Sunday, November 6, 2016


According to Merriam Webster to objectify means to treat someone as an object rather than a person.

We hear that women are objectified by men all the time, reducing her to a soulless piece of meat. She exists for his pleasure only to indulge his fantasies. And some men do that, but so do women. 

Women objectify men and they objectify other women, granted they may be doing it for different reasons but they still do it. For many women men are reduced to dollar signs in conversation, oh he would be a great provider, so wasn’t that man just objectified? Seeing him as a cash register rather than a human being. How many times have we heard, oh he’s just a janitor, or she is just a waitress, that’s objectifying too. 

When a man or a woman sees someone they find attractive something goes off and it doesn’t have to be sexual. When you notice a person for their physical attributes or for the way they dress you don’t know anything about them, but something strikes you and it probably makes you feel good. And if you were to complement that person by making a comment (a civil one) it makes them feel good too. 

Shouting sexual innuendos at an attractive woman walking down the street goes way beyond objectifying, it’s rude and vulgar and chances are that person has a great deal of insecurity that he is trying to mask.   Relational interplay is important in our over digitized world and we will never be able to rid the world of vulgar, rude people - one needs to look no further than social media but all of us has the ability to make the exchanges positive rather than negative. And of course there is always that old saying we can fall back on; if you can’t say something nice keep it to yourself. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Is reality becoming less real?

Plato believed that what we take to be real, such as a mountain or a chair, is really an imperfect shadow of the eternal forms. An image that is being reflected from some distorted mirror giving us an intimation of what the true shape is. He also believed that the world we observe is just an illusion and that reality is hidden and unknowable to our senses and everything is made up of abstract entities known as the forms.

The only reality that exists is the reality we choose, and that explains why so many people live such unreal lives. Reality for them is Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. They pull in all of the images from the outside to form their preferred reality and never allow the reality inside to assert itself. Enslaved by materialism, fakery and foolishness we cheer on sports teams and celebrities to end up watching a metaphor of ourselves. Yet someplace deep inside we know it’s a lie but we continue with the charade and live with the permanent contradiction because somehow it’s easier than facing reality.

Donald D. Hoffman, a cognitive scientist from U.C. Irvine studies perception, artificial intelligence and evolutionary game theory. He believes the world presented to us by our perceptions is nothing like reality and that evolution maximizes evolutionary fitness by driving truth to extinction. If that’s true then I guess those 60-100 million people that are homeless due to war and political instability have nothing to worry about. Or the 5 kids a day that die from child abuse, or the 49 million Americans that struggle every day to put food on the table or the 47 million currently enslaved in the world that have no way out have nothing to fear because their perception of their horrific life is nothing like what they think it is. Too much reality, don’t worry, we’ll just Photoshop it out. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Why We Need Animal Protection Laws

               Imagine driving home one day and you notice the car ahead of you is slowing down slightly, you think they are having car problems so you slow down too, perhaps you can offer assistance. But instead you see someone in the car throwing a dog out of the window into the ditch and then speed off. Shocked and sickened you pull off of the road and run over to where the dog was thrown. You can tell the dog is alive and it appears that his back legs are broken so you carefully pick him up and usher him to the vet. You breathe a sigh of relief when the vet tells you he will make a full recovery. You find a home for him and now Rocket lives happily in Southern California. Unfortunately not all animals who are victims of animal cruelty are so lucky. It is difficult for us to comprehend anyone causing such harm to any animal but it is far more common than we realize which is why animal protection laws are so important.
 We’ve come a long way in improving our animal protection laws since 1641 when the first animal protection law was passed. Though the laws at that time were directed more towards working animals it was at least the start that would lay the groundwork for our current laws and we continue to make progress. Prior to 1986 only four states had laws against animal cruelty, now all fifty do. Illinois, Oregon, Maine, California and Michigan are the states offering the most protection with the harshest penalties while North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Iowa and Kentucky are the states lagging behind.
Animal cruelty is not limited to a violent act towards an animal but also includes any neglect and failing to provide for the animal’s general care and well-being. Most of us are aware that there is a strong correlation between violence towards animals and violence towards humans. This awareness has prompted law enforcement to take these crimes much more seriously. Earlier this year it was announced that animal abuse will now be considered a Group A felony prompting harsher punishment and penalties. The ASPCA estimates that in this country an animal is abused every ten seconds. Exact numbers are impossible to determine because much of the abuse goes unreported.

Animals offer us unconditional love and companionship, it is our responsibility to ensure they are protected and cared for which includes reporting any incidents of animal cruelty or neglect. Please take the time to check into your state and local animal protection laws to make sure the laws sufficiently guard against and punish animal cruelty. If they don’t offer adequate protection be the voice for those that don’t have one.