Tag Archives: FPQ

FPQ32: The Evil that Men Do

Fandango provocatively sez…

For this week’s provocative question, I am going to do something I haven’t before done in my provocative question prompt. I’m going to post something a fellow blogger wrote. In this case, the blogger is Judy Dykstra-Brown, and in one of her recent posts she wrote,

“I do believe that more evil has been done in this world by those absolutely sure of the rightness of their faith and their beliefs.”

So my question is this: do you agree with what Judy wrote? Why or why not?

Yes, I agree with this. I do think that mass evil is committed in the name of “righteousness,” not due to men knowing they’re wrong and believing they can get away with it. Some random crimes happen from the latter, but for coordinated grand scale evil to occur, not only do people need to believe they are right, but they must convince a certain portion of others also, enough to fight for them anyway. Not everyone needs to believe, but enough do, enough to intimidate the rest.

Sometimes, as it turns out, half the people don’t even need much persuasion to go along with horrible shit. It was already lurking there in their minds all along and they were just waiting for a nasty hateful unprincipled man with no boundaries to say what they were thinking.

FPQ31: Highlight

Fandango provocatively asks…

“What do consider to be the highlight of your life so far? Do you think it’s something that you might be able to exceed in the future?”

At the risk of sounding sappy, I’m gonna say the highlight of my life has been raising two great daughters. Now, to be clear, I’m not saying the highlight is “being a mom.” In all honesty, there was a lot about being a mom, especially to babies, that annoyed me. I don’t like noise or mess, and I don’t have a huge amount of patience. I’m not one of those women who gets all goopy over every baby and their silly antics (though my granddaughter is the cutest, just saying).

No. What I’m saying is I hung in there and did all the right things for them as best I could, despite being sometimes annoyed and imperfect… like my other post says, I fought for them because I loved them more than anything. I struggled to be better for them and to make sure I gave them all I could to be the best they could be. And they are wonderful people, if I do say so myself. They’re smart and resourceful and kind and loving. They’ve both chosen great guys for husbands too.

I’m so proud of both of them! And I do take some credit for how they turned out, though they worked pretty damn hard themselves.

Could I exceed this achievement of raising two sweet little girls into wonderful adults by… what? Writing a best-selling book? Meeting some man to love this late in the game? Solving some pesky riddle? I can’t even imagine. I’d have to say no.

FPQ30: The Whole Truth

Fandango provocatively asks…

“With everything that’s going on these days about what truth is and what facts are, do you believe truth and facts are synonymous, or do you concur with Faulkner that they have nothing to do with each other? And most important, does it even matter anymore?”

First, wow, I can’t believe we’re on number 30 already! And he may have skipped a week in there. Time flies like a banana 🍌, or something.

Second, I’m not going to answer this question in the context of politics because politicians suck. They’re all lying liars and the news is all slanted and hypocritical, so eff all that. (This doesn’t mean I’m going to give up and not vote, or write in Mickey Mouse, or anything like that. I’ll vote Dem across the board, knowing that nothing will probably change now, except for the worse, and so be it.)

Third, regarding the question… I apply it to the personal realm. Truth and facts are not synonymous, though they are related. And they do matter, very much. So much that I gave up dating because I could not trust men to tell the truth about anything (yes, I understand that women lie too, but I wasn’t dating them).

When I talk about truth, I’m talking about the collection of facts that complete a story. I will give an example.

Him: “I’m busy this weekend.”

Me: “Oh, that’s a bummer. I’ll miss you.”

Him: “I’ll miss you too, but I promised to help my mom with some stuff around her house. She can’t do all the things she used to. Her lawn is a mess and she has some virus on her computer. I’m not looking forward to driving two hundred miles and back.”

Me: “You’re a good son.”

Him: “Thanks!”

All the things he said were facts about his mom. They could even be verified if I called her (which I wouldn’t). But the story was in fact false. How can that be? He drove the 200 miles and helped his mother, and then he drove back.

But the story was incomplete. After he helped his mother and she made dinner for them, he went out for drinks with his old girlfriend who was in town that weekend. He spent the night with her before driving back on Sunday. So, while the facts he told me were all true, the story was false since it was incomplete.

That’s how they are. And if you don’t trust every word they say, then you have “issues” and are “paranoid.”

Mmhmm.

PS: The above scenario is fictional because the ones from my actual life are too complicated and ridiculous for a blog post, plus make me look bad.

FPQ29: Holy Crap

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you agree with Thomas Jefferson that it doesn’t matter or hurt you if people believe in many gods, in one god, or no gods? Why or why not?”

Yes, I agree with him. Beliefs don’t hurt me, or anyone else. Actions (including speech) are what hurt people. Until we devise a mechanism whereby our thoughts can travel through the air and zap people with sensations of pain, or create a situation of libel, loss of income, etc. we’re safe from rays emanating out of people’s beliefs in the supernatural or whatever.

Now, I know people are gonna say, but but but… folks take direct actions based upon their beliefs in god/s. Do they really? How can we prove this? I think that people do what they want and then justify it with a belief system, or sometimes they don’t even bother. This is why we find so many cases of blatant hypocrisy and inconsistency ~ it’s because people are doing as they please, as people have always done and always will do, and then trying to cobble together some coherent rationale for their actions after the fact.

It’s not their belief in god/s that caused the problem. It’s their behavior.

FPQ28: Ughhh him again 🤮

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you believe that Donald Trump is an effective American president who should remain in office despite having accepted aid from a foreign adversary (Russia) and having committed obstruction of justice into the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential elections? Do you believe that Trump should or should not be impeached for his actions? Why?”

I’m commanded to have “fun” with this question! 😳 First, beyond the way the question seems to be directing an answer by the way it’s framed, there was a long set-up to it that I didn’t copypasta. But this isn’t a criticism ~ Fandango can word his FPQ’s any way he wants. I’m just observing.

Second, there’s a lot to unpack here. I think I should take the whole thing apart, which will take a while. I can’t come up with a quick answer to this one.

Donald Trump is not an effective POTUS. He’s a lying, obnoxious, self-aggrandizing, disgusting, egotistical jerk. He’s rude, crude, and divisive. He indulges in racism and misogyny when it suits him. He doesn’t believe laws apply to him, though he’s quick to hug the flag, and though he ran on “drain the swamp,” his admin is full of swamp creatures pandering to him 24/7. He cares nothing for the American people, only for enriching himself and his family, and plastering his name everywhere.

I do not think Trump “should” remain in office. He’s bad for us and for the planet. It would be great if he and Pence would both immediately resign due to maybe God demanding it (or whatever works) and then Nancy P takes over until the 2020 election.

But do I think Trump should be impeached for the stuff Fandango describes? No.

Why not? Impeachment means bringing charges. First, the charges have to be agreed upon. That will involve a shit ton of arguing and tweeting among Democrats at a time when Democrats should be coming together with a unifying message to defeat Trump, along with other Republicans, in 2020.

I know this is a silly dream, that Democrats can get themselves organized again with a unifying message to inspire their base to vote, but yet I haz hope. 🦋

Say impeachment charges are brought and voted on by the House… then what? Nothing. A big fat zero. The Senate won’t agree to remove Trump from office. So, now we’ve wasted all this time, when Dems could have been campaigning (and you’d better believe Trump will be campaigning like mad through it all, portraying himself as a victim like none other), only to LOSE.

Trump will crow about his “win” and Dems will be scrambling in 2020 to come up with some way to beat him, along with other Republicans too, in the looming election after losing the dumb impeachment fight.

Bleh. 🤮

FPQ27: Where’d My Fandango?

Fandango provocatively asks…

“If you could choose one — and only one — particular malady, condition, or disease for which a safe and effective treatment was available, what one condition would you choose to treat and why is that your choice?”

I choose to eliminate Alzheimer’s. It not only steals any joy and dignity from the patient’s final years, but it’s such an awful burden in every way on their loved ones. It’s better to die of cancer or heart disease imo than to waste away from this hideous mind-melter.

My mother’s death was a shocking tragedy because no one expected this vibrant person to get suddenly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, but she was 75. I guess that isn’t really so shocking to someone outside the family. We all just assumed she would live much longer. But as awful as that was, at least it was over quickly.

My father however spent around a dozen years fading away as his once formidable brainpower weakened from dementia. His memory and thoughts became jumbled, and he reacted with confusion and anger. He became susceptible to every con artist that knocked on the door (and those evil assholes know to prey on the senior community). After my mom passed, he immediately jumped into a new romance, asking a woman to marry him after dating for only a couple months. (She said no.) Then he began getting lost and needing more care, often forgetting who people were, and which ones were still alive.

It was so hard on all of us. I hope hope hope I do not burden my children with this horror! Just shoot me.

No, not yet. 😜

FPQ26: “I’m not saying it was aliens…”

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you believe that there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for these sightings, like unannounced or unauthorized drone flights or space junk falling back into the atmosphere, or do you think that the objects these pilots saw were actual UFOs?”

I think both explanations are perfectly reasonable, but I think it’s more likely that any “weird thing” in the sky is either some sort of light reflecting off space junk or a military maneuver by us or someone else. I doubt we, ordinary citizens, will ever get the truth out of our government on this or pretty much any other thing. (Not talking only about the current horrible admin.)

Why can’t we know? Who knows. Maybe they think we’d all panic, like in some B-movie, and run screaming into the streets, if they said there were real UFOs out there. Maybe if they admitted some other country has superior military tech, that would make people less likely to vote for X party. Or if it’s us with the tech, obviously we want to keep it secret in case we want to use it in a war. Need to tell our own peeps not to jabber about it then, eh?

Whatever. There’s so much we don’t know, and aren’t going to know. Me, I’m running out of time. I’m not even going to get to all the books piling up on my Kindle, probably. Twenty, thirty more years will go by in a flash. Assuming I even have that.

Who knows.

FPQ25: Nowhere & Poof

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Where do you believe you were you before you were born and what do you believe will happen to you after you die?”

He answers the question himself by saying “I do have a position on where we were before we were born (nowhere, we didn’t exist) and what happens to us after death (poof, we’re gone and no longer exist).”

That’s also what I believe, and I can’t state it any more clearly than “nowhere” and “poof,” which is why I copied his words.

This shouldn’t be a provocative question. If others believe that there’s a supernatural realm with souls floating around that attach and detach to human bodies (and idk some good doggos?), why do they care if Fandango and I disbelieve it, and vice versa?

But it’s a big farooking deal.

I believe that the most important things are what we do right now, how we treat people here on earth, how we care for animals and the environment, etc. But there isn’t any payoff. I’m not going to be rewarded in heaven for not being a litterbug. So, why not throw garbage on the street? Why care that the ocean is a toxic dump? Because this is our home, and keeping a clean home is an end in itself. I don’t need a gold sticker like a three-year-old for doing the right thing.

No, this isn’t actually a tangent. People who get it will get it. 😛

FPQ24: Fear of Failure

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Have you ever been so afraid of failing at something that you decided not to try it at all? What’s one thing would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

Yes, many times. But I don’t consider this some sort of character defect ~ I consider it a rational decision.

Let’s take the dating scene. I’ve decided to stop looking for love because I’m afraid of another heartbreak, not to mention how annoying and time-consuming the process is to begin with. This is a logical choice, given my experiences since 2009 when my ex-husband left.

There are other examples throughout my life where I’ve made safe choices over more “interesting” ones because of the fear of failure. But in my mind, I’m making a good decision based on risk analysis. The reason fear of failure even comes up is because the more exciting choices are riskier.

I choose the road that has been taken, along with a GPS phone, extra water, snacks, and a jacket. I’ll leave the wild, overgrown path for an intrepid explorer.

PS: The one thing I would do if I knew I could not fail? Spend all my time and resources writing The Great American Novel.

FPQ23: I Burn Whole Cities

Fandango provocatively asks…

“How do you manage or deal with stress? Is there a specific strategy or approach that you’ve found to be particularly effective?”

My post title comes from the HBO show Game of Thrones where dragons have been known to release stress by destroying cities with fire. I am not a dragon, alas, though I have gotten vicarious pleasure especially during stressful times by reading A Song of Ice and Fire and from watching the show.

In general, I find that losing myself in a fantasy world of a novel or movie for a few hours is a great way to deal with stress. I do prefer movies over series, or series that have finished, because I don’t want to have to wait for the next season (and these days, that can be so unpredictable), which ends up leaving me at the mercy of people yapping online about the show and giving their predictions. Annoying!

Depending on what the stressful even was, I may wish to talk about it privately, with a daughter or a friend. I’m careful what I say to whom these days though, so as not to end up with more stress from the convo itself. I may write about the situation in a diary for my own clarification. I find the act of writing words on a page/screen to be therapeutic.

For immediate relief, deep breaths work. For a 24 hour period, repeating the mantra that “this too shall pass” helps a lot. If I can’t sleep, there’s always the Valium or Benadryl last resort. It’s really bad not to sleep because then I’ll feel even worse the next day, which will increase my stress. Cuddling my kitty and spending time alone at home usually helps me feel better.

Here are some stress management techniques that are supposed to help but do nothing for me:

1. Exercise. I know it’s good for me, but it makes everything hurt more and I end up with a (worse) headache.

2. Taking a vacation. Way out of my budget and I would be completely stressed about the money I spent.

3. Glass of wine. This is a migraine trigger about 50% of the time.

4. Music. This is tricky because a lot of songs pull up sad memories for me. I have to be careful about music. Plus, Gatsby doesn’t like it. Mostly I only listen in the car.

5. Sex. With a man? This was generally the cause of almost all my stress and giving it up has reduced my anxiety to nearly zero.

Dracarys! 🔥🔥🔥