4 People With Good Intentions It's Impossible Not to Hate
It's a fact that no one likes the news, and the more news we get, the less we enjoy it. Name a 24-hour news network that isn't constantly the butt of jokes and I'll name my unicorn Phil and he'll fix us drinks that are sweet with the delicious nectar of lies. Lies!
The problem with news is that, aside from it constantly bombarding us, it's often terrible. News is bad about 80 percent of the time, and the remaining 20 percent is a mix of good news and bullshit that was probably made up by the Onion, then picked up by legit news sources. And then, at the end, there's a tiny fraction reserved for stories that are bad and good at the same time, stories that wield irony like a hobo wields stink, that leave you unsure of how you're supposed to feel because they transcend the easy-to-digest formula of regular news and force you to deal with an awful mix of stuff that's somehow wrong and right all at the same time.
Westboro Baptist Makes You Like the KKK
The Westboro Baptist Church is a 24-hour news network's supercharged wet dream. They're hateful, vocal, and mobile, and they never run out of ways to anger the average viewer. Have you gone into a public restroom and been appalled to discover that some uncouth monstrosity has opted to spatter the walls and floor with a burst of fecal confetti? That substance, along with the way it makes you feel, is basically personified in Westboro.
If you aren't aware, the church is a 40-member hate group based out of Topeka, Kansas. They espouse extreme pseudo-Christian beliefs and are mostly known for their hardcore anti-gay ideology and the fact that they will actively picket the funerals of soldiers, children, and celebrities with signs celebrating the deaths and assorted other colorful shittery plastered on Bristol board. You know those cramps you get if you eat undercooked chicken wings? Like a twisting pain, as though the diarrhea you're moments away from experiencing decided to have a knife fight in your colon? Now imagine those cramps out on the street with colorful signs and a wardrobe from Big Lots. I can't stress enough how much like shit these people are.
"Get the DeWalt Worksite Radio/Charger for only $99.99 at Big Lots! Fag NBA sold separately."
To attempt to understand Westboro, try to imagine someone who hears that a soldier has been killed in battle and thinks "Well, thank God!" then makes a sign that says "God Hates Fags" and just goes and stands at that person's funeral, across the country. "Asshole" doesn't even broach the subject. "Douchebag" isn't even in the same ballpark.
Luckily for Westboro, their stunningly ignorant yet repetitive rhetoric is not only legally protected speech, it's the kind of stuff that gets them constant press coverage. And, since several prominent members are lawyers, they've managed to make a decent living off of the proceeds from lawsuits that help fund their shitty little field trips around the country being all googly-kook insane and stirring up shit because apparently none of them have any hobbies whatsoever.
So what's to be done against a prolific hate group that has every legal right to do the awful things they do? The exact same thing they do in the form of a counterprotest. It's become par for the course for groups to arrange counterprotest lines that Westboro won't cross in order to protect families at targeted funerals. A lot of times it seems to be local biker gangs, but in one particular instance, the heroes who rose to the occasion in an effort to thwart Westboro were members of the Ku Klux Klan. Man, this would make for a zany children's book.
It was OK, but the character development isn't there.
As members of Westboro protested the funerals of soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery, a counterprotest headed them off. Dennis LaBonte, himself a veteran and also grand wizard of a KKK chapter, was there to show his support for the fallen soldiers and, along with a handful of other Klan members, wasn't about to let Westboro be such blatant douche nozzles. Presumably any witnesses stood by silent and dumbfounded, fearful that offering support to either side would cause Mexican drug cartels to come and decapitate everyone or, at the very least, aliens and predators to join in and make a scene.
Animal Rights Activists Kill Animals
Everyone loves animals, except for heartless old ladies with Dalmatian-fur coats and people whose loved ones have been murdered by ravenous livestock. And it's good to be a friend to our animal neighbors, except for things like gross bugs and most kinds of fish, which have soulless eyes and creepy faces. However, there's definitely something to be said for understanding the best way to help and nurture animals as opposed to just causing a terrible, awful clusterfuck.
At a university lab in Milan, where researchers had been studying genetic psychiatric disorders, animal rights activists busted in to help liberate the poor mice and rats that were being callously experimented on. The protesters destroyed data and freed the little animals so that they might run several steps from their cages and promptly die.
"It's, like, they're free. And, like, sometimes that means dying right away."
Turns out a number of the animals were genetic mutants or had compromised immune systems and can't really live outside their cages. So you can't free them at all, but that's OK, because something something sanctity of life or whatever.
At the end of the raid, the group had to negotiate for the release of the animals. They were allowed to take 100 of the about 800 on site and were promised they could come back later for more, which apparently they believed. That's like the police promising the bank robber that if he releases the hostages, he can keep the money and go home.
So on the one hand, this group struck a blow for ignorant animal lovers everywhere by ensuring that 100 animals are now free to live in sterile cages somewhere outside of the lab they were raised in. On the other hand, this isn't a lot different from activists raiding mink farms and releasing thousands of them, only to have the animals, which are domesticated and rely on machines for food, return to the farm, with the notable exception of all the ones that got killed on highways when they ran up to cars expecting dinner.
Most people understand the desire to stop another living thing from being in pain, or from being killed, but maybe a better way to help those creatures is not by murdering them faster.
The Anti-Biotech Movement Causes Starvation
Anti-biotech folks believe genetically modifying food is dangerous and may lead to a race of Brundle Flies. The fact is, right now, there is literally no evidence to suggest they are. In fact, some former leaders of the anti-GMO movement have done complete about faces on the issue after learning what the hell they're talking about for a change, instead of just spouting the uninformed rhetoric that most protesters (of anything, not just GMOs) seem to spout. Who knew being informed could be helpful?
Anti-biotech is big on natural farming, and they feel like organic farming is a much safer and better plan for feeding the hungry, but the fact is that organic farming can't match crop yields. It's not even a maybe situation, or something you could fix by trying to cram seeds closer together or saying sexy things to them while they germinate. You just can't stack up to GM crops because they're designed to grow more; that's the point. Even if every organic hippie who hates GMO tried growing acai berries in their pants, it still wouldn't be enough to match what a GMO crop can do. They're needed because they can feed the hungry in ways an organic crop couldn't hope to. It is because of genetic modifications that people like Norman Borlaug were able to alter wheat crops to produce higher yields and save literally billions from starvation. Literally billions.
Easily twice as many people as this.
So why are so many people against GMO crops anyway? Probably due to ignorance and pop culture. The moment you hear "genetically modified," if your mind doesn't run immediately to sci-fi, you probably have led a very dull and sheltered life in your abbey. To the rest of us, it sounds like mutants and babies with bug eyes. And that's kind of what these people believe. There's a strong belief that GM cassava will cause sterility, or make unborn children gay. Because maybe science decided that injecting cassava with liquid gay was going to help crop yields or provide a richer flavor.
Organizations like the Institute for Responsible Technology present themselves as scientific organizations to explain the evils of GMOs, but they're not run by or affiliated with scientists, they don't have the expertise, and their claims aren't backed by valid research. Imagine if you ate a really shitty peach and decided people needed to know that peaches were probably cultivated in Satan's anus so you made an organization called the Center for Peach Cultivation Veracity and you put together an ugly website warning people about the high percentage of Satan anus in their peach crops. That's what these people did. They're basically the food version of climate change deniers. They will argue until they pop a blood vessel about how they're right, but please don't look into it or else, you know, science will happen.
"According to our research, you're fucktarded."
Then you read about activists who destroy rice crops in the Philippines because some people think eating a GM crop will make us all into lizard men or cause our balls to shrivel or whatever. As if the lizard men would allow that. Instead what happens is people in poor countries with inadequate soil and irrigation and finances to grow all these wonderfully nutritious organic crops just miss out on a GMO that could feed and provide proper nutrients for the millions of starving and undernourished people who would smack your mouth for daring to suggest they try growing their own organic kale instead, assuming they had the strength to lift their arms.
These people aren't saving lives, they're costing them, because it's a lot easier to be loud and misinformed than it is to be knowledgeable and civil, hence the popularity of people like Donald Trump, who make a living by yelling utter bullshit all the time.
Teens Are Pornographic
Are you a teen? Did you spend time as a teen? If so, you may be aware that a teenager's entire existence can be summed up with the following formula:
For you girl teens, we have an alternate formula:
A lot of the world we live in is make-believe. We pretend things were better "back in the day." Kids these days are worse than past generations, and there is more crime and sex and drugs than ever. That's not true, of course. You'll find that drug use is way down from back in the day, crime rates are down, and teen pregnancy rates are down. So if things are getting better, why do we think they're worse? The answer, of course, is right in your hands.
Technology has disgusted us all by putting the world at our fingertips, and the world is a cesspool of what the fuckery. You'd never know how bad things were if not for updates popping up in your Facebook feed every day, and that makes you think the shit is falling in a never-ending stream onto the fan. But it's just that you're more able to see it now, as opposed to 20 years ago, when clearly it was happening more, there were just far fewer ways to share it.
Now that we've established that the world is awesome and perfect, what does that have to do with teens? Well, in our make-believe world, teens are little angels. But remember our equation. Remember your own teen years. The fact is, teens are little hornballs with their awkward boners hidden behind Trapper Keepers and their urges and feelings and constantly being surrounded by other horny teens. What do you think happens in these situations?
"We're going to have trendy scooter sex! You old timers wouldn't understand!"
Despite pregnancy being down, that same technology that makes the world seem worse is, kind of, making the world worse. In my day, if I wanted to see a girl's boob, I had to basically not. I didn't. I just wanted to. But today, thanks to Ashton Kutcher and Anthony Weiner, sexting is a thing. You'll notice that people tend to be more sexually open and adventurous in an electronic forum because, for some reason, we think doing things online is somehow less real than doing them in person. You go ahead and try to tell me I'm wrong, then look at all the dick pics on the Internet and explain those. People love showing off, and the Internet gives them a chance to get over that fear that prevents them from doing it on the bus. Teens are the same way. With a click of a button, you can send your lab partner a pic of your teenage loins, it's just that easy. Also it makes you a child pornographer.
The thing about laws is that they're made up to look good on paper and fit a certain circumstance that the writer had in mind. For instance, thou shalt not kill. Good rule, solid plan, keeps things clean and happy, and oh shit, an army of ax murderers is running up the lawn trailing the severed heads of the police behind them and all I have to keep them back is this fully loaded automatic shotgun. But thou shalt not kill. Ah, nuts.
"Calm down, I just want to see what your brains look like."
Circumstance is everything, and that should be the same for laws meant to protect kids from ice cream men who lick their lips too often when they pull the truck up to the local park. We have laws against child porn because, as a society, we've all agreed that doing that kind of shit is awful, and we want to protect children until they have matured enough that they understand themselves and their bodies and can make their own choices without being exploited or influenced by creepy creeps. This also means that when teens take pictures of themselves buck-ass naked and send them to other teens, they're creating a child porno ring among friends, because we pretend teens have no sexuality (that's our make-believe world) and we have laws against anyone having pictures of naked kids, including the kids who took the pics of themselves. It sounds insane, but more than one teen has already been charged with sending or receiving pictures of themselves and friends.
It's great to want to protect kids and all, and we should, but maybe some of the effort being used to charge 16-year-olds sending pics of themselves to other 16-year-olds could be used instead on guys who kidnap girls and lock them in dungeons for 10 years or whatever. Call me nutty, but that seems like a more relevant and pressing issue.