next, shall we? Live in the present moment!

Secondly, if you're a Hillary supporter, will you vote for Bernie if Hillary is not nominated? I bet there's no question in your mind that you would. But, let's stop and think about why that is for a minute.

Why are Bernie's supporters unsure what they would do if Hillary is nominated, whereas, Hillary supporters are quick to answer that they would vote for Bernie when he is nominated?

Could it be because Bernie is the better choice? Or at least, a choice that you're not opposed to?

Because, the problem is that Hillary is a choice that Bernie supporters are opposed to. Whether you like it or not.

It's pretty easy to let a choice go that means just more of the same politics. It's not so easy to let go of a choice that would mean finally having someone in the oval office who's willing to toss our broken system, rather than pandering to it.

And yes, we all know it will be harder for Bernie to incorporate those changes than it will be for Hillary to give us more of the same. And yes, we all know that Hillary could work within the current system because she already does. We just don't want that. We want just the opposite, in fact. We want someone in office who will at least try to change it for the better.

And we also know that Bernie has no fear of going against the grain, whereas Hillary has pretty much shown herself to be a cog in the wheel of the current system. I guess that would be a good thing if it was a good system. But it's not a good system anymore. We all know it. We all feel it. We all are suffering because of it.

So, will I vote for Hillary as the lesser of two evils if she is nominated? I have no idea, but probably not. Because I don't do evil. I stand for what's right and moral and compassionate. I don't stand for working within the same old corrupt system we've always had. I'd rather toss it and start over. So, I'm hoping I won't have to make that choice. I know that Bernie has what it takes to win the nomination. In fact, I'm counting on it.

Someone told me the other day that I should prepare to vote for Hillary because Bernie is going to lose. I guess that person is pretty certain that corporate America is going to triumph every time. I guess that person is a defeatist.

Me? I prefer to believe that we can do this. We can take this country back to being something to be proud of. I believe in preparing for victory, not defeat. I believe that we are all connected and if we put our hearts and minds together, we can make some real changes, rather than just voting in someone who's content with business as usual.

And by the way, if you would like to see some real changes, why in the heck are you voting for Hillary in the first place? Yes, she's a woman and it would be nice to have a women in office. But as far as I know, she has no plans to revise the basic system. She's happy with the way things are. She thrives in our broken system.

But we, the people don't. And that, my friends is why I have no idea what I will do if Hillary is nominated. She stands for Monsanto, GMO's and pandering to other corporate and big banking interests. She stands for working within the system, not improving it. So why would I even consider voting for her?

And let me remind my Bernie supporters that even if Hillary wins, the nomination we do have another option. It's called the “write in.” And if enough of us do it, we could still elect Bernie. Stranger things have happened. And the way things are going now, it just might be worth the gamble.

What's the very worst that could happen? A republican holds office and everything is worse for the next 4 years? Heaven forbid, but at least it would open people's eyes to the fact that we need some drastic changes. And maybe the next Bernie that comes along would be met with less opposition.

The thing is folks that Bernie supporters are very much like Bernie himself. We believe in sticking to our convictions. We believe that most US citizens want something better. We love this country, just not our broken, corporate tainted system. We're tired of the Hillarys of the world.

We don't want more of the same. We want something better. And Hillary is more of the same, no matter how you look at it. So no, she probably won't get our vote. Because, just like most republicans, she doesn't represent what we want in a president.

So stop asking me to vote for someone who doesn't represent my beliefs about how this country should be run, democrat or not. She may be the lesser of two evils, but she's still evil in my book. And that's not something I'm willing to accept.

The write in exists for a reason.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Click it or stick it

No, I'm not talking about seat-belts. I'm talking about articles. They could be mine. They could be someone elses. The point is that if you don't click on them to see what they're about, you can stick your comments. You won't hear anyone else say this. I almost guarantee it. Because as a general rule, writers try to stay on good terms with other people. Otherwise, we lose friends and there's no profit.

But, and here it is, if you don't read the actual article, you really have no basis for your snide comments. You're just going by the title.

Titles can be deceiving, clever, humorous or sarcastic. They can be fact loaded and completely serious. They can state something you already think you know everything about. But you just might not know as much as you think you do.

So, #1 - Never assume you know what an article is about simply because the title suggests something you think you already know.

And #2 - For heavens sake, it won't hurt you to read something that doesn't reflect your viewpoint. In fact, you might actually learn something.

So, there you go. That's the main two reasons that I say, “Click it or stick it.” But that's not all.

Online writers work hard on their articles, just like conventional writers. The difference is that you don't have to actually pay for our books, articles, words of wisdom, etc. They're absolutely free for you. It takes about 2 seconds to click on them and about 5 more seconds for the ads on them to load. So please take 7 seconds out of your day to click on them. Because we don't get page views unless you do.

Heck, you don't even have to read them, I guess. Although you should, because us online writers have some pretty cool material out there. We're just asking for a seven second glance so that we can get a measly page view. FYI - It takes hundreds of those babies to make a buck.

And I get it. Not all the articles you see are worth even 7 seconds of your time. But how will you know if you don't click on them? And how will we get paid if people are constantly sharing but never clicking?

Do we appreciate the share only people? Of course. Because maybe someone else will be interested enough to click that article so that we get paid for the page view. Do we expect everyone to click on everything we write? Heck no. But a courtesy click here and there wouldn't kill you, would it?

Plus, it will give you the confidence to comment intelligently and appropriately, instead of sounding rude and uninformed. You're not rude and uninformed, right? So why would you want to sound that way?

Don't make me beg. Don't make me feel bad for asking either. And don't blame me for being put out by people who are rude to me in the comment section simply because they never read the article so they could get the gist of it before smarting off.

Anyway....It's 7 seconds, people. So click it or stick it. And don't get all bent out of shape. After all, it's just a clever title.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Things I hate about writing

Jaipi Sixbear is not all sunshine and roses. In fact, there's a lot of things that bug me. Otherwise, this blog would not exist. Nobody's perfectly happy all the time. We all know there's something that bothers everyone, no matter how nice they are on the surface. So here's a bunch of things I hate about writing, even though I love that this is what I do for a living.
I actually hate having to use a pen name

As most of you know, Jaipi Sixbear is not my real name. When I first started writing online, I decided to use a pen name to protect myself and my family from the inevitable weirdos who come out of the woodwork when I address controversial subjects.

Consequently, I actually become someone else when I write. I become Jaipi Sixbear, who's a more outgoing and outspoken version of me. And being Jaipi Sixbear for a large part of my day has begun to change the “real” me too. I couldn't go back to who I was before, even if I wanted to. It wouldn't feel right because I've grown and changed through the anonymity of my writing persona, which has in turn changed the “real” me. That's the cool part.

I love the personal growth I have experienced as Jaipi. And yet, I hate the type of people that necessitate pen names and other protective measures. Behave yourself, you idiots, so the rest of us can be who we are.

Describing myself in the third person

Everyone knows who writes those little bios on profiles and such. It's us. We write our own bios. Why can't we speak in the first person? Well, that wouldn't be professional, now would it? No, it's much better to sound like a complete idiot, by describing yourself in the third person. Jaipi Sixbear hates talking about herself as if she were describing someone else. It sounds silly and somewhat pretentious.

Who made up this stupid rule?

We can never just write the way we want.

Why are we so afraid to be ourselves when we write? Mark Twain did it. I hate those writing rules and regulations that exist for no reason other than to make us appear well heeled and refined. Mainly because I am neither and I'm proud of it. Never had a use for snobbery and never will.

Most editors don't like it when we write the way we speak either.

They hate first person, except in blogs. I don't know about you, but when I carry on a conversation, I go back and forth between first and third person a lot. I bring up a factual subject or incident. Then, I talk about my own experiences and tell stories about the experiences of others. Sometimes I even throw in a little “how to.” Therefore, writing that way seems more natural to me. How about you?

Back to those high handed rules

One of the biggest things on my “things I hate about writing” list is the other unbending, unending rules. I prefer to let the words flow from my fingertips like rain on a hot summer afternoon. I almost don't care about proper sentence structure, form or function. I put the words together so they sound good and mean something. Rules are for fancy people and I'm not fancy.
I'm not completely illiterate.

*I watch my spelling and grammar unless I am making a point of it.
*I try to make my points intelligently and clearly.
*I “speak” simply.
*I don't use huge words people don't understand just to make myself look smarter.

By the way, I do know those "big" words, but what does it matter if the reader needs a dictionary to interpret my articles? You see, I want everyone to be able to read and comprehend my articles. Not just the highly educated. Everyone.

Sometimes I hate my thought process

When facing a deadline, there's nothing I hate more than my own mind. Writing is a strange profession. It may, in fact be the only profession where not being in the right frame of mind is completely disabling. You literally can't write unless your head is in the right place.

Think of any other job. I don't care what you do for a living, you can do it depressed, hung over, heart broken and even all out insane. Not so with writing. You need your brain to write,. If it's out of commission, nothing happens. So, add to the list of things I hate about writing, the fact that if my mind is not cooperating, I can't do my job.

People who think writing is easy

Writing is my chosen profession and despite all these things I hate about writing, I love it! There is nothing I would rather do than this. Still, it's not the easiest profession in the world. So many people who don't write have a strange and utterly incorrect view of writers. So many people I know do not understand why I don't get a "real" job. They think writing is so darn easy. It makes me angry at times.

I don't just sit in front of a bay window, watching birdies and pleasantly tapping out my thoughts. I work hard!

Not everyone can do this job, but a lot of people think they can.

Writing takes research and verification of facts. It takes time to find the right words. Words that don't offend. Words that get the point across. Words that please the search engines so someone will actually click on my article and read the darn thing. Words that hold the readers interest for more than a nanosecond. Writing is hard work. I hate it when people think anyone can do this or those who look at it as easy money.

Criticism from mainstream writers

Many of us online writers receive boatloads of criticism from print media writers concerning the quality of our work. Seriously, folks, there is room for both of us on this freight train. Our writing serves a purpose and fills a need, whether you care to admit it or not. There are crap writers online and there are crap writers in print. There are also some darn good writers both in print and online.

Yes, we online writers have to word and write our articles in such a way that gets us noticed by the search engines, just as print writers have to tow the line with their editors (so do we, by the way). That's how all we earn a living. One more thing, some of us earn just as much and more than conventional writers do. It's a myth that online writers don't make "real" money.

Superior attitudes among my peers.

Print writers don't have a monopoly on superiority complexes. There are plenty of online writers pouncing on those of us who choose to be a little more flexible with the rules. Some of them even go so far as to report our “bad behavior” to our editors.

To these people I say, write how you want and I'll write how I want. If you don't like my style, you don't have to read what I write. Besides, where do you find the time to worry about someone elses writing?

Personally, I'm far too busy for that.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Breaking false societal branches

Bend with nature, not society!
There's an old Native American saying about bending in the wind with the branches. Many people follow it to the letter. Still, I think they're missing something. You see, I think that saying is about going with the flow of nature, not the flow of society. Especially when that society is presenting a direct opposition to nature. Like ours.

Our society is anything but natural. In fact, the further time marches on, the further man gets away from nature. This post is about those who break the societal branches, rather than bending with them when they're bending the wrong way. The wind is strong. Luckily, so are they!

I love those people! I love it when I see people spreading the truth. I love when people place doing the right thing above making a profit. I love when people risk discrimination and persecution in order to see that kindness and compassion prevail.

I love knowing that there are still people in the world who see that we are nature. That everything we do either works for the balance of nature or against it. I love people who see that we are all connected. I love when people realize that every single thing they do makes a difference to someone else.

And I absolutely love the sound those societal branches make when they snap and let the truth seep in. Because I know that our society goes against everything nature intended. I also know that the switch from natural living to societal living came about so slowly that it seemed natural. So slowly that hardly anyone noticed.

That's why most people are still bending with the branches of society, working for change within an impossible dream, believing the lies spread by those who profit from them and being unknowingly coerced into adding to that profit. They follow the well worn path blindly and without question. They don't know any better. It's what they've been taught to do.

Their whole life has been based on a certain set of rules since the day they were born. There's nothing natural about those rules. They're completely man-made. But they seem natural, because that's the way society has always been.

The branch breakers are trying to get through to these people. Trying to show them that there is another way. A chance for a brighter future. Trying to get them closer to nature and away from the corrupted system they are forced to conform to.

They're breaking branches all over the place so the light can shine through onto those who haven't seen it yet. And like most people who break the chain, or in this case, the branches, they are looked upon as strange or disillusioned. But in the end, of course they will prevail. Those who dare to work for positive change always do.

Conformists, on the other hand, only know one thing. How to conform. How to belong. How to follow the crowd. How to pander to those who hold the keys to their prison cell. The jailers are not giving those keys up, of course. Luckily, there's another set. But in order to find it, people have to open their minds to the truth. They have to become branch breakers or be broken themselves when the consequences kick in.

It's inevitable.

Nothing else matters?

I can't count the number of people I've encountered who believe that focusing on their own life and their own goals and “minding their own business” is a good thing. It's almost as if they think nothing really matters outside of their own reality. And while I commend them for their positive focus, many of these people are so intent on living positively that they unwittingly forget about the problems being faced by others on a daily basis.

Now, don't get me wrong. Many of them are good people who care about the struggles faced by others. They don't mean to be so distanced. And yet, because they choose to “mind their own” they inadvertently remove themselves from direct involvement with anyone who is suffering, but not in their circle of friends and family.

Have you ever heard about an accident occurring in your area? Isn't your first thought to find out if anyone you know is involved? When disasters strike in other regions of the world are you immediately glad they're not happening in your country? And yet, these other people have friends and families and lives just like you. They feel pain and sorrow and the sting of poverty and hopelessness. So, why is it any better if you don't know them?

It's a natural reaction. I'm guilty of these thoughts myself. Of course we want to make sure that our loved ones are safe. Why wouldn't we? But the truth is, we should be equally concerned for people that we don't know, aren't friends with, aren't related to or don't live nearby. And also for causes that don't yet impact us directly. But they will eventually, you know?

And yes, life is short. Getting as much joy as we can from it is important. But what good is our own joy? How precious is it to us? Is it precious enough to remain ignorant of the incidental damage of living traditionally simply to preserve our own happiness? Doesn't that taint our own joy just a little bit? That is, the fact that in order to be joyful we must, to a certain extent, close our eyes and ignore our own impact and the suffering of others?

What good is it to enjoy our lives while turning our back on the negative aspects of life as if nothing else matters but our own happiness? Doesn't that strike you as a bit selfish? How is that even considered enjoyable? I don't get it.

Right now in this moment, there are people dying of thirst and starvation. They matter. Our planet is dying too. That matters very much. Because if the planet dies, none of us will survive. This isn't a disaster flick. It's for real! If we just “mind our own” it's not going to come out well in the end. This is real life. It doesn't work that way. We depend on planet earth to keep us alive. We are running out of resources, clean air and drinkable water. It's a very serious situation.

So, rather than focusing on our own lives and minding our own business, maybe we should be branching out a bit. Maybe we shouldn't mind our own business when it comes to practices, habits and traditions that are unsustainable. Maybe it's OK to butt in, face some hard truths and do something that positively impacts others, not just ourselves.

And of course, as regards you and I personally, we may be long gone before planetary destruction causes the extinction of humanity. But our children and grandchildren won't be. So, by minding our own business as if nothing else matters but our happy little circle, we are effectively handing them a death sentence as well as a giant, miserable mess to deal with.

Kind of makes you rethink what “your business” actually is, doesn't it?