Sunday, December 20, 2015

College Student Protestors: Am I Just Getting Old or Is This Indeed a Conspiracy to Return to Segregation and Eliminate Free Speech?

I saw this article a few days ago about these people's "demands" to others on racial matters. One of these demands is telling white women not to speak on the subject, quite a few were imposing mandatory "cultural sensitivity" training and so forth. I also read something in Slate.com not long ago regarding people's wanting "safe spaces" i.e. spaces where only minorities of a particular race could be & didn't have to worry about people from other groups.

I actually posted that one on the "safe space" on my Facebook friends and asked my friends of varied backgrounds (particularly my black friends) what they made of this. I wondered if they also thought the concept of a "safe space" sounded an awful lot like segregation, which black people fought to get rid of back in the '60s. As I don't associate with ignorant morons who try to clothe themselves as "liberals," other friends indeed felt that sounded messed up.

A friend also tells me about some student at Cornell who was "emotionally traumatized" at having to read literature by white people in a required course like there's no library at a college or some black studies course she could take to supplement her learning. Some media outlet apparently picked up that story, which I haven't the faintest idea why.

Then I read the above article & as an attorney, member of the most minority of any minority group out there (and you don't hear natural redheads calling for "safe spaces" from the rest of you fuckers) and a rational thinking human being I'm immediately struck by a few things:

1. These protestors would be the shittiest attorneys in the world.
2. These protestors assume that employers never do research on them on social media.
3. These protestors are ignorant of basic history on their own race.
4. These protestors really don't want to go anywhere in life.
5. These protestors have been given zero basic survival skills & are a failure in parenting.

Here is a basic & simple truth; the real world doesn't have "safe spaces." If you want a true "safe space," you'll have to be six feet under. Even if you decide to take on a reclusive existence as a mountain (wo)man, you're going to have to get bullets for your gun sometime, see the grocery delivery people or go to the general store. Unless maybe you go to a completely deserted island devoid of all people, you're a damn survival expert & you'll always have enough food, good weather for it to replenish and no bigger wild animals to eat you or your potential food supply you're going to have to deal with other people. Those people won't always be YOUR race, age, demographic & might not agree with your point of view on all aspects of life. Are you going to demand the gun shop owner to "check [their] privilege?!" Are you going to tell wild animals "This is my safe space & you can't be here?!" Being dead is the only way you'll get a "safe space," kids. Don't you think you deserve a little more time on the earth than dying in your early 20s or sooner? I'm sure my late BIL would have liked more time than that, maybe seen his son grow up & learn to talk and all. My sister certainly would have & I know his family would have. This is the same general rationale why it's not a good idea to spend all your education and time away from minorities, (wo)men, people of other ages and life situations. That distance is unrealistic & when you encounter someone different from who you're used to, it just causes major problems.

Could you imagine what some employer would say to a protestor telling them to "check [their] privilege?" or saying they needed a safe space? If it were my company, I'd never hire that "I'm a special snowflake more worthy of rights than YOU & everyone else who works here" troublemaker. Some of these "demands" are for special privileges not based on anyone's talent or aptitude but just b/c of a minority status. If we were doing hiring and promotions and such based on who's most minority I think natural redheads & those from mixed races including naturally red hair would be Emperor/Grand Master/CEO over everyone else regardless of how competent they were since they'd win rarity arguments in 2 seconds (especially if you didn't look like the typical natural redhead since you'd have gotten far more hassle than anyone else in growing up and living life--those people would get to be President of the US without the voting process or lobbying if that's how the world worked).

A pro tip: the key to getting people to be on your side is to listen to what they say & frame your argument in a way that's going to make them listen/consider your words. Do these idiots think alienating their allies or demanding people to do things they've never expressed an interest in doing i.e. bullying them to do what they want is going to make them their advocates? Hell to the NO!!!! That's the polar opposite of getting anyone to take your side in an argument or consider the problem you're bringing up.

Your typical, rational adult does NOT like being bullied or infantilized. They also don't like you shitting on their efforts to help you. If you don't think it's helpful, here's a novel concept: have a private conversation with the person/entity, explain your point in a cool, rational way and then steer them in ways where their efforts will be more "helpful" to you. Express your deep appreciation for them caring enough to put in any effort at all & don't list this as a public demand picked up by the news media.

What I heard in reading that is "We shit on the efforts of white women & belittle their experiences in this society." I also heard serious paternalism & sexism in there. My response would be "Fuck you & the horse you rode in on. Your 'movement' can crash & burn for all I care and (if you're dealing with an angry enough feminist) I'll make it my mission to knock you down every single chance I get." You think it's fucking peachy to be in that category? You ever try talking to poor, white women & educating yourself on that vantage point? If you haven't, I suggest you check YOUR privilege & shut your mouth since your brain is in dire need of more oxygen.

I learned how to do this listening to other people & appropriately create arguments back in elementary school when we covered persuasive writing. I also took a high school and college class on the subject & had it been available to me, would have been on a debate team since I love doing it. People have outright said to me that I was an attorney long before I ever got the licenses; my history of standing up to BS in life certainly supports this.

The way these people have "demands" tells me they would bomb out of law school long before 1L Fall exams came around. What arguments have they presented to prove their points? Would they tell some law professor to "check [their] privilege?" The law professor would tell you to get out of the class; they don't take mess in law school. They don't coddle special snowflakes who think their shit doesn't stink just like everyone else's & you'll lose that ego real quick in the first year.

Also, if you're going to own your own business the key to getting customers for your product is not being a complete jackhole. Even if you have the best product out there, no one's going to buy it with no publicity (and you've likely alienated any PR person who might have helped you by telling him/her to "check [their] privilege") & you being an ass to customers or giving them the impression that you're a jackhole based on your publicly covered events such as claiming trauma from something students have experienced since the college system existed back in the 1700s/1800s. No one's stopping you from educating yourself but it sounds like you're too damn lazy and entitled to bother with self-learning or see value in it. Customers can be as demanding and exacting as potential employers & unless you've got a product that's VERY popular among a niche that never, ever changes you're going to have to be nice to people who aren't just like you. Imagine a restaurant or bar owner that refused to serve minorities or women or even one legged weasels born under the right side of a watermelon. Maybe not enough to trigger a civil rights violation but enough hostility to stay just above the law. That's how you get a business to fail b/c you are injecting your personal politics into your work & the general attitude will alienate others from your business. Others in the world have friends of all stripes as well as family members who may not look like them. I'm sure they'd not like some business owner who treats their friends and family members like garbage and would refuse to patronize it, no matter how good the food or d├ęcor.

Finally, I consider not alienating people a basic survival skill. It's the skill you need to get along in the world, have friendships and so forth. This isn't "don't have an opinion or express a viewpoint" but expressing that opinion and viewpoint in a respectful fashion. No calling your detractors names or making character attacks against them (like declaring them racist for not going along with you) but sticking to objective facts, pointing out logical flaws in their thinking and the like. Bully, coerce and emotionally abuse at your own peril. That just makes people angry, focus hatred on you & do everything to shut you down. At least, that is what a person like myself would totally do to you.

Let's just say that in spite of where I'm at in life, I don't forgive or forget. There's no way you can forget or forgive someone like my ex-husband for his behavior. You can't forgive or forget about someone who molested you or your child either & I'd find it insane to try shaming people in those circumstances to do either of those. The best I can take away from that is advising others in similar circumstances or sharing that story so maybe they won't make the same mistakes or do some of the things I experienced to someone else.

The friend who shared the article about the "traumatized" student over the reading material advanced an interesting theory: that the media and press are covering these whiny little brats to erode free speech rights and set progress back. Logic going "Hey, they ASKED for segregation so let's give it to them!" When you dissect it & know that the mainstream media in the US is far from impartial, that makes a lot of sense. In the world I know of & that I think the majority of my generation and up know of, those kids would have been shut down in 3 seconds. No administrators would be taking them seriously & no news organizations would have allowed these nutjobs to censor their coverage or editorial voice. They'd have said "Go study or we'll expel you."

I'm very curious what these people's parents have to say. I'd be embarrassed & furious that my kid wasted the money on tuition, where the parent likely had to take on loans or pay out of pocket, to waste their time ruining their future job prospects & likely letting their grades slip to be professional protestors and not even doing a very good job at it. As an attorney, if I had a kid like that I'd be appalled that my kid hadn't learned the basic rule of argument or how to rally diverse hearts and minds to their cause; it'd be utterly embarrassing. Reading all this, you kind of wonder where those hardliner parents constantly commenting on stories regarding the student loan crisis are. The ones that say "My kid is going to XYZ local school & they'll work their butt off at it since I'm not supporting him/her after graduation or letting him/her leech off me while doing nothing." Some of them are also the ones who demand their kids take particular majors/fields of study and make the best grades possible or else. It'd be interesting to hear what these protestors' parents have to say about this stuff or what they said to their kids after they were in the national media on stuff like this.

My parents would likely have supported me in my endeavors but I also knew what types of causes were or weren't worth it for me to take on, didn't slack in my studies, didn't make "demands" for things or alienate potential allies. I also didn't advocate for a rolling back of basic human rights like free speech and freedom of association. Nor did I bitch about school curriculums where no one was stopping me from doing my own reading of what I wanted or taking classes I wanted to take. People have never liked their mandatory classes most anyplace so I can't have sympathy for that kind of fight.

But seriously, the "it's an attempt to roll back rights" theory does have some teeth if you ask me. I also don't think I'm quite THAT old to notice history and recognize institutions like segregation when I hear about them.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Police & "Black Lives Matter": My Take on the Whole Sordid Subject

Some personal experiences in my new life have made me really think about & reflect on this with a critical eye. First, some history for those who aren't aware of it (which I imagine is a great many readers).

My personal, general experiences with the police have been positive if you can believe it. My uncle (who my mother wasn't too crazy about & who apparently didn't treat my aunt as well as he should have) was a cop and my father had a very bad experience with the local police literally a day after my brother in law's funeral in 2003. For those who haven't heard this one, here goes:

My father was an alcoholic. As in, he'd had enough DWIs to lose his driver's license (including his CDL license, ending his career as a truck driver), been to rehab for his addiction, did some time in jail, was on house arrest when I was in 6th grade complete with device on his ankle and had been required to put in an interlock device in his car in order to drive again after all this DUI/DWI stuff. In 2003, my sister's first husband died suddenly at the age of 21. This was 6 months after he & my sister had gotten married and 3 weeks after my oldest nephew was born. The day after my brother in law's funeral when I was on my way back to Atlanta to go home & prepare for work the next week, my father gets pulled over by the local police. They ask where the interlock device in the car is when he'd been free of that obligation long before this incident. Based on his having red eyes, they claimed he was drunk and the car was immediately towed far away and a whole court proceeding started where my mother had to retain a lawyer to defend my father.

Now my mother has been in denial on a few things about my father but she outright told us more than once that she would never allow my father to get on the road drunk after these DUIs. She told him "If you get behind the wheel drunk, I will call the police & have you arrested for it." She was very strict about this. She also never pretended the man was sober when he was drunk so if she said he'd not been drinking, I was inclined to believe her. She told me he had not been drinking.

At hearing this, I felt the local police was trying to bully a grieving family & make things worse. My family definitely didn't have money for all this & sure didn't need to go through all that after losing their son in law. Keep in mind that my sister and her husband were living under the same roof as my parents so they saw each other on a daily basis. It wasn't like my relationship with my brother in law, where I only saw him if I visited my family. Maybe I'm the only one who saw his getting arrested for this as a logic fail. I heard about this assumption he was drunk based on his having red eyes & said "We just buried my brother in law yesterday; we've been crying for days. OF COURSE the man's eyes were red!"

Now that is an example of terrible policing considering after my mom got that lawyer, he obtained the records proving our claims and my father eventually went free. Think about how many people can't get legal counsel? My mother contacted the DMV concerning my father's license (the police claimed at the time he was pulled over it was suspended when it reality, it was not). They completely ignored her while they finally gave the records showing that the police were wrong to their attorney.

I guess one upside is that my parents might have respected my profession a little bit before I actually started on the path to become an attorney myself. So many people don't have respect for attorneys or that job & plenty of attorneys don't exactly make people sympathetic to them or their needs by being the assholes everyone claims they are.

That brings me to an observation about the "Black Lives Matter" movement and police brutality against black people. If you are going to have ANY type of cause at all, it helps if you aren't living down to negative stereotypes about your group. If you want people to care about black lives, it might help if a particular classification of black people didn't behave in a stereotypical, "ghetto" fashion such as getting nasty with law enforcement, being uncooperative, refusing to act in a civilized manner, etc. I've not seen people championing this movement also saying "there are good cops out there & maybe you shouldn't start off assuming all of them are racist without speaking to them first." These people wouldn't like others meeting them and presuming they were racist without ever talking to them & seeing how they behaved toward them.

I've also yet to see many in this movement calling out the people behaving like ghetto trash (recall that ghetto trash is not limited to a racial group; I've seen plenty of white people behaving like ghetto trash as well & I'm sure there are people in other ethnic groups behaving the same way but it wasn't my experience). Unlike individual black friends of mine who have done plenty of overt attacking & condemning of ghetto behavior in their own ranks, I've not see the "Black Lives Matter" crowd doing this. Personally, I think it's a polarizing and alienating movement much the same as the concept of "safe spaces." I'm in agreement with "ALL Lives Matter."

Bad cops are bad cops and a problem to EVERYONE, not just one group no matter how great the impact is on that group. Separation of things in 2015 is absurd to me since we no longer have state sanctioned segregation or outright rules that a particular group can't participate in things. You are not going to win me or anyone else to your cause by uttering phrases like "check your privilege" or claiming you need "safe spaces." No, you're just a whiny little brat who can't hack it in real life where people are (gasp!) DIFFERENT from you and don't agree with everything you say and might have an opinion you don't agree with. Instead of being a civilized, mature human being who listens to see if maybe the person with an opposing view may have some valid points and is willing to agree to disagree if there are no valid points in that argument, these folks would rather have the world cater to their PC nonsense & demand superior rights over everyone else. No and NO!!!

Saying "Black Lives Matter" implies that black lives are superior to everyone else's & that is dead wrong. No one's right to exist is superior to someone else's on the basis of race, gender, age, nationality and so forth. I think that is what is turning people off to that movement; the implication that one group has more rights than someone else. Racism isn't cool no matter who's being discriminated against.

I've met some good cops, cops who used their heads and weren't a bunch of hotheads with zero critical thinking skills. Cops who did actual stuff you want the police to do like break up bar fights, listen when you speak about harassment situations, find out if you're okay if your car is stuck on the side of the road, deal with panhandlers on the subway, tell you when your ex-husband is moving from the apartment you found and lived in for the duration of your marriage, that kind of thing.

No one's mentioned the police harming peaceful protesters in the course of this brutality movement & those were white people as well as people of color. How about we deal with the bigger problems rather than make a blanket statement that ALL police officers are racist and ALL black people are innocent angels in all circumstances? How about we look at the class issues? Yeah, you shocked there are poor white people in the world? Go live out in the real world & talk to people. Look into the numbers on who seeks welfare. I was most certainly not the only white person seeking public assistance or going to the job center earlier this year.

How about this movement deal with the issue of ghetto trash living down to negative stereotypes that drag down all black people? I've definitely addressed ghetto trash living down to stereotypes that diminish and harm me or my family as lower income & would call that out in a second if I saw it in my backyard. Where are these advocates in those situations? I've also addressed the behavior of women that drags me down as a woman such as claiming sexual harassment b/c a guy complimented your dress. These harridans make ALL women look like oversensitive crybabies & I sure wouldn't want them working in my industry. How about addressing the climate where bad cops are being protected akin to the Catholic Church protecting pedophile priests by moving them from place to place instead of defrocking them?

You'll note I definitely address the assholery of the legal profession. I don't spend my time with assholes, wouldn't pee on them if they were on fire, will publicly admonish those who are offending my sensibilities/pissing me off with their nasty behavior, and certainly warning non-attorney colleagues, friends and associates about particular ones so they don't end up having to deal with that behavior. I even recall addressing this in scam blogs and other places where people whined about how no one cares about the problems of attorneys & that job market. It's like "People might give a damn if you weren't a bunch of flaming assholes to everyone & weren't condoning that behavior in others." I can see that same principle applying to the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

That movement could make impact and effect change for the better but it's going about it in a very piss poor manner by having this air of entitlement & refusing to address the very valid issues I've mentioned here. It's also not helping its case by demonizing all law enforcement. As I mentioned, my own father was unjustly arrested and hassled by the police. He didn't try attacking anyone physically or doing things that surely would have gotten him tazed or on the business end of a choke-hold. If he had, I would have addressed that fact and realized "Hey, maybe we should encourage people to act differently & then see what happens. Maybe we should save our rage for when it's justified like shooting someone unarmed who's being cooperative, polite, etc." That Southern politeness ethic can help you sometimes & if someone harms you while you're doing that, then the person who harmed you isn't going to get sympathy from most rational people. Polite doesn't mean subservient, friends.

Honestly, I think there's a major class issue in this country & it's intertwined with race in a way that seems to make most people think it's all about race when there's also the class component and the poverty mentality you have to deal with. Class isn't something strictly defined by race or we'd never have rich black people or poor white people.

I applaud my friends for calling out bullshit when they see it. That's probably a big reason they're friends with me. As for the "safe space" thing, I was delighted when black friends of mine also felt it sounded like self-imposed segregation and a step backwards. I think integration overall is a good thing since we'd have lost great perspectives and minds if we limited ourselves to only listening to white people on things. There are people of color just as there are people who don't come from money who are intelligent, classy, respectful and aren't walking around with a poverty mentality or a victim mindset. They can spot bullshit & have some backbone to call folk out on it. I know my school years as a natural redhead would have been worse with all white kids since almost none are natural redheads & I got along much better with other minorities since they understood how it felt to be different and not always treated well b/c of it. I also think my general life perspective is better because of not living in White Land & for having had exposure to people with different life backgrounds and experience whether that was class, race, religion, gender, whatever. Any good writer sees the value of getting someone else's perspectives & trying to understand how they see the world. A smart person wants to encounter as many different perspectives as possible & truly think on those to be a well rounded, full human being. It certainly helps if you want to be a good political leader or perform other leadership roles competently.

I'm not sure what the real solution is. If I were running things, there'd be no affirmative action since everything would be done in a blind manner & only the most talented would get things irrelevant to race or gender or any other nonsense. Education would be targeted to people's actual aptitude, not economic or racial prejudice. I'd also just get rid of the racists in the workplace since I think much like religion, racism is something that you might practice in private but we don't need to be seeing or hearing about & that you certainly don't get to use to not do your job, harass others, and so forth. People don't like being recruited for religious movements at work or seeing that either so why not the same principle for racists? As I commented before, working racists aren't racists lobbying government officials to roll back equal rights protections or participating in protests against civil rights for groups they don't like; they're too busy working.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Religion & "the Sordid Topic of Coin"

Yes, if you saw the movie Death Becomes Her you will recognize my use of that phrase. A little observation on this whole link that if you're not prepared for, you may want to sit down for.

We may be familiar with religions in the Northeast having their beliefs and participation in faith contingent on your socioeconomic status. You have to pay for tickets to go to major religious services like Catholic Mass, you apparently can't be a nun if you don't have a perfect credit rating (per a story I read about this a few years back & shocked me) and I know there's more harassment toward people who don't have money to spend as it relates to religious stuff but I'm not an authority there so I can't speak on it.

What I can speak on is the money grabbing going on in Christianity, at least in the Southeastern US where I grew up. My adorable & smart nephew recently expressed an interest in going to a private Christian school; despite his family, like mine as a child, having no means they apparently don't quality for any financial aid despite him and his family passing a rigorous "are you holy enough?" test required to attend.

I still have reservations about my nephew going to a Christian school considering I went to a religious private school myself in my younger years along with my sister. For one thing, I've found those environments to be incredibly judgy & draconian. They also like to either ignore the principles of sex ed or make kids think you can get a girl pregnant by kissing. I think I actually made my sister promise to have meaningful sex ed talks with my nephew since I refuse to have him go to college thinking sex is shameful or that even thinking about kissing a girl will get her pregnant. That ilk loves to demonize sex & if I still followed that teaching, they'd have me shipped off to Hell despite my ex-husband choosing to throw me out and being emotionally abusive toward me. I really don't want to have to go to that arena or deal with that aspect of the Christian faith; the school I went to was also headed by a racist who is a far distant cousin of my mother's (he long since left but he outright said once he didn't want black students in "his school"--this was decades after the civil rights movement).

Ironically, my sister & I were borne of a legacy that permitted us to easily get into the religious private school we went to (our mother & grandmother attended the church associated with that school). I also learned one of the teachers from this school is teaching at the school my nephew is supposed to be going to; last I heard from my childhood best friend years back, his daughter (another classmate of ours) was teaching at the school we attended ages ago. I can tell you that chick definitely did not express Christian love or tolerance toward me considering she actually told me one day when we were 7 to "Go away! I don't like you." When you're 7, you just want to have friends & be liked. That bitch didn't help my social issues with the little worthless morons I had to attend school with in NC, whether it was a public or a private school. If I saw her today, I'd probably call her out on it if she had the nerve to try being nice to me.

But aside from this mass hypocrisy, which my nephew apparently hasn't experienced from these kids (and he's apparently a lot like me in personality & is being tested for Asperger's so if he has it, I very well might as well) is the idea of religion in general infusing the sleazy topic of coin. When my sister told me about this financial aid thing with the school (the reason we ended up not continuing in our private school--my mother couldn't afford tuition & these fucks didn't give a damn about my academic record or our being good kids or anything like that nor tried to do ANYTHING to help keep us there), I blew up & said that is a reason people get turned off to religion.

It's this idea that "We love you but only if you can afford to be here," like God's love is conditional on how much money you give to this school or religion & to Hell with whether you'll be able to pay for food or rent or electric this month. Never mind if you actually deserve it based on your grades or your intelligence--I expect that shit from some godless university but I don't expect it from some place that's supposed to be based on teaching God's word. Doesn't God's word tell us about using our gifts & helping the less fortunate and all that? Where the fuck are the scholarship programs for smart kids? Where is the true financial aid looking at people's actual income & expenses?

One thing positive I can say about my religious private school experience is that it was academically good. I didn't feel bored in my classes b/c of the work being too easy or slow for me. You couldn't be some moron & succeed there; the teachers there DID teach vs. babysitting thugs & tolerating disruption. I remember going to public school later on & my school was ahead of where they were in 4th grade.

They also had a policy of allowing the principal to smack misbehaving kids. I found out from my sister that this school my nephew will be going to also has this. I have no issue there since most principals don't spend enough time with individual students to develop preferences or hatred for them. Teachers certainly do & I think giving them corporal punishment privileges is a terrible idea since they'd end up beating a kid they hated & going easy on one they liked; we have enough problems with bullying teachers without them getting to do this. Yeah, I know I have a BA in Psych but some kids get zero discipline at home & if some parent wants to bitch about a school authority figure imposing some on the kid they refuse to set limits with I think that parent ought to be smacked (not in a sexual way). There's a big difference b/t reasonable & unreasonable authority and if some parent refuses to stand up for reasonable authority, they are raising a savage and condoning savagery.

How do we normally deal with savages in modern society? Okay, how did we deal with them before the PC Police whined & cried about mercy for animal torturers, pedophiles, rapists, terrorists, etc.? I'm talking being anti-death penalty, not directly saying "let's show mercy" to these people but you get the general idea. I feel if you act inhuman, then you don't get to have the cover of human rights. Just saying & I do like Donald Trump's idea on handling terrorism (among other BS going on in society).

I also know what my nephew experienced in public school & I like the idea of a place where adults don't tolerate that type of fuckery from little redneck brats who'll never rise to the heights my nephew could get to since they are from bigger rednecks with zero respect for things outside their little bubble. Yeah, it's totally classist but I'm probably right. Most of the kids I went to school with in NC aren't Ivy League graduates or Nobel Prize winners or presidential candidates. Many stayed in the same town & merely had kids (who I hope they aren't trying to force to do things they never got to do since that's wrong)-- not the path that would have suited me or made me a fulfilled person.

I think some of those same people would have gotten pissed at me if I'd stayed in my hometown & done that, probably going into a speech like the one Ben Affleck gave to Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting where Will wants to ignore his mathematical genius & stay in South Boston with his friend and the people he knows. His best friend tells him if he doesn't leave, he will personally kick his ass b/c he'd be throwing away an opportunity the rest of them will never get.

We already see this notion of "a dumbfuck with money can be a doctor or lawyer while a smart kid with no money has to stick it out in the trailer park" in colleges & other corners of society. Why the HELL are we seeing it in the one place that proclaims "blessed are the poor?" Religion is one of those things Obama claimed uneducated, poor people cling to b/c they have nothing else going for them in life.

I take a lot of issue with that & it's probably a major reason I don't follow a faith even though I believe God exists and there's punishment for wronging innocent people. Maybe I view it as a betrayal? It's just one of the many hypocrisies I've seen in the Christian faith & sorry, I don't care to belong to some club whose value of me as a human being is conditional to how much money I have to hand over. Lots of people in my college bitched about sororities b/c they viewed joining one as "buying friends." How is the money grab in religions NOT "buying God's favor" or "buying religious fellowship?" Care to explain that one to me?

And if we're going to talk about helping the church/entity be financially solvent, what about all those tax breaks they're supposed to be getting & non-profit perks? And what about me having the time to decide for myself if that church/entity is one that I care about enough to determine if I want to give them anything? There are some corrupt bastards out there, including plenty of Christian churches were pastors were raping children, raping women, stealing from the church and doing other scuzzy things the average Atheist, Pagan, Satanist, other religious faith fundie Christians deem "scary" would be against.

Sometimes I think I'm just too intelligent for a lot of things. Maybe I can't do organized religion b/c of being too smart to buy the contrary nature of it. I saw the hypocrisy of certain teachings back when I was a little kid. The generalized money grab is a big thing for me & it really bothers me in the academic context. Want to be a church I respect or regard? Try doing actual outreach for the poor & putting your money where your mouth is. Go do things locally to make people's lives better. Give non-judgmental guidance and advice. Then I'd be okay with giving you offering or "donations." Heck, maybe the performers & subway beggars could take lessons from this whole construct.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Professionalism Begets Professionalism

Yes, this is 100% true. If you want people to be professional with you, you'd best be acting that way yourself. Otherwise, you have zero right to complain about anyone else's behavior. That is the essence of "professionalism begets professionalism."

While I love modeling & being in shows and have generally found a great community in the world of fashion there is a staggering mass of people on both sides of the table who do not have that simple concept mastered. Nor have they mastered the concept of strategic thinking & not harming your own self-interest.

First off, most people doing fashion shows and the like are working for free. Even if you are dealing with major shows, this is not something to make a living off of. I heard a model who'd been in this industry for decades outright tell this to aspiring models I'd met at random one day & my attorney suggested I go network with during Fashion Week. I did. These people were extremely nice to me. The models themselves were awesome & far braver than I with some of the outfits they were having to wear in the middle of our NYC with many passerby gawking and making comments.

I'm from the indie film world. The custom in that world is if you're doing a web series or a film or some other project where you aren't paying the actors, you make sure to compensate them & appreciate them for their time in other ways. You get good craft services, good meals for breaks, an extremely pleasant and congenial working environment, travel costs, things that make people want to work with you & not feel like they wasted their time or "I blew my Saturday for THIS?!?!?!" You give your team plenty of notice for scheduling & you do not keep actors on set longer than absolutely necessary nor expect people to drop everything for your project. Some producers also give key actors a share of the project if they are playing major roles, helping connect the project to financing or getting into some great film festival that will yield exposure, possible distribution, that kind of thing.

That sort of thing is rare in the fashion world. Often, you don't get food & getting paid is atypical. You might get a piece from the designer or sometimes you'll get fed or have a chance to get food but some people just don't get that tradition or concept of not pissing folks off or making them say "Why the hell am I here?!?!?" Respect of people's time is at times utterly laughable & definitely don't expect a show to start on time. That almost never happens.

Granted, there are film productions that start late or run for an endless amount of time (that is less likely in fashion shows) but anyone who's been to shows will tell you that unless there's someone who's really on top of things, hard core clock watching or there's some other event after the show that starts at X time on the dot & you must be done by then, the show will be running late.

I feel like most designers & people handling shows are aware of this reality and appreciate the models/hair stylists/makeup artists/so on & so forth who participate. The good ones are super appreciative, either b/c they came from the same tradition I did, they see themselves as professionals in this arena or have professional day jobs that ingrain those values into your skull. The ones who don't & have the audacity to expect people to drop everything are seriously delusional in my mind.

One person I worked with said models had to "be on call like doctors." Well, when you're paying that model a doctor's salary to be "on call" I'm sure (s)he will be more than happy to oblige. If you expect them to do that for free, you are living in a fantasy world & are not going to attract the cream of the crop. Take it from a partner in an indie film company who knows a number of producers & has seen how things work when you don't have the money to pay someone. Passion & interest in the project only get you so far in terms of someone's motivation & where you fall on the priority list. You could have the next great project but if you aren't paying people for it or even offering deferred pay (or worse, you are not covering supplies, travel, etc. & making the person PAY to work for you), you aren't going to be #1. You may not even be #5 if that person's got a spouse, kids, their own career outside entertainment, etc. Also, no one likes feeling like a chump & everyone's got a limit to their altruism.

I know one argument is "that's how the industry is & has always been." Well, internships have been a thing in entertainment a long time as well but we have legal precedent now cracking down on abusive practices like making people work full time hours for no pay. The whole internship concept is changing b/c of the rulings in these cases. Plus, as any long time reader knows, tradition for tradition's sake is not an argument that impresses me. I consider it lazy & devoid of simple reason or common sense. It's the excuse offered for hazing in the Greek system, slavery, segregation and other bad things society shouldn't be encouraging or offering silent acceptance for.

Second, most models don't have professional jobs. In particular, most aren't attorneys in their day jobs. Even fewer are entertainment attorneys like I am. It seems some people view this as a license to treat models like crap.

In my case, that's a fatal mistake. Attorney Monica & Film Exec Monica don't shut off or forget what happened to Model Monica or Actress Monica or Writer Monica or Singer Monica; I don't have split personalities that don't remember what happened to the other ones. I've got a damn good memory & if you were nasty to me in a fashion show or any other creative context, do you honestly think I'm going to bother helping YOU when you inevitably want my legal services or my referral to an entertainment attorney? Do you think you're getting anywhere in working with my company if you're being an ass to me? Do you think you're going to have more cred than an entertainment attorney doing all the stuff I do, where people know me from these worlds & respect what I have to say along with me the individual (put like or dislike aside)? A smart person knows you don't alienate the entertainment attorney, especially the one closest in proximity who's more likely to be accessible to you. Attorneys are a major marker of difference b/t someone being an amateur or hobbyist in entertainment & someone being a professional. Oh, and if you're going to work professionally in any aspect of entertainment, you WILL need an attorney sooner or later. Major companies aren't talking to you without you having some representation & many have specifically asked to speak to attorneys (potential clients & other creative contacts have told me this outright).

I personally am not a masochist or the type who likes having more stress in her life. If I don't like someone, no way am I lifting a finger for them. In fact, I'd not piss on you if you were on fire if I didn't like you but you have to do something extremely egregious to get on my bad side. Something that if I told the average person, (s)he would say "What the hell?!" I might be the most prominent Undercover Boss to work on the creative side since blending in is impossible for me.

Third, it seems that adage "you never know who knows who" hasn't gotten around to the world of fashion in a global sense. It's ingrained in your skull if you do acting. Yet I have seen some egregious behavior & gotten some attitude from certain jerks. I absolutely remember those pricks & no way in hell would I do for them.

They've established that they are not part of that community or MY allies so they aren't worthy of my extra effort. People who do respect that community, who I like or at least haven't had outright disrespect from are more likely to have me care about their success or at least listen to a respectful request. Film & TV people hold grudges and you can get permanently blacklisted there; I've heard countless stories & worked with people who did it since they have no time for that stress or hassle. I do it with everyone in all aspects of life but I'm outright shocked when I see someone being nasty to me.

For one thing, how would you treat my non-lawyer colleagues? For another, I'm a natural redhead. Do you not follow popular culture & stories on natural redheads? We're known for having tempers & not being the people to mess with. I'm also more quiet in life; aren't you aware about how they say "it's always the quiet ones" when some mass murder or other major violent event happens? Very surprised there's never been a story about a guy getting his penis chopped off at the hands of a naturally redhaired woman. I'm a redhead so I get to say this but society would suspect us of that stuff long before anyone else. Not to mention I seem to give off an air of authority or responsibility or something. Everyone tells me I'm smart within 15 minutes of a conversation if not sooner. It's kind of freaky.

Because you never know who's friends with who or who you're dealing with & everyone deserves basic human dignity unless they prove otherwise, I don't start with nastiness as my default. I can at least be civil, as we all can manage. Not nice, but not insulting people or treating them like garbage unwarranted or implying they have no right to be there. Professional, you can call it. If you can't manage that, then I have to wonder what you're doing in mainstream society.

I may not outright say "fuck you" but a professional doesn't have to. I merely wait for the inevitable moment the light bulb goes off in your head, knowing I will get the last laugh. Professionals also tell their colleagues so their colleagues aren't having to deal with the same shit. So that light bulb may be going off after you've shot yourself in the foot. Perhaps I've also gotten more mature in the face of the living hell I've had to endure the past 2-3 years.

So before you whine about other people not being professional or bailing on things, take a look at yourself: Are you paying these people? Are you expecting them to drop everything like they live exclusively to serve you & your whims? Are you showing up on time & prepared? Do you treat everyone with respect & stand by your people? Do you create a climate of fairness or do you tolerate or silently condone unprofessional behavior? Whose backs do you have? People who know the business can tell quickly who is or isn't professional, who is worth dealing with & who isn't. It's a TEAM effort so having unrealistic demands or being an asshole are things you do at your own peril. "It's your funeral," as they say.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Does "The Scarlet M" Exist?

You may notice there's not been a new post lately. Well, one big reason for that is a very nasty divorce. Kind of hard to be yourself when your ex is trying to engage in character assassination against you. Never mind the fact that the motherfucker knew all about this character when he married you, took wedding vows, agreed to set up a life with you, that kind of thing. For someone to claim you deceived them after being in a long time relationship with you when you always stayed yourself & you have a hair color that shouts "I am different from everybody else!" is absurd in my book. Thankfully, plenty of rational people agree with me. I have found some of those rational people in the fashion world.

Not sure if this is just a trait of me or if this is something applying to all natural redheads or all smart people but I'm the sort of person that if you tell me not to do something or try to discourage me from it, I'm going to make it my mission in life to do it more just to piss you off. I also never do anything in life half-assed; if it's worth doing, you do it right & do it well or you don't do it at all.

Since my ex & his horrible family tried sabotaging my career six ways to Sunday & then some, it's my goal to land some job where I end up in a huge national ad or billboard in Times Square so that loser is forced to see me. He'll be forced to confront the fact that he threw me away, treated me like garbage & he so fucking lost out. Have I won? I don't know; I like to hope I've won by being a human being who didn't kill herself or let that piece of garbage take away everything she worked for. People hear about the circumstances & keep telling me I'm strong. One friend even told another, newer friend that he respected me. I'd like to hope he respects me for going through all this & not doing what most people would have in my shoes. I could have easily become a hopeless drug or alcohol addict, gone back to Mama's house, murdered my ex or menaced him in some fashion (which he totally deserves but I'd prefer a more random misfortune like an anvil falling from the sky & hitting him in the head like in a Looney Tunes cartoon).

In recent times, I've been doing more modeling & found my profile increasing in that world. These days, I've gone places & people who didn't know I was a model thought I was one. When I've gone to casting calls, people took one look at me & assumed I was a model. Seems I'm carrying that model swagger more than I did when I started out. The model hat seems to be really fitting me well at the moment & I figure so long as that ride is going, I may as well hang on, enjoy the ride and keep taking opportunities as I get them. I've started meeting more models & seeing the same ladies more often at various events and shows. That's sort of a plus in my view since you can build your camaraderie & your network in that way. People are also starting to see where I'm going and how modeling fits in with what my role in the legal world always was. Stupid The Angry Redheaded Lawyer is not. This model stuff is also a fine distraction from things along with the ultimate act of feminism in my book. But more on that soon.

One of the observations I've seen in modeling is a lot of people outside this world don't get it. A model friend told me recently she'd wanted to give up modeling for fear of what I call "the scarlet M." She'd been told by an industry colleague that as long as she was modeling, she'd never have a serious relationship with anyone (including her present guy).

Having seen this with my ex-husband, I told her that modeling or not was a choice she should be making on her own & for herself. We're talking about someone over 18, after all. It's one thing to say you don't want to be a model b/c you're sick of wearing the heels or the hustle & bustle of it is getting to you or you don't like the world or the people as a whole. It's another to have family members, significant others or anyone else try to shame you or guilt you out of doing it. I lived having people not support me in my modeling career & simply didn't feel she ought to be making a choice like that based on what she thought some guy would want or how he might perceive her. I told her about my own experiences & that frankly, any guy who wouldn't give you a serious relationship or stand by you in something you love is a guy not worth having in your life. That is a guy who doesn't deserve you or respect you. That's someone trying to sabotage you, steal your soul, basically deny you of who you are & your potential. No one should have that kind of power over anyone, be it a spouse, parent, grandparent, lover, whoever.

Now I don't think this colleague was trying to be nasty in saying that. It's no secret that lots of people don't respect modeling or the fashion industry as a whole. If you asked lots of people's significant others, I'm sure they'd be secretly thrilled if their loved one left the fashion industry. Some of them just might have more tact & respect to directly tell the person that. Or they're also married to people with the stubbornness of natural redheads & know their spouse will do what they want to no matter what they say since some of us won't be in marriages where we're treated like 5 year olds. Whether you should tell people that or not at random is a whole other discussion but I felt it my duty to give some advice as a woman of the world who'd been there & is now far better off not letting her spouse steal her bliss or her identity. Nobody deserves the stuff I've had to deal with.

I think there's a scarlet M in other ways, such as hate from other women who aren't models or pretty enough to even be considered models if they wanted to (and not just larger women since there are plus sized models & I've met them in my travels; we aren't talking Hollywood "plus sized" either). I'm sure if you started out doing this without building your education or getting a professional license like I did you'd also have problems with people taking you seriously as a capable, intelligent person. I can also see guys just assuming models are good for a roll in the hay but not to take home to Mama.

Since I'm crawling out of limbo & completely fearful of getting hurt again, I could care less if a guy perceives me as one to get into a serious relationship with. I'm too "been there, done that" to be worried about getting married like the average girl who'd never been married would be, especially if she's pushing 30+. I'm also too tough & direct to tolerate being treated like some side chick or secondary when I'm from the tradition of manners and natural redheads tend to engender obsession in guys they get involved with. We're rare, we have some superhuman aspects about us (science even says so; go look it up) & we're far more interesting; it's us & then there's everyone else. We're the natural divas & most of us know it (especially those of us who are models); we just try not to be assholes about it.

The upside of making mistakes is you hopefully learn from them & shut down familiar bullshit quicker and quicker. Once you get punched from that particular angle or you recognize a particular look before someone punches you, no one has to tell you twice to avoid the inevitable since you'll see the punch coming before it happens.

I may have even finally found my tribe in that world. Back in the day, I thought my tribe was the goth/geek culture. Until I started modeling, I never felt I fully fit into the cheerleader/model/sorority/"pretty" girl archetype (this despite being a founding member of a sorority chapter; we identified ourselves as being the antithesis of the typical sorority girl image). I loved getting to be a cheerleader last Halloween since it was the prime symbol of what I'd felt for years I wasn't worthy of being & it felt fitting to do that after everything that happened the year before. It was like "I am worthy of this now & I will rock it." I did.

Now why do I view modeling as the ultimate act of feminism?

1. No slut shaming. As I said when I started out 2 years ago, no one's going to tell you "that's too short" or criticize you or a designer for his/her outfit being too showy. That'd likely be fighting words.
2. If you're doing it right, you are going out on the runway as a confident, bold woman. Confidence, boldness and bravery (since going out like that requires not being afraid to go out in public and put yourself on display) are the ultimate feminist traits. How do you think rights for women happened? Women had to go seek them out & demand them, despite men trying to hold them back and keep them down. They still have to do that today.
3. You are going out as a proud woman. Feminism is about being proud of being a woman, not trying to be a guy (in my book, at least). It's about celebrating & respecting women, which is what we do with models. We celebrate their beauty & as proper guests, respect them & the designers for their craft. A real fashion show isn't filled with people catcalling and trashing the models.
4. Finally, it was patriarchy that told women to cover up. Men in the Christian church and elsewhere are the ones that have been telling women sex was evil and they should be ashamed for centuries. It's men who've told women to cover up in modern times & shaped society to function that way. Violating the patriarchy & defying men is most certainly a feminist thing to do.

For my own part, I consider it an act of rebellion since my ex and his patriarchy supporting relatives were down on me modeling & having that pride in who I am or how I look (which is completely natural). I've always been in favor of rebelling against nonsense & that's probably a big reason I'm an attorney. I also feel if my religious conservative mother & sister respect me modeling and support me in it, no one else gets to tell me not to or bash me for it. I'll just view them as being jealous assholes who wouldn't last a second there; as I stated before, a LOT harder than it looks. Having evil forces in your life stressing you out & trying to sabotage you makes it even harder.

Whether I end up getting serious with anyone again or not, I don't think me modeling is going to make a difference there. At this point it's "I do this so you'll take me as I am or I don't want you to have me at all." That's with everything, in fact. My life is too short & my time is too precious to settle for anything less. I wish all people viewed themselves that way. It would solve a lot of problems & prevent some bad marriages.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

If A Tree Falls in the Forest, Does it Make a Sound? Here's Another Philosophical Question:

Can you degrade your opportunity to do something when you never had a shot at doing it in the first place?

So many people have said to me "Why don't you just go work in a law firm as an associate?" Most of these people were NOT attorneys. They believe that every single law school graduate can immediately get a job as an associate in any law firm in America despite grades, law school, and so forth. They believe the legal job market is much like every other job market where the most personable & biggest dumb butt kisser type can get hired. Those people are dead wrong; I have known this for many years.

This guy, Harrison Barnes, has written numerous articles on how to get hired in BigLaw firms & reaffirmed for me why I would never want one of these jobs. Why not just give me a shotgun along with a job offer so I can blow my brains out? I would sooner or later & it beats me having to spend my hard earned money on guns and ammo to off myself.

Want proof of what I speak? See this article.

Some direct quotes from this article:

1. Most large law firms do not like people who try to stick out. In their experience, these people can be problems:

* they will leave if they do not get lots of praise,
* may turn on the firm and undermine morale,
* are likely to seek unnecessary attention from clients (and may even try and steal them), and
* are most likely to leave if something better comes along.


Being in a large law firm requires a lot of selflessness:

* You need to let partners, senior associates and others take credit for your hard work.
* You need to put in time before large rewards come.
* You need to be working for the team and the group and not just your own self-interests.
* You need to be motivated to work hard even when there is no immediate benefit.
* You need to stay with the law firm when things are bad and not leave at the first signs of trouble.


Wow, if you met me the first things you'd notice are my long red hair & how thin I am. My mere existence is "sticking out." Am I to dye my naturally red hair & put on a fat suit?

Also, you're talking about getting zero appreciation for a damn thing. Sounds like a fool's game to put in 110% & let some lazy fuck take the credit for YOUR work. At least owning your own business, you are the one who rises or falls on your own efforts. You also will have more internal motivation if it's yours; even when I was in college, I saw no reason to bother if I wasn't going to progress anywhere. I worked my ass off in my sorority chapter & in my classes b/c those were MINE. My sorority was a group effort WE did that WE got credit for.

It would be like letting dumb kids copy my homework to get the school's ranking in the state higher. Had I been asked to do that, I'd have said "Hell, no! Make those fuckers learn something & those teachers earn their salaries teaching them vs. punishing me for my intelligence & expecting me, not earning a dime, to do their homework."

Basic life lesson any business owner with a brain knows: no one is going to care about your business the way you do without proper motivation in the form of money or equity. If you don't provide either, it's just a matter of when someone gets burned out & tells you where to shove your job.

2. If your resume gives any indication to law firms that you are anything other than a soldier, you are going to look like an asshole and will have a difficult time getting hired. It is not about you. It is never about you. It is about the employer.

Perhaps I'm just an unrepentant asshole. I say "Screw you. I'm better looking, smarter, more personable & have survived more than you ever will. Bet you couldn't handle MY circumstances or deal with them as well as I have with the meager resources I had at my disposal."

I get attitude toward pricks who want to try & deny me my bona fides ("props" if you will). If you've gone through what I am or are living it now, you should never let anyone disrespect you or dare to judge, harass, belittle or treat you like a mere flea. The people doing that stuff wouldn't last 2 seconds in a real crisis & I'd bet a million dollars on that.

This might also explain why the old law firm model is crumbling.

3. Most attorneys have information on their resumes that is polarizing or just plain stupid to have on there. It's often not a bad job market. It's a bad legal resume!

I'm just thinking off the top of my head here; however, here are some personal details I have seen on resumes over the past week or so (all of which are bad):

Avid hunter and outdoorsman. Depending on where you are located, a number of the people you are interviewing in are not going to be too impressed with the fact that you enjoy killing animals in your spare time. This is not a good idea. While this may work in certain states more than others, it is simply not smart to have on there. If you piss off just one interviewer, this will harm you.
Member of the First Baptist Church. Nothing wrong with being part of a church. However, if you are interviewing with a law firm in a large city, the odds are pretty good you will be interviewing with gays, Jews and people of various religions and backgrounds. Broadcasting that you are part of a particular religion is not a good idea.
Member of the gay law students association. There is nothing wrong with being gay (and proud of it!) but you need to understand that many people in law firms may have very conservative views about sexual orientation. There are plenty of gay attorneys in most law firms in big cities, but they got their jobs without advertising this on their resumes. There are people in every law firm that have prejudices against gays. Why would you put this on your resume?
Member of the Black Law Students Association. Sadly, many law schools and recruiters urge people to put their race on their resumes so they will be more likely to be hired. Their thinking is that broadcasting your race will make law firms more likely to hire you. What if the firm has recently been sued for racial discrimination? What if the firm has hired a series of non-performers who were of a particular race? Your objective is to get a job. My experience has shown: If I send out two equally qualified attorneys who are black (same practice area, caliber of law schools and law firms), and one has a bunch of stuff about their race on their resume and the other does not, the person without the racial information is more likely to get interviewed and hired. Discrimination? Maybe. Or, it could just be that the law firm does not like the person playing the "race card" to try and get a leg up on the competition. Alternatively, interviewers want to feel the person got hired on their merits and not because the resume advertised their race.
Member of the Muslim Law Students Association. Same logic as above. Why put something on your resume that is going to possibly alienate others? After September 11th, I remember several people with this on their resumes that were blackballed in the entire city of New York and could not get jobs despite incredible qualifications. Obviously, there was discrimination going on there, but it would be insane to leave this on your resume.
Member of the Jewish Law Students Association. Anything that can alienate others should be removed from your resume.
Missionary for two years (LDS) in Brazil. Do Mormons approve of gays? Weren't blacks barred until the 1970s from holding the Mormon priesthood? You get the idea. Why risk alienating others?
Married mother of three. "Married? You are gorgeous but not that qualified. I'm moving on. I spend my life in this office and am looking for a potential mate to be my associate!" Never a good idea to put this on your resume. Don't kill the messenger here (this is just how many attorneys think). "Three kids? Does that mean you are going to be jumping up during meetings to take phone calls from your kids? Does that mean that that you are going to miss work when they get sick? What if you cannot find childcare?"
Creative email address. While I have taken a bit of liberty here, I've seen some emails like this in the recent past: sexluvrockroll@hotmail.com, weedlover@aol.com, likelongmen@gmail.com. I'm not kidding. These are more common than you think. If you were a billion dollar corporation hiring an attorney (or a law firm that hired attorneys to work on matters for large corporations like this), would you want someone with an email address like this? Leave this stuff off of your resume. No one wants to see it. Make sure your personal email address is professional.
Your work email address. This is very common. "Really? You want us to communicate with you at your work email address?" What this says is pretty simple:

a. My current employer is paying me
b. I'm looking for a job at work
c. I must not respect my employer very much
d. I must not be very loyal
e. I must not care what my employer thinks of me
f. I do not care if my employer learns I am looking for a job on their time
g. Maybe I was fired and my employer knows I am looking which is why I don't care (hey, I'm bad at my job anyway!)
h. I will do the same to you if you hire me!
i. I'm an idiot!

Don't use your work email address.

An email address like Harvard.edu, Stanford.edu, UChicago.edu, Princeton.edu, Yale.edu."You went to a prestigious college or law school! Good for you! What have you done since then? Do you think you need to advertise what a great school you went to? I went to Ohio State you arrogant asshole!" Get a Gmail or similar personal email address. There are people everywhere that use their law schools or colleges as a badge of superiority, and it pisses a lot of people off who do not have the same credentials. Many people in large law firms grew up poor and worked very hard to get into prestigious state schools that their parents could afford and then worked very hard once they were in college. Princeton? Are you kidding?

Why would you want to have an email address or put something on your resume that could alienate you from others before they even meet you? Going to a prestigious college or law school is a very good thing. What is not good is wearing that on your sleeve. It can drive people away from you and make others (even partners) feel inferior and insecure. That can prevent them from hiring you.
A private high school. Most people did not attend St. Paul's, Exeter, Andover, or other elite private high schools. Most attorneys in large law firms went to public schools where they worked hard. Being an attorney is also a largely middle-class profession, and the parents of most attorneys could not afford to send them to $50,000 a year private schools. Putting this information on your resume can alienate others and is never a good idea.
Member of Mensa. Mensa is an organization for people with high IQs. While there is nothing wrong with being a member of Mensa, what is most humorous about this is that most people who put this on their resumes did not go to the best colleges or law schools. Most attorneys at big law firms are extremely intelligent anyway, so this looks stupid. In addition, this screams underachiever: "If you are so freaking smart, why did you go to such a bad law school and why can't you get a job?"
A link to your personal blog. Don't get me started. You will show exactly the sort of person you are if you do this. Interested in health? Then why work 3,000 hours a year in a large law firm? A personal blog provides opportunities to get in trouble. During a law firm merger, I once saw a partner (with a good amount of business) lose his job. The law firm taking over in the merger found his personal blog and did not like a section he had on there about why he did not like being an attorney and what he would do if he quit.
Home addresses far away from the office. Los Angeles (where I work) is a giant area. Commutes between different areas of Los Angeles can often be two hours or more. If you are applying for a job more than an hour from your home, it is best just to leave your home address off of your resume. If an employer hires someone who needs to commute a great distance to work, they know that the odds are very good that this same person will leave if they find a job closer to their home, especially if the pay is close (or equivalent).
Trips during law school or between jobs. You know what? The partners in the law firm bringing home $2 million a year never traveled during law school. They've also certainly never taken time off to "travel" while looking for a job. Are you out of your mind? Leave this stuff off there.


Yeah, so apparently one part of getting such a job is coddling people's egos. You know where else people (especially women) have to do that? Marriage!!! Especially to insecure people who'd be "threatened" by intelligence, charm, money, looks, whatever else people get all whiny & huffy about. I'm getting out of a marriage now. Why in God's name would I want to insert myself in yet another atmosphere where I have to coddle to little boys in men's bodies (since most of these law firm partners are men; I wish women were more mature but I'm sure there are quite a few who have it in for younger, prettier, smarter and other women they view as threats)?

This just reads a lot like how to impress the clique of cool kids so you'll get to eat lunch with them. The class things surprise me, though since I've not met any law firm partners who came from my class background unless they owned their own firms. I figure they also were too smart for this fool's game. Maybe even went a step further & only played this long enough to get a little experience, quit & start their own practices while shunning this world. I know plenty of people who've done that or made that their career goal.

4. This is fundamental to how we as attorneys need to behave when working with others: We are expected to fit in, get along and try not to act better than our peers. A stripped down and simple resume accomplishes these goals in the large law firm environment. Saying less is saying more in the big firm world.

Yeah, b/c I'm someone who has ever "fit in" in life. Who has actually met me or had a 5 minute conversation with me? When I say "My entire character is contrary to the very basic idea of being a law firm associate," some people need to actually listen to me. This is some of the stuff I have known for many years, long before I started my entertainment law career. I knew this in law school, in fact. I was even a Psych major for fuck's sake!!! Psychology looks at the individual & his/her behavior while Sociology looks at group trends (which I minored in since I ended up taking enough classes to get it just b/c most of them were of interest to me).

The first time I was working in my law school's legal clinic & got yelled at by one of the professors working there, I knew a typical law firm associate job was not for me. I don't respond to disrespect or micromanagement & that would make a job worse than my first on the books job (the baseline by which I measure all jobs).

Fortunately, I have managed to find some law firms not run by insecure, materialistic 7th graders.

Believe it or not, there's actually a market for attorneys who aren't bland little robots (being a trendsetter can be a bitch). Per diem work is a great fit for me since I'm only doing a particular matter for a limited time, I go different places, no one breathes down my back telling me how to dress or perform the work & there's room for my fight. A job with a structure like that is perfect for my purposes & general personality.

But as for my thought, I see no way whatsoever for me to actually sabotage myself out of a law firm associate job that everyone & their mother thinks I ought to be doing + supposedly are so easy to get i.e. pays in the six figure range when there's no way in hell one of those places would hire me in the first place based on law school & grades THEN by actually meeting me in person and talking to me for a mere 5 minutes. I'd expect total hater behavior or new fans (maybe even get asked out on a date) but no actual job offers b/c I'm not a robot or into being abused. Perhaps you also couldn't get those jobs if you already experienced abuse in your upbringing & realized it was a crappy way to live so you don't care to relive it.

I wish I could get this guy to tell all these "You should be a law firm associate" cheerleaders to get off my back & stop bothering me about it since I have no chance in Hell at such a job so no effort or lack of effort I could put in would make a difference. Maybe they'd finally shut up about it after an expert said something though it pisses me off to have people in essence call me stupid or imply I don't know a thing or two about the landscape of my circumstances/opportunities.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Freedom: Something You Can't Put a Price Tag On

You really can't. When you don't have it, you realize just how valuable & precious it is. You don't have to be living in a totalitarian regime to feel like a prisoner or that you have no freedom. You don't even have to be living in a homeless shelter or struggling financially to not have freedom. You could even have money & still have no freedom to call your own since it's not YOURS from your own hands or mind but belongs to someone else that you have to stay on good terms with, even if they behave like a royal cretin to you.

"You've just described everybody's job situation," you're probably saying to yourself but I don't think I really am. Rational, sane employers are only concerned about you getting the job done properly & competently. They aren't worried about what you do in your personal life, how you dress outside of a company dress code, your personal views on things, or what others think about you outside of the business context. Clients also tend to be more concerned about you doing a competent, proper job for them so long as you're not a KKK member or something deemed radical or crazy by the standards of wherever you conduct business. Being a conservative Christian may help you in the South or parts of the Midwest while that could make you a pariah in NYC.

Family members, on the other hand are absolutely different. Your spouse or significant other can be different as well. People helping you out of goodwill are also different. It's not like you can get other family members or quickly acquire other romantic partners or people helping you out of goodwill. These people also have more insight into your personal life & if they help you in any way financially, can make your life a living Hell if you do something they don't like. I guess dealing with so many tyrants in my life has made me wary of having to be dependent on anyone in any way at all. Who likes the specter of blackmail or being cut off?

Sometimes, you can be in prison and not even realize you're trapped. Marriage can be a lot like that, particularly if you're married to someone who doesn't have your best interests at heart & just wants to bring you down or have you be on their level instead of being your very best. Small minded haters, we call them. Being married to those is lousy & I speak from personal experience aside from the general "how must that feel for this hater's spouse/significant other" sense.

Finally getting your freedom, though, is priceless. It's a feeling of exhilaration, calm, peace and knowing that you are in control of your own destiny with no having to make nice or deal with any fucker in terms of maintaining your survival. Having a true home of your own is paramount. Without that, your quality of life will suffer. You may not even have one when you have no home to call your own.

Throughout this time, I have been thrilled to be free of bullshit like making nice with in-laws. I can't do meeting anyone's family at this point. I feel like everyone's mother is going to be a bitch to me or resent me for being smart or pretty or the combination of both or try bringing me down in some way. In dating situations, it's worse since you figure Mommy Dearest will declare that no one is good enough for HER baby & will hate you on sight. In a friend context, that's okay but not sure about guy friends. Their parents might still think you will end up becoming someone who steals their baby away.

The whole in-law experience I've lived & observed makes me uncomfortable about that whole thing; I'd rather a guy's parents were dead or he'd disowned them but that would be too mean to say to someone. Imagine that conversation: "I can't live under the tyranny of your parents or deal with them being abusive to me while you stand by & do nothing so I'm not going to go out with you unless you disown them or they die in some way. I'm not getting a hit man or killing anyone myself but they'll have to perish before I can go out with you. Is that cool?" Who'd agree to that?

And what if grandparents are like that? I never even HAD grandparents so asshole grandparents would just make me even happier I never really had any to be abusive toward me. They're bound to get even more latitude to treat a girl like shit than parents. I definitely can't deal with that.

One split down the middle is saying that someone has to be their own person & not let their parents control everything or dictate their lives. In other words, no Mama's boys & no Daddy's girls. After my father died, I could no longer deal with family tyranny; I feel none of us should, especially if you have children. That's taking "honor thy mother & thy father" way too far. Catering to bullshit is living under someone's tyranny. Life is far too short for that bullshit.

I can't even remember what I did this past July 4th or on July 4th in my married life but I will never forget this one for many personal reasons. One of these days, perhaps I'll get to the hot dog eating contest in Coney Island. I did get to the Mermaid Parade this year & that was fun. Very interesting costumes in the parade. I haven't gone to fireworks or any events or done much for this one but it's special to me just the same.

One of these days I will be released from the tyranny of my ex and the divorce proceeding. I'm at least content with a few facts & have done far more growth in my personal time than most people my age and certainly more than my ex. One day at a time, I suppose. Let's just keep moving forward. Guess a lot of other people have had to deal with that tyranny & stifling of their creative voice as well. Fuck all those people causing the stifling; we know they're just talentless & devoid of creativity anyway.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Close Friendships: What Does the Presence or Lack of Them Say About Us?

I was pondering this recently when a close friend made me feel I was not wanted or cared about. It seems I'd fit in well if I were a single woman in the UK. A guy with knowledge told me a year ago that British girls are aloof, would never chase men and don't play competitive little games with other women. I have never been the type of woman to engage in such nonsense since it's my take that a guy either is interested in you or he isn't. If I'm not some guy's type, I'm not going to spend a second trying to convince him of my worth or that I'm such a great catch. I don't beg in business, in friendships or anyplace else in life. You've got the wrong sister for that one. A real diva knows she's got it going on & doesn't need anybody's validation. I know it more now.

So in these times, I've lost a LOT of friends. I've lost all my close friends over the years from distance, personality changes and finding out the person I'd known had morphed into a total stranger. This one friend who has been by me in the darkest of the dark times was slacking off on me & pissed me off with the "it's too hard stuff." Keep in mind this is someone who has never been married, never had a parent die & has a home to speak of. The person I'm referring to hasn't had to apply for public assistance, seen the undersides I've seen in life or to my knowledge, had someone who you thought loved you and had your back metaphorically shit on you & outright try to sabotage you. I had been talking to this person's significant other & felt she shouldn't be blamed for his failings as a friend so I said "I'll talk to her but I'm not talking to you."

My thought was "Some of these days, fucker. Some of these days you're going to miss me & you're going to feel like shit. You'll suffer a loss not having ME around." I'm pretty unforgettable & unique, you know.

How many attorneys do you know who prepare for court appearances & their divorce hearing by listening to gansta rap? How many have a "seize the day & pick life" mentality? Oh, and natural redheads are the natural divas & the rarest people out there. There also aren't a lot of women my age who've gone through what I've had to & haven't let it completely destroy them. I also figured I might be dead by that time & then it'd really be too late. My family's life expectancy isn't in the 80s/90s but more like 50s/60s. AND...my presence & the fact that I bother to make time for you or care is a gift. Trust is very hard for me; my childhood started that & the rest of life has made it worse. That's a privilege & I don't give that to just anybody. You can't.

So I was going through my life, dealing with the whole divorce mess & everything when I hear from the significant other. Remember, not her fault if my longtime friend abandoned me. She also never made me feel like I had no right to my friendship or that I was an intrusion or a bother. Also, she's more of a peer I can get along with who is similar to me in many ways. I've been looking for other women I can talk to & who don't get all pissy at me for having pretty girl problems. Plus having someone who wants to do girl stuff & hang out is great; I'd have loved that when I was married & haven't had a best friend in a long time. Mine got too chummy with my sister & then went crazy, if you remember.

When we got a chance to hang out, she told me her significant other & my former friend figured that if something major happened to me I'd tell her & she'd tell him. Damn it! She is the one who convinced me he did in fact give a damn though he didn't make me feel like he did, particularly based on prior acts. Perhaps he assumed it wasn't the lowest of the low like when things first happened and all that. Not sure when that whole thing started or his full thinking there. I have my suspicions & intuition; it also appears my intuition is pretty damn good sometimes.

So when I cut you off, you are dead to me. There's no second chances, no going back, nothing. I have no time for it & you don't get to be part of my success, eventual triumph, whatever journey I get to if you bail on me in these dark times. That's just the way it is & has to be. Except with this friend, it's like he's herpes or a damn fungus. For whatever reason I haven't figured out, I've never been able to be fully rid of him. When I was married, something told me to keep him around since I'd need a friend like him; I figured he'd never begrudge me of my success or get jealous of me or try to steal my thunder. He also assured me years back he'd never date some woman who'd tell him who to be friends with i.e. dropping me b/c some chick told him to do that. I kept that friendship despite some deep shit going on around me b/c of that intuitive sense that he'd be important in my life; I also don't respond well to anyone telling me what to do. I'd felt by this point, we were done with that but I guess the journey continues.

Nonetheless, I still have some thoughts re: close friendships. I wonder if the lack of them says something bad about me as a person. That perhaps my standards are too high & no one could possibly meet them no matter how hard they tried. That I have a character flaw in me that makes me too impatient and too consumed to ever have close friends for a long duration of time. I sort of view this one friend in my life being like the continuation of being in my sorority even when I sometimes felt like leaving the chapter b/c it was something I wasn't feeling home with for many reasons. Staying in my sorority was something I did since I wanted to say I'd done that in my life and stuck with it despite the emotional difficulties I'd felt as a member. I didn't want to be a quitter.

Case in point: I didn't have a little sister & no one picked me to be their big. I'm a damn orphaned lady with no sorority family line. My tree starts & ends with me. When I hear about people's lines & all, it still hurts a little. It makes me feel sidelined & reminds me of how I felt when no one seemed to like ME or think I was interesting or cool or fun to hang out with. Time dulled some of that pain but it really hurt at the time & brought back all the old "ugly duckling" feelings I had. And I did have 2 alumnae big sisters & a twin so I guess I shouldn't feel TOO sorry for myself. I've always gotten along well with more mature people since I'm an old soul with a youthful mind and energy. I've been told I have the energy of a 7 year old girl.

There is the point where you've outgrown friendships. I definitely had that with my childhood best friend; she also changed into a total stranger I no longer recognized or respected. Growth is definitely something I've had in these times. You'd have to be a robot not to feel SOMETHING from all this. Or you were a big fat liar who never cared about the person you married or your dead relatives or acceptance or anything. Death is a game changer. I had a lot of more distant relatives & closer relatives die when I was young but the really close ones didn't go until I was in my 20s. That is a time when you have to see who your friends are & who they aren't.

So if you have the same friends you've had forever, does that mean you haven't grown as a human being? That you have never had anything really bad happen to where you had to put those friendships to the test? Does not having close friends that you've known for at least a decade mean you are too shallow or a lost cause b/c no one likes you that long or does it mean you've lived and grown to where you're just too awesome for it? Is there a good or a bad to that idea? Is anyone better in some way for their close friendships or lack of them? I definitely don't consider trust to be instant pudding and hate people who want you to do that instantly or command it out of you.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Embarking on the Mythical & Insane: Going to a Hooters

For those who don't already know, I grew up in this strict religious household. My mother kept us far away from anything remotely hinting at sexuality. I remember her almost not letting us watch Just the Ten of Us when we were little b/c she felt it was not appropriate. Hearing someone in this Biography special on the Nightmare on Elm Street movies call that show "wholesome" & squeaky clean made me chuckle at this contradiction.

By the time we were teenagers & attending public school, my mom had loosened up some. Or so you thought. I still had to deal with the damn clothing battles over my shorts, skirts, tank tops and the like but she was picky about something else.

My father got a job laying cable for a company that sent him in distant places in the state. One time, he was staying at a hotel near Charlotte. This was when my parents weren't living together but my mother couldn't simply just cut ties; she still saw the man even though I felt she should have gotten a divorce eons ago.

Well, my father had this shirt from Hooters & my sister wanted it. She wanted it really badly but my mother said she couldn't have it. It wasn't one of the tank tops the servers wear or something tacky & revealing, just the simple older logo everyone in the US might be familiar with & the name of the city on the shirt (in this case, "Charlotte, NC"). She was like "Why can't I have it?" I remember asking my mother this myself. She was essentially "I am law & say no on this."

There's also the famous lore of how Hooters girls flirt with guys to get tips & all that. You've seen South Park with the Raisins restaurant & those girls, you know what I'm talking about. Or the actual term people use is "breastaurant."

Things to know about me:

1. I'm NOT the kind of woman who gets jealous of other women. Someone else's power doesn't mean I don't have power of my own. Other women with looks are my peers, my contemporaries, chicas who get it in a way other girls can't understand.

2. I applied to work at the local Hooters when I graduated college & was in NC hoping to earn some extra money before embarking on the next adventure of my life. I think I got rejected for being too smart, despite being pretty & making sure to wear a blue halter top that show my boobies quite nicely. Dress for your audience, you know?

3. One of my exes, Vampire Boy, apparently went to Hooters with some goth friends but not me. The image of him in this "breastaurant" getting hit on by women who look more cheerleader than goth chick (his type) has always amused me. It's just not something I see him doing or really getting into. God help the woman having to do that for her tips; maybe she should get an Oscar if she's forced to lay it on thick.

I've always had this curious fascination with seeing what that experience is like myself. I'm sure not going to care about some server hitting on a guy taking me. If that actually worked, I'd have gotten Psycho Boy to Hooters STAT & been eternally grateful to any woman working there who got his fixation off of me; maybe even paid her some money for her inadvertent service in saving my life. I could do that for other overly clingy guys & never had problems again.

Hooters: the place for women to take their lovesick admirers so they'll bug someone else.

Recently, the opportunity posed itself for me to go with a guy friend so I went. It was NOT the pickup scene I expected; our server hardly noticed us. I expected some flirtation on my friend but that didn't happen. He said those girls are probably in high school & told me about having taken a male friend of his to that particular Hooters before. Unfortunately I didn't buy a shirt but maybe I should ask my sister if she wants that for her birthday. I should get myself one as well. A lovely rebellious statement against my mother & "the faith" I have not belonged to in forever. Maybe it's even just a symbol of rebellion for me in general & me owning my whole model thing. Hmmmm...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Business Clothing That's Really Whore Wear & Other Musings

That's what I have asked myself when going to retailers like H&M, Old Navy and other places that make their clothing material so sheer and so thin. You know the ones I'm talking about, right? You go in & try on business pants and in the dressing room, you can see a line in the back. We call that having a visible panty line.

When I worked in retail in the mid-late '90s, you definitely saw some tops and things that were too freaking sheer. I don't buy that stuff since I don't work on street corners or as an adult entertainer. Lately, however this happens with dress pants. Either they are super tight or you're getting panty lines in the butt.

Do these manufacturers & designers honestly think a woman can get away with that in a business setting or as an attorney going to court? Do they think all women work in the adult industry or as sex workers? That feels like the only environment where you could get away with visible panty line. You could probably get away with visible panty in that line of work.

However, the majority of women don't do that sort of thing so I ask why the HELL anyone would waste their time and money creating such worthless junk? Do most women just walk around with panty lines showing? I know for a fact most women are not as savvy about coverage on things as I am. I worked for 3 years in a lingerie department. I know about strapless bras & know where to get them. I might have been one of the only girls in my high school who wore tanktops without her bra strap showing (since The Angry Redheaded Lawyer got clothing discounts where she worked & made sure to invest in some strapless bras). I also managed to find underwear that wouldn't show panty lines in clothing & know the key to keeping that stuff from happening. Of course, you're kind of screwed if you're wearing something lacy but there are tricks to that as well so you're not flashing the world.

And if you're thin & don't have money, you are plain & simple fucked. Nothing fits you unless it costs a small fortune. I go through racks and mutter to myself about whether there's anything that's NOT in a "fat ass size." For my body's purposes if it's above a 0/2/XS, it's a fat ass size & won't fit me. I deserve my confidence as well, don't I? Fat women get all this about finding proper fitting clothing but do you think skinny women get that? Hell no! It's like you're part of a super hated group. So are models or any women with looks, smart people, rich people, anyone who's got things others don't even if they don't have to put in real effort to get it or don't think it's such a big deal. You can have more humility than anyone & still have people hate you if you're fitting those categories. I definitely feel like clothing manufacturers and plenty of other groups hate me. They must, especially when a 2 isn't even a true 2 that fits me.

I suppose my clothing being too big is a bit of a metaphor for my marriage & my old life. It no longer fits me, is too damn big & makes me look frumpy. Life is way too short for that. That saying "the clothes make the (wo)man" is accurate on many levels, not just in the sense of dressing for the job you want vs. the one you have. Having something that fits you properly will make you feel a trillion times better, at least if you're into fashion or appreciate it like I do.

Also, must these manufacturers contribute to more women with less money having nasty dispositions? I personally hate extortion schemes & I can smell them a mile away.

Listening to Cece Peniston right now. She has some great songs if you aren't familiar with her. A 90's artist from my youth. I know a lot of hip-hop & R&B songs from that era, particularly early to mid 90s. Vestige of my childhood. I guess it goes back to the whole "divorce is a regression" thing.

I also had a realization not long ago. When my mother was my age, she'd already lost both of her parents & had to deal with my alcoholic father along with raising me and my sister. She has more inner strength than anyone I know & is a far better human being and parent than plenty of people I could name.

I was reading earlier about this woman who honored her mother in law on Mother's Day; I never felt the urge to do that & I feel even less of any now. As far as I'm concerned, she's the ultimate hypocrite & my mother is exactly right when she says there's a special place in Hell for people like this woman. One person heard about what my ex did & said he was "not human." That & the realization that I never really loved him will make things a million times easier. Had one conversation where someone told me I never fully loved him on all levels.

Another person I know wrote that love was about needing someone for everything to where you couldn't breathe without them. Not sure if that definition of love is true but if it is, that explains volumes about me. It explains my tattoo. It explains that the meaning behind it is 100% pitch perfect for me & will most likely never change. I just can't depend on anyone in that way; I didn't even depend on my ex in that way at the height of the happy times in the relationship. I didn't feel that way about Vampire Boy either, the guy I came closest to loving before my ex. My feeling was "if you fuck me over, I'll just find someone else & won't put up with your shit ever again." I'm not a woman big on second chances, particularly if I don't think the person is sincere in their attempt to make amends. Significant others have a much harder time getting redemption from me than anyone else.

Let's consider this: if you want to be a survivor of a breakup, especially a divorce you can not be the type to need ANYONE that much. In my mind, it's a question of time when the other shoe is going to drop since it has a million times. I could deal with people dying on me more easily than I could having them abandon me & betray my trust just like everyone else, making it the umpteenth time I've had to deal with it. I explained to this person that I have had all this happen long before my jerky ex & he knew about it, which makes what he did a trillion times worse on top of the other circumstances around it.

Has it made me hard? Probably. Not sure if I really had innocence to lose in the first place but maybe for me it's a bit beautifully naive to feel that way; it's not a luxury I have, that whole getting more hurt than I already have been in life. You get extremely cautious when people lie, manipulate and so forth toward you. One might think I've not gone through things in life but they'd be wrong. I feel like having what I have was God or karma's way of making up for things I've had to deal with. We all have to have some scale balancing or we'd end up killing ourselves.

In sum, I think I am utterly incapable of fully loving anyone. Is that possible? You tell me.