Tag Archives: FPQ

FPQ14: The Psychopath’s Reply

Fandango sez…

“This week’s provocative question asks about how we perceive the world in which we live. There is a philosophical and psychological concept called qualia, which states that our surroundings can only be observed through the filter of our senses and the ruminations of our minds.

“Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, or the perceived redness of an evening sky. In other words, everything you know, everything you’ve touched, seen, and smelled, has been filtered through any number of physiological and cognitive processes. And that brings me to this week’s question:

“Do you believe that anyone can really experience anything objectively? Why or why not?”

I believe there are very few things we can experience objectively, due to the reasons stated above. In fact, I can think of only one thing: pain. Not emotional pain, but pure physical pain. This doesn’t mean that we all experience pain the same or have equal tolerances to various levels, but the sudden onslaught of pain is almost impossible to filter unless you’re James Bond. And I’m not talking about how we remember the pain weeks later as we’re discussing it, but the actual moment of the event. That.

I read a pretty cool (and horrible) murder mystery once about how an artist felt he was failing to capture the emotion he needed in his art, that everything was fake, until he stumbled upon the idea that pain was the only pure, real feeling. So, he began kidnapping and torturing women to make more honest art. The hero, his son, kept hearing these weird moans from his father’s studio, so he kept all the windows tightly shut even in summer, a habit that persisted into adulthood.

Well, that’s what I remember reading anyway. It was a long time ago. 😀

FPQ13: Size Matters

Fandango sez…

“This week’s provocative question asks an age old question that has stumped philosophers across the ages. Interpret this question any way you want.

“Do you believe that size matters? Please explain your response.”

Of course size matters! Please click away from this post if reading something not politically correct will bother you. In fact, I’m kinda done being PC from here on out altogether. YHBW.

Size matters in all kinds of ways. Let’s take people (Americans, specifically): they’re getting much too large aka fat. I’m not talking about what is pleasing to me aesthetically because that’s irrelevant ~ I’m talking health. Our lifespan is declining and health problems are increasing, in part, because people are obese (and so are their beloved pets). Morbidly obese. Size matters.

Going along with this is portion size and total daily caloric input. If you haven’t noticed, it’s been increasing. Bagels are enormous. Cookies are huge. Burgers are double doubles. Drinks are supersized, extra large, or grande. Children don’t go an hour without a snack of some kind. We are not cows! We don’t need to “graze.” We now have a fourth meal if we stay up late. Just cuz we apparently need an extra thousand calories of energy to sit on our butts and play games.

Manufacturers have been adjusting their size charts for decades to keep pace with our flabby selves because they know we will get depressed to see we need a larger size and then not want to spend money.

Forex, I’m still a 4, but the 4 is not a 4. Ooh, what dark magic is this?! I’ll tell you. Over the years, they’ve been slowly increasing the size of the female form that can fit into a 4. I used to be a skinny 4; now I’m (what I consider) a slim to medium 4. Like most women, I’ve gained some weight, though not a lot, in the past 40 years. Yet… still a 4!

Marilyn Monroe was a size 12. People like to crow about this, as if she was some sort of example of a “thick” woman with extra curves. She wasn’t. She was a perfectly proportioned woman with a 36-24-36 body and would wear a size 2 or 4 now. A size 12 today is vastly different from the one MM wore. Size matters!

There are lots of other examples of size making a difference. How about housing? Do you want a studio apartment or a 3000 square foot house? I’d say size matters as far as paychecks, savings accounts, 401K plans, raises, bonuses, taxes, etc. What about pets? Do you want a vicious 10 pound kitty or a sweet 50 pound golden retriever? Size again!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re waiting for me to talk about the other thing. Especially if you’re a man, since that’s all you ever care about. Fine, I’ll talk about your stupid vehicles. I fucking hate giant SUVs. There I said it. Buy normal cars.

FPQ12: Fish Stories

This week Fandango provocatively asks…

“How do you feel about people who always seem to exaggerate when relating a story? Do you equate embellishment with lying? As a blogger, when, if ever, is stretching the truth, other than when writing fiction, permissible?”

It doesn’t bother me at all. I assume that people both embellish the exciting parts of a story and cut out the dull moments to make the tale more interesting for the reader. Forex, if someone is describing a funny encounter with an annoying salesperson, they’re not going to put every boring word in, just the good stuff. The result won’t be perfectly accurate, but this isn’t a court of law ~ we’re here to have fun. Well, at least I am! 🥳🤩🤣

Now, I can see certain types of people going, but Paula… didn’t you say you can’t abide liars on dating sites? Yes, that’s correct. When a guy lies about his age, marital status, living arrangements, etc., I judge him to be an asshole and not worth one minute of my time. But that has nothing to do with exaggerating a funny story about catching a fish or whatever. If you can’t see the difference, I don’t know what to tell you. (I understand that there are people who can’t see the difference.)

FPQ11: Dr. Kevorkian

This week Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you believe that terminally ill people should be allowed or encouraged to end their lives via physician-assisted suicide? If so, under any circumstances or should there be restrictions? If not, why not?

“Optionally, if you were diagnosed with a terminal condition, would you consider physician-assisted suicide for yourself?”

First, I want to thank Fandango for this FPQ. All of them are good, but just when I’m completely disgusted with liberals this week over the MAGA hat kids idiocy, this question reminds me of why I still vote straight Dem.

Because my answer is an enthusiastic YES! I am totally for physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients who wish it and for those who may not necessarily have a terminal illness but are in unrelenting prolonged misery that can’t be alleviated.

There should be restrictions, yes. Ideally, patients will have filled out a form when clear-headed, describing exactly at what point they no longer have quality of life and are ready to go. Of course they can change their mind. But even if they haven’t done the form, if someone gets a sudden diagnosis, and/or is in horrible sustained pain, they still should have the right to ask for help in ending their life and receive it. Maybe the rule should be they have to ask every day for a week or something like that. There should be more than one doctor to approve the request and to agree that the illness is terminal and/or there’s nothing more to be done to help the pain.

I am sure I would ask for PAS under various scenarios ~ I think about it now for gawd’s sake. Migraines, back pain, neck pain, yada. Every day. No break. If (when) more things happen to put me in even further discomfort, ughhh.

This is a huge reason I vote Dem ~ this and pro-choice. The Republicans/conservatives, for all their “small government” blathering, are always first up to tell us what we can and can’t do with our bodies. 😡😡😡

FPQ10: Rightsideup

This week Fandango provocatively asks…

“What is more important to you, doing the right thing or doing things right?”

This reminds me of the ancient philosophical question: does God love things because they are good (or right), or are they good simply because God loves them? If the former, then there’s something beyond God’s opinion that makes a thing good; and if the latter, then goodness is arbitrary.

What I’m saying is that, ideally, there should be no conflict between doing the right thing and doing things right. But, alas, life often is not ideal ~ have you also found this to be the case? 🙄

I try to live my life (now) in such a way to avoid this conflict. I’ve simplified things as much as possible. But stuff still comes up, as it will. Not talking about big things, such as should I continue to date a Nazi because he’s so handsome, or do the right thing and dump him, but should I forget about my obsession for keeping my CDs organized while I’m driving in the rain?

This just happened last night, and I forced myself to wait until I got home and parked. It was very difficult to balance the conflict between keeping things neat in my car (doing things right) and not causing an accident /hurting people /raising my ins rate (doing the right thing). You see?

So, I would say that doing the right thing wins, but only by say 51%, and I’m not above redefining terms to fit a situation if I want to. You’re not either. If you say you are, I’ll agree to get along, but secretly I’ll know you’re lying. 😛

FPQ9: Struggle Bunny

This week Fandango asks two (2!) provocative questions, and we can answer one or both. Or none, if we’re party poopers. But I’ve always gone for extra credit points, so both it is!

“What are you struggling with the most right now?”

I’ve been trying to lose the five pounds I gained last year and it’s a struggle. I’m not used to dieting these days, plus the fact that I don’t eat that much to begin with, so it’s very difficult to cut back from my normal small meals. What would have been best is not to have gained in the first place. 🙄

Fandango sez:

Some of you might be uncomfortable answering such a personal and possibly intrusive question. And that’s why I’m going to pose an alternative question:

“As a blogger, do you enjoy ‘virtual relationships’? Do you consider them to be real?”

First, let me laugh at the idea that I would not answer a personal and possibly intrusive question… 😂😂😂

Second, yes and yes. I enjoyed virtual relationships long before I became a blogger, so blogging has nothing to do with it. The minute I discovered the internet and found a universe of weird funny punny writing type people who wanted to discuss topics other than baby food and carpet samples, I was into VRs. (Later, I found more interesting people in meatspace, but that took a while.)

I liken virtual people to the Velveteen Rabbit from the children’s book. They’re all real to me, as they exist in their own worlds and the internet gives us a way to connect. I imagine they view only certain aspects of me, not me as a whole complete bunny, and that’s okay. It’s not like people in meatspace get me all that well either ~ sometimes a lot less actually.

But here’s the weird thing: many times I prefer the virtual relationship. It’s more cerebral, it’s all in chosen words, and it’s easier to walk away from (if necessary). I like a relationship made of writings to savor and reread. I like creating my part of the relationship, thoughtfully, out of words, not awkwardly out of blurty speech and clumsy actions. And I like being able to delete it completely when I’m done.

And Fandango thought the first question was more personal!

FPQ8: Last First Time

Fandango has posed another one of his provocative questions:

When was the last time you did something for the very first time? What was it that you did?”

In June of 2018, I became a grandma for the very first time… and so far it’s the last time I’ve grandma’d, but it’s only been 7 months. ❤️

Now, technically I didn’t do anything but wait, but that’s something. Plus I nagged a lot, partially planned the baby shower, and generally made a nuisance of myself. 😂

For the record, I enjoy being a grandma and would be happy to grandma again, in the near or far future, whenever the opp presents itself. 👍🏻

FPQ7: Censorship [rant!]

This week Fandango asks…

“Do you believe that social media sites should be able to censor what people post on their sites and ban content creators from posting? Or do you consider such actions to be a violation of freedom of speech, which is guaranteed as a right in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?”

First, let’s talk about the First Amendment. This right guarantees us speech (mostly) free from governmental interference. People are very often confused about this point. The POTUS, much as he may wish to, cannot tell us what to say on our blogs. But our blog platform host, along with our IP, has terms and conditions that we agreed to when we signed up. That’s not the gov’t, and they can enforce their rules, whether against hate speech, however defined, or whatever other thing.

And any individual can ban anyone from comments. I personally have a long list of blocked IPs. These are people who have tried to post shitty comments or spam here and I have censored them. I absolutely have a right to do that. I don’t owe these jerks the right to ruin my convos; they can get their own free blogs. I have blocked loads of people on Twitter too ~ they can’t comment on my tweets because they can’t even view them. When I had a Facebook account, I blocked annoying sorts there all the time, as sensible people do.

Anyway, now we’ve established that it isn’t a violation of our right to free speech for social media sites to ban content. But the question remains: should they? Should the admins police bullies and creeps or let us duke it out among ourselves?

My opinion is that the site admins not only should police content, but they should be much more heavy-handed about it than they are now. We can’t duke it out because the playing field is unbalanced. If I’m a woman posting under my real name, and locatable in meatspace, and an army of trolls attacks me, how am I supposed to fight that? Normal people give up, delete their accounts to protect themselves, and the trolls win. That’s fundamentally unfair… and it happens constantly because anonymous accounts are permitted everywhere.

Let’s take Facebook, which I have deleted. There was a time when FB was vigilant in forcing people to use their real names and identities ~ sure, some fakers snuck through, always happens. But it was a better place then. There wasn’t the massive, continual bullying and trolling, or the fake political bots. But FB caved to pressure from supposed victim groups and allowed people to use any name. To me, that began their great downfall. Billions of users… where to even start sorting that out? And they don’t want to anyway since it’s all potential revenue for ads.

Well, that’s the thing. Right? These sites don’t really want to stop any of this drama because it generates more clicks and excitement than a bunch of people talking about their lunch, which is how we writers initially used Twitter when it was 140 chars and no pics. But the sites have to pretend to care now. Since everyone hates Milo and his brand has died, he was an easy target to dump. Wink wink, nod nod, we’re gonna crack down on hate speech. Yeah, right. And in the meantime look for any Ann Coulter thread… Oh not her. She brings in the bucks. (Not alone, mind. She spews and a fuckton of her haters scream back. It’s a formula. Who wins? Advertisers.)

Back to Facebook. They’re more popular than ever, even though their stock has sunk and new scandals come out weekly now about how they’ve misused people’s data and helped to subvert our elections by allowing the bots to flood Instagram, etc. Normal users don’t care. They just shrug it off. Must keep chatting with friends. Must keep sharing photos. There’s no other way to stay in contact with peeps if I give up messenger. Etc. They’ve been completely brainwashed by the Zuckerborg.

Facebook knows this, so they have very little motivation to actually do anything about the “hate speech.” It’s all smoke and mirrors. And the other social media sites follow suit and don’t shoot themselves in the foot to “clean up” and lose clicks and ad revenue by throwing off people who generate buzz.

Yes, I think they should. No, it doesn’t violate anyone’s rights as long as everyone is treated fairly according to the T&Cs we all agreed to. But it’s not going to happen. The bullying and hate will continue and even get worse as the 2020 election ramps up… starting from the top and oozing on down. Maybe if Twitter banned the POTUS for bullying, that would send a strong message.

Technically speaking… [FPQ #6]

This week’s provocative question came up when I read an article that talked about how the extent that Russia used social media to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States and the Brexit vote in Great Britain was more extensive than what was originally thought and that such disinformation and misinformation on social media sites continues almost unabated to this day.

With that in mind, here’s this week’s provocative question.

“Is technological advancement a net positive or a net negative?”

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And most important, have fun.

I am wavering on this week’s question, which is what makes it so provocative, I suppose.

On the one hand, technology has done amazingly wonderful things for the world. We’re able to grow more food, educate more people, cure more diseases, prevent more deaths in childbirth, respond faster in emergencies, etc. And we continue to advance exponentially in so many areas of science and medicine and engineering.

On the other hand, we’re as shitty toward our fellow humans, animals, and the planet we all live on as we’ve ever been. And now we can use technology to facilitate our terribleness. Instead of simply mocking some poor soul in a school hallway, we use social media to torment him 24/7 until he commits suicide. Sick people upload vids of themselves torturing animals for the amusement of other sickos around the world. And we all have so many gadgets and chargers and crap filling our lives, and we must have the latest versions, tossing the previous ones into the ever-expanding trash heap covering our earth and oceans.

Blech! 🤮

I haven’t even touched the part about our elections and the Rooskies and the hot new cold war and how our life spans are declining from sitting on our asses texting all day and how Spectrum has the goddamn nerve to increase my price yet again after my price increase last year when they switched me to “high speed” for people who game on multiple TV’s when I’m just a single person who doesn’t game on any device and singles are always being financially penalized for multi-person households who hog all the resources and pollute up the planet but at least Edison sends me a report card every month saying good job which is worth fuck all but hey.

What was this poast about again? Oh. It’s from Fandango. We hate Trump! Hells to the yeah! What do I win? 😂

Fandango No. 5 [FPQ]

It’s like Chanel No. 5, only a lot cheaper and won’t trigger a migraine.

So here’s this week’s provocative question (actually three questions):

“Is there a ‘blogging-you’ who is different from the real-world you? If so, how are the two ‘yous’ different? How has the ‘blogging-you’ evolved since you first started blogging?”

Yes. I am different here, but not just in Blogville.

There is an online-me who is somewhat different from meatspace-me. In the real world, I’m a small, older woman and I’ve been alone for many years. I have no one to back me up, physically, financially, emotionally, etc. So, I’m very careful. Extremely cautious. I am known as kind, sweet, helpful, by most. In fact, when people have met me in person after knowing me online for a while, they said I’m a lot nicer than they thought I’d be.

Online, I feel freer to state my opinions, to make jokes about whatever thing. To diss our horrible POTUS whenever I please, no matter who is around. I dgaf about people’s delicate feelings, nor do mine get hurt easily here. It’s words on a screen. Move on if you don’t like what you read. I do. I block racists on Twitter; I don’t cry over them. I also feel free to say no, to not do things I don’t want to, to simply fucking ignore irritating people, to ghost them, to delete, to mock, to parody… and there were years I used to troll the trolls. I’ve quit that though.

In meatspace, I don’t do most of that ever. I only make jokes when I am comfy with my audience. I did do a few rounds of stand-up comedy at a venue I felt okay about ~ it was tame comedy, relatively speaking. I usually don’t ignore people. I say thank you and no thank you and sorry, even to bums asking for money. If the gross guy dumpster diving at my apartment complex says good morning, I say it back. I try not to make enemies. I try very hard not to make anyone angry or displeased. When I fail, which is rare but it happens, I feel bad. Online, I don’t care.

Sometimes it turns out that characters on the screen and real people occupy the same space in the Venn diagram intersection, which can be tricky for me to deal with. It’s hard to go back and forth, and I haven’t fully mastered that task, since I am also a character of my own creation, continually evolving, except exactly the same person since I was 14 years old. Paradox. I think only one of my readers will possibly be able to grok this paragraph. No, not you. 🙄

That’s two questions answered. As far as the third, I have become much more discreet since I began my first blog. I say waaay fewer personal things now, hard as that may be to believe. But those who were reading Ultrablog know. Plus even this blog had much more daily life type stuff for a while. It’s not that I’m paranoid now, but more that my life has become such a bore there’s simply nothing to say.

I’m not complaining. You can have the “interesting life” fortune c00kie. After the drama I’ve had, I prefer boringness.