Role Reversal (or, man, do I miss my dinosaur bubblebath set from Avon!)

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She Used To Be Me

Like many people who are debilitated by pain and/or disease, mom is at a place with her cancer and chemo that she can’t really shower or bathe herself: she’s simply too nauseous and too exhausted to even sit on her special chair in the shower and  just let water run over her (tragically, we’re still not sure if that’s the cancer in her lung or the toxic chemicals coursing through her body to prevent its growth).

So, knowing how just “feeling clean” can be so important to a sick person — especially someone whose insides are so corroded with disease — I helped my mom with her sponge bath tonight.  Not only did it make her feel better physically, especially after days and days of nightsweats, fevers, and spitting-up and vomiting (boy, can that woman fill a kidney-shaped spittoon, even when she’s not trying), it certainly helped her psychologically.  She…

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Letter to Dr. Bennett about Philosophical Education

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Dr. Tony Bennett,

I strongly believe Philosophy should be offered as a required subject for elementary though high school students. Any basis for asserting otherwise needs some kind of philosophical justification. It’s a self-negating premise. Of course, like any other subject, lessons must be taught according to their level of understanding.

We have both lived in America long enough to know rational/logical thought is not guaranteed. Without rational thought and understanding as the centre of all areas of study, we have adults who can’t apply what they’ve learned, and perpetuating this generational hostility to the educational system as a whole.

We ask students over and over again “what do you want to be when you grow up?” This isn’t very easy to answer. When we ask a child this question, we’re asking what adult job, that they know very little about, captures their childhood imagination the most. When students become older, we begin to realize this question as more frightening implications. You’re asking high school students “What do you want to do with your life?” How can we possible expect students to examine this question without a forum to ask the big questions about life itself?

Remember what voting was to the women’s right movement?

It’s the right that, once acquired, would open the door to all the others. That’s what I feel about critical thought given to students. Once they can open their eyes and think, everything else will just be a mater of time. As long as we don’t have these classes readily available, we’re churning out irrational thinkers by the generation.

I’m not asking for an elective, I’m asking for a new centre, a new connecting point for ALL areas of study. I firmly believe that as long you have the power to make this readily available, and squander it, you would then be complicit in the existential degradation of the people we’re raising.

 

Without philosophy, there is no “free will.”

I hope this letter will open your mind to the choice you’re now faced with.

Indiana can set a new standard for education like you’ve always wanted.

 

The only question you’re left with is:

“Will it, or will it not?”

 

Thank you.

 

-Daniel Ballow

(I am a student of Ball State University majoring in English Education minoring in Philosophy.

I Graduated from Key Learning Community class of 2010)

Starfire in Red Hood and the Outlaws #1

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Starfire in Red Hood and the Outlaws #1.

Deconstructing “Red Hood and the Outlaws” – Part 2: Starfire

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Deconstructing “Red Hood and the Outlaws” – Part 2: Starfire.

Sex, Biology, and Orientation

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Only very recently have a fully accepted the “theory” of evolution as fact. (A little slow, I know.) Since then, just about everything we can observe around us in regard to life can be contextualized as a part of that. Still, though, don’t take this to mean I’ve adopted some sort of individualist, survivalist, reductionist, or Freudian standpoint to gender, and everything else. Actually, beginning with evolution leaves the door open for endless expansion and possibilities, not reduction.

The following is the content of miniature “rant” on facebook in my attempt to put an end to the chicken and the egg question:
What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Neither. The process of laying eggs evolved from cellular asexual reproduction. 

 

Anywho… lets apply my conclusion about “The Chicken and the Egg” to the “The Culture and the People.”


What came first, the culture or the person?

At once, people behaved in a way that was most advantageous for a certain circumstance, that “method” self-replicated when the group expanded, and remained and developed independently of the external circumstance.

Ideas, concepts, and systems, and processes are platonic, symbiotic life forms that use people to replicate.

When a species of “culture” evolves, it will condition the people within its sphere of influence for its own self-replication and expansion, but a culture can be killed, a culture can die…

 

…And most importantly, a culture can be an evolutionary dead end that will relentlessly drag the people into extinction with it.

 

That’s why the truth, rationality, communication, and education are so important to our survival…

Elsewhere, I joked that bacteria “masturbated to give birth to clones.”

And I put these labels on this process from a standpoint where all these concepts are divided. A-sexual presupposed a sex-centered worldview. Even puts brackets on the definition of sex.  Until now, I’ve defined “sex” as “interpersonal genital stimulation.” Now, I’m not so sure…

If life forms originally had no gender, and circumstances led to the aberration of sexual divergence, and subsequently gender. Then everything else makes sense… PERFECT sense.

I’m going to make a huge leap from asexual reproduction and homosexuality. My apologies. Whenever I speak on this matter, I always remember the identical twins that were of differing sexual orientations. IF orientation is biological, but not exclusively genetic, then this leads me to the conclusion that it may be hormonal, within the womb. Of course… I now contextualize sexuality to “biological predisposition to preferring…”

Think of it this way, if we’re biologically predisposed to reacting favorably to certain foods in terms of taste. Then similarly can be said for certain aesthetic tastes, then following its logical conclusion to sexual taste. However, over the course of out lives, we “learn” and “acquire” certain other tastes over time. Fundamentalists might site certain prison behaviors as an example that “homosexuality is a choice.” The action may be, but it doesn’t negate what they’re biologically predisposed to liking more.

Rape is a Horrible Crime, And…

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Every time I listen to/ read the stories of rape survivors, it’s usually their cultural, sociological, legal, or religious setting that MAKES it more emotionally devastating, and as such, is considered the worst crime in the world.

But upon realizing this… it occurred to me that’s it’s really each of US that makes it into what is is.

Just about every other crime where an attack/violation/exploitation/threat of violence/coercion occurs… doesn’t have this much bullsh*t attached.

Do you SEE what I’m getting at here? It’s OUR faults.

WE turn it into the worst thing in the world, and in doing so, inflict the worst thing in the world to the victims of this crime!

Then in making the perpetrators guilty of the worst crime in the world, nobody can objectively or compassionately examine why it happens, thereby leaving the reasons unexamined by anyone doesn’t think of them as not quite human, or by someone who is not out for blood. And letting it go on, and on, and on… unabated.

Don’t you get it!?

We’re WORSE than rapists!